Literary Companion: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

20/05/2020

Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” is not only regarded as the man’s best work of literature but also his most important. It also happens to be a great piece of literature for anyone with a drive to see new places or even expatriate to a country that seems different but not to the point that it would be impossible to make a living. It also happens to be broken up into three books as Hemingway was never fond of traditional chapters. 
 
Hemingway published this particular tale just one year after his own experiences visiting Europe. There, he witnessed the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain with several expatriate friends. While he had initially intended to write a book about bullfighting, something that was a great passion of his, he succumbed to his creative urges and wrote this piece of literature known as a “roman à clef.” This French term means “novel with a key” and is used to describe fiction that basically files off the serial numbers of people and places that actually existed and participated. 
 
The protagonist of the book is Jake Barnes, an American and former soldier who is unable to engage in sex. Barnes is an expat living in Paris and is initially infatuated with Lady Brett, an Englishwoman with a seedy history of lovers. Brett seduces Barnes’s friend Robert, a young matador, souring Barnes’s reputation among the Spaniards of Pamplona when he reacts violently to the betrayal. 
 
While book one focuses on an American expat community within Paris, the second book has Barnes bringing some friends along for a fishing trip in Burguete, Spain, near the Pyrenees. These friends include a New Yorker and a Scotsman. Book three covers the fallout of fights among friends from book two while featuring the some other Spanish cities. 

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