A Moveable Feast is part, the autobiographical recounting of Ernest Hemingway’s time in Paris, most notably with his first wife Hadley, and part, the dying man’s love letter to a time that he was desperate to return to.
In Hemingway’s indomitable way he created with A Moveable Feast a selection of stories that seems so matter of fact, and at times horrifically dark, while still managing to show off the raw, passionate beauty that he saw in the city that never left him, and within the people who changed his world. In his later life Hemingway never seemed to find the satisfaction he had once enjoyed in Paris.
Maybe the sunshine and hard liquor of Florida and Cuba, swilling around in a mind that never really got over his time in Europe, was too much for him in the end.
The posthumous publication of this book of stories, following is suicide at 61, leaves haunting undertones. Dripping and oozing with the lusty fire and wine fuelled honesty that you would expect from the man it is the perfect explorative Hemingway text for those who haven’t yet delved the depths of this great writers mind. For lovers of literature, Paris, and more importantly lovers of life, A Moveable Feast must make its way onto your reading list.
While my time in Paris was not as debauched as Mr Hemingway’s, nor were my walks as informed as Mr Baxter’s, I did have a truly magnificent time in the city.
If you can’t go to Paris, then read about Paris. Have some quiet time, put on some Edith Piaf at a low volume in the background, dim the lights a little, and let some wine breathe. Open a book and get taken there.