By far my favorite writer is Ernest Hemingway and my favorite novel is The Sun Also Rises. So far I must have read the book over thirty times. There was one summer when I was a young man and trying to find my voice as a writer that I read The Sun Also Rises at least six times. I would read it and put it away and then become lonely for the characters and read the book again.
I was amazed that an entire novel could be written in that athletic, stripped-down, concrete language Hemingway used. I have never come across another novel that used such a whirlwind of down to earth surface action “to map the inner, emotional landscape” of its wonderfully individualized characters. These were real people. Not because the author told you they were real but because he showed you through their actions that they were real. The characters, even the animals and the landscape, projected the themes of the novel. There was very little exposition in the book; hardly anything is explained. It was all so real. It was all so life like.
So, even though I’m committed to the flash fiction form, it was The Sun Also Rises that showed me how to project my vision of humankind within the confines of 1,000 words.