Hardcover, 240 pages.
Ernest Hemingway’s classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, now available in a restored edition, includes the original manuscript along with insightful recollections and unfinished sketches.
Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring works. Since Hemingway’s personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined the changes made to the text before publication. Now, this special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.
Ernest Hemingway left the world a generous legacy in these sketches of his early life in Paris in the Twenties. So complete is the spell of his art that the four decades between what was done and felt then and what was remembered and written later seem barely to have intervened. Everything is perceived directly through the eyes and cars of the young writer himself, living in the pre-dawn of world recognition.
The reader walks with him along the Paris streets, watching fishermen along the Seine or dropping by at Sylvia Beach’s to borrow a book; returns with him (sometimes frugally skipping a meal) to the Hemingways’ small apartment on the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs with the sawmill in the courtyard below; sits by him in a cafe while paragraph by paragraph, scarcely looking up, he constructs one of the stories that created a new voice for the literature of our time.
It was a time of hunger and discipline and also one of fulfilment and happiness. We share taut days at the race-track at Enghien and happy, strenuous weeks skiing in the Vorarlberg in Austria. These chapters glow with the joy of recollection.
There are many vivid portraits from memory: Gertrude Stein providing little glasses of liqueurs and impromptu lectures in her apartment on the rue de Fleurus; Ezra Pound learning to box; Ford Madox Ford discoursing on the mysteries of being a gentleman; and a number of others, all profoundly expressive. One of the more important is the portrayal of Scott Fitzgerald, an amusingly truthful one, softened by affection for the man and respect for his genius. The motor-trip he and Hemingway make from Lyon to Paris will surely take its place as one of the great comic journeys of literature.
One can only suggest the experiences awaiting the reader of this book in which a master of literature in full command of every technique of his art relives these bright chapters of his youth.
Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest’s sole surviving son, and an introduction by grandson of the author, Seán Hemingway, editor of this edition, the book also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son, Jack, and his first wife Hadley. Also included are irreverent portraits of literary luminaries, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Maddox Ford, and insightful recollections of Hemingway’s own early experiments with his craft.
Widely celebrated and debated by critics and readers everywhere, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
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