It’s not all bad news following the deadly attack on Paris, as Parisians have sought comfort in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “A Moveable Feast”.
“Then there was the bad weather” — the opening sentence of the American writer’s memoir of life in Paris during the 1920s rings true nearly a century later. His description of the damp chill in the French capital matched the mood on a freezing, rain-soaked Saturday night as Parisians struggled to come to grips with the aftermath of a deadly terror attack.
“All of the sadness of the city came suddenly with the first cold rains of winter,” Hemingway wrote. He could easily have been describing the scene as shivering Parisians lit candles in the rain at the makeshift memorial that stands across the street from the darkened Bataclan Theater. On the night of November 13, gunmen stormed in, massacring more than eighty concert-goers there.
Hemingway’s love letter to the City of Light has long been required reading for many foreign visitors to Paris. Copies of “A Moveable Feast” stand prominently on display in the venerable English-language bookstore Shakespeare and Company, which Hemingway is said to have frequented in the 1920s.
Shortly after November 13, the French translation of the 51-year-old book leaped to the top of the bestseller list on the French version of online book dealer Amazon and remained there for days.