It’s my great pleasure to read Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast again. I read it every year, usually in the Fall, perhaps as an unconscious result of the opening lines of the book.
Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the window in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe.
“(T)he cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe” is a perfect sentence.
This year, as for the last few, I am using the copy of the book that I bought on the rue Mouffetard, “that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe.”
S and I were walking around Paris and I noticed the narrow street we were ascending was the rue Cardinal Lemoine and I remembered that was one of the streets in which Hemingway had lived, as well as the location for one of bal musettes where Ford Madox Ford sponsored parties. I realized then that I had left my copy of A Moveable Feast behind and wanted to buy a new one. With poetic appropriateness, there was a small bookstore on the corner where it met the place. In the window was a bright yellow paperback of A Moveable Feast. So I bought it.
Our friend David, whom I knew from Boston but who has lived in Paris for over a decade, told me that I the way I drank in that city was “fancy.” But it wasn’t fancy, it was old-fashioned. And it was old-fashioned because all I knew about Francophone drinking was via A Moveable Feast. So I, like Hemmingway, drank Sancerre and kir and Brandy St. James.