Imagine a triangle overlaying the center of Paris on the right bank, and the Jardin du Luxembourg is in the center. The north tip points more or less at Saint-Sulpice or maybe further to Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The west point is somewhere near La Closerie des Lilas, and the eastern point is in the Mouffetard area. It is an awkward triangle, maybe not an equilateral triangle, but it does the three points.
Inside the triangle was the world of Hemingway when he lived in Paris in the 1920’s. Except for an apartment on rue Froidevaux, where he stayed briefly, he rented apartments near the Jardin du Luxembourg and he spent a good deal of time walking there and through it to the cafés in the Montparnasse area.
His apartments, his favorite cafés, Gertrude Stein, the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, the Jardin du Luxembourg where he loved to walk, the restaurants where he liked to eat, all can be found within the triangle, more or less, fudging a bit, serving my ends for the moment.
In 1921 Ernest Hemingway and Hadley, his first wife, arrived in Paris and moved into an apartment on rue du Cardinal Lemoine. He rented a small room around the corner on rue Descartes for the purpose of a writing studio. Hadley became pregnant and the two left Paris in August, 1923 for Toronto where she gave birth. One can find some comments on this part of his life in “looking for hemingway’s paris and the génération perdue, part 1.”
The couple and their son returned to Paris in February, 1924 and moved into an apartment at 113, rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. It was down the street from La Closerie des Lilas where he wrote much of The Sun Also Rises. Ezra Pound lived nearby at 70 bis, rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. He helped edit Hemingway’s writing and in turn Hemingway gave him boxing lessons. But wait, there’s more!