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09 December 2009 @ 08:53 am
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

I'll say straight up that this in no way impressed me. The only reason I chose it above the other (limited number of his) titles available in Waterstones was that I have now come across three separate doctor-tutors who used the term 'a moveable feast' to describe their lax, ill-organised timetables - a nicer way of saying 'We have no fucking idea how it will work, but sure we'll find out as we go along! Yay!'

People may blather on about Hemingway's clean and unemotional prose, or whatever, but in this case it just added up to a dire lack of commas. My mind felt out of breath reading it. I seem to have gone downhill in my experience with his writing: from the pinnacle of For Whom the Bell Tolls to the puzzlement of The Old Man and the Sea (fishing: not fascinating) to THIS.

Still, I must say I am desperately envious of Paris in the 1920s. It must have been amazing to sit and write in cafes with other writers, even if you didn't know then that they were going to be Joyce and Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. (I was telling Helen that Stein and I have a hatred of editing in common.)

People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

This reminded me of that line from 10 Things: 'a misogynist who [...] hung around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers.'

The mouth worried you until you knew him and then it worried you more.

LIKE THIS. Also, I ship Hemingway/Scott Fitzgerald SO HARD after this. Blasphemy - and not his intention! - I'm sure.

He told me at the Closerie de Lilas that he wrote what he thought were good stories, and which were really good stories for the Post, and then changed them for submission, knowing exactly how he must make the twists that made them into saleable magazine stories. I had been shocked at this and I said I thought it was whoring.

Does anyone else know what this feels like? For me it manifests as wanting to kill off characters and stopping myself because people will cry.

Previously, on Book Glomp 2009:
He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope |The Bostonians, Henry James | ♥ For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway | ♥ For Esme - with Love and Squalor, JD Salinger | The Outsider, Albert Camus | The Princess Diaries: Ten out of Ten, Meg Cabot | The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope | Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans | Villette, Charlotte Bronte | The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James | The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler | Cecilia, Fanny Burney | ♥ The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger | The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark | Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut | ♥ Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann | Siddhartha, Herman Hesse | The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga | The Duke and I, Julia Quinn | Brave New World, Aldous Huxley | North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell | Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee | Catch-22, Joseph Heller | ♥ Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey | Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck | The Demon's Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan | ♥ The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton | jPod, Douglas Coupland | 'Are these my basoomas I see before me?', Louise Rennison | Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer | Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman | The Accidental Sorcerer, K.E. Mills | ♥ Ethan of Athos, Lois McMaster Bujold | V., Thomas Pynchon | The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway | ♥ The Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb | Orlando, Virginia Woolf | The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath | Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk | Crush, Richard Siken | Trust Me, I'm a Junior Doctor, Max Pemberton | The Dice Man, Luke Rhinehart | ♥ Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman | Young Miles, Lois McMaster Bujold | He's Just Not That Into You, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo | The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand | A Classical Education, Caroline Taggart | The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope | Two Cures for Love, Wendy Cope | Unseen Academicals, Terry Prachett | Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand | Diary, Chuck Palahniuk | Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray | ♥ A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands PATD Brendon blue jumperscoradh on December 9th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
If I read any more of either I'm sure I'll one day end up writing RPF of them, and horrifying the entire literary cadre. :D

He did NOT seem to have the knack of keeping friends, did he?! He seemed to think it was all their fault, lol.
Lord Marmaduke Newbrycatsmeat on December 9th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
'a misogynist who [...] hung around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers.'

Possibly my favourite line from anything, ever. Except maybe the whole of Withnail & I.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands Cobra toothbrush Gabescoradh on December 9th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
For ages I thought she was talking about food. Or paint.
Lord Marmaduke Newbrycatsmeat on December 10th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
You obviously didn't spend enough time around a certain type of teenage boy.
Allikaallika on December 10th, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
I DESPISE Hemingway. Mostly just because I adore commas. *cuddles commas*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands PATD Ryan blue shirtscoradh on December 10th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC)
I'm sure in real life people use them too. They may not realise it, but they do - no matter what Hem liked to think!