Tuesday, October 30, 2018

the last book I ever read (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, excerpt nine)

from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway:

The lovers of poetry that Ezra had organized rallied to Dunning’s aid again eventually. My own intervention and that of the concierge had been unsuccessful. The jar of alleged opium which had been cracked I stored wrapped in wax paper and carefully tied in one of an old pair of riding boots. When Evan Shipman and I were removing my personal effects from that apartment some years later the boots were still there but the jar was gone. I do not know why Dunning threw the milk bottles at me unless he remembered my lack of credulity the night of his first dying, or whether it was only an innate dislike of my personality. But I remember the happiness that the phrase “Monsieur Dunning est monté sur le toit et refuse catégoriquement de descendre” gave to Evan Shipman. He believed there was something symbolic about it. I would not know. Perhaps Dunning took me for an agent of evil or of the police. I only know that Ezra tried to be kind to Dunning as he was kind to so many people and I always hoped Dunning was as fine a poet as Ezra believed him to be. For a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle. But Ezra, who was a very great poet, played a good game of tennis too. Evan Shipman, who was a very fine poet and who truly did not care if his poems were ever published, felt that it should remain a mystery.

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