Hemingway’s memoir A Moveable Feast (published posthumously in 1964) is about his years living in Paris. The title was chosen by his widow, Mary, from something Hemingway wrote to a friend: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” It is sentimental and cruel by turns, and not entirely honest, since he probably overstated the level of poverty he experienced there, but as he concludes the brief preface: “If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.”
I love the final line above and this has been the reason why I have been on a steady diet of fiction for the past few years. Beginning with Ernest Gaines, Marilynne Robinson, more Ernest Gaines, John Steinbeck and, not-really-fiction, poetry, lots of light has been shed. This blog has helped me share this light with others.