Notes on Objects & Places from The Sun Also Rises

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The Sun Also Rises Objects/Places

Gertrude Stein : Modernist writer and American expatriate. She was a friend to Hemingway, and they spent time together in Paris. She made the comment about 'the lost generation,' which became the catch phrase used to describe the post World War I characters of The Sun Also Rises.

Ecclesiastes: An ancient preacher. Also a book of wisdom in the Old Testament.

Princeton: Ivy League school in New Jersey. Cohn attended Princeton, but he encountered anti-Semitism at the University. He learned boxing to help him cope, and he became the University' middleweight boxing champion.

Review of the Arts : An arts magazine Cohn funded and edited while he was in California. He moved there after his wife left him, and the power and respect of being in charge helped mend his wounded ego. While working on the review he met Frances Clyne, who would become his girlfriend.

Cohn's novel: Cohn wrote his first book while in Europe. It was released by a reputable publisher, and it had mediocre reviews. Having a book published inflated Cohn's ego, and he became more difficult to deal with after that.

Strasbourg: City in northeast France. Jake suggests he and Cohn go there, since he knows a girl who could show them around. When he mentions the girl, someone kicks him under the table. He assumes it is Frances who kicks him, but it is actually Cohn. Anxious to please his jealous girlfriend, he also does not want to offend her; so Strasbourg is out.

W.H. Hudson: An English naturalist and writer. Cohn reads his novel, The Purple Land, and its' ideas get him into trouble, making him nervous and dissatisfied.

'The Purple Land': Book by W.H. Hudson, which Cohn reads and believes in as though it were Gospel. The book tells the story of an Englishman's romantic adventures in a beautiful land. Reading the book at the age of thirty-four, Cohn begins to think that his life is passing him by. He wants his life to resemble the romantic one of this book. But when he attempts this with Brett, it is a disaster.

Alger books: Horatio Alger, a nineteenth century American author. His works were very different from the romantic tales of W.H. Hudson.

bull-fighters: According to Jake, they are the only people who live their lives to the fullest. Perhaps this is because they risk their lives on a daily basis, instead of moping around cafés.

aperitif: A drink often had before a meal.

Pernod: Imitation absinthe. A very strong drink.

the Bal: The dance club where Jake sees Brett again.

Kirby marriage: After seeing Brett, Jake returns to his hotel to find a wedding announcement for a girl he doesn't know. Jake, alone in his apartment, is very far removed from the happiness of a new marriage.

Le Toril: Bull-fighting paper.

Italian front: This is where Jake was injured during World War I. His injury left him impotent.

Biarritz: Town in southwest France. Count Mippipopolous offers Brett a lot of money to go to Biarritz with him, but she refuses. Jake and Bill later ride a train with a group of pilgrims who are going to Biarritz. Obviously, the town has many different attractions.

H.L. Mencken: An American editor and newspaperman who reported on the Scopes trial, which concerned evolution. He lived from 1880-1956.

Paris Times: A Paris newspaper. Jake grabs a copy and hides behind it to shield him from what Frances is about to say. It is a way to detach from what he expects will be unpleasant.

Frances' trip to England: Cohn, now unwilling to marry Frances, decides to send her off to England to visit some friends. He is forcing her to go on the trip, and while she is gone he goes to San Sebastian with Brett.

the Count's arrow wounds: He got them while on a business trip in East Africa. Like making his living off of sweet shops, having arrow wounds in the new age of trench warfare reveals how old and out of place the count is becoming.

Bayonne: City in southwest France. Jake, Cohn, and Bill stop here on their way to Burguete. When Mike and Brett do not join them, Cohn decides to go back and get them.

Pamplona: City in the north of Spain, home to the festival of San Fermin and the annual bull-fights. Jake goes here every year, but this year his friends accompany him.

the Montoya hotel: The hotel Jake and his friends stay at in Pamplona. Jake knows the owner, named Montoya, and the two often talk about bull-fighting.

Burguete: City in Spain where Bill and Jake go fishing.

Basque: The provinces of northern Spain. There are many Basque peasants on their way to Pamplona, and Jake and Bill befriend a few.

posada: Inn or tavern.

Irony and Pity and 'The Bells Are Ringing for Me and My Gal': Subject that Bill sings and jokes about with Jake. Jake doesn't get the joke, perhaps because he has too much of his own irony and pity, concerning his wound and inability to be with Brett, 'his gal.'

A.E.W. Mason: Author of the book Jake reads in Burguete. It is the kind of romantic drivel that Jake made fun of Cohn for reading. It is the story of a man who falls into a glacier. His love waits years for him, while her real love waits for her to stop waiting.

William Jennings Bryan: American lawyer and politician. In one of his most famous cases, the Scopes trial, he defended evolution. He lived from 1860-1925.

Henry's bicycle: Jake and Bill refer to the story of how a writer became impotent. The mysterious story involves a bicycle or a plane. The real identity of this Henry is the British author Henry James.

Roncesvalles monastery: A community in northern Spain near the French border. Jake, Bill, and Harris visit the monastery while at Burguete. Bill and Harris especially are not comfortable in this holy building.

gift of flies: When Jake and Bill leave for Pamplona, their new friend Harris gives them each an envelope full of flies (a kind of fishing lure), that he tied himself. It is a very thoughtful gift.

desencajonada: Letting the bulls out of their cages and into their corral. This is when the steers come in; they stay in the corral and try to calm the bull, but they are often killed.

aficionado: One who is very passionate about bull-fighting. Montoya and Jake are aficionados, as is Romero. Montoya can forgive almost anything an aficionado does, but he cannot forgive Jake for Romero's relationship with Brett. With that act Jake hurts another aficionado, and that is unforgivable.

bulls: The uncastrated male oxen. They are the animals the bull-fighter kills in the ring. The bulls are strong-willed and violent, and it is the job of the steers to calm them down.

steers: The young castrated male oxen. These friendly animals are placed in the corral to calm down the bulls. The steers are defenseless, and the bulls are often aggressive, killing them. Trapped, the steers do not have any chance if a bull decides to charge them. Mike likes to joke that Cohn is a steer, because of the way he follows Brett around.

Circe: A sorceress from Homer's Odyssey, who turns Odysseus' men into swine. Cohn calls Brett Circe, and it is true that around her, men often behave terribly.

Turgenieff: Ivan Turgenev, a nineteenth century Russian novelist. Jake reads one of his books when he's drunk in Pamplona.

festival of San Fermin: The yearly religious festival at Pamplona that includes the running of the bulls and the bull-fights.

riau-riau dancers: Some of the dancers at the festival. They crowd around Brett, giving her a necklace of garlic. They don't let her dance; they want to dance around her, as though she is an idol or goddess.

picador: Near the end of the bull-fight, the picador rides in on a horse and spears the bull with a sword, to weaken it before the bull-fighter goes in for the kill.

torero: A matador or bull-fighter. He draws the bull near him with his cape work, but the grace of his movements does not hide the danger he is in. The torero is a performer; the end of his performance is the killing of the bull.

horses: What the picador rides in on. The bull often rams them while the picador spears the bull. Their death is gruesome, and Jake worries Brett will be disgusted. But it doesn't bother her, it only bothers Cohn.

phantom suitcase: After Jake sends Brett off with Romero, the world looks strange and new to him. Cohn hit him pretty hard, and Jake remembers coming home in his youth from a football game. He'd been kicked in the head during the game, and it gave him a new perspective on everything. He has that feeling again now. Jake was carrying a suitcase after the football game, so he imagines himself carrying one again now. Except he doesn't have one, and he isn't making a trip of any great distance.

muleta: Cloth attached to a stick, which the torero uses to lure the bull. Early in the bull-fight he uses a cape, and his use of the muleta signals that the kill is near.

medals: Mike, a halfhearted soldier, needed some medals to wear to a fancy dinner. He borrowed them from his tailor, but when he did not end up needing them, he gave them away to women at a nightclub. They were not worth much to him.

San Sebastian: City in the north of Spain, by the water. It is a great stopping place for lovers-Brett and Cohn take a trip here, Brett and Mike stop here when she gets sick on the train to Pamplona, then Cohn joins them. Only Jake comes here alone, after the fiesta. He is only there a few days when he receives a note from Brett asking for help.

Lourdes: Community in southwest France. The site of several religious sightings, it is popular with pilgrims. The Catholics on the train are going here.

wine-skins: A bag made from animal skin. It holds wine, and is very popular with the Basque peasants. It takes some practice to use properly, and there are several wine-drinking lessons.

Hotel Montana: The fleabag motel in Madrid where Jake finds Brett.

Madrid: Capital of Spain, the city is in the northwest part of the country. Brett and Romero traveled here, and Brett sends for Jake to come and get her when Romero leaves. Returning to help Brett, after she left him for another man, makes Jake feel ashamed of himself.

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