Continuing on in my current obsession of Ernest Hemingway…
A Moveable Feast is a collection of short stories and sketches from Hemingway’s time in Paris as a young man in the ’20’s. It gives a lot of insight to his life at that time: his relationship with his first wife, Hadley, his friends (and enemies) from the time, and with work and writing.
Here are the things I loved about ‘A Moveable Feast’.
Chapter 22, On Writing in the First Person:
“When you first start writing stories in the first person, if the stories are made so real that people believe them, the people reading them nearly always think the stories really happened to you. That is natural because while you were making them up you had to make them happen to the person who was telling them. If you do this sucessfully enough, you make the person who is reading them believe that the things happened to him too. If you can do this you are beginning to get what you are trying for, which is to mke something that will become part of the reader’s experience and part of his memory. There must be things that he did not notice when he read the story or the novel, which, without his knowing it, enter into his memory and experience so that they are part of his life. This is not easy to do.” (Hemingway, Kindle Location 2524-30)
Seriously? SERIOUSLY.. he’s amazing. That’s all I can say.
Chapter 23, Secret Pleasures.
I loved this entire sketch, because it discusses a time in life when he and Hadley were very happy and very much in love. Even though he later destroyed the relationship, it’s nice to read about one of the happier times in his life. The main plot of the sketch is that he and Hadley decided to grow their hair to the same length; she cut hers, he was growing his.
“Our pleasures, which were those of being in love, were as simple and still as mysterious and complicated as a simple mathematical formula that can mean all happiness or can mean the end of the world” (Hemingway, Kindle Location 2565-67)
“We sat and she said something secret and I said something secret back.” (Hemingway, Kindle Location 2598-99)
Also, Chapter 17, 18, 19- Scott Fitzgerald, Hawks Do Not Share, and A Matter of Measurements
Just like I love Hemingway, I love Fitzgerald. These chapters discuss his relationship with Scott, his relationship with Zelda, and interestingly his observations on Scott and Zelda’s relationship. Super fascinating.
Anyway, I hope you all know that this isn’t supposed to be some type of serious, critical book review. These are just the things that get me to geek out while reading, and the things I’m thinking about when I’m strolling through the streets of whatever city I happen to be in. And maybe if you’re stuck in a reading rut you’ll want to read some of these and feel the magic that I did.