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The Sun Also Rises

I recently read Tender is the Night due to a sudden desire to read literature by the Lost Generation of America. Following that, with a lot of time on my hands due to Hurricane Sandy (check out what to read on a rainy day: a guide by the Burack family), I read the quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, and Hemingway's defining novel, The Sun Also Rises. Having read For Whom the Bell Tolls this summer, and A Farewell To Arms last year, I was ready to read Hemingway's masterpiece. F. Scott Fitzgerald told Hemingway to "let the book's action play itself out among its characters." And it did. The story of Jake Barnes, a hapless war veteran, and Lady Brett Ashley, a seductive British socialite, propels the story. The basis for the novel was Hemingway's life in postwar Paris. Hemingway was part of a society of American writers, poets, and artists disillusioned with America (the poet Ezra Pound, the writer Gertrude Stein, the artist Pablo Picasso, and others).
I think what I enjoyed most about this novel wasn't the story itself, but the idea of the real people who the characters were based upon. This story of Jake, Brett, Robert Cohn, Billy, and others isn't simply a story. It is a portrait of one of the greatest literary movements in America. The epigraph of the novel, "You are all a lost generation" (Gertrude Stein) is what coined the term to describe this movement of writers and artists. I guess why I've been so in love with the Lost Generation recently is not only because I'm looking for answers, as I wrote in my post about Tender is the Night, but because I truly feel as if we're entering a new generation. We're leaving Iraq and Afghanistan, and historically, in the aftermath of wars, it has produced memorable literary movements (such as the Beat Generation post-WWII). I'm waiting for our literary movement; that people will look back on in century, that English teachers will teach about to a mix of bored and enthusiastic high school students, and that I will get to witness. Rating: ★★★★★

Two Years!

Game Change