I’ve tried to like Hemingway. I read “A Farewell to Arms” in high school and didn’t care for it. Yesterday I went to the library and checked out “The Sun Also Rises.” Who am I to say Ernest Hemingway is no good? I gave him another try.
I probably wouldn’t have finished the book except that it’s short and reads fast. Ah, yes. Short, declarative sentences and tough, terse prose. So it’s easy to read. That doesn’t mean I want to read it. I found “The Sun Also Rises” dry, mundane, and generally pointless. It became my personal duty to finish the thing. Perhaps there would be a profound meaning if I kept on. I finished the book around 2:45 a.m.
The New York Times quote on the back cover called it “a truly gripping narrative.” Am I missing something? I knew that things wouldn’t work out nicely for the characters, which would be fine if it upset me. But it didn’t. I could care less what happened to any of them. I felt the same way about “A Farewell to Arms.” I am probably too ruined by the unrealistic romanticism of most other authors. Perhaps Hemingway is a bit too realistic for me. But I’ve met plenty of people in real life whose stories interest me far more than that of Brett Ashley and Jake Barnes.
My opinion doesn’t hold much weight. There are a great deal of people who disagree with me. Good for Mr. Hemingway. I would one day love to do what he did professionally. He started as a journalist and then became an incredibly successful novelist. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He took the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. I haven’t even succeeded at the journalist part yet. It is with great humbleness that I respectfully admit that I just don’t like his writing.
Next up is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera.” I read two of his novellas, “No One Writes to the Colonel” and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” for a class in college. I didn’t actually finish either of them because I just couldn’t take anymore. Like Hemingway, Garcia Marquez was a journalist who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Well, here we go.