“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, 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, 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, July 30, 1922, Central Park West, New York City, New York

If Irish-American lawyer and patron of the arts John Quinn, 52, wants to get out of the city as planned to spend all of August with his sister and niece in the Adirondacks, he has a bit of correspondence to catch up on.

Quinn has been corresponding with his emissary in Paris, Henri-Pierre Roche, 43, about leaving his best French paintings to the government of France, to be cared for in the Louvre. Roche has been negotiating to have Quinn acquire The Circus by Georges Seurat. Roche wrote to him at the beginning of the month about a crazy day when he and Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, 40, went flying around Paris carrying a Cezanne landscape with them in a taxi, stopping at every shop to buy up all the suitable frames they could find.

The Circus by Georges Seurat

One of the writers Quinn supports, American T. S. Eliot, 33, living in London, has written to give him power of attorney when negotiating a contract with Boni and Liveright to publish his latest work, an untitled lengthy poem. They are not sure, however, if it will be lengthy enough to appear as a book. Eliot writes that he is planning to add some notes to make it fatter. Quinn is finally getting around to reading the typescript Eliot has sent and is turning it over to his office secretary to make a copy that can be submitted to Liveright.

Typescript of poem by T. S. Eliot

Quinn is finishing off a lengthy letter to one of his Irish friends, poet and painter AE (George Russell, 55). Their mutual friend, Lady Augusta Gregory, 70, had recently asked Quinn to recommend painters for inclusion in the Hugh Lane Gallery, which she is trying to establish in memory of her nephew who went down with the Lusitania seven years ago. Quinn reports to AE that he told her that of the dead ones he would rank, in order, Cezanne, Seurat (much better than Renoir), and Rousseau. He puts Gauguin and van Gogh a bit farther down.

Of living artists he would include Picasso, Georges Braque, 40; Andre Derain, 42; and Henri Matisse, 52; in the first tier. In the second, Raoul Dufy, 45; Constantin Brancusi, 46—whom he has become good friends with—and Georges Rouault, 51.

Quinn tells AE that he would add a third tier of the living:  Juan Gris, 35; Marie Laurencin, 39; and Jacques Villon, about to turn 47, among others.

The Winged Horse by AE

Quinn’s longest letter is to another Irish friend, poet and playwright, William Butler Yeats, 57. He brings Willie up to date on the recent funeral of his father, whom Quinn had taken care of during the past 15 years in New York City. The Yeats family decided it would be better for Dad to be buried in the States, and Quinn arranged a site in upstate New York: 

If you and your sisters could see the place, I am sure you would have approved of [our] selection. When Lady Gregory was here the last time, lecturing, she told me one day, half in earnest and half in fun, that if she died in this country she wanted to be buried where she died, unless she died in Pittsburgh. She refused to be buried in Pittsburgh…One day downtown, when I was having coffee after lunch with two or three men, one of them said:  ‘Times change. Now there is [famous actress] Lillian Russell. In the old days she was supposed to have had many lovers and she was married and divorced four or five times. But years go by, and she marries again, and settles down, and finally dies in the odor of—’

‘Pittsburgh,’ said I.

Lady Gregory refused to be buried in the odor of Pittsburgh.”

Quinn ends by congratulating Yeats on his honorary degree from Trinity College and asks that Willie’s wife send him some photos of their children and Thoor Ballylee, the tower they are living in.

Now he is ready to pack up and go on a well-earned vacation.

Pittsburgh, 1912, when Lady Gregory visited with The Abbey Theatre

“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.

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 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.

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

The Dial magazine has “More Memories” by Irish playwright William Butler Yeats, just turned 57, and two line drawings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, 40. Its monthly columns include “Paris Letter” by American ex-pat poet Ezra Pound, 36, and “Dublin Letter” by the recently retired Head Librarian of the National Library of Ireland, John Eglinton, 54, actually writing from his home in Bournemouth, England. He reviews the new novel Ulysses by his fellow Dubliner, James Joyce, 40, living in Paris: 

The Dial, June 1922

I am by no means sure, however, that I have understood Mr. Joyce’s method, which is sufficiently puzzling even where he relates incidents in which I have myself taken a humble part…There is an effort and a strain in the composition of this book which makes one feel at times a concern for the author. But why should we half-kill ourselves to write masterpieces? There is a growing divergence between the literary ideals of our artists and the books which human beings want to read.”

The New York Times Book Review has a review of The Secret Adversary, the second novel from English writer Agatha Christie, 31: 

It is safe to assert that unless the reader peers into the last chapter or so of the tale, he will not know who this secret adversary is until the author chooses to reveal him…[Miss Christie] gives a sense of plausibility to the most preposterous situations and developments…[But she] has a clever prattling style that shifts easily into amusing dialogue and so aids the pleasure of the reader as he tears along with Tommy and Tuppence on the trail of the mysterious Mr. Brown. Many of the situations are a bit moth-eaten from frequent usage by other quarters, but at that Miss Christie manages to invest them with a new sense of individuality that renders them rather absorbing.”

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie, US edition

Metropolitan magazine has a piece, “Eulogy for the Flapper” by Zelda Fitzgerald, 22, who is considered to be the original flapper, as created in the two recent hit novels by her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 25: 

The flapper is deceased…They have won their case. They are blase…Flapperdom has become a game; it is no longer a philosophy.”

The Smart Set has a short story by Zelda’s husband, “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”: 

[Percy Washington boasts that his father is] by far the richest man in the world and has a diamond bigger than the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.”

The Smart Set, June 1922

The Saturday Evening Post has two pieces by friends who lunch together regularly at the midtown Manhattan Algonquin Hotel:  “Men I’m Not Married To” by free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 28, and “Women I’m Not Married To” by popular newspaper columnist FPA [Franklin Pierce Adams], 40.

Saturday Evening Post, June 1922

The Double Dealer, A National Magazine. from the South, true to its mission to publish new work by new writers has “Portrait,” a poem by recent University of Mississippi dropout, William Faulkner, 24, and “Ultimately,” a four-line poem by Toronto Star foreign correspondent Ernest Hemingway, 22, a Chicagoan currently living in Paris: 

He tried to spit out the truth

Dry-mouthed at first,

He drooled and slobbered in the end

Truth dribbling his chin.”

The Double Dealer magazine

“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 in 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 Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

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

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, May 18-19, 1922, Hotel Majestic, Avenue Kleber; and 44 rue de l’Amiral-Hamelin, Paris

THE AFTER-THEATRE DINNER PARTY:

A Teleplay

SFX:  Renard by Stravinsky

Long shot of the Paris Opera House. The camera moves in to focus on the poster for tonight’s performance: 

Then a tight shot of the wording:

RENARD

Première mondiale! Musique et livret d’Igor Stravinsky  Chorégraphie de Bronislava Nijinsky

Interprété par Les Ballets Russes, sous la direction de Serge Diaghilev

Réalisé par Ernest Ansermet  Avec des décors conçus par Pablo Picasso

The camera pulls back and takes us through the streets of the Right Bank to the entrance of the Hotel Majestic on Avenue Kleber.

We follow the camera inside and up the stairs to a private room. Stravinsky’s music is drowned out by the sounds of about 35 or 40 partygoers, formally dressed, chatting and laughing. Waiters are getting ready to serve dinner.

Speaking in front of the room is Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev, 50.

DIAGHILEV:  Thank you to our hosts for the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Schiff, who have brought together tonight the four living artists Mr. Schiff most admires [gesturing to each]:  Monsieur Picasso, Monsieur Stravinsky, Monsieur Joyce [looks around the room] Monsieur Joyce? No? And Monsieur Proust [looks around the room again] Monsieur Proust?!

As he is speaking, the camera moves around the table to give close-ups of some of the dinner guests:  Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, 40, with a Catalan sash tied around his head like a turban; his wife Olga, 30; French director Ernest Ansermet, 38; French composer Erik Satie, just turned 56; Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, 39; English patron Sydney Schiff, 53; his wife Violet, 48; and English art critic Clive Bell, 40.

DIAGHILEV:  I hope you all enjoy the dinner.

Waiters begin serving. Outside, bells chime midnight.

Camera moves around the room showing the partygoers enjoying the food and each other’s company.

Fade to the same scene showing most of the food eaten and waiters slowly clearing a few plates and starting to serve coffee.

The camera settles on the door to the room and in staggers Irish author James Joyce, 40, looking confused, poorly dressed and a bit drunk. Sydney Schiff motions for a waiter to put a chair next to him, and Joyce sits in it. He puts his head in his hands, and a waiter sets a glass of champagne in front of him.

Panning back to the door, we see Marcel Proust, 50, enter, dressed in evening clothes and wearing white gloves. A chair is placed between Sydney Schiff and Stravinsky; Proust sits there. A waiter brings him some food and drink.

PROUST, turning to Stravinsky:  Monsieur Stravinsky, doubtless you admire Beethoven?

STRAVINSKY, barely looking at him:  I detest Beethoven.

PROUST:  But, cher maitre, surely those late sonatas and quartets…

STRAVINSKY:  Worse than all the others.

Ansermet, sitting nearby, leans over to talk to both of them to avoid having this discussion become a fight.

Snoring is heard, and the camera moves to focus on Joyce, who has nodded off.

Hearing the snoring, a posh woman seated next to Clive Bell tugs on his sleeve and whispers in his ear. The two get up, put on their coats and leave together. Sydney Schiff gets up to see them out.

As soon as they leave, Joyce wakes up and Proust leans over to talk to him:

PROUST:  Ah, Monsieur Joyce, you know the Princess…

JOYCE:  No, Monsieur.

PROUST:  Ah. You know the Countess…

JOYCE:  No, Monsieur.

PROUST:  Then you know Madame…

JOYCE:  No, Monsieur.

The camera moves away but we hear the two men still chatting.

People start pushing back their chairs, gathering their coats, getting ready to leave.

Proust turns to Sydney and Violet Schiff, asking if they would like to come to his apartment.

The three leave together, with Joyce following closely behind.

Outside the hotel, a car is waiting and all four wedge themselves in.

The camera follows the car just a few blocks to 44 rue de l’Amiral-Hamelin.

Joyce starts to get out of the car after the Schiffs and Proust, but Proust gestures for him to stay in and signals to the driver to continue on. Proust heads for his building while Sydney gives the driver specific instructions and then turns with his wife to follow Proust inside.

Inside the apartment we see Proust and the Schiffs happily chatting and drinking champagne as the camera pulls back to reveal the sun coming up outside the window.

FIN

“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.

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, February 17, 1922, Closerie des Lilas, 171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris

This is a disaster.

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

Closerie des Lilas

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

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

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

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

Andre Breton by Man Ray

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, January 10, 1922, 28 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, Right Bank; and 74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, Left Bank, Paris

French writer and artist Jean Cocteau, 32, has planned this terrific grand opening for the cabaret he is fronting, Le Boeuf sur La Toit [The Ox on the Roof], on the Right Bank. He and his business partners took the name from a ballet Cocteau had written a few years ago, to a catchy tune by French composer Darius Milhaud, 29.

Le Boeuf sur le Toit

Cocteau’s own paintings are on the walls, along with others lent by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, 40. However the centerpiece is the stunning work behind the bar, L’oeil Cacodylate, by French painter Francis Picabia, about to turn 43.

L’oeil Cacodylate by Francis Picabia

It’s almost midnight and the party is going strong. Picasso is here with his young Russian ballerina wife, Olga, 30. Welsh painter Nina Hamnett, 31, has arrived late.

Cocteau looks for his friend, French writer Raymond Radiguet, 19, and finds him at the bar chatting with Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, 45. The two men aren’t enjoying the party and, to Cocteau’s dismay, grab Nina and take off to find a bouillabaisse.

To Hamnett’s dismay, Radiguet and Brancusi abandon her at the Gare de Lyon to continue their search by hopping a train to Marseilles.

Le Boeuf sur La Toit publicity card

*****

Over on the Left Bank, American ex-pats Ernest Hemingway, 22, and his wife of four months Hadley, 30, are settling in to their cramped, fourth-floor apartment above a bal musette, a bar with a dance floor presided over by the chain-smoking, accordion-playing owner.

The Hemingways arrived in Paris just a few weeks ago and have been staying at the nearby Hotel Jacob. An American friend found this apartment for them, with a mattress on the floor, no running water, and a toilet on each landing that they can smell when they climb the stairs.

The Hemingways are astounded by how cheap it is to live in Paris. In little neighborhood restaurants you can get dinner for two for 12 francs (about $1) and a bottle of wine for 60 centimes (50 cents). Hadley’s trust fund gives them $3,000 a year, and Ernest is working as the foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star. They can afford to hire a maid to clean and cook them meals and can even afford to go on skiing vacations.

Today they are off to Chamby sur Montreux, Switzerland, for two weeks so Ernest can research a piece about the Swiss tourist trade for the Star.

74 rue de Cardinal Lemoine

If you now have Milhaud’s catchy tune going through your head, you can hear the whole piece here

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

On February 3, 2022, we will be celebrating the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

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

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

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

“Such Friends”:  100 years ago, Fall, 1921, Belleville, outside of Paris

From his high perch atop the step ladder, American ex-pat Gerald Murphy, 33, can get a better view of the huge canvas he is working on, refurbishing the sets for the Ballets Russes.

Serge Diaghilev, 49, the founder and director of the ballet company, has asked Gerald, his wife Sara, just turned 38, and some other young students who are studying painting to travel out here daily to his atelier to work on restoring the sets designed for his Ballet by local artists. Such as George Braque, 39. Andre Derain, 41. Pablo Picasso, 40.

Serge Diaghilev

The Murphys jumped at the chance. Not only have they had the opportunity to meet some of the top cubist painters of the time, they get to hang out with the crowd around the Ballets Russes. Gerald is thrilled that they are not only allowed to watch rehearsals, they are expected to. And to discuss their opinions of the work.

These artists are not like the ones the Murphys have known before in America. Gerald sees Picasso as “a dark, powerful physical presence,” like a bull in a Goya painting. And the Spaniard seems particularly interested in Sara.

Their life in Paris is so much different—so much better—than what they left behind in America when they boarded the SS Cedric for Southampton, England, in June.

Gerald has taken a leave of absence from the landscape architecture course he was enrolled in at Harvard. They packed up the kids—Honoria, 3 ½; Baoth, 2; and Patrick, 8 months—and the nanny and spent some time in England visiting the stately homes that Sara had known when she lived there as a child.

Didn’t like it. Really hot summer and the gardens were all parched and brown.

So they decided to go to Paris for a bit and then head home.

But when the Murphy family arrived here in early September, their American friends convinced them to stay. Everyone’s coming to Paris.

After they had been in their furnished apartment at 2 rue Greuze for about a month, Gerald was stopped in his tracks by a display in the window of an art gallery:  Cubist paintings, like the ones he had seen in the Armory Show in New York eight years ago, by some of the same artists—Braque, Derain, Picasso.

Gerald told Sara,

That’s the kind of painting that I would like to do.”

He and Sara found a recently arrived Russian cubist/futurist, Natalia Goncharova, 40, who teaches painting in her studio on the rue de Seine in the Left Bank, and they have been taking lessons from her every day. Goncharova only allows abstract painting, nothing representational. Or, as Sara says,

No apple on a dish.”

Natalia Goncharova

Goncharova has created set designs for Diaghilev, so she told the Russian impresario about her eager American students and he immediately sensed an opportunity for free labor, getting his sets fixed up for the coming spring season.

The Murphys don’t mind volunteering their services. They have Sara’s family income of about $7,000 a year, and the franc is going for less than 20 cents on the dollar.

And in France, they can have cocktails with dinner. No Prohibition.

Set and costume designs by Picasso for the Ballets Russes

“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, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

At the end of February I will be talking about the Publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at 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 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.