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The Motivation

Below is the passage that inspired the name for our publication. It comes from Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.

The goal of our site is to motivate in others the same mindset: that you are not stuck where you are, that your art is important and worth sharing, that the pursuit of your passions, hobbies and creative endeavors is worth the struggle and the time.

While you read, enjoy the spark of joy deep in your gut that is the start of Bel Esprit.

"Ezra was the most generous writer I have ever known and the most disinterested. He helps poets, painters, sculptors and prose writers that he believed in and he would help anyone whether he believed in them or not if they were in trouble, He worried about everyone and in the time when I first knew him he was most worried about T.S. Eliot who Ezra told me, had to work in a bank in London and so had insufficient time and bad hours to function as a poet.

Ezra [Pound] founded something call Bel Esprit with Miss Natalie Barney who was a rich American woman and a patroness of the arts. Miss Barney had been a friend of Remy de Gourmont who was before my time and she had a salon at her house on regular dates and a small Greek temple in her garden. Many American and French women with money enough had salons and I figured very early that they were excellent places for me to stay away from, but Miss Barney, I believe, was the only one that had a small Greek temple in her garden.

Ezra showed me the brochure for Bel Esprit and Miss Barney had allowed him to use the small Greek temple on the brochure. The idea of Bel Esprit was that we would all contribute a part of whatever we earned to provide a fund to get Mr Eliot out of the bank so he would have money to write poetry. This seemed like a good idea to me and after we got Mr Eliot out of the bank we would go right straight along and fix up everybody.

I mixed things up a little by always referring to Eliot as Major Eliot pretending to confuse him with Major Douglas an economist whose ideas Ezra was very enthusiastic. But Ezra understood that my heart was in the right place and that I would solicit funds from my friends to get Major Eliot out of the bank and someone would say what was a Major doing in a bank anyway and if he had been axed by the military establishment did he not have a pension or at least some gratuity?

In such cases I would explain to my friends that this was all besides the point. Either you had Bel Esprit or you did not have it. If you had it you would subscribe to get the Major out of the bank. If you didn't it was too bad. Didn't they understand the significance of the Greek temple? No? I thought so. Too bad, Mac. Keep your money. We wouldn't touch it.

As a member of Bel Esprit I campaigned energetically and my happiest dreams in those days were of seeing the Major stride out of the bank a free man..."


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