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Hemingway in Paris

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Macho-misogynistic alcoholic, egocentric braggart, paranoid mythomaniac... but also writer, journalist and war correspondent, Ernest Hemingway is one of the most widely read authors of the first half of the 20th century. He moved to Paris in the 1920s and met expatriate American writers, a circle of intellectuals who would become known as the "lost generation".

"I lived on what I wanted to write. Gertrude was my guide in Paris, which was the cultural melting pot of those years. She would stack, on one side of her desk, the books I would have to read to keep up with the modernist avant-garde. She would accompany me and introduce me to people, including Ezra Pound, whom I would consider my mentor who would pave the way for me by helping me to publish some short stories and poems in literary magazines.

By this time, I was well on my way to becoming a writer.... I had to be a writer!

A year after my arrival, I decided to rent a small attic for my studio, near Rue Descartes, in the same house where Verlaine had died many years before. I breathed in that atmosphere full of words, feelings and memories; I embodied what I wanted to become.

I spent my days between the Brasserie Lipp in the Boulevard Saint-Germain, the Closerie des Lilas, which became, in its own right, my favourite café, but, above all, the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, where I chatted with writers and artists. At the age of twenty-five, I began to frequent the literary cafés of Ford Madox Ford, who, however, I found repugnant in his manner and truly intolerable.... The poor man would become the victim of several of my satirical writings! When I was awake, I wrote, wherever I was.."

Emblematic author of the Lost Generation, Hemingway recounted the war, the surpassing of oneself, the great political battles, but also the artistic and cultural emulation of the Paris of the Roaring Twenties. From Montmartre to Montparnasse, painters, musicians and writers met to create.

By Matilda, author of the tour "Live your vocation".

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