1 minute read

Lost Generation, The

The Sun also Rises, A Moveable Feast, Being Geniuses Together, Exile's Return

the term for the American and British writers who chose to live in Europe, chiefly in Paris, during the 1920s. The designation was supplied by Gertrude Stein; her remark that ‘You are all a lost generation’ was used by Ernest Hemingway, a leading member of the group, to preface The Sun also Rises (1926), which forms a vivid fictionalized account of the milieu and attitudes of the literary expatriates thus described. Hemingway's A Moveable Feast (1964) consists of a series of factual reminiscences of his associates in Paris, among them F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, and James Joyce; other notable members of the Lost Generation include Malcolm Cowley, Robert McAlmon, Archibald MacLeish, John Dos Passos, E. E. Cummings, and Hart Crane. Being Geniuses Together (1938) contains McAlmon's impressions of the period. Cowley's Exile's Return (1934, revised edition 1951) examines the psychology of the young American authors who migrated to Europe from 1920 onward; their dissent, he concludes, was personal and aesthetic rather than political in motivation, but was none the less indicative of a thoroughgoing dissatisfaction with the socio-economic and cultural climate of the USA after the First World War. The deep disil-lusionment with which Pound left Britain in 1920 is expressed in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920). Broom (19214), Secession (19224), transition, the Transatlantic Review, and, in its later years, the Little Review are the principal magazines associated with the writers of the Lost Generation, most of whom had returned to their countries of origin or gone elsewhere by 1930.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lights of Bohemia to Love in Livery