Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Moveable Book

This op-ed from the New York Times is a must-read if you're planning on rushing to the bookstore to purchase Hemingway's newly revised, posthumous memoir, A Moveable Feast. I was curious to read it and had every intention of buying it until I read this piece. Now I'm not so sure. This isn't the first time there's been controversy surrounding the editing of this book. (Here's Wikipedia's take on it, which I don't trust entirely, but it's interesting nonetheless.) A Moveable Feast is my favorite of all of Hemingway's books. It isn't a sweeping piece of literature, and it's not as spare as his short stories, but it is a beautiful, heartbreaking book. I can understand why Hemingway's grandson, Sean Hemingway, who has re-edited this edition, wouldn't want the final chapter of the book to stay; it's a damning appraisal of both Hemingway and Sean's grandmother, who was Hemingway's second wife. It is also the chapter that defines and devastates everything that came before it. Having read it nearly a decade ago, this is the chapter that continues to haunt me from time to time when I think about the reckoning to be made at the end of our lives.

Now this chapter has been moved to an appendix.

Read the original edition.

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