Literary New Orleans
During the 1920s, New Orleans became known as the poor man’s Paris thus attracting the bohemian crowds. Artists and writers alike sought inspiration in its architecture, unique culture, and seedy underbelly.The cheap lifestyle was an added bonus for those striving to earn a living via their creativity. Hemingway, Faulkner, Welty, Williams, Chopin, and Capote all visited the city and drew inspiration. The famous DoubleDealer literary/art magazine was founded in 1921 and ran through 1926. Despite its short run, it did gain national attention. It was the most significant literary magazine in the Southern United States in the 1920s; publishing Hart Crane, Robert Penn Warren, Thornton Wilder, Ernest Hemingway, and Djuna Barnes to name a few. Many literary icons immortalized either the city or the city’s various landmarks in their works. Hemingway wrote about the Hotel Monteleone in A Night Before Battle. Tennessee Williams was describing New Orleans as much as he was depicting the brute Stanley Kowalski in his play A Streetcar Named Desire. Even in recent times, New Orleans still moves authors to write about her. Authors such as Tom Robbins who partially set his novel Jitterbug Perfume here. New Orleans has changed since the 1920s. The price of living continues to increase but it continues to lure those looking for a muse. Come visit in August. I know that sounds counter intuitive because the city is an unbearable stew but it is a gritty reality that many of us have forgotten in our climate controlled existences. Grab a cocktail, stroll among the old architecture, and sweat it all out dancing to Gypsy Jazz on a street corner. Who knows, maybe as the hours wane into the early morning without the temperature falling and the rum soaks the blood, you too will be inspired to write poetry for that person moving slow and sweet to this city’s heartbeat.
Crescent City Historic Tours