Orwell and Hemingway: Paris and Hunger

George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway had little in common except hunger in Paris and their accounts even of this are very different. Orwell wrote of desperate and urgent starvation in Down and Out in Paris and London. In A Moveable Feast Hemingway leaves you thinking he just gave up dining for a while to write stories.


Paris, Tour Eiffel

The two writers shared a few circumstances in Paris. They both moved there around the same age: Hemingway was 23 and Orwell 25. They lived in the same part of the Latin Quarter, Hemingway in the rue du Cardinal Lemoine and Orwell in the rue du Pot de Fer, and they both worked as journalists and wrote fiction. That is the extent of their intersection.

They lived in Paris consecutively. Hemingway left in March 1928 after six years, having enjoyed the company of the expatriate American literati and achieved success with The Sun Also Rises. He also left with a different wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, the daughter of a wealthy Arkansas family. Orwell arrived about six months later in the Spring and stayed less than two years before he returned to England destitute. Continue reading