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A Moveable Feast (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. November 1994

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Taschenbuch, 3. November 1994
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Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Chapter One

Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain against the big green autobus at the terminal and the Café des Amateurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run café where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness. The men and women who frequented the Amateurs stayed drunk all of the time, or all of the time they could afford it, mostly on wine which they bought by the half-liter or liter. Many strangely named apéritifs were advertised, but few people could afford them except as a foundation to build their wine drunks on. The women drunkards were called poivrottes which meant female rummies.

The Café des Amateurs was the cesspool of the rue Mouffetard, that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe. The squat toilets of the old apartment houses, one by the side of the stairs on each floor with the two cleated cement shoe-shaped elevations on each side of the aperture so a locataire would not slip, emptied into cesspools which were emptied by pumping into horse-drawn tank wagons at night. In the summer time, with all windows open, we would hear the pumping and the odor was very strong. The tank wagons were painted brown and saffron color and in the moonlight when they worked the rue Cardinal Lemoine their wheeled, horse-drawn cylinders looked like Braque paintings. No one emptied the Café des Amateurs though, and its yellowed poster stating the terms and penalties of the law against public drunkenness was as flyblown and disregarded as its clients were constant and ill-smelling.

All of the sadness of the city came suddenly with the first cold rains of winter, and there were no more tops to the high white houses as you walked but only the wet blackness of the street and the closed doors of the small shops, the herb sellers, the stationery and the newspaper shops, the midwife -- second class -- and the hotel where Verlaine had died where I had a room on the top floor where I worked.

It was either six or eight flights up to the top floor and it was very cold and I knew how much it would cost for a bundle of small twigs, three wire-wrapped packets of short, half-pencil length pieces of split pine to catch fire from the twigs, and then the bundle of half-dried lengths of hard wood that I must buy to make a fire that would warm the room. So I went to the far side of the street to look up at the roof in the rain and see if any chimneys were going, and how the smoke blew. There was no smoke and I thought about how the chimney would be cold and might not draw and of the room possibly filling with smoke, and the fuel wasted, and the money gone with it, and I walked on in the rain. I walked down past the Lycée Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St.-étienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Panthéon and cut in for shelter to the right and finally came out on the lee side of the Boulevard St.-Michel and worked on down it past the Cluny and the Boulevard St.-Germain until I came to a good café that I knew on the Place St.-Michel.

It was a pleasant café, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a café au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write. I was writing about up in Michigan and since it was a wild, cold, blowing day it was that sort of day in the story. I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could write about it better than in another. That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things. But in the story the boys were drinking and this made me thirsty and I ordered a rum St. James. This tasted wonderful on the cold day and I kept on writing, feeling very well and feeling the good Martinique rum warm me all through my body and my spirit.

A girl came in the café and sat by herself at a table near the window. She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair was black as a crow's wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek.

I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited. I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere, but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone. So I went on writing.

The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another rum St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.

I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

Then I went back to writing and I entered far into the story and was lost in it. I was writing it now and it was not writing itself and I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor order any more rum St. James. I was tired of rum St. James without thinking about it. Then the story was finished and I was very tired. I read the last paragraph and then I looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she's gone with a good man, I thought. But I felt sad.

I closed up the story in the notebook and put it in my inside pocket and I asked the waiter for a dozen portugaises and a half-carafe of the dry white wine they had there. After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

Now that the bad weather had come, we could leave Paris for a while for a place where this rain would be snow coming down through the pines and covering the road and the high hillsides and at an altitude where we would hear it creak as we walked home at night. Below Les Avants there was a chalet where the pension was wonderful and where we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright. That was where we could go. Traveling third class on the train was not expensive. The pension cost very little more than we spent in Paris.

I would give up the room in the hotel where I wrote and there was only the rent of 74 rue Cardinal Lemoine which was nominal. I had written journalism for Toronto and the checks for that were due. I could write that anywhere under any circumstances and we had money to make the trip.

Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan. I did not know it was too early for that because I did not know Paris well enough. But that was how it worked out eventually. Anyway we would go if my wife wanted to, and I finished the oysters and... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Hemingway's classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, published for the first time as he intended - from the Nobel Prize-winning author of A Farewell To Arms.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Ich habe Ernest Hemingways Romane in der Schule kennen und hassen gelernt - "Wem die Stunde schlägt" war mein persönlicher Langweiler. Und das führte dazu, dass ich nie wieder zu Hemingways Bücher gegriffen habe, obwohl ich wirklich eine Leseratte bin. Als ich vor kurzem noch einmal den Film "City of Angels" sah, in dem Meg Ryan "A moveable feast" liest und toll findet, kam ich auf die Idee mal nachzuschauen, um welches Buch es sich handelt und war überrascht eine Autobiografie zu finden. Ich habe es gewagt mir "A moveable feast" anzuschaffen und wurde sehr positiv überrascht. Hemingway schreibt leicht und interessant über seine Jahre in Paris um die 20er Jahre. Die Einblicke in sein Leben und die Schriftsteller um ihn herum (sehr interessant die Kapitel über die Reise mit F. Scott Fitzgerald) sind so verfasst, dass man das Leben vor sich sieht, wie es passierte. Ich habe hier einen Hemingway kennen gelernt, der spannend und kurzweilig schreibt. Nichts ist mehr da von dem Bild, das ich noch vor kurzem hatte. Ich werde jetzt auf jeden Fall mehr von Ernest Hemingway lesen.
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My book group read this book, after reading the novel, "The Paris Wife."

This is Ernest's version of what happened in his first marriage and his life in Paris in the 1920s. There are lovely descriptions of cafe life, his toddler son, skiing in Shruns, running "the bulls" in Pamplona, and trips to the south of France with other Americans living in Europe.
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My God, if you're a writer or hoping to be -- you will love this book! A short time ago I was rereading this, and I'm just struck by how enjoyable it is. Maybe it's even one of the reasons I set out to be a writer in the first place.

These are sketches of Hemingway's early days in Paris as he joined other expatriate writers and artists living there. Need I say more? How about that he recalls meeting the likes of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald, and that the writing is quite beautifully understated and so easy to read.

What do I think of Hemingway, in general? In my opinion, he remains a model for that whole Raymond Chandler/James Cain school of noir writers.

Hemingway's short stories remain vital and are wonders of economy and understatement. If you pick up Collected Stories (Everyman's Library Classics), here's a few I recommend:

"The Killers"

"A Clean, Well-lighted Place"

"Indian Camp"

"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"

Hemingway, more or less, invented "minimalism." Just remember that when you're reading Raymond Carver stories. Bukowski has said that Hemingway was his model, too (only that Buk's work is less crafted and more intentionally primitive -- and injected with more vulgarity and humor). That Hemingway-esque striped-down, simple use of language is something that we (as writers) should all try to go for. Simple is always better.

What's interesting about Hemingway is that his writing is minimal yet also concrete.
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Hemingway's writing was always very auto-biographical, but in A Moveable Feast, published after his lifetime and written late in Hem's life, he actually uses real character names in recreating Paris of the 1920's. For any Hemingway fan, or for those interested in first hand accounts of life with Gertrude Stein, Alice Toklas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce and others, this is truly a must read.
The book is everything that most late fiction by Hemingway is not. It is lean, romantic, and genuine, without the blustery heroes and stilted dialogue of missed efforts like the dreadful Across the River and Into the Trees.
Here Hemingway looks back fondly on his days with Hadley in Paris, slipping into cafes to sit all day and attempt to write over a cup of coffee. He remembers trips to the racetrack, a hysterical road trip adventure with Fitzgerald to retrieve a car, and other memorable details from the lives of the Lost Generation living abroad. He also takes shots at some so-called friends who turned on him, not passing up on an opportunity to get in the last word. There is some doubt as to whether Hemingway ever wanted this book published, but I am very glad that they did. It is a book to cherish and come back to every couple of years, and it had aged better than anything else Hemingway had written.
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Whenever friends ask me why, at my age, I still love Hemingway, I smile and think about this book. They say "Hemingway' and conjure up familiar visions of the older, bloated and blighted boozer bragging about his macho accomplishments in the world of war and sports, while I consider the young Hemingway in Paris. I am thinking of a much younger, intellectually virile man, a far more alert, aware and alive Hemingway as a 'moveable feast' walking through the streets of a rain-swept Paris on a quiet Monday morning, heading to a café for some café au lait and to begin his long day's labor.
In this single, slim tome Hemingway beautifully and unforgettably evokes a world of beauty and innocence now so utterly lost and irretrievable both to himself, through his fame, alcohol, and dissipation, but also to us, for Paris as she was in the 1920s was a place made to order for the lyrical descriptive songs he sings about her in this remembrance; endlessly interesting, instantly unforgettable, and also accessible to the original "starving young artist types" so well depicted here. As anyone visiting Paris today knows, that magical time and place has utterly vanished. Tragically, Paris is just another city these days.
Yet this is a book that unforgettably captures the essence of what the word 'romance' means, and does so in the spare and laconic style that Hemingway developed while sitting in the bistros and watching as the world in all its colors and hues flowed by him. The stories he tells are filled with the kinds of people one usually meets only in novels, yet because of who they were and who they later became in the world of arts and letters, it is hard to doubt the veracity or honesty he uses to such advantage here.
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