I’ve just reread Ernest Hemingway’s first novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” written when he was in his 20s and living in Paris.
The book is presented in the first person by the character Jake Barnes, a newspaper reporter who like Hemingway had been injured in the World War I.
I’ve always liked the novel’s first sentence, “Robert Cohen was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton,” and the last, Jake’s reply to Lady Brett Ashley’s regretful “Oh Jake, we could have had such a damned good time together.”
“Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
The action is set mostly in Pamplona, Spain, during the annual bullfighting festival, which still takes place. Several people were injured this year during the running of the bulls. I’ve been to Spain a couple of times, but have not visited that town let alone had that experience.
You may wish to consider reading Lesley Blume’s book “Everybody Behaves Badly,” which recounts the actual people and events upon which “The Sun Also Rises” is based.
Some of the novel is set in Paris, with references to places that still exist.
For example, in 2005 I took the above photo of the Boulevard Montparnasse with the bistros La Rotonde and Le Dome on opposite sides of the street. Not far away is La Closerie Des Lilas, a cafe/bar where Hemingway wrote much of the book.
I’m penciled in to attend an International Hemingway Conference in Paris next year. Here’s hoping circumstances permit me to do so.