On my mind today during this week before Thanksgiving, in a country that doesn’t have Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. What? This is not a post of thanks. It is about other things. What?
WELLLLLL, I have decided that doctors only know so much. I KNOW that attorneys only know so much. But each person knows how to look things up and then, does the best he knows how. Hopefully. At least, he/she tries to do what will work. Hopefully……
SO, it is up to me to get myself “better”. Anyway, instead of spending a lot of time and money, going to doctors, I have decided to take matters into my own hands. Haha. At least until after Christmas or until I change my mind. Haha. I have a plan. What is my plan? Well, since I am in lockdown and need to stay in a lot, and since the weather outside is unpredictable, I have made a list of activities on my phone. And, when I do an activity, I check it as “completed” for that day. So far, it is working and at the same time gives me a sense of accomplishment.
The plan consists of lots of leg exercises and brain exercises (I have bad knees, weak thigh muscles, a “vascular accident” (stroke) in the left ear or thereabouts. Along with brushing my hair 100 times each day and singing out loud and reading English and French out loud and writing and…..
I often wonder what the neighbors think is going on in this apartment!!! Haha. Who cares!
I have tried getting help from doctors and physical therapists. They tell me what to do, but I must do it. And there is no one here to encourage me or cheer me on. So, …… you get the picture.
And, I have plans for me. Photos I want to take. Place I want to walk. In Paris. I NEED to get better. I have plans of places in France I want to go. Not in Paris. I NEED to get better. I have places in Italy, England, Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S. I want to go. People to see. I NEED to get better. So, …. You get the picture. That takes me to my other piece that I want to include to share with you today. It is involving Ernest Hemingway.
Now, I have never read Hemingway’s books. I tried. I did not like his writing. I don’t know about now. I am into other writers now. FYI, in France, I need to know more – about everything. Culture. The world. My universe is expanding very fast. Anyway, since I have been here, I have been to a lot of places that were hangouts of Hemingway and his expat cronies. Coincidentally, a friend sent me a piece about Hemingway that I want to share with you. I think it is interesting:
From Writer’s Almanac:
“On this day [November 19] in 1956, Ernest Hemingway recovered a trunk from the Hôtel Ritz, Paris. The trunk contained, among other things, the notebooks that would become Hemingway’s memoir A Moveable Feast (1964).
Hemingway was having lunch at the Ritz with his friend A.E. Hotchner. Charles Ritz, the chairman of the hotel, joined them. In the course of conversation, Ritz mentioned that there was a trunk in the hotel storage room that the author had left there in 1930. Hemingway didn’t remember leaving it there, but he did remember having a custom-made Louis Vuitton trunk at one time. He had lost track of the trunk and suspected that this was it. Hotchner recalled in 2009: ‘Charley had the trunk brought up to his office, and after lunch Ernest opened it. It was filled with a ragtag collection of clothes, menus, receipts, memos, hunting and fishing paraphernalia, skiing equipment, racing forms, correspondence and, on the bottom, something that elicited a joyful reaction from Ernest: “The notebooks! So that’s where they were! Enfin!”’
Hemingway had kept a meticulous journal when he and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, lived in Paris in the 1920s. He was a young, struggling writer at that point, and didn’t have much money, but he met many other expat artists and writers during that time, people like Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. Hemingway recorded it all in his notebooks, and didn’t spare the less flattering details about his fellow artists.
Hemingway had his secretary type up the journals in 1957, and he worked on what he called his ‘Paris book’ over the next few years. It was his last book, as it turned out. His health was in decline, many of his friends had died, and he was deeply depressed. He committed suicide in 1961, and his widow, Mary, arranged to have the memoir published posthumously. The publisher wanted to call the book “Paris Sketches”, but Mary Hemingway didn’t think that was a very catchy title. She asked Hotchner, Hemingway’s friend, if he would come up with a better one. Hotchner recalled that Hemingway had once referred to Paris as ‘a moveable feast,’ and that became the book’s official title.
In 2009, Scribner published a revised version of “A Moveable Feast” that was edited by Seán Hemingway, the author’s grandson from his marriage to Pauline Pfeiffer. Seán Hemingway disagreed with some of the changes Mary Hemingway had made to the manuscript, in her capacity as literary executor. The book had a resurgence in popularity in Paris, after the November 2015 terrorist attack. Its French title is Paris est une fête; the publisher reported selling as many as 500 copies a day. Mourners left copies of the memoir along with flowers at informal memorials all around the Bataclan concert hall.
From the book: “‘But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.’”
All of that (Paris in the ’20s, romance, Hemingway, food) makes me want to get a copy of “A Moveable Feast” for my bookshelf as soon as I can visit bookshops again. Plans after lockdown.
This is a photograph I took when I was living in the 6e and walking the neighborhood. LIttle did I know that I was in an area desired by many over the years. I have other photographs of places where he is remembered, such as a restaurant in Montparnasse…..
Become a sponsor of Jayspeak and help me at the same time. You can sponsor for 20, 30, 40, 50, whatever. The photo to the left is the tartan of the MacIntyre clan. We were all MacIntyres (my children, their father, and I) before I changed us to MacIntosh. They are very Scotch. Long story. But, I am now working on some family history for my life story. Nothing to do with my maiden name of Jewell. Jayspeak now has over 10,000 visitors to the site. I am very proud of that. And 41,800 views. Wonderful! Thanks to all.