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The People and Places of A Moveable Feast


Left: Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein, and the author sitting beneath the portrait in her studio. 

Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) Gertrude Stein was an experimental modernist writer who served as a mentor to Hemingway and other young writers of the era. In her early life she lived in Pennsylvania, California, and briefly attended Radcliffe, where she studied with famous psychologist William James. She moved to Europe with her brother Leo in 1903, and they began amassing an impressive art collection that has toured in recent years.

Stein lived in Paris with her long time partner, Alice B. Toklas, whom Hadley calls “her friend.” Stein’s experimental writing wasn’t very appreciated during her own lifetime; However, she would come to be known as a major influence on the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets of the late 20th century. Many might say that her linguistic experimentation with poetic sound was just “before her own time.” She is best known for The Making of Americans (1902-1911), Tender Buttons (1914); The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933).


Hemingway seems to have come at some point to resent the fact that she is credited with helping him to develop his style – what she and Hemingway share is an appreciation for repetition– this tension is detectable in what Hemingway has to say about Stein. By the time that Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast, he had grown jealous of many other writers, and we see him denigrate Stein in several ways in the book, casting her reading habits as somewhat “basic” with her interest in mystery novels (ch. 7), showing how she herself struggled to place her work with publishers (ch.2), and especially, in his characterization of Stein as homophobic, believing that sex between men is “ugly and repugnant and afterward they are disgusted with themselves”  (ch.2). 

Regardless, she was, as Hemingway depicts here, a central hub for the artistic community in Paris at the time. (There is a funny anecdote about Ezra Pound breaking a chair and not being invited back in ch. 7.) The two women’s residence at 27 rue de Fleurus was a kind of salon space.


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Images, Chandler Culotta, 2022, 27 rue de Fleurus and the plaque outside the home


Alice B. Toklas (April 30, 1877 – March 7, 1967) Born in San Francisco, of Polish Jewish descent, Alice B. Toklas fled the city after the devastating earthquake of 1906. She met Gertrude Stein in Paris and the couple were together for four decades. Gertrude Stein was the author of the cheekily titled “Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” but Toklas herself went on after Gertrude’s death to publish two cookbooks (1954; 1958) and an actual autobiography, What is Remembered (1963). Although Hemingway’s memoir remembers the couple’s residence at 27 rue de fleurus, they also lived at 5 rue Christine. The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (photo, Dr. Lauro, from her library) includes a recipe for “Haschich Fudge,” pot brownies. Source:

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Above and left, photos Chandler Culotta, 2022, plaque outside Hemingway's first apartment in Paris where he lived with wife Hadley, and the nearby office space where he wrote, not far from Place Contrescarpe


Above and to the right: The first Mrs. Ernest Hemingway, Hadley Richardson. Hadley Richardson became Hemingway’s first wife on September 3, 1921. Below, the second, Pauline Pfeiffer. See also: Bernice Kent, The Hemingway Women, Norton & Co., 1983.


Hadley Richardson (November 9, 1891 – January 22, 1979) 

Hemingway’s first wife was Hadley Richardson, with whom he would have his first son, John Nicanor, nicknamed “Bumby,” and later “Jack.” Their young relationship may not have had a happy ending (as Hemingway would terminate the marriage to seek a union with Pauline Pfeiffer) but he wrote so fondly of their years together in his memoir A Moveable Feast, that his fourth wife Mary, excised some of the tenderest bits in the first publication.

Pauline Pfeiffer (July 22, 1895 – October 1, 1951) was a writer for women’s magazines who met the Hemingways in Europe. She and Ernest would begin an affair that would end in the termination of his first marriage. Pauline came from money, as her uncle was an heir to the Sloan lineament corporation, and this explains why Hemingway describes Pauline as rich as opposed to Hadley, in his romanticization of their poor but happy young years together. From there, Pauline and Ernest Hemingway would move to Key West, Florida, but Hemingway would later leave Pauline for another woman, too. 

F. Puss the cat is such a character in A Moveable Feast that we felt we should include this famous feline. 

One of the many cats Hemingway had during his lifetime. According to Hemingway, Feather Puss (or F. Puss) was Bumby’s babysitter:

“There were no baby-sitters then and Bumby would stay happy in his tall cage bed with his big, wonderful cat named F. Puss. (113). Kitty Cannell (the real-life model for Frances Clyne) was at odds with Hemingway. However, according to Lesley Blume, 

‘Hemingway did have one redeeming quality in Cannell’s eyes: he loved cats. She eventually gave one to the Hemingway; they named it “Feather Puss.” A little while later, Cannell ran into Hemingway at a café. He was looking depressed.

“I have just one consolation in life,” he informed her.

She waited, expecting him to say Hadley or Bumby. Instead he told her, “My kitty”’” (59). 

Blume also acknowledges differing views and controversies surrounding F. Puss’s origins in her notes: 

Biographer Bertram Sarason reported that decades later, Cannell and Loeb [the real-life model for Robert Cohn] would bicker about the origin of the cat, with Loeb recalling that they had recused it in Rome and Cannell asserting that it had belonged to her mother. Sarason, Hemingway and the Sun, 19. Hemingway would immortalize Feather Puss as Bumby’s dutiful babysitter in A Moveable Feast. (266) 


Source: Blume, Lesley. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises. Reprint, Mariner Books, 2017.

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Gray Cat Under Coffee Table

Above: This is not actually the historical F. Puss, but just a free stock image of a cat. 


Above: From right, Hemingway next to Sylvia Beach in front of Shakespeare & Co.

Image of the plaque signifying the location of the original Shakespeare & Co. photo Chandler Culotta, 2022. 


Sylvia Beach, with James Joyce, whose work Ulysses she had already published when Hemingway describes his interactions with her in A Moveable Feast.


Sylvia Beach (14 March 1887 – 5 October 1962)

Sylvia Beach co-owned and operated Shakespeare and Company, a popular bookstore known for the ex-pat community, including Hemingway, Joyce, Eliot, etc. Born March 14, 1887, in Baltimore, Maryland, Beach moved her life over to Paris during the 1920s. Beach showed special interest in Hemingway, introducing him to other influential American writers. According to Blume, Beach referred to the expats living in Paris as “The Crowd” (21). Blume writes, “Beach actually borrowed this term from expat writer and publisher Robert McAlmon, but she uses the phrase throughout her memoir to describe the inner circle of expat creative figures in 1920s Paris” (252). 

Beach lent books to Hemingway, telling him not to worry about the borrow time and encouraging him to take as long as he needed to read through the great works of literature. She died Oct. 5, 1962, in Paris, France. 


Blume, Lesley. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises. Reprint, Mariner Books, 2017.

"Sylvia Beach." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 21 Sep. 2010. Accessed 31 Mar. 2022.

Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, John Quinn. Three of the four men in this photo are mentioned in A Moveable Feast. 


Ford Madox Ford (17 December 1873 – 26 June 1939) was a British novelist, who is mentioned specifically for his role as an editor with Transatlantic Review. Hemingway gets in a dig at Gertrude Stein in the portrayal of her desperation to have Ford publish her work in that journal. 


James Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) had already established some fame, though his master work Ulysses was newly published (1922) at the time Hemingway is describing. The young Hemingway recounts seeing Joyce dining with his family at Deux Magots restaurant, and has conversations with Sylvia Beach, who published Ulysses, about the author. 


Ezra Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) lived near to Gertrude Stein’s flat. Hemingway mentions in passing that the poet was banned from her house after a chair he sat in broke. He tells this as an example of Stein’s unforgiving sternness. 

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Cafe de la Flore and Les Deux Magots, fancy restaurants mentioned by Hemingway as places that he couldn't afford to frequent in his youth. Photos Chandler Culotta, 2022. 

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One of the most famous bathrooms of Modernist literature, at Michaud's restaurant, now Le Comptoir de St. Peres, where Fitzgerald and Hemingway ate.

14 rue de Tilsitt was Zelda and Scott’s first apartment in Paris. The couple settled here around 1925, placing them near the right bank in the 8th arrondissement, very near the Arc de Trimphe and the Champs Elysées. Hemingway famously claimed “he felt uncomfortable going to the Fitzgeralds’ apartment, that he much preferred his slummier surroundings on the Left Bank.” Source: White, Margie. “Zelda and Scott in Paris.” American Girls Art Club In Paris. . . and Beyond, 25 Mar. 2013, Accessed 30 Mar. 2022.

Zelda Sayre (July 24, 1900 – March 10, 1948) married Scott Fitzgerald on April 3rd, 1920 (Britannica). Because of her engagement in the Jazz Age, she was viewed as a “golden-haired wife…epitomiz[ing] flapper culture” (Blume 22). While she did dabble in writing and the visual arts, she struggled severely with alcoholism. In 1930 Zelda had a mental breakdown and spent the next year in different European clinics. When she was released in 1931, the Fitzgeralds moved back to the United States. Zelda, however, had another breakdown in 1932 and entered Phipps Psychiatric Clinic in Baltimore, where she wrote her only novel, Save Me the Waltz. Zelda died four years after her husband’s heart attack on March 10th, 1948. 


Zelazko, Alicja. "Zelda Fitzgerald". Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 Mar. 2022, Accessed 4 April 2022.
Blume, Lesley. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises. Reprint, Mariner Books, 2017.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was part of “The Crowd” in 1920s Paris. He and his wife, Zelda, lived in Paris from 1924 to 1931. While living in Paris, he befriended Hemingway; Chapter 17 outlines Hemingway’s first introduction to Fitzgerald, along with other encounters with Fitzgerald, including a trip with him and Zelda to Lyon. 

Hemingway employs an increasingly sexual tone and diction throughout Chapter 17 directed at Fitzgerald. Hemingway begins at the chapter’s opening describing Fitzgerald’s “delicate long-lipped Irish mouth, that on a girl, would have been the mouth of a beauty” (126). Hemingway’s physical description of Fitzgerald could be read either as an instance of emasculation or physical attraction. Hemingway, had he not known the lips belonged to a man, would have regarded the mouth as one of feminine beauty. Hemingway continues, observing Scott’s “capable-looking hands, not too small” and his “very short legs” (126). Directly following Hemingway’s description of Scott’s physique is the “sex interrogation.” Hemingway found that Scott was a novelist who “could find out what he needed to know by direct questioning of his friends and acquaintances. The interrogation was direct.” Fitzgerald asks Hemingway, “‘did you and your wife sleep together before you were married?’” (127). All three examples of sexual diction are present in three consecutive pages, preventing the reader from not noticing such sexual imagery and language. 

Hemingway takes about an eleven-page break from juxtaposing Scott with sexual language before starting up again: “I am not sure Scott had ever drunk wine from a bottle before and it was exciting to him as though he were slumming or as a girl might be excited by going swimming for the first time without a bathing suit” (138). Once again, it is unclear whether Hemingway is emasculating Scott or positing him in a sexual light due to subliminal attraction. Michael Funch notes the emasculated tone Hemingway employs towards Fitzgerald, writing, “In his rendering of their first meeting Hemingway in fact portrays Fitzgerald in very sensuous detail” (74). Regardless of whether Hemingway is emasculating or sexualizing Fitzgerald, the reader cannot help but imagine Scott as a naked woman swimming, causing explicit sexual imagery to emerge from the text. 

    Hemingway continues his sexualization of Scott in a scene between himself and Scott in a hotel room: 

I felt his cool forehead and then took his pulse. He stared straight ahead. The pulse was seventy-two. I kept the thermometer in for four minutes.

‘I thought they only kept them in for one minute,’ Scott said. 

‘This is a big thermometer,’ I explained. ‘You multiply by the square of the size of the thermometer. It’s a centigrade thermometer.’ (145)

Hemingway, physically touching and inserting a straight device into Scott for an extended period of time suggests either implicit or symbolic sexual intercourse. Hemingway even undresses Scott, “unbutton[ing] his pajama jacket.” Elsewhere Hemingway “undressed him to his underwear, hung his clothes up, and then stripped the covers off the bed and spread them over him” (149). 

    After the thermometer episode, Fitzgerald laments to Hemingway, “‘This is the first night I have ever slept away from her [Zelda] since we were married” (146). Scott’s detailed acknowledgement of such a fact demonstrates gives the reader insight into a possible sexual encounter between the two men. Did Fitzgerald and Hemingway engage in any homo-erotic behavior? At the very least, these men are exemplifying homo-social behavior, as is presented in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises between Jake and Bill in Chapter 12. The reader is left to wonder how Hemingway feels towards Fitzgerald by the end of Chapter 17 in A Moveable Feast: ‘Never go on trips with anyone you do not love’” (150). Is Hemingway utilizing “love” in a social or erotic sense? 

While Hemingway identified as straight, such sexual descriptions of a man begs for a critical examination of the author and his possible nuanced sexuality. We are not claiming that Hemingway was homosexual, and we are not using his literary work as justification for such a claim. Indeed, Scott St. Pierre even urges readers to be “suspicious of any attempt to produce psychobiography, much less a sexual psychobiography, of any author based on his or her literary writings” even while other scholars such as “Georges-Michel Sarotte’s claim that Hemingway is the clearest example in American literature of the sublimation of homosexuality” (368). Clearly it is too simplistic to label Hemingway as homosexual or not. But such questions naturally arise from prose such as is presented in Chapter 17 of A Moveable Feast, with sexual diction aimed at a close male friend. 


Funch, Michael. “The Intentional Phallacy: The Art and Life of Ernest Hemingway - A Biographical Angle?” American Studies in Scandinavia, vol. 26, no. 2, 1994, pp. 65–78. Crossref, Accessed 4 Apr. 2022.


Pierre, Scott St. “Bent Hemingway: Straightness, Sexuality, Style.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 16, no. 3, 2010, pp. 363–87. Crossref, Accessed 4 Apr. 2022.

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Brasserie Lipp is located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district and is  known for “preserving the charm and the French aestheticism of the beginning of the last century.” See more at:

Hemingway mentions it frequently and fondly in his writing, see for example the chapter "Hunger is good discipline," in A Moveable Feast. 

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Images, Brasserie Lipp's Chandler Culotta, 2022

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La Rotonde, Photo Chandler Culotta, 2022

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Le Select, Photo Chandler Culotta, 2022

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Young Hemingway describes crossing the Jardin du Luxembourg on his way to and from Gertrude Stein's apartment.

Photo Chandler Culotta, 2022

Other Paris friends 


Evan Shipman, a poet and Hemingway's friend.

Evan Shipman, a dear friend of Hemingway, was born in New Hampshire in 1904. He was a novelist, poet and journalist, becoming part of the Crowd in Paris during the 1920s. During the 20s, Shipman worked on his poetry, publishing with magazines such as “Transition, Scribner's, The New Republic and The Nation, and later in The New Yorker and Esquire (Pennsylvania State University). However, moving into the 30s, Shipman transitioned from poetry to prose, centering his writing around horse racing, similar to what Hemingway did with bull fighting. Towards the end of the 1930s, Shipman engaged in the Spanish Civil War. He went to fight with the Loyalists in 1937 and fought for the United States in the Army during World War II. Hemingway, demonstrating his close friendship with Shipman, “devoted a chapter of A Moveable Feast to Shipman - entitled ‘Evan Shipman at the Lilas’ - and dedicated the book Men Without Women to him, as well.” Hemingway wrote that “Evan Shipman is writing the finest prose of the 20th century” (Channick 2). After Shipman died, Hemingway wrote, 

Evan Shipman was not only a first-rate racing journalist and a student and historian of racing. He was a very fine poet and a good writer of prose. He had no ambitions ever for his writing except to write as perfectly as it is possible to write and most people knew neither his poetry nor his prose. He loved horses and he loved racing but he also loved painting and all of the arts. He was a fine man and the best of friends and he lived gallantly after he had almost no body left to contain his great spirit. He was one of the bravest men I have ever known and no one was a sounder critic nor better company. (Hirsch 1)


Penn State holds the Evan Shipman papers: “Nicholas B. Angell Collection of Evan Shipman Papers and Other Materials, 1890–2009 7728.” Penn State University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University,,close%20friend%20of%20Ernest%20Hemingway. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022. 

Hemingway would later hurt the feelings of his friend American poet and writer Archibald Macleish (May 7, 1892 – April 20, 1982) when he failed to mention him as a part of the Paris days in an interview with Paris Review. He wrote to him to clarify that he was making a distinction between the early Paris days and the later early Paris days. This can be read about here:


Sara (center) and Gerald Murphy (not shown) “stood at the apex of Paris’s creative scene.” Coming from wealth, the Murphys entertained members of The Crowd when they weren’t tending to their three children. As Lesley Blume notes, “Sara hailed from a midwestern fortune, and Gerald’s family owned the Mark Cross Company, purveyor of fine leather goods” (80). They were 10 years Hemingway’s senior and took on a mentoring role with creatives. According to Calvin Tomkins (a friend of the Murphys), “‘They were the parents everyone wished they’d had’” (Blume 81). Sara Murphy is the subject of several of Picasso’s paintings. 


For further reading on the topic of this power couple, see the book Everybody was so Young, by Amanda Vaill. 


Blume, Lesley. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises. Reprint, Mariner Books, 2017.

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Sometimes called “le bar de Hemingway” la Closerie des Lilas “originally [was] a very simple open air cafe in Paris with a room located in an old station on the road to Fontainebleu… [and] was first founded in 1847…[becoming] one of the most famous meeting places for artists from all over the world.” There is a strong connection with the arts and the café, one that can still be felt today. (

Photo Chandler Culotta, 2022.


“La Closerie Des Lilas Restaurant and Brasserie in Paris.” Eutoruing.Com, Accessed 31 Mar. 2022.) 


The Dingo Bar opened in 1923 and is located on the rue Delabre in Montparnasse. Similar to Beach’s Shakespeare and Company, it was a favorite gathering place for the Crowd. The main attraction was, of course, its alcohol. Also, it was the only bar in the area which was open through the night. This was also the bar where Hemingway first met Fitzgerald, only two weeks after Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby. 


“Hemingway and Montparnasse.” W&L Paris, Accessed 31 Mar. 2022.


Sherwood Anderson (September 13, 1876 – March 8, 1941). Hemingway may have been a great writer, but he was a lousy friend. His treatment of the American novelist and short story writer Sherwood Anderson, most famous for the Winesburg, Ohio (1919) short story cycle, is proof of that. Hemingway was able to enter literary society in Paris because of Anderson’s support of him, but Hemingway later wrote a manuscript parodying Anderson (it was supposedly F. Scott Fitzgerald’s idea and a ploy to get out of a book deal), but it was still a rotten thing to do. 


John Dos Passos (January 14, 1896 – September 28, 1970), an American novelist, is said elsewhere to have been the “pilot fish” described in a selection called “The Pilot Fish and the Rich,” which is about new friends that ultimately lead to the breakup of Ernest and Hadley’s marriage. John Dos Passos and Hemingway were friends, and would later collaborate on the documentary The Spanish Earth, a film supporting the anti-fascist loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. The friendship didn’t survive that project, however.

Maxwell Perkins  (September 20, 1884 – June 17, 1947) was born on September 20th, 1884, in New York. Perkins was a graduate of Harvard University and became an influential American editor, discovering many modernist writers in the early 20th century. After graduating from Harvard in 1907, Perkins wrote as a reporter for the New York Times for three years. After his time with the Times, he went to work for Charles Scribner’s Sons publishing house in the marketing department. In 1914 Perkins rose to the company’s editorial staff, eventually becoming the editorial director and the house’s vice president. Perkins died on June 17th, 1947 in Stamford, Connecticut. (Britannica)  

Max Perkins first met Fitzgerald in the army and was introduced to Hemingway’s work via Fitzgerald. Source:

  • The Gare de Lyon (Hadley’s suitcase stolen, two of Hemingway’s works lost: “My Old Man” and “Up in Michigan”) (69)

    • Officially known as the Paris Gare de Lyon, it is one of the six large mainline railway stations in Paris. In 1922, Hadley (Hemingway’s wife at the time) brought Hemingway’s work by train from Paris at his request. At this train station, it is rumored that she left her luggage for a moment, returning to the suitcase being going – along with the originals and carbon copies of Hemingway’s work. His only surviving stories were “My Old Man” and “Up in Michigan.”

  • The Place St.-Sulpice (65)

    • A large public square in Paris, France, named after the Church of Saint-Sulpice on its eastern end. The church itself was created by six consecutive architects, who began its construction in 1646, and it is the second largest church in Paris. Near the church are several shops that sell religious statues to tourists and are known in France as “Saint Sulpicerie.” Hemingway notes both the church and shops: “There was the church and there were shops selling religious objects on the north side of the square” (66).


  • “There was a fountain with lions” (65)

    • Based on the route that Hemingway describes, he is presumed to be describing the Fontaine Saint-Sulpice, which was constructed between 1843 and 1848 by the architect Louis Visconti. The statue depicts four bishops and four lions.

Montmartre, known as “the painter’s neighborhood,” is a 427 foot tall hill in Paris. According to the website, Introducing Paris, “it is one of the most charming, colorful and unique districts in Paris.” Montmartre’s steep and narrow streets “are home to oldest cabarets and to the Basilica of the Scacré-Coeur.” There are also numerous restaurants with painters scattered around the area, selling their artword to locals and tourists alike. (


“Montmartre - The Painter’s Neighborhood.” Introducing Paris, Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

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