Thursday, June 27, 2013


I know there are more literary journeys left to make ~ many, many more. But I would be remiss if I didn't recognize that I have just come from one of the biggest, most marvelous yet ~ from the one that nearly every writer dreams of. I have come from my own writing retreat in Paris, the land of the moveable feast. I cannot thank the Left Bank Writer's Retreat enough for filling a week with incomparable magic. Every need and expectation were met, and we traveled through the cobblestone streets with utmost confidence in our experiences to come.

I am rereading A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemingway now that I am home, and I will be filling this literary journey as I go along with the book - that way I can let it last longer myself. I can keep drinking from the fountain, supping from the cafes, and remembering the feel of the whole experience.

From the beginning of A Moveable Feast, Hemingway talks about "...the hotel where Verlaine died where I had a room on the top floor where I worked."

The plaque erroneously states that Hem lived here, but this was the locale of his studio. It is, however, where Verlaine died (another literary journey in and of itself).
"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...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 possible filling with smoke, and the fuel wasted, and the money gone with it, and I walked on in the rain."

It seems apropos that the building now has a cafe on the bottom floor.

Hemingway goes on "down past the Lycée Henri Quartre and the ancient church of St.-Étienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Panthéon..."

Is it coincidence that Woody Allen used the stairs of the St.-Étienne-du-Mont in his film "Midnight in Paris" as the place where Gil Pender takes off in a Peugeot for his foray into the past? Maybe...but I don't think so.

To be continued...


  1. You make literature and history as delectable as a feast of food.

  2. I am so anxious to take off on this journey with you and let it fill my soul with all the good things I so desire.