Welcome to the A Moveable Feast read-a-long! We’re reading this book through February. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.
Week One: Read to Chapter 9
Hmmm… how can I put this considering I’m the one who chose this book… I’m not thrilled. This is the first Hemingway that I’ve read, and while I rreeeeaaallllyyyy appreciate him from an historical aspect (and he doesn’t even seem so bad as a person yet), I’m not so keen on his writing. That said, I’m going to need some of you Ernest-lovers to help me “see the light” (if there is any). That’s not to say that I don’t have an opinion about what we’ve read (have I ever not had an opinion?).
It’s fun to see the writing advice that is sprinkled in the book… Hemingway tells us that he always ends his work days while he still has ideas in his head for tomorrow (so he has somewhere to start), and he takes his mind off of his work by reading — so he doesn’t over think what he is going to write next. This is so contrary to everything I’ve been told from writers… but I LOVE it, as it makes so much sense to me. It will be my new technique – and I think it will help me from going crazy too early. What do you think of his methods?
Is it just me, or does Gertrude Stein seem like she was a pompous ass? She is clearly not viewed as one of the greats of her generation – yet she has so many opinions and so much power over some of the “greatest” artists of her day (Hemingway and Picasso for starters). Hemingway even says that he can’t remember her “ever speaking well of any writer who had not written favorably about her work or done something to advance her career except for Ronald Firbank… and Scott Fitzgerald” (59). How unappealing is that? I did laugh at the idea of her forgiving Hemingway and his wife for “being in love and married – time would fix that…” (p.24), but didn’t get why she always made Alice (her partner) entertain the wives away from her and the husbands. As a powerful woman (in a time when women didn’t wield very much power), one would think she’d have a broader mind than that. And her views on homosexuality; I didn’t know whether to laugh at the antiquity, be surprised, or both! What do you make of these remarks of hers?
The main thing is that the act male homosexuals commit is ugly and repugnant and afterwards they are disgusted with themselves… they are disgusted with the act and they are always changing partners and cannot be really happy… In women it is the opposite. They do nothing that they are disgusted by and nothing that is repulsive and afterwards they are happy and they can lead happy lives together.
Gertrude Stein (page 30)
Is it just me or has Hemingway forgotten punctuation in this book? Was it him or his editors (maybe those of you who have read his other work can let us know if this is a normal Hemingway experience)? The sentences seem to go on and on with no structure at all and then they seem to go onto another subject and then he seems to talk about another person and then…
I’m not going to lie that I was delighted to read about my (and many of our) beloved Shakespeare and Co. and Sylvia Beach, and that he mentioned how incredible kind to him she was; I do picture her like that. Though, when telling his wife about it their conversation goes like this:
“My,” she said. “We’re lucky that you found the place.”
“We’re always lucky,” I said and like a fool I did not knock on wood. There was wood everywhere in that apartment to knock on too. There are many things Hemingway could have been referring to in this exchange… to what do you think he was referring?
In talking about the books stands he passed and about the ships that came from other countries, Hemingway refers to books that are bound by their owners being more valuable than books that were not. I am not familiar about this part of literary history, is anyone else? I’ve tried to look into it, but have come up with a lot of results that do not apply (like bound feet… what?).
Two (kind of fun) side notes:
1.) While in Paris this December I stayed, literally, around the corner from Hemingway’s flat on Notre-Dame-des-Champs. It is no longer there (in fact, the address does not even exist… the street just skips right over it; very weird). I’ve included a picture.
2.) Any Gilmore Girls fans? Remember when Rory and Logan were discussing Hadley losing Ernest’s manuscript? Looks like they BOTH had it wrong. It was a train station and the manuscripts (plural) were stolen!
RORY [reaching into his bookbag]: I want to see your paper.
LOGAN: Your mind is a mysterious thing.
RORY: Come on. I’m dying to know what your take on ethics is. For instance, are you for it or against it?
LOGAN: No way. It’s too dangerous.
LOGAN: I actually worked on this thing. It goes from my hand to the professor’s.
RORY: Like I’m going to lose it.
LOGAN: I saw you with your coins, plus let’s remember Hemingway.
RORY: What about him?
LOGAN: Trusted that wife of his with the only copy he had of the novel he was working on. The silly woman lost it.
RORY: Not so. I know the story. Hemingway left it on a plane. His wife had nothing to do with it.
LOGAN: That’s not the way I heard it.
RORY: Well, you heard it wrong.
Who’s Reading Along:
** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Friday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly A Moveable Feast discussion (see below for more information).**
Jenn O. @ Lit Endeavors
Meg @ A Bookish Affair
- If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
- Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Thursday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Friday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
- Each week, on Friday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
- If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long…there (ahem) might be something fun for different levels of participants at the end of the year! Thanks!