New Blog Post: An excerpt from “A Movable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway

4631Though I am complete acknowledgment that Ernest Hemingway was a great author, I myself have never been broadly attracted to his work. However, I came across this excerpt recently and was drawn to it so I read the book as it’s brief and felt wily. I was drawn to this excerpt because I have always been curious about those who draw people to them and those who are those drawn in. I have, in the past been drawn in to charismatic people; not always happy ones but ones that had a certain energy that I wanted to be a part of. Some of those relationships were healthy, others weren’t. The key was knowing my place and not getting lost. Here is an excerpt from Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast”

“When you have two people who love each other, are happy and gay and really good work is being done by one or both of them, people are drawn to them as surely as migrating birds are drawn at night to a powerful beacon. If the two people were as solidly constructed as the beacon there would be little damage except to the birds. Those who attract people by their happiness and their performance are usually inexperienced. They do not know how not to be overrun and how to go away. They do not always learn about the good, the attractive, the charming, the soon-beloved, the generous, the understanding rich who have no bad qualities and who give each day the quality of a festival and who, when they have passed and taken the nourishment they needed, leave everything deader than the roots of any grass Attila’s horses’ hooves have ever scoured.”

Published posthumously in 1964, “A Movable Feast” depicts Hemingway’s life in Paris from 1921 to 1926. Although the book is clearly autobiographical, in the Preface, Hemingway, after explaining that several items were left out of his memoir, then suggests that “If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction” and adds, “But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.” So it would seem – Rather than the often vain, self-centered, and troubled person that Hemingway was, he presents a smoothed over, patient, loyal, and often loving version of himself. the indulgence is overwhelming and more than a few reviews noted, “If you want to read a book by someone who lost his shit and knew he lost it spectacularly, this be the one. This is Hemingway kicking his own ass, and thus, a lesson to us all.”

EH 5738P Ernest Hemingway, Paris, circa 1924. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston.
EH 5738P Ernest Hemingway, Paris, circa 1924. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston.

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