Gertrude Stein came up with the expression:The Lost Generation, after she encountered a young car attendant who failed to impress her with his mechanic skills. The garage owner confided that young men were easy to train, compared with those in their mid-twenties to thirties who had served in WWI. He called them the lost generation – une génération perdue. Ernest Hemingway popularized the term in his novel “The Sun Also Rises” and gives credit to Gertrude Stein. It came to refer to a cohort that came of age during WWI and included distinguished artists such as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos, Waldo Pierce, Isadora Duncan, Alan Seeger, Erich Maria Remarque and Ford Madox Ford.
Born in 1873, Ford Madox Ford was a prominent English novelist and editor. At the start of WWI, he worked with the British War Propaganda Bureau, writing two propaganda books. On July 30, 1915, at the age of 41, he joined the Welch Regiment and was sent to France. This decision marked the end of his cooperation with the British propaganda machine and changed the direction of his literary endeavours.
As I look forward to a new year, I am inspired by Ford Madox Ford. When confronted with the reality of conflict, he chose a different path – the truth. May we remember his courage as we move forward… Continue reading
Every Christmas, I listen to In the Bleak Mid-Winter, never realizing the connection to Art Nouveau and the Pre-Raphaelites. That is, until recently. Dante Rossetti’s (one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelites) kid sister, Christina, wrote the poem which was set as a Christmas carol by Gustav Holst and then by Harold Darke. As an aside, Christina was the model for one of Dante Rossetti’s most famous paintings: The Girlhood of Mary Virgin.
On Christmas Eve 1863, William Makepeace Thackeray passed away. He is most famous for his satirical works, specifically Vanity Fair, a mocking portrayal of English society. Even though he experienced great success as a writer, even hailed as equal to Charles Dickens, his personal life was marked by tragedy. His second child, Jane, died at eight months. After the birth of their third child, his wife, Isabella Gethin Shawe, succumbed to depression. Even though he left no stone “un-turned” in his desperate search for a cure, she was eventually confined to a home outside of Paris. He once said, “To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best.”
The Mahogany Tree is a Christmas poem that looks back fondly on past Christmas holidays that were spent happily under a huge mahogany tree, which served as shade and a place to house joyful Christmas memories.
May we remember that this Christmas we are making memories for all that follow.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends! Continue reading