I have a confession to make. A Moveable Feast is my first ever foray into the realms of Ernest Hemingway. I know, I know, he is a literary legend and I am a poor excuse for a student of literature for not being familiar with his work. The only excuse I can make is that I'm British, and the only books we are exposed to are almost exclusively from English writers, which I do not dispute is a travesty.
"all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil"
Having no prior conceptions about Hemingway (other than his fleeting incarnation in Midnight in Paris) I really wasn't sure what to expect. The first thing that struck me was the writing style: stripped back, bare, raw and honest. Unimaginable skill must have gone into every sentence. It is just so easy to get lost in little literary flourishes and lose the impact of authorial intention along the way. Once I got grips with Hemingway's style I was lost in the ancient cobbled streets of Paris, with senses alive to the hubbub of a busy Cafe. I hung on every one of Hemingway's words, and I couldn't believe how descriptive the prose was despite the dearth of adjectives. If you aren't sold on the astonishing quality of the prose alone, then the presence of Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce and Gertrude Stein should convince any lover of modern literature to take up this worthy little volume. Upon reading, do prepare to die to see 1920s Paris through the eyes of Hemingway.