Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday with Hemingway

Lost Generation   "You're an expatriate. You've lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see. You hang around cafés."
- Chapter 12, The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway led the “Lost Generation”, a famous group of literary expatriates who colonized Paris and Spain between the wars.

What does it mean to be an expatriate in Hemingway's style?  Simply to drink the experience in great gulps?  Or is it just a search for meaning, away from an empty world with "all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken” (FS Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise)?

Is that excess even possible any more?

2 comments:

Textual Healer said...

Well I always wondered how Hemmingway (and Henry Miller) used to survive without ever working - truth is they were hustlers of amajor order. Guess their type gravitates to Manila or Bangkok these days.

Dave Hampton said...

I don't meet many expats who fit this stereotype - I wonder if they still exist? You would think that there would still be a few places in Europe left to be colonized by a group like this...