Re: RARA-AVIS: Hemingway

From: Patrick King (
Date: 28 Oct 2007

Yes. It's in the sequence about Ford Maddox Ford, who also doesn't come across too well. He and Hemingway are sitting at a cafe and a man walks by. Ford says to Hemingway, "Did you see me cut him!" meaning that he hadn't acknowledged knowing him. Ford told Hemingway it was a writer known by reputation to both of them, but H found out later it was Crowley. His point was that Ford had very low priorities and for the most part, didn't know what he was talking about. A pretty funny sequence.

Fitzgerald's family was crashing at that time. It's the era Fitzgerald memorialized in TENDER IS THE NIGHT. I don't have a problem with any of it. Hemingway was no saint nor did he try to portray himself as one. He does seem to think he's smarter than everyone else, but who doesn't? I think his attempt in A MOVEABLE FEAST was to show his acquaintences, warts and all. His initial meetings with Stein are delightful. As he became successful, his friends began to resent him, and he tended to resent them for doing so. I think the emotions are best captured by Bob Dylan in his '65 song POSITIVELY 4TH ST. Hemingway's career soared past many of the very great artists he knew in Paris and when you become that successful, people do tend to hate you no matter how close you were previously. People are seldom secure enough to feel good about a friend's success. A MOVEABLE FEAST captures the struggle to become an artist, and the stupification of success. His explaination of how he developed his short story techinque by meditating on paintings in Louvre was more useful to me than any writing course I've ever taken.

Patrick King
--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> Patrick King wrote of A MOVABLE FEAST:
> It's a great portrait of people struggling to
> create;
> chooseing alies and dealing with professional
> jealousy, their own, and jealousy aimed at them.
> ***************
> I have mixed feelings about it. I liked it because
> of
> the wicked gossip woven into it. Really nasty
> towards
> Gertrude Stein and Fitzgerald didn't come out
> looking
> very good either. It's been a while since I read it
> but doesn't it portray the beginning of the collapse
> of the Fitzgerald family, with Zelda heading towards
> crazy? My problem with it, though, is that it shows
> Hemingway's tendency to turn against his former
> friends, something pointed out earlier by Richard
> Moore.
> As a side note on the who's who in A Movable Feast,
> I
> think that there's a reference to a man walking by a
> cafe with a cape on. It doesn't say, but I've heard
> it's Aleister Crowley.
> And The Sun Also Rises is as near perfect as I need
> in
> life.
> miker
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