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Published for the first time as Ernest Hemingway intended, one of the great writer's most enduring works: his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's 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 prepared it to be published.

Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Seán Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and his first wife, Hadley. Also included are irreverent portraits of other luminaries, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Madox Ford, and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft.

Sure to excite critics and readers alike, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.

Topics: First Person Narration, Creative Nonfiction, Allusive, 1920s, Paris, Creativity, American Author, Expat Life, Writers, Friendship, Counterculture, Lost Generation, Male Author, Modernism, Art & Artists, France, and Spare

Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9781439166451
List price: $11.99
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I liked this book. Hemingway did a good job of writing a series of interesting chapters, each of which had something unique in it. In addition, I enjoyed his well written descriptions. While I have no intention of becoming an artist, this book gave me some insight into the lives of artists.more
This was an enjoyable read. I'm partial to books about Paris, but it was also interesting to imagine all these old, legendary writers, romping around town.more
I honestly didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I know Hemingay isn't everybody's cup of tea, but apparently he's exactly my cup of tea. Yay!!more
Man, I always forget how much I love Hemingway until I start reading one of his great works. Some of the prose in this is just amazing. I forgave him for the moments of complete self indulgence because it was so easy to get wrapped up in the romance of it all. Mmmm...Hemingway.more
It's official. I'm a gossip whore. Try as I might to deny it, I love hearing the dirt on other people. It should come as no surprise then that my favorite sections of this books were about Hemingway's relationships with Gertrude Stein and (especially) F. Scott Fitzgerald. Holy crap, who knew Hemingway was a gossip whore too? The man can really dish it out. I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with the Stein christened "Lost Generation" though, so I don't know whether to take what he says with a grain or with a boulder of salt. All I know is it made for very compelling reading. It also made me want to reread The Great Gatsby (which I did not appreciate when I read it 15 years ago in high school) and other works by Fitzgerald, as well as more biographical works written about that generation of writers, poets, and artists.

I'm ashamed to say that the only other Hemingway I've read was The Old Man and the Sea. I'm now very eager to pick up some of his novels. I think A Farewell to Arms will be first, and it will be soon.more
Though I don't care much for Hemingway, in this book he seems to have come to the belated conclusion that he has, in fact, been an asshole for years. This gives the book a depth of poignant insight his other works lack. It's a wistful and lovely memoir. Get the edition with the pictures, they're worth it.more
I liked this book because of who wrote it, not because of how well-written it was. I was interested in reading this book because of all the references in it from NEVER ANY END TO PARIS by Enrique Vila-Matas. I like the way Ernest thinks. I enjoyed reading his ideas about people, writing, Paris, and his life in general. I especially enjoyed the last few segments regarding F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda, and Ernest falling for another woman and messing his perfect life up with regrets for all. But I did not love the book any more than I loved the way old Ernest died. He did make it interesting however.more
"A Moveable Feast" is Hemingway’s final attempt to mold his public persona, but he was hardly the first American author to use fiction as a vehicle for wealth, notoriety, and the construction of a macho public image. As a child of the early 20th century, it is difficult to imagine young Hemingway not being aware of the works of Jack London, a product of a difficult childhood who made his name writing about vigorous, dangerous outdoor life, military action, and sports like boxing. The public persona wasn’t always effective-- President Theodore Roosevelt, another larger-than-life macho contemporary, assailed London as a “nature faker”—but provided a template for the next generation of manly writers, of which Hemingway was the king. Hemingway’s took the mantel to new heights, most notably his achievement of the Nobel Prize, but, with the exception of his time in Paris, largely followed the Jack London path, albeit with the addition of sport hunting and deep sea fishing to the genre. The earlier author’s attempt at memoir was the 1914 "John Barleycorn," which covered virtually all of his life in the first person and identified alcohol and intellectualism as the causes of his bad behavior and downfall. Hemingway’s entry was "A Moveable Feast," which, despite having 20 more years of life and two more marriages than London had enjoyed, focused on Paris while only touching on his failures as a husband, father, and friend. The bulk of the story in "Feast" concerns Hemingway, wife Hadley, and friends as innocent and comely starving bohemians. There is never the slightest hint of marital strife, even though the narrator briefly mentions during the book that the marriage was fated to end in short order. The oblique tension of a story like Hills Like White Elephants, which was published during the time period Hemingway recalls in Feast, is completely absent from their poor, but putatively happy domestic life. They have a son, Bumby, but he makes few appearances across the narrative, and shares billing with the cat F. Puss, who Hemingway describes as Bumby’s babysitter, a startling revelation that is presented in a light-hearted way that doesn’t suggest child neglect. “There were people who said it was dangerous to leave a cat with a baby,” but no harm ever came to either, so it was perfectly fine to do this." Hemingway himself spends little time at home in the book, however, preferring travel to Italy, Spain, and Austria (though he and his young family were broke and subject to going hungry) and to write and hobnob in Parisian cafes. Hemingway was, of course, always the better man in these encounters with individuals some would consider his literary superiors: Ford Maddox Ford was far more arrogant and self-deluded than him, for instance. Fitzgerald was not only a far more pathetic drunk, but had been with only one woman, his wife, who felt that his anatomy was inadequate, two problems narrator Hemingway by implication never had. To boot, he vigorously shoots down Gertrude Stein’s accepting talk of male homosexuals, and essentially breaks with her when her own homosexuality is revealed. Hemingway is stalwart, though: When Pascin offers one of his nubile models to him as a sex partner, the married narrator gallantly declines, and does so with charm. The infidelity that ultimately ruined the marriage was in fact not his fault, but that of, “another rich using the oldest trick there is. It is that an unmarried young woman becomes the temporary best friend of another young woman who is married, goes to live with the husband and wife and then unknowingly, innocently and unrelentingly sets out to marry the husband.”Narrators are virtually always a vicarious stand-in for the reader, but Hemingway made sure of the reader’s sympathy by occasionally shifting into the second person. Significantly, virtually everyone mentioned in Feast save Hadley and Bumby were dead by the time "Feast" was written.more
Because our book club's choice for September was a Victorian novelist (ugh) I decided to try Hemingway for the first time. The first two chapters for some reason didn't click, so I started over, and then really enjoyed it. Hemingway's tendency toward run-on sentences can be distracting, but you get so wrapped up in the artistry of his writing that it doesn't really matter.more
the not so gruff side of Hemingway; a good, easy read; made me hungry and thirstymore
Hemingway and I usually don't get along, mostly because his attitudes and writing style drive me up a tree. I mostly didn't have those problems with A Moveable Feast, which is a series of stories or vignettes in which Hemingway recalls his years in Paris in the twenties. Some passages here almost make me like the man, and some of the descriptions of how things were then and there, and how he felt, are lovely. Other passages hardly held my interest. One bit with Ford Madox Ford in a bar is hilarious. Another with F. Scott Fitzgerald is terribly sad. I almost feel I ought give Hemingway's fiction another go. Almost.more
A Moveable Feast is a series of stories about Hemingway's life in Paris in the 20s with his first wife, before the publication of his first novel. Ford Madox Ford, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald all have a chapter. This is a fun Hemingway (perhaps the only one), and everything has a happy nostalgic patina, even when he's digging viciously at Zelda Fitzgerald.more
Hemingway recounts his days in Paris and interactions with other authors (such as Gertude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce). It's an interesting read that provides insight not only into Hemingway's life, but also into the life of other authors.more
Hemingway's memoir of living in Paris among the ex-pats in the 1920's, written much later and published posthumously. It's a lovely read, presenting us with a gentle romantic picture of what life was like when you were young, in love and could live on next-to-nothing. Even though this is clearly based on his life with his first wife, and the people are all real and the names have not been changed (Fitzgerald, Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach) the Scribner Classics edition contains this amazing disclaimer: "This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental." Hemingway himself, in the preface (written in 1960), puts it a bit differently: "If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction." Hemingway was a great one for the "truth" of things. So, did it all really happen the way he tells it, or didn't it? The principals are all dead now, so we'll never really know for sure. But isn't it pretty to think so?more
I read (or rather re-read) A Moveable Feast after reading The Paris Wife. It was interesting to read his perspective forty years later of his years in Paris when he was married to his first wife Hadley. They were poor and little known and Hemingway is somewhat nostalgic about those days yet not in a sentimental way. A Moveable Feast is a collection of vignettes about life in Paris and includes stories about Gertrude Stein and Scott Fitzgerald. His stories about Scott Fitzgerald were the most interesting to me.more
I read this because I read The Paris Wife (about Hemingway's first wife Hadley) Hemingway writes about life in Paris; I enjoyed reading this so close to reading The Paris Wifemore
When it comes to his accounts of F. Scott Fitzgerald, I can't help but wonder if he is competing here by offering up some unsavoury details: about the drunken hypochondriac F. Scott Fitzgerald taking to his bedcovers with worry he'd contracted consumption, about his trip with Hem to the Louvre to view classical statues to reassure himself he was of 'normal' size in manly respects, and of course Scott's troubles with Zelda. After revealing all this, he quickly sums up in a sentence or two the great and reliable friend the sober Scott was, and continued to be, for so many years.more
Has gone a long way toward my forgiving of Hemingway for that high school experience of having to read The Old Man and the Sea.more
I read this hoping that it would inspire me to become a better writer. What a disappointment! Hemingway's style obstructs; he has fallen in love with the word 'and', and his simple style grates, as if he thought the style that won so many fans with the allegorical 'Old Man and the Sea' would work just as well here, when instead it makes his memoirs seem to have been written by a man-child.Hemingway was extraordinarily lucky to have lived when he did, where he did. He at least seems to recognise this fact. I would give anything to move to Paris and live the bohemian life, treading the thin line between art and poverty; but the Paris of this book no longer exists; writing a book about it is the final nail in its coffin.more
I re-read this book after reading Paula McClain's The Paris Wife looking for Hemingway's perspective on that time in his life. What I found was regret for the ruination of his first marriage and an elegiac look at Paris in the 1920's. What I also found was the truth nasty, spiteful side of the author as he snarkily stuck the knife into the reputations and personalities of Gertrude Stein, Ford Maddox Ford, and worst of all F. Scott Fitzgerald of whose early fame his jealousy is barely concealed. This book was published posthumously, reminding one that sometimes manuscripts are best kept in the desk drawer where they are found..more
A Moveable Feast is Hemingway’s bittersweet memoir of the years (1921-1926) he spent in Paris married to his first wife, Hadley Richardson. These were the years before his big success as a writer (“when we were very poor and very happy”) and a beautiful rich young woman, named Pauline Pfeiffer, ruined it all. Paris is where Hemingway met writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound (“the man who . . . taught me to distrust adjectives as I would later learn to distrust certain people”) and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and developed his understated writing style. One of the things I loved about this book was Hemingway’s obvious passion for the craft of writing. These are some of the comments I flagged about his writing:"After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love.""All you have to do is write one true sentence."". . . my new theory that you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood." "Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do. But it was very difficult, and I did not know how I would ever write anything as long as a novel. It often took me a full morning of work to write a paragraph."Besides his writing, it is also clear that he loved Hadley but that didn’t preclude him from falling in love with Pauline Pfeiffer, a wealthy American who arrived in Paris to work for Vogue. After a rendezvous with Pauline, Hemingway writes wistfully about returning to Hadley: “When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in . . . at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.”I had trouble enjoying Hemingway’s writing in For Whom the Bell Tolls but for the most part I loved it in this book. The “for the most part” is why I didn’t give it 5 stars. Occasionally, I think he omitted too much and I couldn’t follow what he was trying to convey. Overall, I would highly recommend this book and I plan on re-reading it.more
Published posthumously in 1964. The book is a memoir of his years in Paris in the 1920s and features glimpses of Scott Fitzgerals, Gertrude Stein and tender memories of his first wife, Hadley.more
This is the absolutely most charming thing I have ever read by Ernest Hemingway. We visit Paris in the early 1920's, where he is living and attempting to make a living as a writer. He is married to his first wife and their first child has been born. He is young, happy, productive (most of the time) charming and witty. He lunches, dines and has drinks with Gertrude Stein, Ford Maddox Ford and James Joyce and takes a road trip with F. Scott Fitzgerald. The collection of anecdotes about these well known authors and his experiences with them add so much to the book.We are getting to know Hemingway, but through him, a different side of other well known authors of the time. I wished it were longer, but I think the stories become sad and for that, we have The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, do we not?Quotes:It was a very Corsican wine and you could dilute it by half with water and still receive its message.If a man liked his friends' painting or writing, I thought it was probably like those people who like their families, and it was not polite to criticize them.In Dostoyevsky there were things believable and not to be believed, but some so true they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know as you knew the landscape and the roads in Turgenev, and the movement of troops, the terrain and the officers and the men and the fighting in Tolstoi.more
I’ve just spent a lovely sojourn with Ernest Hemingway. Oh, I know he has been deceased for fifty years, but that is of no consequence. You see, he spoke to me. He returned to life once again in his memoir A Moveable Feast. As I read this enjoyable memoir I felt as if he wanted to share stories of a particularly happy time in his life and as we dined at Michaud’s in Paris or downed cocktails at The Closerie des Lilas, the nearest good café when he lived at 113 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Hem shared with me his writing techniques. Especially important was to “Write the truest sentence that you know.” He talked of his friendships with Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. His recollections of Ford Madox Ford were particularly amusing as was his road trip with Scott Fitzgerald. Tatie, as his wife called him, displays a delightfully mischievous sense of humor and I could almost detect a sparkle in his eye as he recalled the good times they shared. I got the impression that he regretted that their life together, that the luck which kept the good times coming, came to a conclusion. As Hemingway wrote this, I can’t help but wonder if the underlying sadness I perceived contributed to his death.Would I recommend it…………………Absolutely! I’m willing to bet that when you lift the cover off of this book, Hem will talk to you too. This one will hold a permanent place on my bookshelf.more
Hemingway in Paris. How irresistible. This beautifully rendered memoir, looks back to the early 20s, as the young writer, married with a small child, struggles to pay the rent in the City of Light. He also drinks and socializes with the most renowned talent of the day, including, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Ford Maddox Ford and most memorably F. Scott Fitzgerald.I’ve seen some reviews, where it’s mentioned that this slim book does not compare to his acclaimed fiction. Well, so what! This is a rare glimpse at a writer’s life, told by the aging author himself, in simple but exquisite detail. My only issue, is that it’s such a short work.more
“A Moveable Feast” is not Hemingway’s best work: it was published posthumously which is never a good thing, and was written over 1957-1960, long after his experiences in 1921-1926 France. As he himself said, “write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.” For the first half of the book or so, I was thinking my rating would be below average. It grew on me though. Hemingway’s description of a road trip he took with F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as Fitzgerald’s unhealthy relationship with his wife Zelda, is in particular memorable. Along the way he also describes visiting Gertrude Stein and overhearing an emotional scene with her lesbian lover, the generosity of Ezra Pound in forming the Bel Esprit, and bringing opium to Ralph Cheever Dunning only to have Dunning pelt him with milk bottles, among other things. There are some nine photos included as well which is a nice touch, it adds to the feeling that you are sitting around the elderly Hemingway as he tells the stories of his youth. He would commit suicide a year later.Quotes:On Paris, and what prompts the title:“If you are lucky enough to have livedIn Paris as a young man, then wherever youGo for the rest of your life, it stays withYou, for Paris is a moveable feast.”On adultery:“First it is stimulating and fun and it goes on that way for a while. All things truly wicked start from an innocence. So you live day by day and enjoy what you have and do not worry. You lie and hate it and it destroys you and every day is more dangerous, but you live day to day as in war.”On the Russians:“In Dostoyevsky there were things believable and not to be believed, but some so true that they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know as you knew the landscape and the roads in Turgenev, and the movement of troops, the terrain and the officers and the men and the fighting in Tolstoi.”On skiing:“Skiing was not the way it is now, the spinal fracture had not become common then, and no one could afford a broken leg. There were no ski patrols. Anything you ran down from, you had to climb up. That gave you legs that were fit to run down with.”On spotting a beautiful girl in a café:“…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.”On talent (Fitzgerald’s):“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.”On writing:“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”On youth:“I had to try to think it out and I was too stupid. Life had seemed so simple that morning when I had wakened and found the false spring and heard the pipes of the man with his herd of goats and gone out and bought the racing paper.But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”more
I bookcrossed this years ago, and now I wish I had not. I have a fairly extensive review somewhere that I will insert here at a later date.more
My God, if you're a writer or hoping to be -- you will love this book! A short time ago I was rereading this, and I'm just struck by how enjoyable it is. Maybe it's even one of the reasons I set out to be a writer in the first place.These are sketches of Hemingway's early days in Paris as he joined other expatriate writers and artists living there. Need I say more? How about that he recalls meeting the likes of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald, and that the writing is quite beautifully understated and so easy to read.What do I think of Hemingway, in general? In my opinion, he remains a model for that whole Raymond Chandler/James Cain school of noir writers.Hemingway's short stories remain vital and are wonders of economy and understatement. If you pick up Hemingway's Collected Stories, here's a few I recommend:"The Killers""A Clean, Well-lighted Place""Indian Camp""The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"Hemingway, more or less, invented "minimalism." Just remember that when you're reading Raymond Carver stories. Bukowski has said that Hemingway was his model, too (only that Buk's work is less crafted and more intentionally primitive -- and injected with more vulgarity and humor). That Hemingway-esque striped-down, simple use of language is something that we (as writers) should all try to go for. Simple is always better.What's interesting about Hemingway is that his writing is minimal yet also concrete. He uses language to evoke the physical, tactile experience of his characters, which very unlike the work of most well-known minimalist writers like Chuck Palahniuk, whose work, in my opinion, is more sketchy, with characters who are less real and three-dimensional.Hemingway's novels have aged less well, in my opinion. The descriptive parts in all his books remain beautiful, but the terse dialogue and macho posturing/simplicity has dated them. We hardly ever get inside the heads of the characters and are subjected to view them from the outside, understanding them only from their limited behavior and dialogue (like in a movie). Others might disagree with my assessment.Getting back to Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST, it's highly recommended for all the impractical dreamers out there, like myself, in love with the romance 1920s Paris and the "Writing Life."more
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Reviews

I liked this book. Hemingway did a good job of writing a series of interesting chapters, each of which had something unique in it. In addition, I enjoyed his well written descriptions. While I have no intention of becoming an artist, this book gave me some insight into the lives of artists.more
This was an enjoyable read. I'm partial to books about Paris, but it was also interesting to imagine all these old, legendary writers, romping around town.more
I honestly didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I know Hemingay isn't everybody's cup of tea, but apparently he's exactly my cup of tea. Yay!!more
Man, I always forget how much I love Hemingway until I start reading one of his great works. Some of the prose in this is just amazing. I forgave him for the moments of complete self indulgence because it was so easy to get wrapped up in the romance of it all. Mmmm...Hemingway.more
It's official. I'm a gossip whore. Try as I might to deny it, I love hearing the dirt on other people. It should come as no surprise then that my favorite sections of this books were about Hemingway's relationships with Gertrude Stein and (especially) F. Scott Fitzgerald. Holy crap, who knew Hemingway was a gossip whore too? The man can really dish it out. I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with the Stein christened "Lost Generation" though, so I don't know whether to take what he says with a grain or with a boulder of salt. All I know is it made for very compelling reading. It also made me want to reread The Great Gatsby (which I did not appreciate when I read it 15 years ago in high school) and other works by Fitzgerald, as well as more biographical works written about that generation of writers, poets, and artists.

I'm ashamed to say that the only other Hemingway I've read was The Old Man and the Sea. I'm now very eager to pick up some of his novels. I think A Farewell to Arms will be first, and it will be soon.more
Though I don't care much for Hemingway, in this book he seems to have come to the belated conclusion that he has, in fact, been an asshole for years. This gives the book a depth of poignant insight his other works lack. It's a wistful and lovely memoir. Get the edition with the pictures, they're worth it.more
I liked this book because of who wrote it, not because of how well-written it was. I was interested in reading this book because of all the references in it from NEVER ANY END TO PARIS by Enrique Vila-Matas. I like the way Ernest thinks. I enjoyed reading his ideas about people, writing, Paris, and his life in general. I especially enjoyed the last few segments regarding F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda, and Ernest falling for another woman and messing his perfect life up with regrets for all. But I did not love the book any more than I loved the way old Ernest died. He did make it interesting however.more
"A Moveable Feast" is Hemingway’s final attempt to mold his public persona, but he was hardly the first American author to use fiction as a vehicle for wealth, notoriety, and the construction of a macho public image. As a child of the early 20th century, it is difficult to imagine young Hemingway not being aware of the works of Jack London, a product of a difficult childhood who made his name writing about vigorous, dangerous outdoor life, military action, and sports like boxing. The public persona wasn’t always effective-- President Theodore Roosevelt, another larger-than-life macho contemporary, assailed London as a “nature faker”—but provided a template for the next generation of manly writers, of which Hemingway was the king. Hemingway’s took the mantel to new heights, most notably his achievement of the Nobel Prize, but, with the exception of his time in Paris, largely followed the Jack London path, albeit with the addition of sport hunting and deep sea fishing to the genre. The earlier author’s attempt at memoir was the 1914 "John Barleycorn," which covered virtually all of his life in the first person and identified alcohol and intellectualism as the causes of his bad behavior and downfall. Hemingway’s entry was "A Moveable Feast," which, despite having 20 more years of life and two more marriages than London had enjoyed, focused on Paris while only touching on his failures as a husband, father, and friend. The bulk of the story in "Feast" concerns Hemingway, wife Hadley, and friends as innocent and comely starving bohemians. There is never the slightest hint of marital strife, even though the narrator briefly mentions during the book that the marriage was fated to end in short order. The oblique tension of a story like Hills Like White Elephants, which was published during the time period Hemingway recalls in Feast, is completely absent from their poor, but putatively happy domestic life. They have a son, Bumby, but he makes few appearances across the narrative, and shares billing with the cat F. Puss, who Hemingway describes as Bumby’s babysitter, a startling revelation that is presented in a light-hearted way that doesn’t suggest child neglect. “There were people who said it was dangerous to leave a cat with a baby,” but no harm ever came to either, so it was perfectly fine to do this." Hemingway himself spends little time at home in the book, however, preferring travel to Italy, Spain, and Austria (though he and his young family were broke and subject to going hungry) and to write and hobnob in Parisian cafes. Hemingway was, of course, always the better man in these encounters with individuals some would consider his literary superiors: Ford Maddox Ford was far more arrogant and self-deluded than him, for instance. Fitzgerald was not only a far more pathetic drunk, but had been with only one woman, his wife, who felt that his anatomy was inadequate, two problems narrator Hemingway by implication never had. To boot, he vigorously shoots down Gertrude Stein’s accepting talk of male homosexuals, and essentially breaks with her when her own homosexuality is revealed. Hemingway is stalwart, though: When Pascin offers one of his nubile models to him as a sex partner, the married narrator gallantly declines, and does so with charm. The infidelity that ultimately ruined the marriage was in fact not his fault, but that of, “another rich using the oldest trick there is. It is that an unmarried young woman becomes the temporary best friend of another young woman who is married, goes to live with the husband and wife and then unknowingly, innocently and unrelentingly sets out to marry the husband.”Narrators are virtually always a vicarious stand-in for the reader, but Hemingway made sure of the reader’s sympathy by occasionally shifting into the second person. Significantly, virtually everyone mentioned in Feast save Hadley and Bumby were dead by the time "Feast" was written.more
Because our book club's choice for September was a Victorian novelist (ugh) I decided to try Hemingway for the first time. The first two chapters for some reason didn't click, so I started over, and then really enjoyed it. Hemingway's tendency toward run-on sentences can be distracting, but you get so wrapped up in the artistry of his writing that it doesn't really matter.more
the not so gruff side of Hemingway; a good, easy read; made me hungry and thirstymore
Hemingway and I usually don't get along, mostly because his attitudes and writing style drive me up a tree. I mostly didn't have those problems with A Moveable Feast, which is a series of stories or vignettes in which Hemingway recalls his years in Paris in the twenties. Some passages here almost make me like the man, and some of the descriptions of how things were then and there, and how he felt, are lovely. Other passages hardly held my interest. One bit with Ford Madox Ford in a bar is hilarious. Another with F. Scott Fitzgerald is terribly sad. I almost feel I ought give Hemingway's fiction another go. Almost.more
A Moveable Feast is a series of stories about Hemingway's life in Paris in the 20s with his first wife, before the publication of his first novel. Ford Madox Ford, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald all have a chapter. This is a fun Hemingway (perhaps the only one), and everything has a happy nostalgic patina, even when he's digging viciously at Zelda Fitzgerald.more
Hemingway recounts his days in Paris and interactions with other authors (such as Gertude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce). It's an interesting read that provides insight not only into Hemingway's life, but also into the life of other authors.more
Hemingway's memoir of living in Paris among the ex-pats in the 1920's, written much later and published posthumously. It's a lovely read, presenting us with a gentle romantic picture of what life was like when you were young, in love and could live on next-to-nothing. Even though this is clearly based on his life with his first wife, and the people are all real and the names have not been changed (Fitzgerald, Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach) the Scribner Classics edition contains this amazing disclaimer: "This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental." Hemingway himself, in the preface (written in 1960), puts it a bit differently: "If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction." Hemingway was a great one for the "truth" of things. So, did it all really happen the way he tells it, or didn't it? The principals are all dead now, so we'll never really know for sure. But isn't it pretty to think so?more
I read (or rather re-read) A Moveable Feast after reading The Paris Wife. It was interesting to read his perspective forty years later of his years in Paris when he was married to his first wife Hadley. They were poor and little known and Hemingway is somewhat nostalgic about those days yet not in a sentimental way. A Moveable Feast is a collection of vignettes about life in Paris and includes stories about Gertrude Stein and Scott Fitzgerald. His stories about Scott Fitzgerald were the most interesting to me.more
I read this because I read The Paris Wife (about Hemingway's first wife Hadley) Hemingway writes about life in Paris; I enjoyed reading this so close to reading The Paris Wifemore
When it comes to his accounts of F. Scott Fitzgerald, I can't help but wonder if he is competing here by offering up some unsavoury details: about the drunken hypochondriac F. Scott Fitzgerald taking to his bedcovers with worry he'd contracted consumption, about his trip with Hem to the Louvre to view classical statues to reassure himself he was of 'normal' size in manly respects, and of course Scott's troubles with Zelda. After revealing all this, he quickly sums up in a sentence or two the great and reliable friend the sober Scott was, and continued to be, for so many years.more
Has gone a long way toward my forgiving of Hemingway for that high school experience of having to read The Old Man and the Sea.more
I read this hoping that it would inspire me to become a better writer. What a disappointment! Hemingway's style obstructs; he has fallen in love with the word 'and', and his simple style grates, as if he thought the style that won so many fans with the allegorical 'Old Man and the Sea' would work just as well here, when instead it makes his memoirs seem to have been written by a man-child.Hemingway was extraordinarily lucky to have lived when he did, where he did. He at least seems to recognise this fact. I would give anything to move to Paris and live the bohemian life, treading the thin line between art and poverty; but the Paris of this book no longer exists; writing a book about it is the final nail in its coffin.more
I re-read this book after reading Paula McClain's The Paris Wife looking for Hemingway's perspective on that time in his life. What I found was regret for the ruination of his first marriage and an elegiac look at Paris in the 1920's. What I also found was the truth nasty, spiteful side of the author as he snarkily stuck the knife into the reputations and personalities of Gertrude Stein, Ford Maddox Ford, and worst of all F. Scott Fitzgerald of whose early fame his jealousy is barely concealed. This book was published posthumously, reminding one that sometimes manuscripts are best kept in the desk drawer where they are found..more
A Moveable Feast is Hemingway’s bittersweet memoir of the years (1921-1926) he spent in Paris married to his first wife, Hadley Richardson. These were the years before his big success as a writer (“when we were very poor and very happy”) and a beautiful rich young woman, named Pauline Pfeiffer, ruined it all. Paris is where Hemingway met writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound (“the man who . . . taught me to distrust adjectives as I would later learn to distrust certain people”) and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and developed his understated writing style. One of the things I loved about this book was Hemingway’s obvious passion for the craft of writing. These are some of the comments I flagged about his writing:"After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love.""All you have to do is write one true sentence."". . . my new theory that you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood." "Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do. But it was very difficult, and I did not know how I would ever write anything as long as a novel. It often took me a full morning of work to write a paragraph."Besides his writing, it is also clear that he loved Hadley but that didn’t preclude him from falling in love with Pauline Pfeiffer, a wealthy American who arrived in Paris to work for Vogue. After a rendezvous with Pauline, Hemingway writes wistfully about returning to Hadley: “When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in . . . at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.”I had trouble enjoying Hemingway’s writing in For Whom the Bell Tolls but for the most part I loved it in this book. The “for the most part” is why I didn’t give it 5 stars. Occasionally, I think he omitted too much and I couldn’t follow what he was trying to convey. Overall, I would highly recommend this book and I plan on re-reading it.more
Published posthumously in 1964. The book is a memoir of his years in Paris in the 1920s and features glimpses of Scott Fitzgerals, Gertrude Stein and tender memories of his first wife, Hadley.more
This is the absolutely most charming thing I have ever read by Ernest Hemingway. We visit Paris in the early 1920's, where he is living and attempting to make a living as a writer. He is married to his first wife and their first child has been born. He is young, happy, productive (most of the time) charming and witty. He lunches, dines and has drinks with Gertrude Stein, Ford Maddox Ford and James Joyce and takes a road trip with F. Scott Fitzgerald. The collection of anecdotes about these well known authors and his experiences with them add so much to the book.We are getting to know Hemingway, but through him, a different side of other well known authors of the time. I wished it were longer, but I think the stories become sad and for that, we have The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, do we not?Quotes:It was a very Corsican wine and you could dilute it by half with water and still receive its message.If a man liked his friends' painting or writing, I thought it was probably like those people who like their families, and it was not polite to criticize them.In Dostoyevsky there were things believable and not to be believed, but some so true they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know as you knew the landscape and the roads in Turgenev, and the movement of troops, the terrain and the officers and the men and the fighting in Tolstoi.more
I’ve just spent a lovely sojourn with Ernest Hemingway. Oh, I know he has been deceased for fifty years, but that is of no consequence. You see, he spoke to me. He returned to life once again in his memoir A Moveable Feast. As I read this enjoyable memoir I felt as if he wanted to share stories of a particularly happy time in his life and as we dined at Michaud’s in Paris or downed cocktails at The Closerie des Lilas, the nearest good café when he lived at 113 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Hem shared with me his writing techniques. Especially important was to “Write the truest sentence that you know.” He talked of his friendships with Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. His recollections of Ford Madox Ford were particularly amusing as was his road trip with Scott Fitzgerald. Tatie, as his wife called him, displays a delightfully mischievous sense of humor and I could almost detect a sparkle in his eye as he recalled the good times they shared. I got the impression that he regretted that their life together, that the luck which kept the good times coming, came to a conclusion. As Hemingway wrote this, I can’t help but wonder if the underlying sadness I perceived contributed to his death.Would I recommend it…………………Absolutely! I’m willing to bet that when you lift the cover off of this book, Hem will talk to you too. This one will hold a permanent place on my bookshelf.more
Hemingway in Paris. How irresistible. This beautifully rendered memoir, looks back to the early 20s, as the young writer, married with a small child, struggles to pay the rent in the City of Light. He also drinks and socializes with the most renowned talent of the day, including, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Ford Maddox Ford and most memorably F. Scott Fitzgerald.I’ve seen some reviews, where it’s mentioned that this slim book does not compare to his acclaimed fiction. Well, so what! This is a rare glimpse at a writer’s life, told by the aging author himself, in simple but exquisite detail. My only issue, is that it’s such a short work.more
“A Moveable Feast” is not Hemingway’s best work: it was published posthumously which is never a good thing, and was written over 1957-1960, long after his experiences in 1921-1926 France. As he himself said, “write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.” For the first half of the book or so, I was thinking my rating would be below average. It grew on me though. Hemingway’s description of a road trip he took with F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as Fitzgerald’s unhealthy relationship with his wife Zelda, is in particular memorable. Along the way he also describes visiting Gertrude Stein and overhearing an emotional scene with her lesbian lover, the generosity of Ezra Pound in forming the Bel Esprit, and bringing opium to Ralph Cheever Dunning only to have Dunning pelt him with milk bottles, among other things. There are some nine photos included as well which is a nice touch, it adds to the feeling that you are sitting around the elderly Hemingway as he tells the stories of his youth. He would commit suicide a year later.Quotes:On Paris, and what prompts the title:“If you are lucky enough to have livedIn Paris as a young man, then wherever youGo for the rest of your life, it stays withYou, for Paris is a moveable feast.”On adultery:“First it is stimulating and fun and it goes on that way for a while. All things truly wicked start from an innocence. So you live day by day and enjoy what you have and do not worry. You lie and hate it and it destroys you and every day is more dangerous, but you live day to day as in war.”On the Russians:“In Dostoyevsky there were things believable and not to be believed, but some so true that they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know as you knew the landscape and the roads in Turgenev, and the movement of troops, the terrain and the officers and the men and the fighting in Tolstoi.”On skiing:“Skiing was not the way it is now, the spinal fracture had not become common then, and no one could afford a broken leg. There were no ski patrols. Anything you ran down from, you had to climb up. That gave you legs that were fit to run down with.”On spotting a beautiful girl in a café:“…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.”On talent (Fitzgerald’s):“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.”On writing:“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”On youth:“I had to try to think it out and I was too stupid. Life had seemed so simple that morning when I had wakened and found the false spring and heard the pipes of the man with his herd of goats and gone out and bought the racing paper.But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”more
I bookcrossed this years ago, and now I wish I had not. I have a fairly extensive review somewhere that I will insert here at a later date.more
My God, if you're a writer or hoping to be -- you will love this book! A short time ago I was rereading this, and I'm just struck by how enjoyable it is. Maybe it's even one of the reasons I set out to be a writer in the first place.These are sketches of Hemingway's early days in Paris as he joined other expatriate writers and artists living there. Need I say more? How about that he recalls meeting the likes of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald, and that the writing is quite beautifully understated and so easy to read.What do I think of Hemingway, in general? In my opinion, he remains a model for that whole Raymond Chandler/James Cain school of noir writers.Hemingway's short stories remain vital and are wonders of economy and understatement. If you pick up Hemingway's Collected Stories, here's a few I recommend:"The Killers""A Clean, Well-lighted Place""Indian Camp""The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"Hemingway, more or less, invented "minimalism." Just remember that when you're reading Raymond Carver stories. Bukowski has said that Hemingway was his model, too (only that Buk's work is less crafted and more intentionally primitive -- and injected with more vulgarity and humor). That Hemingway-esque striped-down, simple use of language is something that we (as writers) should all try to go for. Simple is always better.What's interesting about Hemingway is that his writing is minimal yet also concrete. He uses language to evoke the physical, tactile experience of his characters, which very unlike the work of most well-known minimalist writers like Chuck Palahniuk, whose work, in my opinion, is more sketchy, with characters who are less real and three-dimensional.Hemingway's novels have aged less well, in my opinion. The descriptive parts in all his books remain beautiful, but the terse dialogue and macho posturing/simplicity has dated them. We hardly ever get inside the heads of the characters and are subjected to view them from the outside, understanding them only from their limited behavior and dialogue (like in a movie). Others might disagree with my assessment.Getting back to Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST, it's highly recommended for all the impractical dreamers out there, like myself, in love with the romance 1920s Paris and the "Writing Life."more
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