09 Jul LOL Dine on a Moveable Feast
The Ladies on Literature wrapped up our season with a roaring good meeting and a rousing read. Some thoughts from our members on the Hemingway memoir, A Moveable Feast.
A short book review on “A Movable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway
I found this read quite enjoyable; despite the scattered topics and run-on sentences, there was something very welcoming and engaging about his style. Almost like a friend had invited me to walk leisurely alongside him and see Paris life through his eyes, I was swept into a a real-time pace, seeing the sights and hearing the conversations that were frozen in time by his memory. This book was a refreshing opportunity to understand the “joie de vivre” of the postwar generation, grabbing life in the moment, and not taking any conversation or experience for granted. To Hemingway, everything was worth a discussion and examination, even the most trivial remembrance, then distilled with the goal of revealing the one truth within.
Hemingway’s words, published posthumously, reveal him as a young man in his first marriage, in love and fully alive. The fact that the book was unedited prior to publishing makes this a raw manuscript and in that rawness, unpolished gems of this groundbreaking writer’s inner quest are exposed, revealing nothing less than his search for the one true thing about himself.
“He was pretty insightful for an old drunk!”
Kathy was quite taken with Hemmingway’s childlike exubrence with all things in life – a sort of energetic enthusiasm for writing, food, the races, the bullfights, women, etc. I mostly agree with her and although I found the book rambling, I didn’t dislike it. It helps that it was about Paris – I mean really, what’s not to like about a book about Paris! I think it was likely an early draft that could have been an amazing read if he’d lived long enough to finish it and have it properly edited. Like he himself said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” Oh how I can relate! I think I’m going to read something else of his, just to satisfy myself that the shortcomings in this novel were from lack of completion and editing, not writing talent.
Finally, here are 25 Of The Best Ernest Hemingway Quotes (courtesy of that source of collective knowledge, Wikipedia)
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know’. “
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
“I drink to make other people more interesting.”
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
“Courage is grace under pressure.”
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
“There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true.”
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
“Never confuse movement with action.”
“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”
“The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.”
“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
“The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”
“In order to write about life first you must live it.”
“You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”
“But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”
“All things truly wicked start from innocence.”
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
“The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
“What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”
“Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.”
“The world is a tiny place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.”