When Paris Sizzled
The 1920s Paris of Hemingway, Chanel, Cocteau, Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, and Their Friends
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
due(UK) 1st November 2016 • £19.95
When Paris Sizzled vividly portrays the City of Light during the fabulous 1920s, les Annees folles, when Parisians emerged from the horrors of war to find that a new world greeted them-one that reverberated with the hard metallic clang of the assembly line, the roar of automobiles, and the beat of jazz.
Mary McAuliffe traces a decade that saw seismic change on almost every front, from art and architecture to music, literature, fashion, entertainment, transportation, and, most notably, behavior. The epicenter of all this creativity, as well as of the era’s good times, was Montparnasse, where impoverished artists and writers found colleagues and cafes, and tourists discovered the Paris of their dreams. Major figures on the Paris scene-such as Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Picasso, Stravinsky, Diaghilev, and Proust-continued to hold sway, while others now came to prominence-including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Cole Porter, and Josephine Baker, as well as Andre Citroen, Le Corbusier, Man Ray, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, and the irrepressible Kiki of Montparnasse. Paris of the 1920s unquestionably sizzled. Yet rather than being a decade of unmitigated bliss, les Annees folles also saw an undercurrent of despair as well as the rise of ruthless organizations of the extreme right, aimed at annihilating whatever threatened tradition and order-a struggle that would escalate in the years ahead.
Through rich illustrations and evocative narrative, Mary McAuliffe brings this vibrant era to life.
Okay! I’ve cheated by not reading When Paris Sizzled yet! But I will as soon as I can get my hnds on a copy.
If you have read Dawn of the Belle Epoque, followed by Twilight of the Belle Epoque, then this third title on the explosion of so many creative arts based in Paris, indeed you might say a small quarter of Paris, into a New Century is a rush that can’t be missed.
I say ‘rush’ advisedly because her style of cramming details of all and any creatives or supporters and contacts as well as the humdrum and ‘politics’, creates a swirl of energy that cannot be ignored. Darker elements that always have their influences always find their place too. Nothing is ignored, nor would you want to miss anything from snippets of minor meetings and comments to major events.
Thus were her previous titles and here I have just as great expectations for When Paris Sizzled.