Next Up: The Sun Also Rises
Ah, my dear friend Ernest Hemingway.
In a list filled with the kings and queens of the long sentence—Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace, Malcom Lowry, William Faulkner—you, Ernest Hemingway, are a refreshing break.
Having already read The Sun Also Rises, I know what to expect from this novel. The story focuses on a group of American and British ex-pats who travel from Paris to Spain to go fishing and eventually watch bullfighting. Though I know what’s coming from the standpoint of the story, I am curious if I’m still as fond of Hemingway’s style as I was in college.
Reading Hemingway was one of my first experiences thinking that good writing doesn’t have to be complicated and formal and long-winded. College students, like myself at the time, tend to overwrite, to use flowery words, to overcomplicate their writing in an effort to sound “professional.”
But there’s nothing wrong with short and sweet and simple and casual. In fact, a lot of editors prefer that. More on all that in the coming weeks as I dig into The Sun Also Rises and Mr. Hemingway.
For now, some basic facts about this book and its legendary author:
- The Sun Also Rises, published in 1926, was Ernest Hemingway’s first full-length novel.
- Scribner’s initially published just over 5,000 copies of the novel and sold them for $2 a copy.
- Hemingway wrote the book while living in Spain over a two-month period in the summer of 1925.
- The novel is a roman a clef, meaning the characters and events are based on real people and real events.
- With The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway perfected what he called the “iceberg theory” of writing, or the theory of omission. More to come about this.
- The novel was adapted into a film starring Tyrone Power and Ava Gardner in 1957.
- Hemingway passed away from suicide in 1961 while living in Ketchum, Idaho.
Seriously, guys, I have so much to talk about with Hemingway that I could probably start a blog just about Hemingway and have content for a year.
This guy fascinates me. Not only his novels and his writing style, but his life in general. So, much, much more to come about Ernest and The Sun Also Rises in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, what do you think about The Sun Also Rises?