Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises

In case you haven’t read this yet, Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises is set in Paris in the twenties, told in the first person by the protagonist (Jake) who is an American expat-writer for a newspaper based there. Really what I got from it was mainly about how the Americans lived in Paris, spent their American money, hung about the world's liveliest city, drank Pernod among others and mingled with their fellow expats. In other words, it's a travelogue of sorts with an undefined love story in the mix. There was this woman - Lady Ashley who is so confused as ever with whom to love, she is the object of everyone’s affection that’s mentioned in the book and hooks up with all of them! Just about. Was there really a woman that existed with this much abandon in the 20’s? I mean, my mother wasn’t even born at this time yet.

The book begins to capture me only at Chapter 10 when Jake and his friend Bill treks to their fishing destination in Bayonne, France and when it did, I never placed the book down until it was done. After France, then comes Spain and things really liven up when everyone rendezvous in Pamplona for the fiesta. There are love triangles, (love pentagons really), more drinking and this specimen of a bullfighter named “Romero”. How Hemingway describes the Torero's moves made me feel as if I was the wind that passed in between the bull and the fighter's body as he executed his forms in pristine ways during the bullfights. One will feel that they know everything there is to know about Bullfighting after reading this novel.  I believe there’s more of this in another Hemingway book named, “Death in the Afternoons” which I’m going to have to check out now because of this chapter. Fishing too is written with dedication even more than the love story angle, and drinking - from subtle wines to the wicked, wicked Absinthe is a staple, I was surprised there was no extra chapter just on liver cirrhosis. 

Seriously though, on a recommendation note, go ahead and read this if you like, it’s a classic in American Lit and even if you’re not into this sort of thing, it’s a travelogue at best and that kind is one of my favorites.

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