在閱讀《永別了武器》(A Farewell to Arms)的過程中，我總是抑制不住一種衝動，要把文字變做語言，從自己的嘴裏吐出來。我知道這是海明威文字的魅力。簡樸，沒有過度的修飾（對形容詞的使用幾乎吝嗇到了苛刻的地步），長句極少，頂多就是簡單句用and之類的連詞并置，確有《聖經》的風格。但是，在這看似簡答的句子裏，蘊含了極大的力量，積蓄到一定程度，竟能讓人動容。
如果把它和《老人與海》（The Old Man and the Sea）作比較，我更喜歡後面這個中篇。或許是筆法的成熟使得《老人與海》更加細膩，簡樸的文字背後蘊藏了更大的力量。在《永別了武器》裏，我領教了海明威至少兩種很强烈的表現技巧：understatement和repetition. 前者和簡樸的文風配合，相得益彰，其實就是反諷的一種變體。後者不光在細節上一一體現，更在整體上貫穿了整篇小說——當它們集中到一處時，就像一段平直的小路上一次突然的大爆發，另讀者措手不及，而被硬生生到扯進了故事之中。或許，這正是海明威的高明之處。
而單純善良可愛的Catherine，從一開始就把自己毫無保留地交給了Henry，她自始至終對Henry採用的都是darling的稱呼，而且頻率之高讓缺乏耐性的人極度厭煩，在他倆的對話中，幾乎每2至3句裏就會出現一個darling。記得以前看過某些評論，說海明威大男子主義傾向很嚴重，從這些細節的處理中，似乎有很大的嫌疑。Catherine is just his Cat, or his cat, which he loves not constantly as his darling. 每一次吻她的機會，Henry都不會放過，而當Catherine懷孕之後，Catherine的欣喜与熱情跟Henry的不甚關切比起來，總有着一些差距。
有几段話，我特別地贊。第一段是Henry做白日夢想到Catherine的時候，出現在第37頁（我讀的是Charles Scribner’s Sons 1957版），兩段長句不加標點地把一長串連動的短句用and連接了起來，難道這就是傳說中喬伊斯在《尤利西斯》中使用地登峰造極的意識流獨白的變體？
Maybe she would pretend that I was her boy that was killed and we would go in the front door and the porter would take off his cap and I would stop at the concierge’s desk and ask for the key and […] and you would hear the ice against the pail coming down the corridor and the boy would knock and I would say leave it outside the door please. Because we would not wMear any clothes because it was so hot and the window open and the swallows flying over the roofs of the houses and when it was dark afterward and […] and the door locked and it hot and only a sheet and the whole night and we would both love each other all night in the hot night in Milan.
第二段是出現在第249頁一段少見的議論性文字中的，以alone和lonely的問題開場。若幹年以前，某人送我一本書，書上送我一句話，叫做 “Not everyone is alone, but everyone is lonely”，我當時就反駁她，堅持把alone和loenly調換一下位置。現在看來，當我還停留在浪漫主義和頂多早期現實主義的階段時，她已經先我一步觸到了現代主義的脉動了，我對人生的孤寂認識得不夠深刻。當年歲的增長把我漸漸地推向現代主義的邊緣時，她卻已經滑入了后現代主義的泥潭之中了，懷疑和麻木的堅持。在第139頁已有一句我很喜歡的話，爲此做了鋪墊：“There’s only us two and in the world there’s all the rest of them.”讓我想起了那句話：“你和我加起來，就是整個世界。”
Often a man wishes to be alone and a girl wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. It has only happened to me like that once. I have been alone while I was with many girls and that is the way you can be most lonely […]
And what if she should die? She won’t die. People don’t die in childbirth nowadays. That was what all husbands thought. Yes, but what if she should die? She won’t die. She’s just having a bad time. […] But what if she should die? She can’t die. Yes, but what if she should die? She can’t, I tell you. […] Yes, but what if she should die? She can’t die. […] But what if she should die? She won’t die. But what if she should die? She won’t. She’s all right. But what if she should die? She can’t die. But what if she should die? Hey, what about that? What if she should die?
Don’t let her die. Oh, God, please don’t let her die. I’ll do anything for you if you won’t let her die. Please, please, please, dear God, Don’t let her die. Dear God, Don’t let her die. Please, please, please don’t let her die. God please make her not die. I’ll do anything you say if you don’t let her die. You took the baby but don’t let her die. That was all right but don’t let her die. Please, please, dear God, don’t let her die.