From Pamplona, With Enjoy: &#039The Sun Also&#039 Turns 90

The Sun Also Rises

Ernest Hemingway, like all writers, signifies distinct issues to different men and women. To some, he represents a hunting, drinking, smoking, womanizing machismo that is offputting — to say the least. To my high-college thoughts, he was just some old white guy going on about a crusty fisherman desperate to snag a marlin — even though Ms. Fredericks, my English teacher, had forced us to read The Old Man and the Sea, I didn’t come to appreciate it, nor any of Hemingway’s books, till considerably later.

But in my early 20s, an individual mailed me a dusty copy of Hemingway’s very first novel, The Sun Also Rises. I’d by no means read anything very like it — and haven’t since.

Nowadays marks the 90th anniversary of the publication of that book. A masterpiece of the type, The Sun Also Rises is a uncommon feat in its energy and restraint, its terse but evocative sentences making a powerful impression as I was starting to hone in on my personal adore of words: “Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking benefit of it?” a single character asks narrator Jake, an American newspaper reporter. “Do you comprehend you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?”

Ernest Hemingway: Not just some old white guy going on about a crusty fisherman. Lloyd Arnold/Getty Images hide caption

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Lloyd Arnold/Getty Pictures

None of Hemingway’s other works, although some were excellent and even fantastic, quite captured the concept of desire and longing that his debut does. But there’s also a blatant sadness that permeates the entire novel, which, in truth, is what attracted me a lot more than anything. How could these depressed and oftentimes insufferable socialites be drawn so beautifully? And how on earth could such easy, stripped down prose carry this kind of emotional weight? Nathaniel Hawthorne says it best: “Easy reading is damn challenging writing.”

But for me, it really is a lot far more than that. When I read The Sun Also Rises – and I go back to it every single couple of years — I’m quickly transported to Pamplona, exactly where Hemingway’s characters go to watch the bullfights. I visited Pamplona as a kid with my loved ones, and I also watched the bullfights, with my father — who in all honesty does not deserve any more mention than that.

Except for the truth that he was the one particular who randomly sent me this wonderful book, much more than a decade soon after we’d lost touch.

The Sun Also Rises, a title taken from Ecclesiastes, is like its author in that it signifies various issues to distinct folks. Positive, some may well say that A Farewell to Arms is a much better book, or that For Whom the Bell Tolls is a more sophisticated piece of literature, but they are wrong. And that is in element simply because they did not visit Pamplona at a particular age, nor receive a random gift when they were young and impressionable, or they simply weren’t open adequate to be floored by what Hemingway was carrying out with language and, dear God, dialogue.

The Sun Also Rises centers on the inner lives of that now-infamous group Gertrude Stein known as the “Lost Generation,” but like all books it also holds private which means for every single reader. Its pages make me recall the noise of a crowd cheering on a brave matador, the expectation I felt as a boy, even the dizzying smell of blood in the air. They remind me of my father, who by no means gave me much much more than this perfect novel, which you might say is a hell of a lot.

Arts &amp Life : NPR

Rambert: Enjoy, Art & Rock’n’roll, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Generous, witty’

Miguel Altunaga and Simone Damberg Würtz in Kim Brandstrup's 'Transfigured Night'. Photo: Johan Persson©Johan Persson

Miguel Altunaga and Simone Damberg Würtz in Kim Brandstrup’s ‘Transfigured Night’. Photo: Johan Persson

Rambert’s autumn season at Sadler’s Wells brings a fascinating new perform as the heart of a triple bill: Kim Brandstrup’s Transfigured Evening, a realisation of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, a score already beatified for dance in its use by Antony Tudor for his Pillar of Fire of 1942.

Like Tudor, Brandstrup sees it as a drama exploring the trauma of a lady fearful of getting abandoned by her lover, then — ideally — accepted despite her failings, and lastly reaching a compromise that resonates with the imagery of couples in Egon Schiele’s portrayals of fraught lovers, where forgiveness can appear an anxious third presence. Brandstrup’s dances — generous in phrase and feeling, solos and duets set against a huge corps de ballet which establishes echoing responses to the drama — inform their tale with a sure and sympathetic language.

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It is, for Brandstrup (wearing laurels lately gained with a New York City Ballet production), a notable advance in making use of massed dancers as reverberations from the narrative’s development as it exposes alternating hopes and despairs.

With stupefying reticence the programme does not recognize the leading dancers involved, but I salute Simone Damberg Würtz as a fine interpreter of the central woman’s role, and supply excellent admiration to the rest of the cast. (And a boot in the basement to the Rambert publicists.)

The evening’s second novelty was, alas, a various matter. Didy Veldman’s The three Dancers purported to concern itself with Picasso’s tense The 3 Dancers of 1925, an angry canvas with an angry emotional and sexual origin in the painter’s life. Veldman’s piece could equally be inspired by John Everett Millais’s Bubbles. Dancers scampered. A score by Elena Kats-Chernin went its unintriguing way. Time passed. Civilisations rose and fell.

This Rambert triple bill was completed by a spiffy efficiency of Rooster, Christopher Bruce’s romp set to the music of The Rolling Stones, wittily carried out. There was vast applause for the vividly strutting cast — not least for Miguel Altunaga, Dane Hurst, and the other parading chaps, whose evening it superbly was. Lots of cheers.

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Section: Arts