On the occasion of Hemingway's birthday (July 21,1899) I shared with the Indigo Fiction Blog a personal response to one of Ernest (Papa) Hemingway’s most famous novels.
No Old Man, Barely Any Sea
At the risk of revealing too much and being a bit crass, I discovered Ernest Hemingway in a friend’s bathroom. He had a copy of The Sun Also Rises
—or “Fiesta,” as it was titled in European editions—out on the desk I passed as I made my way to his facilities. We’d traveled Europe
together, this friend and I, so I thought it okay that I take the small yellow edition of the book in with me to do my business (I’d put it back!). Now just as I have stated on this blog previously that it’s better to discover classics like The Catcher in the Rye
on your own rather than when forced to read them in school, I think the more intimidating the author’s name the better you’ll react if reading those first pages whilst seated on a toilet.
In all seriousness, I was intimidated. Like all the big names from the canon, my narrow-minded, misinformed perception of the great writer had me worried Hemingway would be long-winded, dull and difficult. It took not a page and a half of The Sun Also Rises
to realize he was exactly the opposite of all three of those things. Here was a writer who wrote short, direct sentences, who shaved off anything resembling a dull moment and who was straight forward and clear in the best way. I’ve yet to read another writer than can paint a scene as successfully as Hemingway can.