“It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.” --from The Sun Also Rises
This week, I had to shelve David Copperfield to read with my daughter. As this is her last year at home, and one of our favorite things to do is co-read, I decided I would try to keep up with her AP English reading. It's like having homework. I don't like someone dictating my reading choices and schedule (that's why I don't join book clubs). The sacrifices we make for our kids!
Don't tell the teacher, but I am behind. I'm about half-way through what is a re-read of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises for me, and so far I am yet again underwhelmed by Hemingway. I read an assertion once that readers like either Faulkner or Hemingway but never both. Well, I LOVE Faulkner, so you see where that puts me with Papa. I need someone to tell me what is so great about Hemingway. I'm trying to keep an open mind here. I'm trying to like his work. I even went into this reading determined to like this book. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm not hip enough. Maybe it's my small-town naivete, my lack of cosmopolitan flair.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I see no value in it, and I'm not saying it's not good. It's just not great to me, and I really want someone to explain to me what I am missing. The dialogue is abrupt, terse, even brusque and disjointed. He writes like drunk people think...scattered and overestimating their own wit. Reading Hemingway makes me feel like the only sober person at the party. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I need to be drunk to appreciate it. I'll try that with the second half of the book and report my findings next week when I wake up.
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