A Moveable Feast (1964), by Ernest Hemingway, has hit the bestseller list in Paris following the deadly attacks on November 13. The American author’s memoir about his life as an expatriate in Paris in the 1920’s glorifies the historic city and its countless cafés, where a number of writers and artists found inspiration. Paris, Hemingway writes in his memoir, is, “the best place in the world to live and work, for the French have a way of life into which all needs easily fit.” To Hemingway and Parisians, Paris is a city where the open exchange of ideas has, and continues to, flourish.
Hemingway’s Parisian memoir is now flying off bookshelves in Paris after a 77-year-old Paris woman, Danielle Merian, gave an interview in which she stated the importance of bringing flowers, as well as Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, to memorialize those who died in the attacks. Merian states, “…it’s very important to see, among the flowers, copies of Hemingway’s book ‘A Moveable Feast’ because we are a very ancient civilization, and we will hold high the banner of our values.” In French, the title translates to ‘Paris is a Celebration’.
After soaring to the top of the bestseller list on Amazon’s French site and vanishing from bookshelves in Paris, a manager of Shakespeare & Company, Adam Biles, posited as to why the memoir has become so popular following the attacks. In an Interview covered by NPRhe states that the book is:
A symbol of optimism. It’s a symbol of Paris as Paris should be. It’s a symbol of café culture. It’s a symbol of literary culture. It’s a symbol of artists fraternizing on the terrace. It’s everything that, in many ways, was attacked last Friday night.
The book title has also become a popular hashtag on twitter. Have you read A Moveable Feast and would you recommend it to others? Let us know in the comments.
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