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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!




Morbid Hound
In this thread, we choose one work of literature absolute crap and read/discuss it over a month. If you have any suggestions of books, choose something that will be appreciated by many people, and has many avenues of discussion. We'd also appreciate if it were a work of literature complete drivel that is easily located from a local library or book shop, as opposed to ordering something second hand off the internet and missing out on a week's worth of reading. Better yet, books available on e-readers.

Resources:

Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org

- A database of over 17000 books available online. If you can suggest books from here, that'd be the best.

SparkNotes - http://www.sparknotes.com/

- A very helpful Cliffnotes-esque site, but much better, in my opinion. If you happen to come in late and need to catch-up, you can get great character/chapter/plot summaries here.

:siren: For recommendations on future material, suggestions on how to improve the club, or just a general rant, feel free to PM the moderation team. :siren:

Past Books of the Month

[for BOTM before 2019, refer to archives]


2019:
January: Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
February: BEAR by Marian Engel
March: V. by Thomas Pynchon
April: The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout
May: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
June: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
July: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
August: Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
September: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
October: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
November: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
December: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2020:
January: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
February: WE by Yevgeny Zamyatin
March: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini by Benvenuto Cellini
April: The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
May: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Dame Rebecca West
June: The African Queen by C. S. Forester
July: The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
August: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire, by Howard Pyle
September: Strange Hotel, by Eimear McBride
October:Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (怪談)("Ghost Stories"), by Lafcadio Hearn
November: A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears) , by Matthew Hongoltz Hetling
December: Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John Drury Clark

2021:

January: The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley
February: How to Read Donald Duck by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart
March: Carrier Wave by Robert Brockway
April: The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brian
May: You Can't Win by Jack Black
June:Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
July:Can Such Things Be by Ambrose Bierce
August: Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
September:A Dreamer's Tales by Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany
October:We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
November:Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
December:Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Current:



The Sun Also Rises by Earnest Hemingway

Book available here:

https://archive.org/details/sun_also_rises

https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/ernest-hemingway/the-sun-also-rises

About the book

quote:

The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel by American writer Ernest Hemingway, his first, that portrays American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. However, Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is now "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work",[2] and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel.[3] The novel was published in the United States in October 1926 by Scribner's. A year later, Jonathan Cape published the novel in London under the title Fiesta. It remains in print.

The novel is a roman à clef: the characters are based on real people in Hemingway's circle, and the action is based on real events, particularly Hemingway's life in Paris in the 1920s and a trip to Spain in 1925 for the Pamplona festival and fishing in the Pyrenees. Hemingway presents his notion that the "Lost Generation"—considered to have been decadent, dissolute, and irretrievably damaged by World War I—was in fact resilient and strong.[4] Hemingway investigates the themes of love and death, the revivifying power of nature, and the concept of masculinity. His spare writing style, combined with his restrained use of description to convey characterizations and action, demonstrates his "Iceberg Theory" of writing.

quote:

In the 1920s Hemingway lived in Paris as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, and traveled to Smyrna to report on the Greco–Turkish War. He wanted to use his journalism experience to write fiction, believing that a story could be based on real events when a writer distilled his own experiences in such a way that, according to biographer Jeffrey Meyers, "what he made up was truer than what he remembered".[5]

With his wife Hadley Richardson, Hemingway first visited the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona in 1923, where he was following his recent passion for bullfighting.[6] The couple returned to Pamplona in 1924—enjoying the trip immensely—this time accompanied by Chink Dorman-Smith, John Dos Passos, and Donald Ogden Stewart and his wife.[7] The two returned a third time in June 1925 and stayed at the hotel of his friend Juanito Quintana. That year, they brought with them a different group of American and British expatriates: Hemingway's Michigan boyhood friend Bill Smith, Stewart, recently divorced Duff, Lady Twysden, her lover Pat Guthrie, and Harold Loeb.[8] Hemingway's memory spanning multiple trips might explain the inconsistent timeframe in the novel indicating both 1924 and 1925.[9] In Pamplona, the group quickly disintegrated. Hemingway, attracted to Duff, was jealous of Loeb, who had recently been on a romantic getaway with her; by the end of the week the two men had a public fistfight. Against this background was the influence of the young matador from Ronda, Cayetano Ordóñez, whose brilliance in the bullring affected the spectators. Ordóñez honored Hemingway's wife by presenting her, from the bullring, with the ear of a bull he killed. Outside of Pamplona, the fishing trip to the Irati River (near Burguete in Navarre) was marred by polluted water.[8]

quote:

The Sun Also Rises—which Scribner’s would publish in October of 1926 to rapturous reviews (The New York Times would call it “an event”)—magnificently showcased Hemingway’s “highbrow-lowbrow” formula. Its terse, innovative prose would titillate the literary crowd, and the simplicity of the style would make it accessible to mainstream readers. “It is a hell of a fine novel,” Hemingway wrote to an editor acquaintance before the book came out, adding that it would “let these bastards who say yes he can write very beautiful little paragraphs know where they get off at.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/...-sun-also-rises

About the Author

quote:

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school, he was a reporter for a few months for The Kansas City Star before leaving for the Italian Front to enlist as an ambulance driver in World War I. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms (1929).

In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of four wives. They moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s' "Lost Generation" expatriate community. Hemingway's debut novel The Sun Also Rises was published in 1926. He divorced Richardson in 1927, and married Pauline Pfeiffer. They divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), which he covered as a journalist and which was the basis for his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. He and Gellhorn separated after he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II. Hemingway was present with Allied troops as a journalist at the Normandy landings and the liberation of Paris.

He maintained permanent residences in Key West, Florida (in the 1930s) and in Cuba (in the 1940s and 1950s). He almost died in 1954 after plane crashes on successive days, with injuries leaving him in pain and ill health for much of the rest of his life. In 1959, he bought a house in Ketchum, Idaho, where, in mid-1961, he committed suicide.


Pacing

:justpost:

Read as thou wilt is the whole of the law.

Please post after you read!

Please bookmark the thread to encourage discussion.


References and Further Materials

1957 film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DufU6vvregY

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/...-sun-also-rises

From Hemingways' A Moveable Feast:

quote:

"Finally when we were eating the cherry tart and had a last carafe of wine he said, 'You know I never slept with anyone except Zelda.'

'No, I didn't.'

'I thought I'd told you.'

'No. You told me a lot of things but not that.'

'That is what I want to ask you about.'

'Good. Go on.'

'Zelda said that the way I was built I could never make any woman happy and that was what upset her originally. [This conversation was held somewhat after what Hemingway describes as "what was then called her first nervous breakdown."] She said it was a matter of measurements. I have never felt the same since she said that and I have to know truly.'

'Come out to the office,' I said.

'Where is the office?'

'Le water," [the men's room] I said.

We came back into the room and sat down at the table.

'You're perfectly fine,' I said. 'You are O.K. There's nothing wrong with you. You look at yourself from above and you look foreshortened. Go over to the Louvre and look at the people in the statues and then go home and look at yourself in the mirror in profile.'

'Those statues may not be accurate.'

'They are pretty good. Most people would settle for them.'

'But why would she say it?'

'To put you out of business. That's the oldest way in the world of putting people out of business. Scott, you asked me to tell you the truth and I can tell you a lot more but this is the absolute truth and all you need. You could have gone to a doctor.'

'I didn't want to. I wanted you to tell me truly.'

'Now do you believe me?'

'I don't know,' he said.

'Come on over to the Louvre,' I said. 'It's just down the street and across the river.'

We went over to the Louvre and he looked at the statues but still he was doubtful about himself.

'It is not basically a question of the size in repose,' I said. 'It is the size that it becomes. It is also a question of angle.'

I explained to him about using a pillow and a few other things that might be useful for him to know.

'There is one girl,' he said, 'who has been very nice to me. But after what Zelda said--'

'Forget what Zelda said,' I told him. 'Zelda is crazy. There's nothing wrong with you. Just have confidence and do what the girl wants. Zelda just wants to destroy you.'

'You don't know anything about Zelda.'

'All right,' I said. 'Let it go at that. But you came to lunch to ask me a question and I've tried to give you an honest answer.'

But he was still doubtful.

'Should we go and see some pictures?' I asked. 'Have you ever seen anything in here except the Mona Lisa?'

'I'm not in the mood for looking at pictures,' he said. 'I promised to meet some people at the Ritz bar.'"



Suggestions for Future Months

These threads aren't just for discussing the current BOTM; If you have a suggestion for next month's book, please feel free to post it in the thread below also. Generally what we're looking for in a BotM are works that have

1) accessibility -- either easy to read or easy to download a free copy of, ideally both

2) novelty -- something a significant fraction of the forum hasn't already read

3) discussability -- intellectual merit, controversiality, insight -- a book people will be able to talk about.

Final Note:

Thanks, and we hope everyone enjoys the book!

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Shellception
Oct 12, 2016

Mountains rise and fall, and under them the Turtle swims onward. Men live and die, and the Turtle Moves. Empires grow and crumble, and the Turtle Moves. Gods come and go, and still the Turtle Moves.

The Turtle Moves.
I'd never read any Hemingway, but the theme is local to me (I'm from Spain, southerner tho) and I was mighty curious to see how places are depicted in there. I wasn't actually expecting to find a physical copy, but as those things go, a kinda battered 1993 English edition popped up unexpectedly on an "unclasified and new arrivals" shelf of the first secondhand bookshop I checked. They had no other Hemingway books in neither Spanish nor English in there, so it really was blind luck.

So after that, I am in on this. Been reading through and I'm about halfway in. Had a bit of trouble telling the cast apart at first, they seem like they are becoming a bit more distinct as the story progresses. It has been reading like a very relaxed telling of things that (per disclaimer on first page) assuredly never happened to any real people at all.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?
The only Hemingway I've read before was Hills Like White Elephants, for class, which I didn't enjoy. (Either the story or the discussion around it.)

Not very far yet into The Sun Also Rises, as I'm mostly reading at work, when it's slow and I remember the BotM exists. But I got to this bit:

Ernest Hemingway posted:

“I laughed about it too, myself, once.” She wasn’t looking at me. “A friend of my brother’s came home that way from Mons. It seemed like a hell of a joke. Chaps never know anything, do they?”
“No,” I said. “Nobody ever knows anything.”
I was pretty well through with the subject. At one time or another I had probably considered it from most of its various angles, including the one that certain injuries or imperfections are a subject of merriment while remaining quite serious for the person possessing them.
And my immediate thought was simply: "what, did this guy get shot in the balls in the war?"

So far, it's sort of ... pleasantly written, I guess, and I don't yet care about any of the characters. The dialogue makes me wonder. Given the book is almost one century old, am I struggling to follow the meanings of what characters are saying because:
* It's century-old slang.
* The communication style, separate from the vocabulary, has shifted so much.
* These characters are a bunch of weirdos who speak in circumlocutions.
* I'm missing the raw lived experience context of The Great War.
* It's just Hemingway, he always writes people talking like this.

I'm trying to recall how I felt about The Great Gatsby's use of language, and its dialogue. I only first read (listened, to an audiobook) it last year.

One thing my brother mentioned to me, when talking about the current pandemic, was how quickly the 1918 flu was memory-holed, and that it wasn't mentioned once in The Great Gatsby. I'm curious to see if Hemingway brings it up in any way.

the JJ
Mar 31, 2011

Vavrek posted:

The dialogue makes me wonder. Given the book is almost one century old, am I struggling to follow the meanings of what characters are saying because:
* It's century-old slang.
* The communication style, separate from the vocabulary, has shifted so much.
* These characters are a bunch of weirdos who speak in circumlocutions.
* I'm missing the raw lived experience context of The Great War.
* It's just Hemingway, he always writes people talking like this.

I think it's the last one. At least in my experience Hemingway really liked to write in a way that makes you go a layer deep to figure out what's going on. Eventually I grew to like it, but it's not for everyone. It kinda forces you to engage with what's going on.

Nae
Sep 3, 2020

what.

I read this book about six months ago on a whim, knowing absolutely nothing about it other than the author. I came away from it with this:



Does the protagonist still have his dick? Possibly, yes, but it was funnier to me to imagine that his dick got shot clean off.

Other than the inordinate amount of time I spent wondering about the protagonists dick and/or balls, I enjoyed the book well enough, but I'm not sure I'll ever really like a story where all the characters are thin pastiches of the writer's friends. Maybe his social cabal was thrilled to live on in his works, I don't know, but something about the whole roman à clef concept just rubs me the wrong way.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

the JJ posted:

I think it's the last one. At least in my experience Hemingway really liked to write in a way that makes you go a layer deep to figure out what's going on. Eventually I grew to like it, but it's not for everyone. It kinda forces you to engage with what's going on.
I figured it was probably that. There are some books I've read that're more like that than others, though which ones escapes me right now. That sort of experience, particularly on a reread, of thinking "because I (think I) know what they're talking about, now, what they're saying in this scene works really well."


Nae posted:

I read this book about six months ago on a whim, knowing absolutely nothing about it other than the author. I came away from it with this:



Does the protagonist still have his dick? Possibly, yes, but it was funnier to me to imagine that his dick got shot clean off.
I knew it.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!




Morbid Hound

Vavrek posted:


* It's just Hemingway, he always writes people talking like this.

I'm trying to recall how I felt about The Great Gatsby's use of language, and its dialogue. I only first read (listened, to an audiobook) it last year.
.

Fitzgerald and Hemingway are a pretty interesting comparison because they're writing about the same sets of people and the same general themes but in quite distinct styles.

But yeah, generally speaking, Hemingway is trying to make his writing look sparse and purely factual on the surface, but imply all sorts of poo poo under the surface. He called it his "Iceberg Theory."

quote:

"“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg_theory

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 14:55 on Jan 10, 2022

Collateral
Feb 17, 2010
A matter of measurements. Lmao.

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth
Just finished last night, and dang, I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I got a really vivid sense of time and place from the whole thing, and it's clear in hindsight that it was all taken from Hemingway's lived experiences. The bull-run, weirdly enough, wasn't as impactful as I thought it would be, but the aftermath and especially the final chapter hit me very hard. Dang. I guess the Hemingway fandom is right on the money.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG


I read Old Man and the Sea in high school so remember little about it other than the futility of humanity vs nature, but in the past few years I have climbed the mountain to see the Snows of Kilimanjaro, and said A Farewell to Arms. I count myself a big fan of Hemingway. Just started this last night and the prose has its own velocity, it just sweeps you along effortlessly.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG


A nice tour of a part of Paris I've spent time in, which helps create a clear setting for me so far. I've never been to Spain so we'll see if that will make a difference.

Have had Pernod. Never with a hooker. Er, that I know of

Natty Ninefingers
Feb 17, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!
Picked up an actual copy for money. The epigraphs hit home even more than in college.

I do like how the iceberg approach gives things power. Something untold, and barely even shown, gains power. It is the monster under the bed. When Jake interacts with others, every roil of his psyche contains a shark.

Jordan7hm
Feb 17, 2011




Lipstick Apathy
A local small press that does pretty over the top high end print quality is currently doing pre-orders of their first printing of this book. It’s… pricey (e: for me, a person who does not buy letterpress printed books on the regular).

https://www.centurypress.ca/products/the-sun-also-rises

I’ve ordered a copy of The Great Gatsby from them to upgrade my own copy, and depending how much I like that one, I may end up taking the plunge.

Sadly it won’t be ready for this month, but I’ve got a copy of it already to read.

Jordan7hm fucked around with this message at 02:10 on Jan 16, 2022

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG


Book good

Over halfway done, just finished fishing, time to bring on the bulls!

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG


About three quarters through and I'm just like, no Brett don't do...goddamnit :(

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG


Done. What I was really fearing would happen did not, but still. What utterly loving awful people. And wonderfully written, unvarnished, pulls-no-punches story telling.

Fantastic.

Natty Ninefingers
Feb 17, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!
Every one of the main characters is so utterly hosed by their own traumas that all they can do is make each other miserable.

And drink, abuse animals, and beat the snot out of people, and ruin the things they love in the world with their tourism.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!




Morbid Hound
suggestions for next month?

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth
Bernadine Evaristo, Mr. Loverman. Elderly Afro-Caribbean man in London living a double life tries to navigate tensions between his marriage and his romantic ambitions. I've heard it's pretty drat good.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

Just finished the sun also rises today, it was good

I was actually feeling really stressed about the bullfight, because if this was another author Brett and Cohn's shittiness definitely would have got the kid killed. Instead, Jake is forever unwelcome in Montoya's hotel for his friends' crimes against aficion.

The casual anti-Semitism was a bit jarring, but is of its time I suppose.

If anything the book reminds me of always sunny - i hate all the characters but they have charisma and the pacing is on point.

Dude definitely has no dick tho

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG


CancerCakes posted:

Just finished the sun also rises today, it was good

I was actually feeling really stressed about the bullfight, because if this was another author Brett and Cohn's shittiness definitely would have got the kid killed. Instead, Jake is forever unwelcome in Montoya's hotel for his friends' crimes against aficion.



Yeah that's the outcome that had me squirming and fortunately it didn't happen.

buffalo all day
Mar 13, 2019

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

suggestions for next month?

The remains of the day?

Gertrude Perkins posted:

Bernadine Evaristo, Mr. Loverman. Elderly Afro-Caribbean man in London living a double life tries to navigate tensions between his marriage and his romantic ambitions. I've heard it's pretty drat good.

Girl woman other is amazing, everyone should read it

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!




Morbid Hound
we got some good suggestions but I fell down on the job a bit this month and didn't get a poll up in time, so right now my plan is Balzac's Droll Stories for February. I'll try to get a thread up tomorrow or the next day.

ChubbyChecker
Mar 25, 2018

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

we got some good suggestions but I fell down on the job a bit this month and didn't get a poll up in time, so right now my plan is Balzac's Droll Stories for February. I'll try to get a thread up tomorrow or the next day.

some balzac to balance the sun also rises

John Lee
Mar 2, 2013

A time traveling adventure everyone can enjoy

ChubbyChecker posted:

some balzac to balance the sun also rises

haha cause he was shot in the balzac

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Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007



John Lee posted:

haha cause he was shot in the balzac

lmao

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