Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Farewell to A Farewell to Arms

When I lived in Schladming back in 1980, the very small Austrian city had a tiny library. There were only a couple of English books in it, so A Farewell to Arms was a relief to read since I spent so much of my life communicating clumsily in German. As an expatriate I suppose I connected with the protagonist, and as a young person I suppose I connected with the intensity of the love relationship (based, it seems, mostly on an attraction I would now consider kind of superficial).

There are phrases here and there that I find evocative. (Notice that I didn't say "charming.") The short sentences without much in the way of punctuation are also a bit infectious, but as a 54-year-old I just can't stand them. I have this terrible habit of picking up the prose style of fiction writers, so I think it's a good idea to donate my copy of the book to the hospital library, and be done with it.

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