from the shelf // a guest post

paris / lady in chair / illustration / painting / library

This month’s from the shelf post takes us to the sidewalk cafes of Paris, take it away Sierra:

“A Farewell to Arms” made me want to be a writer. “A Moveable Feast” made me want to live like one.

Although Hemingway states several times throughout the book that these were lean times for his young family, it’s difficult for me to accept his use of the word “poor” to describe this period of his life. Yes, there were days when he went without lunch or sustained himself Aladdin-style with only a baguette, but he was still a writer living in Paris. His days were spent tucked away in a Parisian cafe, sipping café au lait, pencil in hand, empty notebook pages before him.

While Hemingway does acknowledge this as an overall happy time in his life, I don’t think he truly understands just how lucky he was to have had these experiences and what a 24-year-old girl from Michigan would give to be a Writer.In.Paris. Even if it meant taking a weekend road trip with an erratic, hypochondriac F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Since Paris and Fitzgerald are both out of my reach due to finances and simple logistics, losing myself in “A Moveable Feast” will have to do.

“There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.”


2 thoughts on “from the shelf // a guest post

  1. Felt the same after reading The Paris Wife about his early years with his first wife.

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