Thursday, 3 July 2014

Paris was Yesterday - 1927

This is a post for Paris in July hosted by Tamara, Karen, Adria&Vicki, Bellezza and Nicole.

Let's see what happened in Paris, France during the year 1927 and what Janet Flanner has to say about it.

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

"The death of Claude Monet, first Impressionist, marks the end of a period. He was what remained of 19th century art. He outlived all of his intellectual generation except Georges Clemenceau, in whose presence he died, as if to use all his friendly contemporaries to the bitter end. It was in Zola's presence that Monet first saw Manet's works. Manet inspired Monet; Monet inspired Zola, then a poor journalist. ...
It was the greatest aesthetic and financial blunder critics ever made, if one excepts the one they made a few years later in regard to Cézanne and would probably make today if another great innovator appeared. But the public and the government suffered most. In 1921 the Beaux-Arts paid through its nose for Monet's 'Les Femmes au Jardin.' Had they not been so busy laughing, they could have had it in '76 for a song. Monet's coffin was placed on a village handcart and two peasants in Sunday clothes pushed him to his grave in Giverny. Clemenceau followed on foot. "

Poor artists, so many of them are only appreciated after their death. Monet also gave something else than his beautiful paintings to the world; he built himself a house and garden in Giverny, which is today a museum. I visited there last year and the garden is absolutely fantastic. You can easily see where he got his inspiration. Well, worth a visit.


"Sylvia Beach, Parisian publiser of Joyce's Ulysses, has collected a protest against Samuel Roth's priating of her unprotected bookrights in America. The list of signatures is amazing in its literary dignity and length. Already over two hundred of the most important intellectual names of Europe, England, and sometimes the United States have rallied to her aid. Many of the names call up the old generation and the older animosities practiced before Joyce was even known to be alive. W.B. Yeats, ...Somerset Maugham, Knut Hamsun, Maurice Maeterlinck, H.G. Wells, and Rebecca West are only a few. One day this protest with annexed signatures, will be a bibliophile's item. Today it is a grand gesture to Joyce and Miss Beach and to the writing craft's spirited solidarity. "

Hugo Père, Hugo Fils

"A centenary of Victor Hugo is being celebrated under the title of One Hundred Years of Romanticism, the preface to his Cromwell (1827) having propelled him to the head of that movement. Hugo's struggles were more painful than his final glory led us to believe. His success came only at sixty with Les Misérables, first entitled Les Misères, Jean Valjean having been named Jean Tréjean, then Jean Vlajean, before the familiar patronymic was finally selected. Hugo wrote three distinct handwritings. His son, Charles, also wrote three distinct spirit-writings, as M. Gustave Simon's Victor Hugo et les tables tournantes à Jersey proves. During these mediumistic fits, young Charles wrote alexandrines in the spirit of Shakespeare, Corneille and Dante. However, this happened exclusively in Jersey and was never allowed to go any farther. "

Captain Charles Lindbergh

"The night (May 12, 1927) a young tourist named Captain Charles Lindbergh landed his plane The
Spirit of St. Louis at Le Bourget, concluding his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean, the Paris news vendors screamed throught the streets, Bonnes nouvelles! The American has arrived.'..."

Diaghilev's Russian Ballet
"The twentieth anniversary of the founding of Diaghilev's Russian Ballet, with Stravinsky as tonic and dominant, has just been held here at the Théatre Sarah-Bernhardt. Its program includes three novelties as the major attractions that the present Ballet season offers Paris. ..."

Émile Zola (1840-1902)

"The recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Émile XZola, because it recalls his wretched life, is a sad literary French affair. Placidly accepted by us Anglo-Saxons as a library classic, his compatriots find
him still living enough to redissect, and the agony begins afresh. His general influence on French writers today is null, Flaubert and Maupassant having won the disciples where naturalism failed. Today Zola is read only as a bargain by workmen picking up his novels for a few sous from the bouquinistes on the quais. 'I shall be appreciated twenty years after my death,' he cried with hope. His prophecy missed its accuracy by a margin of two years: in 1920 a reprint of his works was effected without much comment. 'Never,' remarks the Paris literary critic Marius Boisson, 'was a writer so insulted, so covered with odium and caricature.'...."

Turned out to be quite a few entries for 1927, so I save two for next time; Isadora Duncan and Marcel Proust.

Since this post ended up with all this serious looking men, let's finish with a couple of paintings of Monet, to make it a little bit more joyful!

This place you can see in his garden
still today.

Autumn 2013, so not so many
flowers as above.

Going up to his house.
Most of the flowers gone this
autumn day.


  1. It is so sad about the number of artists only appreciated after their death. Vincent Van Gogh comes particularly to my mind, especially after reading Lust For Life. That was a great book filled with imagery of his life I'll never forget. Also, I think The Moon and Sixpence is about Agustin which was almost as good.

  2. That is true. Van Gogh is a very sad example. I have not read "The Moon and the Sixpence" although I have heard about it for ages. Something for the future. I think it is loosely based on Paul Gaugain's life, which is also something very special.

  3. I just recently heard of Janet Flanner and hope to find time this July to read some of her works.

    I was privileged to visit Giverny when I was in Paris in 2011 - absolutely breathtaking gardens. I then visited the Musee de l'Orangerie and was in complete awe of being surrounded by all the waterlilies.

    Captivating post of the year 1927 ... which happened to be the year before my parents were born.