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The Sun Also Rises ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (45)

Hemingway's fame seems to rest largely on being the anti-Joyce & on his boisterous lifestyle.  At a time when authors like James Joyce were using denser & denser thickets of language & increasingly nonlinear plots to obfuscate the novel, Hemingway brought a direct reportorial style to his writing.  But, to what end?

This is the story of a loose group of American & British expatriates in Paris & Spain in the 1920's.
They lounge about cafes, drinking wine, bickering, brawling & lusting after Lady Bret Ashley.  None of the characters are at all likable and nothing really happens.

Without delving too deeply into psychobabble, the most interesting facet of the book is that the first person narrator, Jake Barnes, was emasculated during WWI.  Considering the absurdly self-destructive ends to which Hemingway went to prove that he was macho & the widespread perception that his suicide was fueled by self-loathing over his repressed homosexuality, the book is perhaps most interesting as an artifact of his tortured psyche.


Grade: (C-)


Ernest Hemingway Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Ernest Hemingway
-ESSAY: “My Life in the Bull Ring with Donald Ogden Stewart” (Ernest Hemingway on October 25, 2013, Vanity Fair)
    -ESSAY: Executing the Ministers: the young Hemingway and a Greek tragedy (Jeffrey Meyers, 10/31/21, The Article)
    -ESSAY: The Old Writer and the Sea of Words: Hemingway’s Ultimate Metaphor (Robert Kmita, 6/11/24, Voegelin View)
-REVIEW ESSAY: Hemingway’s Consolations: It’s preposterous to think of Hemingway, with his best sellers and personal celebrity, as a writer’s writer. But is it possible that this might be the best description of his status today? (Elaine Blair, September 23, 2021 issue, NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: HEMINGWAY'S POLITICS WERE NO SECRET—JUST READ HIS ONLY CRIME NOVEL: To Have and Have Not, Hemingway's patchwork Depression-era crime novel, was the story of one man's radicalization (DAVID MASCIOTRA, JANUARY 5, 2021, Crime Reads)
    -ESSAY: A Death in the Afternoon (Tobias Wolff, February 20, 2021, The New Yorker)
    -ESSAY: When Ernest Hemingway Hunted Nazi U-Boats in the Caribbean: Hemingway the novelist got the story he wanted, even if Hemingway the sub chaser failed to net his prey. (Warfare History Network, 2/05/21)
    -INTERVIEW: Ken Burns Talks to Jacobin About the Radical Ernest Hemingway: From fighting alongside communists in the Spanish Civil War to backing revolutionaries in Cuba, documentarian Ken Burns shows us the radical side of writer Ernest Hemingway in the new PBS docuseries Hemingway. Burns talks to Jacobin about Hemingway’s forgotten left-wing politics and why the writer still matters. (Ed Rampell, 3/23/21, Jacobin)
    -REVIEW: of Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises & Other Writings, 1918–1926, Edited by Robert W. Trogdon (Frank Freeman, University Bookman)
    -REVIEW: How to Tackle a Bullying, Alcoholic, Racist Named Hemingway: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick portray an insecure, vain, depressed, unfaithful, visionary modernist in PBS’s “Hemingway”, and reframe his complicated place in the literary canon. (Scott Porch, Daily Beast)
    -REVIEW: How Much Do We Still Owe to Ernest Hemingway?: He changed American fiction, and then America moved on. (LAURA MILLER, APRIL 05, 2021, Slate)
    -REVIEW: The Many Paradoxes of Ernest Hemingway (KYLE SMITH, National Review)
    -REVIEW: Finding Hemingway: Seeing the Self Behind the Self-Mythologizer: Alex Thomas on Lynn Novick and Ken Burns’s New Documentary (Alex Thomas, April 14, 2021, Lit Hub)
    -REVIEW: Hemingway’s American Life And Death: Ken Burns’s six-hour PBS documentary on the master of sparing prose misreads his relation to the nation and the world. (Declan Leary, American Conservative)
    -REVIEW: Busting the Hemingway myth: A new documentary breaks new ground by exploring the American writer’s mental health and gender fluidity—but it still doesn’t go far enough (Lucinda Smyth, June 29, 2021, Prospect)

Book-related and General Links:
-Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, IL
    -Timeless Hemingway
    -The Hemingway Resource Center, v2.0
    -G Files: Subject: Ernest Miller Hemingway (APB Online)
    -Michigan In Hemingway: A Sense of Place
    -Hemingway Sites on the Net
    -The Hemingway Collection
    -Kansas City Star Stories by Ernest Hemingway
    -The Papa Page
    -Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center
    -Hemingway Society
    -Authors Online: Ernest Hemingway  (Book Spot)
    -INTERVIEW: At Lunch with Ernest Hemingway (The Atlantic)
    -Tracking Hemingway: Atlantic articles from 1939 to 1983 -- by Edmund Wilson, Malcolm Cowley, Alfred Kazin, and others (The Atlantic)
    -ESSAY: The Private Hemingway (NY Times Magazine)
    -Wilfrid Sheed: Desperate Character (NY Review of Books)
    -Frederick Crews: Pressure Under Grace (NY Review of Books)