Up to Snuff #66: Book Review and Fiction Lesson “The Sun Also Rises” By Ernest Hemingway
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
Hemingway’s 1920’s based fiction novel, covers spiritual dissolution, often describing both Jewish and Catholic Views, immorality and bacchanalian bar hopping and on a lesser note, unrequited love. What may resonate with the reader are micro points like the French, “aperitif” and “digestif” and grander points like his two city, “international agenda.”
“International Agenda” in fact may be what the reader is left with thinking, of what it means to write fiction and how it can be done across two of the world’s most amazing cities, in this case Paris, France and Pamplona, Spain. Hemingway’s piece of modernist fiction, leads the reader to ponder fiction itself, being something of illustrious descriptions, the practice of detail and analysis as description. How one may plan trips or excursions to illuminate a story and embody the setting. One can imagine Hemingway carting around small tablets of paper to bullfights and down Parisian streets, even while in carriages.
It is in fact, the emotion about descriptions, in fiction, that grips you. What also grips the reader is how a writer may become an instigator and define a place, time period, era, a group or a movement. In this case the book chronicles a group of writers and Foreign Correspondents in Paris and appears to be autobiographical. “The Sun Also Rises,” describes the romance for the writers life, the spontaneity, the comradery with other notables of the time period, and how the stories unfold into novels, articles and love affairs, some of which manifest into marriages, others that go unrequited.
They were described as a “lost generation,” perhaps many facing short lived marriages in favor of the dramatic high living of a traveler. What becomes interesting is the fame and publicity that writing generates, the resulting introductions that create, the “Who’s Who” lifestyle. Reporters regularly write about and therefore hob nob with notables, if at the bullfight-the bullfighter.
It is as if a writer must cultivate a “writerly” richness. The writer is at once a manufacturer, instigator, and conjurer. Everything for the writer becomes vivid, when you desire the writing to be as good as life, if not better. Having more power to act as taste master, direct society via writing, and dress your content. Hemingway was a master of description much like James Baldwin. Hemingway would make wonderful “observations,” such as to watch, the feet of dancers, to bottle their dance performance, as difficult as that may be.
Hemingway was an angler as was seen in later books like, “Old Man and The Sea.” He was later overseas, with many of the same interests he may have cultivated in America; which became a part of his “international agenda”-fishing in Germany and Spain for example.
The good fiction may be written in “non- stop” fashion. The writer establishes their setting, carries their tablets and writes literally “non-stop” while traveling; then at a later time transcribes collected details to form the story. Then perhaps an editor or programs help you to iron out your dialog. Perhaps if you are guided by some kind of “North Star” and utilizing precision, you will reach a fine piece of literature at the finish.
Great planning may go into a classic piece of literature. One may pursue degree’s or charter boats and acquire nets. Some of literature’s greatest works may not have been easy to come by. Hemingway provides a good fiction lesson.