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Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

02/04/2011
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‘Certainly like to drink,’ Bill said. ‘You ought to try it sometimes, Jake.’

‘You’re about a hundred and forty-four ahead of me.’

‘Ought not to daunt you. Never be daunted. Secret of my success. Never been daunted. Never been daunted in public.’

‘Where were you drinking?’

‘Stopped at the Crillon. George made me a couple of Jack Roses. George’s a great man. Know the secret of his success? Never been daunted.’

‘You’ll be daunted after about three more Pernods.’

‘Not in public. If I begin to feel daunted I’ll go off by myself. I’m like a cat that way.’

Sparkling, pitch-perfect dialogue or what? The drunken swagger captured phonetically in almost hiccuped fragments of speech; the different shades of meaning taken on by the word ‘daunted’; the easy, natural wit. More than a little daunting to a novice writer…

There’s a carefree hedonism that blows through this book like a cool breeze. This makes it refreshing sort of read, even when the character are drunk, or brawling, or lapping up the violence of the bullfight. But it’s worth reading purely for the dialogue.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 19/04/2011 13:34

    Easily in my all time Top 10 list of novels. For me, Hemingway’s masterpiece.

    It is so refreshing to see it championed on this blog, when nearly everyone I know has not read it.

    In fact for even having The Sun Also Rises acknowledged here, it has put this blog on my own must reads.

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