From A Moveable Feast….

Word count: 247 words

Reading time: about 1 minute

I read widely, watch movies and listen to the radio. Here, catch an interesting piece of figurative language I’ve encountered recently.  

Even though I like and admire plain and simple writing, I’ve never been a fan of Ernest Hemingway. Last year, however, I read Paula McLain’s marvellous novel, The Paris Wife. Although it’s entirely biographical — it tells the story of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson — McLain calls it a novel because she allows herself to imagine the emotional lives of the characters. It’s a darn good read and it caused me to set myself the goal of reading A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s own book about this time in his life.

Although many of my friends had loved A Moveable Feast, I regret to say I didn’t like it very much. I did however, find a piece of figurative language I admired enough to be able to cite it here. In it, Hemingway recalls a trip he took with his friend, the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (pictured above.)

Back in the room Scott was still lying as though on his tomb, sculpted as a monument to himself, his eyes closed and breathing with exemplary dignity. 

Imagine! The chutzpah of describing a friend as having “sculpted a monument to himself.” I also like the way Hemingway completes the image by describing his friend’s breath as having “exemplary dignity.” That said, I think I’m grateful never to have had someone like Hemingway as a friend.

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