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One of the best novels by Ernest Hemingway was “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” That title was taken from the metaphysical poet John Donne’s series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness published in 1624 when we wrote, in the original version, “No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine (...) any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

Hemingway’s 1940 novel is set during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. The reason he used that title was because of the discussion taking place at that time on whether anybody outside Spain should care about that war. Obviously foreign powers from the right and left were intervening and many saw that war as a prelude of what months later would become World War II.


This work was originally published in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.


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