A Paris Letter

"This year, at the same time, we are in Paris and it is a big mistake. If you want a Paris letter full of spice and detail and funny cracks you will have to get someone else to write it. All I do is go out and get depressed and I wish I were somewhere else. (...)
The painters are about the gloomiest. It seems that people buy modern paintings in good times for snobbism and as gilt-edged securities. In bad times they do not buy them at all. One dealer said that he has not sold a picture by a painter who is supposed to be quite successful, and who is under contract to deliver all his work to that dealer, since 1929. (...)
There was a very big retrospective exhibition of Renoir. I came away from it with the feeling of having seen too many Renoirs. There can never be enough Cezanne's or Van Gogh's but I believe there were plenty of Renoirs before the old man died, all very fine, but plenty."

Ernest Hemingway, "A Paris Letter" from ESQUIRE magazine. February, 1934. Excerpted from By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, Selected articles and Dispatches of Four Decades. Ed. William White.

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