Archives 

In addition to site specific research, we were aided by librarians at the Bibliothecque Nationale. Our thanks are due to them for the following items, which are from the BnF Gallica database. 

 

Armistice Photo, Gallica BnF, Premiere Guerre Mondiale image collection: 

 

Ernest Hemingway was decidedly NOT in Paris for the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918, shown here in an image from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Hemingway would have been in Italy, still convalescing from his wounds sustained as an ambulance driver, a long recovery that took still longer because of relapses of jaundice that may have been contributed to from his drinking, at least according to Carlos Baker’s biography of the writer (80). Despite the fact that he was technically injured in the war, Hemingway had a kind of Great War FOMO, and his characters in The Sun Also Rises are divided between those who fought and those who did not. His character Bill Gorton (friend of Jake Barnes in the novel The Sun Also Rises) was supposedly in Paris at the time of the Armistice. It is stated in that novel that “Bill had eaten [at Mme. Lecomte’s] in 1918, and right after the armistice, and Madame Lecomte made a great fuss over seeing him…” (ch.8) To have fought in the war gives a character a kind of “cred” over those who didn’t, and to have actually been in Paris at the time of armistice has even more currency.

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We juxtapose this with a contemporary article, “The Other Paris Battle: Ernest Hemingway and his ‘liberation’ of the Ritz” Local.fr, 25 Aug 2019, <​​https://www.thelocal.fr/20190825/the-other-paris-battle-ernest-hemingway-and-his-liberation-of-the-ritz/?

 

Hemingway heard about the Great War’s armistice in an officer’s club in Milan, Italy. But perhaps he felt that he missed out. He would craft a myth about his being present for the next war’s liberation of Paris, that remains a sore point for the French. See for example, this article, in which Hemingway is mocked for claiming to have liberated the bar of the Ritz Carlton: “While others were fighting, Ernest Hemingway was at the bar.” The author’s self-aggrandizement is well-known, but the article ends by stating that “Even the Ritz eventually forgave him, naming a small bar after Hemingway in 1994.”

 

The image below is from the Ritz’s Hemingway bar, as featured on their website:

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Gallica BnF, archive, Chicago Tribune, international edition:

Hemingway in the Gossip pages, by Apr 28, 1931, by Wambly Bald, diverse items about “La Vie Boheme.”

 From the digital library of the Bibliotheque Nationale, from the Chicago Tribune’s European edition, 1931. This shows that Hemingway’s name was already associated with a certain period in Paris, “between the Armistice and the wall street crash,” as it says here, though this was only a few years later. This is advertising an anthology of “Montparnasse luminaries” including “Hemingway, McAlmon, and Callaghan,” though only Hemingway’s name is recognizable to a general readership today.

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Gallica BnF, archive, Elle Magazine:

From a French translation and republication of a Hemingway story “the Fahrenheit Thermometer” (which is called “A Day’s Wait” from the 1933 collection Winner Take Nothing) featured in Elle magazine in January 1947. This appears to be accompanied by a brief introduction to the author’s work, written by Adrien de Meeus, as a way of advertising the French publication of a collection of short stories called Ten Indians.

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Takeaways

Chandler: The Aesthetics of Paris

​Hemingway’s mention of a frozen German man killed in an avalanche in chapter 16 of A Moveable Feast, “Winter in Schruns” recalls similar diction to chapter twelve of The Sun Also Rises

“It was a little past noon and there was not much shade, but I sat against the trunk of two of the trees that grew together, and read. The book was something by A. E. W. Mason, and I was reading a wonderful story about a man who had been frozen in the Alps and then fallen into a glacier and disappeared, and his bride was going to wait twenty-four years exactly for his body to come out on the moraine, while her true love waited too, and they were still waiting when Bill came up” (125).

 

Commentary has been made on the possible Greek mythological allusions to Penelope and Odysseus in this episode. This scene in TSAR alludes to Mason’s short story The Crystal Trench, published in 1917 (Stoneback 213) 

Parallels exist between Hemingway’s fictional narrative in The Sun Also Rises: and his memoir. Both references to frozen men suggest a correlation between Hemingway’s time period and the feeling of stagnation, leading to death. Freezing leads to constancy across time, allowing us to see into a previous era as it stood, literally frozen in time.

We might read the recurring trope of frozen corpses along the lines of TS Eliot's Hollow Men, too, as a reflection of the the of trauma endured by the generation that survived the Great War. 

In fact, in a surprising turn this was literalized in a recent discovery, “As glaciers melt and shrink in the Alps of Northern Italy, long-frozen relics of World War I have been emerging from the ice” (Fortin) 

 

Stoneback, H. R. Reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. The Kent State University Press, 2007.


Fortin, Jacey. “Melting Glaciers Have Exposed Frozen Relics of World War I.” The New York Times, 9 May 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/05/08/world/europe/italy-glacier-wwi-artifacts.html. Accessed 31 Mar. 2022.

Discoveries about the readings

Deyrolle: "Road to hell paved with unbought stuffed dogs."

What seems like the rambling of a drunkard, Bill Gorton, in the novel The Sun Also Rises, may actually be a deeper commentary on the state of the Lost Generation. 

 

“We walked down the Boulevard [St. Michel]. At the juncture of the Rue Denfert-Rochereau with the Boulevard is a statue of two men in flowing robes. 

    ‘I know who they are.’ Bill eyed the monument. ‘Gentlemen who invented pharmacy. Don’t try to fool me on Paris.’ 

We went on. 

‘Here’s a taxidermist’s,’ Bill said. ‘Want to buy anything? Nice stuffed dog?’”

 

Bill won't let the idea that they should nip in to the taxidermy shop go, and for the next several pages, he muses about buying a stuffed dog. There are various theories on the significance of this line, including ... but we got interested in the shop that Hemingway may have been thinking of as he wrote this line. Deyrolle is a taxidermist that has stood in Paris since 1831 and in the same location since 1881, despite a massive fire. Of note is the fact that the shop was a location frequented by famous modern artists and others after them. 

"The shop was frequented by famous artists and writers seeking inspiration for their paintings and literature such as Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Picasso, Ernst Junger, Amadeo Modigliani, and Salvador Dali." https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/deyrolle-taxidermy. The instructions that Hemingway gives here couldn't lead one to Deyrolle, but in point of fact, the statue he references is gone and the streets he names do not cross. For more on this, see Dees Stribling's blog post: https://www.dees-stribling.com/2019/08/13/gentlemen-who-invented-pharmacy/ Regardless, stuffed dead animals made to look lifelike would, along with men frozen in glaciers, seem to be an apt symbol for the inner state of the characters. Here, with permission, we present some photos from Deyrolle, a location that does not typically permit photography, but they made a special exception for our purposes, as this is an educational website. 

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Upstairs interior of Deyrolle.

Image Source: Chandler Culotta

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Shelves of taxidermies on the upper floor.

Image Source: Chandler Culotta

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Lion on upper floor of Deyrolle.

Image Source: Chandler Culotta

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Coyote mounted on shelf in Deyrolle.

Image Source: Chandler Culotta

Another enjoyable discovery for us was finding books of Hemingway's or about Hemingway, in French, along the Seine where the booksellers are, which is something Hemingway described in his works many times. We liked to imagine how young Hemingway, the aspiring writer, would have felt, had he known that one day his books would be sold among the wares of the bouquinists. 

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Books and booksellers along the Seine

Image Source: Chandler Culotta

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Street scene of Rue Mouffetard, early 20th C. photographer Roger Viollet