“Such Friends”:  100 Year Ago, January 7, 1923, Standard Examiner, Ogden, Utah; and 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris

Ogden Standard Examiner, January 7

Today’s Sunday paper in Ogden, Utah, carries a feature story about a young American entrepreneur, native New Jersey-ian Sylvia Beach, 35, and the glamorous life she and her actress sister Cyprian, 29, are living in Paris.

The “brilliance” of their careers shines through in the English-language bookshop Sylvia runs on the Left Bank, and the films Cyprian has appeared in.

Almost a year ago, Sylvia published the avant-garde novel Ulysses by ex-patriate Irish writer James Joyce, 40, which has scandalized literary circles in the United States and abroad.

According to the article, the Beach sisters, daughters of a Presbyterian minister, are living in Paris, “riding in luxury on the crest of a wave of fame and fortune.”

*****

Meanwhile, in Paris, business is brisk in Sylvia’s shop, Shakespeare and Company. The publication of Ulysses has definitely increased foot traffic. And those who come in to buy Ulysses usually leave with some of Joyce’s other works, as well as books by new authors they’ve discovered.

But her young Greek shop assistant has been ill for weeks, so Sylvia’s on her own most days. Joyce comes in almost every day to read sections of Ulysses to her and is planning a dinner party so he can “see” his close friends before he goes into the hospital for much-needed eye surgery.

Sylvia Beach and James Joyce

Ulysses sells well here in France, but in the UK copies have been confiscated and burned. Bookstores in the US, where excerpts from Ulysses have been declared obscene by a court, are getting impatient to receive their copies.

Through a connection with one of the young American wanna-be novelists who hang out at Shakespeare and Company, Toronto Star foreign correspondent, Ernest Hemingway, 23, Sylvia has arranged for copies to be smuggled into the US from Canada. But soon she will have to pay the expenses of the advertising guy who has been taking them into Detroit on the ferry from his office in Windsor, Ontario.

Cyprian’s film career is actually now non-existent. Being around her increasingly famous sister makes her miserable and she is thinking of permanently moving back to the States this year.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Next month I will be talking about the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 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.com and Amazon.co.uk 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, December 31, 1922/January 1, 1923, Ireland, England, France and America

At the end of the third year of the 1920s…

In Ireland, despite living in the middle of a Civil War, and the death of his 82-year-old father this past February, poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 57, has had a pretty good year.

He is enjoying his appointment to the newly formed Senate of the Irish Free State, engineered by his friend and family doctor, Oliver St. John Gogarty, 44, who managed to get himself appointed as well.

Irish Free State Great Seal

Much to Yeats’ surprise, the position comes with an income, making it the first paying job he has ever had. The money, as he writes to a friend,

of which I knew nothing when I accepted, will compensate me somewhat for the chance of being burned or bombed. We are a fairly distinguished body, much more so than the lower house, and should get much government into our hands…How long our war is to last nobody knows. Some expect it to end this Xmas and some equally well informed expect another three years.”

Indeed, although Senator Yeats has been provided with an armed guard at his house, two bullets were shot through the front door of his family home in Merrion Square on Christmas Eve.

82 Merrion Square

A few blocks away the Abbey Theatre, which he helped to found 18 years ago, is still doing well under the director and co-founder Lady Augusta Gregory, 70. John Bull’s Other Island, a play by his fellow Dubliner, George Bernard Shaw, 66, is being performed, starring part-time actor and full-time civil servant Barry Fitzgerald, 34.

George Bernard Shaw

Yeats has been awarded an Honorary D. Litt. From Trinity College, Dublin. He writes to a friend that this makes him feel “that I have become a personage.”

*****

In England, at Monk’s House, their country home in East Sussex, the Woolfs, Virginia, 40, and Leonard, 42, are reviewing the state of their five-year-old publishing company, the Hogarth Press.

The road outside Monk’s House

They have added 37 members to the Press’ subscribers list and have agreed to publish a new poem by their friend, American ex-pat Thomas Stearns Eliot, 34, called The Waste Land early in the new year. Virginia has donated £50 to a fund to help “poor Tom,” as she calls him, who still has a full-time day job at Lloyds Bank. Eliot takes the £50, as well as the $2,000 Dial magazine prize he has been awarded in America and sets up a trust fund for himself and his wife Vivienne, 34.

The Hogarth Press has published six titles this year, the same as last. But most important to Virginia, one of them, Jacob’s Room, is her first novel not published by her hated stepbrother, Gerald Duckworth, 52. She can write as she pleases now.

Most interesting to Virginia at the end of this year is her newfound friendship with another successful English novelist, Vita Sackville-West, 30. The Woolfs have been spending lots of time with Vita and her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson, 36.

Sir Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West

Virginia writes in her diary,

The human soul, it seems to me, orients itself afresh every now and then. It is doing so now…No one can see it whole, therefore. The best of us catch a glimpse of a nose, a shoulder, something turning away, always in movement.”

*****

In France, American ex-pats Gertrude Stein, 48, and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, 45, are vacationing in St. Remy. They came for a month and have decided to stay for the duration of the winter.

Stein is pleased that her Geography and Plays has recently been published by Four Seas in Boston. This eclectic collection of stories, poems, plays and language experiments that she has written over the past decade comes with an encouraging introduction by one of her American friends, established novelist Sherwood Anderson, 46. He says that Gertrude’s work is among the most important being written today, and lives “among the little housekeeping words, the swaggering bullying street-corner words, the honest working, money-saving words.”

Geography and Plays by Gertrude Stein

The volume also contains her 1913 poem, “Sacred Emily,” which includes a phrase Stein repeats often,

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Alice is thinking of using that as part of the logo for Gertrude’s personal stationery.

Stein and Alice are hopeful that Geography and Plays will help her blossoming reputation as a serious writer. For now, they are going to send some fruit to one of their new American friends back in Paris, foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, Ernest Hemingway, 23, and his lovely wife Hadley, 31.

*****

In America, free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 29, has had a terrible year.

She did get her first short story published, “Such a Pretty Little Picture” in this month’s issue of Smart Set. After years of writing only the light verse that sells easily to New York’s magazines and newspapers, Parker is starting to branch out and stretch herself more.

However, her stockbroker husband of five years, Edwin Pond Parker II, also 29, finally packed up and moved back to his family in Connecticut.

Dorothy and Eddie Parker

Parker took up with a would-be playwright from Chicago, Charles MacArthur, 27, who started hanging around with her lunch friends from the Algonquin Hotel. He broke Dottie’s heart—and her spirit after he contributed only $30 to her abortion. And made himself scarce afterwards.

On Christmas day there were no fewer than eight new plays for Parker to review. She had to bundle up against the cold and spend the holiday racing around to see as much of each one as she could. And then go home to no one but her bird Onan (“because he spills his seed”) and her dog Woodrow Wilson.

New York Times Square Christmas Eve 1920s by J. A. Blackwell

As she gets ready to jump into 1923, Parker works on the type of short poem she has become known for:

One Perfect Rose

By Dorothy Parker

A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet–
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
“My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

To hear Dorothy Parker read her poem, “One Perfect Rose,” click here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMnv1XNpuwM

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher 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.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, December 27, 1922, Scribner’s, 153-157 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York

Max Perkins, 38, has been here at Scribner’s for 12 years now. He’s mostly worked on his authors’ novels, short story collections and non-fiction works as well. This is the first time he’s been asked to edit a play.

Scribner’s

Scribner’s star novelist, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 26, has had his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, followed by his second story collection, Flappers and Philosophers, published this year. Both are doing well.

Scott is working on a third novel, but is currently sidetracked by writing this play, originally titled Gabriel’s Trombone. He has now decided on a new title, The Vegetable:  From President to Postman.

Perkins agreed to read it and give Scott some feedback, which he sent to him yesterday:

I’ve read your play three times and I think more highly of its possibilities on the third reading than ever before;—but I am also more strongly convinced that these possibilities are far from being realized on account of the handling of the story in the second act [in which the main character has drunken fantasies of becoming president]…You seem to lose sense of your true motive…Satirize as much as you can…but keep one eye always on your chief motive. Throughout the entire wild second act there would still be a kind of ‘wild logic.’…

“My only excuse for all this verbiage is, that so good in conception is your motive, so true your characters, so splendidly imaginative your invention, and so altogether above the mere literate the whole scheme, that no one could help but greatly desire to see it all equal in execution. If it were a comparative trifle, like many a short story, it wouldn’t much matter…To save space, I’ve omitted most of the ‘I thinks,’ ‘It seems to mes,’ and ‘I may be wrong buts’:  They would be, however, understood.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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, late December, 1922, Montmartre, Paris; and West End, London

In Paris, the Ballets Russes is performing Parade, which they premiered here five years ago with music by Erik Satie, 56, and a scenario written by Jean Cocteau, 33. The scenery, curtains and costumes are all created in a Cubist style by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, 41, who gets his own ovation when the audience stands up to cheer, and faces the box he is seated in.

A costume for Parade designed by Pablo Picasso

But the big success of the season is Cocteau’s production of Antigone, his “contraction” of Sophocles’ original, as Cocteau calls it.

Picasso also received a round of cheers during the rehearsals for the play, when Cocteau brought him to an almost bare set, with just some masks and a violet-blue and white backdrop, and told the painter to create a hot, sunny day.

Picasso paced the stage. Picked up a piece of red chalk. Rubbed the white boards with it until they looked like marble. Dipped a brush in a bottle of ink. Drew some lines on the background and blackened in a few spaces.

Three Doric columns appeared. All those watching applauded.

Cocteau also persuaded Coco Chanel, 39, to design the heavy Scotch woolen costumes for Oedipus’s daughters.

Antigone is packing them in at the 100-year-old Théâtre de l’Atelier, owned by the actor and drama teacher Charles Dullin, 37, who directed the production and appears in it as well. Dullin’s mother pawned the family’s furniture and silverware to get enough money for Charles to buy and renovate this theatre.

Théâtre de l’Atelier,

Cocteau himself is playing the part of the Chorus, and also in the cast is one of Dullin’s students, Antonin Artaud, 26. The music for the play has been written by Swiss composer Arthur Honegger, 30, and the lead is played by a Romanian dancer, Génica Athanasiou, 25, who speaks so little French she had to learn her lines syllable by syllable. As a reward for her efforts, Cocteau has dedicated the production to her.

Génica Athanasiou by Man Ray

Each evening begins with a short curtain-raiser by Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello, 55, who had success last year with his Six Characters in Search of an Author.

The names Picasso, Chanel and Pirandello are what initially drew the crowds. However, now that Antigone is a big hit, Cocteau is becoming a cult figure among young men who show up in large groups to applaud each night. Some have even been hanging around outside Cocteau’s house and climbing up the lamp post just to get a look at him.

Jean Cocteau by Man Ray

*****

In London’s West End, German Count Harry Kessler, 54, is enjoying theatre while visiting the city for the first time since the Great War broke out. He confides his impressions to his diary,

Not much change in the shops. They are as good class and as elegant as they used to be. But there is no longer the astounding amount of hustle and luxury as in 1914 and which is still to be met in Paris. It can be sensed that the country has become poorer and the shoppers rarer…[At the theatre] to my astonishment, at least half the men in the stalls were in lounge suits, the rest in dinner jackets, and only five or six in tails. A real revolution or, more accurately, the symptom of such.”

A West End theatre audience

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher 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 d on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, December, 1922, on the newsstands of America

When Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, 37, was published a few months ago, it was met with mostly positive reactions.

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

H. L. Mencken, 42, literary critic for Smart Set, found the main character to be a symbol of everything wrong with American culture: 

It is not what [Babbitt] feels and aspires that moves him primarily; it is what the folks about him will think of him. His politics is communal politics, mob politics, herd politics; his religion is a public rite wholly without subjective significance.”

In The New Statesman, Rebecca West, just turned 30, declared that Babbitt “has that something extra, over and above, which makes the work of art.”

Fellow novelist H. G. Wells, 56, told Lewis that it is

one of the greatest novels I have read…I wish I could have written Babbitt.”

Somerset Maugham, 48, wrote to say that he felt that

it is a much better book than Main Steet.

Edith Wharton, 60, to whom the novel is dedicated, wrote from one of her villas in France,

I wonder how much of it the American public, to whom irony seems to have become unintelligible as Chinese, will even remotely feel?…Thank you again for associating my name with a book I so warmly admire and applaud.”

But now in December, Edmund Wilson, 27, has his say in Vanity Fair, comparing Lewis unfavorably to Dickens and Twain, and stating that Lewis’ literary gift “is almost entirely for making people nasty.”

*****

Last month The Dial published “The Waste Land” by T. S. Eliot, 34, and in this month’s issue the publisher, Scofield Thayer, just turned 33, announces that Eliot is the second recipient of the magazine’s annual Dial Prize of $2,000.

In the same issue, Eliot has a piece about the death of English vaudeville star, Marie Lloyd, aged 52, which depressed Eliot terribly. In October, almost 100,000 mourners attended her funeral in London.

Marie Lloyd

This issue of The Dial also contains Edmund Wilson’s praise of “The Waste Land,” an in-depth piece about Eliot’s importance as a poet:  

He feels intensely and with distinction and speaks naturally in beautiful verse…The race of the poets—though grown rare—is not yet quite dead.”

Eliot is pleased with Wilson’s review, but unhappy that Wilson called his fellow ex-pat Ezra Pound, 37, an “imitator of [Eliot]…extremely ill-focused.” Eliot considers Pound to be the greatest living English-language poet.

*****

In The Nation this month, Dial editor Gilbert Seldes, 29, is also enamored of “The Waste Land,” comparing it to Ulysses by James Joyce, 40, published earlier this year: 

That ‘The Waste Land’ is, in a sense, the inversion and the complement of Ulysses is at least tenable. We have in Ulysses the poet defeated, turning outward, savoring the ugliness which is no longer transmutable into beauty, and, in the end, homeless. We have in ‘The Waste Land’ some indication of the inner life of such a poet. The contrast between the forms of these two works is not expressed in the recognition that one is among the longest and one among the shortest of works in its genre; the important thing is that in each the theme, once it is comprehended, is seen to have dictated the form.”

Eliot sends Seldes a nice note thanking him for the review.

*****

Outlook magazine, on the other hand, features “A Flapper’s Appeal to Parents,” asking parents and society as a whole to be more understanding of these dancing females who spend “a large amount of time in automobiles.”

*****

First described by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, 26, the flapper grows up in his story in this month’s Metropolitan magazine, “Winter Dreams,” about a midwestern boy in love with a selfish rich girl, who marries someone all wrong for her. When writing the story, Fitzgerald cut some descriptions to save them for his third novel, which he is working on now.

Metropolitan, December

*****

The December Smart Set has the first short story by one of America’s most-published and most popular poets, Dorothy Parker, 29, whose “Such a Pretty Little Picture” describes a man living a monotonous life in the suburbs, just cutting his hedge. Similar to her best friend, fellow Algonquin Round Table member Robert Benchley, 33, who lives in Scarsdale with his wife and two sons.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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”: This Year!

Regular readers of this blog are already tired of me going on about the benefits of “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volumes I through III, covering 1920 to 1922 [conveniently available at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book formats].

“Such Friends” volumes I through III

So I thought I’d turn this #shamelessselfpromotion posting over to the fans:

Such Friends: The Literary 1920s presents colourful, diary-like snippets, skillfully woven together, from the daily lives of writers, poets and artists of the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Bloomsbury Group, the Americans in Paris, and the Algonquin Round Table in New York.”

—Dr. Ann Kennedy Smith, “My Books of the Year,”

Cambridge Ladies’ Dining Society, 1890-1914;

It’s a lot of fun skipping around to different dates and events to see what was going on at particular times during the year.”

                                                              —Jim, Irish theatre fan

Interior of Volume III

What a treasure-trove this work is. You make it seem alive. The gossip is fresh! These little stories humanize the great geniuses. Thanks for doing this work.”

                                                  —Janie B., Pittsburgh-New York fan

The people are fascinating, of course, and I love the way you’ve woven what else is happening around them into their stories. Love what you do! You find such fascinating goodies to share with the rest of us.”

                                                  —Anne, fellow Pittsburgh writer fan

I look forward to the gossip and insights you have curated about what was going on a century ago.”

                                                  —Hedda, Bloomsbury fan

Love your stuff. I inhale it like…wildflower smells!”

                                                 —Marie, Semester at Sea fan

You have such a nice way of making history feel closer to us—letting us know and care about these people.”

                                                 —Dr. Barry, Ohio academic fan

Such fun! This is eavesdropping across the past century.”

                                                 —Don, James Joyce fan

Thank you, fans! And my previous offer still holds. If you live on any Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus line, I will hand deliver your signed copies to you. Email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Happy holidays!

Fans reading “Such Friends,” Volume II

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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, December 2 and 3, 1922, Gare de Lyon, Paris; and Lausanne, Switzerland

It’s gone. The valise.

She knows the porter put it right there. And she went to get a bottle of water. She’s come back. And now it’s gone.

American ex-pat Hadley Hemingway, 31, is traveling to Lausanne, Switzerland, to visit her husband, American foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, Ernest Hemingway, 23, who is covering the Lausanne Peace Conference.

Ernie’s been there for about a week; he’d begged her to come with him, but Hadley hadn’t been feeling well. When she received his letter yesterday saying how much he missed her, she threw together some skiing clothes and stuffed a small valise full of the fiction stories he’s been working on. Hadley figured he’d want to show them to his friend, American investigative reporter Lincoln Steffens, 56.

Lincoln Steffens and Ernest Hemingway in Lausanne

And now they’re gone.

She finds the porter who helped her and they search the whole train. Nada.

Hadley is devastated. How is she going to tell Ernie?! All his hard work. His first novel. The writing that is so much more important to him than the journalism he’s being paid for.

All the carbons were in the valise too.

*****

In Lausanne, Hemingway is filing story after story about the conference which brings together leaders from Great Britain, France, Greece, Italy and Turkey.

Lord Curzon, Benito Mussolini and Raymond Poincare in Lausanne

For the Toronto Star. But also for the American Hearst publications. And the International News Service (INS), using the name “John Hadley,” so the Star won’t catch him.

But the INS has become suspicious. They have asked for some more details about the expense claims Hemingway has been turning in. That just makes Ernie angry, so he sends them a cable: 

SUGGEST YOU UPSTICK BOOKS ASSWARD.”

Today Hemingway is looking forward to seeing his wife, Hadley, just arriving from Paris. At the train station he sees her step out onto the platform. He can’t believe the look on her face. She’s obviously been crying for hours.

What on earth could have happened to upset her so much?!

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher 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.com and Amazon.co.uk 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, November 20, 1922, Union Hotel Etoile, 44 rue Hamelin, Paris

American ex-pat photographer Man Ray, 32, has been called here, along with two painters and a sculptor, to record the corpse of French writer Marcel Proust, 51, who died two days ago.

Ray has made a bit of a name for himself in Paris this past year, and this month’s Vanity Fair magazine has four of his “rayographs,” a new technique he has been working on.

Man Ray in Vanity Fair

Proust had been complaining to his friends that he was ill for months but didn’t feel as though they took him seriously. He told his loyal housekeeper Celeste Albaret, 31, that she must keep the doctors away from him in his last hours, to let the natural process unfold—or he will come back to haunt her.

Proust had been fighting the recommendations of his doctors, including his brother Robert, 49, for months while he experienced increasing fame and sales of his books, along with increasing health issues.

In the spring he took an accidental overdose of his adrenalin and was left screaming in pain. After that his chauffeur, Celeste’s husband, had to bring Proust daily chilled beer and ice cream from the Ritz Hotel.

In the summer, he had a big night out on the town with French writer Jean Cocteau, 33, at their favorite nightclub, Le Boeuf sur la toit, but that ended in a brawl and Proust challenging his young attacker to a duel the next morning. The kid apologized.

The bar at Le Boeuf sur la toit

This fall Proust had violent fits of asthma and vertigo which caused him to fall whenever he got out of bed. He blamed carbon monoxide from the fireplace, and commanded Celeste to stop lighting the fire. So he was surrounded by cold.

The doctors told Proust not to go out; Proust went for a walk, started sneezing and came home.

The doctors told him to eat a lot and rest; instead he followed his mother’s instructions to him as a child, eating nothing but milk and fruit and throwing himself into writing and rewriting.

At the bitter end Marcel submitted to injections from the doctors, but he grabbed Celeste’s wrist and pinched her as hard as he could, telling her she shouldn’t have let them come.

At 5:30 in the afternoon he was pronounced dead in this room.

Now, two days later, about a dozen family and friends have been invited to view the body, and Ray to photograph it.

Seeing his friend lying in state, surrounded by his manuscripts, Cocteau notes,

That pile of paper on his left was still alive, like watches ticking on the wrists of dead soldiers.”

Marcel Proust on his death bed by Man Ray

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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, early November, 1922, Pension Nowe, Ronda San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain

Had he not promised to give the lecture, French writer Andre Breton, 26, and his wife Simone, 25, would head back to Paris today.

But they drove here a few days ago with their friends, painter Francis Picabia, 43, and his mistress, for the opening of an exhibit of Picabia’s work at the Dalmau Gallery, and Breton promised to deliver a lecture about the current state of art in France.

Femme Espagnole by Francis Picabia

It took over a week to get here, in Picabia’s sporty Mercer convertible. Breton wore his leather pilot’s helmet, goggles and his heavy fur coat. In Marseilles they stopped to see a disappointing exhibit with fake African artefacts, where Breton spent 20 francs on a stuffed armadillo. Which woke up and jumped out of his arms.

Mercer touring car

Since they arrived in Barcelona, Simone has been bedridden with salmonella poisoning. The only saving grace has been the Gaudi architecture throughout the town. Andre sent a postcard of the cathedral Sagrada Familia to his Spanish friend back in Paris, painter Pablo Picasso, 41, asking,

Do you know this marvel?”

Sagrada Familia

In his talk Breton is planning to announce, in French to an audience of Spaniards, his belief that the Dada movement is over. He feels that there is a new movement brewing, which involves artists such as Picabia, Picasso, and American Man Ray, 32, but they are so far unorganized and un-named.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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, October 29, 1922, The Little Church Around the Corner, 1 East 29th Street, New York City; and East Shore Road, Great Neck, Long Island, New York

This wedding is fun. The Manhattan editors and writers who trade quips and insults almost every day at lunch at the Algonquin Hotel are here. The groom is Robert Sherwood, 26, editor of the humor magazine Life, towering over everyone at 6 feet 8 inches tall. The bride is actress Mary Brandon, 20, who appeared with Sherwood and the Algonquin gang in their one-off revue, No Sirree!, a few months ago.

The Little Church Around the Corner, aka The Church of the Transfiguration

The ushers include Sherwood’s co-editor at Life, Robert Benchley, 33, who just finished a gig with the Music Box Revue doing his shtick from No Sirree!, “The Treasurer’s Report,” seven days a week. And Alexander Woollcott, 35, who just went from reviewing plays for the New York Times to writing a column, “In the Wake of the Plays,” for the New York Herald after the owner, Frank Munsey, 68, offered him $15,000 a year. “For money and no other reason,” explains Woollcott.

And playwright Marc Connelly, 31, who just had a second Broadway hit, West of Pittsburgh, with his collaborator, George S Kaufman, 32.

And also Frank Case, 49, who is not known to be particularly witty, but as the manager of the Algonquin Hotel, he must have a good sense of humor.

Frank Case

Also attending are hit novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, 26, and his wife Zelda, 22, fresh off the successful publication of his second collection of short stories, Tales of the Jazz Age.

And America’s sweethearts, film stars Mary Pickford, 30, and her co-star and husband of two years, Douglas Fairbanks, 39.

All wish the Sherwoods well. But some predict this wedding will be the high point of their marriage.

Mary Brandon Sherwood

*****

Many of the wedding guests actually have more fun in the summer and into the fall partying out on Long Island.

The biggest bashes are at the rented home of New York World publisher Herbert Bayard Swope, 40, overlooking Manhasset Bay. People were not invited—they went there.

Herbert Bayard Swope’s house in Great Neck

From Great Neck then, came the Fitzgeralds, who have rented a house there and the Lardners from across the street. And a whole clan named Marx, including Arthur (“Harpo”), 33, and his brother Julius (“Groucho”), 32, who have made a name for themselves in musical theatre.

From nearby Sandy Point came magazine illustrator Neysa McMein, 34, and mining engineer Jack Baragwanath, 35. Neysa was the first to suggest that their competitive croquet games on the lawn be played without rules. Swope loved the idea; he feels the game

makes you want to cheat and kill…The game gives release to all the evil in you.”

Bust of Neysa McMein by Sally James Farnham

Heywood Broun, 33, a columnist on Swope’s own World, came to gamble, but sometimes brought his wife, free-lance writer Ruth Hale, 35.

Of theatrical people there were the Kaufmanns and Connelly and composer George Gershwin, 24. Also from New York were Woollcott, and New York Times journalist Jane Grant, 30. And the free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 29, separated now, who has pieces in almost every issue of the Saturday Evening Post. She’s sometimes accompanied by her latest beau, would-be playwright Charles MacArthur, 27, but other times is seen sneaking across the road to the home of sportswriter Ring Lardner, 37, when his wife is away.

Ring Lardner

In addition to all these, satiric writer Donald Ogden Stewart, 27, came there at least once.

All these people came to Swope’s house in the summer.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s.Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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.