The Sun Also Rises

Legacy and adaptations

Hemingway's work continued to be popular in the latter half of the century and after his suicide in 1961. During the 1970s, The Sun Also Rises appealed to what Beegel calls the lost generation of the Vietnam era.[106] Aldridge writes that The Sun Also Rises has kept its appeal because the novel is about being young. The characters live in the most beautiful city in the world, spend their days traveling, fishing, drinking, making love, and generally reveling in their youth. He believes the expatriate writers of the 1920s appeal for this reason, but that Hemingway was the most successful in capturing the time and the place in The Sun Also Rises.[107]

Bloom says that some of the characters have not stood the test of time, writing that modern readers are uncomfortable with the anti-semitic treatment of Cohn's character and the romanticization of a bullfighter. Moreover, Brett and Mike belong uniquely to the Jazz Age and do not translate to the modern era. Bloom believes the novel is in the canon of American literature for its formal qualities: its prose and style.[108]

The novel made Hemingway famous, inspired young women across America to wear short hair and sweater sets like the heroine's—and to act like her too—and changed writing style in ways that could be seen in any American magazine published in the next twenty years. In many ways, the novel's stripped-down prose became a model for 20th-century American writing. Nagel writes that "The Sun Also Rises was a dramatic literary event and its effects have not diminished over the years."[109]

The success of The Sun Also Rises guaranteed interest from Broadway and Hollywood. In 1927 two Broadway producers wanted to adapt the story for the stage but made no immediate offers. Hemingway considered marketing the story directly to Hollywood, telling his editor Max Perkins that he would not sell it for less than $30,000—money he wanted his estranged wife Hadley Richardson to have. Conrad Aiken thought the book was perfect for a film adaptation solely on the strength of dialogue. Hemingway would not see a stage or film adaption anytime soon:[110] he sold the film rights to RKO Pictures in 1932,[111] but only in 1956 was the novel adapted to a film of the same name. It was again adapted into a film in 1984. Peter Viertel wrote the screenplay. Tyrone Power as Jake played the lead role opposite Ava Gardner as Brett and Errol Flynn as Mike. The royalties went to Richardson.[112] It was adapted into a one-act opera in 2000.

Hemingway wrote more books about bullfighting: Death in the Afternoon was published in 1932 and The Dangerous Summer was published posthumously in 1985. His depictions of Pamplona, beginning with The Sun Also Rises, helped to popularize the annual running of the bulls at the Festival of St. Fermin.[113]


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