Thursday, March 27, 2014


                I once read “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway.  As I have always had some urge, a desire really, to write and desperately wanted to know how, but never found that out, not even in school, I was very pleased when Ernest all but let out the secret to good writing in this collection of his remises. So I bought some pencils and not just a few Moleskine cahiers and a pocket pencil sharpener and set about to find me a good café as good as the one Hemingway found on the Place St.-Michel in Paris.

                Alas, to my eternal disappointment, I discovered there is not a good French café in my part of Georgia -only Waffle Houses.  One of them would have to do.  I tried a Waffle House but it was no good.  Too busy a place and they frowned at the proposition I would just sit there most of the day after breakfast, scribble something down in the cahier, sip on a cup of coffee or a glass of ice water and never order anything to eat for lunch then leave without an extra tip since the one I gave at breakfast.  Too busy a place for one guy to fill a seat that is no longer making money.

                As fun as it may be I decided to give up on writing in Waffle Houses.  I tried a Starbucks once but it was kind of like the Waffle House in that it too is usually a busy place not all that conducive to good writing.  It is after all hard enough to engineer the one true sentence in such noisy places let alone think of what should come next.  That café on the Place St.-Michel in Paris must have been a little less busy and certainly less noisy.  I decided to just stay home and write.  It has worked out well for me and it costs less to eat at home, though I admit the fare here is not as fancy as at some places I could go to but could not really write very well there.  Everything in life is a tradeoff.  This was no different.

                Thinking back to my school days I don’t remember anything about a class that covered the how to write part. Sure we wrote few essays and read a good bit of literature and studied the intricacies pertaining to the use of literary devices used by the great writers, fellows like Edgar Poe, William Shakespeare and Mark Twain among others I can’t think of now.  I remember well the reading of “The Glass Menagerie” which I enjoyed greatly.  I can’t now think of a single literary device we studied.  I wouldn’t know one by name though I may use one now and then.  Of course I never took any of that stuff seriously.  That was when I was young and foolish.  Now I’m old and still a little foolish but regret I didn’t take any of that stuff seriously.  If I had I might now realize that I was taught how to write only didn’t know it at the time.
                Remises:  in fencing, a further thrust, a remise, made on the same lunge to follow up a first thrust that has missed. Hemingway used this word to describe his work "A Moveable Feast."  At first I thought it was a short word for reminiscences but on finding it does not mean that I now consider he may have meant the reminiscenses recorded in "A Moveable Feast" are second or follow up thrusts of first thrusts (his life the first time round) that have missed.


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