Book Notes: "On Paris" by Ernest Hemingway

On ParisOn Paris by Ernest Hemingway

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This collection of journalistic pieces was written for the Toronto Star in the early 1920s and focus on Paris. Hemingway's early work here is part travel writer and part gossip columnist. The style would seem out of place today and, from personal experience, editors are only to ready to "correct" such work written in the "your correspondent" third person. It is a shame, in that Hemingway's style is very readable and rather witty. I doubt articles written about a foreign city would be of interest today, but at the time, many North Americans were keen on the exchange rate with France and Paris, of course, was a major destination. Moreover, I doubt that the "Orientalist" approach to reporting on foreign countries would be so readily apply to today's France, although destinations that still remain "foreign" to most Westerners may receive this treatment as a matter of course. This is a short but fruitful read and I was particularly impressed by the format and the cover, which makes for a robust yet accessible paperback style. I rarely comment on this aspect of a book but the cover style is remarkable.

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