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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Sun Also Rises

First read this more than fifty years ago, forgot almost all of it and this time around enjoyed very much Jake scoffing at Robert Cohn's ivy league boxing title, only to be knocked out by him in a barroom brawl toward the end of the story, and I absolutely did not foresee amour-crazed Brett having an actual romantic liaison with pretty boy bullfighter Pedro Romero, which set up keen suspense when as a result of the infatuation he gets beaten up by Cohn the night before the final bull fight of the Pamplona fiesta--judicious of E.H. not to have him killed or injured because one is really tense thinking he will be, as the price for his dalliance.  But the cast are a bunch of borderline alcoholics, who cares what happens to them.  Interesting that H. doesn't describe the physical appearance of any of the characters, other than saying Mike is "tanned" and Brett has short hair.  Th. Bernhard tends to go that way.  But everything seems authentic; H. says he wrote the first draft in six weeks, making one think of Faulkner's claim that he wrote the first draft of As I Lay Dying in two weeks.

Couple of interesting facts from Hotchner's Papa Hemingway: he never kept a journal or diary, and admitted to, on at least one occasion, crying over a rejection slip--Hemingway!  An effective way to avoid the irritation of dealing with editorial cretins--give oneself a few years off from the process.

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