A Movable Feast by Earnest Hemingway

A moveable feast

Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast will usher you into the romance (and it was romantic) of 1920s Paris just like Woody Allen transported Owen Wilson there in his 2011 Academy Award-winning screenplay, Midnight in Paris. As in the movie and this celebrated book, you will meet such luminaries as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and of course, Hemingway himself amongst many other notables from all schools of the arts. I personally was moved to pound the pavements of Paris tracing the journey of these pages and would do so again before ever traipsing through the Dublin of Ulysses like so many Joyce aficionados do on Bloomsday each year. And I’m Irish!

But before any inspirational people populate the pages, the book is principally un hommage to the city itself. Continue reading

Big Sur

by Jack Kerouac

cover

Big Sur – wild and organic with a unique ecosystem and microclimate caused by its asperous profile. That description could just as easily characterise Jack Kerouac himself.

Located a couple of hours south of San Francisco, this land area of spectacular forest and coastal beauty was termed ‘El Sur Grande’ by the Spanish (The Big South). Kerouac installed himself there in Bixby Canyon for six weeks in 1960 to escape the attention and fame his book On The Road brought to his life. Continue reading

42nd Street Flashback

Grand Central Station

It squats at its grand central beckoning place
Now dwarfed but still a monument to awe,
Stone columns zooming urgently erect
To amiably support vast marble hall;
Façade ascends – the structure’s bones enfleshed,
Toward glazed iconic Tiffany telling time,
Reminding of life’s rigid schedules yet
Or moments missed through haste or slothful pace.
Madly rushing minions freeze-blurred
To anonymity in stolen focus,
Anima/Persona’s seized élan
All turned to stone, glazed faced, awaiting terminus.

An overdue letter.

Dear Vincent,

As we are unacquainted it is somewhat presumptuous of me to write this unsolicited letter. I felt compelled to do so following my visit to the Museé d’Orsay this afternoon, where I had the pleasure of viewing the gallery dedicated to you.

Like many of my generation, you were humanised for me in Don McLean’s 1971 tribute composition ‘Vincent’. The song described you, your tragic life and a number of your works, in particular ‘The Starry Night’ 1889 which has since become the most representational of your works worldwide.

Currently on display at d’Orsay is ‘Starry Night’ 1888, Continue reading