Me and Hemingway go way back – “A Moveable Feast”

October 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm 7 comments

A Moveable Feast

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A Moveable Feastby Ernest Hemingway, Published in 1964

I am going to admit here and now that I have always struggled with Hemingway. I know, I know this is like admitting that you are illiterate and ignorant and possibly crazy all at the same time.  If I could explain this problem of mine I feel like it would be the first step to recovering but alas, I don’t know what my problem is.  Summary: Hemingway is dry, he writes without nuance and yet with his straight forward style sometimes he spends a lot of time dancing around the point.  But I have continued to try because I have always thought that I am going to one day just wake up and get Hemingway. “A Moveable Feast” finally worked its magic.

As everyone knows this is Hemingway’s memoirs about his years in Paris in the 1920s.  What I love about these memoirs most is what they made me do.  Because of his descriptions of sitting in cafes and just writing, I started taking a lunch, once a week, out of the office, alone.  Hemingway’s reflective lifestyle (at least during this part of his life) made me want to stop a bit and just have a little time to just be – no toddler, no clients, no guilt.  And that is how I read this book, over a sandwich and a coffee for thirty minutes at a time. It was a great experience.  It was also fun to get Hemingway’s take on Hadley (his first wife). Though she makes a limited appearance, after reading “The Paris Wife” it was interesting to get his prospective. It was also amazing to hear about Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein.  Hemingway throughout seems dutifully unimpressed and yet, less arrogant than I had supposed. And as always happens to me, this book made me wish I lived in Paris. But that, my friends, is a whole other problem.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” – Ernest 


Entry filed under: October 2011 reads. Tags: , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary  |  October 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Have you read “The Sun Also Rises”? That’s one of my faaaaaavorite books.

  • 2. Emily C  |  October 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Yes, not in a long time though. I need to read it again.

  • 3. themisanthropologist  |  October 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    A Moveable Feast is my favorite Hemingway book. The good thing about it is, it’s not a novel, so you can read it a little at a time, like what you did. I had recently been very fortunate to have been able to read this again while I was in Paris and reading it while you’re there just adds to its magic. I had also bought my new copy at Shakespeare and Company, the bookstore he talks about in one of the chapters. It’s wonderful!

    • 4. Emily C  |  October 24, 2011 at 8:41 am

      I read Razor’s Edge in Paris and it will forever be one of my favorite reading experiences. Though going to Shakespeare and Company is something I wish I had done. If I make it back A Moveable Feast will have to go with me so I can read it again. Thank you for your comment and happy reading.

  • […] Me and Hemingway go way back – “A Moveable Feast” ( […]

  • 6. ClaireMcA  |  October 31, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Definitely must read it now after ‘The Paris Wife’ and should take a train to Paris some day, its only 3 hours away and I haven’t been for many, many years. I’m also slow reading ‘Gertrude and Alice’ which is equally interesting, they were well settled in Paris and everyone passes through their salon including many struggling painters whom they support.

    Thanks for visiting my blog too.

    • 7. Emily C  |  October 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      I will have to check out “Gertrude and Alice” – they were very amazing women. Your blog was very fun and I enjoyed reading it.


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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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