From: Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Wednesday 30 October 2019 14:00

‘Good. Coffee is good for you. It’s the caffeine in it. Caffeine, we are here. Caffeine puts a man on her horse and a woman in his grave. You know what’s the trouble with you? You’re an expatriate. One of the worst type. Haven’t you heard that? Nobody that ever left their own country ever wrote anything worth printing. Not even in the newspapers.’

 He drank the coffee.

 ‘You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés.’ 

 I read The Sun Also Rises in Kiev in the early 1990s, where the weather, the food, the wine and the bullfighting fell short of the Spanish ideal. Still I was a writer and a reporter and an expat and I suppose these lines appealed to me because they were self-hating and egoistic at the same time.