August 22nd, 2011 / 11:22 am
Craft Notes & Random

50 Endings: Hemingway

Rinaldi was a disappointing audience.


I got a lot of use for that arm.

After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.

In the morning there was a big wind blowing and the waves were running high up on the beach and he was awake a long time before he remembered that his heart was broken.

“I feel fine,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.”

But they could not help his fear because he was up against an older magic now.

First there were birds, then me, then the Greeks, and even the birds got more out of her than I did.

“We’ll have to go,” Nick said. “I can see we’ll have to go.”

Looking back from the mounting grade before the track curved into the hills he could see the firelight in the clearing.

Then he was dead.

When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees.

A short time after he contracted gonorrhea from a sales girl in a loop department store while riding in a taxicab through Lincoln Park.

It was a good thing to have in reserve.

They all came just like that.

The little devil, he thought, I wonder if he lied to me.

The hold over himself relaxed, too, finally, and the next day it was very slack and he cried very easily at little things that were of no importance.

In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.

I am not really a good bull fighter.

Now they would have the run home together.

Seems like when they get started they don’t leave a guy nothing.

He curled up under the blanket and went to sleep.

The priest skipped back onto the scaffolding just before the drop fell.

My word yes a most pleasant business.

And he never told anybody.

“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

Then he would have a little spot of the giant killer and play the radio, you could play the radio so that you could hardly hear it.

What kind of blood is it that makes a man like that?

There were plenty of days coming when he could fish the swamp.

He would go over to the schoolyard and watch Helen play indoor baseball.

Wops, said Boyle, I can tell wops a mile off.

I don’t know why he had to get a malady.

We were splitting it even between us and neither of us liked our share.

But then I guess angry is about the best way that you can be when you attack.

He sat down in the sand and puked and the held a cape over him while the crowd hollered and threw things down into the bull ring.

In the evening they all sat at dinner together in the garden under a plane tree and the hot evening wind blew and Elliot drank white wine and Mrs. Elliot and the girl friend made conversation and they were all quite happy.

We were returning to Paris to set up separate residences.

“All right,” I said.

That and the fact that cats know how to look after themselves was all the good luck the old man would ever have.

The bull could not make up his mind to charge.

“Well,” said George. “You better not think about it.”

“No,” Jack says. “It was nothing.”

Like all Greeks he wanted to go to America.

“You’re too damned smart,” Dr. Wilcox said.

Zurito stood awkwardly, watching.

The photographs did not make much difference to the major because he only looked out the window.

But when Mr. Turner came up to William Campbell’s room at noon William Campbell was sleeping and as Mr. Turner was a man who knew what things in life were very valuable he did not wake him.

He was going back to America and he was very certain about marriage and knew it would fix up everything.

Many must have it.

“The other way from you,” Tom told him.




  1. mimi

      such handsome regular sentences!
      such handsome regular faces!
      and that gun!

  2. Lovelace Collects Endings « ce.

      […] The hold over himself relaxed, too, finally, and the next day it was very slack and he cried very ea… Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Leave a comment […]

  3. Ian

      #5, “Ten Indians,” for me, is about as good as it gets ending-wise

  4. Ian

      #5, “Ten Indians,” for me, is about as good as it gets ending-wise

  5. christopher.

      Love this. More of this with different authors, please.

  6. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      I’m gonna try and guess some of these. Titles might be off on account of guessing.

      1. Chapter 1 of Farewell to Arms, I think.
      4. Ending of Farewell to Arms
      10. Short and Happy Life? I think?
      11. A Way You’ll Never Be? Guessing again.
      12. A Very Short Story
      17. Indian Summer
      25. Sun Also Rises
      28. I’m guessing one of the Big Two-Hearted Rivers
      31. One Reader Writes
      34. Fuck, name eludes me. About a really old bullfighter, right? His assistant talks shit about him while he goes out to fight?
      36. Canary for Two
      40. Killers
      45. A Pursuit Race, I think. Fucking love that story.
      46. A Sea Change, I think.
      47. Clean, Well-Lighted Place

      The End of Something isn’t up there, is it? That’s another favorite ending, I think, with Nick saying something to end the relationship with his girlfriend.

  7. deadgod

      that looks like a pretty big barrel to shoot fish in, though

      nothing like giving them a sporting chance

  8. deadgod

      I recognize several of these, but not as many as securely as I’d like.

      A marvelous writer, and a bitter exemplar of identity:  become who you are.

      Indian Camp is a hell of a punch to the bread basket, and (“In the early morning […].”) that hushed idyllic ending —

  9. Andrew

      really good post. great idea.  thanks for this.

  10. mimi

      and eyes-closed and over-the-shoulder-carnival-sideshow-style

      or is it a wet dream?

  11. deadgod

      maybe a priest’s wet dream

  12. Leapsloth14

      Sharks in the Gulf Stream were known to attack and devour any hooked tuna. You could not get a record tuna to the boat. Hemingway thought to machine-gun the sharks as the hooked fish got near the boat. Thus explaining the photo. The U.S. Government gave boat owners the guns and grenades, as they were supposed to look for German U Boats as they fished.

  13. Tummler

      I concur. Series, please.

  14. deadgod

      sharks aplenty in that novella; was that catch a tuna or a marlin

      was this picture taken some years before there were enemy subs in the gulf

      how far and forcefully do bullets travel after they enter the water

      of course a shark attacking the catch as it’s being pulled aboard

      or a shark flopped up on the boat

      or an irate pirate

      any makes for a congruent incongruity

  15. Leapsloth14

      I think the Darwinism of an under-fished (as opposed to today’s over-fished) Gulf Stream was the direct influence for Old Man Sea. Good call. A world we will never know, this shark sniping our catch, unless we get into marketing.

  16. Leapsloth14

      I would grade your guesses if I was not lazy. I am. But mostly it is good try, wrong.

  17. Anonymous

      #3 is one of my favorite endings of all time. 

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