22 September 2014

Fiesta or The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway [1927]

I picked this up because I spent a few weeks in Madrid over the summer and I had not read it for more than 20 years. What struck me again was the lyricism of the descriptions of food and drink, specifically drink. Following Jake, Lady Brett and the others on their binges made me feel refreshed, intoxicated and ultimately sick, as though I were there matching them drink for drink. When Jake pulls a bottle of icy white from the river after fishing, it feels cool and refreshing. I am not sure how Hemingway does this, but it explains why I fell for this book so heavily as a 16 year old - it was like being invited to an adult's party. At that age the hangover did not seem so bad. The other memorable thing which stays with me is the pathos of Cohn's longing for Brett, which also caused me to shudder at my own adolescent ineptitude...

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