[I cannot express to you how glad I am that I am taking this class. The Sun Also Rises is one of the best books I've read in quite a long time. The remarkable thing about the book was its liberal use of dialogue and how Hemingway used it to carry the reader through the book.
There was no plot in the book in the sense that there was no twists...
People told each other that it was “the best book since the end of the war.” Amidst the literary productions of its time, this novel was, itself, a stranger.
It came to us from the other side of the Equator, from across the sea.
By virtue of the cool style of and the subject of his essays, Albert Camus takes his place in the great tradition of those French moralists whom Andler has rightly termed the precursors of Nietzsche.
As to the doubts raised by Camus about the scope of our reasoning powers, these are in the most recent tradition of French epistemology. .” This idea was likewise expressed, and at just about the same time, by another writer, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who draws on the same material when he says, “Physics uses mechanical, dynamic and even psychological models without any preference, as if, freed of ontological aspirations, it were becoming indifferent to the classical antimonies of the mechanism or dynamism which presupposes a nature-in-itself” Camus shows off a bit by quoting passages from Jaspers, Heidegger and Kierkegaard, whom, by the way, he does not always seem to have quite understood. The turn of his reasoning, the clarity of his ideas, the cut of his expository style and a certain kind of solar, ceremonious, and sad sombreness, all indicate a classic temperament, a man of the Mediterranean.
These are not really very new themes, and Camus does not present them as such.
They had been sounded as early as the seventeenth century by a certain kind of dry, plain, contemplative rationalism, which is typically French and they served as the commonplaces of classical pessimism.
We remembered, while reading this novel, that there had once been works which had not tried to prove anything, but had been content to stand on their own merits.
But hand in hand with its gratuitousness went a certain ambiguity.