Pseudo-Review: A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway has always had a sort of magnetic force around him; he is an author that any literate person has heard of, and if you weren't required to read The Old Man and the Sea in school, consider yourself in the minority. Interestingly, I've found (through nothing more quantifiable than anecdotal research) that he is one of the few authors that people can actually recognize in a photo - and not just a photo on the dust jacket of one of his books. Known as much for his drinking habits as his lasting influence on modern literature, Hemingway is an icon of our time. And beyond the assigned reading of The Old Man and the Sea in middle school, he is an icon with which I am sadly unfamiliar.

In order to remedy this, I included on my list of 26 things to accomplish before my 26th birthday a challenge to read all of Hemingway's works -- from well-known fictions to treatise on bullfighting and everything in between. I began with A Moveable Feast, a collection of vignettes in which Hemingway writes of his time as a struggling writer in Paris in the 1920s. The stories combine to provide a profile what it was to be young and in love and hungry and happy in a foreign country. Hemingway recalls his encounters with other ex-pat writers of the time, his romance with Shakespeare and Co (the greatest bookstore of all time), and his touch-and-go relationship with his writing.

As an introduction to Hemingway, A Moveable Feast is an easy-to-digest glimpse as much into Hemingway's writing as into his life and experiences. It is a love song to a Paris we wish we could have experienced ourselves; a remembrance of his fellow writers, back when the times were good; and his nod to an important, formative, romantic period in his life. It is, in short, excellent.

1 comment

  1. So glad you enjoyed this. It's one of my favorites from Hemingway - I fell madly in love with his writing after reading this book.


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