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Robert McAlmon Biography

(1896–1956), Contact, Village, The Portrait of a Generation, Being Geniuses Together, McAlmon and the Lost Generation

american generation contact portrait

American author and publisher, born in Clifton, Kansas; he attended the University of Southern California and subsequently lived in New York. With William Carlos Williams, he founded Contact (19203), a little magazine which contributed valuably to the development of American literary Modernism. In 1921 he married Winifred Bryher, who later became Hilda Doolittle's companion. They settled in Paris where, with William Bird, he established Contact Editions and the Three Mountains Press, which published works by a number of distinguished members of the ‘Lost Generation’. His own publications include Village (1924), an impressionistic evocation of youth in a typical Mid-western American community, and the poetry of The Portrait of a Generation (1926); it contains the ambitious long poem ‘The Revolving Mirror’, which includes a revealing portrait of James Joyce, with whom he was closely acquainted. He returned to America in 1929. Being Geniuses Together (1938) is an account of Paris in the 1920s, written with Kay Boyle. McAlmon and the Lost Generation (1962) consists of autobiographical fragments prepared by Robert E. Knoll, whose Robert McAlmon: Expatriate Writer and Publisher appeared in 1959.

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