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7 Expatriate Lifestyle as Tourist Destination The Sun Also Rises and Experiential Travelogues of the Twenties Allyson Nadia Field • Ernest cared far less than I about aesthetics. What he cared about was the action and the emotional body of the traveler. He was a born traveler as he was a born novelist. —Janet Flanner, in Hemingway’s Paris What was the value of travel if it were not this—to discover all romance is not bound between the covers of novels? —Robert F. Wilson, Paris on Parade When The Sun Also Rises was published in 1926, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously dubbed Ernest Hemingway’s novel “a romance and a guidebook” (Aldridge 123). The novel was celebrated as a roman à clef that depicted an actual segment ofParisianexpatriatesociety.BythetimeHemingwaybegan TheSunAlsoRises, he was already a fixture in the Parisian expatriate literary community and had garnered mention in Robert Forrest Wilson’s 1924 guidebook Paris on Parade. Hemingway was reputedly disdainful of tourists, yet the novel’s repetition of place names is organized into itineraries similar to those of travel guides contemporaneous to the novel. While not explicitly a guidebook, The Sun Also Rises can be considered part of the tradition of travelogues such as Pages from the Book of Paris, Paris with the Lid Lifted, How to Be Happy in Paris (without being ruined), and Paris on Parade that offer experiential guides to a lifestyle 83 Cirino & Ott.indb 83 3/23/10 9:34:40 AM 84 allyson nadia field rather than monuments or museums. With Jake Barnes’s emphasis on his environment and recurrent references to the streets, bars, and cafés frequented by his expatriate companions, Hemingway contributes to a body of travel literature describing the places that constitute the geography of the infamous expatriate lifestyle. While A Moveable Feast presents a Paris of memory and nostalgia for Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises is a fictionalized depiction of the Left Bank that should be read against the contemporaneous travelogues promoting the quartier as a stylish destination. The expatriate artist lifestyle becomes a tourist experience as Hemingway depicts the fictional movements in The Sun Also Rises as experiential travelogue.1 In Paris on Parade, published in 1924, Robert Forrest Wilson presents a guidebook to Paris in the form of an exposé of the lifestyle of Americans who constitute a significant presence in the city: “only ten thousand of us; but, my, what a noise we make! How important we are to Paris!” (274).2 Wilson is uninterested in promoting an authentic French experience. Instead, he guides his reader through the “American village” in the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse on Paris’s Left Bank. He writes, “Gay Paree, indeed, can scarcely be regarded as a French institution at all. It is a polyglot thing existing upon French tolerance, the gaiety being contributed largely by the guests” (279). The legend of “Gay Paree”—drinking, dancing, and other behavior unencumbered by puritan values—lured tourists who were more enamored with the lifestyle on display than with the monuments speckling the city. Wilson devotes a chapter to the newly extended Latin Quarter (reaching to Montparnasse), an area “that has emerged from the war, a Parisian district which (so far as its American citizenry is concerned) has for its focus, community center, club and town-hall the Café du Dôme” (194). He explains that the area is defined by the “American influence” of its large expatriate artist community(196):“ThenewLatinQuarteriscompletelycentralizedaroundone spot—the corner of the Boulevards Raspail and Montparnasse. Here stand the Café du Dôme and the Café Rotonde; and you can no more know the present Latin Quarter without knowing these two cafés than you can know an Ohio county-seat without knowing its public square and court-house. They are half its life” (209–10). The expatriates, he explains, frequent only a few of the area cafés: “At the Raspail-Montparnasse corner on a summer evening, for instance, those two chief artists’ cafés of the new Quarter, the Dôme and the Rotonde, will be jammed to the last chair inside and out, with dozens standing on the sidewalks waiting for places” (206). This is a Paris created by its American inhabitants and defined by main boulevards, particular cafés, and the mores Cirino & Ott.indb 84 3/23/10 9:34:40 AM expatriate lifestyle as tourist destination 85 of the expatriates. The result is a cosmopolitan American city unhindered by the restrictions of Prohibition. Wilson encourages his readers to...


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