1920s Quotes

Quotes tagged as "1920s" (showing 1-30 of 43)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Agatha Christie
“Now I am old-fashioned. A woman, I consider, should be womanly. I have no patience with the modern neurotic girl who jazzes from morning to night, smokes like a chimney, and uses language which would make a billingsgate fishwoman blush!”
Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Links

Colleen Moore
“They were smart and sophisticated, with an air of independence about them, and so casual about their looks and clothes and manners as to be almost slapdash. I don't know if I realized as soon as I began seeing them that they represented the wave of the future, but I do know I was drawn to them. I shared their restlessness, understood their determination to free themselves of the Victorian shackles of the pre-World War I era and find out for themselves what life was all about.”
Colleen Moore

Joshua Zeitz
“(…) the New Woman of the 1920s boldly asserted her right to dance, drink, smoke, and date—to work her own property, to live free of the strictures that governed her mother’s generation. (…) She flouted Victorian-era conventions and scandalized her parents. In many ways, she controlled her own destiny.”
Joshua Zeitz, Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern

Noël Coward
“She's a self-conscious vampire ... and she goes about using sex as a sort of shrimping net.”
Noel Coward

Lucy Foley
“In many ways my life has been rather like a record of the lost and found. Perhaps all lives are like that.”
Lucy Foley, The Book of Lost and Found

William  Kennedy
“Well-lit streets discourage sin, but don't overdo it.”
William Kennedy, Roscoe

Malcolm Cowley
“Everywhere was the atmosphere of a long debauch that had to end; the orchestras played too fast, the stakes were too high at the gambling tables, the players were so empty, so tired, secretly hoping to vanish together into sleep and ... maybe wake on a very distant morning and hear nothing, whatever, no shouting or crooning, find all things changed.”
Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s

William McIlvanney
“Son, it’s easy tae be guid oan a fu’ belly. It’s when a man’s goat two bites an’ wan o’ them he’ll share, ye ken whit he’s made o’. Listen. In ony country in the world, who are the only folk that ken whit it’s like tae leeve in that country? The folk at the boattom. The rest can a’ kid themselves oan. They can afford to hiv fancy ideas. We canny, son. We loass the wan idea o’ who we are, we’re deid. We’re wan anither. Tae survive, we’ll respect wan anither. When the time comes, we’ll a’ move forward thegither, or nut at all.”
William McIlvanney, Docherty

William  Kennedy
“Roscoe was spiritually illegal, a bootlegger of the soul, a mythic creature made of words and wit and wild deeds and boundless memory.”
William Kennedy, Roscoe

Dita Von Teese
“The prosecutor uttered the party line that would distinguish revue from burlesque for the next thirty years. "The difference is movement. On Broadway, unadorned female figures are used to artistic advantage in tableaux. They do not move.”
Dita Von Teese, Burlesque and the Art of the Teese / Fetish and the Art of the Teese

Lucy Foley
“people are here to do reckless things, stupid things they might later regret, though the point of it all is in not regretting. For the idea of the party is youth.”
Lucy Foley

Ellen Read
“There is always stardust in my eyes when I look at you, my love.”
Ellen Read, The Dragon Sleeps

Anita Loos
“December 1931 was drawing to a close and Hollywood was aglow with Christmas spirit, undaunted by sizzling sunshine, palm trees, and the dry encircling hills that would never feel the kiss of snow. But the “Know-how” that would transform the Chaplin studio in the frozen Chilkoot Pass could easily achieve a white Christmas. In Wilson’s Rolls-Royce convertible, we drove past Christmas trees heavy with fake snow. An entire estate on Fairfax Avenue had been draped in cotton batting; carolers straight out of Dickens were at its gate, perspiring under mufflers and greatcoats. The street signs on Hollywood Boulevard had been changed to Santa Claus Lane. They drooped with heavy glass icicles. A parade was led by a band blaring out “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” followed by Santa driving a sleigh. But Hollywood granted Santa the extra dimension of a Sweetheart and seated beside him was Clara Bow (or was it Mabel Normand?)”
Anita Loos, Kiss Hollywood Goodbye
tags: 1920s

Lucy Moore
“The crash did not cause the Depression: that was part of a far broader malaise. What it did was expose the weaknesses that underpinned the confidence and optimism of the 1920s - poor distribution of income, a weak banking structure and insufficient regulations, the economy's dependence on new consumer goods, the over-extension of industry and the Government's blind belief that promoting business interests would make America uniformly prosperous.”
Lucy Moore, Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties

Jami Attenberg
“His words are so slippery they might slide right off the page.”
Jami Attenberg, Saint Mazie

P.G. Wodehouse
“Well, ha-jolly-ha to YOU, young Stiffie-- with knobs on!”
P.G. Wodehouse

William  Kennedy
“Billy's native arrogance might well have been a gift of miffed genes, then come to splendid definition through the tests to which a street like Broadway puts a young man on the make: tests designed to refine a breed, enforce a code, exclude all simps and gumps, and deliver into the city's life a man worthy of functioning in this age of nocturnal supremacy. Men like Billy Phelan, forged in the brass of Broadway, send, in the time of their splendor, telegraphic statements of mission: I, you bums, am a winner. And that message, however devoid of Christ-like other-cheekery, dooms the faint-hearted Scottys of the night, who must sludge along, never knowing how it feels to spill over with the small change of sassiness, how it feels to leave the spillover on the floor, more where that came from, pal. Leave it for the sweeper.”
William Kennedy, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game

Lucy Foley
“The Bright Young People. The press love and hate them - they celebrate them, they vilify them, and they know full well that they would not shift nearly so many papers without them.”
Lucy Foley

Ellen Read
“The spicy sweet fragrance of the large full blooms, which rambled over the side and top of an arched metal framework, welcomed them as they walked beneath them. Shafts of sunlight pierced the canopy, dust motes floating languorously in the golden beams that spotlighted clumps of wayward snowdrops growing in the lawn.”
Ellen Read, The Dragon Sleeps

“When he was sixteen (1923), Peter got a job as copy boy on a New York tabloid and entered a saltier, more hard-bitten world. It was a roaring, lush, lousy tabloid. Everybody was drunk all the time. The managing editor hired girl reporters on condition they sleep with him. New staffs moved in and were mowed down like the Light Brigade. Chorus girls, debutantes, and widows suspected of murdering their husbands were perched on desks with their thighs showing to be photographed. An endless parade of cranks, freaks, ministers, actresses, and politicians moved through the big babbling room, day and night. The city editor went crazy one afternoon. So did his successor. And among the typewriters and the paste pots and the thighs, Peter walked with simple delight.

A young reporter took a liking to him, found he was homeless, and insisted he share an elegant bachelor apartment uptown. There were constant parties, starting at dawn and ending as the hush of twilight settled over the city. People went to work and went to parties until they got the two pursuits confused and never noticed the difference. Whisky was oxygen, women were furniture, thinking was masochism.”
Jack Iams

John Dos Passos
“But you just watch, little girl. I'm goin' to show 'em. In five years they'll come crawlin' to me on their bellies. I don't know what it is, but I got a kind of feel for the big money.”
John Dos Passos, The Big Money

Liu Cixin
“When they passed a maintenance site in the road bed, Einstein stopped next to a worker who was smashing stones and silently observed this boy with torn clothes and dirty face and hands. He asked your father how much the boy earned each day. After asking the boy, he told Einstein: five cents.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem

“How paltry are the traces left behind by a life, even one concentrated around those supposed things of permanence called words. We spend our time upon the earth and then disappear, and only one one-thousandth of what we were lasts. We send all those bottles out into the ocean and so few wash up on shore.”
john darnton, Almost a Family: A Memoir

Richard Finney
“I see the reports of Anson Hunter's death have been greatly exaggerated... and I trust so are his war stories.”
Richard Finney, Unknown Book 12735975

“Almost immediately after jazz musicians arrived in Paris, they began to gather in two of the city’s most important creative neighborhoods: Montmartre and Montparnasse, respectively the Right and Left Bank haunts of artists, intellectuals, poets, and musicians since the late nineteenth century. Performing in these high-profile and popular entertainment districts could give an advantage to jazz musicians because Parisians and tourists already knew to go there when they wanted to spend a night out on the town. As hubs of artistic imagination and experimentation, Montmartre and Montparnasse therefore attracted the kinds of audiences that might appreciate the new and thrilling sounds of jazz. For many listeners, these locations leant the music something of their own exciting aura, and the early success of jazz in Paris probably had at least as much to do with musicians playing there as did other factors.

In spite of their similarities, however, by the 1920s these neighborhoods were on two very different paths, each representing competing visions of what France could become after the war. And the reactions to jazz in each place became important markers of the difference between the two areas and visions. Montmartre was legendary as the late-nineteenth-century capital of “bohemian Paris,” where French artists had gathered and cabaret songs had filled the air. In its heyday, Montmartre was one of the centers of popular entertainment, and its artists prided themselves on flying in the face of respectable middle-class values. But by the 1920s, Montmartre represented an established artistic tradition, not the challenge to bourgeois life that it had been at the fin de siècle. Entertainment culture was rapidly changing both in substance and style in the postwar era, and a desire for new sounds, including foreign music and exotic art, was quickly replacing the love for the cabarets’ French chansons. Jazz was not entirely to blame for such changes, of course. Commercial pressures, especially the rapidly growing tourist trade, eroded the popularity of old Montmartre cabarets, which were not always able to compete with the newer music halls and dance halls. Yet jazz bore much of the criticism from those who saw the changes in Montmartre as the death of French popular entertainment. Montparnasse, on the other hand, was the face of a modern Paris. It was the international crossroads where an ever changing mixture of people celebrated, rather than lamented, cosmopolitanism and exoticism in all its forms, especially in jazz bands. These different attitudes within the entertainment districts and their institutions reflected the impact of the broader trends at work in Paris—the influx of foreign populations, for example, or the advent of cars and electricity on city streets as indicators of modern technology—and the possible consequences for French culture. Jazz was at the confluence of these trends, and it became a convenient symbol for the struggle they represented.”
Jeffrey H. Jackson, Making Jazz French: Music and Modern Life in Interwar Paris

Ellen Read
“Alexandra took the rose and lifted it to her face. The fragrance was intoxicating and the soft petals tickled her lips, as they must have done Benedict’s. It was as if he had kissed her. A shiver of delight caressed her body and she felt the warmth of a blush on her throat and cheeks.”
Ellen Read, The Dragon Sleeps

Sarah Addison Allen
“The picnic table in the photo was an old door set up on sawhorses, and the seats were old tree stumps, or maybe thick pieces of firewood, topped with square cushions. Six men were sitting there, not looking at the camera, but at the beautiful woman with long, dark hair, almost to her waist, standing at the head of the table. She was smiling, her arms outstretched, as if welcoming everyone to her world. The apple tree in the background, just barely visible, was stretching a single limb out to her, as if wanting to be in the photo with her.
Even it looked a little in love with her.”
Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“... face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
tags: 1920s

Genevieve Valentine
“She sighs, breathing smoke through her lips. "Might as well dance.”
Genevieve Valentine, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

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