“There’s never any ending to Paris” Creating a Literary Myth: Geocritical Aspects of the Works of the Lost Generation
This essay proposes to present and analyse the pictures or representations of Paris in Ernest Hemingway’s, Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s and Gertrude Stein’s different works. The theoretical framework of the piece is geocriticism by which the author attempts to discover how these works contributed to the literary construction of the French capital. The other objective of the essay is however to show the birth of a Parisian literary myth. After giving a brief overview of recent spatiality studies, the paper explains in-depth the geocritical method by the analysis of certain extracts of the different literary perceptions of Paris in the twenties, written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald (Babylon Revisited), Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast) and Gertrude Stein (Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Paris, France). The latter approach can help to shed some light on the reasons why these expatriates (American and British writers, artists) came to Paris in the first place and what attracted them so much. Later on, the paper explains that the artists of the Lost Generation were disoriented and aimless after the war, so they headed to Paris to find some ‘old’ values and rebuild their lifes. These authors found there a new and very inspirational atmosphere, new friends, new goals, they started interesting publishing initiatives and searched for their proper literary voices. In the meantime, by representing the always exciting and crowded Parisian life, they created a literary myth of Paris which considers the city as safe haven for artists and writers – saying that Paris is a never resting “moveable feast”.
Copyright (c) 2016 Krisztina Sárdi
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