Despite its enumeration of sensory details and tangible specifics, A Farewell to Arms often resists and even refuses imaginative access to the love story it creates. Rather than reading the narrative’s resistance as a necessary outcome of Hemingway’s minimalist style, this essay argues that the novel flattens the lived world inhabited by reader and character in order to enact at the level of representation a dynamic of absent presence that registers Frederic’s traumatic loss of Catherine.


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