K- and I strolled through the Luxembourg Gardens this morning. It was already close to 60 degrees. We walked several miles and bought lunch items for a picnic and walked back toward the Seine for a snack. We were side -tracked when we passed rue du Cardinal Lemoine. It was at 74 Cardinal Lemoine that Hemingway his wife and their child lived, and where his memoirs, A Moveable Feast, took place. We walked around the area and photographed the apartment exterior as well as the studio where he wrote. Unfortunately, I forgot the cord to connect the camera to the computer so I can’t actually prove we saw any of these places- you’ll just to have to take my word for it.
In his book, A Moveable Feast, Hemingway writes about the time between 1922-1923 when he, his wife and their son were staying at this apartment. It was so cold, he wrote, that he would spend the day out at a cafe drinking and writing. He doesn’t mention what his wife and child were doing during these cold snaps; presumably they managed to stay warm. Not to belabor the point, but he also writes of being broke and hungry and going to the American Express office to get some much anticipated money. Prior to going home with the paycheck, starving he stops at the Café Lipp for a meal- again, no mention of what his wife and kid were doing at the time. She did survive, at least long enough to divorce him.
Hemingway loved Paris. In 1944, after the liberation, he famously said that he and his troops were off to liberate the brandy from the Ritz, of course today we would call that looting but back then it was considered “folksy”.
Here's the funny thing about Hemingway- everyone praises his writing but you know he was probably an asshole. Who wouldn’t want to sit down with the man for a drink? But it seems to me that after he's thrown back a few pernods or whatever the kids were drinking back then- he's going to start pestering you to arm wrestle. "What ya think ya can take me!" he'd scream as he slammed his elbow on the table (trying not to cringe at hitting it too hard.) I would imagine that of all the writers in Paris, he'd be the first one to call you a pansy. I suspect that Gertrude Stein could have taken him ...but my visit with him would have been as short and to the point as his sentences.