This is one of the several book I’m reading for my English 101 class. The theme is Americans in Paris, so the other classics we read were The American, The Age of Innocence, and The Sun Also Rises by Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Ernest Hemingway (respectively). To be honest, I didn’t finish The Age of Innocence, but the other two were extremely unimpressive and I disliked them, which is very sad for me to say about anything Henry James wrote because I adore his short stories. End English major rant.
This book is so different from any other book I’ve read by Hemingway. In truth, it’s almost a collection of short stories and moments of his life. It’s a fictional non-fiction. In that I mean it’s the events as he remembers them (and adds in the case of dialogue) so we cannot be sure the truth of the episodes, but to Hemingway these stories were true.
I got the restored edition which has several added pieces. This was published posthumously and was compiled by Hemingway’s last wife. This edition was restructured by Hemingway’s grandson and some of the pieces that were added, specifically in the “Additional Sketches of Paris” section were fantastic! I love the characters, the way Hemingway perceived, described, and remembered his friends in the early Paris scenes.
The relationship between Hadley and “Tatie” is so romantic! I adore that and truly hope for a love like theirs in the early years, before “the rich” appears and ruins it. This edition also has “Fragments” which were different ways Hemingway was trying to open the book and in it he says that Hadley is the heroine and is the one who wins the most over all. I’m amazed to see an ex-husband so happy and obviously still loving his first wife. I adore it. You see real emotion in this book, particularly the added pieces, that you (at least I) don’t usually see in Hemingway’s works.
If you don’t like Hemingway, I’d definitely say give this one a try. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I adore it so much and will most likely reread it many times throughout my life.
Have you read A Moveable Feast? What did you think? What is your general opinion of Hemingway?