Thoughts/Analysis on "The Sun Also Rises"
July 13, 2014 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Soliciting thoughts and links to articles about "The Sun Also Rises", primarily explaining how it was received at the time.

I just finished "The Sun Also Rises", my first Hemingway.

My primary impression is that he was the ur-Seinfeld; this is a novel where nothing happens (though certainly not in a bad way!). I can see how it must have been revolutionary at the time, when novels were always so formal and plot-driven. But it's hard, 90 years later, to fully appreciate how it was received then.

Can anyone point me to an essay or two, explaining a bit more about the impact and generally discussing the novel without getting overly academic or ploughing through background info on the real personalities behind the characters or Hemingway himself?

If you want to offer your own thoughts/observations, I wouldn't mind hearing them, either!

I was particularly intrigued by the last section of the book, where even less happens as the narrator just piddles around a Spanish village solo, focusing on the tiniest of moments, almost as a means of decompressing from what had come before (which, itself, was none too dramatically dense). Again, I'm not criticizing. I liked it.
posted by Quisp Lover to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes! Hemingway! We studied him in college, and one of our exercises was the in medias res style that he was so often fond of using.

Here is an analysis of The Sun Also Rises.

I remember our professor reading Hemingway, "I was in the loft of a barn and then I remembered being in the Spanish Civil War," and how we could capture that in lives. I did a good job of it, because he read my example out loud in class.

Think of it as a loop. You start and then go into a loop, and another loop, and eventually, all of the loops are closed. With as few words as possible.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:55 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: it's hard, 90 years later, to fully appreciate how it was received then.

There is a wonderful little book, Hemingway and His Conspirators: Hollywood, Scribners, and the Making of American Celebrity Culture, which explores in depth questions about the publication, marketing and popular reception of Hemingway's works at the time. Chapter Two is what you want; it's just called "The Sun Also Rises" and includes quotes from contemporary reviews along with tidbits like the fact that the original dust jacket cover painting was designed to appeal to, in the words of Hemingway's editor, "feminine readers who control the destinies of so many novels."

It's a great, highly readable book, full of fascinating info about the evolution of 1920s/30s American pop culture and the evolution of Hemingway's relationship with that culture. Right up this question's alley.
posted by mediareport at 9:43 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: (Oh, if I may be permitted a little digression, I recommend one of Hemingway's first two short story collections, published before The Sun Also Rises, for your second Hemingway. The stories in In Our Time and Men Without Women are some of his most astonishingly inventive and powerful work. They can be found at the start of this collection, too.)
posted by mediareport at 9:52 PM on July 13, 2014

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