'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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June 24, 2011

Paris before lunch




You got very hungry when you did not eat enough in Paris because all the bakery shops had such good things in the windows and people are outside at tables on the sidewalk so that you saw and smelled the food. When you had given up journalism and were writing nothing that anyone in America would buy, explaining at home that you were lunching out with someone, the best place to go was the Luxembourg gardens where you saw and smelled nothing to eat all the way from the Place de l'Observatoire to the rue de Vaugirard. There you could always go into the Luxembourg museum and all the paintings were sharpened and clearer and more beautiful if you were belly-empty, hollow-hungry,  I learned to understand Cezanne much better and to see truly how he made landscapes when I was hungry. I used to wonder if he were hungry too when he painted, but I thought possibly it was only that he had forgotten to eat. ...
      After you came out of the Luxembourg you could walk down the narrow rue Ferou to the Place St.-Sulpice and there were still no restaurants, only the quiet square with its benches and trees.  There was a fountain with lions, and pigeons walked on the pavement and perched on the statues of the bishops. ...
      From this square you could not go further toward the river without passing shops selling fruits, vegetables, wines, or bakery and pastry shops. But by choosing your way carefully you could work to your right around the grey and white stone church and reach the rue de l'Odeon and turn up yo your right toward Sylvia Beach's bookshop and on your way you did not pass too many places where things to eat were sold. The rue de l'Odeon was bare of eating places until you reached the square where there were three restaurants. ...
      'You're too thin, Hemingway,' Sylvia would say. 'Are you eating enough?'
      'Sure.'
      'What did you eat for lunch?'
      My stomach would turn over and I would say, 'I'm going home for lunch now.'
      'At three o'clock?'
      'I didn't know it was that late.'
from A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway


{Reading along with the lovely Dolce Bellezza and friends}

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6 comments:

Darlene said...

Funny how being distracted by lovely surroundings makes us forget our appetite!

Frances said...

You and Bellezza.! The temptation is huge but the available time is not. Maybe if I cut back on the wine and stop speaking to my family? :)

Vintage Reading said...

Ooh, I'm thinking of Hemingway, too. Well actually Hadley Hemingway his first wife - I want to read Paris Wife by Paula Mclean.

Bellezza said...

I loved this exact same passage! And, what a great photograph to accompany it. If only we could pull up a chair, you and I, at some patisserie, or cafe, or anywhere in Paris!

JoAnn said...

What a lovely passage! May I join you and Bellezza at the cafe?

Audrey said...

Yes, please!

Thank you for visiting!

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