Although entertaining, as Hemingway mentions many famous writers and artists from the Left Bank of Paris during the time (Picasso, Stein & Toklas, Fitzgerald & Zelda, Harry & Caresse Crosby, etc.), one must question how much of this has been fabricated. There are a few places where Hemingway contradicts himself and makes others out to seem co-dependent (Fitzgerald and Stein, in particular). However, given all the drinking and partying going on during the time I've read about from other accounts (Man Ray, Colette, Anais Nin), this is probably as accurate as we're going to get. So, for what it is, it's entertaining and full of debauchery - excactly what you'd expect.
"One of the great personal stories of all time - the book that set the literary world on fire."
If you think you don't like Hemingway -- read this book. It will change your mind completely. Just beautiful.
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable fest." - Ernest Hemingway to a friend, 1950.
Nuff said, for this is one of Hemingway's more "personal" books and a delightful look at Paris in the 1920's from the gifted write himself.
In the preface to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway remarks casually that "if the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction"--and, indeed, fact or fiction, it doesn't matter, for his slim memoir of Paris in the 1920s is as enchanting as anything made up and has become the stuff of legend. Paris in the '20s! Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, lived happily on $5 a day and still had money for drinks at the Closerie des Lilas, skiing in the Alps, and fishing trips to Spain. On every corner and at every café table, there were the most extraordinary people living wonderful lives and telling fantastic stories. Gertrude Stein invited Hemingway to come every afternoon and sip "fragrant, colorless alcohols" and chat admid her great pictures. He taught Ezra Pound how to box, gossiped with James Joyce, caroused with the fatally insecure Scott Fitzgerald (the acid portraits of him and his wife, Zelda, are notorious). Meanwhile, Hemingway invented a new way of writing based on this simple premise: "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know."
Hemingway beautifully captures the fragile magic of a special time and place, and he manages to be nostalgic without hitting any false notes of sentimentality. "This is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy," he concludes. Originally published in 1964, three years after his suicide, A Moveable Feast was the first of his posthumous books and remains the best.
"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." (Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable Feast)
Posthumously published memoir of Ernest Hemingway as he reveals the details of his life in Paris as a young man. His exploits with writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald shed light on the group of writers referred to as "The Lost Generation." I am a big fan of Hemingway, so this insight into his life was a real treat.
I loved this book, which is pure Hemingway, and vivid descriptions of life in Paris in the 1920's. Famous personages such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Madox Ford and Gertrude Stein were included in his immediate circle of struggling writers.
Hemingway's restored memoir of life in Paris in the 1920's when he was becoming recognized as a writer. Interesting because he was then in love with his first wife, Hadley, and speaks fondly and warmly of her. Also probes Hemingway's unusual friendship with F. Scott Fitzgerald, the better known of the two at that time.
I like Hemingway and I love Paris, so this book was interesting to me. Towards the end, some of the accounts seemed repetitive, but I guess that's understandable considering Hemingway never really prepared it to be published.
The book is usually passed off as a memoir, but towards the end, he writes about the process of writing in second-person so stories sound believable and make the reader think they really happened- which seems like his way of explaining that some of the "memories" are contrived.
THe story of Hemingway's life in Paris for 5 years from about 1922-1927 with his first wife Hadley who he greatly regretted leaving for his shallow 2nd wife Pauline.
gives an interesting view and history of the writers, artists etc. in Paris after WWI especially the English language contingent.
A Moveable Feast is a memoir of the years Hemingway spent in Paris in the 1920s. He wrote it in the 1950s after recovering notebooks he'd filled during the Paris years. In some ways, the book reads as a tabloid magazine with what feels, at times, like heavy name-dropping. Hemingway did spend a lot of his time with well-known writers of the day, such as Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. I got the sense he plucked the most famous people from his notes to reminisce on. While Hemingway brought the book to final draft form during his life, his fourth wife and widow, Mary Hemingway, did the final edits on the book that was published posthumously in 1964. There is a restored edition that is supposed to be more in keeping with what Ernest Hemingway had intended that includes some of his sketches, a foreward by his son, Patrick, and an introduction by his grandson, Sean. I did not read the restored version but the original 1964 edition. I almost would be interested in reading the restored version too to see what differences there are. It is possible that Ernest Hemingway did not feel the need to name-drop as much as his widow? Fortunately, I know some of the women in my book club have read the restored version so I will just settle with the book club discussion on the differences.
My number one comment on this book is that it just didn't stay with me from reading to reading. It may be because it was a memoir and not a novel. I don't read a lot of memoirs so I don't have prior experience to go on. With novels, however, I find myself thinking about the characters and the story a lot throughout the day, even when I'm far from reading time. It may also be that Hemingway's writing style doesn't resonate with me. He was known for a simple, direct and unadorned style. I really like vivid descriptions that paint a full color tapestry scene in my imagination.
One personal struggle I had with reading it is that I really have no clue on how to pronounce French words. I have no background in the French language at all except for singing Ah! Je Veux Vivre in college. And in that case, I only learned how to pronounce the French in that song. An audio version would have helped with the pronunciation but then I wouldn't have seen the word spelled out. I should probably start looking them up online as I'm reading. I have friends who read with little tape flags to mark words they want to look up. I might need to take up that habit... at least with books with French in them.
I read The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms ages ago (assigned high school reading). I certainly don't remember them being favorites. Maybe I will reread one of his novels at some point. Or try another one. This was a quick read, but if it hadn't been a book club selection, I probably would have put it down a few chapters in and moved on to something else.
The easiest Hemingway I have read so far, though I haven't read much by him. It must have been used as the source material for a Paris Wife, since much of the information was identical, though he did avoid mention of his infidelities.
I found out I am more interested in Hemingway's life than his works. I can't get into his style of writing.