Sunday, 12 June 2011
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
I visited Paris about four years ago, at the time I was not a fan of Hemingway so I missed all of the parts of the city which he was known to have visited and wrote about. This is something I regret and will most certainly remedy one day.
Hemingway clearly loved Paris, this is evident on almost every page. For the benefit of those who don't know anything about his life he spent years living in Paris in the early 1920s with other famous American ex-pats of the 'Lost Generation' such as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and others. A Moveable Feast was the last book he wrote before he died making it an emotional read for fans of his work.
Hemingway writes in his trademark style which is always stark and honest whilst injecting infectious passion and enthusiasm which can be easy to miss if you don't look for it. His escapades whilst in Paris make interesting, entertaining and funny reading but also sad and tragic. A Moveable Feast gives a better insight into who he was more than any of his other books which I found fascinating. He honestly reflects on his own faults which is very unusual for him and admits he sometimes had trouble controlling his temper.
The book is advertised as fiction which mystifies me as it is clearly autobiographical. Hemingway uses everyone's real names, including his own. When relating stories he will occasionally state he can't remember exactly which café something happened in or which person he was with at the time. And he is known to have frequented the places he talks about and socialised with the people he writes about. How can this be fiction? Who knows.
This is truly a book worth reading and is my favourite Hemingway work to date, I thoroughly recommend it
Final verdict 5/5