Stefanie's Reviews > A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
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it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction, on-writing, place

Based off of the Sean Hemingway's introduction to my edition, it's difficult to imagine that my review belongs with reviews of the Moveable Feast edited by Mary Hemingway. Mine is billed as the "Restored Edition," with all of the editing Mary Hemingway did (including a Preface attributed to but never written by Hem) stripped away to reveal the closest Papa every got to actually finishing the book. Other changes are undone, chapters reordered as Hem intended, and then, for extra fun, additional chapters he wrote but ultimately decided not to include (but some of which Mary included in her version of the text) and several drafts of discarded material are included at the end as "Additional Paris Sketches" and "Fragments." Had I not known that this edition existed, I probably would have enjoyed Mary's version, but I believe Sean's introduction when he says this is closer to the book Hem had written, and I am glad this is the version I have read.

I loved this book, but I am a Hemingway fan and a writer, and I think you have to either love Hem or like him and be a writer to really enjoy this book. It offers incredible insight into Hemingway, the man--both as a young writer in Paris and an old man coming to terms with his betrayal of his first wife, who is the heroine of this story.

I have read that this is book is a "portable Paris." and while there are delightfully funny moments, interesting pieces of gossip about Hem's contemporaries, and French words and phrases that will please any Francophile, this is really an unfinished memoir of a man who ultimately took his own life before finding the right way to tell this story--lest we forget. Mary's version might read less tragically--I don't know; I haven't read it--but Ernest Hemingway was the tragic hero of his own novel, and that is apparent in this restored edition.
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Reading Progress

February 24, 2015 – Started Reading
February 24, 2015 – Shelved
March 6, 2015 – Shelved as: nonfiction
March 6, 2015 – Shelved as: on-writing
March 6, 2015 – Shelved as: place
March 6, 2015 – Finished Reading

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