Authors: Ernest Hemingway
by Earnest Hemingway
A Triad Panther Book
London Toronto Sydney New York
Published by Granada Publishing Limited in Panther Books 1977 Reprinted 1979
ISBN 0 586 04464 7
First published in Great Britain by
Jonathan Cape Ltd 1964
Copyright © Ernest Hemingway Ltd 1964
eBook scanned & proofed by Binwiped 10-27-02 [v1.0]
Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in 1899. His father was a doctor and he was the second of six children. Their home was at Oak Park, a Chicago suburb.
In 1917 Hemingway joined the Kansas City
as a cub reporter. The following year he volunteered to work as an ambulance driver on the Italian front where he was badly wounded but twice decorated for his services. He returned to America in 1919 and married in 1921. In 1922 he reported on the Greco-Turkish war then two years later resigned from journalism to devote himself to fiction. He settled in Paris where he renewed his earlier friendship with such fellow-American expatriates as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Their encouragement and criticism were to play a valuable part in the formation of his style.
Hemingway's first two published works were
Three Stories and Ten Poems
but it was the satirical novel,
The Torrents of Spring,
which established his name more widely. His international reputation was firmly secured by his next three books:
Fiesta, Men Without Women
A Farewell to Arms.
He was passionately involved with bullfighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing, and his writing reflected this. He visited Spain during the Civil War and described his experiences in the bestseller,
For Whom the Bell Tolls.
His direct and deceptively simple style of writing spawned generations of imitators but no equals. Recognition of his position in contemporary literature came in 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize, following the publication of
The Old Man and the Sea.
Ernest Hemingway died in 1961.
Also by Ernest Hemingway:
The Torrents of Spring
A Farewell to Arms
To Have and Have Not
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Across the River and Into the Trees
The Old Man and the Sea
Islands in the Stream
Men Without Women
Winner Take Nothing
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Death in the Afternoon
Green Hills of Africa
The Fifth Column
The Essential Hemingway
The First Forty-Nine Stories
1 A Good Cafe on the Place St-Michel
Miss Stein Instructs
'Une Generation Perdue"
Shakespeare and Company
People of the Seine
A False Spring
The End of an Avocation
Hunger Was Good Discipline
Ford Madox Ford and the Devil's Disciple
Birth of a New School
With Pascin at the Dome
Ezra Pound and His Bel Esprit
A Strange Enough Ending
The Man Who Was Marked for Death
Evan Shipman at the Lilas
An Agent of Evil
Hawks Do Not Share
A Matter of Measurements
There Is Never Any End to Paris
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
to a friend,
Ernest started writing this book in Cuba in the autumn of 1957, worked on it in Ketchum, Idaho, in the winter of 1958-9, took it with him to Spain when we went there in April, 1959, and brought it back with him to Cuba and then to Ketchum late that fall. He finished the book in the spring of 1960 in Cuba, after having put it aside to write another book,
The Dangerous Summer,
about the violent rivalry between Antonio Ordonez and Luis Miguel Dominguin in the bull rings of Spain in 195 9. He made some revisions of this book in the fall in 1960 in Ketchum. It concerns the years 1921 to 1926 in Paris.
For reasons sufficient to the writer, many places, people, observations and impressions have been left out of this book. Some were secrets and some were known by everyone and everyone has written about them and will doubtless write more.
There is no mention of the Stade Anastasie where the boxers served as waiters at the tables set out under the trees and the ring was in the garden. Nor of training with Larry Gains, nor the great twenty-round fights at the Cirque d'Hiver. Nor of such good friends as Charlie Sweeny, Bill Bird and Mike Strater, nor of Andre Masson and Miro. There is no mention of our voyages to the Black Forest or of our one-day explorations of the forests that we loved around Paris. It would be fine if all these were in this book but we will have to do without them for now.
If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.
San Francisco de Paula, Cuba 1960
1 A Good Café on the Place St-Michel
Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain against the big green autobus at the terminal and the Cafe des Amateurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside.
It was a sad, evilly run cafe where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness.
The men and women who frequented the Amateurs stayed drunk all of the time, or all of the time they could afford it, mostly on wine which they bought by the half-litre or litre.
Many strangely named aperitifs were advertised, but few people could afford them except as a foundation to build their wine drunks on. The women drunkards were called
which meant female rummies.
The Cafe des Amateurs was the cesspool of the rue Mouffetard, that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe. The squat toilets of the old apartment houses, one by the side of the stairs on each floor with the two cleated cement shoe-shaped elevations on each side of the aperture so a
would not slip, emptied into cesspools which were emptied by pumping into horse-drawn tank wagons at night. In the summer time, with all windows open, we would hear the pumping and the odour was very strong. The tank wagons were painted brown and saffron colour and in the moonlight when they worked the rue Cardinal Lemoine their wheeled, horse-drawn cylinders looked like Braque paintings. No one emptied the Cafe des Amateurs though, and its yellowed poster stating the terms and penalties of the law against public drunkenness was as flyblown and disregarded as its clients were constant and ill-smelling.
All of the sadness of the city came suddenly with the first cold rains of winter, and there were no more tops to the high white houses as you walked but only the wet blackness of the street and the closed doors of the small shops, the herb sellers, the stationery and the newspaper shops, the midwife - second class - and the hotel where Verlaine had died, where I had a room on the top floor where I worked.
It was either six or eight flights up to the top floor and it was very cold and I knew how much it would cost for a bundle of small twigs, three wire-wrapped packets of short, half-pencil length pieces of split pine to catch fire from the twigs, and then the bundle of half-dried lengths of hard wood that I must buy to make a fire that would warm the room.
So I went to the far side of the street to look up at the roof in the rain and see if any chimneys were going, and how the smoke blew. There was no smoke and I thought about how the chimney would be cold and might not draw and of the room possibly filling with smoke, and the fuel wasted, and the money gone with it, and I walked on in the rain. I walked down past the Lycee Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St-Etienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Pantheon and cut in for shelter to the right and finally came out on the lee side of the Boulevard St-Michel and worked on down it past the Cluny and the Boulevard St-Germain until I came to a good cafe that I knew on the Place St-Michel.
It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a
cafe au lait.
The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write. I was writing about up in Michigan and since it was a wild, cold, blowing day it was that sort of day in the story. I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could write about it better than in another. That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things. But in the story the boys were drinking and this made me thirsty and I ordered a rum St James. This tasted wonderful on the cold day and I kept on writing, feeling very well and feeling the good Martinique rum warm me all through my body and my spirit.
A girl came in the cafe and sat by herself at a table near the window. She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair was black as a crow's wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek.
I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited. I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere, but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone. So I went on writing.
The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another rum St James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.
I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
Then I went back to writing and I entered far into the story and was lost in it. I was writing it now and it was not writing itself and I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor order any more rum St James. I was tired of rum St James without thinking about it. Then the story was finished and I was very tired. I read the last paragraph and then I looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she's gone with a good man, I thought. But I felt sad.
I closed up the story in the notebook and put it in my inside pocket and I asked the waiter for a dozen
and a half-carafe of the dry white wine they had there.
After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.
As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.
Now that the bad weather had come, we could leave Paris for a while for a place where this rain would be snow coming down through the pines and covering the road and the high hillsides and at an altitude where we would hear it creak as we walked home at night. Below Les Avants there was a chalet where the pension was wonderful and where we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright. That was where we could go. Travelling third class on the train was not expensive. The pension cost very little more than we spent in Paris.
I would give up the room in the hotel where I wrote and there was only the rent of 74
rue Cardinal Lemoine which was nominal. I had written journalism for Toronto and the cheques for that were due. I could write that anywhere under any circumstances and we had money to make the trip.
Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan. I did not know it was too early for that because I did not know Paris well enough. But that was how it worked out eventually. Anyway we would go if my wife wanted to, and I finished the oysters and the wine and paid my score in the cafe and made it the shortest way back up the Montagne Ste-Genevieve through the rain, that was now only local weather and not something that changed your life, to the flat at the top of the hill.