In the years after the First World War, significant changes took place. The United States is becoming the number one global leader. This leadership also has its dimensions in the field of culture. Art becomes a commodity. Gifted American writers are getting incredibly rich. Literature makes them known as movie stars. It's starting the age of jazz. Her symbols are young, smart and beautiful artists. They are in love with glamor and fun. They are on the covers of every magazine. The most famous of these are Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.


The doyen of the generation is Hemingway, while Fitzgerald is the herald of the new age. The author of The Great Gatsby, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, writes: "It was an era of miracles, it was an era of art, it was an era of extremes!"


"We have become the most powerful nation. Who could tell us what is fashionable and what is fun? On its way to decency, the word jazz originally meant sex, then dance and only then music. It is semantically connected with the idea of ​​a state of nervous excitement. Culture follows money, and no aesthetic grace will prevent it from changing its throne.


Although "culture follows money", old-fashioned post-war Europe continues to attract American "young lions" from the "jazz era". The house at 27 Floreux Street in Paris is their center of attraction. There, in the salon of the patroness of modern art, Gertrude Stein, the present and future greats of American literature gather. Regular visitors are Hemingway, Fitzgerald and John Dos Pasos, poets Thomas S. Elliott, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane and Archibald McLeish. They are accompanied by European artists - modernists of the rank of Picasso, Braque and Mathis.


Gertrude Stein once addressed her visiting young Americans with the words: "You are all a lost generation!". This becomes the catchphrase. She describes with clinical accuracy the timelessness in which the former participants in the bloody World War reside. Returning from the front, too young, but having experienced all sorts of horrors, they quickly become successful people.

Gertrude Stein in his studio in Paris and her portrait painted by Pablo Picasso

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But what does success mean? What does it mean? Under the age of thirty, to make a lot of money, which you can then waste aimlessly on alcohol, women and base entertainment? And where is the romance, where is the duty of the artist, where is the spirituality in all this? As Fitzgerald shares: “By this time we were all entangled in our healthy way of life; and the age of jazz continued; we ordered another one. "


Ernest Hemingway best describes the aimless state of his "lost generation" in his novel The Sun Rises / Fiesta / (in Bulgaria it is also translated as "And the Sun Rises"). This is a novel - a diagnosis. The work is significant because Hemingway's dream of becoming a great writer came true. This novel becomes a symbol of America's "lost generation." Even such is his working title - "Lost Generation". Then Hemingway changed it to Fiesta, until he finally stopped at Sunrise.

The group of friends in Spain who inspired the writing of the short story "The Sun Rises" 

He started writing it on his 26th birthday, finishing it for a few weeks, then leaving it to "mature" and significantly "trimming" it. It comes out a year later. Hemingway is known for writing very fast. His style was telegraphic, schooled in the early postwar years, when the young man worked as a newspaper correspondent. His statement is: "Prose is architecture, not decorative art, and the Baroque era is over." This justifies his hatred of gingerbread and decorative style.


Hemingway avoided any unnecessary words in his texts. He explains it with his own "Iceberg theory". "The greatness with which the iceberg swims is due to the fact that only one-eighth of it is above the water and can be seen. Impressive are those seven eights that are not visible. ”At first glance, Hemingway's style is casual, his descriptions are often uninteresting, but it's all about camouflage. Beneath it lies a very different, symbolic poetics of expression (the "seven eights of the iceberg"), which must be anticipated and deciphered. "You can miss a lot of what you write about, provided you know what you missed and then the reader will feel it, even if it is missed." (Hemingway)


One such work, The Iceberg, in which there is much "missed" for feeling, is Hemingway's Sun Rises. Her motto is the words of Gertrude Stein: "You are all a lost generation." It is about a group of young artists who cannot find their place in the world around them. They have the financial security to go around bars and restaurants non-stop, where they get drunk to oblivion. In the morning, when the "sun rises", it all starts again. Without purpose and direction.


The characters move from city to city on an adventure hunt. They go fishing in the Basque Country, Spain, on a bullfight in Pamplona, ​​but they live in Paris. They are young American writers who have sought creative inspiration from the Latin Quarter of the French capital. However, nothing creative and inspiring happens to them there. The relations between them are not flattering at all: “You are a fatherless man! You have no roots! You have become mannered! The artificial European norms have ruined you! Drunkenness will lead you to the grave! Sex is a fixed idea for you. You just talk, you don't work. Because you are a homeless person, do you understand? You hang out in cafes.


The characters are completely vicious. There is a very beautiful woman in their company - the Englishwoman Brett, with whom everyone is supposedly in love. However, their wickedness is so great that they are incapable of true love. They are incapable of any attachment, their fascination with Brett is only declarative. And when someone appears in the company who really falls in love with Brett and is ready for anything in the name of his love - the others turn against him and hate him.


The American Jew Robert Cohen is the only valuable person in the novel capable of something real, against the background of all the falsehood. Cohen is what the author, speaking on behalf of his character Jake, wants to be. He wants to, but he can't because of his corruption. Because the author is also part of that "lost generation" that has no purpose in front of it, does not know why to live or why to die. Significant is the finale of the novel: "Jake, Jake," said Brett, "how good it could have been for us together!" The novel "Sun Rises" radiates hopelessness, a consequence of public falsehood and corruption.


In his more mature years, Hemingway showed empathy for worthy causes. During the Spanish Civil War, he defended the weak and the unjust. Then he perceived his role as a great writer in a different way. But then already, with the age of jazz, is over. America's "lost generation" rediscovers the value in itself and finds its place in the world.

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