Book Beginnings: A Movable Feast

by Ernest Hemingway

A Good Cafe on the Place St.-Michel

Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain agianst the big green autobus at the terminal and the Cafe des Amateaurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run cafe where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness.  The men and women who frequented the Amateurs stayed drunk all of the time, or all of the time they could afford it, mostly on wine which they bought by the half-liter or liter. Many strangely named aperitifs were advertised, but few people could afford them except as a foundation to build their wine drunks on. The women drundards were called poivrottes which meant female rummies.


And so ends the opening paragraph of A Movable Feast, one of my favorite books.
If you know the people in the cover picture let me know. I recognize Hemingway, of course, and I believe that is Ezra Pound on the left, and I always thought the others were Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but the woman doesn’t look like Zelda. She looks too womanly to be Gertrude Stein. ? Let me know.

3 Responses to “Book Beginnings: A Movable Feast”

  1. Lisa Chapman Says:

    Love Hemingway, this book, Sun Also Rises, Garden of Eden, Old Man & the Sea….. Well, you get the drift. Are you re-reading it?


  2. Wish I might help with the people in the photo but cannot, yet need to tell you how welcome your posts are. So much intelligent good sense. A huge thanks from a loyal follower in down under Australia. Angie


  3. Angela, thank you so much for the compliment.


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