Last weekend I re-read Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” for perhaps the fourth time, always with several years intervals between each foray. The last reading was in September 1985, when a dear friend gave me the copy of the book he was reading. A few months prior to his gift, I had decided to live in France. It was timely.
|Shakespeare & Co., the famous English language bookstore, where my friend Bob Butler did a reading of one of his books earlier this month.|
The first time I read “A Moveable Feast” I was 17. Certainly I must have enjoyed it then, but I don’t recall it made me dream about Paris as the most wonderful city in the world; that came a few years later. This reading — taken as a romanticized travel guide — made me love Paris even more. I didn’t think that was possible.
|Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald|
|Gertrude Stein with John “Mr. Bumby” Hemingway.|
|Sylvia Beach, owner of Shakespeare & Co.|
|Sylvia Beach and Hemingway|
It took me back into Paris by another route, and it was magical. Imagine walking les rues de Paris with Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald — and then, stopping to pick up a book at Shakespeare & Co., having a café creme at Les Closerie des Lilas, a glass of wine at Les Deux Magots. . . Imagine.