Friday, January 16, 2009

a delicious feast

laurel lent me 'a moveable feast' by ernest hemingway earlier this week and i've been obsessively reading it in my glimpses of free time ever since.

The book is a memoir of hemingway's time amongst the american ex-pat literary circle in paris during the 1920s. it's a totally engaging read detailing personal experiences and encounters with his friends and contemporaries, literary giants ezra pound, gertrude stein, f. scott fitzgerald and james joyce, among others.

he does an amazing job of bringing to life that lost paris. reading his accounts i find myself absolutely longing for this time and place i've never been - the cafes, the bookshops, the salons and the racetrack. and, though i hate to admit it, i find myself longing for him a little:

hemingway's passport photo, 1921

la closerie des lilas cafe

james joyce and sylvia beach outside of her bookstore, shakespeare and company

i just love this beautiful, tragic description hemingway gives of f. scott fitzgerald:

"his talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. at one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. later he became conscious of his damaged wings and their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless."

this was also the paris of josephine baker, coco chanel, jeanne lanvin and madeleine vionnet. what an era for the fashionable french woman!

la baker and chiquita


lanvin dress, 1924

jeanne lanvin's covetable bathroom

vionnet flapper dress, 1920s

1 comment:

miss vanilli said...

Nice post. I too often feel a certain melancholic longing to have existed in a different time - in a seemingly more elegant, beautiful, and what might be regarded as a more "intellectual" era. Not that I'm an "intellectual" by any means.