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Within the tradition of American literature, a novel by the famous writer Ernest Hemingway is known as Fiesta (The Sun Also Rises), which was first published during October 1926, thanks to the work of the Charles publishing house Scribner´s Sons.
Transcendence of the work
According to what some critics have pointed out, Fiesta can be considered as the novel that launches its author to the scene of contemporary Literature, thus being the first of his writings to achieve recognition, and making the interest of readers rest on his career.
It is also a text rich in descriptions, in which Hemingway demonstrates his great power of observation, as well as the way in which he has been deeply marked by the Spanish landscape of the 1920s, where he has had to live while serving as a war correspondent.
On the other hand, beyond the punctual love story developed in the pages of this novel, it is also important to understand Fiesta as a portrait of the generation known as the “Lost Generation,” made up of that group of young American writers, who in the period between wars were left adrift, living what World War I had done with their particular lives, and their corresponding nations.
In this way, this generation seems to be obsessed with forgetting how it has lost and lost its affections among the bombs of war, trying to stun its pain with the Parisian lights, or the tinsel of the Spanish fiesta bravía.
Summary of Fiesta
As for the specific content of this work by Ernest Hemingway, it can be said that Fiesta begins with the meeting between Jake Barnes and nurse Brett Ashley, which takes place in the Italian hospital, where Jake has been confined, after suffering a serious wound on the war front. Love arises between these two young men, being truncated almost immediately by the sentence of condemnation that becomes the diagnosis of Jake’s doctor, who informs him that the wound has left him impotent and sexually disabled forever. Faced with such an abrupt panorama, the characters separate following each other’s course.
Nine years later, Jake and Brett meet again. Everyone has changed their lives: Brett is still a beautiful woman, who now in her thirties is free, overwhelmingly seductive and also quite active, as far as male couples are concerned; for her part, Jake has become a journalist, a job that assumes the mission of being a witness to the actions of the world, and being able to tell it in words.
Nevertheless, there is something that does not change in them: the attraction they feel for each other, as well as the constancy of knowing that it is an unrealizable love, which will lead them to separate again in the long run.
As a result, Jake ends up becoming – as so many other times – a simple witness, where from the outside the way the Parisian party moves is present, to the sound of champagne and music.
In fact this position that Jake assumes in his life, to which he transfers his vocation as a journalist, assuming that his condition also condemns him to have to live through the testimonies of others, makes his descriptions are marked by a kind of malancolism. Jake has decided that the word will be his way of reaching what his body cannot feel.
Along with this love story, Fiesta also takes the opportunity to tell and portray how the Parisian nights pass for the lost Generation. In addition, the novel will also stop in the journey undertaken by a group of these young people towards the festivities of San Fermín, Spain, where they are led by the enthusiasm of living closely the color and emotion of a bullfight.
Some critics believe that the great splendour that Hemingway portrays in his description of this festival not only demonstrates his great talent as a chronicler, but is a resource of this author to contrast the brightness of this celebration with the melancholic feeling that constantly crosses the soul of the members of the lost Generation.
This is how a select group of two writers, an English lady, an aristocrat and a journalist leave from Paris to San Fermín, on a journey where not only will they live the adventures and experiences that will give them the landscape by themselves, but they will also have to face the game of rivalries, stories, affections and differences that the members of this group experience during the trip.
Finally, this group ends up separating after the trip to Spain, in what has been an archetypal journey, where Hemingway makes his characters pass from the frivolous and melancholic landscape of Paría, to the colorful but tragic feast of the Spanish bullfights, where the man dresses in lights to face death again.
Image: portrait of Ernest Hemingway, author of Fiesta / Source: flickr.com
October 31, 2019