It is hard to believe June is upon us Unlike last year, at least for me, this year is speedily rushing by. My reading and blogging has picked up, my health issues have stabilized and I have been out and about, taking long drives and exploring historic sites, something I love to do. Olinda Oil Museum, anyone? Yes, I literally “went there!”
For Jazz Age June I am reading three novels, a book of poetry and a collection of short stories, all published 100 years ago in 1922.
Nineteen twenty-two is an important year for literature. Ulysses, The Waste Land, Jacob’s Room, The Veleveteen Rabbit, The Enchanted April and so many other greats. I have chosen to concentrate this month on a few others, some well-known, others not.
Looking through the books I have on hand I discovered these were already on my shelf:
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
James Weldon Johnson, ed., The Book of American Negro Poetry
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
Several short stories by HP Lovecraft
I didn’t have a great reading experience with The Great Gatsby, but I am willing to try another one of Fitzgerald’s work. Siddhartha is a reread, but high school was a very long time ago. The Book of American Negro Poetry was in my grandparent’s library that I inherited and I have only looked through it briefly. Babbitt has been on my shelf for ages, so it is time to see what that is about. And HP Lovecraft, well, he’s a particular favorite of mine.
There is something about the 1920s. Whether it’s Art Deco, silent films, fashion, popular culture-there is some kind of attraction for me. I’ve taken walking tours in various cities including downtown LA, Chicago, New York gaping at the buildings and interiors of the period imagining myself in an elaborate living room at a dinner party or lazing around my beautiful art deco bedroom. I look at photographs of people, neighborhood buildings and I am drawn into this world. Past life? Well, it’s so visceral, I wouldn’t be surprised!
Some important worldwide moments in 1922:
In October, the British Broadcasting Company is formed.
Reader’s Digest Magazine begins publication in February.
A treaty between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia (modern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) forms the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in December.
In March, the German silent film Nosferatu premieres in Berlin.
The first successful treatment of insulin for diabetes is given in January to a 14 year-old boy in Canada.
In November, the British Egyptologist Howard Carter, begins the excavation of King Tut’s tomb.
Please let me know in the comments if you plan to read something from 1922.
I will be taking a blogging break in July. I will be back in August and I am especially looking forward to @austeninaugust with a reread of Mansfield Park. And it looks like Adam will again host some Jane Austen reading events!