Excerpt from a 1958 interview George Plimpton conducted with Ernest Hemingway, published in The Paris Review.

Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?

Hemingway: It depends, I rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.

Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?

Hemingway: Getting the words right.

Illustration: Page from Hemingway’s first draft of A Farewell to Arms (1929).