Paris in the 1920s
Paris, France was a very exciting place to be in the 1920s. It was one of the greatest artistic scenes in the modern world. Painters, sculptors, writers, dancers from America, England, Ireland, Russia and Spain came to the capitalsome to escape the horrible aftermath of World War I, others to escape the growing conservatism of the United States. This decade put American literature on the map: F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote and lived the "jazz age," Ezra Pound collected funds for writers, composed short operas, and wrote experimental poems, and Ernest Hemingway sat in a garret forging a brand-new American prose. "Now for some if not all of these reasons, Paris was where the twentieth century was," observed Gertrude Stein who held weekly salons throughout the 1920s. There were many different aspects to Paris during this time. It was the destination for many of the “Lost Generation” and many expatriates. Paris cafe's were a popular way to socialize and stay up on all the latest happenings.
The central area where many of these people could be found was the Left Bank. The Left Bank's geographic and cerebral hub is the Latin Quarter, which takes its name from the university tradition of studying and speaking in Latin, a practice that disappeared at the time of the French Revolution. The area is populated mainly by students and academics from the Sorbonne, the headquarters of the University of Paris. Most of the St-Germain cafés, where the likes of Sartre, Picasso and Hemingway spent their days and nights, are patronized largely by tourists now. Yet the Left Bank is far from dead. It is a lively and colorful district, rich in history and character. To the south, dwarfed beneath its 59-story Tower, lies Montparnasse, the bohemian center of interwar Paris.
The Latin Quarter developed during the 18th century into a center for popular entertainment, as bars, restaurants and cabarets could serve tax-free wine. That tradition survived even after the...