The other night I thought I was dying. I am a bit on the melodramatic side, but not when it comes to money and Josh felt a visit to the ER was necessary. Luckily for me we have a number of walk-in Emergency Room services around town, one of which was just around the corner.
Mostly it was my right side that felt as if I had either pulled all the muscles in that part of my back or my kidneys were on fire. Then a series of thoughts raced through my head.
Am I going through kidney failure? Are any of my family members a match and would they be willing to part with a kidney for poor little me?
It turned out to be kidney stones and I hope none of you ever have the misfortune of getting them.
Hopefully they are all gone. I went to the gym today feeling so so because I had to get out of the house. I'm also cutting down on the pain killers; they give me peculiar dreams.
On a brighter note, my parrot is screaming at me. She has become spoiled by Grandma who has given her a lot of attention while she was visiting. She will have to wait until I finish this review. On the computer, I am listening to a bird making far prettier but also sadder sounds (perhaps you should play it and reread my first couple of paragraphs). It is the Maiden and the Nightingale by Enrique Grenados from his Goyescas. These are love songs for the piano he made based on paintings by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. I hope you enjoy listening. This performance is by the composer himself.
He looks a bit like Salvador Dali in this photo doesn't he?
Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s by Humphrey Carpenter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was not without it good points. The first couple of chapters give us some history of the first Americans to visit Paris such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This was as informative as it was interesting. Then we get to the bulk of the book.
A lot of American writers traveled to Paris in the 1920s; for what reason will remain a mystery after you finish reading the book unless you find another source of information about the literary world in Paris and its attraction to Americans.
This book tells us nothing of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sylvia Beach, not to mention T.S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford and Ezra Pound that isn't found in a thousand other sources.
He spends an inordinate amount of time on writers that have long ago disappeared. Has anyone heard of Robert McAlmon, Kenneth Adams or Kay Boyle? Me neither. They were writers, but I don't know if they were ever successful in their own time. Their writing is not known except perhaps for the most devoted readers of that era.
But they were all part of the group that their more famous counterparts made up and they all bar hopped together and spent most of the day drunk. I don't know if this is supposed to make us think what a jolly lot these bohemians were or that being bohemian is something glamorous and exciting, but to me it all sounded boring.
And not only that, they all seemed to loathe each other. Hemingway took it out in his stories, but the others were also contemptuous of all the other writes. They truly seemed a lost generation.
In fact by the time I finished reading the book I was surprised that any one of them was able to produce anything worth reading at all. I'll assume that they made their sober moments count. Or they were exceptionally talented writers even inebriated.
I did appreciate the map on the inside of the book's cover; having just visited Paris last Christmas, I could place their hang outs in my mind.
All in all, not a bad read, but I would certainly look to other sources for more thorough or original information.
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My question to the reader: Can you tell me of a good source about Americans in Paris in the Twenties? Or any time? One that can tell us why creative Americans gravitated to Paris?
Well, my work here is done. I'm taking Hercaloo and a book outside to read and visit with the piggies. A good day to all!