This happy troupe of ex-pat Americans is making their way from their homes in Paris to see their first bullfights in Spain.
Bill Bird, 35, from Buffalo, New York, started his own small company last year, Three Mountains Press, in offices on quai d’Anjou on the Ile Saint Louis. He handprints his own books as well as those written by his Left Bank friends. Bird also lends his office space to other publishers, such as…
Ile Saint Louis
Robert McAlmon, 28, from Clifton, Kansas, who recently started the Contact Press, using his wealthy British father-in-law’s money and the name from a magazine he founded in Greenwich Village a few years ago. Before leaving on this trip, McAlmon sent out an announcement that Contact Press is soliciting unpublished manuscripts. He has been inundated with work, both from writers he specifically targeted—Gertrude Stein, 49, Ezra Pound, 37, James Joyce, 41, Wyndham Lewis, 40 (only Wyndham turned him down)—and others he’s never heard of.
In his upcoming Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers, McAlmon plans to include the best work. He is also thinking of publishing a separate book with just stories and poems by one of his fellow travelers….
Ernest Hemingway, 23, from Oak Park, Illinois.
Robert McAlmon and Ernest Hemingway
As the European correspondent for the Toronto Star, Hemingway has been traveling all over Europe filing stories. He really needs this break from cold, rainy Paris. Ernest and his wife Hadley, 31, had planned to go to Norway for the excellent trout fishing. But his friend Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, 46, convinced Hemingway to go see the Spanish bullfights, and pregnant Hadley decided to stay in Paris. Stein and Toklas were quite enthusiastic. Ernest has also gotten some travel tips from other friends about where to go and where to eat.
The train has stopped. They all look out the windows to see what the problem is and catch sight of a dead dog on the side of the track.
McAlmon instinctively looks away. Hemingway scolds him for trying to avoid reality.
“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 Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June I will be talking about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, 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.