A MOVEABLE FEAST BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY
Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. It is a literary feast, brilliantly evoking the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the youthful spirit, unbridled creativity, and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
The book really does hold up to the synopsis. I've always loved Hemingway's novels and short stories, but this memoir explores his thought process as he comments on everyday events from his time in Paris. Each chapter is almost a small story in itself, but rather than focus on plot, the narrative shows a glimpse of Hemingway's imagination and "writing mind." You can sense how he worked ordinary things into magic on a page.
There are anecdotes about other literary figures and it makes this book almost too good to be true. I was giddy the entire time, imagining so many great American authors sitting in one room together, simply talking about art. Hemingway paints the perfect portrait of living in Paris right after World War I. They certainly don't have a grand lifestyle, but Hemingway and his wife's way of living is enough to make anyone envious.
All I wanted to do was abandon my cold Canadian city and fly to Paris, curl up in a small café, and finish reading this book. It also inspired me to buy some new notebooks and spend more time writing for myself, without a deadline, without a purpose.
If you love literature or writing or Paris, read this book.
"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."