I am currently reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises is Hemingways’ first novel. I’ve read this book before about a decade ago. After a recent watching of Midnight in Paris, I wanted to revisit some of the “Lost Generation” authors.
My favorite Hemingway book is A Moveable Feast. The book is a memoir about Hemingway’s time living in Paris in the 1920s. It captures the feelings and motivations of the hundreds of artists that flocked to The City of Lights. I can understand Owen Wilson’s character in Midnight in Paris, and his desire to live during this era.
The Sun Also Rises is a roman à clef novel, which means it’s based on real people and real events. I read A Moveable Feast long after my first reading of The Sun Also Rises, so I didn’t realize how much of Hemingway’s life was contained within The Sun Also Rises. These artist ex-pats living in Paris lived in cafes and clubs. They drank through the night and woke up at noon.
The characters in The Sun Also Rises mirror the real-life artists who lived in Paris, including Hemingway. They drink, they flirt, they chase their desires. In many ways, they are“lost.”
A problem I have is I often look up Goodreads reviews for the books I’m reading. Older books usually have lower ratings than contemporary books. But it’s always funny to read people’s reviews for these older books. Some of them are very intricate and must have taken hours to compose. All to belittle a one hundred-year-old book. It reminds me of a story I once read about the Mona Lisa. The gist of the story is that the Mona Lisa is not on trial when you go to see it. Over hundreds of years, it’s proven its artistic value. When you go to see the Mona Lisa, you are the one who is on trial.
Now I’m not comparing The Sun Also Rises to the Mona Lisa, but I strongly believe it is a great book. A classic even. Consider adding it to your library.
What Are The Best Quotes From The Sun Also Rises?
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from The Sun Also Rises.
- “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”
- “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters.”
- “She was looking into my eyes with that way she had of looking that made you wonder whether she really saw out of her own eyes. They would look on and on after every one else’s eyes in the world would have stopped looking. She looked as though there were nothing on earth she would not look at like that, and really she was afraid of so many things.”
- “It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.”
- “He’s through now,” Harvey went on. “He’s written about all the things he knows, and now he’s on all the things he doesn’t know.”
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway