Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

This was September's classic. I haven't been doing too badly with this personal project _ I gave up on The Old Curiosity Shop and for now, The Once and Future King _ I got bogged down in The Ill-Made Knight. I skipped The Portrait of Dorian Grey and picked up again with A Moveable Feast, although I might read Dorian Grey for October's Bookworms' Carnival.

Anyway. That's off the subject.

A Moveable Feast was written by Hemingway in the late 1950s, near the end of his life. He was reflecting on his time in Paris from 1921-1926, when there was a large ex-pat community of American writers and artist living there.

He talks about the people he meets, and describes Paris in the spring and the winter, and the writing is so vivid, it feels as though he's sitting next to you, describing all of these things. He's reminiscing, and it's just wonderful.

He talks about people like Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound, and F Scott Fitzgerald _ people he became friends with during his time there. Hemingway talks about most of them with great affection, and puzzlement sometimes; especially in the case of Stein with whom he apparently had a falling out. He had a lot of affection for Pound and determined to do all he can for Fitzgerald after he read The Great Gatsby _ and worked out that Zelda Fitzgerald was insane.

It's not just the people Hemingway describes so vividly _ there's also Paris of the 1920s, and the food, and his writing and ... A Moveable Feast isn't a long book, at about 160 pages, but there is a lot of detail which, in my mind, is a testament to Hemingway's writing skills (although, so far, this is the only book of his I've read).

Read it. But you can't have my copy. :)

No comments: