Michelle Jones's Reviews > A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Jul 30, 2010

really liked it

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you kept from making engagements each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself. ”

That is my favorite quote from A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s brilliant memoir of his time in Paris during the expatriate scene of the 1920s. The prose is pure, expected Hemingway, and the stories are personable, intimate and interesting. His reflections on his experiences with and opinions of other authors and artists including Ezra Pound (very kind and wonderful), Gertrude Stein (a bully and very moody) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (hypochondriac, needy, weak) are insightful and endearing. Though his contemporaries are interesting subjects his small, delicate reflections on the true happiness he and his first wife Hadley experienced are incredibly moving. Particularly since he wrote this many years after the fact, many years after their love story ended.

Equally moving to me are the notes and details on his writing process and the details of the deliberate life he was living. Before he’d written a novel or sold much of anything his dedication to producing good work was intense and constant. His commitment to finding happiness, enjoying good books and conversation, and living deliberately was equally great.

I don’t suspect this book is for everyone. There is no plot or really even a beginning or an end. But there are chunks of incredible prose that made me stop and savor every syllable. There are memories that created passionate envy in me. It is a book that is now beloved to me.
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