One wonders how Frederic Henry would handle the job of evacuating wounded from Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan, 85 years after he was deployed to the World War One Italian front as an ambulance driver, by Ernest Hemingway, in A Farewell to Arms.
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It was an exciting time, one which we'll look back on with fondness and admiration for the men and women who fought the battles and the wars and slogged through the halls, who; responded to emails as they walked, alternately winning Pulitzers and reporting on the latest wardrobe malfunction.
The novel is a young man's recollection, and as such it's exceptional. In other words, it's good, and here it is in an edition that delves even deeper into that young man's sustaining romantic obsession.
A large segment of the letters -- the first written when he was not quite 8 -- are juvenilia and could be the sentiments of any young whippersnapper. Yet there are occasional hints at what would become the acclaimed Hemingway mode of between-hard-covers expression.
We can read about the carnage of war in A Farewell to Arms, and the power of great aspirations in For Whom the Bell Tolls, and consider what each of us can do in our times by remembering what Ernest Hemingway and so many others did in theirs.