Hemingway

S1 E1 | CLIP

The Inspiration Behind 'The Sun Also Rises'

In 1925, Ernest and Hadley Hemingway traveled to Pamplona for the annual running of the bulls. While following the bullfights across Spain, Hemingway would write "The Sun Also Rises," told from the perspective of character Jake Barnes, a war veteran, and inspired by events that transpired during their time in Pamplona with friends.

AIRED: April 05, 2021 | 0:02:14
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TRANSCRIPT

- [Narrator] In the summer of 1925,

leaving Bumby with a nanny,

the Hemingways returned to Pamplona

for the annual Running of the Bulls.

With them went a group of five American and British friends,

including the seductive Lady Duff Twysden.

"Everybody was drinking all the time,

and everybody was having affairs

all the time," Hadley remembered.

"I found it sort of upsetting."

Afterwards, Ernest and Hadley continued

to follow the bullfights across Spain.

Valencia, Madrid, San Sebastian.

And as they traveled,

aboard trains and buses,

on restaurant tables and in hotel rooms at night,

he worked feverishly on a novel,

inspired by the turbulent time they'd had

with their friends in Pamplona.

It would be called "The Sun Also Rises."

The first draft was finished in just eight weeks.

It would be a clear-eyed and sardonic portrait

of what Gertrude Stein called the Lost Generation,

men and women scarred by the Great War,

who did their best to erase its memory.

The narrator, a newspaperman from Kansas City,

was first named Hem,

before he became Jake Barnes.

Barnes is a war veteran with a mysterious

and unexplained wound that has made him impotent.

(Mario speaks in foreign language)

- [Jake] Outside a night train,

running on the streetcar tracks,

went by carrying vegetables to the markets.

They were noisy at night,

when you could not sleep.

Undressing, I looked at myself in the mirror

of the big armoire beside the bed.

Of all the ways to be wounded.

(forlorn orchestral music)

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