January 22, 2014 § 2 Comments
Actually, I recall not having been bowled over by the book when I read it in Paris. Underwhelmed. What I did retain and do like, however, is the image of Hemingway with his pockets of oranges — clementines? mandarins? satsumas? Clementines sound most lovely.
…”But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made.”
The little oranges and the neatness of his sharpened pencils. The orderliness of sharpened pencils.
“I ordered another rum St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.”
Reading now, directed by the tiny images of my memory, I am comforted.
“It was a pleasant café, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a café au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write.”