Thursday, June 12, 2014
The Paris Memoirs:: A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Written by Ernest Hemingway in the last years of his life, these memoirs reflect on his time as an expat in 1920's Paris. Between struggling to produce writing, making friends with the artists and writers in Paris, and navigating his relationship with his wife- A Moveable Feast takes you to the world of the Lost Generation.
This is a lovely and wistful look at 1920's Paris. It is evident that it is written by an older man, slowly losing his mental abilities looking back at his youth. To me, this gave the book the sort of shiny quality of looking back in time. It is a book of short moments, chapters that tell of little conversations between Hemingway and other expats. You meet Gertrude Stein, Ford Maddox Ford, and Sylvia Beach. The last 1/3 or so was spent recounting his experiences with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. As much as the book is dream-like, it is also honest and critical. Hemingway spares no one of his memories of them and many of the literary figures who are in his book aren't always displayed in a glowing light. In many ways, the reader, especially one that knows the quirks of Hemingway himself is left to make their own decision over the character of each person.
I don't recommend reading this until you've read a bit of Hemingway or know a bit about him. This book came perfect after reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain and The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. I know that I wouldn't have gotten the same reading experience if I didn't have the background I did. Hemingway can be vague about certain elements, and knowing more about him helps you flesh that out into the truth. Being familiar with Paris helps too, but I think a background in Hemingway would be even more helpful.
Perfect if you love:: Anything by Hemingway or you are interested in the Lost Generation/1920's Paris
No Rating for Classics :)