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The Lost Generation : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

The Lost Generation

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OmenSpirits.com
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The Lost Generation

Postby OmenSpirits.com » Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:09 pm


OmenSpirits.com
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The Lost Generation

Postby OmenSpirits.com » Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:09 pm

Okay. The Lost Generation is a special done by A&E Biography some years ago about the expatriots that left for Paris to work on their craft, writers, painters, poets, etc. and I always wanted to be one of those over in Paris, doing the the same thing with a great amount of talent like them.

anyone else see this Bio?

What is the Lost Generation?
This is a article about The Lost Generation, writers who relocated to Paris in the post WWI years.

Seeking the bohemian lifestyle and rejecting the values of American materialism, a number of intellectuals, poets, artists and writers fled to France in the post World War I years. Paris was the center of it all.


American poet Gertrude Stein actually coined the expression "lost generation." Speaking to Ernest Hemingway, she said, "you are all a lost generation." The term stuck and the mystique surrounding these individuals continues to fascinate us.



Full of youthful idealism, these individuals sought the meaning of life, drank excessively, had love affairs and created some of the finest American literature to date.


There were many literary artists involved in the groups known as the Lost Generation. The three best known are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. Others usually included among the list are: Sherwood Anderson, Kay Boyle, Hart Crane, Ford Maddox Ford and Zelda Fitzgerald.


Ernest Hemingway was the Lost Generation's leader in the adaptation of the naturalistic technique in the novel. Hemingway volunteered to fight with the Italians in World War I and his Midwestern American ignorance was shattered during the resounding defeat of the Italians by the Central Powers at Caporetto. Newspapers of the time reported Hemingway, with dozens of pieces of shrapnel in his legs, had heroically carried another man out. That episode even made the newsreels in America. These war time experiences laid the groundwork of his novel, A Farewell to Arms (1929). Another of his books, The Sun Also Rises (1926) was a naturalistic and shocking expression of post-war disillusionment.


John Dos Passos had also seen the brutality of the war and questioned the meaning of contemporary life. His novel Manhatten Transfer reveals the extent of his pessimism as he indicated the hopeless futility of life in an American city.


F. Scott Fitzgerald is remembered as the portrayer of the spirit of the Jazz age. Though not strictly speaking an expatriate, he roamed Europe and visited North Africa, but returned to the US occasionally. Fitzgerald had at least two addresses in Paris between 1928 and 1930. He fulfilled the role of chronicler of the prohibition era.


His first novel, This Side of Paradise became a best-seller. But when first published, The Great Gatsby on the other hand, sold only 25,000 copies. The free spirited Fitzgerald, certain it would be a big hit, blew the publisher's advance money leasing a villa in Cannes. In the end, he owed his publishers, Scribners, money. Fitzgerald's Gatsby is the story of a somewhat refined and wealthy bootlegger whose morality is contrasted with the hypocritical attitude of most of his acquaintances. Many literary critics consider Gatsby his best work.


The impact of the war on the group of writers in the Lost Generation is aptly demonstrated by a passage from Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night (1933):


"This land here cost twenty lives a foot that summer...See that little stream--we could walk to it in two minutes. It took the British a month to walk it--a whole empire walking very slowly, dying in front and pushing forward behind. And another empire walked very slowly backward a few inches a day, leaving the dead like a million bloody rugs. No Europeans will ever do that again in this generation."


The Lost Generation writers all gained prominence in 20th century literature. Their innovations challenged assumptions about writing and expression, and paved the way for subsequent generations of writers.

jmar2
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby jmar2 » Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:11 pm

You might also call them the 'found generation', as they found a new voice of honesty and passion and used it effectively.

Thanks for article, see you in Paris,

John

OmenSpirits.com
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby OmenSpirits.com » Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:15 pm

ahhhh.... for one to dream and endless dream founded upon the edges of thoughts and ideas. To congregate with such a massive creative wave, would send one's abilities through the strata.

:( That would be wonderous!

sdruss
 

RE: The Lost Generation

Postby sdruss » Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:49 pm

I now have a new respect for "A Farewell To Arms." This puts a new spin on a novel that drove me nuts when I was younger. The only thing ate and drank in that book seemed like Vermooth and cheese, with soe breadf of course.

The lost generation is new to me, but one that I will have to explore. I think writers of today try this in their own way, me for example, I cannot write with alot of noise so I have taken great pains to create a writing room, which I dearly love and cannot for the day that I have a writing cabin nestled in the tall cedars, oaks and hickories. An old cast iron stove for heat with a large stack of firewood on the rough hewn porch that looks down onto a gently flowing stream.

That's my idea of paradise, well okay, throw in a few naked women, and then it's paradise.

Jamesaritchie
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby Jamesaritchie » Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:55 pm

I've always been in love with the "Lost Generation" of writers. For a good read about much of it, Hemingway's "nonfiction" book, "A Moveable Feast," deals with his life in Paris. It's a great read.

Though I would say the lost generation rebelled against American materialism. As a group, they made enough money to buy Paris, and half of America.

bongobro
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby bongobro » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:22 pm


jasipper
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby jasipper » Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:06 am

I know the "Bohemian" lifestyle and art were all about love. They were looking for something above themselves. Something important and meaningful. I think some of them found what they were looking for. Some didn't.

Jamesaritchie
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby Jamesaritchie » Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:14 am


jasipper
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RE: The Lost Generation

Postby jasipper » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:54 am



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