Today in books and publishing: A new edition of A Farewell to Arms includes Hemingway's alternate endings; The Sound and the Fury gets color; The Library of Congress lists the 88 books that shaped America; an abandoned Walmart becomes a library; R.L. Stine's ideas for summer reading.
Choose your own adventure...Hemingway style? A new edition of A Farewell To Arms features 47 (!) alternate endings and a list of alternate titles, The New York Times' Julie Bosman reports. (Imagine if it were called Love in War or Of Wounds and Other Causes.) The endings, labeled in an appendix, include the "Fitzgerald ending," which, yes, originated with Hemingway's buddy F. Scott:
...Hemingway wrote that the world “breaks everyone,” and those “it does not break it kills.”
“It kills the very good and very gentle and the very brave impartially,” he wrote. “If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
The Times also adds that the edition "serves as an artifact of a bygone craft, with handwritten notes and long passages crossed out, giving readers a sense of an author’s process." So here's a lesson for young writers who think they are going to be the next Hemingway: for posterity's sake, save your drafts. Maybe even your track changes. [NYT]
Read by colors: In other classic American author news, to mark the 50th anniversary of William Faulkner's death The Sound and the Fury will be published the way its author desired: in color. No there are no technicolor illustrations. The Folio Society is printing an edition of the work fulfilling Faulkner's wish to print the novel "with different color types for the different times in Benjy's section recording the flow of events for him, it would make it simpler, probably." Only that section will be printed with color. The Faulkner scholars working on the project "gave up" when looking at another character's, and besides Faulkner only had the idea for Benjy's narrative. [Guardian]
Patriotic reads: Already missing the American spirit of the Fourth? Transfer your patriotism to your reading list. The Library of Congress has a list of 88 "books that shaped America." The titles range from the historical (The Federalist) to the progressive (The Feminine Mystique) to the fictional (The Great Gatsby) to the poetic ("Howl") to the pre-K (The Cat in the Hat). [LAT]
From Walmart to Library: An abandoned Texas Walmart has been transformed into a beautiful and successful library. The McAllen Public Library is 124,500 square feet and was a winner at the 2012 Library Interior Design competition. It's also proof that people will come to libraries that are treated well. According to the Los Angeles Times:
Adriana Ramirez, who teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, grew up in McAllen. "The old library on Main Street was not beautiful," she told Jacket Copy. "It was packed with books and seemed too small for the people it serviced. Of course, that was part of the charm -- always waiting your turn for the computer and spending a good amount of time finding a corner where you could read uninterrupted. The new library solves all that."
Summer goose bumps: R.L. Stine gives advice on what Y.A. to read this summer to Amazon. Last on his list "maybe the creepiest book ever written" — Something Wicked This Way Comes by one of his heroes, Ray Bradbury. [Amazon, @RL_Stine]