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Hemingway Adventure

Paris, France (sixth day)

Paris, France 
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Unable to start again. Film crew try the impossible, push-starting tank.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureThe liberation of Paris is never quite the same after this, but trundling across the cobbles towards the Arc de Triomphe, encased in inch-thick steel, is not a bad way to remember the place.

All that’s missing are the martinis.

As we prepare to leave Paris I have the same feelings I always have when I leave Paris. I have been happy here and I’m full of admiration for this well-run city and the way it respects and displays its heritage of antiquity, elegance and culture. But Paris is impossible to thank. It will not soften and allow itself to be hugged around the shoulder as you say goodbye. Unlike Venice, or Chicago, or even New York, it has no sentimental side. It outlasts and outshines everyone, and Hemingway recognised this too.

‘Paris’, he wrote in a piece for Esquire magazine in early 1934, ‘was a fine place to be quite young in and it is a necessary part of a man’s education ... But she is like a mistress who does not grow old and she has other lovers now.’

By that time there was another place Hemingway had fallen in love with. It was, along with Italy and France, the third, and most important of that triumvirate of European countries in which he felt truly happy. Gertrude Stein had pointed him in its direction and he had already used it as a setting for the novel that had made him famous. It was Spain and the Spanish way of life that were to remain the greatest influence on him from now on.
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Paris, France (sixth day)
  • Country/sea: France
  • Place: Paris
  • Book page no: 89

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