I had been itching to read Hemingway’s memoir-ish “A Moveable Feast” after having seen it mentioned and positively reviewed on more than one of the blogs I follow. When the library finally got it in and it was my turn, I anticipated a good read. However, it was not to be.
I just don’t like Hemingway’s writing style. Or his content. Or his misogyny.
I have read quite a bit of Hemingway through graduate school and various readings since then, so I did have an idea of how he wrote in lots of staccato sentences with alcohol, gambling, and women playing leading roles. However, for some unknown reason, I thought this time it would be different. (Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)
I think that this topic, in different hands, would have been good – perhaps in the hands of a good travel writer or similar. There are lots of things to see and describe in the City of Light. However, with Hemingway writing and looking back over a good few years to his younger days in Paris, I was just annoyed with him and his laissez faire attitude to life and his marriage (to Hadley).
Yes, there were some lovely descriptions of Paris in the rain, in the cold… But I grew increasingly impatient with his loser lifestyle: drink, write, sleep, drink some more, have sex. (Can you say “hedonist”?) I can’t see any redeeming qualities in this life at all, and so the book lays unfinished and waiting its return to the library.
Yes, Hemingway is part of the Western canon of “literature”, but I really think that I have given him a fair try and enough is enough. Sorry, Ernie. Better luck next time.
In the meantime, learning all about the genetic history of the dog and catching up with two brothers in Ethiopa which is much more up my alley. (Or is it “down my alley”?) (See side bar for clues.)
I suspect I’d feel the same way if I picked this up: Hemingway was such a tool, and a sexist tool, that I just can’t care about his writing. Oh well: so many other wonderful authors out there!