Capital of his youth, his literary friendships and his first writings, the City of Light made Hemingway a renowned writer.
Paris est une fête
As Hemingway wrote in the roaring 1920s, “Paris est une fête”. At that time, the capital was a land of asylum for many American authors. Alcohol is not prohibited there and morals are freer there than across the Atlantic. It was on December 20, 1921 that the American Ernest Miller Hemingway arrived in Paris with his wife, Hadley. The one who will become a great novelist is still only a young 22-year-old journalist, European correspondent for the Toronto Star. The couple occupied a modest one-bedroom apartment located at number 74 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine. On the ground floor of the building, a musette ball animates this popular district close to the Place de la Contrescarpe. It was in this apartment that Hemingway wrote, among other things, the famous “Paris est une fête”, a posthumous novel which recounts these crazy years in Paris.
Between Montparnasse and Saint-Germain
The Lost Generation is found in the bars of the left bank. The author discovers new writers there, but especially new friends and influential personalities like James Joyce and Gertrude Stein who takes him under his wing. He and his friends from “La génération perdue” will assiduously frequent the districts of Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. They will meet regularly, to remake the world for nights, at the Dôme, at the Closerie des Lilas, at the Coupole de Montparnasse, as well as at the Deux-Magots near Saint-Germain. From their early days in Paris, the Hemingways often went out to eat meals in inexpensive places. At Lipp for a potato salad and beer or at Pré-aux–Clercs where the menu is at twelve francs and a bottle of wine at sixty centimes. Hemingway likes to walk along the quays, near booksellers, and enjoys the marvels of the Shakespeare and Co library-bookstore, rue de l’Odéon . His owner, Sylvia Beach, introduces him to the work of Joyce, Tolstoy, Flaubert…