“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, mid-January, corner of Sixth Avenue and West 57th Street, New York City, New York

Free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 29, is worrying about how to handle the regular book club that she is hosting this evening here at her apartment.

Sixth Avenue and West 57th Street

They all will have heard; she lunches at the Algonquin Hotel most days with one of the regulars, New York Times reporter Jane Grant, 30, and her husband American Legion Weekly editor Harold Ross, also 30. Parker knows the writers who congregate there have been spreading rumors and trying to figure out why she did it.

Dottie is thinking it will be best to take the direct approach. She’ll greet each guest saying,

I slashed my wrists.”

That should get over some of the awkwardness.

That Sunday she had arrived back here at her apartment feeling really hungry. She called down and ordered delivery from that vile—but convenient—restaurant downstairs, the Swiss Alps.

When she went into the bathroom Parker saw the razor left behind by her estranged husband Edwin Pond Parker III, 29, when he took off to his family back in Connecticut last summer. She hadn’t noticed it before.

Parker took the blade and cut along the vein in her left wrist. Blood spurted all over the room. Her hand was so slippery she had a hard time slitting the other wrist.

And then the delivery boy arrived with dinner.

Call a doctor!”

Dottie shouted. The ambulance took her to Presbyterian Hospital.

Some of her friends’ comments around the lunch table have gotten back to her.

Playwright Marc Connelly, 32, thinks it was “just a bit of theatre.” A few feel Parker was looking for attention, or to have Eddie come back. Jane Grant is suspicious of the fortuitous arrival of the delivery boy.

Dorothy and Eddie Parker

Her family and some of her lunch friends came to visit Parker in the hospital. Dean of the New York columnists Franklin Pierce Adams (FPA), 41, stayed away. Connelly came; as did theatre critic Alexander Woollcott, about to turn 36. Most important of all was the visit from her best friend, Life magazine editor Robert Benchley, 33.

Eddie didn’t even keep his razors sharp,”

she told him.

In the hospital Parker had tied pale blue ribbons into little bows around the scars on her wrists. For the bridge club tonight, Dottie decides to use black velvet ribbons.

“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 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, November 22, 1922, New York Times, New York City, New York; and Fourth World Congress of the Communist International, Moscow

Ad to be placed tomorrow in the New York Times by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP]

*****

In Moscow, Jamaican-American writer Claude McKay, 32, has given his speech to the Fourth World Congress of the Communist International on the topic, “The Negro Question,” which was well-received. McKay financed this trip, which he calls his “Magic Pilgrimage,” by selling deluxe editions of his poetry collection, Harlem Shadows, to people on the NAACP donor list and working as a stoker on a freighter.

Claude McKay speaking in Moscow

N. B.:  Lynching was only made a federal hate crime in the United States in March of 2022 when President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching bill. For more information, click here:  https://rollcall.com/2022/03/29/biden-signs-federal-anti-lynching-law/

“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, mid-November, 1922, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York

At the Sam H. Harris Theatre on West 42nd Street, Hamlet, starring the legendary John Barrymore, 40, has just opened. The New York Herald says that his performance “will be memorable in the history of the American theatre.”

The Times predicts,

We have a new and a lasting Hamlet.”

And Brooklyn Life says that Barrymore has “won the right to be called the greatest living American tragedian.”

John Barrymore as Hamlet

*****

Farther up Fifth Avenue, the Cort Theatre on 48th Street is hosting a different type of theatrical success, Merton of the Movies, by Algonquin Hotel lunch buddies Marc Connelly, 31, and George S Kaufman, just turning 33. Like their previous Broadway hit Dulcy, Merton is based on a suggestion from another regular at the Algonquin, top World columnist Franklin Pierce Adams, just turning 41, known to all as FPA.

The Times calls it “a delight in every way,” and their other lunch regular, Heywood Broun, 33, also in the World, calls it “the most amusing show of the season.”

Cast of Merton of the Movies

*****

But, around the corner at the much smaller Punch and Judy Theatre on 49th Street, Connelly and Kaufman have financed a comedy review, The ‘49ers, written by their friends.

The gang put on a show back in April, No Sirree!, which was only performed one night for an invited audience of their friends and fans, who loved it.

So they figured they’d do it right this time—hire a producer, director and professional actors. Besides Connelly, Kaufman, FPA and Broun, the sketches were written by their talented friends, including Dorothy Parker, 29, Robert Benchley, 33, and Ring Lardner, 37.

What could go wrong?!

It wasn’t funny.

On opening night, the Mistress of Ceremonies, legendary vaudevillian Miss May Irwin, 60, was soooo bad, Connelly decided to take on the role himself, over Kaufman’s objections.

The whole disaster just closed after only 15 performances.

May Irwin

*****

One block away, at Tony Soma’s speakeasy, Parker is sharing the horror story of her recent abortion with anyone who will listen. Few want to.

She’d felt sick when her friend, magazine illustrator Neysa McMein, 34, was painting her portrait recently. Neysa gave her a glass of gin and immediately got her to a west side hospital.

Dorothy Parker by Neysa McMein

They both knew who the father was:  That cad, would-be playwright Charles MacArthur, 27.

When Dotty told Charlie that she had had an abortion, he slipped her 30 bucks, which did not cover the cost, and promptly disappeared from her life. Parker said,

It was like Judas making a refund.”

To make it worse, due to her sloppy timekeeping, Parker had passed her first trimester, and “Dr. Sunshine” (one of many so-called in Manhattan) was angry that her pregnancy was farther along than she had claimed.

After one week in the hospital, Parker is back to her usual writing, reviewing and drinking. She has poems regularly in the Saturday Evening Post, and her first short story, “Such a Pretty Little Picture” will be in next month’s Smart Set.

But this whole experience has truly depressed her. Her pal Benchley is supportive, but he warned her about MacArthur, who has become one of Benchley’s best friends.

She tells him,

Serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.”

Charles MacArthur

“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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, October 13, 1922, New York Times, New York City, New York

Publisher Thomas Seltzer, Inc., takes an ad in the New York Times to announce that three of its latest books are indeed legal.

New York Times advertisement

“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 on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, September 16, 1922, New York City, New York

Don’t wear white after Labor Day! And, gentlemen, don’t wear a straw hat after September 15th! Marauding hooligans in New York City may knock it off your head and stomp it on the ground. Or worse!

No one is sure where this tradition started, but men are supposed to switch to their winter felt hats on September 15 or face the fashion police. This year, a group of young thugs started early, a few days ago, knocking the straw hats off dock workers coming off their shift. The dock workers fought back.

A sea of straw hats

Traffic on the Manhattan Bridge was stopped and arrests were made.

Today’s headline in the New York Tribune is

New York Tribune, September 16

The New York Times goes with

New York Times, September 16

“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 kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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, September 12, 1922, Manhattan Municipal Term Court, New York City, New York; and near Taos, New Mexico

City Magistrate George W. Simpson, 51, is issuing his decision in the case brought against publisher Thomas A. Seltzer, 47, by John Sumner, 45, head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (NYSSV), for publishing three “obscene” books, including the novel Women in Love by English writer D. H. Lawrence, just turned 37 yesterday.

Women in Love, U. S. edition

Based on his own reading, as well as expert testimony from critics such as Gilbert Seldes, 29, managing editor of The Dial magazine—who testified that the novel “would not interest a child and be no more exciting to an adult than a railroad timetable”—Simpson dismisses all charges and orders that the confiscated books be returned to the publisher.

Echoing a decision issued just 10 days earlier in the case Halsey v. NYSSV, Simpson states that

Mere extracts separated from their context do not constitute criteria by which books might be judged obscene,”

and that the books in question have value as literature.

Seltzer’s attorney announces that they will bring suit against Sumner and the NYSSV. And Seltzer knows that sales will soar.

Advertisement that Thomas Seltzer, Inc., plans to place in the New York Times

****

The author in question, D. H. Lawrence, arrived with his wife, Frieda, 43, at their new home in Taos, New Mexico, just yesterday. What a birthday present.

After more than a year of correspondence between the two, Lawrence finally met his hostess, Mabel Dodge, 43, when he and Frieda stepped off the train yesterday in Lamy, New Mexico, 90 miles south.

Dodge, swathed in turquoise and dripping silver jewelry, was accompanied by her partner, a rather silent Native American Tony Luhan, 43, who drove them here to Taos in Mabel’s Cadillac.

Mabel Dodge and Tony Luhan

Dodge has fixed up a roomy house for the Lawrences, just 200 yards away from the one she shares with Luhan, about a mile from the town’s central plaza.

Lawrence is impressed with their new surroundings. But early this morning, he has gone to Mabel’s house to begin working with her on the novel she wants him to write. She invites him to come up to her roof terrace where she is sunbathing. Passing through her bedroom, Lawrence sees her unmade bed and instinctively makes a disgusted face, which Mabel sees. She is disappointed that the author she has put so much faith in is so small-minded.

Gates to Mabel Dodge’s house

Lawrence tells Mabel that his wife doesn’t want them working together at Mabel’s house; there is plenty of room for them at the Lawrences’. So Dodge and Lawrence gather round the table there.

Frieda makes a point of stomping around the house while loudly sweeping and singing.

“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 also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, September, 1922, Café de Flore, corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoit, Paris

Three American women are seated at the little marble-topped tables in front of the café. Each is wearing a black tailored suit, a white satin scarf, and white gloves. One wears a black cloak.

Each has a martini on the table in front of her. All three are writers.

Djuna Barnes, 30, from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, wearing her signature cloak, has been living in Paris since last year. Her lengthy profile of Irish writer James Joyce, 40, caused quite a stir when it was published in Vanity Fair a few months ago.

Solita Solano, 33, born Sarah Wilkinson in Troy, New York, also an established writer, has just moved to the city with her lover, Janet Flanner, 30, from Indianapolis, Indiana, so they both can work on their novels.

Solita Solano and Djuna Barnes 

When they first arrived earlier this month, Solano and Flanner took rooms in a small pension on rue de Quatrefages. But the constant noise was annoying. Drowning out the dedicated piano student practicing down the hall was the construction crew renovating a mosque down the street.

Janet Flanner

They have now moved to two small fifth-floor rooms, Nos. 15 and 16, in the Hotel Napoleon Bonaparte, 36 rue Bonaparte, each paying one dollar a day for the relative quiet. They are near the cafés and L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

In addition to the Flore, one of their other regular haunts is a neighborhood restaurant, La Quatrieme Republique, named in anticipation of a fourth French Republic following the current one. A few doors from their hotel, the restaurant’s food is interesting and affordable. However, they have nicknamed their usual waitress “Yvonne the Terrible” for her shrewish demeanor, despite their generous tips.

Solano and Flanner met after the Great War back in New York City. Flanner and her husband discovered after they had moved there that they had nothing in common, so they separated. He was happy with his boring bank; Janet hung out in Greenwich Village with bohemians, in Harlem with jazz musicians, and in midtown with writers and artists. At parties in the studio owned by illustrator Neysa McMein, 34, Flanner became friends with a young couple, magazine editor Harold Ross, 29, and his wife New York Times reporter Jane Grant, 30.

And she also met Solita.

They fell in love and when Solano, the drama critic for the New York Tribune, was offered a commission from National Geographic to tour the Mediterranean and Middle East, sending back stories, she brought Janet along.

After a year of travel, they have now decided to settle here in Paris, living off their writings and a bit of money Flanner’s father left her, and begin serious work on their novels.

Janet sends letters from Paris back to Grant in New York, chronicling the daily life of the ex-pats in the City of Light.

“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.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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, June 8, 1922, Life magazine, New York City, New York

The theatre critic for humor magazine Life had no trouble writing the review which appears today. The play Abie’s Irish Rose, about a Jewish man in love with an Irish woman, just opened at the Fulton Theatre.

In “Drama:  A Pair of Little Rascals,” Robert Benchley, 32, makes it clear that he feels Abie’s is “one of the season’s worst,” stating that

The Rotters [which he also hated] is no longer the worst play in town!”

Abie’s Irish Rose original cast from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Benchley compared the humor to that of a 19th century magazine: 

Any further information, if such could possibly be necessary, will be furnished at the old offices of Puck, the comic weekly which flourished in the 1890’s. Although that paper is no longer in existence, there must be some old retainer still about the premises who could tell you everything that is in Abie’s Irish Rose.”

Bob is not alone. One of his lunch buddies from the Algonquin Hotel, Heywood Broun, 33, in the New York World, calls it,

a synthetic farce…There is not so much as a single line of honest writing in it…No author has ever expressed her contempt for the audiences in such flagrant fashion as Miss Anne Nichols…[The play] seems designed to attract the attention of Irish and Jewish theatregoers but is likely to offend such patrons even a little more than any others…So cheap and offensive that it might serve to unite all the races in the world in a common hymn of hate.”

Anne Nichols

One of their other lunch buddies, the dean of New York columnists, FPA [Franklin Pierce Adams], 40, also in the World, deems it the worst play he has ever seen. And he’s seen a lot.

But, true to form, another Algonquin lunch regular, Alexander Woollcott, 35, drama critic of the New York Times, loves it:  

Abie’s Irish Rose is funny…A highly sophisticated Summer audience…[laughed] uproariously at [the play’s] juggling with some fundamental things in human life, and at some others, not so fundamental, but deeply cherished, as lifelong feelings are wont to be.”  

Woollcott predicts it will run for years.

Benchley is more optimistic. He gives it a month. He dreads having to come up with a little capsule review of this turkey each week.

“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.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

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

In the fall, I will be talking about the centenary of The Waste Land in the Osher programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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, May 28, 1922, London Sunday Express; and New York Times

Two very different reviews of the new novel Ulysses by James Joyce, 40, appear on opposite sides of the pond today:

Ulysses by James Joyce

I say deliberately that it is the most infamously obscene book in ancient or modern literature…All the secret sewers of vice are canalized in its flood of unimaginable thoughts, images and pornographic words. And its unclean lunacies are larded with appalling and revolting blasphemies directed against the Christian religion and against the name of Christ—blasphemies hitherto associated with the most degraded orgies of Satanism and the Black Mass…[Ulysses] is already the Bible of beings who are exiles and outcasts in this and every other civilized country…Our critics are apologizing for his anarchy…[by throwing readers] to the hyenas and werewolves of literature…We must make our choice between the devil’s disciples and the disciples of God, between Satanism and Christianity, between the sanctions of morality and the anarchy of art. The artists must be treated like any lesser criminal who tries to break the Christian code. For this is a battle that must be fought out to a clean finish:  We cannot trust the soul of Europe to the guardianship of the police and the post office.”

—“Beauty and the Beast,” James Douglas, editor, London Sunday Express

Ulysses is the most important contribution that has been made to fictional literature in the 20th century. It will immortalize its author with the same certainty that Gargantua and Pantagruel immortalized Rabelais, and The Brothers Karamazof [sic] Dostoyevsky. It is likely that no one writing English today could parallel Mr. Joyce’s feat…His literary output would seem to substantiate some of Freud’s contentions…He holds with Freud that the unconscious mind represents the real man…I have learned more psychology and psychiatry from it than I did in 10 years at the Neurological Institute. There are other angles at which Ulysses can be viewed profitably, but they are not many…[The protagonist Leopold Bloom is] a moral monster, a pervert and an invert, an apostate to his race and his religion, the simulacrum of a man who has neither cultural background nor personal self-respect…[Ulysses will be written about and praised in 100 years, but] not 10 men or women out of a hundred can read Ulysses through.”

                                    —“James Joyce’s Amazing Chronicle,” Joseph Collins, New York Times

“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.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Next month I will be talking about the Stein family salons in Paris before and after The Great War at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Carnegie-Mellon University.

To watch my presentation for the PICT Classical Theatre about the Founding of the Abbey Theatre, click here.

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.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.