(Finished September 24, 2011)
I can’t stay away from Hemingway. It probably doesn’t help that in the recent Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris”, I found the actor who played him to be really attractive. Eek.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time. Actually, I first started wanting to read it before I studied abroad in Paris (and should have) but I ran out of time. Of course, it just made me want to go back.
I love reading about la génération perdue. For many reasons. Mostly because they were writers in Paris during one of the most interesting times in the city. And sure, they were poor, but they lived in Paris. And they traveled Europe. And they lived the life. And they wrote.
In this book, Hemingway describes his life in the early 1920s after WWI. He and his first wife, Hadley, live in the Latin Quarter. He spends his days writing in cafes and at friends’ apartments, chatting with the likes of Gertrude Stein, Picasso, and James Joyce. He helps raise money to allow T. S. Eliot to quit his bank job and write full time. He hangs out with the owner of the wonderful bookstore Shakespeare & Co.
I’m so glad Hemingway wrote these memoirs before his death. It brings those of us for whom that life is a dream THAT much closer.
“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 feast.”
There’s not much more I can say. Je l’aime.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars