Alex's Reviews > The Sun Also Rises

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Feb 21, 2011

it was amazing

Here's how the story lines eventually unravel
Three men (at least or rather three and half) and one Le Femme Fatal
From Paris to Pamplona in escape from boredom for the leisure travel
Where they all drink Pernod Absinthe until she meets the boy, who boldly fights the bull
Jake acts as liaison arranging Brett-bullfighter sex affair
Cohn beats the shit off Spanish boy, Mike keeps on drinking and pretends that he's cool and doesn't care

1. Memorable 5
2. Social Relevance 5
3. Informative 2
4. Originality 4
5. Thought Provoking 5
6. Expressiveness 5
7. Entertaining 3
8. Visualization 4
9. Sparks Emotion 4
10. Life Changing (Pivotal, crucial, determining, defining, momentous, fateful, consequential, climacteric, transformational) 2

5, 5, 2, 4, 5, 5, 3, 4, 4, 2 ====> 39/10 = 3.9

This book is Hemingway at his best.
Actually it is Hemingway's best !
(Only "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" parallels that best ....)

As already stated in my review of "A Farewell to Arms":

"Jake is the character, which Hemingway all his life was afraid to become. Indeed when Hemingway reached the condition of being sexually incapable - he committed suicide ...

Cohn's Jewish jealousy and possessiveness is depicted extremely well (I know what I am saying ... :-))
Yet he is the character to whom I have a lot of sympathy in spite of all Hemingway attempts to do the opposite ;-)

Brett is the essence of Hemingway's *understanding* of the female character ...
He simultaneously loves and hates her; he admires her behavior and despises it at the same time.
Her character is following the character traits of the Queen Cleopatra, Carmen ( see the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée) and both Zemfira and Mariula (from "The Gypsies", a poem by Aleksandr Pushkin).

In my opinion, "Fiesta", though being published earlier (in 1926) than "A Farewell to Arms" (in 1929), is more unique, talented, dramatic and psychologically interesting and a far more mature work - comparing to "A Farewell to Arms", which love story is a bit trivial while its anti war idea is quite similar to Erich Maria Remarque's " Three comrades " and, in general, I think that Erich Maria Remarque addressed in his works the theme of the "Lost Generation" much better ....

Though the publishing dates are as they are, "A Farewell to Arms" is
describing (historically and autobiographically with regards to
Hemingway's own life) earlier period (WW1) comparing to post WW1
period, where action of "Fiesta" takes place.

I wonder whether Hemingway had actually drafted (or rather I better should say preconceived the idea - as much as he was capable to preconceive ideas at all - I believe he did not do a lot of planning and more relied in his writing on the impulsive "Stream of Conscious" approach - just as his "Fiesta" characters did ...) "A Farewell to Arms" much earlier than 1929 or even earlier than 1926 ? - though I would not imagine that he kept a diary during his service in Italy or ever at all .

It is very ironical that "Fiesta" at the times when it was published did not gain considerable popularity in USA or elsewhere.
The *immorality* of the characters in the "Fiesta" novel was *too much* for the *puritan* American readers at those times.
In some way US society is still more conservative than Europe in this regard.
Actually even in our *modern* times *we, Americans* are still remaining to be too much *serious* about the issues of faithfulness and marriage and *we Americans*, don't like to find out that our Presidents and Governors were/are involved into extra-marital affairs ;-).

On the other hand, Europeans did not consider Hemingway a European writer either ... .
In spite of Hemingway's love of Europe and Paris especially, this love was a one way street - for Europeans Hemingway always was one of those " obnoxious " Americans, which Europeans so love to hate.

In contrast, "A Farewell to Arms" was a financial success in USA, which made Hemingway to become rich and famous and to be able to write whatever he really wanted to write about ;-) ...

Maybe Hemingway knowingly and cynically wrote "A Farewell to Arms" to be a "half strength" pathetic mix of the tragic love and anti war sentiment - just to cater to the taste of American public and to make the money ? ;-)
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Comments (showing 1-5)

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Becky Very interesting background information on these novels!

Aaron Very good, detailed review of a very good novel, probably Hemingway's best.

message 3: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal I would like to see more about Jewish jealousy. And Milk Duds. How come nobody talks about Milk Duds? Christ! You'd think nobody ate them! GD Milk Duds snobs up in here!

Alex Thanks Brian - you are good sport !
I didn't read Faulkner's Soldier's Pay - I'll try Faulkner again some time soon ;-)

Alex Becky wrote: "Very interesting background information on these novels!"

Thanks Becky

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