The Sun Also Rises
BOUT THE BOOK:
The illustrated edition of
Ernest Hemingway's first novel.
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel by American writer Ernest Hemingway, his first, that portrays American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. However, Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is now "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work", and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel. The novel was published in the United States in October 1926 by Scribner's. A year later, Jonathan Cape published the novel in London under the title Fiesta. It remains in print.
The novel is a roman à clef: the characters are based on real people in Hemingway's circle, and the action is based on real events, particularly Hemingway's life in Paris in the 1920s and a trip to Spain in 1925 for the Pamplona festival and fishing in the Pyrenees. Hemingway presents his notion that the "Lost Generation"-considered to have been decadent, dissolute, and irretrievably damaged by World War I-was in fact resilient and strong. Hemingway investigates the themes of love and death, the revivifying power of nature, and the concept of masculinity. His spare writing style, combined with his restrained use of description to convey characterizations and action, demonstrates his "Iceberg Theory" of writing.
On the surface, the novel is a love story between the protagonist Jake Barnes-a man whose war wound has made him unable to have sex-and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley. Jake is an expatriate American journalist living in Paris, while Brett is a twice-divorced Englishwoman with bobbed hair and numerous love affairs, and embodies the new sexual freedom of the 1920s. Brett's affair with Jake's college friend Robert Cohn causes Jake to be upset and break off his friendship with Robert; her seduction of the 19-year-old matador Romero causes Jake to lose his good reputation among the Spaniards in Pamplona.
Book One is set in the café society of young American expatriates in Paris. In the opening scenes, Jake plays tennis with Robert, picks up a prostitute (Georgette), and runs into Brett and Count Mippipopolous in a nightclub. Later, Brett tells Jake she loves him, but they both know that they have no chance at a stable relationship.
In Book Two, Jake is joined by Bill Gorton, recently arrived from New York, and Brett's fiancé Mike Campbell, who arrives from Scotland. Jake and Bill travel south and meet Robert at Bayonne for a fishing trip in the hills northeast of Pamplona. Instead of fishing, Robert stays in Pamplona to wait for the overdue Brett and Mike. Robert had an affair with Brett a few weeks earlier and still feels possessive of her despite her engagement to Mike. After Jake and Bill enjoy five days of fishing the streams near Burguete, they rejoin the group in Pamplona.
All begin to drink heavily. Robert is resented by the others, who taunt him with antisemitic remarks. During the fiesta the characters drink, eat, watch the running of the bulls, attend bullfights, and bicker with each other. Jake introduces Brett to the 19-year-old matador Romero at the Hotel Montoya; she is smitten with him and seduces him.