A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition

by Ernest Hemingway
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A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition Summary

A Moveable Feast is a collection of essays by Ernest Hemingway, which recount Hemingway's experiences as a struggling writer in Paris in the 1920s.

  • Hemingway's friends and colleagues are themselves writers and artists, and among the many notable figures mentioned in A Moveable Feast are Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Hemingway reveals his thoughts about other artists. He finds the painter Wyndham Lewis cruel and considers the poet Ford Madox Ford abusive. He has great affection for F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • While in Paris, Hemingway has an affair with Pauline, who becomes his second wife.

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Last Updated on June 1, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 270

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast is Ernest Hemingway's first-person account of his years as a beginning, struggling writer in Paris of the 1920s. Written in the 1950s, this memoir provides a glimpse into the lives of the expatriates of the Lost Generation. With stories about Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others, Hemingway reveals his thoughts and feelings about the people who affected his life at this time. Through his honest, often biting, portrayal of fellow writers in Paris, he offers an analysis of the talents and individual characteristics of those who would later make such an impact on British and American literature.

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On a personal level, Hemingway recounts his marriage to his first wife, Hadley, leading up to the time of his affair with his second wife, Pauline, and the birth and early years of his son, “Bumpy.” Hemingway speaks of the cafés he frequented, the quiet spots that provided the atmosphere as he wrote his first stories after his departure from journalism. Hemingway also reflects on his own faults that led to the disintegration of his marriage, expressing his continued love and concern for Hadley. Hemingway’s vulnerability is apparent throughout the memoir, and it is a sharp contrast to the tough man of adventure that has come to be the usual presentation of him.

Though the work should be read with the critical eye necessary for the memoir of a man who could be self-justifying, A Moveable Feast is a valuable picture of Hemingway and the exciting days of the literati of Paris who would come to be known as the Lost Generation.

Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1265

Perhaps more than any other writer of the twentieth century, Ernest Hemingway laid bare the violent realities lurking beneath all human experience. His aim from the very beginning was to represent those realities as precisely as he could, never minimizing their destructive potential. Life, he wrote early in his career, was uncompromising. It punished the fine and the foul impartially, taking its own grim time, choosing its own grim methods. The bleak and simple wisdom is given form in the retreat from Caporetto, the wound of Jake Barnes, the wreckage of the old man’s great fish.

In his attempts to render, and thus confront, the desolating facts of life, Hemingway was himself uncompromising. He developed a subdued and stoic prose that betokened what he thought the only meaningful response to the inevitable ruin that time visits on everyone. Through the exercise of control, individuals could confer grace and dignity on defeat, and though time would destroy it need not humiliate. Even Hemingway’s symbols reflected this tight dialectic, compressing it into local realities that were images of the eternal shape of the contest, as in his picture of the bullfight. In the rituals of the arena, the bull would always die, and ultimately the bullfighter would too. The animal, however, would go down charging, whereas the fighter at his best performed a ceremony of courage, delicacy, and precision. Though neither would...

(The entire section contains 1535 words.)

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