Published Posthumosly in 1964, A Movable Feast, Earnest Hemingway's classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, remains one of his most beloved works. Since Hemingway's personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author intended it to be published.
This volume features a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Seán Hemingway. Also included are a number of unfinished, never-before-published sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack; his first wife, Hadley; F. Scott Fitzgerald; and Ford Madox Ford, as well as insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. This restored edition brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
Born in Oak Park, illinois, in 1899, Ernest Hemingway served in the Red Cross during World War I as an Ambulance driver and was severely wounded in Italy. He moved to Paris in 1921, devoted himself to writing fiction, and soon became part of the expatriate community, along with Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Ford Madox Ford. He revolutionized American writing with his short, declarative sentences and terse prose. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, and his classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Known for his larger-than-life personality and his passions for bullfighting, and big-game hunting, he died in Ketchum, Idaho, on July 2, 1961.
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About the Author
Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.
Date of Birth:July 21, 1899
Date of Death:July 2, 1961
Place of Birth:Oak Park, Illinois
Place of Death:Ketchum, Idaho
Read an Excerpt
Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain against the big green autobus at the terminal and the Café des Amateurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run café where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness. The men and women who frequented the Amateurs stayed drunk all of the time, or all of the time they could afford it, mostly on wine which they bought by the half-liter or liter. Many strangely named apéritifs were advertised, but few people could afford them except as a foundation to build their wine drunks on. The women drunkards were called poivrottes which meant female rummies.
The Café des Amateurs was the cesspool of the rue Mouffetard, that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe. The squat toilets of the old apartment houses, one by the side of the stairs on each floor with the two cleated cement shoe-shaped elevations on each side of the aperture so a locataire would not slip, emptied into cesspools which were emptied by pumping into horse-drawn tank wagons at night. In the summer time, with all windows open, we would hear the pumping and the odor was very strong. The tank wagons were painted brown and saffron color and in the moonlight when they worked the rue Cardinal Lemoine their wheeled, horse-drawn cylinders looked like Braque paintings. No one emptied the Café des Amateurs though, and its yellowed poster stating the terms and penalties of the law against public drunkenness was as flyblown and disregarded as its clients were constant and ill-smelling.
All of the sadness of the city came suddenly with the first cold rains of winter, and there were no more tops to the high white houses as you walked but only the wet blackness of the street and the closed doors of the small shops, the herb sellers, the stationery and the newspaper shops, the midwife second class and the hotel where Verlaine had died where I had a room on the top floor where I worked.
It was either six or eight flights up to the top floor and it was very cold and I knew how much it would cost for a bundle of small twigs, three wire-wrapped packets of short, half-pencil length pieces of split pine to catch fire from the twigs, and then the bundle of half-dried lengths of hard wood that I must buy to make a fire that would warm the room. So I went to the far side of the street to look up at the roof in the rain and see if any chimneys were going, and how the smoke blew. There was no smoke and I thought about how the chimney would be cold and might not draw and of the room possibly filling with smoke, and the fuel wasted, and the money gone with it, and I walked on in the rain. I walked down past the Lycée Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St.-étienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Panthéon and cut in for shelter to the right and finally came out on the lee side of the Boulevard St.-Michel and worked on down it past the Cluny and the Boulevard St.-Germain until I came to a good café that I knew on the Place St.-Michel.
It was a pleasant café, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a café au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write. I was writing about up in Michigan and since it was a wild, cold, blowing day it was that sort of day in the story. I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could write about it better than in another. That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things. But in the story the boys were drinking and this made me thirsty and I ordered a rum St. James. This tasted wonderful on the cold day and I kept on writing, feeling very well and feeling the good Martinique rum warm me all through my body and my spirit.
A girl came in the café and sat by herself at a table near the window. She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair was black as a crow's wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek.
I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited. I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere, but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone. So I went on writing.
The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another rum St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.
I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
Then I went back to writing and I entered far into the story and was lost in it. I was writing it now and it was not writing itself and I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor order any more rum St. James. I was tired of rum St. James without thinking about it. Then the story was finished and I was very tired. I read the last paragraph and then I looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she's gone with a good man, I thought. But I felt sad.
I closed up the story in the notebook and put it in my inside pocket and I asked the waiter for a dozen portugaises and a half-carafe of the dry white wine they had there. After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.
As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.
Now that the bad weather had come, we could leave Paris for a while for a place where this rain would be snow coming down through the pines and covering the road and the high hillsides and at an altitude where we would hear it creak as we walked home at night. Below Les Avants there was a chalet where the pension was wonderful and where we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright. That was where we could go. Traveling third class on the train was not expensive. The pension cost very little more than we spent in Paris.
I would give up the room in the hotel where I wrote and there was only the rent of 74 rue Cardinal Lemoine which was nominal. I had written journalism for Toronto and the checks for that were due. I could write that anywhere under any circumstances and we had money to make the trip.
Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan. I did not know it was too early for that because I did not know Paris well enough. But that was how it worked out eventually. Anyway we would go if my wife wanted to, and I finished the oysters and the wine and paid my score in the café and made it the shortest way back up the Montagne Ste. Geneviève through the rain, that was now only local weather and not something that changed your life, to the flat at the top of the hill.
"I think it would be wonderful, Tatie," my wife said. She had a gently modeled face and her eyes and her smile lighted up at decisions as though they were rich presents. "When should we leave?"
"Whenever you want."
"Oh, I want to right away. Didn't you know?"
"Maybe it will be fine and clear when we come back. It can be very fine when it is clear and cold."
"I'm sure it will be," she said. "Weren't you good to think of going, too."
Copyright © 1964 by Ernest Hemingway Ltd.
Copyright renewed © 1992 by John H. Hemingway, Patrick Hemingway, and Gregory Hemingway
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Table of Contents
Foreword Patrick Hemingway XI
Introduction Seán Hemingway 1
1 A Good Café on the Place St.-Michel 15
2 Miss Stein Instructs 21
3 Shakespeare and Company 31
4 People of the Seine 35
5 A False Spring 41
6 The End of an Avocation 51
7 "Une Génération Perdue" 57
8 Hunger Was Good Discipline 65
9 Ford Madox Ford and the Devil's Disciple 73
10 With Pascin at the Dôme 81
11 Ezra Pound and the Measuring Worm 87
12 A Strange Enough Ending 91
13 The Man Who Was Marked for Death 95
14 Evan Shipman at the Lilas 101
15 An Agent of Evil 109
16 Winters in Schruns 113
17 Scott Fitzgerald 125
18 Hawks Do Not Share 153
19 A Matter of Measurements 161
Additional Paris Sketches
Birth of A New School 169
Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit 177
On Writing in the First Person 181
Secret Pleasures 183
A Strange Fight Club 193
The Acrid Smell of Lies 199
The Education of Mr. Bumby 203
Scott and His Parisian Chauffeur 209
The Pilot Fish and the Rich 213
Nada y Pues Nada 221
Appendix 1 Concordance of Item Numbers for Additional Paris Sketches 237
For reasons sufficient to the writer, many places, people, observations and impressions have been left out of this book. Some were secrets and some were known by everyone and everyone has written about them and will doubtless write more.
There is no mention of the Stade Anastasie where the boxers served as waiters at the tables set out under the trees and the ring was in the garden. Nor of training with Larry Gains, nor the great twenty-round fights at the Cirque d'Hiver. Nor of such good friends as Charlie Sweeny, Bill Bird and Mike Strater, nor of André Masson and Miro. There is no mention of our voyages to the Black Forest or of our one-day explorations of the forests that we loved around Paris. It would be fine if all these were in this book but we will have to do without them for now.
If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.
San Francisco de Paula, Cuba
Copyright © 1964 by Ernest Hemingway Ltd.
Copyright renewed © 1992 by John H. Ernest Hemingway, Patrick Hemingway, and Gregory Hemingway
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Whenever friends ask me why, at my age, I still love Hemingway, I smile and think about this book. They say 'Hemingway' and conjure up familiar visions of the older, bloated and blighted boozer bragging about his macho accomplishments in the world of war and sports, while I consider the young Hemingway in Paris. I am thinking of a much younger, intellectually virile man, someone far more alert, aware and alive; Hemingway as a 'moveable feast' strolling deliberately through the streets of a rain-swept Paris on a quiet Monday morning, heading to a café for some café au lait to begin his long day's labor. In this single, slim tome Hemingway beautifully and unforgettably evokes a world of beauty and innocence now so utterly lost and irretrievable both to himself, through his fame, alcohol, and dissipation, but also to us, for Paris as she was in the 1920s was a place made to order for the lyrical descriptive songs he sings about her in this remembrance; endlessly interesting, instantly unforgettable, and also accessible to the original 'starving young artist types' so well depicted here. As anyone visiting Paris today knows, that magical time and place has utterly vanished. Tragically, Paris is just another city these days. Yet this is a book that unforgettably captures the essence of what the word 'romance' means, and does so in the spare and laconic style that Hemingway developed while sitting in the bistros and watching as the world in all its colors and hues flowed by him. The stories he tells are filled with the kinds of people one usually meets only in novels, yet because of who they were and who they later became in the world of arts and letters, it is hard to doubt the veracity or honesty he uses to such advantage here. This is a portrait of an artist in full possession of his creative powers, full of the vinegary spirit and insight that made him a legend in his own time, and consequently ruined him as an artist and as a human being. There are few books I would endorse for everyone as a lifelong friend. This, however, is a book I can recommend for anyone who wants the reading enjoyment and intellectual experience Hemingway offers in such wonderful abundance in these pages. Take my advice, though. Buy it first in paper, read it until it begins to fray and fall apart (and you will), and then go out and buy yourself a new hardcover edition to adorn your shelf, so on that proverbial rainy afternoon when the house is quiet, the kids are gone, and you just want to escape from the ordinary ennui and humdrum of life, pull 'A Moveable Feast' down and hold it close enough to read. A cup of steaming tea by your side, return all by yourself to a marvelous world of blue city skyscapes, freshly washed cobblestone and unforgettable romance; return once more to Paris in the twenties, when life was simple, basic, and good.
How could I deign to rate a young master in the making? This is an amazingly open and detailed memoir of Ernest Hemingway's life in Paris during the 1920s. You see him grow as a writer, establishing his now famous writing style, in the company of rising writers, artists and other denizens of Paris. Reading this book is something like reading a locked diary; nothing is withheld. It is a window into a period of time in Paris that has its own fame and reputation. He takes you to salons and to slums, from his first wife and son to his second wife, and introduces you along the way, with great frankness, to his friends. The addenda of chapters omitted by editors of the first edition, published posthumously, makes this volume of greater interest. Read and enjoy. This is a keeper.
A sumptuous treat- from the aesthetically pleasing presentation to the lovely stories inside. The restored use of the second person reinforces the idea and the lovely feeling of Hemingway personally relating the details of wonderful places and people in Paris to you- which one may feel was the author's original design in writing his memoir. Hemingway's classic depictions of war are thrilling, but I personally feel that he is at his best when he is relating simple, leisurely events, such as going down to the cafe to pound out a story over a cafe creme, and interacting with complex, artistic, honest, occasionally depraved, but always endearing people like Ford Madox Ford, Scott Fitzgerald, the deathly poet Ernest Welsh, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Joyce, and his first wife Hadley (just to name a few, and there are many more). Here is a portrait of Hemingway in a place and among people that truly made him happy, a portrait that is genuinely and profoundly moving in both its simplicity, its honesty, and its beauty. A great many people have allowed their vision of Hemingway's Paris to be formed by watching Woody Allen's magnificent 'Midnight in Paris', and while it is magnificent, 'A Moveable Feast' conjures up a much more rich and deeply satisfying picture of this charming time and place. Some of the sketches seem somewhat extraneous, but they are a pleasure to read all the same.
How valuable and personal that Hemingway shares this tender, fleeting time of his life. These seemingly metaphoric incidents are every person's youth and innocence. I loved it. I've never been to Paris in a physical sense, but these stories have taken me there in a rich and deep way.
Ah early 20th century Paris! Land of cafes and writers. Can you imagine having a drink in a cafe while sitting across the table from Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald while discussing their latest work? A Movable Feast gives you the chance to do just that. Hemingway takes us to glamorous Paris where the writing elite of the time have all descended to fine tune their craft. This book is so awesome. It's sort of a who's who of the cafe culture of Paris during the 1920s, a time period that I'm absolutely in love with. This is really my first experience with Hemingway and as far as I know, this is one of his only non-fiction books. Even from this book with his friends and familiars as his focus, you can see why he's still so beloved by readers today. Probably my favorite parts of the books were the parts about Hemingway's family and also F. Scott Fitzgerald and his family. This book is rare as it isn't too often that you get to hear first hand information about people that I really admire like this. What I can say is that this book definitely whet my appetite to read more Hemingway.
If you are a fan of the authors of the expat movement you'll love this memoir. Hemingway exposes literary figures like Stein, and Ford Madox Ford as real people and not as literary icons. All of the style and subtle humor you expect from Hemingway is present also. Overall a wonderful quick read from an American literary icon.
This memoir is enjoyable in very profound ways. Hemingway's youth is one to be admired, despite how we feel about the pain of his later years. One can feel the nostalgia of an older writer looking back on a perfect time in his life, but in typical Hemingway fashion, not 'see' it in the book. Reading it is like eavesdropping on some of the most profound literary icons of the twentieth century, and the Parisian culture they shared. The book is very fine--immediate and impressionable.
i've spent most of my literary life thinking that Hemingway was an awesomely talented masogynist with a penchant for booze. this novel proved to me that there was more to him than his celebrity persona. this is a definite must for anyone who has ever seriously thought of becoming a writer or for anyone who has ever seriously thought of becoming a reader. hemingway writes as much about the craft and nurturing talent as he does about anything else. his observations and recollections of times spent with other well-known 20th century writers is not only entertaining, but engaging. he offers his reader something that feels like very private moments with some of the century's best writers and thinkers, most namely Scott Fitzgerald. most surprising is his tender memories of his ex-wife, hadley, and the lovely times they spent traveling in europe or just plain relaxing by the waters in france. this is a really lovely book and a definite must-read for anyone who loves hemingway, good storytelling, and 20th century american writers.
If I had not just read The Paris Wife, this book would have been difficult to follow. Hemingway spends a lot of time explaining routes he too jot and from different places. (Who really cares?) Also, there is no particular order to this book. Hemingway just jumps from one memory to another.
This is classic Hemingway at his best. The prose is crisp and clean without the ponderous multitude of adjectives that make up so much of popular literature now. Once you get into the rhythm of his sentence structure, you can become totally lost in his story. The best way to enjoy his work, I believe, is to read it aloud, whether to yourself or to others. This story took me back to the days of my junior year in Paris. I even got out a street map and searched for all the locations mentioned in the book. A great read for all time.
When I bought this book I actually had no idea that it was about Hemingway's life while living in Paris. I am going to Paris next month and this book was suggested to get a bit of history. I will try to visit some of the places like Shakespeare & Co. and Cafe Deux Magots.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/opinion/20hotchner.html?_r=5&ref=opinion Consider doing some more research on this issue, and decide for yourself.
A Moveable Feast is a short book that glances over Hemingway's years in Paris. I don't know that you could call this much of a memoir, it doesn't go into great detail, and just sort of skims over his years in Paris. It was definitely written by an older Hemingway, one who was full of himself and bitterness. The style of writing seems different. This isn't the Hemingway I know from his short stories. The narration seems almost child-like, and definitely not written as well as his short stories. But don't let me make you think I didn't enjoy this book. Hemingway is still the greatest and A Moveable Feast was a wonderful book to read, if only for his portrait of Scott Fitzgerald. And there is a lot more humor used here than in his short stories. This book didn't break into my list of favorites, but it came close. (As a sidenote, if you enjoyed reading this, or want more like it, pick up Scott Berg's biography of Maxwell Perkins, _Max Perkins: Editor of Genius_, who was Hemingway's and Fitzgerald's editor at Scribner's.)
The prose of this book is undoubtedly the most beautiful I have ever read. You can just about rip any sentence out of this beautiful book and find it to be masterfully created. Why? Because as Hemingway states in the book, 'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' The book itself covers many of the people, places, and events that found themselves in some way involved in Hemingway's life from the early to mid 1920s. A Moveable Feast provides excellent insight into the mind of the century's most influential writer. It's absolutely brilliant.
¿That¿s what you are. That¿s what you all are,¿ Miss Stein said. ¿All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.¿¿Really?¿ I said. ¿You are,¿ she insisted. ¿You have no respect for anything. You drink yourselves to death¿.¿¿Conversation between Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, p. 61 of A Moveable Feast: The Restored EditionI started out reading the restored edition of A Moveable Feast (Scribner, a division of Simon and Schuster).A Moveable Feast was posthumously published in 1964 (Hemingway died in 1961). It was unfinished at the time of his death, with undesignated chapter order. The 1964 version was put together by editors and Hemingway¿s widow (and fourth wife), Mary. This recent restored edition (published 2009), edited by Hemingway¿s grandson Seán Hemingway (I¿m guessing that with the accent mark in his name, it¿s pronounced Shane and not Shawn), has the addition of some stories not in the original; moves some chapters around; and changes some passages back to what was in the original manuscripts.It didn¿t take me very long to decide that I had to have a copy of the original version, too.So, I went back and forth between the two editions while reading. In Seán Hemingway¿s introduction to the restored edition, he discusses the changes that were made and the decisions behind them, so I did not need (or want to) read word-for-word each version for every little difference.Bottom line? I suppose if I was a serious student (i.e. doing a dissertation) of Hemingway, I could decide which one was better, but I feel that either edition would be a pleasure to read. Or, if you are curious like I am, read both!Now, let¿s move on to why I found A Moveable Feast a pleasure to read. Hemingway says in his preface (original edition; not included in the restored edition) that:¿If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.¿Whether some incidents really happened or not, I loved Hemingway¿s descriptions of the people he knew when he was in Paris in the 1920s ¿ these included Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Hemingway¿s toddler son ¿Bumby¿ had a cat, F. Puss, that kept watch over Bumby), Alice B. Toklas, Ford Madox Ford (who Hemingway heartily disliked), Picasso, and more. Hadley, Hemingway¿s first wife, has a large role in this novel, also.I also loved the conversations Hemingway had with these people ¿ they were often amusing, whether or not they actually happened as he recalls them.About meeting Scott Fitzgerald (a friend, Dunc Chaplin is with them):¿Scott, I was to find, believed that the novelist could find out what he needed to know by direct questioning of his friends and acquaintances. The interrogation was direct.¿Ernest,¿ he said. ¿You don¿t mind if I call you Ernest, do you?¿¿Ask Dunc,¿ I said.¿Don¿t be silly. This is serious. Tell me, did you and your wife sleep together before you were married?¿¿I don¿t know.¿¿What do you mean you don¿t know?¿¿I don¿t remember.¿¿But how can you not remember something of such importance?¿¿I don¿t know,¿ I said. ¿It is odd, isn¿t it?¿¿It¿s worse than odd,¿ Scott said. ¿You must be able to remember.¿¿I¿m sorry. It¿s a pity, isn¿t it?¿¿Don¿t talk like some limey,¿ he said. ¿Try to be serious and remember.¿¿Nope,¿ I said. ¿It¿s hopeless.¿¿You could make an honest effort to remember.¿The speech comes pretty high, I thought. I wondered if he gave everyone the speech, but I didn¿t think so because I had watched him sweat while he was making it.¿¿page 127, The Restored EditionOne gets the feeling from reading A Moveable Feast that Hemingway did not lead a dull life; you would not need to already know that his entire life was actually an eventful one. This was further evidenced by my recently reading Running With the Bulls, a memoir by his daughter-in-law Valerie Hemingway (and mother of Seán). Finally, I loved the feeling of being in Paris lo
I am glad that I waited until now to read this book, rather than reading it 30 years ago when I was in college. Now, I've been to Paris and I recognized so many of the places he references. The tone is colloquial and when he speaks of famous writers, there is no sense of namedropping, but rather a description of friends. I;ve never been enamored of the macho flavor of Hemingway, but this book goes a long way toward humanizing him.
"Limned in acid" is how one biographer described Hemingway's last and maybe best book, and indeed it is. Yet A Moveable Feast also captures Hemingway's extraordinary sensitivity to his internal and external environment, his fine sense of humor, and his authentic love for his first wife Hadley.
Overrated. Some call it his best. In my opinion is isn't even near his best.
I'm not entirely sure what I think of this book. It's basically a series of essays about Hemingway's early years in Paris, but there's not much of a connection between most of them, and they're not all necessarily in chronological order. But given that I read the book while in Paris, it was enjoyable to read about streets and quarters that I've been in.
I have to say I enjoyed this book more than his fiction.
This book, when I first it, really startled me with the sincerity of its author. Hemingway tells a lot about his craft, technique and psychology. I have not seen this level of opennes and straightforwardness in many of modern American writers whose works are still being read today.
Instead of doing my shopping, I spent a couple of days this week in Paris, with Hemingway in the 1920's. Oh what a time I had! In "A Moveable Feast" Hemingway recalls his days in Paris, with friends like Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Zelda. What I wouldn't give to have actually have been a fly on the wall. Sylvia Beach, owner of Shakespeare and Company, a wonderful bookstore, had a lending library, where Ernest got many of the books he carried with him on his many travels.I love the way he writes. To me it is just like listening to a real person.As he tries to write and sell his stories, he also basks in the wonder of Paris, and all the wonderful friends he made during his time there. His struggles with money and drink become more apparent as time moves on, but still he writes. His son Bumby sounds like a precocious and charming little boy, who he seems to have adored. His first wife Hadley stood with him through lean times and they seemed happiest when they had the least.The descriptions of the people, the sounds and sights of Paris made for a wonderful trip. What a better way to spend the week before Christmas...Wish you were here!This book came from my local Library!Happiest of Holidays to one and all.....
I have read it (the originally published edited edition) and referred back to it several times during the course of my ongoing education as a writer.If you access the Amazon edition you will find two scanned manuscript pages labeled 3 & 4. Those two pages contain the best advice I have ever received as a writer. First, stop while you still have something to say, second, don't think about what you wrote, let your subconscious "work on it" until the next day.Also, you will find Hemingway's famous dictum to "write one true sentence". There is more wisdom contained in those two pages than in all the other books about writing combined.I printed out the pages. Don't you just love the digital universe?
I fell in love with this book¿which was at the time my first experience of Hemingway¿when I read it a few years ago, and was very much looking forward to this new edition. Hemingway's grandson Seán Hemingway oversaw this project, and in his introduction he explains that Hemingway was continually making changes and adjustments to his text up until the end of his life, sometimes reverting to previous versions, and that he had not written a satisfactory introduction, nor a last chapter, nor found titles for the individual stories or for the book itself, these having been chosen by the editor at Sribner's before the original 1964 publication. Here the stories are presented in a different order and with Hemingway's last changes to the text taken into consideration, and best of all, we find sketches of unfinished stories which he wrote as material for the book, which of course had never been published before.I especially loved the stories about his contemporaries such a Ford Maddox Ford and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as Gertrude Stein, among many of the people referred to whom he doesn't hesitate to poke fun at. Though one senses that there is a sense of longing for what may have been simpler times for him, or at least, more youthful ones, there is a dry sense of humour throughout which gives an impression of lightheartedness even when he broaches difficult topics. The first time I read this book, I had no idea what he was talking about half the time, but was so enamoured with his famously pared down style that it didn't matter to me. This time around, maybe I was trying to find meaning too hard, which proved slightly less satisfying. I have many more books of his still to read and I'm sure that once I've read those, as well as other works by his peers, along with various other fiction and non-fiction books about the times, I'll come back to this book again and again with renewed appreciation.
I decided to read this after finishing The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein. It was amazing how different the two accounts are of the same time, place, and people. I have to say Hemingway is simply brilliant. He made me want to eat oysters even though I know I hate oysters. Every description made me feel I was there, though he clearly doesn't make a point of being descriptive. There's no real plot to the book; it's more like a series of vignettes, a travelogue almost. So, you won't be dying to find out what happens, but if you're at all interested in Paris in the 20s and writers' lives, you should read this.