The Blind Leading the Blind:
Hemingway and Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast Cover Image

The Blind Leading the Blind: Hemingway and Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast
The Blind Leading the Blind: Hemingway and Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast

Author(s): Dan Horaţiu Popescu
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Sociology of Art
Published by: Editura Universității Aurel Vlaicu
Keywords: Fitzgerald; vulnerability; pacified memory; Rabelaisian chronotope;

Summary/Abstract: My paper aims at identifying the images and episodes – in the texts Hemingway dedicated to Scott Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast – that reveal the interplay between memories and forgiving oneself, and therefore underlining the therapeutic value of those particular texts for the author. While tracing back the events in the Paris of the 1920s, he exposes the vulnerability not only of his individual self, but of Fitzgerald’s as well. Less obvious because of Hemingway’s compulsion to dominate, but even striking due to Fitzgerald’s“complementary need to be dominated”, (their) vulnerability hints at various degrees of self-destructive behavior. Hemingway’s late awareness of all these and his attempts at protecting Fitzgerald, both physically and textually, raise the issue of who speaks, who listens and who responds, or of the critical trust in individual testimony, of a “hermeneutics of suspicion”, as Ricoeur once formulated when referring to psychoanalysis. Is the goal of Hemingway’s narrative, in this respect, one of a pacified, happy memory? Or not?The Rabelaisian chronotope of growth, as designed by Bakhtin, is also employed when analyzing Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s whereabouts across the playground provided by Paris in the 1920s. Does everything that is “good” –food, drink, sex, beauty, the craft of writing, etc – really grow in those sections of A Moveable Feast? And does “the bad” thin out and perish as the writer moves on with his stories of remembering? And do his readers move along with the flow? The Rabelaisian series at work in the stories – of the human body,food series, drink and drunkenness, sexual series, death series, etc – intersect one another and speak forth of the complexity of a text that is far from being alight touch on some youth existential experiences.

  • Issue Year: 9/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 45-56
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English