The Paris Review

Reading and Eating Paris

All images from Hazel and Hewstone Raymenton’s travel journal, England and France, July 1914. By permission of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.

Memories of Paris are entwined with its eateries. From Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to expatriates’ essays in the New York Times following the terrorist attacks in November 2015, writers have shown how their lives in Paris are marked by its restaurants, bakeries, and markets. Hemingway’s account of his postwar Parisian life uses food to define his days, his success, and his relationships. His struggle to find outlets for his fiction is linked with the tantalizing “bakery shops” that “had such good things in the windows and people [eating] outside at tables on the sidewalk so that you saw and smelled the food.” He recounts meeting authors and artists for aperitifs or champagne, explaining that “drinking wine … was as natural as eating and to me as necessary, and I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking either wine or cider or beer.” He wrote in cafés amid the “smell of café crèmes.” A century later, news of the November attacks brought nostalgia for one writer, who, no longer in Paris, recalled the market “beckoning with the smell of roasting chickens” and “the flash of bright fruit against stark winter skies.” Another essayist described his decision, days later, to seek out the farmers and vendors of his local market. Its reopening, he

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