Thursday, July 4, 2013

Braisserie Lipp's

"Don't you know that all writers ever talk about is their troubles?" Sylvia Beach


     "Outside on the rue de l'Odéon I was disgusted with myself for having complained about things. I was doing what I did of my own free will and I was doing it stupidly...You God damn complainer. You dirty phony saint and martyr, I said to myself. You quit journalism of your own accord...Hunger is healthy and the pictures do look better when you are hungry. Eating is wonderful too and do you know where you are going to eat right now?
     Lipp's is where you are going to eat and drink too....
     There were few people in the brasserie and when I sat down on the bench against the wall with the mirror in back and a table in front and the waiter asked if I wanted beer. I asked for a distingué, the big glass mug that held a liter, and for potato salad.
     The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes a l'huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious. I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread in the olive oil. After the first heavy draft of beer I drank and ate very slowly. When the pommes a l'huile were gone I ordered another serving and a cervelas. This was a sausage like a heavy, wide frankfurter split in two and covered with a special mustard sauce.
     I mopped up all the oil and all of the sauce with bread and drank the beer slowly until it began to lose its coldness and then I finished it and ordered a demi and watched it drawn. It seemed colder than the distingué and I drank half of it.
     I had not been worrying, I thought. I knew the stories were good and someone would publish them finally at home."

                                                                                                      A Moveable Feast

Lipp's was an important place in Hemingway's career, because he says it was there that he remembered when he had been able to write again after his wife accidentally lost all his manuscripts. He said hunger was a good discipline and he learned from it. And he knew he must write a novel.


After leaving Lipp's Hem walked back to La Closerie des Lilas...

     "I sat in a corner with the afternoon light coming in over my shoulder and wrote in the notebook. The waiter brought me a café creme and I drank half of it when it cooled and left it on the table while I wrote...The story was about coming back from the war but there was no mention of the war in it...
     There were days ahead to be doing that each day."

                                                                                                      A Moveable Feast

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