Monday, December 17, 2007


I stayed in today. Far too cold and wet and dreary outside to get me out of my apartment, not even for the inducement of boozy brunch.

So I turned on my newly acquired electric heater that looks like a wood-burning stove, curled up on the sofa and re-read Hemingway's Garden of Eden this afternoon. From the back cover:
"Set on the Cote d'Azure in the 1920s, it is the story of a young American writer, David Bourne, his glamorous wife, Catherine, and the dangerous, erotic game they play when they fall in love with the same woman."
Well, that pretty much sums it up. Catherine decides to bring another woman, a gorgeous young vibrant woman, into the marriage. That seems singularly ill-advised, if you ask me. And it ends as much as you'd expect it would.

Hemingway was exploring the dynamic between two damaged people, and what better than the addition of a destabilizing third party to forcibly reveal what might be strange and confusing or even ugly. Add destabilizing ingredient, throw in some Bollinger Brut 1915, stir, serve very very cold.

But I can't help but think that there must have been an element of self-indulgent prurience on Hemingway's part as well. Don't ALL boys fantasize about having more than one beautiful woman in their lives?

But then again, there is nothing wrong with a little self-indulgent prurience.

There is a scene I particularly like: David (the husband) is drinking cocktails with Marita (the "other" woman). David, having finished his own drink, reaches for Marita's and drinks from it. As he sets the glass back down, he realizes that his lips touched the glass at the exact place where Marita's had touched. And that thought gives him pleasure. That is the moment he realizes he's falling in love with her.

I must remember to try that one day.

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