April 2012
Books
Biography
Archive
Feedback
Home
Home
Billie Silvey
The Lost
Generation
As Pender roams the streets, he is picked up by one or the
other of two classic cars--a yellow and black Peugeot or a
red roadster loaded with the denizens of
1920s Paris and
ferried from one to another of their glitzy gatherings, where
writers like Ernest Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, Scott
and Zelda, mingled with artists and musicians of the period.

They were known as the
Lost Generation, words of
Gertrude Stein used as an epigram in Hemingway's
The
Sun Also Rises,
a novel about expatriate Americans in
Paris after World War I. Americans came to Paris to
escape the nightmare of the war that wiped out a quarter of
the young male population, the strictures of Prohibition and
censorship, and the horrors of racism.

Hemingway was the best known of the generation.  A
newspaper writer, he drew from his experience as an
ambulance driver in the Italian army and from being
wounded and spending a lot of time in hospitals for  his
A
Farewell to Arms.

He followed it with The Sun Also Rises about post-war
Americans in France and Spain,
For Whom the Bell Tolls
about the Spanish Civil War, and
The Old Man and the
Sea about marlin fishing off Cuba. A Moveable Feast, his
remembrances of the Lost Generation, was unfinished at his
death.

F. Scott Fitzgerald attended a Catholic prep school in New
Jersey and Princeton University, where he neglected his
grades to write.  He joined the army in 1917, but the war
ended before he went overseas. He met and married Zelda
Sayre, daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.

Regarded at the time as a short-story writer fo
r The
Saturday Evening Po
st,  he is best known for his novels,
This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and the Damned
and
The Great Gatsby.

Gertrude Stein was an art collector and writer who hosted
a Saturday salon for writers and artists at the home in Paris
where she lived with her partner, Alice B.Toklas. Stein,
who devised a stream-of-consciousness style, advised
Hemingway on his work, while Toklas wrote a cookbook.

Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, where she
overcame the strictures of race and became a versatile
performer--a dancer, singer and actress.  Decorated for her
work with the French resistance, she refused to perform for
segregated audiences.

Cole Porter was an American song writer and composer
known for his felicitous rhymes, suggestive lyrics and easy
jazz rhythms. Porter was born to a wealthy Indiana family
and served in the French Foreign Legion.  In Paris, his
luxurious apartment was the scene of lavish parties.
Hemingway
Fitzgeralds
Toklas and Stein
Baker
Porter
Paris
Nostalgia