The Continual Pilgrimage: American Writers in Paris, 1944-1960
The pilgrimage of American writers to Paris began with Henry James over a century ago, and has continued in waves ever since. This book is not ... Show synopsis The pilgrimage of American writers to Paris began with Henry James over a century ago, and has continued in waves ever since. This book is not concerned with the 'lost generation' whose exploits between the wars have been extensively chronicled, although Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein do still preside over the opening years of the period it covers. Post-liberation Paris was where James Baldwin sought refuge from America's racism and anti-homosexualism, and found his voice; where Irwin Shaw's hospitality mixed Hollywood celebrities with struggling writers; where Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso caroused through the night at the 'Beat Hotel' and tried to imagine what William Burroughs could do with his chaotic "Naked Lunch". Others in search of artistic freedom included Richard Wright, William Styron, James Jones and Chester Hines. The era saw the rebirth of English-language publishing in Paris. The founders of "Merlin" magazine featured Samuel Beckett in every issue, and then, when they ran out of funds, joined forces with Maurice Girodias, whose press published not only their pseudonymous erotica but also the works of Nabakov, Beckett and Burroughs.