The selections from Earnest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast were enjoyable to read. I enjoyed his descriptions of the love shared between he and his wife, Hadley. He describes various moments from their everyday life together, like the day they bet on horses and won. Another time he talks about how they went skiing while she was pregnant, and she thankfully did not fall. He recalls countless other moments like these. I personally found these stories to bear more romance and representation of love than some of the more eloquent love poems I've read. Because romantic love is a timeless and universal subject, I feel it must be written about with a certain originality or uniqueness to entertain and relate to some readers, especially in a more modern period. The elements of their romantic love in this book cause me to think of love's ability to transcend time periods, distance, etc. The feeling that Hemingway captures is something writers from every century can hopefully relate to in some way. When I think about Transatlantic modernism, I think of temporality mainly. Then I consider the relationship people have to land, and the crossing of the ocean, and a variety of other things. For me, it seems as if Hemingway has succeeded in speaking to these things I've just mentioned by the mere inclusion of his moments with Hadley. Their relationship has changed over time, and the realites of poverty heavily influenced the trajectory of their lives together, but their loved seemed to have more of the influence on the quality of their life, or at least Hemingway's. Their relationship to the land (Paris, Austria) changed because of their financial situation. They left Paris for a few reasons, but one of the primary reasons seems to be because they had a baby and the Paris winters were becoming too rough. I feel that their relationship, a representative of love here, supercedes the dull and hard parts of life - e.g. poverty, distance, travel. In that way, I think it can be seen as a sort of marker of transatlantic modernism, in the same way time and the urgency of it marks the term. To continue on this idea I'm trying to outline, we can look at the affair Hemingway alludes to at the end of the selections. After talking about how the arrival of some rich people tainted the world in which they were living in the Shcruns, he talks about the other woman he falls in love with, regrettably. He writes, "all things truly wicked start from an innocence. So you live day by day and enjoy what you have and do not worry. You lie and hate it and it destroys you and everyday is more dangerous, but you live day to day as in a war" (210). The fact that he's comparing a new love to war can speak to the sheer momentum of love and it's ability to transcend time and space, it is a presence which can hardly be defined. And still, at the end, he returns to his wife and upon seeing her at the train station, is as in love as he'd ever been with her. In both relationships, love overpowered circumstances. My point is not that he only loved Hadley and that was the strongest force of this story - but rather, love ruled most decisions. It transcended poverty (in the ways it can), the distance between continents, and the intangible boundaries of monagamy or traditional marriage.
Submitted by Abby Rush on Mon, 09/26/2022 - 19:52