- Follow the track of Hemingway, brimming with history on one hand, and creativity on the other
- Jean-Manuel is for sure the only French writer speaking English and taking you on a tour!
- Visit uncommon parts of the 5th and 6th districts
- To have a coffee break where so many geniuses once clinked their glasses
The Birth of a Writer: Hemingway Tour Paris (Private)
Let’s admit it, there are more Hemingway tour Paris than you can shake a stick at. How is our’s special? Because it shows you where he lived, where he drank, where he strangled ducks and pigeons? No.
Because we will discuss why so many American geniuses were keen to live in a city with no idea of what “breakfast” means and where taking a bath a month was considered perfectly sufficient, if not downright luxurious, thank you? No.
Because in addition to a bona fide exploration of his haunts and neighborhoods, we’ll discuss what made Hemingway unique as a writer; and, on the other hand, why he was a man of his time and brought to literature insights which had already revolutionized painting, sculpture, music, architecture…
This tour could be called “a writer talks about a writer”, as Jean-Manuel published ten books and translated six more. Questions and stories about French attitudes to literature and writers, about the role of Paris in French artistic and intellectual life, about the pleasures and hurdles of speaking both English and French will be very welcome!
Where else could we start a Hemingway tour Paris than Place de la Contrescarpe, a stone’s throw from the apartment Ernest Hemingway shared with his wife Hadley. Located in Rue du Cardinal Lemoine, this flat was close to another hotbed of literature: James Joyce’s lair, in the apartment of his brilliant French translator Valéry Larbaud. In the same area, Hemingway rented a hotel room where he stayed away from Hadley, as his office and writing place.
On your way to Montparnasse, the hub of the Lost Generation, you’ll pass along the Pantheon, last abode of a great many famous French writers: Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Emile Zola, Voltaire, Rousseau… Did their national glory status make Hemingway dream of such a fate? Laying under marbles?
He doubtless preferred to be a bad guy – rascal – and proved it by crossing the Luxembourg gardens, yes, turning it into a pigeon-strangling park! Ooops, don’t miss the famous Shakespeare & Company library. Jean-Manuel means the old and genuine one, not the new. Hemingway wrote Sylvia Beach’s portrait in A Moveable Feast.
Here comes Montparnasse! First thing, you have to imagine the area without the awful tower, that casts today its shadow everywhere. But the Boulevard is almost the same with its cafés. The roaring 20s’ Parisian Boheme spent days… and nights. Here, on the terrace or in the inside smoky hell.
Le Dôme, first to be opened, but with a terrace in the shade; La Rotonde, on the sunny side of the street, had a wise patron, who gave credit to penniless artists, expecting to be paid back by thousands when they become famous. Not to mention Le Select, La Coupole and La Closerie des Lilas. They were cheap “brasseries” at that time. After the success, Hemingway moved to the more “chic” Right bank bars of Paris, but he never forgot his youth on the Left bank, the time he was “very poor and very happy”.
Meeting Address: 28 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris - In front of 28, rue Monge, Metro line 10, Cardinal-Lemoine station
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