“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, mid-October, 1922, The Criterion magazine, London; and The Dial magazine, New York City, New York

April is the cruelest month…”

Poet, publisher and bank clerk Thomas Stearns Eliot, 34, is proud of this first issue of the magazine he has started, The Criterion. His wife, Vivien, also 34, suggested the title. She just likes the sound of it.

Table of Contents, The Criterion, Vol. I, No. 1

The production value is good—small format, quality paper, clean typefaces. The content rises to the standard Eliot set for himself:  Longer pieces by top writers from different countries, paid at the rate of £10 for 5,000 words. And no illustrations. He didn’t want to junk each issue up the way The Dial magazine in the States does, with reproductions of Chagalls and Brancusis spread throughout.

I will show you fear in a handful of dust…”

Eliot’s one disappointment is that he didn’t get any work from French writer Marcel Proust, 51, for this first issue, despite interventions by their mutual friend, English novelist Sydney Schiff, 54. However, he is hopeful Proust will submit something in time for Issue No. 2.

Schiff is the first one to congratulate Eliot, who receives his letter while he is looking over the first six copies that have been delivered to him at home.

Marcel Proust

Praising Eliot’s accomplishment in producing The Criterion, Schiff also congratulates him on the crown jewel of this issue, Eliot’s own epic poem, “The Waste Land,” which he has been working on concurrently for the past year or more.

In producing the magazine, Eliot has had the support of Lady Rothermere, 48, who has financed the whole operation with her access to the fortune of her husband, owner of The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail. She has even offered Tom an annual £600 stipend and salary for the next three years, but Eliot is concerned that his bosses at Lloyds Bank won’t like the idea of him being on someone else’s payroll too.

Promotion for The Criterion

A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,

I had not thought death had undone so many…”

In writing the poem, Eliot has had the support of many of his literary friends, but none more so than fellow American ex-pat, Ezra Pound, about to turn 37. They met up in Paris early this year and again in Verona at the beginning of summer to “put it through the sieve” as Eliot describes their editing process. The cuts Ezra made were invaluable and Eliot enjoyed collaborating; both agree that the final result is Eliot’s best work. Which is why the poem is dedicated to Ezra.

 Those are pearls that were his eyes…”

Now that “The Waste Land” and The Criterion have both been loosed upon the United Kingdom, the next step is for the poem to be published in the United States, in the November issue of The Dial, on the newsstands in a few days.

After this last year of writing, editing, publishing, negotiating, and taking care of his sick wife—while holding down a full-time job—Eliot is eagerly awaiting the world’s reactions to his efforts.

HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME

Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.

Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.

Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night…”

*****

Pound, in his continuing efforts to get Eliot enough income so that he can afford to leave his bank job, has also been invaluable in getting The Dial publisher, Scofield Thayer, 32, to agree to publish “The Waste Land” at all.

At first Thayer offered Eliot $150, based on the magazine’s usual payment for poetry, with a little extra thrown in. Eliot wasn’t happy with this and prevailed upon another American who had helped with these things before—New York lawyer and patron of the arts, John Quinn, 52, who had negotiated the deal for the American publication of Eliot’s collection, Poems, a few years before.

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept…”

This time Quinn got Thayer of The Dial to agree with Horace Liveright, 37, of Boni and Liveright that “The Waste Land,” in America, would appear in the November issue of The Dial and then be published the following month in book form by Boni and Liveright, with an extended series of notes which Eliot has added.

Thayer doesn’t like the poem. Or Eliot, for that matter. But his managing editor, Gilbert Seldes, 29, is impressed with “The Waste Land” and, against Thayer’s wishes, has made it the main item in the November issue. Seldes is short on copy for the fall issues, so 450 lines of new Eliot is a godsend.

The Dial, November

To make sure “The Waste Land” publication has maximum impact, Seldes has enlisted the services of one of the top publicists in the city Bea Kaufman, 27, wife of playwright George S Kaufman, 32. Seldes enticed her with an invitation for a free meal: 

I want to talk about publicity for T. S. Eliot with you very shortly, and I think that these lofty business matters are always settled at lunch, paid for by the office. Let us go to Child’s some morning or afternoon.”

Bea Kaufman’s passport photo

In addition to arranging for reviews to appear in the New York Tribune and the New Republic, and writing one himself for The Nation, Seldes also sent an early copy of “The Waste Land” to Vanity Fair managing editor Edmund Wilson, 27, asking him to write a review for the December issue of The Dial. Wilson read the poem over and over, sitting on the top deck of a Fifth Avenue bus. He feels Eliot’s words speak to him as a frustrated writer, living in a crappy apartment that smells like damp cats.

As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire…”

No other American magazine or book publisher has been actively involved in bidding for “The Waste Land,” but a strong last-minute effort from Quinn was what got Thayer and Liveright to agree to the schedule. Eliot is receiving only $150 from The Dial, but they have also agreed to award him their $2,000 Dial prize this year. (Shhhh—that won’t be announced until the December issue.)

As a reward for his pro bono work. Eliot is sending Quinn the original manuscript of “The Waste Land” to add to his collection of authors’ manuscripts.

 On Margate Sands.

  I can connect

 Nothing with nothing…”

Thayer still isn’t happy about the poem itself, or its first place position in his magazine. He’d still rather be publishing something from an established novelist like Edith Wharton, 60.

All there is to do now is wait to see what the reviewers and the reading public think.

Shantih  shantih shantih.”

T. S. Eliot at work

“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, October 11, 1922, Librairie Six, 5 Avenue de Lowendal; Hotel Verneuil, rue de Verneuil, Paris; and 74 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London

Sitting in the backroom of Librairie Six, his friend’s bookstore and art gallery, English poet and publisher John Rodker, 27, is pretty sure he has everything organized for the big day tomorrow.

John Rodker surrounded by publishing friends

In a little more than a month he has managed to pull together the publication of a second edition of the scandalous novel Ulysses by Irish-expat in Paris James Joyce, 40, the day before the copies arrive from the Dijon-based printer Darantiere.

Back in England, Rodker had been approached by one of Joyce’s many benefactors, Harriet Shaw Weaver, 46, publisher of Joyce through her Egoist Press and Egoist magazine.

Weaver has bought the British rights to all Joyce’s work, and she is eager to publish a second edition to follow up the debut of Ulysses this past February, published by the Left Bank bookshop Shakespeare and Company, owned by American ex-pat Sylvia Beach, 35.

Ulysses has been banned in America and confiscated in the UK, so Harriet has determined that the best approach is to have all the production, promotion and administrative work done in Paris, and then ship the books out to other, less tolerant, countries.

Rodker is a good choice for this assignment as he has already founded Ovid Press to publish limited editions, and, as a Conscientious Objector during the Great War, is willing to take risks for his principles.

Joyce, Beach and Weaver look at this second edition as an opportunity to correct the more than 200 typographical errors they’ve found in Shakespeare and Company’s 700-page original. However, rumors are circulating that pirates in the States are hurrying to bring out unauthorized editions. Weaver knows she has to work faster than originally planned. So—no corrections.

From this backroom office Rodker has mailed out flyers trumpeting the publication and then processed the orders. The plan he and Weaver concocted to service the UK customers involves him sending a bulk shipment to a collaborative wholesaler in London who will unbind them, pull them apart, shove sections inside British newspapers to avoid confiscation and tariffs, and then send them to the States via a merchant ship with a first mate who has agreed to serve as their smuggler. The American wholesalers will put each clandestine copy back together and deliver it to middlemen and booksellers.

Weaver will finance the whole operation, including £200 for Rodker’s services.

Rodker’s next step is to receive the shipment of 2,000 copies—complete with typos—from Darantiere tomorrow.

Ulysses, published by the Egoist Press

*****

About a half hour’s walk across the Left Bank, in the basement of the Hotel Verneuil, Rodker’s partner in crime, critic Iris Barry, 27 (actually Sylvia Crump from Birmingham, UK), has set up shop to handle the fulfillment function for individual orders.

Iris Barry

In this small room she has gathered rolls of brown parcel paper, piles of mailing labels, scissors and string. When the books arrive tomorrow, she will wrap and tie up each one individually, write out the address of the brave person in America who has ordered it, and then take Ulysses to the nearby post office in groups of four or five and send them off with a prayer that each will be delivered to its buyer before U. S. Customs starts confiscating them.

*****

In London, Miss Weaver has decided to handle the delivery to local individuals and bookstores herself. Those copies will be sent by Rodker to a private mailing firm. When the Egoist Press receives an order from a bookshop, Harriet plans to pick up the copies from the mailing company and take them—discreetly—to the store which placed the order. There they will keep Ulysses behind the counter until a special customer requests a copy.

Gloucester Place, Marylebone

Although Weaver’s lawyers have advised against it, she is going to keep some copies of Ulysses in her office and her home. Her wealthy family has always supported Harriet’s work for liberal causes but cannot imagine why she is interested in publishing smut. Her brother-in-law laments,

How could she? How could she? An enigma! An enigma!”

“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, early October, 1922, 42 rue Fontaine, Pigalle district, Paris; and the Resi, Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid

At first, it all seemed so interesting.

Writer Andre Breton, 26, was fascinated by the seances he was introduced to by his friend, poet Rene Crevel, 22.

Crevel had passed out during a séance he took part in when on holiday in Normandy last month. After he told Breton and his wife, Simone, 25, about his experience they were eager to try it themselves and enlisted another young poet Robert Desnos, 22, in their activities.

Here at the Bretons’ fourth floor apartment, the walls covered with paintings and objects by their friends—Francis Picabia, 43, Pablo Picasso, 40, Man Ray, 32—small groups of artists and writers get together almost every evening to play games and practice artistic experiments, such as automatic writing. When their married hosts retire to bed, poet Louis Aragon, just turned 25, and others stay up late and hit the local bars.

Louis Aragon, Robert Desnos, and Andre Breton

But now these nightly seances are getting a bit out of hand. The young poets keep fighting, accusing each other of faking their trances, mostly to get Breton’s attention. The neighbors complained about the noise so much, Simone had to bribe the concierge to avoid eviction. Desnos claims he can commune with their friend, painter Marcel Duchamp, 35, in New York City; Crevel says he can predict the future. He predicted that some of the others would get sick—and they did. Picabia and Aragon have decided to stay away.

At another apartment one night, 10 participants go into a trance and try to hang themselves.

Breton figures, enough. He’ll get a good article out of this for the magazine he re-launched earlier this year, Litterature, and then he’ll take off with Simone for a holiday in Spain.

Andre Breton’s studio at 42 rue Fontaine

*****

Near Madrid, about 20 minutes by tram from city centre, at the Residencia de Estudiantes—commonly known as “the Resi”—young male students from the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts who live here walk around in British-style suits with short, trim, haircuts.

Except one.

First year art student Salvador Dali, 18, from Figueres, Catalonia, skinny and five foot seven, walks around in early 19th century English knee breeches, a long velvet coat to his knees and floppy neckties, sporting a wide-brimmed hat and a gilded cane.

Salvador Dali’s student ID card

Despite his unconventional appearance, Dali is accepted into the conversation groups of the clique known as the Ultra. They publish a student magazine of the same name.

Dali has made particular friends with one of the group members, Luis Bunuel, 22, from Aragon, who has been at the Academy for five years now. Luis has bounced around to different universities, taking up various fields of study—Engineering, Agriculture—but is enjoying his time here, wandering the city streets at night and visiting brothels.

Dali on the other hand has religiously been spending his Sunday mornings in the Prado museum, where he uses pencil and paper to sketch and analyse the works of the great masters.

His new friends in the Ultra gossip all the time about another of their number, writer Frederico Garcia Lorca, 24, who is away this semester but will be returning in January.

Bunuel tells Dali that he will definitely be impressed by Lorca and learn a lot of from him. And that he definitely should re-think those clothes.

Salvador Dali surrounded by his college friends

“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, Fall, 1922, Dublin; London; New York City, New York; and Paris

In the September issue of the Dublin Review,Domini Canis” declares that Ulysses, the recently published novel by James Joyce, 40, Irish writer living in Paris, is:

A fearful travesty on persons, happenings and intimate life of the most morbid and sickening description…spiritually offensive…[a] Cuchulain of the sewer…[an] Ossian of obscenity…[No Catholic] can even afford to be possessed of a copy of this book, for in its reading lies not only the description but the commission of a sin against the Holy Ghost…Doubtless this book was written to make angels weep and to amuse friends, but we are not sure that ‘those embattled angels of the Church, Michael’s host’ will not laugh aloud to see the failure of this frustrated Titan as he revolves and splutters hopelessly under the flood of his own vomit.”

Domini Canis,” or “Hound of the Lord,” is actually Shane Leslie, 37, Irish writer and diplomat.

Shane Leslie

*****

A longer version of the same piece appears the following month in London’s Quarterly Review, under Leslie’s real name. Leslie knows that his readership in England is more likely to be Protestant than Catholic, so he changes a few things:

As a whole, the book must remain impossible to read, and undesirable to quote…We shall not be far wrong if we describe Mr. Joyce’s work as literary Bolshevism. It is experimental, anti-Christian, chaotic, totally unmoral…From any Christian point of view this book must be proclaimed anathema, simply because it tries to pour ridicule on the most sacred themes and characters in what had been the religion of Europe for nearly two thousand years.”

In late October, poet and playwright Alfred Noyes, 42, delivers a talk to the Royal Society of Literature, which appears in the Sunday Chronicle under the title, “Rottenness in Literature”:

Alfred Noyes

It is simply the foulest book that has ever found its way into print…[In a court of law] it would be pronounced to be a corrupt mass of indescribable degradation…[This is] the extreme case of complete reduction to absurdity of what I have called ‘the literary Bolshevism of the Hour.’”

Noyes has been reading Shane Leslie, obviously.

When Leslie’s screed in The Quarterly Review is brought to the attention of the Home Office by a concerned citizen, the undersecretary instructs his department to confiscate any copies of Ulysses entering the country. Of course, he doesn’t have a copy to read himself.

*****

In New York City, Edmund Wilson, 27, managing editor of Vanity Fair, has been quite impressed by Ulysses and said so in his review in the July issue of the New Republic. He is even more impressed that, as a reward for his insight, he has received a thank you note from Joyce, written by his publisher, American bookshop owner Sylvia Beach, 35. This will make his literary friends green with envy.

Note from Sylvia Beach to Edmund Wilson

*****

In Paris, Joyce wants to let his partner, Nora Barnacle, 38, mother of their two children, know how important her support is to him. He gifts her copy number 1000 of Ulysses, with a personal inscription, and gives it to her at a dinner party. Nora says she can probably sell it.

Nora Barnacle

“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.

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, Late September, 1922, 23 rue de Boitie; and Morgan, Harjes et Cie, 14 Place Vendome, Paris

Olga Picasso, 31, is recuperating at home after an emergency operation.

She and her family—husband Pablo, 40, and their son, Paulo, almost 20 months old—were having a lovely holiday, despite the bad weather, in Dinard on the Brittany Coast.

Suddenly Olga became seriously ill and they had to rush her to the hospital in Paris, 400 km away. The five-hour trip was a nightmare:  Paolo was car sick and Pablo kept putting ice packs on Olga’s head.

She’s feeling a bit better now that she is home. But Pablo has gone back to Dinard to retrieve all the paintings and drawings he’s been working on since they arrived there in July.

Women Running on the Beach by Picasso

The Spanish painter has never learned to drive, saying that it would affect his wrists and hands. So he bought a posh new car and has hired a chauffeur to take care of the driving for him. He tells Olga that, back in Dinard, he is quite a celebrity. His arrival is in the local paper and everyone wants to see his new car.

Olga is more concerned about her “woman’s problems.”

*****

Nearby in the city, about 2 km away, American ex-patriate Harry Crosby, 24, is at his desk in the Morgan, Harjes et Cie bank in Place Vendome.

Morgan, Harjes et Cie bank in Place Vendome.

Harry’s not doing much work. He rarely does. His aunt, Jane Norton Morgan, 54, wife of the bank owner, J. P. Morgan, Jr., just turned 55, arranged this job for him. Harry had already walked out on a banking job in Boston, after only eight months of putting up with it and a six-day drinking binge.

But Aunt Jane didn’t send him off to Paris this spring just to restart his career. She wanted to get him away from his mistress, Mrs. Mary “Polly” Phelps Rodgers, 30, with whom he has been conducting a scandalous affair for the past two years. All of Boston is talking.

Didn’t work. Polly finally divorced her husband earlier this year, and at the beginning of this month she finally said yes to Harry’s most recent marriage proposal, via transatlantic cable.

Harry was over the moon. He collected on the $100 bet he’d made with his roommate, raced to Cherbourg to get the next boat, used the money to bribe officials so he wouldn’t have to quarantine, and managed to sail to New York City on the RMS Aquitania on September 3rd. He won some money gambling on the ship but used that to buy champagne for his fellow passengers. He dressed up and crashed the posh restaurant on board, but while he was eating caviar, mock turtle soup and hummingbirds on toast, a steerage inspector tossed him out.

RMS Aquitania

Harry arrived in Manhattan after six days at sea, broke, and Polly was waiting for him at the dock. They got married that day and made a quick trip to Washington, DC, to try to reconcile with his family. That didn’t work.

Wedding picture of Harry and Polly Crosby

Back in New York City they collected Polly’s two children, and the responsibility of actually being a stepfather sunk in to Harry. He disappeared for a few hours.

But all four members of the newly blended family boarded the RMS Aquitania for the trip back to Paris.

Harry returned to this cushy job, and Polly found them an impressive apartment on the Right Bank so they could move out of the hotel they had been living in. And every workday, Polly, in a stunning red bathing suit, rows her new husband—somberly dressed in a business suit, hat, umbrella and briefcase—down the Seine to Place de la Concorde. He disembarks and walks the few blocks to his job here at the family bank. Polly rows back, often to the delight of the Frenchmen who whistle and wave at her and her large breasts. She loves it.

Harry likes this life, too, but not the job. He spends a lot of time reading poetry rather than banking and has even tried writing some himself.

Right now, he thinks it’s time to leave this office and go across the street to the Ritz Hotel Bar.

“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, Fall, 1922, Detroit and Windsor Ferryport, Detroit, Michigan

Phew. He made it.

Barnet Braverman, 34, former radical newspaper editor turned boring advertising guy, has just crossed the border from Canada into the United States carrying one copy of the recently published novel Ulysses by Irishman James Joyce, 40, which has been banned in this country for being obscene.

Detroit-Windsor Ferry

If he’d been caught, he faced a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Earlier this year Barnet had been contacted by the publisher of the controversial novel, American Sylvia Beach, 35, who operates a bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Company. One of the young aspiring novelists who hangs out in her store, Ernest Hemingway, 23, had suggested Braverman, whom he’d known when they both worked in advertising in Chicago.

Braverman is excited and proud to take part in this international literary smuggling ring. He wants to stick it to the short-sighted American publishers who refused to publish Ulysses and also put one over on the censors he refers to as “Methodist smut hounds.”

So far everything has gone to plan. For $35 a month Braverman rented a small room near the office where he works in Windsor, Ontario. He told the landlord that he’s in the publishing business.

Sylvia then shipped 40 copies of the book to his Canadian address. That’s when he had to deal with the Canadian customs officials.

Canada hasn’t gotten around to banning Ulysses yet. But their duty is 25% of the value of any printed material, which would mean $300. With some fast talking, Braverman convinced the customs officer that these 700-page books, printed on fine paper, are only worth 50 cents each. So he only had to pay $6.50 for the lot and then stored the books in his rented room.

Once he gets them into the States, Braverman will send Ulysses to American customers COD so that the private express messenger company has to deliver them to get paid. And this plan avoids sending “obscene” material through the U. S. mail.

After work today, Braverman picked up one copy, wrapped it, and carried it under his arm onto the ferry. When he got off in Detroit, he unwrapped it for the border officer there, who waved him through with no problem.

Now Barnet just has to do that 39 more times.

Windsor Ferry Landing

“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.

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, 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, late July, 1922, Villa Beauregard, Grand Rue, Dinard, France

Sitting on the beach, looking over the water to St. Malo, Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, 40, is thankful that there has been a break in the rain.

Pablo and his family—his wife, Russian-Ukrainian ballerina Olga, 31, and their almost 18-month old son, Paolo, who is teething—came to Brittany from Paris a couple of weeks ago. Pablo would have preferred spending the summer in sunny Midi, but Olga wanted Brittany. After about a week, they moved out of the hotel to this villa on the beach.

Villa Beauregard, Dinard

When the weather is nice, Pablo paints outdoors; he has finished a few paintings and quite a lot of drawings of people on the beach.

But it has been mostly raining, so the tourists crowd the two casinos and the town’s hotel ballrooms. Inside their rented home, Pablo does sketches of Olga and Paolo as well as the exterior and interiors of the villa. Despite his wife’s whining about her “woman problems,” an endless stream of visiting friends, and his screaming son, Pablo has managed to produce a surprising amount of work.

The baby screaming he can understand; but the wife is just plain annoying.

Family at Sea by Pablo Picasso

“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.