Category Archives: Expatriates

Re-Editing the Past: A Moveable Feast

"The Restored Edition," 2009

Hemingway is known for his many revisions, almost always editing events from the way they appeared in his moleskines. Well this week, I finally got around to reading to newest version of A Moveable Feast, (to be honest, I read the new sections and skimmed the rest). This edition is edited by his grandson Sean, who claims it is the most accurate edition.

After Hemingwayโ€™s death in 1961, his fourth wife, Mary, was left with the unfinished pieces that would eventually compose A Moveable Feast, which document his life as a struggling writer and sketch out the relationship with his first wife, Hadley. This included a collection of autobiographical notes and three novels which Mary would single-handedly piece together and publish in 1964.

Ernest and Hadley, Chamby, Switzerland, Winter 1922

Patrick Hemingway, son to Ernie’s second wife, Pauline, never liked the way his mother was depicted in the novel: The work portrays Pauline Pfeiffer as the friend who betrayed Hadley’s trust by seducing Hemingway. (Hemingway, of course, betrayed Hadley too, but whatever — in Bukowski’s words, “Hey man, I’m the hero of my shit,” so Hemingway gets to be the hero of his shit…). So anyway, Patrick suggested that his nephew, Sean, who had already edited a few of Hemingway’s works, compose more accurate compilation of the chapters left at the time of Heminway’s death. The edition that Mary edited is basically a canonical work of American literature at this point — the fact begs the question: does sheer accuracy really matter, especially for an author who fiercely re-edited the “truth”?

Granted, Mary has been publicly criticized for truncating passages in which Hemingway expressed remorse to Hadley, (and understandably so). Patrick and Sean objected to these exclusions because it also excluded the good times Hemingway had with Pauline.

First Edition, 1964

We have no way of knowing, of course, whether Hemingway would have ultimately kept the same order of chapters as appeared in his outline, or whether he would have approved of Maryโ€™s particular interpretation, nor ifย  he would have approved the edition Sean has rehashed. Nonetheless, I would definitely suggest that fans of A Moveable Feast, and those that wish to expand their knowledge of the veritable soap opera that is Hemingway’s prose/psyche, check out this and interpret it as they will. If anything, it adds to the mystique.

After that, go re-read Hills Like White Elephants.

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Book Covers by ‘Jason’

The enigmatic Norwegian graphic novelist ‘Jason’ creates some amazing jacket art, my favorite of which is his design for the latest edition of The Dharma Bums, out as a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition (below). I haven’t read any of his graphic novels, but I just ordered The Left Bank Gang, which centers on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce in the bohemia of 1920’s Paris.

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Jason’s Bio.

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Summer, Fitzgerald, and the Days of Dapper Inebriation

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Drinking, if done well and stylishly, can lead to literary inspiration – or at least not impede it too much. Take that great chronicler of wealth and high society F. Scott Fitzgerald, for instance; some of his best work was clearly done under the influence. Just look at the soaking-wet Tender Is the Night (1934). Of course the intemperate author, left entirely to his own devices, might have been less poetical in his consumption of alcohol and thereby rendered a less perfect work of art. But his great friends, patrons and mentors Gerald and Sara Murphy, upon whom Tender Is the Night is based, showed him how to do the thing properly.

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The beautiful, rich, and clever Murphys, iconic figures of the Jazz Age in France, held court at their villa on the French Riviera in Antibes (Villa America, as it was dubbed) where they would hold legendary dinner parties. Gerald tried to limit his guests’ consumption of the hard stuff in order to prevent the gatherings from devolving into total inebriation, though Fitzgerald usually managed to down more than his fair share. This often led to breakages, shouting matches and even suicide attempts.

The Fitzgeralds of course, were legendary boozers. When they later lived in shabby gentility in Great Neck, Long Island, they would drive back and forth to Manhattan for death-denying binges in a second-hand Rolls-Royce. Their houseboy would frequently find them passed out on the lawn in the morning, the car more or less in the driveway.

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Murphy immortalized drink-making as a stylish ritual in his 1927 painting “Cocktail,” now in the Whitney in New York. Asked what he was mixing in his silver shaker, Gerald would always reply, “Oh, just the juice of a few flowers.” (The line was later borrowed by the Murphys’ friend, The Philadelphia Story author Phillip Barry, for his movie Holiday in which it was said by Cary Grant). What Gerald was actually concocting was something he called a Bailey; “invented by me,” Gerald wrote to Alexander Woollcott, “as were a great many other good things.” Indeed.

Gerald Murphy’s “Bailey”:

3/5ths gin
1/5th grapefruit juice
1/5th lime juice
Sprigs of mint

Personal instructions:

The mint should be put in the shaker first. It should be torn up by hand as it steeps better. The gin should be added then and allowed to stand a minute or two. Then add the grapefruit juice and then the lime juice. Stir vigorously with ice and do not allow to dilute too much, but serve very cold, with a sprig of mint in each glass.

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Expat’ed: Americans in Paris

As I will be studying in Paris next winter quarter, I’ve recently developed an obsession with the ideals of the expatriate movement – so, here are some photos of Americans in the City of Lights. In the coming weeks I will continue to satiate my obsession with tidbits regarding the somewhat strained yet decidely dynamic relationship between America and France.

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Miller.

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Baldwin.

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Burroughs.

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Barney.

Ezra Pound - Pound In Paris - LIFE_1243380801936

Pound.

hemingwayparis

Hemingway.

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