Finding The Great Gatsby in Paris

Hemingway and Fitzgerald in Paris

Getting ready to see the remake of the film “The Great Gatsby,” I’m reminded of the Jazz Age, a term coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald himself for the period of time in the 1920s just before the Depression when jazz music and dance became popular in the U.S. and Europe.

During most of the era, Fitzgerald lived in France, primarily in Paris. Back then Paris was the rage for ex-pat American writers, painters and intellectuals who would hang out at cafes and bars and attend private salons, many hosted by Gertrude Stein.

One of the biggest relationships that was forged in Paris during that time happened when Fitzgerald was introduced to Ernest Hemingway in the Dingo American Bar on 10 rue Delambre two weeks after Fitzgerald published “The Great Gatsby.” By then, Fitzgerald had already written to his publisher about the American writer that all of Paris was talking about. But what sealed the friendship was the uncorking of a champagne bottle and the evening spent together in the bar.

Hemingway would write about that meeting in “The Movable Feast.”

Today, The bar where Hemingway met Fitzgerald L’ Auberge de Venise, an Italian restaurant, occupies the address, but the wooden bar where they met, sat and drank remains and continues to pay tribute to two great American writers.

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