David McCullough - The Greater Journey (Americans in Paris)

The Lost Generation in the spotlight

(More details and photos about the books, below)

 

The LOST GENERATION

Literally, the Lost Generation is a group of Americans writers born between 1883 and 1900 and  disillusioned by World War I. They were displeased with social values, sexual and aesthetic conventions and established morality. They were all pioneered new ways of writing, rebelling against the traditional Victorian literary style. 

PARIS –  American writers of the Lost Generation first fled to cities such as Chicago and San Francisco, then to Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona and Rome. But Paris was the prime city in which the “bohemian” Lost Generation chose to wander. Between 1921 and 1924, the number of Americans in Paris, grew from 6,000 to 30,000.

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein

GERTRUDE STEIN and THE LOST GENERATION :  The phrase was created by Gertrude Stein (spoken to Hemingway): “You are all a lost generation.”.The Lost Generation included writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos and T.S. Eliot.  

Hemingway and Fitzgerald

Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

It included several painters as well such as Waldo Peirce. ( reference : https://mstalreja.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ppt-the-lost-generation.pdf) 

MONTPARNASSE – Montparnasse was the gathering place of the Lost Generation. There were many cheap studios, apartments, and it was also an area filled with important cafes (Le Dôme, La Closerie des Lilas, La Rotonde and Le Select to name a few).  “Poverty is a luxury when living in Montparnasse. (Jean Cocteau)

THE LOST GENERATION IN MY BOOKSHOP

Here are the books, in the bookshop where I use to go (see the shop window above and below too) . They are all in French. But I’ve posted the English versions of these books too. Found on Amazon.fr

  • 41xVQWriQyL._SX363_BO1,204,203,200_Kiki de Montparnasse : Catel et José-Louis Bocquet (a comic – 2011)  In English as well :  Kiki de Montparnasse  In the bohemian and brilliant
    Montparnasse of the 1920s, Kiki managed to escape poverty to become one of the most charismatic figures of the avant-garde years between the wars. Partner to Man Ray – whose most legendary photos she inspired – she would be immortalised by Kisling, Foujita, Per Krohg, Calder, Utrillo and Leger. Kiki is the muse of a generation that seeks to escape the hangover of the Great War, but she is above all one of the first emancipated women of the 20th century.©Amazon
  • Ezra Pound (American poet) : Les Cantos In English : The cantos of Ezra Pound‘s 800 page Cantos, written over a period of more than fifty years (1917–1969), invites the reader to join the poet on a journey from darkness and despair towards light and positive activity. In this book, George Kearns addresses the reader approaching The Cantos for the first time. He examines the poem’s aesthetic and political-ethical-didactic dimensions and shows that despite its complexity and the many objections which can be raised to its poetics and politics, its study can be greatly rewarding.”©Amazon

  • Gertrude Stein : Autobiography d’Alice B. Tokias – In English :  The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was written in 1933 by Gertrude Stein in the guise of an autobiography authored by Alice B. Toklas, who was her lover. It is a fascinating insight into the art scene in Paris as the couple were friends with Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. They begin the war years in England but return to France, volunteering for the American Fund for the French Wounded, driving around France, helping the wounded and homeless. After the war Gertrude has an argument with T. S. Eliot after he finds one of her writings inappropriate. They become friends with Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway. It was written to make money and was indeed a commercial success. However, it attracted criticism, especially from those who appeared in the book and didn’t like the way they were depicted.©Amazon

 

  • James Joyce : Ulysses – In English : Ulysses – Ulysses is a novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris. It is considered to be one of the most important works of Modernist literature, and has been called “a demonstration and summation of the entire movement”. Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, 16 June 1904.©Amazon

 

  • Zelda Fitgerald : Accordez moi cette valse – In English : Save me the Waltz
    One of the great literary curios of the twentieth century Save Me the Waltz is the first and only novel by the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. During the years when Fitzgerald was working on Tender is the Night, Zelda Fitzgerald was preparing her own story, which strangely parallels the narrative of her husband, throwing a fascinating light on Scott Fitzgerald’s life and work. In its own right, it is a vivid and moving story: the confessional of a famous glamour girl of the affluent 1920s and an aspiring ballerina which captures the spirit of an era.©Amazon

  • Jim Fergus : Souvenir de l’amour Chrysis  – In English : The Memory of Love : The new novel by the author of the international bestseller, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN. After recovering from grave wounds suffered in The Great War, Bogey Lambert, a young cowboy from Colorado, makes his way to 1920s Paris, where he encounters the beautiful painter, Chrysis Jungbluth. Precocious, passionate, talented, the free-spirited Chrysis rebels against a society and an art world in which men have all the privilege and women none. By day, a serious student at the prestigious l’École des Beaux-Arts, at night Chrysis loses herself to the sensual pleasures of the Montparnasse nightlife, where all seems permissible. There, she and the American cowboy will live the love of a lifetime.©Amazon

  • Montparnasse : les lieux de légende – Olivier Renault – Not found in English on Amazon
  • Francis Scott Fitzgerald : Beaux et damnés – In English : The beautiful and damned Anthony Patch and Gloria Gibson are the golden children of the Jazz Age. They marry and embark on a life of glittering parties, lavish expenditure and scandalous revelry. When the money dries up their marriage founders. In this wistful novel Fitzgerald portrays the decline of youthful promise with devastating clarity.©Amazon.fr

 

 

  • Francis Scott Fitzgerald : Tendre est la nuit – In English :  Tender is the night  Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s harrowing demise.©Amazon.fr
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  • F. Scott Fitzgerald : Gatsby le Magnifique /// In English : The Great Gatsby – The story focuses on the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession for the enigmatic and beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Following a colourful cast of characters who live in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. This is a classic that has been loved by many for generations.©Amazon.fr
  • D’Ernest Hemingway à Henry Miller : Mythes et réalités des écrivains américains à Paris (1919 – 1939) – de Daniel Gallagher – Not found in English on Amazon.fr
  • Hemingway : Paris est une fête Nouvelles complètes /// In English : A Moveable feast – Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most beloved works…Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest’s sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Seán Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and his first wife, Hadley. Also included are irreverent portraits of other luminaries, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Madox Ford, and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. The restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and enthusiasm that Hemingway himself experienced. ©Amazon.fr

  • Hemingway : Le Jardin d’Eden  – Hemingway ///  In English  The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961. Set on the Côte d’Azur in the 1920s, it is the story of a young American writer, David Bourne, his glamorous wife, Catherine, and the dangerous, erotic game they play when they fall in love with the same woman.©Amazon

  • John Dos Passos : L’initiation d’un homme : 1917 /// In English : John Dos Passos : One Man’s Initiation – 1917 – “One Man’s Initiation:1917” was the first novel of the American writer John Dos Passos (1896 — 1970) and offers a semi-autobiographical account of the writer’s experience as an ambulance driver in France as a young man.©Amazon.fr

  • 41UCj7i0VjL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_John Dos Passos : Lettres à germaine Lucas Championnière – Written in French by John Dos Passos – Not found in English. 
  • Miller – Grandeur nature – Brassai /// In English : Henry Miller, The Paris Years – This book is a must-read for Henry Miller devotees who want to understand the genesis of this great writer. Written by his close friend Brassai a fascinating story is told about Miller’s down and out days in Paris during the 1930’s and how his vision of writing developed. It is replete with personal anecdotes about Miller’s views of Paris, his hatred (ambivalent as it was) of his homeland and his relations with the women in his life. It more than anything shows Miller as the writer refusing to sell-out by having the essence of his writing edited away by the censorius literary status quo of his day. (Review read on ©Amazon.fr)
  • Henry Miller Printemps noir /// In English : Black SpringWritten during the same period as “Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn”, and banned in the English-speaking world upon its publication in Paris in 1936, “Black Spring” is one of Miller’s finest achievements, and arguably his most distinguished book from a stylistic point of view. It consists of a number of linked episodes describing some of the crucial years in his personal saga, from recollections of his childhood in Brooklyn to his time in Paris.Imbued with the spirit of Miller’s life experience, “Black Spring” is a linguistic tour de force which brings together the American author’s greatest merits.©Amazon.fr

  • Henry Miller Jours tranquilles à Clichy /// In English : Quiet days in Clichy‘Here, even if I had a thousand dollar in my pocket, I know of no sight which could arouse in me the feeling of ecstasy’Looking back to Henry Miller’s bohemian life in 1930s Paris, when he was an obscure, penniless writer, Quiet Days in Clichy is a love letter to a city. As he describes nocturnal wanderings through shabby Montmartre streets, cafés and bars, sexual liaisons and volatile love affairs, Miller brilliantly evokes a period that would shape his entire life and oeuvre. . ‘His writing is flamboyant, torrential, chaotic, treacherous, and dangerous’ Anaïs Nin ©Amazon.fr

  • Henry Miller : Tropique du Cancer – Tropique du Capricorne // in English : Tropic of Cancer  ...Henry Miller’s first novel Tropic of Cancer …Set in Paris in the 1930s, it features a starving American writer who lives a bohemian life among prostitutes, pimps, and artists. Banned in the US and the UK for more than thirty years because it was considered pornographic, Tropic of Cancer continued to be distributed in France and smuggled into other countries. When it was first published in the US in 1961, it led to more than 60 obscenity trials until a historic ruling by the Supreme Court defined it as a work of literature. … Tropic of Capricorn – A cult modern classic, Tropic of Capricorn is … a story of sexual and spiritual awakening, Tropic of Capricorn shocked readers when it was published in 1939. A mixture of fiction and autobiography …Tropic of Capricorn paints a dazzling picture of the life of the writer and of New York City between the wars. Henry Miller is widely recognised as an irreverent, risk-taking writer who redefined the novel and made the link between the European avant-garde and the American Beat generation.©Amazon.fr

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  • William Faulkner : Pylône. In English : Pylon : Pylon, first published in 1935, takes place at an air show in a thinly disguised New Orleans named New Valois. An unnamed reporter for a local newspaper tries to understand a very modern ménage a trois of flyers on the brainstorming circuit.©Amazon.fr
  • William Faulkner : Le Bruit et la fureur. In English : The sound and the fury : Ever since the first furore was created on its publication in 1929, The Sound and the Furyhas been considered one of the key novels of this century. Depicting the gradual disintegration of the Compson family through four fractured narratives, The Sound and the Fury explores intense, passionate family relationships where there is no love, only self-centredness. At its heart this is a novel about lovelessness. ©Amazon.fr
  • 51DtbCRRugL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_La génération perdue des américains à Paris 1917 – 1939 – Vincent Bouvet has written a few books translated into English on the Roaring Twenties. This book has just been published and apparently hasn’t been translated in English yet. The title in English should be : “The Lost Generation of the Americans in Paris – 1917-1939”

 

  • 41IkUIVVrQL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_Anaïs Nin : Journal de l’amour et Henry et June  /// In English : Henry and June: From “A Journal of Love” – The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931-1932) – 
    Anais Nin (1903-1977) was a French-born author of Catalan, Cuban and Danish descent. She became famous for her erotica, as well as for her published diaries, which span more than sixty years, beginning when she was eleven years old and ending shortly before her death. This bestseller covers a single momentous year during Nin’s life in Paris, when she met Henry Miller and his wife, June. “Closer to what many sexually adventuresome women experience than almost anything I’ve ever read….I found it a very erotic book and profoundly liberating” (Alice Walker). ©Amazon.fr
  • David McCullough : Le Voyage à Paris Les Américains à l’école de la France /// In English :  The greater Journey – Americans in Paris – The bestseller that tells the remarkable story of the generations of American artists, writers, and doctors who traveled to Paris, the intellectual, scientific, and artistic capital of the western world, fell in love with the city and its people, and changed America through what they learned, told by America’s master historian, David McCullough.©Amazon.fr

  • Adrienne Monnier – “Les Gazettes”  and “Rue de l’Odéon” /// Not found in English version on ©Amazon.fr

  • 41tV7bLbjiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Sinclair LewisBabbit, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt was influential in the decision to award Lewis the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930. The word “Babbitt” entered the English language as a “person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards”.©Amazon.fr
  • 51AF62PJG1L._SX283_BO1,204,203,200_Laure Murat : Passage de l’Odéon(not found in English on Amazon)
  • Susan Sontag : Le Faucon Pelerin  Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels, a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004. (not found in English on Amazon)

51TDR5QY9AL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_Des Américains à Paris – René Maurice – Not found in English on Amazon.fr

  • 31AVA-UtX-L._SX263_BO1,204,203,200_Gilles Leroy : Alabama song (Goncourt Prize in 2007) Not found in English on ©Amazon.fr

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Your Private Walk with Ann Jeanne in Paris :

in Montparnasse, the gathering neighborhood of the Lost Generation, 

You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?

  • You’d like to discover Paris off the beaten path ?
  • You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle ?

WELCOME !

CONTACT me for a private walking tour and EXPERIENCE PARIS as a local

  • You only, or you and the person you choose.
  • Duration of the tour : from 2 hours.  It includes a coffee in an authentic cafe 
  • The tour can be customized according to your preferences and interests 

For more details :  The tours  and Practical details and fees 

Don’t hesitate to contact me

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… A few days later: the BEAT GENERATION in another bookshop located in the Latin Quarter : 

About the Beat Generation

About the Beat Generation

 

 

Kiki par Man Ray

You can put some music on, while reading this article (see at the bottom of this page “Charleston” (Midnight in Paris) – Enoch Light Orchestra)

Parisian Café - Le Dôme Paris circa 1920

Cafe Le Dôme in the 20s

Montparnasse  : the spirit of the beginning of the 20th century.

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Montparnasse is the area around Vavin Metro StopSituation de Montparnasse ds Paris.09

Montparnasse often gets bypassed when visitors come to Paris. At first sight : not a touristic place, no highlight spot, nor renown buildings. But culturally, it is a central neighborhood, rich by its history. And a very Parisian and nice place to live in. 

Surely a neighborhood where to find the spirit from the beginning of the 20th Illustrations Années Follescentury. A wonderful mix of new and old.  An area where you have the feeling of a real neighborhood. And without hesitation, the area where I would choose and love to live if I had to move.

Location : Montparnasse is located on the Left Bank of the river Seine and covers parts of the 5th, 6th,14th and 15th arrondissements. It’s bordered by the Luxembourg garden to its north. 

Some history 

Kiki de Montparnasse. Photo by Man Ray, 1924.

Kiki de Montparnasse. the muse of Montparnasse – Photo by Man Ray, 1924.

Montparnasse reached its heyday in the 1920s and 30s, between WWI and WWII. It was then the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris. It’s called “Les Années Folles” (=the Roaring 20s”). Montparnasse became the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris, and Vavin (Metro Stop : Vavin) was the center of the neighborhood.

Many artists came from Montmartre to settle in Montparnasse in search of low rent (lodging and workshops). 

Others from around the world (from Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, central and South America, and Japan) came to stay in Montparnasse, looking for a place they could freely work and create. Between 1921 and 1924, the number of Americans in Paris swelled from 6000 to 30000. 

 

 

robe années 20 Trois jeune femmes à la terrasse d'un café parisien - 1928

Some of the artists in Montparnasse in the 20s

Painters, writers, sculptors, poets, photographers, composers… And most of the Paris artistic community settled in Montparnasse neighborhood. 

Pablo Picasso, Samuel Beckett, Joan Miro, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Tsugouharu FoujitaDiego Rivera, Modigliani, Guillaume Apollinaire, Salvatore Dali, Man Ray, Marc Chagall, Eric Satie, Zadkine, Degas, Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Miller, George Braque, Jean Cocteau, Chaim Soutine, Blaise Cendrars, Fernand Léger, André Breton, Giacometti, Dos Passos…

The importance of the cafes

They frequented the cafés along Boulevard Montparnasse, such as La Closerie des Lilas, La Rotonde (photo above), Le Dôme (photos below), Le Select, La Coupole…

A charming neighborhood 

Kiki de Montparnasse3

Kiki de Montparnasse, the muse of Montparnasse

Kiki de Montparnassethe Montparnasse’s muse. She was the model of many artists : Man Ray, Fujita, Modigliani… She was the lover of Man Ray.

 

Nowadays, young students from around the world, come around the art supplies shops and arts academy of the rue de la Grande Chaumière. 

 

Traditionnaly, Montparnasse is also “home” to Parisians coming from Brittany (Western France), because trains from Montparnasse station travels back and forth to Brittany. Many Breton people came to settle in Paris from the mid 19th century to the 1960s.

More recently, since the 70s, Montparnasse neighborhood has become more upscale and many old ateliers have been converted into upscale housing. Nowadays, still the cafés of the 20s and many others, restaurants, many crêperies (as crêpes are traditionally a Breton meal… !)

 

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Boulevard Montparnasse

Boulevard Montparnasse

My advice :

  • Get out at the Metro Stop Vavin (not Metro Stop : Montparnasse) which is the center of the real Montparnasse neighborhood. 
  • Enjoy a drink at “La Coupole” or at the café “Le Vavin” (rue de Vavin) to let you have a feeling of a real neighborhood. 
  • Rue Vavin (a small and short street), you’ll find one of the best Paris “Chocolatier” (Jean Paul Hevin). Also nice small shops. 
  • After your Montparnasse visit, you can enjoy the Luxembourg garden, just nearby (end of rue de Vavin)
  • You can choose to have a nice meal (pricey) at Le Select, Le Dome (for fish meals), or a nice restaurant in a small street rue Jules Chaplain. 
  • Lots of crêperies rue de Montparnasse for a nice meal (cheaper) and delicious. 
  • PRIVATE WALKING TOUR with a NATIVE PARISIAN in MONTPARNASSE neighborhood ? (Walk in the footsteps of the great artists who first found inspiration there : Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Modigliani, Man Ray…)  Contact me         
    • You only, or you and the person you choose. I’ll show you around in Montparnasse.
    • Duration of the tour : from 3 to 5 hours. It includes a coffee in an authentic cafe in Montmartre neighborhood. Can be included : the visit of an open door market of the neighborhood 

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More details :

  • Close access to major centers (a few minutes walks to Luxembourg garden, 15-20 minutes walk to Saint Germain des Prés and the Latin Quarter, 15 minutes by subway to the Eiffel Tower, lots of restaurants, an open market 3 days per week, many cafés (La Rotonde, Le Select, Le Dome, La Coupole…)
  • The renown cemetery Montparnasse (the second largest burial ground in Paris) : graves of many of the neighborhood’s most illustrious residents (Baudelaire, Beckett, Bartholdi – (who designed the Statue of Liberty), Maupassant, Man Ray, Samuel Beckett, Sartre, Beauvoir, Jean Seberg, Ionesco, Saint Saëns, Satie, Soutine, Zadkine, – Entrance on Bd Edgar Quinet – Paris 14 – Metro Stop : Edgar Quinet
  • La Closerie des Lilas : a Left Bank institution – A chic Piano Bar with a bronze plaque with Hemingway’s name. a Brasserie and a restaurant (pricey).  An article about Closerie des Lilas coming up soon. – 171 boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 6 – Metro Stop : Port Royal or Bus n°38 – Vavin (5 minutes walk)
  • Edgar Quinet Market : An excellent street Market every Wednesday and Saturday (fresh food and clothes). A crafts market on Sundays. – Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Paris 14
  • Bourdelle Museum :  a heaven of peace for lovers of art, sculpting. museum dedicated to the life and works of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. – Metro Stop : Montparnasse
  • La Fondation Cartier for exhibitions of contemporary art (a building designed by Jean Nouvel)
  • Numerous crêperies in the neighborhood (Metro stop : Vavin or Montparnasse) : a nice and affordable break (salted wheat flour crêpes and sweet crêpes). Crêpes = thin pancakes. An article coming up soon. 

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Charleston – Midnight in Paris : 

Maybe you’d feel like meeting the soul of the Lost Generation in Paris …

Nearby Notre Dame

YOUR Private walk, with Ann Jeanne in Paris, native Parisian

  • You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?
  • You’d like to discover Paris off the beaten path ?
    You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle 

WELCOME !

CONTACT me for a private walking tour and EXPERIENCE PARIS as a local

  • You only, or you and the person you choose.
  • Duration of the tour : from 2 hours. It includes a coffee in an authentic cafe
  • The tour can be customized according to your preferences and interests 

For more details : The tours – Booking and Pricing

Don’t hesitate to contact me

La Closerie nowadays

“La Closerie des Lilas” means “Small enclosed lilac garden”. It’s a place, with an enormous charm, calm and elegant, which makes Paris magic. It’s one of the mythical brasseries of Montparnasse neighborhood.  The ambiance of old-world Paris.

WHERE ?

La Closerie des Lilas

“La Closerie des Lilas” is located in Montparnasse neighborhood which was, between WWI and WWII, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life (after Montmartre and before Saint Germain des Prés heydays). On the corner of Boulevard Montparnasse and Boulevard Saint Michel. A bit off the beaten path. Most regulars are Parisians.

A ONE MINUTE VIDEO FILMED ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON :

A bit of History : 

You can’t forget the richness of its past… La Closerie des Lilas is over 100 years old. It has entertained visitors from all over the world. And many writers and artists met up at the Closerie des Lilas.

Here, you can feel the presence of Hemingway

The only decent café in our neighborhood was La Closerie des Lilas, and it was one of the best cafes in Paris. It was warm in the winter and the terrace was lovely in the spring and fall,” Hemingway – A Moveable feast

Also the hang-out for : Verlaine, Apollinaire, Beckett, Man Ray, Sartre, Baudelaire, Cezanne, Modigliani, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, André Gide to name a few.

A revered haunt for the Lost generation writers  : Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway who used to come here to write. La Closerie des Lilas was one of Hemingway’s favorite cafés, where he wrote parts of “The sun also rises here”, and where Scott Fitzgerald showed him “Gatsby” for the first time. Behind the bar, one can find a picture of young Hemingway in an army uniform form WWI.

THE SETTING

A warm and cosy ambiance.

A restaurant with a pleasant terrace, a quaint little tree-enclosed patio, a brasserie, and a bar.

The bar : a gorgeous setting, low-lighted, with furniture made in polished mahogany, red-leather confortable banquettes, A brass and chrome bar. There are one-by-three-inch brass nameplates on the corner of the tables with engraved names of literary figures who supposedly sat there. The bartenders are dressed in white jacket. They will serve you a customized cocktail. Live music most evenings and the sunday afternoon too make the place even more special…. and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris  … and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris.                                                        

Practical details :

  • La Closerie des Lilas – 171 boulevard Montparnasse, Paris 6 –  Hours: 12 noon – 1:00 a.m.  Web site : www.closeriedeslilas.fr    Tel. : + 33(0)1 40 51 34 50
  • Metro : Vavin (line 4) or Raspail (line 4 and 6) (Both metro stop at about 7 min walk) RER : Port Royal (just beside the Closerie des Lilas), Bus : 38 (a bus stop just nearby)

My advice :

  • a must-go on your visit to Paris,
  • Why not a drink (a cocktail, a coffee, a hot chocolate or whatever) in the gorgeous bar, where the bartender will serve you a customized cocktail if you wish to !
  • When you have a drink , you can have a pastry too. The “assiette gourmande” is delightful (An “assiette gourmande” is an assortment of a few very littles pastries). 
  • Or for a lunch or dinner either at the restaurant (but quite pricey, an upscale restaurant) or the brasserie.
  • After a lunch, you can either go for a walk in the Observatoire garden, (nearby –   ) then the Luxembourg garden (10 minutes walk from La Closerie), or go for a walk in the Montparnasse neighborhood (around Vavin) then to the Luxembourg garden (an entrance nearby Vavin street)
  • … And don’t miss the bathroom, which is really gorgeous ! Beautiful Art Deco style. 
  • The 4 other popular literary cafés/brasseries in Montparnasse neighborhood are : “Le Select’, “La Rotonde”, “Le Dome” and “La Coupole”

DSC_6143

Ernest-Hemingway-quote

01 - Photo Hemingway - a moveable feast

Ernest HEMINGWAY :

1918 – La Madeleine (Metro : Madeleine)

First place for Hemingway in Paris : in 1918, Hemingway, a U.S. Red Cross volunteer at the time, found himself in front of the damaged façade of the church.

Hemingway in Saint Germain des Prés :

  • In 1921, Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, arrived in Paris and stayed in the “Hôtel d’Angleterre” ( room 14 – 44 rue Jacob – Paris 6) – Metro Saint Germain des Prés), recommended by the American writer, Sherwood Anderson, who also gave him letters of introduction to Gerturde Stein, James Joyce, and to the publisher Sylvia Beach.
    Hemingway often enjoyed coming to “Le Pré aux Clercs”, a cafe located nearby the Hôtel d’Angleterre, (30, rue Bonaparte – Paris 6 – Opening hours : 7/7 8am – 2am)
  • Brasserie Lipp (151 boulevard Saint Germain – Paris 6 – Metro Mabillon)  Hemingway was very fond of this place.
  • Michaud (= now called : “Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères”) in Saint Germain des Prés (corner of rue Jacob and rue des   Saints-Pères) – A restaurant
  • Cafe de Flore, 172 boulevard Saint Germain Metro Saint Germain des Prés: After the war, Hemingway used to come to the Coupole regularly.
  • Les Deux Magots, 6 place Saint Germain des Prés – Metro Saint Germain des Prés : One of the oldest cafes in Paris. Among its regulars : Verlaine, Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, Picasso, Oscar Wilde, André Malraux and Antoine de Saint Exupéry.

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Hemingway in Montparnasse :

  • 1924 – Hemingway moves in a flat near the Luxembourg Gardens (113, rue Notre-Dame-des -Champs – Metro Vavin)
  • La Rotonde (105, boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 14 – Metro Vavin) : That’s where he sometimes meets Henry Miller, Scott Fitzgerald and George Gershwin
  • Les Blés d’Ange (boulangerie) – 151 boulevard du Montparnasse – Metro Vavin : That’s where Hemingway was buying his pastries. It was easy for him to get there as it was opposite his house by Notre Dame des Champs.
  • La Closerie des Lilas**   Article about the Luxembourg Gardens : coming next°°° (171, boulevard Montparnasse – RER : Port Royal or Metro : Vavin) He wrote that it was “one of the best cafes in Paris” and it became his “home cafe”. Others writers used to come at the Closerie des Lilas such as Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Verlaine, Gide, Aragon, Fitzgerald, Sartre, Beckett. Earlier, other famous regulars used to come in this cafe such as : Zola, Gautier, Baudelaire, Honoré de Balzac… That’s where Hemingway wrote his short stories. That’s also where he used to come after splitting up with this first wife, Hadley.
  • Le Select°°°° (99 boulevard Montparnasse – Metro Vavin) – Ernest Hemingway often start his day with breakfast at the Select. He also set several scenes in his novel “The Sun also Rises” (1926) here
  • The Dôme ( 108, boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 14 – Metro Vavin) : Hemingway loved this cafe because often frequented by writers, painters, and artists’ models, such as Gauguin, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Picasso, Miller, Nin and Man Ray.
  • La Coupole, 102 boulevard Montparnasse Paris 14 – Metro Vavin
  • The Dingo Bar ( = today : “Auberge de Venise” – 10 rue Delambre – Paris 14 – Metro Vavin) : That’s where Hemingway met Scott Fitzgerald for the first time. Where Picasso, and Jean Cocteau used to go as well
  • Hotel Venitia (no longer exists. Now, t’s a travel bookshop) 159 boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 14– Metro Port Royal, Vavin or Raspail
  • Ernest-Hemingway-quote
  • Hemingway and the Luxembourg Gardens** and museum (Metro : Luxembourg or Vavin)

    • This was Hemingway’s favorite place to walk. That’s where he would  often meet Gertrude Stein (The American writer, poetess and feminist) who was walking her dog there.
    • He also enjoyed admiring the impressionist paintings in the Luxembourg museum.  In “A moveable feast” he wrote : “I was learning something from the paintings of Cezanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them. I was learning very much from him…”

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Hemingway in the Latin quarter :

This neighborhood inspired ‘s greatest early works.

  • 1922-1923 : Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley rented a very modest 2 rooms flat on the 3rd floor at 74, rue Cardinal Lemoine (Paris 5 – Metro Cardinal Lemoine). Hemingway described this place in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”.
  • Then he rented a studio, (39, rue Descartes – Paris 5 – Metro Cardinal Lemoine) in the attic in a four-story house. There was a small restaurant Chez Verlaine, on the ground floor.

About that time, Hemingway wrote : “I was always hungry with the walking and the cold and the working”.

  • Café des Amateurs (today “Café Delmas”, 2 place de la Contrescarpe – Paris 5 – Metro Cardinal Lemoine).  Hemingway wasn’t very fond of the place because regularly frequented by drunks from the neighboring houses, but started “A moveable feast” with the description of the Amateurs : “The Cafe des Amateurs was the cesspool of the rue Mouffetard, that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe.”

(Nearby, the Rue Mouffetard”, one of the Paris’s oldest and liveliest streets, with a number of cafes, restaurants and a famous open market.)

  • Shakespeare and Company :  Sylvia Beach, the owner, gave him a borrowing card allowing him to take as many books as he wanted. In “A moveable Feast” Hemingway writes : “She had pretty legs and she was kind, cheerful and interested, and loved to make jokes and gossip. No one that I ever knew was nicer to me.”hemingway_bookshop devant Shakespeare

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Other Hemingway’s locations 

Hotel Ritz 15 place Vendôme – Paris 1 – Metro Tuileries : The bar at the Ritz was one of Hemingway’s favorite place. He spent  many evenings there with Scott Fitzgerald. To commemorate its guest, the bar was named after Hemingway.

69 rue Froidevaux – Paris 14 – Metro Gaité or Denfert Rochereau : The second apartment where he lived with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer.

A-Moveable-Feast-e1354045713964

 

AND…… : Do you REMEMBER HEMINGWAY in “MIDNIGHT IN PARIS”  ?

ernesthemingway

 

 Article about La Closerie des Lilas 

**   Article about the Luxembourg Gardens : coming next

°°°° Article about Le Select coming next