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A Moveable Feast

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  117,969 ratings  ·  8,124 reviews
Begun in the autumn of 1957 and published posthumously in 1964, Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast captures what it meant to be young and poor and writing in Paris during the 1920s. A correspondent for the Toronto Star, Hemingway arrived in Paris in 1921, three years after the trauma of the Great War and at the beginning of the transformation of Europe's cultural landscap ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published May 29th 1996 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1964)
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Melinda The "moveable feast" in the title refers to a Hemingway quote, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go fo…moreThe "moveable feast" in the title refers to a Hemingway quote, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."(less)

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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
”If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemingway

 photo HemingwayinParis_zpsb2c9c55f.jpg
The Lost Generation: Hemingway and the circle of ex-pat friends he later immortalised in The Sun Also Rises. More friends, including Harold Loeb, the model for Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises, on the left, Hemingway in the centre and Hadley on the right.

I hadn’t planned to read this book until I read this great ar
Julie Christine
If you haven't been to Paris, you just won't get A Moveable Feast...
If you aren't already a fan of Hemingway, don't bother reading A Moveable Feast

Look, I'm struggling to get a start on this review and those were the first two statements that popped into my head. I don't know if they are true. I don't know if they are fair. What I do know is this work - fiction, memoir, sketches, a polished diary - whichever of these it may be - wouldn't exist without Paris. Obviously, right? No, that's not wh
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobels
Loved it!

Like Hemingway, I love Paris from the bottom of my heart. And like him, I was lucky enough to spend some time there as a 22-year-old university student. I remember the feeling when I got off the train, knowing I had months of P-A-R-I-S ahead, and how precious each minute felt. I remember walking the streets, stopping to gaze into shop windows, to have coffee, or to browse bookstores. And I remember reading all those wonderful authors who had made Paris their home, feeling connected to t
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though often containing gorgeous prose, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast has a clear agenda. The book treats Hemingway’s life in Paris from 1921 to 1926. Although the book clearly is autobiographical, in the Preface, Hemingway, after explaining that several items were left out of his memoir, then suggests, rather coyly, that “If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction” and adds, “But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written ...more
Justin Tate
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How have I not read this before?? Absolute perfection from beginning to end. Budding artists will eagerly highlight the numerous sentences on craft and style. Literature lovers will moan when Hemingway casually describes hanging out with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and a long list of other giants who happened to all be writing in Paris at the same time. If you're both a writer and a reader, this book is a must for sure. The scenes are deliciously candid. In one ...more
Steven Godin
I don't quite know why it's taken me so long to get around to reading Hemingway, but that's two brilliant works now in a matter of weeks, after too many years of leaving him distant at the back of my mind. And if I'm honest, I never thought of him as a writer I would even like. How wrong was I. Hemingway wrote this when he was a successful older writer, about the experience of being a young man who was not yet successful, but who was happily writing away and dearly in love with his first wife Ha ...more
Dec 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Whenever a friend/Roman/lover/countryman/debtor/student/
jackass bar brawler tells me that Hemingway lost it after THE SUN ALSO RISES or (being generous) A FAREWELL TO ARMS, I say: read this book. There are moments of vile approbation. It saddens me infinitely to hear EH bang on Gertrude and Scott, and some of the dialogue is transparently punchdrunk. But when I want to read a book by someone who lost his shit and knew he lost it spectularly, this be the one. There are few passages more self-recr
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway presents vivid and interesting observations on his days struggling to make it in post WWI Paris. Interacting with other writers described by Gertrude Stein as being members of the lost generation, A Moveable Feast shows a young Hemingway defining himself as a different kind of writer. The connections to The Sun Also Rises are readily apparent. However, Hemingway’s thoughts about art and his writing are relevant to all his novels and short stories. This is an ...more
Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reading A Moveable Feast was a strange combination of pure pleasure and pure torture for me. On one hand, what could be better than reading a pseudo-memoir written by the unabashedly self-absorbed, and yet enduringly charming, Hemingway--all white wine, manliness, and burgeoning craft, with an excess of anecdotes and remembrances (often unflattering and unfair, god bless him) of his eccentric and luminous contemporaries? Not much. Especially with such memories: of Gertrude "Aldous Huxley writes ...more
David Schaafsma
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

“We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright.”

I love Ernest Hemingway as a writer, at his best, especially in many of the stories, but in the main novels, too, there is often breathtakingly good writing. Then there are the books, some of them much later, where
Nat K

"We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other."

A memoir of Hemingway's time spent as a young, unknown writer in 1920s Paris.

This is very sensory based writing. References abound to food and drink and the change of seasons in Paris. You can feel what it's like to be living in poverty as a practically starving artist. And yet there are other ways to be fed. Intellectually and emotionally.

Hem talks of the many books he devoured, of viewing
Glenn Sumi

Memoir… or fiction? It doesn’t matter with this amusing classic, a series of poignant and light vignettes about the author’s time as a poor, struggling writer in 1920s Paris.

Hem (as people refer to him in the book) offers up clear, unfussy portraits of everyone from salon-mistress/tastemaker Gertrude Stein and Shakespeare & Co’s generous owner, Sylvia Beach, to a snobbish, forgetful Ford Madox Ford and a nasty Wyndham Lewis, whom he compares to “toe-jam.”

I especially liked the couple of chapters
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ernest Hemingway. A big name in the literary game. I was always hesitant to read him. Mainly due to his book titles, they never really grabbed me, feeling masculine and daunting. I thought he was a author I would struggle to connect with. How wrong I was. This retrospective memoir of his early writing life in Paris as an expatriate set in the 20’s was a great place to start, getting a good sense of Ernest as a young man before his fame as a well loved author.

There’s so much beauty and wonder in
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.

Well, this book was amazing. I was rather trepidatious, but it turned out to be excellent.

People who interfered with your life always did it for your own good and I figured it out finally that what they wanted was for you to conform completely and never differ from some accepted su
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
To paraphrase ol' Hem, "This is a fine and true book. It is honest and good, and the stories are important and just."

Hem, as I shall forever call him now, wrote this memoir just a few years before he died in 1961. It's about Hem and his first wife, Hadley, when they were young and poor in Paris in the '20s, and Hem would borrow books from the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, and he would go to cafes to write.

While there are stories about other writers in Paris at the time -- such as F. Scott
Yes, I know, this is a high rating. But I did really enjoy reading this book. It was like I was with Hemingway in Paris in the twenties. It really came to live before my eyes. I think it has much to to with his manner of writing. Very clear sentences, not a word to much but it captures all he has to say without much frivolity. He wrote this book at the end of his life so he really mastered this very own style of writing and which I like so much.
Adam Dalva
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming, ranging, generous, memoir of Paris, stuffed full of memorable lines ("Never Any End to Paris") and packed with the luminaries of the expat era. How weird to read a book where Joyce is just sort of around, where Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas squabble, and where, in an excellent moment, Fitzgerald's face turns into a death mask while drunk. All along, Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley is at once extolled and mourned. I read the Restored Edition, which in some ways I regret, especial ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: peteredout
I decided to bail after his visit to the indoor bicycle races, like dance marathons one of those frantic displays of recreational endurance so popular in the 1920s. A quick comparing look at Joseph Roth’s account of a night at Berlin’s tracked bicycle races, in What I Saw, convinced me that I was wasting my time with Hemingway. There are better books. Hemingway’s style will always strike me as more or less mannered and ridiculous, but what I read of A Moveable Feast was especially bad—solemn, po ...more
Sean Barrs
The Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway is an intriguing read.

It’s an odd little novel, more biography than fiction. Hemingway recollects his youth, the days where he had no money and lived from story to story before he had his first major novelistic breakthrough.

The reader that will take most from this will be one that has read a lot of 20th century literature and is aware of the interactions between writers and the ways in which they supported each other through their careers. Ezra Pound was a
A Moveable Feast is a beautiful book. Gorgeous. The prose is Hemingway-crisp, concise and evocative, but even with the Ezra Pound love fest midway through the book (fascinatingly against the grain in an America predisposed to loathe the poet for his ties to Nazism), A Moveable Feast isn’t A Moveable Feast until Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda appear on the scene.

Fans of Fitzgerald’s probably cringe at Papa’s descriptions of the Scott’s sad debasement. Zelda is a mad bitch; Scott is a drunken man-chi
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Ils fête dans Paris, par exemple: jauger du pénis (une obsession du Américains), un Ford avec mauvaise échappement, and the "mama of dada" (Gertrude Stein)

Published posthumously in 1964 (3 years after Papa died), this somewhat scattered memoir covers his years as a young writer living in Paris. You may already know the title comes from a passage in the book, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Pari
Hemingway’s true and original foreword to A Moveable Feast: “This book contains material from the remises of my memory and of my heart. Even if the one has been tampered with and the other does not exist.”

Ernest Hemingway passed away before he could write a final chapter or even title this book, so it was left up to Mary Hemingway, his fourth wife, to give the book a title. She remembered hearing her husband once say to a friend, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, th
Cathrine ☯️
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Published posthumously, according to forewards by Ernest Hemingway’s son and grandson this restored edition is truer to the author’s vision than the original text overseen by his fourth wife. He ended his life before choosing a beginning, an ending, and a title. Some of his memories were damaged or missing due to the electric shoc
Richard Derus
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: P.E.
Real Rating: 2.5* of five

I am not a Hemingway fan. Next to D.H. Lawrence and Ivy Compton-Burnett, he's my least favorite English-language writer. This sly, arch memoir of Paris in the 1920s contains unkind and unflattering portraits of people who were kind to Hemingway back in the day, as well as some deeply homophobic stuff that reveals the author's life-long anxiety about his own sexuality. He was quite pretty in his youth:

He was always hostile towards "otherness" and I suspect, given how vivi
Read immediately after The Paris Wife, this is like a book end on the 1920s in Paris, a photo of a writer's life in writing, as a husband and father, as a member of the ex-patriot community in Europe. There are glimpses of his writing process, his friendships (or maybe more properly relationships) with other writers, artists and luminaries large and small, his apparent love for his son and wife.

All is masked as fiction but reads as real life. There are quotes upon quotes to mention.

"I thought o
What a fitting book for my final Hemingway review. A Moveable Feast captures so much of what I like about Hemingway (e.g., his staunch commitment to writing, his honest portrayal of emotion) and what I abhor about him (e.g., his sexism, his homophobia, his racism). He has a rather entrancing and pretentious way of writing about Paris, its luxuries and its famous people he often associated with (Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, just to name a few). Yet, between this glitz and ...more
James Spina
Oct 10, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ernie's great and not-so-great grandchildren
I'm heading for Paris on a work related trip in a few weeks so I thought I'd get in the mood by dipping into papa. BIG MISTAKE. I guess you had to be there. This is nothing but a bunch of mundane moments strung together by some boring name dropping and squalid hygiene habits.
I've never really been a fan of anything other than Ernie's shorter stories and now I remember why. He didn't write briefly for effect. He did it because he didn't really know enough words. It always sounds like he's peeking
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
“By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


I writing this at a resort, nestled against the Catalina Mountains in Tucson, AZ. I am warm, well-fed,and happy. This book peaks for me with its perspectives on Paris post World War I (think Fitzgerald, Stein, Joyce, Pound, etc.). I struggle with its form. I am
I started this book calling him Ernest Hemingway. Midway, my friends pointed out that I was referring to him as Hem. By the end, I knew never to refer to him as Ernest. More please...more nonfiction/memoir from Hem, if only it existed (some say there's more that was never published??...)

This book was an intimate portrait of Hemingway. I was never a big fan of his fiction: though his simple, deliberate, sentence structuring still leave me in awe, I've never really been a fan of the flow of his st
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This memoir (Hemingway coyly says in the preface that the reader may consider it fiction), with its idyllic tone, surely romanticizes Hemingway's life in France with his first wife and their child. It includes rather unflattering portraits of Stein, Madox Ford, and the Fitzgeralds, while certainly leaving out things that would've made Hemingway himself look bad. But, perhaps, it is as he says here of his fiction writing: what is omitted is what strengthens the story.

I enjoyed the style; the sto
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Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collec ...more

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