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Lost Generation

Vocabulary related: lost - generation

Related: Jazz Age - Paris - Gertrude Stein - Sylvia Beach - American literature

Era: 1920s - 1930s

Definition (cultural movement)

The term Lost Generation was coined by Gertrude Stein to refer to a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. Significant members included Ernest

More generally, the term is being used for the generation of young people coming of age in the United States during and shortly after World War I. For this reason, the generation is sometimes known as the World War I Generation or the Roaring 20s Generation. In Europe, they are most often known as the Generation of 1914, named after the year World War I began. In France, the country in which many expatriates settled, they are called the Génération au Feu.

William Strauss and Neil Howe in their book Generations list this generation's birth years as 1883 to 1900. Their typical grandparents were the Gilded Generation; their parents were the Progressive Generation and Missionary Generation. Their children were the G.I. Generation and Silent Generation; their typical grandchildren were Baby boomers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Generation, Feb 2004

Ada 'Bricktop' Smith [...]

For all the books and films that have been done about painters and writers who went to Paris, far less has been written about the lives of musicians from the United States who settled there, some for a while, a few for their whole lives. Yet American jazz musicians have felt the influence of that city on their creative abilities no less than did the Lost Generation of American writers after World War I and the impressionists and their successors before them. Much of their world, and of jazz itself, is still there to be seen and enjoyed.

Paris Was a Woman (1995) - Greta Schiller

  • Paris Was a Woman (1995) - Greta Schiller [Amazon.com]
    Andrea Weiss wrote Paris Was A Woman which contains so much more than any video could hope to include... but the film is an excellent glimpse and overview of extraordinary American women, who relocated to the left bank of Paris in the 1920's. They stayed during the war and amidst the bombings, from their sisterhood, arose some of the best classical literature known today. See Radcliffe Hall, Djuna Woods, Natalie Clifford Barney (my favorite), Collette (35+ years before "Gigi" hit broadway), Dolly Madison, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Tolkas as well as James Joyce, Ernest Hemmingway and Pablo Picasso... and their loves, struggles and glorious triumphs. This film (and book)is moving, highly informative and amusing, too. So many heroines and talented artists and writers in one cultural place during one turbulent decade! I, absolutely, had to own the book! A definite must see and must read! --An Amazon.com Customer

    American Expatriate Writing and the Paris Moment: Modernism and Place (1992) - Donald Pizer

    American Expatriate Writing and the Paris Moment: Modernism and Place (1992) - Donald Pizer [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Dan Goffman's chapter on Paris 20th century bohemian culture in Counterculture Through the Ages : From Abraham to Acid House (2004) is partly based on this book.

    Amazon review
    This scholarly study examines important literary works by giants of the modernist movement, specifically books written between the world wars. Pizer is primarily concerned with distinctly resonant responses to "the mythic reality of Paris," as manifest in the works of such major figures as Dos Passos, Fitzgerald, Nin, and Miller. Paris as a setting is analyzed, and likewise the ways in which the city presumably nourished creative impulses. Pizer looks at varying forms of modernism in autobiographies, journals, and novels, relating work of this period by Stein and Hemingway to the cubist movement in the visual arts. Pizer's reasoning is generally accessible and his insights are often stimulating. Alice Joyce

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