My favorite novel

I’m reading The Sun Also Rises for the nth time, having last read it two years ago. It is so great. Delving into the book is like entering a magical world. It has an effect on me I cannot describe. This time I’m reading it more slowly than I have in the past, stopping and re-reading sentences and whole paragraphs, feeling the shape of each sentence. The novel has an impact on me like no other. It’s not what you would call particularly deep. But it is a consummate work of art.

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David B. writes:

My favorite novel is For Whom the Bell Tolls. I like to read it about once every two years.

Incidentally, For Whom the Bell Tolls was savagely attacked by the Left when published in 1940. Hemingway expected it.

Dale in Missouri writes:

How sweet synchronicity is! I am also spending a portion of this summer re-reading Hemingway. Was it the recent stories on bulls goring runners that sent you back to The Sun Also Rises? My own reasons to return to Hemingway’s work are simple: (1) Writing demands cutting and he was a master at pruning; I need to develop that skill. (2) This sickening, feminized culture drives me back to him. Men are men in his work. Even men with portions of their anatomy blown off are more manly than the chestless creatures that inhabit so much of what the culture offers today. And (3) Just for the joy of it.

Thank you for the work of this blog. Many are encouraged and strengthened by it.

LA replies:

Thank you.

No, my picking the book up had nothing to do with that recent story, at least not consciously.

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

It’s funny, I’ve been re-reading The Sun Also Rises recently, and have been meaning to write about it at my blog, to show the strength and beauty of Hemigway’s writing. I have made bits of paper markings in the pages that affected me most.

I read it first while in university, taking it with me into libraries to get in a few minutes of reading the prose before embarking on late night studies of dry scientific text. I think it did get me (partly) through!

You might like this post I did on the cafe culture of the early 20th century, comparing it to what we have—or don’t have—now.

I wrote:

There was a coffee culture that flourished in Europe from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. There was the Viennese coffee houses and the Parisian cafe society, where a cosmopolitan group of famous artists created and discussed their works. Some revolutions (revolutionary ideas) even started in coffee shops. Shop owners seemed happy to have these colorful characters around.

The bottom photo is of Hemingway in Spain.

Perhaps what we need is coffee cultures to start planning a counterrevolution (although we do have something similar through blog culture) as I write in my Hemingway post, and through small daily counterrevolutionary actions as I write here. Although these days, I’m beginning to think more and more that we will have to fight actual battles and even wars.

Here is an article, with plaques and photos, of Hemingway’s residence in Toronto while he worked for the Toronto Daily Star form 1923-1924, just before he went to Paris and started to work on The Sun Also Rises.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 09, 2012 10:12 AM | Send

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