THE IMPROPER BOHEMIANS by Allen Churchill

THE IMPROPER BOHEMIANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled A Re-creation of Greenwich Village in its Heyday this is a necessarily nostalgic record of the years 1912-1930 when ""Greenwich Village was the Left Bank of the U.S."" By 1918 the Village was not only conspicuous for its atmosphere which was enhanced by the low rents but it had an aura of Bohemianism deriving its chief impetus from Mabel Dodge's Evenings at Ninth St. and Fifth Ave. Where the most emancipated minds of the day exchanged ideas and sometimes lovers. He traces a pattern among the Village residents: the lost generation types who viewed the Village as a way station to Paris; youngsters hoping to live and express personalities in the community; those who later lived there but worked uptown. The Village hangouts -- bars, restaurants, tea rooms, above all, the magazines -- The Masses, Bookman, Dial, Broom, The Quill, The Little Review are chronicled according to the various Villagers who dominated the scene: Eugene O'Neill, Lincoln Steffens, Max Eastman, Walter Lippmann, John Reed, Maxwell Bodenheim, Ben Hecht, Harold Sterns, and everyone's beloved -- Edna St. Vincent Millay. Eventually the Depression and later World War II completely altered both the scene and the spirit of the Village bearing out the statement that ""In a basically conservative American character Bohemia remains only a phase, a steping stone."" An inevitably interesting record.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1959
Publisher: Dutton