Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises
The impotent ‘Lost Generation’ narrator in Hemingway’s first novel gets drunk in Paris, goes fishing and watches his friends and the bulls fight in Spain. It’s slightly disorientating, because the characters drink all day long and sleep very little, so often moments you assumed were taking place in the evening, it turns out, actually began at dawn.
Brett, the book’s female character, is loved by both the narrator, Jake, and his friend Robert Cohn. Neither can have her, but while the narrator remains sadly resigned, in his anguish Robert consistently makes a fool of himself.
It was exciting to meet the ancestor to a lot of the very male, very minimal authors I’ve read. It sent me on a polysyndeton trip in this spoken word story I’m writing about teenagers, vampiric houses and giant sea creatures.
Here’s a little writing advice from Hemingway:
If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.
Fiesta also encouraged me to try to write and drink (or ‘get tight’, as they say in the book.) It works!