Literature Study GuidesA Moveable FeastWith Pascin At The Dôme Summary

A Moveable Feast | Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway

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A Moveable Feast | With Pascin at the Dôme | Summary

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Summary

After a long day of work, Ernest Hemingway walks through Paris to the Nègre de Toulouse restaurant, where the proprietor, Mr. Lavigne, asks Hemingway how his writing is going. Hemingway watches acquaintances and strangers walk by in the spring evening. He feels proud of himself for focusing on work and not going to the races, because he and his wife need to save money. They are poor but can still live well if they make some sacrifices.

Hemingway stops at a café called the Dôme, filled with writers, artists, and models. He joins his friend, the painter Jules Pascin, who is sitting with two young female models. The four of them talk, flirt, and drink. Pascin is the only one who is comfortable. After Pascin hangs himself in the future, Hemingway will remember him the way he was that night at the Dôme.

Analysis

This brief memory ends in unexpected tragedy with the reference to Jules Pascin's suicide. Ernest Hemingway wants to write about people both as he remembers them and as he wishes them to be.

The Bulgarian-American painter Pascin became celebrated in Paris for his satirical art and skilled studies, or drawings, of women. He was known for his life of excess and being a partygoer. Hemingway knows Pascin is unhappy, using socializing and making lewd jokes to cover his despair with "better soil and with a higher grade of manure" than others. But he wants to remember Pascin genuinely enjoying himself, comfortable and flirtatious in a Parisian bar.

The Dôme, located in Montparnasse, was a popular destination for expatriates and intellectuals. Hemingway considers it more upscale than the bohemian Rotonde café , which he passes and rejects. Hemingway likes recalling Paris as a place that required little of its residents, only eating, drinking, and making love. Big cafés presented a unique opportunity to socialize, to be both "alone" and "together." His vision of Paris in this scene is populated with "drinkers and characters": models, painters, and writers, all in good company.

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