books on Paris, moveable feast

Hemingway’s 1920s Paris!

Prior to coming to Paris, one of the books that I was most eager to get my hands on was Hemingway’s ” a moveable feast” – I had even thought of naming the blog ” A moveable Feast” before I was lovingly told that the reference would be difficult to understand and meaningless. Not that Anon’s Paris makes significantly more sense – but I digress. “A moveable feast’ was one of those memoirs of a young person who lived in Paris for a while, fell in love with the place – so much that it ended up making a lasting impression upon his (Hemingway’s) life. I imagined (rather presumptuously putting myself in the same league of Ernest Hemingway!) that I would definitely relate to author’s memoirs of living in this city.

So, I was very pleasantly surprised to pick up a new edition of “A moveable feast’ that incorporates parts of the manuscript initially edited out, while modifying some of the remaining sections.

Thus far, Hemingway’s writing and description of an old Paris are captivating and vivid. As a case in point – walking on place St Michel will never be quite the same experience after reading Hemingway’s description of a Paris that at once sounds extremely different from the one emerging at the dawn of the second century of the 21st century – while sounding largely familiar. Where Hemingway saw cafes, “boulangeries”, bars – one can pretty much see the same today. Yet, his description of the decor, conditions and ‘ambience’ of 1920s bars sounds radically different from the contemporary age of well designed flushed toilets, electric air conditioning and anti-smoking regulations.

The book, so far, wins at powerfully painting images of a familiar but distant place, while presenting Hemingway’s lucidly written memories of living in Paris during the 1920s.

(Glad to finally have a copy – picked up at Shakespeare and Company.)

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