A few weeks ago at the behest of my Voxxy friend Daby, I listened to Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I told him that I refused to actually read it, because I wasn’t sure that Hemingway was worth the effort. My hate-hate relationship with Ernie has spanned nearly 20 years.
Now, I think I have to revisit my crackpot theory and my stance on Hemingway being some of the suckiest suck to ever suck. Much to my chagrin, I really enjoyed A Moveable Feast. Even worse, the Ernie who wrote this book was almost charming. DAMN. I hate when my deeply held beliefs are challenged.
Basically, A Moveable Feast is Ernie’s memoir about his time in Paris after WWII hanging with the Lost Generation. So yeah, it’s a book about one of (allegedly) the greatest writers ever hanging out with some of the other greatest writers ever. While in Paris Ernie hung with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot.
So besides, as Daby called it, the writer’s porn, what I enjoyed so much about this book was that Ernie showed emotion. Not only did he show emotion, he showed it really well. I keep going back to two things he said in the book. First, he was talking about a generous bookstore owner/librarian who let him borrow books without paying the full deposit. “It was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me,” he said.
The scene with the bookstore owner happens pretty early on in the book and it really caused me to pause. I’m not sure what I liked more that the nicest thing anyone ever did for him was loan him some books or that he even said it. It was then I knew I was in danger of developing a crush on Ernie.
I didn’t stand a chance.
Because the second thing that I remember so fondly from the book is Ernie talking about spring in Paris by saying, “there were no problems except where to be happiest.”
Seriously folks, I didn’t think it was possible for me to like Ernest Hemingway at all, much less develop a crush on him, that’s how good A Moveable Feast is. It managed to make a bitter, jaded harpy like me consider rethinking something she’s believed with all her heart since 1988.