One damp, dark and bone chilling winter day in Paris last year I ducked into La Galcante. Possibly my favorite shop in Paris. Hidden in the middle of the heart of Paris' 1ere arrondissement on Rue de l'Arbre Sec. Tucked behind the oft visited Spring Boutique where I'd stock up on and learn about wine during my time living there.
La Galcante's reason to exist is historic journals and ancient documents. Newspapers, engravings and magazines from the past couple hundred years. Equal part museum and treasure hunt. Most all from "mechanized" eras focusing on culture, war and politics.
In La Galcante are collections of boxes labeled by theme - a person, place or event. A functional way to collate clippings and publications devoted to an individual.
Buried deep in a box shared by Earnest Hemingway and Orson Welles was edition number 662 of Artes published March 19 to 25 in 1958. A seemingly since deceased publication.
Hemingway, the man and his myth are as closely intertwined with Paris as any other artist. A vicarious window for many into Paris during its most recent truly golden age. A vision into the modern construct and lore of the lifestyle of an American writer.
The article lists his 10 punchy pieces of advice for young writers. Loosely translated as follows:
1. Be in love.
2. Apply yourself to writing with force.
3. Watch the world and mingle closely with life.
4. Intermix with upcoming writers.
5. Don't waste your time.
6. Listen to music and look at paintings.
7. Read constantly.
8. Don't look to explain.
9. Listen to your pleasures.
10. Shut up. The sense kills the creator of words.
While Hemingway wrote a lot, he rarely wrote about how he wrote - though writing did feature in a number of his semi-autobiographical fictions.
The accompanying article also chronicles exactly how he writes in his Havana flat. 450 to 1,250 words a day, every day. Not the most prolific but not so much as to get in the way of living a life that gives one something to write about.
Great tips for a writer, and for life in general.