“Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters": First Edition, First Issue of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

  • The Sun Also Rises.
  • The Sun Also Rises.
  • The Sun Also Rises.
  • The Sun Also Rises.

The Sun Also Rises.

$3,500.00

Item Number: 96259

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926.

First edition, first issue of the first printing, with the misprint (“stoppped”) on page 181 line 26. Octavo, original black cloth with gold paper title labels to the spine and front panel. In near fine condition with some rubbing to the extremities.

The Sun Also Rises was published by Scribner's in 1926, and a year later in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape under the title Fiesta. Though it initially received mixed reviews, it is now "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work" (Meyers, 1985). The fictional plot depicts a love story between war-wounded and impotent Jake Barnes and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley, but the novel is a roman à clef; the characters are based on real people and the action is based on real events. Hemingway proposes that the "Lost Generation," considered to have been decadent, dissolute and irretrievably damaged by World War I, was resilient and strong. Naturally, themes of love, death, renewal in nature, and the nature of masculinity are heavily investigated. For example, the characters engage in bull-fighting, which is presented as an idealized drama: The matador faces death and, in so doing, creates a moment of existential nothingness, broken when he vanquishes the possibility of death by killing the bull (Stoltzfus, 2005). The Sun Also Rises is seen as an iconic modernist novel for future generations (Mellow, 1992), although it has been emphasized that Hemingway was not philosophically a modernist (Reynolds, 1990). "The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway's masterpiece--one of them, anyway--and no matter how many times you've read it or how you feel about the manners and morals of the characters, you won't be able to resist its spell. This is a classic that really does live up to its reputation" (David Laskin).

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