Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Moveable Feast - Chapitre Deux

Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Scapegoat by Daniel Pennac was a disappointment. I gave up after just a couple of chapters. I had no idea what was going on and didn't feel compelled to sort anything out.

I wanted to comment on the final chapters of A Moveable Feast. The stories about F. Scott Fitzgerald are très triste. Hemingway paints him as being rather a hypochondriac and in the early stages of his alcoholism. His wife Zelda loved to party and was jealous of Scotty's work so she pulled him along with her. He would resist for a bit and get some writing done, but then fall under the spell of the drink and was unable to work until he would resist again and then fall again.

But Hemingway loved him and they were good friends.

The final pages of the book are heartbreaking: Hemingway and Hadley and why that marriage ended and how. He is writing of their relationship from some distance of time and place and has great insight into its end. I felt as if he were heartbroken still.

I wondered often as I read these vignettes and stories if they would have been just as interesting if the characters were not so well known. I had to answer, mais oui. Hemingway's writing is what gives them their power, not the names.

"There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other."


  1. Indeed, the stories would retain their poignancy. I recently re-read this before leaving for Paris and it is a book that holds up, no matter when you read it. Lovely photo at the top.

  2. Thanks Jeanie,
    I must say the photos on your blog are astounding. I almost weep seeing them and remembering my last trip to Paris in 2010. I have not been inside the Opera House and seeing your photos has now insured that the next time I am in Paris (and surely there will be a next time!) I will have a visit at the top of my list. I have been in the new Opera House. It is not quite the opulent vision that is the old.