Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Color From Paris

Merry Christmas to all of Hem's fans!
"Evening in Paris" by Liza Hirst.
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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Vintage 1920's Paris

The top photos and paintings are of Montmartre in 1925, typical street scenes of Paris in the '20s: A narrow street in Montmartre, The Moulin Rouge, and a Montmartre street scene painted by Utrillo. Next, a photo of 1920s Paris, an uphill shot so typical of Montmartre.
Then, "The Old Book Man" looking for a bargain perhaps at the bookstalls on the banks of the Seine, where Hemingway shopped.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Hemingway As Kid Balzac

This satirical painting of Hemingway was done by his good friend and fishing companion, Waldo Peirce.
A critic had remarked that Hemingway looked like 19th century French writer Honore de Balzac.
In Peirce's painting, Hemingway appeared to be a slimmed-down version of Balzac (at least facially).
Hemingway was always comparing himself to famous writers and he probably enjoyed this - even though it was done in jest.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Boxing In Paris

Cirque d' Hiver

Hemingway loved to box, it was part of his essence, essential to the core of his personality. (That is Hem in the top photo.)
He was a good amateur boxer, even if he embellished his prowess, as he did with most things masculine.
In the preface to "A Movable Feast", Hemingway tells about the boxing at the Stade Anastasie, and the "great twenty-round fights at the Cirque d' Hiver." He was fond of most sports and outdoor activity, but boxing was one of the things - like bullfighting, that was at the top of the list.
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Monday, November 03, 2008

Harry's New York Bar

Harry's New York Bar, 5 rue Daunou (sank roo doe noe, to the Yanks), was a popular hangout for American expats, including Hemingway. Ernest would often spar at a nearby gym with Harry holding Hemingway's towel.
It was particularly popular for those fleeing prohibition America. Harrys inventions included: The White Lady, 1919, The Bloody Mary, 1921, and the Harry's Pick Me Up, in 1923.
In 1924, Harry's started its first presidential straw poll for the American expats.
That year, Republican Calvin Coolidge beat Democrat John W. Davis.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eugene Atget's Paris In The 1920's

Paris Street Scene

Prostitute, Paris

Cafe, Paris, 1924 6AM

Eugene Atget (1857-1927) was one of the most artistic photographers of Paris in the early years of the 1900's. He was also a skilled technician of the craft.
He was orphaned when he was seven years old and went to sea as a cabin boy on the Transatlantic. He gave up the sea after several voyages across the Atlantic and became an actor, where he performed in mostly second-rate shows in secondary roles.
He knew that he could make a living with a camera selling scenes to artists who needed a fixed image to study as they painted. He sold his work to the artists of Montparnasse.
He was a bohemian at heart and he moved to Montparnasse to live in the "art colony" there. He was a neighbor of Man Ray, and a contemporary of Matisse, and Picasso.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Some More Cafe Life

The sidewalk cafes of Paris and the circle of friends that Hemingway met there is a central theme to "A Moveable Feast."
He did much of his most productive writing sitting in a cafe with his blue notebooks and a few pencils and a pocket knife to keep them sharp. The walk from his apartment or just a stroll through Paris to the cafe were stimulants for a good day's work.
His first published short stories were written that way and his beginning of "The Sun Also Rises" started there, too.
The painting is called "Hemingway's Paris," and is courtesy of Maranda Pleasant of Big Modern Art.
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

F.Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was perhaps the most famous of the Jazz Age writers, (he supposedly coined the phrase himself). F. Scott Fitzgerald embodied the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. He staked his claim as the voice of his generation with his first novel, "This Side of Paradise" (1920), and later with "The Great Gatsby" (1925). The Saint Paul, Minnesota native spent a lot of time visiting Paris in the 1920's with his wife Zelda, and their daughter Scottie. Fitzgerald was a fan of Hemingway's early work and Hemingway loved "The Great Gatsby." Fitzgerald was to become a good friend (if a difficult one) of Hem's and the two had quite a few interesting and humorous moments in France. Fitzgerald would also help Hemingway in getting his writing published. Hemingway devoted quite a bit of space in "A Moveable Feast" to Fitzgerald, their time together, and Hemingway's not too flattering opinion of Zelda's influence on Fitzgerald's career.
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bicycle Racing At The Velodrome

After Ernest gave up horseracing, he discovered cycling and liked it more than betting on the horses.
A friend of his, Mike Ward, told him that he used to bet on the horses but he'd found something better, bicycle racing.
In "A Moveable Feast" Ernest wrote: "I have started many stories about bicycle racing but have never written one that is as good as the races are both on the indoor tracks and on the roads."
" French is the only language it has ever been written in properly and the terms are all French and that is what makes it hard to write. Mike was right about it, there is no need to bet. But that comes at another time in Paris."
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Monday, July 07, 2008

Running Of The Bulls

This week it is the "running of the bulls" in Pamplona, Northern Spain, at the Festival of San Fermin. Young men have been participating in this ceremony since the 1600's, but Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" published in 1926, made it the event that it is today.
Gertrude Stein recommended to Hemingway that he take a vacation there to help him "clear his head" and concentrate on the business of writing a novel.
These photos are from 1925, one year before he finished his novel.
Top photo: Hemingway on the left, Harold Loeb, Lady Duff Twysden, Hadley, Don Stewart and Pat Guthrie.
(If you click on the bottom photo, you will see Ernest just in front of the bull as he participates in "the amateurs.")
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Deco Paris

Palais d'Hiver
Palais d'Hiver

Art Deco Steamship and Night life in Hemingway's Paris, Art Deco style.
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Saturday, June 14, 2008


In honor of "Bloomsday" - June 16th - a photo of James Joyce, the creator of Leopold Bloom and Bloom's world in "Ulysses."
  • Ulysses For Dummies
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    Monday, March 31, 2008


    When Ernest and Hadley lived at 74 rue Cardinale Lemoine, a Bal-Musette was in the basement. Bal-Musette was a style of French music that was popular with the working class and the cafe where the music was played was called A Bal Musette. The music had a unique style that incorporated an accordian-like instrument to produce a distinctive style of music. Cafes frequented by Italians had a similar style of music but they had a different musical instrument that produced different tones. These cafes later became places to hear jazz and the tango and many other new styles of music. More at Wikipedia
  • Bal-Musette
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    Monday, March 10, 2008

    1920's Paris Jazz Age Film Clips

    (I added this post because YouTube had stopped running the film clip just before this one. Well, I guess your cards, letters & calls of complaint worked, because (perhaps fearing unrest) YouTube has re-released the clip.) Gosh, can it get much better than this?
    This is part of the old introduction to the above clip:
    It will give you a flavor of the times if not as much of the personalities involved from the "Lost Generation."
    (It ends rather abruptly!)
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    Monday, February 18, 2008

    1920's Paris "Seeing Paris"

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    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    rue Mouffetard

    Photos of the rue Mouffetard, a Paris street full of markets and stalls. The top photo shows the rue Mouffetard where it meets the Place Contrescarpe. The Hemingways shopped here when they lived in their apartment on rue Cardinale Lemoine.
    In "A Moveable Feast", Hemingway called it, "that wonderful crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe."
    (It is also where Amelie shopped.)
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