The Sun Also Rises

Ernest Hemingway


Why The Sun Also Rises and Mt. Mulhacén

The Sun Also Rises is paired with Mt. Mulhacen because both are set in Spain. Sun is Hemingway’s quintessential novel of The Lost Generation and is a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. It’s probably been twenty years since I have read this novel and while I can’t remember all the details, I can remember how Hemingway made Spain come alive in a way through his unique prose that I can’t recall from any other writer. It would have been difficult to recommend 5o+ books and not recommend Hemingway at some point. His body of work is something that I have come to have a much deeper appreciation for as I have gotten older and especially as I have spent he last few years rediscovering myself. He was a larger than life man that chased his own mountains and wrote so beautifully about lands most Americans had never seen. Whether in war,  on Kilimanjaro or fishing in Cuba, “Papa” Hemingway understood how to live life to the fullest. He might not have had the happiest life – he drank heavily and committed suicide – but we can still appreciate the spirit with which he spent his time on this planet and the way he captured it on paper for generations to come. If you have not yet had the chance to read one of his novels, do so soon!

More About The Sun Also Rises

The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of 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. Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is “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 the publishing house Scribner’s. A year later, the London publishing house Jonathan Cape published the novel with the title of Fiesta. Since then it has been continuously in print.

Hemingway began writing the novel on his birthday (21 July) in 1925, finishing the draft manuscript barely two months later in September. After setting aside the manuscript for a short period, he worked on revisions during the winter of 1926. The basis for the novel was Hemingway’s 1925 trip to Spain. The setting was unique and memorable, showing seedy café life in Paris, and the excitement of the Pamplona festival, with a middle section devoted to descriptions of a fishing trip in the Pyrenees. Hemingway’s sparse writing style, combined with his restrained use of description to convey characterizations and action, became known as demonstrating the Iceberg Theory.

The novel is a roman à clef; the characters are based on real people of Hemingway’s circle, and the action is based on real events. In the novel, Hemingway presents his notion that the “Lost Generation”, considered to have been decadent, dissolute and irretrievably damaged by World War I, was resilient and strong. Additionally, Hemingway investigates the themes of love, death, renewal in nature, and the nature of masculinity.

A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions.