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5.0 von 5 Sternen Poignant but True, Lacontic but Touching
Despite criticism of its "harshly realistic" dialogue and the rather simple outer layer to the plot, A Farewell to Arms has emerged as one of the greatest war story ever written. Known for his wealth of experience gained in the brutality of battlefields, Hemingway gained instant fame with his highly autobiographical tale of a tenuous love caught in the...
Veröffentlicht am 17. Januar 2000 von Shirley Li
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Not Hemingway's Best
I read this in high school about twenty years ago, and recently decided to revisit this work. I think this is an important thing to do. As our lives change, quite often the meaning of great books change to us also, and we can gain an even richer experience. I am sorry to report that this is not the case with this novel. At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I would...
Veröffentlicht am 30. Mai 2000 von Paul McGrath
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Not Hemingway's Best,
I read this in high school about twenty years ago, and recently decided to revisit this work. I think this is an important thing to do. As our lives change, quite often the meaning of great books change to us also, and we can gain an even richer experience. I am sorry to report that this is not the case with this novel. At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I would suggest that this book is a long way from resembling the great canon of work that is Hemingway's.
Now don't start screaming yet. Please bear with me. To begin with, don't we seem to have a rather idealized version of our hero's girlfriend? She is blonde, slender and beautiful; falls in love with him immediately; and without any complications. Every time she is with him, everything is just "grand." Isn't this just a little too perfect? We know she is Scottish, but what else? She has no brothers, sisters, or mother and father that we know of. What indeed, is she doing in Italy, other than simply being available? She's not much of an idealist. After all, it didn't take much convincing for her to leave the war, just as our hero did. Who is she?
For that matter, what about Mr. Henry? He is an American fighting in the Italian army as an ambulance driver during World War I. Yes, I know this is true of Hemingway's life, but as fiction, we need more clarity. Isn't this a little unusual? Why is he there? He never explains. He's there, he gets wounded, he fights again, he gets sick of it, he leaves. Even more annoying, his family always seems to send him money when he gets in a jam. The perfect out. Who are they, and why do they do this?
Even worse is the contrived ending. I won't give away the details, but wow, he sure comes away clean. As George Carlin said in a comedy routine: "Boy, you ARE a good sport!" It is a bit much.
Don't get me wrong. Hemingway was a great writer, and there is a lot of good stuff in here. His relationships with the Italians and his description of the retreat ring true. But there is too much missing for this to be considered a great novel on its own. If you want the best of Hemingway, you have to go further. Start with "For Whom the Bell Tolls," if you don't believe me, or any of the hundreds of great short stories he has. Even this one is a very good read. But remember, he wrote it at the tender age of 30, and clearly, his best work was yet to come.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Farewell to Arms: A book review by Jacky Jones,
It is World War I. the fighting between the allied and enemy forces throughout Europe has worn on for months. Almost everyone is tired of the fighting but continue to serve for the good of their countries. For an American serving in the Italian Army, who lacks the patriotism for the country he serves, it becomes quite difficult to focus on the importance of the cause at hand. The discovery of love by Fredrico Henry proves to be a major distraction that ultimately affects the remainder of his presence (or lack of presence) in the war and his subsequent lifestyle. Ernest Hemingway left A Farewell to Arms, although with many sub-themes, with a focus on the classic theme of love and war. The focus on these two themes is evident in the way the two affect each other and in the organization that Hemingway used in the novel. Because the main character narrates the story himself the reader has a keen insight on his true feelings on both love and war. We find in the beginning of the novel that Henry has no incredibly strong viewpoint on the war itself, he seems not to like or dislike it. It is not until the presence of a person who creates love and passion in his life that a true standpoint begins to form. It is the desire to return to love that gives him the inspiration to break from his present situation later in the story. The other major character that could be considered more static, as compared to the dynamic nature of Henry's character, is Catherine. With her love and dedication she produces the inspiration in Henry that creates the changes in his character. The presence of the conflict of war in the novel is used to show the changes that it too can have directly or indirectly on a person's outlook on life. The novel is organized in a manner that seems to separate the effects of love on a life and the effects of war on that same person. The primary chapters of the book deal with the terrible images and injuries that Henry encounters during the fighting. Hemingway does an excellent job at painting a picture of the horrifying aspects of war during a specific battle scene early in the story. He also does a great job in later parts of the story at relaying the way that Henry and Catherine feel about each other. He does this with detailed inner monologues on the part of Henry, and complex but easy to understand dialogues between the two lovers. At the very beginning the novel is somewhat hard to get into because the narration starts by trying to pull the reader into an event (the war) that has already started. There is though some action that pulls you quickly into the plot, and is then followed by the basis of Henry and Catherine's romance. The book is organized in to chapters within books one through five. This separation of parts of the book, and the flow of the writing proves to make A Farewell to Arms an easy reader. One difficulty that a reader may encounter while experiencing this reading may be the complex dialogues. Sometimes the dialogues carry on for so long that it becomes hard to keep track of who is talking at what time. At times it may be necessary to go and read back through the text to understand exactly who is speaking in order to retain its significance. The plot overall is not hard to understand or hard to follow and creates a quite rewarding experience in the end. While reading this book it became quite easy to get close to the characters. Characterization is utilized well by Hemmingway to achieve this true knowledge of both Henry, and Catherine at times. The message of the book can be looked at as one that stresses the importance of love in trying times of chaos. This novel also gives an insight to the softer sides of the war. Although brutal at times, it gives outlooks into the slower and less action pact parts of fighting that are not often seen in a war novel, such as time spent with other soldiers in the mess hall, strong friendships, time in the hospital and the bliss of residing in a country neutral to the war.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Poignant but True, Lacontic but Touching,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A Farewell to Arms (Scribner Classics) (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Despite criticism of its "harshly realistic" dialogue and the rather simple outer layer to the plot, A Farewell to Arms has emerged as one of the greatest war story ever written. Known for his wealth of experience gained in the brutality of battlefields, Hemingway gained instant fame with his highly autobiographical tale of a tenuous love caught in the sweeping wave of WWI.
Set in Italy, the story unfolds when a young American ambulance driver, Henry, meets a gorgeous English nurse, Catherine Berkley, for the first time. Perhaps it was due to the powerful binding hands of the war that Berkley confides in Henry of her tragic love and places instant faith in him. At first, Henry regards Catherine only as an unwonted addition to his foreign "episodes" after he convinces himself that this feeling of strong attraction is only the ramification of war, of loneliness, and of the desire to share one's misery with someone else. Yet as their affair progresses, especially after Henry was wounded and put on covalence leave, he begins to see the sparkle of his passion for Catherine expands into this glowing fire of love. War is a vital component in Henry and Catherine's relationship as they plot their future together with war as their perpetual constraint; they only lean on one another more when Henry was forced to return to the front after learning Catherine is pregnant. The irony of their love is the shared conviction that their affair is in some way a representation of matrimony; refusing to marry Henry after he has learnt of her pregnancy, Catherine urges Henry to go back to where he belongs. During the retreat, Henry deserts the army in order to escape the persecution that awaits all officers. Fleeing back to the side of his love ready to sacrifice his life in order to be with her, Henry prepares Catherine for the journey of their lives. The ending, set in a Swedish hospital, is by no means a reconciling "period" to the long sentence with few commas even.
Hemingway's own tragic romance is beautifully depicted by the movie made from Agnes Wiensky's novel, In Love and War. In some way, despite occasional righteousness and victors' justice, war is an opening to the broader side of nature's hideousness. Wars are not meant to be sweet and gentle, even if they are enshrouded with the divine touch of patriotism and of love. Henry and Catherine had grace under the soaring siege of WWI because they didn't just observe the on-going war as a superfluous event, but as a contagion of fear from which they must flee. And in fact they do flee to freedom. Through Hemingway's laconic and rough narration, few insights emerges above the surface; yet, what his pen doesn't convey on the surface is an even deeper well that awaits discovery and understanding, and that is the reality apart from the polish plane of prose.
Some asks if the setting has been different, could A farewell to arms have been culminated by a more jovial ending that may in some way capture the triumphant nature of love. After all, we as a species do rise above history, more often triumphant than not. But Hemingway is not only a survivor of two wars, he is also the keeper of poignant memories of his own love loss. It doesn't necessarily mean that Henry and Catherine's love was killed by war-it was finished by fate. Their love never died, it is immortal in the sense that their tale is an on-going story without end. Their love is as great as love can be even without ornamental phrases fictional lovers whisper in each other's ears; one gesture, one glance, one word is enough to convince each other as well as the readers how strong the war has made them to be, as one.
Men make war, true enough for most of Hemingway's works, but also, more significantly, wars make men. Hemingway is one of those who were certainly made stronger by not only triumph, but also losses in the hands of fate and of Self.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An Anti-War Novel That Also Uncovers Life's Many Meanings,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A Farewell To Arms (Taschenbuch)
This book clearly deserves more than five stars.
A Farewell to Arms is the semi-autobiographical tale of an American lieutenant in the Italian army near the end of World War I. Though the book's action, you will see the gradual distintegration of the hero's commitment to the conflict and his faltering attempts to create a new personna. While this is clearly one of the greatest anti-war books of all time, it transcends that genre to look more directly at the nature of life's challenges and how we meet them. As such, A Farewell to Arms ranks as one of the greatest of all American philosphical novels as well. For Hemingway aficionados, you will be fascinated to see his ornate writing style before he developed his eventual, much-admired spare form. This is stream of consciousness Hemingway at its best.
Lieutenant Henry is a man caught in the drift of events, without knowing what he stands for. He does his duty, but often out of habit rather than principle. When the full force of man and nature turn on him, he reverts to his instincts for self-survival. He wants little to do with the world, except in taking those delights that most please him. In the course of realizing and trying to overcome his emotional weaknesses, he simply isolates himself in new ways. Even love can only touch him when it is defined solely in his own terms.
Hemingway sees personal progress as only being possible through extreme pain. "The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places." That's the good news. The bad news is that "those that will not break it kills." The world kills "the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially."
This theme is carried out by the challenges of being a lieutenant in the ambulance corps, then being wounded in a mortar attack, going through surgery and recovery, dealing with a murderous retreat, and ultimately falling in love and dealing with loss. Lieutenant Henry is increasingly overwhelmed, and finds himself willing to attempt less and less. Although the story does not carry him forward through the rest of his life, you imagine that he remains an emotional cripple from these experiences for the rest of his life . . . having little faith or interest in his fellow humans.
All of Hemingway's characters are emotionally crippled in one way or the other. Even if a shell does not hit them, they will never be the same from their war experiences. Whether they are driven by fear, love, or duty, the result is the same -- a disillusioned numbness that limits their ability to be alive. When pressed by the exigencies of the moment, each retreats to lick his or her wounds . . . cut off effectively from support. Whatever fine or infamous human emotion drives them, also condemns them.
One of the particularly haunting aspects of the book is the portrayal of war as unending and inescapable. A modern reader naturally knows when World War I ended. At the time, people wondered if it would go on for a hundred years. That despair is well captured here. Another unforgettable feature is raising the question of who the enemy really is. Lieutenant Henry discovers that those be befriends, his allies, and nature itself can be even more dangerous to him than the military enemy ever has been. You get a chilling sense of the dark side of civilization that few novels even attempt to portray.
Hemingway left Illinois at 17 to join the Kansas City Star as a reporter. He volunteered with the Red Cross in World War I at 18, first serving on the French front and later with the Italians. He was severely wounded in Italy, and was awarded the Italian Croce di Guerra. The first third of the book probably mirrors his own experiences very closely, and you will find a youthful vividness in those pages that will effectively put you amongst the battles and the boring sameness of waiting in between.
Many have considered what man's inhumanity to man really means. World War I was one of the greatest examples of this terrible tendency. Reading this book provides a good opportunity to reconsider your own views about the meaning of such times in human history, and what the right things are to do. Imagine that you are any of the characters in this book. What could and should you have done differently? What would have been the probable consequences? What would have been the meaning of your decisions and actions? What lessons can you apply from this today?
Basically, this book argues that moral progress only occurs through suffering. How else have you learned? How else could you learn? What does that mean about Hemingway's thesis?
Look for the best . . . as well as seeing the best in the worst.
4.0 von 5 Sternen False glorification, but exceptional imagery,
Von Ein Kunde
After horrific WWI trench warfare with Baumer in Remarque's ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and stomach-churning imagery in such recent WWII flics as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Hemingways F2A leaves the impression that I have been robbed of the true horror of the World Wars and spoonfed with an idealistic, glorified lovestory. Secondly, I am truly disappointed by Hemingway's lack of regard of the loss of human life in certain instances - such as the lack of compassion for Aymo's fate, no remorse after shooting the fleeting deserters, and the referral to the "freshly skinned rabbit" in the last chapter. Finally, the frequent alcohol abuse not only forshadows Hemingway's own professional decline but yet again emphasises his tendency to glorify evil.
However, if the reader is in search of a beautifully written fictitous account of a couple's triumpth over their sadistic surroundings and their unconditional stand for each other amidst the ravages of war and wants to endulge in an excellent potrayal of beautiful pastoral Italy and become encaptured in Hemingway's unique ability to capture his readers by exceptional, well-planned, crafty wording, and can learn to tolerate such run-on sentences as this one as well as confusing dialouge, F2A is an exellent choice.
I have to confess, if it had not been for the last chapter of the book, I would have given it fifteen stars out of five and would have found nothing negative to say about it. Truly great until the end! Now, I'm interested in how the OLD MAN AND THE SEA will turn out! If it ends anything like F2A, I promiss: it will burn!
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Fairwell to Legs,
As the first Hemmingway text I have read, AFTA has been enjoyable and enteraining at some parts, redundant and boring at others. Though combining a captivating love story and the Great War, certain parts of the novel left me feeling alittle flat; particularly the long, miandering descriptions of the countryside and daily routines. Many characters were very interesting, such as the super-stud Renaldi, and the confused, young priest, but despite the fact that they are important characters early in the novel, Hemmingway doesn't go into great physical or psychological description of any of these important figures. Another interesting argument is the fact that though the book is written from a first person account, we still feel distant from Fredrick, the main character, in that he never gives direct descriptions of his thoughts or his emotions; only his actions are mentioned. i found myself a bit ditatched and often confused by the lack of description, but then again, it allowed the book to move a bit more smoothly. I particularly enjoyed the battle scenes, but even they seemed to lack action, in that Fredrick never truly sees combat, but instead nearly gets his leg lopped off my a AP mortar, which I found a bit distastful, and sneaks around what could either be Italian deserters or German Infantry, was suspensful until the anti-climactic escape, when the reader is expecting some real fighting to begin. In conclusion, AFTA is a novel I would recommend reading, adn if you enjoy, to read otehr Hemmingway works, and if not, read "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Poor readers will not Enjoy Hemingway.,
Von Ein Kunde
If you are not a very good reader (as is the general public) you will not enjoy or understand Hemingways work. The best things are left unsaid. That is Hemingway's style and it is the best way to write. I know, I read a lot of books and studied them. People who are fans of todays authors will not like Hemingway because he doesn't hand you everything on a silver platter. You have to think to truly read Hemingway. People no longer like to think, they only want to be entertained. You can see this by watching television. If you are young you will most likely not like Hemingway. You simply haven't been alive long enough to understand it. What is so moving about his writting is the emotions he reveals within it. If you have not read the ending to A Farwell To Arms then you are not qualified to judge it. It is very poinant and demonstrates a love that most people may fail to understand. It is in my opinion the greatest love store written in the 20 century. His dialoge can at times be boring. This is only because it is real. He has been referred to as the master of dialoge. Was the conversation you had at work yesterday with the guy in the next cubicle all that interesting. I doubt it, but it was real. His dialoge is also dated. Remember this book was published in 1929. This book is rich and layered with many different themes. EX. The pupose of war, religion,and love, just to name a few if you don't understand it I sujest getting the Cliff Notes. They seem to be the answer to all the classics.(I'm being sarcastic)
4.0 von 5 Sternen This book is the ultimate portrayal of true love!,
Von Ein Kunde
When I began to feel a certain indebtedness towards my country to read the supposedly greatest novel to ever come from it, I began preparing myself for a strong opinionated novel. Something groundbreaking. But what I found in it's place was just a simple but flowing love story. Hemingway places no set rules for loving someone, I believe his sole purpose was to give an example of something pure, and simple, and good in a time of great doubt of the morality of humanity. By placing obstacles in each of the lovers way and describing their triumph he exemplifies their devotion to a worthy cause. Despite each of the characters physical and mental abandonment of the things they had previously known, Henry finds himself beaten when Catherine and their child are taken away from him in an unlikely and tragic death. Could this mean that because of the world's general coldness and unfeeling nature it will allways destroy such innocent themes as love and devotion, or is this story to say that past actions will never be forgotten and someone will allways be held accountable for them? Hemingway doesn't say, that is the beauty of it. He presents a story in a compelling and drawing-in manner whithout giving any absolute views. A great writer, I believe, is one that can present facts to a reader and make him think about them. Hemingway accomplishes this to no end in A Farewell to Arms.
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Silent Era,
I read this book because John Keegan recommended it in his book on WWI and because it was Hemingway and the only other writing I'd read of his was "The Old Man and the Sea" when I was in high school 30 years ago, so I felt unwashed.
I read the first paragraph of the novel about six times. Great writing! A wonderfuly simplistic yet portentious description. From there the book wavered back and forth for me.
His descriptions of the battlefield were certainly as realistic as I've read in fiction. But I'm sorry, I really didn't get the relationships he had with his friends. The prose was just too sparse and I just don't understand the lingua he used. I'm convinced that the hip language Hemingway used is not easily understood. Much like some of the first talkies in the early thirties contained language (read Jean Harlow) that was so hip for it's time but not very clear now, the way he talked to Catherine and she back was just too coded for me.
Who was this character? After reading the book I new almost nothing about who he was, what he cared about and why he loved Catherine, though I became convinced that he did. Altogether, I found this to be somewhat puzzling, as it is reported to be a great romantic novel. Hemingway's writing was often beautiful and faultless. His way with words and phrases awe inspiring. But the hero was a schmuck.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Being Brave,
Hemingway uses love and war to find a bit of truth. Life breaks you--it kills you--if you're "very good" or "very brave." Nature washes over humanity like a flood, merely moving over anyone that lays down for it, but crushing people who stand against it. Hemingway pits Catherine & Frederick against the tide, while taking note of those just swimming along, like Count Greffi. At ninety-four, the Count has survived so long because he, like other old men, did not "grow wise...[but]careful." He hasn't "become more devout" either--perhaps he doesn't care about anything enough to be broken by its loss. He values life because it's all he's got. Catherine dies in the end standing against the flood: she was brave and good and gentle, and those qualities are the antithesis of a world that produces such a meaningless war. Frederick had the honor the bow out of that war when it became obscene to him, and loved Catherine so much she took away his loneliness. He was broken by her death, and I wonder if it will kill him in the rain on the way back to his hotel. Hemmingway wrote a romantic story, and a realistic war novel, but he also wrote something about the difference between living and just existing. That's why this book is great.
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A Farewell To Arms von Ernest Hemingway (Taschenbuch - 18. August 1994)