2010. 33. The Sun Also Rises

“Robert Cohn was once the middleweight boxing champion of Princeton.”

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

        My whole world has been shattered, guys.  For some reason (largely his somewhat repellant personality, and perhaps reading the works of some of his devotees*) I thought I hated Hemingway.  And now, I’ve read For Whom the Bell Tolls, which I liked great big chunks of, and The Sun Also Rises, which I just flat out loved, and now I realize that I owe old Papa an apology.  It turns out, I really like Hemingway when he is writing about broken American men, and the women around (and, devastating violence in Spanish towns).  He wears me down a bit when he gets too into the whole noble savage thing - why I hated, hated the fish book, but when he is talking about men (I’ll even go so far as to say men like him), he is like no one else.  

      The story, as I am sure you know, is about the Lost Generation, bumming around Europe in the twenties (and perhaps early 30’s), trying, unsuccessfully, to heal from their war wounds.   Our protagonist is the (impotent) Jakc Barnes, and plot such as it is is about his relationship with the impossible Lady Brett Ashley who he loves and who loves him, but who he can’t be with (nor she with him - the lady is, for lack of a better word, a bit of a nympho).  But really its about being lost and having no place in the world and trying to make a life after what they’ve seen.  And it’s great.  So, again, mea culpa Ernest, and I can’t wait to put my hands on  A Farewell to Arms.

*Oh, and also, The Old Man and the Sea, which is like a parody of Hemingway.


Date/Place Completed:  June 2010; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Modern Library Top 100

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017