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A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition by…
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A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition (edition 2010)

by Ernest Hemingway, Sean Hemingway (Introduction), Patrick Hemingway (Foreword)

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Title:A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
Authors:Ernest Hemingway
Other authors:Sean Hemingway (Introduction), Patrick Hemingway (Foreword)
Info:Scribner (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
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A Moveable Feast: the restored edition by Ernest Hemingway

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I read A Moveable Feast several years ago and enjoyed it quite a lot. Surprisingly, the restored edition was made even more enjoyable by Sean Hemingway's Introduction to the original text. When the reader looks at each of the nineteen sections of this book as "The Paris Sketches", as Sean suggests, you are able to see not only Hemingway's personality come through but also of those he writes about. The eccentricities of his contemporaries is enlightening and amusing. His love of his wife, Hadley, son, Bumby, skiing and writing are evident. Yet, as A Moveable Feast was written 30+ years after his separation from Hadley, his regret and sadness seem to add a somberness to the book and as an older man he contemplates the fate of his old friends and his former self. ( )
  Carmenere | Dec 11, 2018 |
Review of: A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition, by Ernest Hemingway
by Stan Prager (8-26-17)

Arguably, Ernest Hemingway was the greatest American writer of the twentieth century. Because it is probably unfair to declare one author greater than another of their contemporaries when their styles and methods varied so much—William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald spring to mind—such an accolade should probably be qualified by “among the greatest.” But I would still put Hemingway in first place, if only because his style was so unique and his reach so vast: he not only penned a handful of truly great novels—The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls—but also dozens of magnificent short stories, including “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” plus the semi-autobiographical “Nick Adams” tales, as well as the striking vignettes inserted between the stories in the published collections. And that was just his fiction. His roots as a skilled journalist made manifest the staccato bursts of short sentences that became his signature style, and without a doubt served as the basis for his ability to witness people and events and distill it all into captivating prose. Whether you are fascinated or repulsed (or a little of both!) by bull fighting or big game hunting, there are probably no better chronicles of these pursuits than, respectively, Death in the Afternoon and Green Hills of Africa. Hemingway’s genius for nonfiction is again underscored in A Moveable Feast, a memoir first published posthumously in 1964 by his fourth wife Mary, and then controversially re-edited and re-released in this “restored edition,” by his grandson Sean.
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man,” Hemingway wrote, “then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." This marvelous book is a collection of sketches of that “moveable feast” by that talented but penurious young man who lived in Paris in the early 1920s, struggling to earn a living as a foreign correspondent while perfecting his fiction, reading everything he could lay his hands on, skipping meals to finance trips to the race track, skiing in the most primitive conditions, drinking up a storm at cafés, and glorying in a whirlwind of activities with his first wife (Hadley Richardson, with whom here he is very much in love), and a gaggle of literary expatriates whose names read like a catalog of authors from the spines of books on the shelf of a fine personal library: John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Ford Madox Ford, and many others.
Revealed here is a kinetic energy and optimism in the young “Hem,” as well as an admiration and respect for other artists conspicuously absent in his later years. This version of Hemingway is extremely likeable: gregarious, curious, kind, considerate; craving the friendship and attention of both the famous and the little-known characters in his orbit. It was this fecund period that spawned The Sun Also Rises, his first novel and one of his finest. Later in life, his talent for his craft visibly diminished, lost to excessive alcohol, punishing physical injuries, and a kind of vulgar, outsize grandstanding that turned him into something of caricature of himself. He could often be mercurial, violent, boastful, immature; a mean drunk, a lousy husband, frequently a bad friend who was envious and resentful of another’s success, and spiteful enough to conspicuously malign them (as he did Scott Fitzgerald, more than once) in his writings. Thus it is that Hemingway’s episodic account of his early years in this volume is so energizing for the reader—revisiting a lost era of Paris between two devastating world wars, guided by a young man on the very cusp of becoming a great writer who is at once full of love for his lady and his life—yet nevertheless colored by the poignancy of the knowledge of what lies ahead for both Paris and its protagonist.
In 1956, Hemingway rediscovered two small steamer trunks that he had stored and forgotten at the Hotel Ritz Paris nearly three decades before, full of the notebooks he had kept during the 1920s. These were the primary sources for A Moveable Feast, which is why it reads with such freshness and optimism. Hemingway transcribed and edited these as a basis for a memoir he never completed. After his 1961 suicide, his fourth and final wife Mary reworked this manuscript for publication, putting changes to his draft that some have criticized. Also criticized with some greater vehemence is this “restored edition,” reworked yet again by his grandson Sean Hemingway, and containing additional material. As with all posthumous works, we can only wonder what the living author would have wanted us to read. But all of that is of less consequence to the reader than the wonder of this gift to us from that author. Again and again, throughout this volume, I came upon paragraphs written nearly a century ago by a man I consider the finest literary artist of his generation that took my breath away. Paragraphs such as:

The worst thing I remember of that avalanche winter was one man who was dug out. He had squatted down and made a box with his arms in front of his head, as we had been taught to do, so that there would be air to breathe as the snow rose up over you. It was a huge avalanche and it took a long time to dig everyone out, and this man was the last to be found. He had not been dead long and his neck was worn through so that the tendons and the bone were visible. He had been turning his head from side to side against the pressure of the snow. In this avalanche there must have been some old, packed snow mixed in with the new light snow that had slipped. We could not decide whether he had done it on purpose or if he had been out of his head. But there was no problem because he was refused burial in consecrated ground by the local priest anyway; since there was no proof he was a Catholic.

And that is why you read Hemingway! Not because you are impressed by the man he was, or the caricature of the man he came to personify, although both of these are fascinating. Not because of his utilization of the “objective correlative” as a literary device, although he did employ it masterfully. Not because he could tell us stories about wars, and bulls, and illuminated cafés, but he certainly knew such stories and told them well. But because he was truly an outstanding writer who frequently bestowed upon us truly great literature. This is why A Moveable Feast is required reading not only for the Hemingway aficionado, but for anyone who wants to experience such an artist at the height of his form. Paris may have been Hemingway’s moveable feast, but our very own moveable feast might be found in the books of glorious prose he has bequeathed to us. With that in mind, I will let Hemingway conclude this review of his work with his own words rather than that of the reviewer:

Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places. I do not know about that now but this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.

Review of: A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition, by Ernest Hemingway https://regarp.com/2017/08/26/review-of-a-moveable-feast-the-restored-edition-by-ernest-hemingway/ ( )
  Garp83 | Aug 26, 2017 |
Based off of the Sean Hemingway's introduction to my edition, it's difficult to imagine that my review belongs with reviews of the Moveable Feast edited by Mary Hemingway. Mine is billed as the "Restored Edition," with all of the editing Mary Hemingway did (including a Preface attributed to but never written by Hem) stripped away to reveal the closest Papa every got to actually finishing the book. Other changes are undone, chapters reordered as Hem intended, and then, for extra fun, additional chapters he wrote but ultimately decided not to include (but some of which Mary included in her version of the text) and several drafts of discarded material are included at the end as "Additional Paris Sketches" and "Fragments." Had I not known that this edition existed, I probably would have enjoyed Mary's version, but I believe Sean's introduction when he says this is closer to the book Hem had written, and I am glad this is the version I have read.

I loved this book, but I am a Hemingway fan and a writer, and I think you have to either love Hem or like him and be a writer to really enjoy this book. It offers incredible insight into Hemingway, the man--both as a young writer in Paris and an old man coming to terms with his betrayal of his first wife, who is the heroine of this story.

I have read that this is book is a "portable Paris." and while there are delightfully funny moments, interesting pieces of gossip about Hem's contemporaries, and French words and phrases that will please any Francophile, this is really an unfinished memoir of a man who ultimately took his own life before finding the right way to tell this story--lest we forget. Mary's version might read less tragically--I don't know; I haven't read it--but Ernest Hemingway was the tragic hero of his own novel, and that is apparent in this restored edition. ( )
  StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
I really admire Hemingway's ability to tell it how it is without giving us pages of description. The stories come across as more real, more true to life even though they took place almost a century ago. Much of what was true then is true now, especially when it comes down to the character of a person. I don't think that the additions to the end of this particular version are of any special worth other than to show he was a writer dedicated to perfecting his craft- don't we know this already? I also think that, had I not known of some of the characters and the general life of Hemingway in Paris, this would have been confusing. It means more knowing the background of his story, whether its fictionalised or not. That said, I enjoyed the book thoroughly and enjoyed the view of 1920's Paris it provided me. ( )
  JenBurge | Mar 20, 2015 |
His classic "memoir" of the early writing days in Paris - engrossing and at times bitchy account of his contemporaries in the literary world of Paris in the 1920s. ( )
  Anne_Green | Jan 7, 2015 |
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Foreword by Patrick Hemingway: A new generation of Hemingway readers (one hopes there will never be a lost generation!) has the opportunity here to read a pblished text that is a less edited and more comprehensive version of the original manuscript material the author intended as a memoir of his young, formative years as a writer in Paris; one of his best moveable feasts. . . .
Introduction by Sean Hemingway: In November 1956, the management of the Ritz Hotel in Paris convinced Ernest Hemingway to repossess two small steamer trunks that he had stored there in March 1928. . . .
First words in text: Then there was the bad weather. . . .
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Do not combine The Restored Edition with the 1964 edition of A Moveable Feast. The Restored Edition includes additional chapters, e.g., “A Strange Fight Club", “The Education of Mr. Bumby”, “Scott and His Parisian Chauffeur,” and “Secret Pleasures.”
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Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. It is a literary feast, brilliantly evoking the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the youthful spirit, unbridled creativity, and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
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Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. It is a literary feast, brilliantly evoking the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the youthful spirit, unbridled creativity, and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.… (more)

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