Friday, July 07, 2006

Hemingway in Paris

Hemingway's passport photo

The Moveable Feast was written by Ernest Hemingway soon before he died in 1961 about his expatriate years in Paris in the 1920s.

Hemingway's apartment at 74 rue de cardinal Lemoine

It is an interesting account of life in Paris with wife Hadley and his relationships with other expatriates referred to as "The Lost Generation" by Gertrude Stein, including Ford Madox Ford, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda.

I spent some time in May retracing Hemingway's steps between his apartment at rue de cardinal Lemoine and Gertrude Stein's apartment on the other side of the Luxembourg Gardens, 27 rue de Fleurus.

Gertrude Stein's apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus

Ernest and Hadley spent quite a bit of time with the daunting Stein in her apartment filled with original artwork by their contemporary Picasso and others. Stein told Hemingway to invest in art, though he had barely enough money to keep his wife and himself fed.

Here is an excerpt from A Moveable Feast:

"Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain against the big green autobus at the terminal and the Café des Amateurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run café where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness."

Place Contrescarpe in May

Posted by Picasa Players of a game similar to bocci ball called petanque in the Luxembourg Gardens, which lay between Stein's and Hemingway's apartments