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Hemingway's Hangouts & Landmarks

American Express Company
11, Rue Scribe (9th; Opéra)

Like many Americans, Hemingway used the American Express office as his mailing address. Today, the office is still teeming with Americans buying travelers cheques or seeking to replace the ones they lost, and Amex still offers Poste Restante (general delivery) to cardholders.

American Hospital
63, Boulevard Victor Hugo (Neuilly; terminus, bus 32)

Hemingway & BeachArchibald MacLeish drove Hemingway here in March 1928 to get nine stitches in his right forehead after he pulled his bathroom skylight in the rue Férou down on himself at 2:00 a.m. To stop the bleeding, his head was wrapped in toilet paper, "a magnificent absorbent which I've now used twice for that purpose in pretty much emergencies," he wrote to Maxwell Perkins, an editor at Scribner's.

Seeing the story in the papers, Ezra Pound wired Hemingway, "Haow the hellsufferin tomcats did you git drunk enough to fall upwards thru the blithering skylight!!!" Hemingway claimed he had mistaken the skylight cord for the toilet's. Drunk or not, he had been out with the MacLeishes until 11:00 p.m.

The well-known photograph of Sylvia Beach and a wounded Hemingway -- with a bandage wrapped around his head -- standing outside Beach's bookstore Shakespeare and Company, is from this time.

Seine River banks (5th; Place St. Michel)

Hemingway used to buy second-hand books from these boîtes des bouquinistes which line the quais of the Seine across from Notre-Dame Cathedral. Resembling large footlockers bolted to the stone parapets of the river, these green and wood boxes have fronts which swing open into awnings, under which the proprietors generally perch their chairs, setting up portable display shelves with bric-a-brac, comics, engravings, postcards, musty first editions (if you're lucky), and lots of paperbacks. According to the Baedeker Guide, these bouquinistes formerly shared the 17th-century Pont Neuf with con artists, jugglers, showmen and junk dealers; today, only the book dealers remain.

La Closerie des Lilas
171, Boulevard du Montparnasse (6th; Port Royal)

This was Hemingway's favorite café, just around the corner from his apartment on Notre-Dame-des-Champs. A tree-shaded terrace looks out on Marshal Michel Ney's statue. On its marble-topped tables is where the author penned The Big Two-Hearted River, and finished his first draft of The Sun Also Rises. In A Moveable Feast, written many years later, he remembers sitting here with his cahiers (notebooks), pencils, a horse chestnut and rabbit's foot in his right pocket for luck.

Hemingway liked La Closerie because the Montparnasse crowd didn't hang out there, permitting him quiet afternoons to work. The Milan family bought the place in 1925, and still manages it today. Not much has changed since then, as an old photograph on the wall attests. A small plaque to "E. Hemingway" marks his favorite spot at the bar; hanging over it is a portrait of the artist as a young man.

Shakespeare and Company
12, rue de l'Odéon (6th; Odéon)

This English-language bookstore is arguably the most famous Parisian literary landmark for Americans. Although today's store is on the Seine, it was situated by the Luxembourg Gardens in Hemingway's day, much closer to the center of the postwar expatriate community.

Sylvia Beach modeled her store on that of her lover, Adrienne Monnier, whose La Maison des Amis des Livres attracted such French writers as Gide, Claudel, Larbaud, and Valéry. Monnier was the first to publish Hemingway in French.

Beach had instituted a lending library as a service to the Americans, and Gertrude Stein was its first subscriber. The library's ledger for December 28, 1921, shows that Hemingway paid 12 francs for the right to check out two volumes at a time. (In A Moveable Feast, he remembers taking four home.)

Shakespeare & Co. todayThe store gained perhaps its greatest international recognition when Beach published James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922 ("paper bound, printed on poor paper, it abounded in typographical errors" and sold for 60 francs). However, when the Depression hit and the expatriates' remittance checks from home stopped, many of them returned to America, leaving Beach with no clientele and struggling to survive. To help her raise money, Hemingway returned to Paris on May 12, 1937 to give a public reading.

Shakespeare and Company closed during World War II. Because a German officer had threatened to confiscate the store when Beach refused to sell him her last copy of Finnegans Wake, she hid all her books and even painted over the shop sign within hours after he stormed out.

Today's version of Shakespeare and Company (37, rue de la Bucherie) was opened in 1951 as Le Mistral by George Whitman, who changed the name in 1964. It still remains a cultural center today, and features a visiting writers' room upstairs, along with a collection of Beach memorabilia.

Stein, Gertrude (apartment)
27, rue de Fleurus (6th; St. Placide)

Hemingway and much of the expatriate community adopted Stein's studio and apartment as its focal center for literary discussion. Stein lived here for almost thirty years with her lover, Alice B. Toklas, whose task was often to entertain the spouses while the writers conversed with Stein about literature.

Author: Ian C. Mills ©1998 All Rights Reserved
Bibliography: The Cafés of Paris: A Guide, Christine Graf, Interlink Publishing Group Inc., Brooklyn, NY. Paris: A Literary Companion, Ian Littlewood, Franklin Watts Inc., New York (out-of-print). Americans In Paris, Tony Allan, 1979, Contemporary Books Inc., Chicago (out-of-print). A Guide To Hemingway's Paris - with Walking Tours, John Leland, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, NC, division of Workman Publishing Co. Inc., New York. Passport's Illustrated Travel Guide to Paris, 3rd Edition, Elizabeth Morris, 1996, Passport Books, division of NTC Publishing Group, Chicago. Fodor's 97 France, Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc., published in the U.S. by Random House, Inc., New York. Tripod LiteraTour: Hemingway.
Image sources: Sylvia Beach and Ernest Hemingway in front of Shakespeare and Company: from Princeton University Library, Sylvia Beach Collection. Shakespeare & Co. bookstore front, modern day location: photo by Deborah Wong, A Guide To Hemingway's Paris - with Walking Tours, John Leland, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, NC, division of Workman Publishing Co. Inc., New York. Cover shot of "The Cafés of Paris: A Guide": from Books.


Walks in
Hemingway's Paris:

A Guide to Paris for
the Literary Traveler

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Synopsis: With this guide, the explorer can follow Hemingway's footsteps from his first day in the city in December, 1921, when he settled in the 6th arrondissement with his bride, to his last meeting with Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1957. Combines up-to-date information with literary history and biographical anecdotes. Maps and photographs.

A reader from Paris, France , July 16, 1998: After two important introductory chapters, the seven unique walking tours take the reader or tourist to every Hemingway (and Fitzgerald) site in Paris. These walks were tried/previewed by many classes of students at the American University of Paris. Although a few details date the book, it holds up today! The walks, by the way, include wonderful quotations from many of Hemingway's novels, short stories, and his memoirs of Paris. Buy the book and come to Paris!!

Walks In Hemingway's Paris

by Noel Riley Fitch

Usually ships within 2-3 days.
Published April 1992 by St. Martin's Press
List Price: $10.95
Our Price:
You Save: $2.19
ISBN: 0312071132

"Paris is the café of Europe," said the Abbé Galiani. For the average Parisian, the local café serves almost as a private club, a place to wake up to the morning's first cup of coffee, to take a break from work or to meet friends and relax at the end of the day. For the visitor, getting to know the cafés can be the way to reach the city beyond the tourist haunts, to really discover the city, its people, its pace, its charm.

You could be sitting in the café where Ernest Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises ; or you could have coffee where Henry James met Turgenev. In Paris, it is possible to walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest writers and artists of this and earlier centuries.

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The Cafés of Paris:
A Guide

by Christine Graf

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Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 1996
List: $13.95
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ISBN: 1566562015

Cafés of Paris: A Guide

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