“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 25, 1922, before dawn, Prison Saint-Pierre, Versailles, France

In about 20 seconds, the “Bluebeard of Gambais,” Henri Desire Landru, 52, convicted of murdering 11 wealthy women [the police think there were more], walks to the platform, puts his head in the guillotine, says,

I shall be brave,”

and is beheaded, in accordance with his court-ordered sentence.

The execution of Henri Desire Landru

FYI:  The last public execution by guillotine in France was 55 years later in 1977.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This June I will be talking about the Stein family salons in Paris before and after the Great War at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 21, 1922, 70 bis, rue Notre Dame des Champs, Paris

Irish-American lawyer, John Quinn, 51, has been ill recently and this has cut into his time, not only as a successful corporate lawyer, but also as a patron of artists and writers, including Irish novelist James Joyce, 40, living in Paris.

Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses has just been published in Paris by an American ex-pat bookstore owner, with financial help from Quinn. He and Shakespeare and Company owner Sylvia Beach, 34, have been tussling with each other in letters. She’s always asking for money to support Joyce, and Quinn wonders if the writer really needs that much support. Quinn is sure Beach is getting her share of the profits. Although she has told him that Joyce’s royalty is going to be an outstanding 66%.

Sylvia Beach

Recently Beach wrote to Quinn to smooth things over: 

I know that no matter how testy you like to seem, you are the kindest man alive.”

Today, another one of Joyce’s American supporters, ex-pat poet Ezra Pound, 36, also living in Paris, is writing one of his usual lengthy and colorful letters, to bring Quinn up to date on the writers he is supporting:

Cher ami:

“I am sorry you have been ill; has anyone suggested that you work too much. Most men stop when buried, but I see you pushing up the lid of the cercueil, or having a telephone fixed inside the damn thing ante mortem, so that you can dictate to the office…

Ezra Pound

Joyce told me yesterday that his english patron [publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver] had come across with another $1000, so that his income, “unearned” (or damn well earned) is now about £450 per year. So that’s that. I dont think Miss Bitch (as the name is pronounced by Parisians) was writing [at Joyce’s] instigation…

“She has been very sporting over Ulysses, but she is bone ignorant and lacking in tact. (I mean, in my own case, that she insults me every other time I go into the shop, in perfect, oh, I am convinced, in perfect unconsciousness of the fact. She has nothing to gain by insulting me)…

“That I think is a fair definition of tactlessness:  to insult when you dont mean to….

“I am worried about [poet T. S.] Eliot; and if you start chucking money about, I shd. certainly make out a case for him, now, before anyone else…

“Eliot came back from his Lausanne specialist looking O.K.; and with a damn good poem (19 pages) in his suit case…

“[New York publisher Horace] Liveright made a good impression here; offered to bring out Ulysses in the U. S. and hand over 1000 bones to J. J[oyce]. Why the hell J. J. didn’t nail it AT once I don’t know. The terms were o. k. 1000 dollars for first edition, etc…However, Joyce is off my hands; free, white, 21 years or more, of age etc…

“Eliot ought to be private secretary to some rich imbecile…failing that you might send over someone to elope, kidnap, or otherwise eliminate Mrs. E[liot]…

“Hell, mon cher, will you retire sensibly now? Or will you insist [on] being useful to other people until it is too late?…

“So far it has been a winter without colds in the head. Hope to get some Italian sun in April. Have bought lire with that intent, as their value on the exchange seems to be drifting up.

“yours ever

“Ezra Pound”

Pound’s unique spelling and punctuation have been left intact.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Thanks to all who came out in record-breaking rainfall to see my presentation about Gertrude Stein at Riverstone Books. This summer I will be talking about the Stein family salons in Paris at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 17, 1922, Closerie des Lilas, 171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris

This is a disaster.

French writer and Dada co-founder Andre Breton, about to turn 26, had wanted an evening of intellectual debate among his fellow avant-garde artists and writers on the Left Bank. But just by announcing the “International Congress for the Determination and Defence of the Modern Spirit” last month in the magazine Comoedia, he stirred up their passions. So Breton decided that, rather than wait until March as originally planned, he would hold the Congress now, here at the Closerie, one of their favorite cafes.

Closerie des Lilas

His so-called friends have turned this evening into a rant against Breton. He had begged Romanian-French poet Tristan Tzara, 25, to bring his followers in the Dada movement along. Tzara refused.

Breton is pleased with the artists who have come:  American painter Man Ray, 31; French artist Jean Cocteau, 32; Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, 40; Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi, about to turn 46; French composer Erik Satie, 55.

But now they have turned against him—just because he criticized Tzara and Dadaism.

Breton has settled into a regular bourgeois lifestyle. He and his wife of four months have rented a flat that has become a gathering place in the evenings for the avant-garde of Paris. He wants to have philosophical debates—Is a top hat more or less modern than a locomotive, for example—but all these people want to do is scream at each other.

Andre Breton by Man Ray

Breton is already planning his next manifesto for Comoedia to be titled  “After Dada.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Tonight! We will be celebrating the belated 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register to come to this free event or watch it via Zoom, here

Next week I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 14, 1922, Hogarth House, Richmond, London

About 10 days ago, novelist Virginia Woolf, just turned 40 and still recovering from a second bout of influenza, wrote in her diary,

I have taken it into my head that I shan’t live till seventy…Suppose, I said to myself the other day[,] this pain over my heart wrung me out like a dish cloth & left me dead?…[Last summer I had] two whole months rubbed out.”

Hogarth House

Now her husband, Leonard, 41, has moved her bed downstairs to the living room, which is less lonely for her and more convenient for both of them. She’s reading more—Moby Dick and a biography of Lord Salisbury—writing a little and receiving visitors. Including her brother-in-law, Clive Bell, 40, whom she describes as “all bottom and a little flaxen wig,”

Clive Bell by Roger Fry

But Virginia’s temperature has been elevated at consistently 99.5 degrees, and she has been feeling quite competitive with her friend, fellow novelist Katherine Mansfield, 33. The Saturday Westminster Gazette is serializing Mansfield’s short story “The Garden Party” and a collection of her stories will soon be coming out as a book.

Today, Virginia writes in her diary,

K. M. [Mansfield] bursts upon the world in glory next week…I have to hold over [my novel] Jacob’s Room…til October; & I somehow fear that by that time it will appear to me sterile acrobatics…[I am feeling] all dissipated & invalid-ish…What a twelve months it has been for writing!—& I at the prime of life, with little creatures in my head which won’t exist if I don’t let them out!”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Our celebration of the belated 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein will be this Thursday, February 17, at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of the month I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February, 1922, 82 Merrion Square, Dublin; and 4 Broad Street, Oxford, England

Georgie Hyde-Lees Yeats, 29, is proud of herself for leasing this Georgian town house in Merrion Square, using her own family money.

82 Merrion Square

The Anglo-Irish Treaty has been ratified by the Dail [although by a very small margin, 64 to 57] and they have elected Arthur Griffith, 49, president; British soldiers are being sent home from the barracks they have been living in throughout the War for Independence; and Michael Collins, 31, has been named chair of the new Irish Free State. Georgie and her husband, Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 56, have decided it is time to leave Oxford, where they have lived for the past few years, and move their two young children back home to Dublin.

Thanks to depressed housing prices in the city and Georgie’s shrewdness in lining up tenants for the top floor of their new house, they will be able to afford the move.

*****

Back in Oxford, Georgie’s husband, Willie, is impressed with his wife’s real estate skills. He never thought he’d ever be able to afford to live in posh Merrion Square, birthplace of the Duke of Wellington and, in Yeats’ mind, the Dublin equivalent of London’s posh Berkeley Square.

Broad Street, Oxford

Also, his father, the painter John Butler “JB” Yeats, died at the beginning of the month, aged 82, in New York City where he had been living for the past 15 years. Willie and Georgie had been supporting his Dad financially, and it’s been a bit of stretch for them.

The letters JB wrote to his family in the weeks before his death are still arriving.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Due to the horrible winter weather, we have postponed our celebration of the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein to Thursday, February 17, at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of the month I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 8, 1922, 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris

The young newlyweds, about to knock on this door, are filled with nervous anticipation.

Toronto Star European correspondent and would-be novelist Ernest Hemingway, 22, and his new wife, Hadley, 30, moved to Paris in December. But they have waited until now to make use of one of the letters of introduction given to Ernie by his mentor, successful novelist Sherwood Anderson, 45, back home in Chicago.

27 rue de Fleurus

When the couple told him they were planning to move to Europe—where Ernest had served in an ambulance corps during the Great War—Sherwood convinced them to choose Paris. They should join the other ex-patriates here, taking advantage of the great exchange rate. And he gave them letters of introduction to the creative people he had met here last summer, none more important than the woman who lives at this address, Gertrude Stein, just turned 48.

Stein is already legendary for the salons she and her brother Leo, almost two years older, had hosted here before the War, with the most cutting-edge painters of the time. Gertrude has said that she wants to do with words on the page what those artists are doing with paint on the canvas.

Sherwood is a huge fan of hers, so Ernest is eager to meet this woman and learn more about writing from her. But he is a bit intimidated too.

*****

Gertrude is impressed with the young American writer she has just met. Very good-looking. Stein’s partner, fellow American Alice B. Toklas, 44, had taken Hadley to another room to chat, so Gertrude didn’t get to know much about her. But she did offer to teach Ernest how to cut his wife’s hair.

Stein is thinking she will take the Hemingways up on their offer to come round to their flat and read some of Ernest’s fiction. He seems to be a good listener. Someone Gertrude could easily influence.

Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein at home with their paintings

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Due to the horrible winter weather, we have postponed our celebration of the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein to Thursday, February 17, at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of the month I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 5, 1922, Petitpas, 317 West 29th Street, New York City, New York

After the funeral, Irish-American lawyer John Quinn, 51, and his assistant [and mistress] Mrs. Jeanne Foster, 42, have come back here, to the Lower East Side boarding house where the Irish painter, John Butler [“JB”] Yeats lived for most of the past 15 years that he has been in New York City.

Father of Quinn’s good friend, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 56, JB died two days ago, age 82, feisty and painting right up until the end. His unfinished self-portrait, which was a commission from Quinn, hangs here in his bedroom.

Self-portrait [unfinished] by JB Yeats

The old man had come to New York with his daughter for a holiday visit and just decided to stay, despite constant entreaties from his family to come home to Ireland. As he explained to them, a friend had told him that

In Dublin it is hopeless insolvency. Here it is hopeful insolvency.”

Quinn has kept an eye on him, and, as JB became more unwell in the past year, had taken care of him with help from Jeanne. Willie Yeats would sell his original manuscripts to Quinn but tell him to use the money to pay for his Dad’s upkeep.

JB was quite active—going out for breakfasts, coming to Quinn’s for Sunday lunch, staying up late talking to friends—up until a week or so ago. He had gone to a poetry reading out in Brooklyn, and, confused, took the wrong subway and ended up walking too long in the cold winter air. Since then his cough had worsened, and his health had generally gone downhill.

Now Quinn and Foster are surveying the room, filled with the life of this old artist. Yeats and his sisters will let them know if their Dad is to buried in Ireland in the spring, or laid to rest here sooner. Jeanne has suggested a spot in her family plot in the Adirondacks.

In the meantime, they will have to go through the papers and the pictures to determine what to throw out and what to send back to Ireland. Willie wants his sisters’ Cuala Press to bring out a volume of their father’s correspondence.

On an easel in a corner of the room is another of his unfinished works, a drawing of Jeanne. JB’s last words to her as she left him on Thursday night were,

Remember you have promised me a sitting in the morning.”

Jeanne Robert Foster by JB Yeats

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Due to the horrible winter weather, we have had to postpone our celebration of the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein to Thursday, February 17, at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of the month I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 2, 1922, Gare de Lyon, Place Louis-Armand, Paris; and 13 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

Standing on the platform at the Gare de Lyon, American ex-pat Sylvia Beach, 34, is waiting for the Paris-Dijon Express, due in at 7 am.

Gare de Lyon

The first copies of the novel Ulysses, by Irish ex-pat James Joyce, 40 today, will arrive from Darantiere, the printer in Dijon. Sylvia’s little Left Bank bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, has taken on the responsibility of publishing the controversial book when no one else would.

When Beach told Joyce that Darantiere guaranteed to mail the parcel on 1st February, Joyce was not pleased. He insisted that the package be put on the train so the conductor can hand deliver the two copies to Sylvia personally.

As the train approaches, Beach is working out the next steps in her head. She will get a taxi to Joyce’s apartment at 9 rue de l’Universite to give him the 40th birthday present that he wants most, the first copy of Ulysses.

Then she will continue on to her shop, at 12 rue de l’Odeon, about 20 minutes away, to put the second copy on display in the window. Word has been circulating around the Left Bank that the book will soon be available, and those who subscribed in advance are eager to get their copies.

Tonight Joyce has planned a small party at one of his favorite restaurants, Ferraris, to celebrate his accomplishment, eight years in the making. He and his partner, and the mother of his children, Nora Barnacle, 37, have invited just a few friends. One of Joyce’s most loyal supporters and drinking buddies, American writer Robert McAlmon, 26, left town for the Riviera just yesterday. Didn’t even leave behind a birthday present.

Sylvia Beach and James Joyce

*****

The next day, Joyce cables one of his main benefactors, Irish-American attorney, John Quinn, 51, at his Manhattan law office:

Ulysses published. Thanks.”

Quinn, meanwhile, cables to his friend, Irish playwright William Butler Yeats, 56:

Regret your father [painter JB Yeats, 82] passed away this morning, 7 o’clock…The end came in sleep without pain or struggle.”

The author and her Irishman, Tony Dixon

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

My talk about my fellow Pittsburgher, Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill tomorrow has been postponed due to the weather gods sending “extra ice on Thursday” in the middle of a snowstorm. The new date will be posted on this blog and you can register your interest in coming here.

At the end of February I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University, on Zoom, no matter what the weather is like.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.