Craft & Consumption

Friday, March 9, 2012

Paradise in Hemingway

Last week I was entrenched in The Paris Wife, a novel about Ernest Hemmingway and his (first) wife Hadley. In the book the couple are newlyweds in Paris in the 1920's, socializing, exploring, and making friends amidst some of the most talented artists of their generation. Though fictionalized, the author based most of the book on letters, telegrams, and other correspondence she found between the two lovers of the celebrated "Lost Generation".

I was engrossed & enamored with the energy and simple, human tragedy of their story. McClain writes, in the voice of her protagonist Hadley: 

"Ernest once told me that the word paradise was a Persian word that meant 'walled garden'. I knew then that he understood...that you can't have real freedom unless you know where the walls are and tend to them. We could lean on the walls because they existed; they existed because we leaned on them."

Inspired by Paula McClain's The Paris Wife, I am now embarking on a marathon read of Hemingway's most celebrated works. I'll start with The Sun Also Rises, which was written during a trip to Pamplona, Spain that the couple and a few friends took together during the final years of Hadley and Ernest's marriage. 

How pretty is this compilation of Hemmingway novels? Have you explored Hemingway? I'm excited to begin my little reading adventure. Any advice or personal reviews are appreciated!

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