70 Days With Hemingway And Me

Every Novel, Back to Back, Starting With the First

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Once Again I Begin. Again.

July 8th, 2009 · No Comments · For Whom the Bell Tolls, For Whom the Bell Tolls (Movie), John Donne

For Whom the Bell Tolls Today I being Hemingway’s sixth novel, the incomparable For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is arguably his most famous novel. In 1943 it was made into a movie that starred Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.

For Whom the Bell Tolls was published in 1940. Hemingway was 41. America was not yet involved in World War II. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected for a third term. Big Band was in full swing (no pun intended). And the Oscar-winning movie was Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier’s novel adapted for the big screen, starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.

I do not know what For Whom the Bell Tolls is about. I only know that the title is taken from Renaissance-era poet John Donne’s classic Meditation XVII (1624), which says (in part):

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.


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