Jacki Kellum

Juxtapositions: Read My Mind

Category: Historical Fiction

Hemingway Memoir Moveable Feast – On Adultery & the Unfinished Business of Memory

Hemingway is Seated Between His First Wife Hadley and His Second Wife Pauline

Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast in 1957 through 1960,  but that book is his memoir about the years between 1921 and 1925, when he was married to his first wife Hadley and when the couple had one child and lived in Paris. At the very end of  A Moveable Feast, Hemingway alludes to the fact that he had met another woman and that she had lived in his home for a while before they became intimately involved. For several reasons, I highly recommend reading A Moveable Feast.  First , it is an eloquent prequel to a more current book The Paris Wife, which is historical fiction.

The Paris Wife was published in 2012, which was almost 100 years after Hemingway was married to Hadley, and The Paris Wife is an excellent example of how one person’s memoir can become the fodder for another person’s novel. The Paris Wife begins almost where Hemingway’s Moveable Feast ends.


A Photo of Hemingway and His First Wife Hadley

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A Photo of Hemingway and His Second Wife Pauline

Quotes from A Moveable Feast
Hemingway On His Adulterous Relationship with Pauline

“. . .we had already been infiltrated by another rich using the oldest trick there is. It is that an unmarried young woman becomes the temporary best friend of another young woman who is married, goes to live with the husband and wife and then unknowingly, innocently and relentingly sets out to marry the husband. [p. 209]
. . .
“The husband has two attractive girls around when he has finished work. One is new and strange and if he has bad luck he gets to love them both.
“Then, instead of the two of them and their child, there are three of them. First it is stimulating and it goes on that way for a while. All thins truly wicked start from an innocence. So you live day by day and enjoy what you have and do not worry. You lie and hate it and it destroys you and every day is more dangerous, but you live day to day as in a war.

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Hemingway and Mr. Bumby [Jack]

“When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in by the piled logs at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her. She was smiling, the sun on her lovely face tanned by the snow and sun, beautifully built, her hair red gold in the sun, grown out all winter awkwardly and beautifully, and Mr. Bumby standing with her, blond and chunky and with winter cheeks looking like a good Vorarlberg boy.
. . .
“I loved her and I loved no one else and we had a lovely magic [p. 210] time while we were alone.
. . .
“That was the end of the first part of Paris. Paris was never to be the same again although it was always Paris and you changed as it changed.
. . .
“But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.” Hemingway, Ernest. Moveable Feast, pgs. 209-211.

In almost the same way that Hemingway had written many years before her, McLain makes reference to the affair with Pauline that insidiously evolved in Hadley’s home and almost under her nose. The writing in  McLain’s Preface to The Paris Wife seems like an extension of the comments that Hemingway made about his adulterous relationship with Pauline, and in that regard, I believe that McLain has produced an excellent example of historical fiction–one that is worthy of studyingmore carefully.

Quotes from The Paris Wife

“This isn’t a detective story–not hardly. I don’t want to say, Keep watch for the girl who will come along and ruin everything, but sh’s coming anyway, set on her course in a gorgeous chipmunk coat and fine shoes, her sleek brown hair bobbed so close to her well-made head she’ll seem like a pretty otter in my kitchen. Her easy smile. Her fast smart talk [p. xi] … Ernest will read his book and care nothing for her. Not at first. And the tea will boil in the teapot, and I’ll tell a story about a girl she and I both knew a hundred years ago in St. Louis, and we’ll feel like quick and natural friends while across the yard, in the sawmill, a dog will start barking and keep barking and he won’t stop for anything.” McLain, Paula. The Paris Wife, pgs. xi-xii.

A List of Hemingway’s Wives

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Hemingway was married to Hadley Richardson from 1921 – 1927

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Hemingway was married to Pauline Pfeiffer from 1927 – 1940

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Hemingway was married to Martha Gelhorn from 1940 – 1945

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Hemingway married Mary Welsh from 1946 until . . .
The above photo was taken in 1959 –  Spain,

I read A Moveable Feast, and  I read The Paris Wife immediately after I read Feast, and I  had questions about Why. . .

Why did Hemingway, several wives and several years later, feel compelled to write A Moveable Feast?

For several years, Hemingway worked on his book A Memorable Feast, but he finished it when he was married to his fourth wife Mary Welsh. The book was first published in 1964, In a Note inside the book, Mary Welsh said the following:

“Ernest started writing this book in Cuba in the autumn of 1957, worked on it in Ketchum, Idaho, in the winter of 1958-59, took it with him to Spain when we went there in April, 1959, and brought it back with him to Cuba and then to Ketchum late that fall. He finished the book in the spring of 1960 , Cuba….
It concerns the years 1921 to 1926 in Paris.” M. H. Note added to the front of A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway finished the book A Moveable Feast in the spring of 1960 . In 1961, Hemingway bought a home in Ketchum, Idaho, and he committed suicide there in July of 1961. 

I have only begun to research these facts, but it would seem to me that even though Hemingway was unfaithful to Hadley and even though his adultery ended his marriage, Hemingway’s divorce did not stop Hemingway from continuing to think about Hadley–probably not until his death.

William Faulkner said:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner

I believe that Hemingway’s past with Hadley was never past, and I believe that he carried his Unfinished Hadley Business with him the rest of his life. As I read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, I noticed that he made several comments about how much that he had loved Hadley. I believe that Hemingway never quit loving Hadley. At the very least, he never completely ended his business with her.

Most of us would like to forget or to bury some of the chapters of our pasts, but that is not actually possible. It didn’t work for Hemingway, and it doesn’t work for us either. After Hemingway and Hadley divorced, they only saw each other two more times, and those meetings were short. On one of the occasions, Hemingway and Hadley  accidentally bumped into each other.

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Hemingway had an exciting life. He lived and hunted all over the world. He had numerous extra-marital affairs, and he was married four times. Hemingway partied hard and he drank excessively. The acclaimed author probably tried everything possible to forget parts of his past, but he could not do that. Finally, he wrote his memoir about his Hadley years, but Hemingway’s memoir did not solve his problem, and his memoir did not undo all of the missteps that Hemingway made after Hadley. When Hemingway walked out of his life with Hadley and his first son Jack, a gate was erected between his Hadley years and the rest of his life. In his mind’s eye, he could still see those years and he was obviously always bothered by them, but nothing that he did pulled down the gate that prevented his return to his past relationships.

It would seem that in writing A Moveable Feast that Hemingway was trying to finish his Hadley business. Perhaps if he had explored those memories and had written his memoir sooner, it might have helped. It would appear, however, that Hemingways’ efforts were too late. Hemingway shot himself a year after he finished writing A Memorable Feast. A Memorable Feast was published three years later.

©Jacki Kellum September 27, 2016


Descriptive Writing – Sense of Place – Setting of the Upstate Area of New York in the James Fenimore Cooper Leatherstocking Tales


“As this work professes, in its title-page, to be a descriptive tale, they who will take the trouble to read it may be glad to know how much of its contents is literal fact….But in commencing to describe scenes, and perhaps he may add characters, that were so familiar to his own youth, there was a constant temptation to delineate that which he had known, rather than that which he might have imagined….

“Otsego….lies among those low spurs of the Alleghanies which cover the midland counties of New York, and it is a little east of a meridional line drawn through the centre of the State. As the waters of New York flow either southerly into the Atlantic or northerly into Ontario and its outlet, Otsego Lake, being the source of the Susquehanna, is of necessity among its highest lands….

“Otsego is said to be a word compounded of Ot, a place of meeting, and Sego, or Sago, the ordinary term of salutation used by the Indians of this region. There is a tradition which says that the neighboring tribes were accustomed to meet on the banks of the lake to make their treaties, and otherwise to strengthen their alliances, and which refers the name to this practice.” Pioneers – Introduction

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[Cooper is describing the area of Council Rock, which is the area where he grew up. James Fennimore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans and several other books that were set in the area around his home in upstate New York. In one of the books, he wrote about how the Native Americans would canoe to a big boulder to meet. This big boulder is Council Rock, which is an actual rock that is very near Cooper’s childhood home. The description of the rock in Cooper’s writing of historical fiction is beautiful and when we know that Cooper had first-hand experiences with the rock, we have little doubt that in writing what is supposedly fiction, Cooper was describing from his own memories.]

“Near the centre of the State of New York lies an extensive district of country whose surface is a succession of hills and dales, or, to speak with greater deference to geographical definitions, of mountains and valleys. It is among these hills that the Delaware takes its rise; and flowing from the limpid lakes and thousand springs of this region the numerous sources of the Susquehanna meander through the valleys until, uniting their streams, they form one of the proudest rivers of the United States. The mountains are generally arable to the tops, although instances are not wanting where the sides are jutted with rocks that aid greatly in giving to the country that romantic and picturesque character which it so eminently possesses. The vales are narrow, rich, and cultivated, with a stream uniformly winding through each. Beautiful and thriving villages are found interspersed along the margins of the small lakes, or situated at those points of the streams which are favorable for manufacturing; and neat and comfortable farms, with every indication of wealth about them, are scattered profusely through the vales, and even to the mountain tops. Roads diverge in every direction from the even and graceful bottoms of the valleys to the most rugged and intricate passes of the hills. …Only forty years have passed since this territory was a wilderness.” Pioneers – Chapter 1 – Opening Lines

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“There was glittering in the atmosphere, as if it was filled with innumerable shining particles; and the noble bay horses that drew the sleigh were covered, in many parts with a coat of hoar-frost. The vapor from their nostrils was seen to issue like smoke; and every object in the view, as well as every arrangement of the travellers, denoted the depth of a winter in the mountains. The harness, which was of a deep, dull black, differing from the glossy varnishing of the present day, was ornamented with enormous plates and buckles of brass, that shone like gold in those transient beams of the sun which found their way obliquely through the tops of the trees. Huge saddles, studded with nails and fitted with cloth that served as blankets to the shoulders of the cattle, supported four high, square-topped turrets, through which the stout reins led from the mouths of the horses to the hands of the driver, who was a negro, of apparently twenty years of age. His face, which nature had colored with a glistening black, was now mottled with the cold, and his large shining eyes filled with tears; a tribute to its power that the keen frosts of those regions always extracted from one of his African origin. Still, there was a smiling expression of good-humor in his happy countenance, that was created by the thoughts of home and a Christmas fireside, with its Christmas frolics. The sleigh was one of those large, comfortable, old-fashioned conveyances, which would admit a whole family within its bosom, but which now contained only two passengers besides the driver. The color of its outside was a modest green, and that of its inside a fiery red, The latter was intended to convey the idea of heat in that cold climate. Large buffalo-skins trimmed around the edges with red cloth cut into festoons, covered the back of the sleigh, and were spread over its bottom and drawn up around the feet of the travellers—one of whom was a man of middle age and the other a female just entering upon womanhood. The former was of a large stature; but the precautions he had taken to guard against the cold left but little of his person exposed to view. A great-coat, that was abundantly ornamented by a profusion of furs, enveloped the whole of his figure excepting the head, which was covered with a cap of mar ten-skins lined with morocco, the sides of which were made to fall, if necessary, and were now drawn close over the ears and fastened beneath his chin with a black rib bon. The top of the cap was surmounted with the tail of the animal whose skin had furnished the rest of the materials, which fell back, not ungracefully, a few inches be hind the head. From beneath this mask were to be seen part of a fine, manly face, and particularly a pair of expressive large blue eyes, that promised extraordinary intellect, covert humor, and great benevolence. The form of his companion was literally hid beneath the garments she wore. There were furs and silks peeping from under a large camlet cloak with a thick flannel lining, that by its cut and size was evidently intended for a masculine wearer. A huge hood of black silk, that was quilted with down, concealed the whole of her head, except at a small opening in front for breath, through which occasionally sparkled a pair of animated jet-black eyes.

“The mountain on which they were journeying was covered with pines that rose without a branch some seventy or eighty feet, and which frequently doubled that height by the addition of the tops. Through the innumerable vistas that opened beneath the lofty trees, the eye could penetrate until it was met by a distant inequality in the ground, or was stopped by a view of the summit of the mountain which lay on the opposite side of the valley to which they were hastening. The dark trunks of the trees rose from the pure white of the snow in regularly formed shafts, until, at a great height, their branches shot forth horizontal limbs, that were covered with the meagre foliage of an evergreen, affording a melancholy contrast to the torpor of nature below. To the travellers there seemed to be no wind; but these pines waved majestically at their topmost boughs, sending forth a dull, plaintive sound that was quite in consonance with the rest of the melancholy scene.” Pioneers – Chapter 1

[This post is a work in progress. I am reading all of the books in the Leatherstocking Tales, and I’ll be adding to these observations]

Free Audio Book & Text of The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

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james Fenimore Cooper wrote The Pioneers before he wrote the rest of the books included in The Leatherstocking Tales. The book is set in the 1750s.

“The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features an elderly Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton (whose life parallels that of the author’s father Judge William Cooper), and Elizabeth Temple (based on the author’s sister, Hannah Cooper), daughter of the fictional Templeton. The story begins with an argument between the judge and Leatherstocking over who killed a buck. Through their discussion, Cooper reviews many of the changes to New York’s Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail….

“The Pioneers was the first novel of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales series, featuring the character Natty Bumppo, a resourceful white American living in the woods. The story focuses on the evolution of the wilderness into a civilized European-American community. The story takes place in the town of Тempleton, which is said to be modeled after Cooperstown, New York, founded by Cooper’s father after the Revolutionary War..

“Naturalist Ideas: Although not classified as a naturalist novel, Cooper depicts many naturalist based ideas in The Pioneers. His use of language, dialogue and description help to convey this movement within this novel.

“Landscape: In The Pioneers, Cooper thematically debates the complexity of landscape within a new American frontier. The battle between nature and civilization is a constant and competing force within the minds of the characters and in the general surroundings. Cooper evaluates his landscape as one that will be established by a civilization unable to escape its own traits of wastefulness and arrogance.
Characters: Cooper expands the conflict between nature and civilization in his characters. Specifically Cooper writes much more detailed and in depth dialogue for “Natty Bumpo’s” character than he does for any of the others. During these conversations Natty stresses the importance of respecting the land and criticizes the greed and selfishness of mankind. The “civil societal” characters are background characters to Natty’s heroic natural character. He emerges as the antithesis to wastefulness as demonstrated and embodied in the settlers. Cooper’s main theme is wilderness versus established society. While the settlers see wilderness as being tamed by their presence, Natty has a vision of civilized life coexisting with nature. Ideally, he wants to sustain the unique role that this vast unexplored wilderness contributes to the complexity of America.
“It is much better to kill only such you want, without wasting your powder and lead, then to be firing into God’s creatures in such a wicked manner.” (Natty to Judge Marmeduke) – Chapter III, The Slaughter of Pigeons
Description: Alternating between dialogues, Cooper writes vast paragraphs of descriptive writing to paint the natural wilderness. To him, the natural landscape exemplifies a peaceful wilderness. When the dialogue begins, it shows the disruption civilization wreaks on the natural abundance of the wilderness. Cooper contrasts the giving, natural and serene wilderness versus the arrogant and greedy society.” Wikipedia Here

You can read the entire book The Pioners: The Sources of the Susquehanna Free Online by Clicking on the Following Link to Its Location in the Gutenberg Books: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2275/2275-h/2275-h.htm

When you follow the above link [in a different color], you can click on each chapter, one chapter at a time

You can hear the book on tape, as it was recorded by Librivox. Again, for the Audio Book, click on one of the Parts at a time:

Illustration for Chapter 1.


Part 1

Part 2 Begins with Chapter 5

Part 3 Begins with Chapter 9

Part 4 Begins with Chapter 13

Part 5 Begins with Chapter 16

Part 6 Begins with Chapter 21

Part 7 Begins with Chapter 27

Part 8 Begins with Chapter 31

Part 9 Begins with Chapter 36


Thomas Cole & Hudson River Painters – Art to Match the Romantic Views of the James Fenimore Cooper Leatherstocking Tales

Although Thomas Cole was born in Lancashire, he moved to the USA in 1818 and had settled in New York State by 1825. He is considered to be the founder of the Hudson River Painters, a group of artists who painted the same kind of romanticized, idealized nature that James Fenimore Cooper describes in his books. James Fenimore Cooper, the author of the Leatherstocking Tales–which include The Last of the Mohicans–was born in 1789, and he lived in upstate New York, in the Cooperstown area. James Fenimore Cooper died in  1851, and Thomas Cole died in 1848.

When I am reading James Fenimore Cooper’s books, I love to envision the paintings of Thomas Cole and the other Hudson River Painters.


Distant View of Niagara Falls – Thomas Cole [Notice the Native Americans overlooking the water–

This could easily be an illustration for a James Fenimore Cooper Book]


Home in the Woods – Thomas Cole

Working Title/Artist: View on the Catskill—Early Autumn Department: Am. Paintings / Sculpture Culture/Period/Location:  HB/TOA Date Code:  Working Date:  photography by mma, DT2639.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_6_09

Working Title/Artist: View on the Catskill—Early Autumn – Thomas Cole

I love autumn in the Northeastern part of the USA. Every autumn, I dig out my copies of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Those books were written in an area of New York that is near where James Fenimore Cooper lived. I also begin posting all of my favorite Hudson River Paintings, and this year, I am adding Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales to the mix. It all seems to fit.

In my early college years, I studied the English Romanticists–especially William Blake and William Wordsworth. The American Romantic movement shares some of the same themes–especially the idealization of nature.

©Jacki Kellum September 14, 2016



Free 1957 Movie The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

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 1957 The Deerslayer Movie Poster Image Credit Here


Read the full book The Deerslayer Free on my site: http://jackikellum.com/free-audio-book-of-james-fenimore-coopers-the-deerslayer-link-to-the-entire-text-of-the-book-online/

Find an Overview of James Fennimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales on my site: http://jackikellum.com/an-overview-of-the-leather-stocking-tales-james-fenimore-cooper-last-of-the-mohiccans/

The Deerslayer poster.jpg

Lex Barker as Deerslayer [alias Natty Bumppo]
Rita Moreno as Hetty Hutter
Forrest Tucker as Harry March
Cathy O’Donnell as Judith Hutter
Jay C. Flippen as Old Tom Hutter
Carlos Rivas as Chingachgook
Joseph Vitale as Huron chief
John Halloran as Old Warrior
From Wikipedia Here

Free Audio Book of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Deerslayer & Link to the Entire Text of the Book Online

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Wyeth Illustration Image Credit Here

The Deerslayer - John Mix Stanley

The Deerslayer by John Mix Stanley Image Credit Here

In 1841, James Fenimore Cooper’s book The Deerslayer was published, but that book was written about the period between the 1740s and the 1750s. The Deerslayer is an example of Historical Fiction. The Deerslayer was the final of Cooper’s five books that comprise The Leatherstocking Tales, but it represents the earliest part of that history. Click on the following link to find my overview of the Leatherstocking Tales on this site:  http://jackikellum.com/an-overview-of-the-leather-stocking-tales-james-fenimore-cooper-last-of-the-mohiccans/

You can read the entire book The Deerslayer Free Online by Clicking on the Following Link to Its Location in the Gutenberg Books: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3285/3285-h/3285-h.htm

When you follow the above link [in a different color], you can click on each chapter, one chapter at a time.

You can hear the book on tape, as it was recorded by Librivox. Again, for the Audio Book, click on one of the Parts at a time:

Part 1 Includes Chapters 1 through 3

Part 2 Begins with Chapter 4

Part 3 Begins with Chapter 7

Part 4 Begins with Chapter 10

Part 5 Begins with Chapter 13

Part 6 Begins with Chapter 16

Part 7 Begins with Chapter 19

Part 8 Begins with Chapter 22

Part 9 Begins with Chapter 25

Part 10 Begins with Chapter 28

Part 11 Begins with Chapter 31

An Overview of The Leather Stocking Tales – James Fenimore Cooper – Last of the Mohiccans

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In 1823, James Fenimore Cooper’s book The Pioneers was published. It was a book of Historical Fiction, and the action and setting of the book were about a younger, Colonial America during the 1750s.

In 1826, Cooper’s book The Last of the Mohicans was published, but that book was about the year 1757.

In 1827, Cooper’s book The Prairie was published, but that book was about the year 1804.

In 1840, Cooper’s book The Pathfinder was published, but that book was also about the 1750s.

In 1841, Cooper’s book The Deerslayer was published, but that book was about the period between the 1740s and the 1750s.

The central figure in The Leatherstocking Tales is Nathaniel or Natty Bumppo.

“Natty Bumppo, the child of white parents, grew up among Delaware Indians and was educated by Moravian Christians.[1][2] In adulthood, he is a near-fearless warrior skilled in many weapons; chiefly the long rifle. He is most often shown alongside his Mohican foster-brother Chingachgook.[3]

“Before his appearance in The Deerslayer, Bumppo went by the aliases of “Straight-Tongue,” “The Pigeon,” and the “Lap-Ear.” After buying his first rifle, he gained the name of “Deerslayer.” He is subsequently known as “Hawkeye” and “La Longue Carabine” in The Last of the Mohicans, “Pathfinder” in The Pathfinder, “Leatherstocking” in The Pioneers, from which the collective title for all the novels is drawn, and “the trapper” in The Prairie.” Read more about Natty Bumppo on Wikipedia Here

In many ways, Natty Bumppo is the embodiment of the mythical Daniel Boone. Chapters 11 and 12 of The Last of the Mohicans is comparable to Boone’s Autobiography, as it was transcribed and adapted by  John Filson, and published in 1784 as an appendix to a book called, The Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucky.  Here

From Filson: “On the fourteenth day of July, 1776, two of Col. Calaway’s daughters, and one of mine, were taken prisoners near the fort. I immediately pursued the Indians, with only eight men, and on the sixteenth overtook them, killed two of the party, and recovered the girls. The same day on which this attempt was made, the Indians divided themselves into different parties, and attacked several forts, which were shortly before this time erected, doing a great deal of mischief. This was extremely distressing to the new settlers. The innocent husbandman was shot down, while busy cultivating the soil for his family’s supply. Most of the cattle around the stations were destroyed.”

In the Last of the Mohicans, Cooper relates a similar account of the capturing of the sisters Cora and Alice.

James Fenimore Cooper lived during the 19th century, and his books are racially biased against the Native Americans. At that time, the Native Americans were considered to be savages and the white European settlers were viewed as the saviours who delivered the Native Americans from their paganism.

In hindsight, we can be critical of Cooper for that reason, but in this regard, James Fenimore Cooper was a product of his time.

© 2017 Jacki Kellum

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