“Lost Modernists” is a double-faceted phrase. First, it broadly refers to writers from the Modernist period of literature that have since fallen from the literary canon, making them contemporarily “lost.” Second, the term concurrently alludes to specific Modernist writers ascribed to comprising the Lost Generation. “Lost Generation” became a term after Gertrude Stein supposedly overheard a mechanic say, “You are all a lost generation.” Ernest Hemingway immortalized these words in an epigraph found in The Sun Also Rises. Lost Generation literature envelops a category of artists that lived through and wrote during and/or after World War I. Some of these individuals — such as Sylvia Beach, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein — were American expatriates residing in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s. Lost Generation writers are rendered “lost” due to the widespread cultural, emotional, and psychological impacts of World War I. Despite any disdain for the phrase, which Hemingway had, writers from this time period that collected their sentiments and sculpted them into writing are considered to be a part of the Lost Generation.
Due to the various connotations of “Lost Modernists,” future posts will focus on both Modernist writers who are less-known in today’s literature and culture, and also authors that specifically fall under the categorization of being a Lost Generation writer. The primary focal point of this website is to provide the public with information about these writers in the form of book synopses, biographies, interviews, supplementary information and resources, and generalized insight. Additionally, looking at not-so-popular texts by more well-known writers, here, serves to exhume and revive works that rarely receive attention in the 21st century. Focusing on genres that certain Modernist writers are not commonly associated with is another point of interest. For example, we seldom read or learn about Hemingway’s satire The Torrents of Spring, Thomas Wolfe’s short stories, or William Faulkner’s poetry.
Under the “Blog” dropdown on this website, you have the ability to explore several webpages of writings. The first option is “Lost Modernists,” which contains a broad array information about “Lost Modernist” writers and books. The second option is “Mini Authorial Profiles,” where you can read abbreviated write-ups about various writers. The third option is “Rare Books.” This tab enables you to peruse various pieces in my private collection of Modernist literature. The fourth option, “Interviews,” holds transcribed interviews with professors, fellow book collectors, bookstore personnel, literary enthusiasts, literature students, and more. Lastly, “Quotes” contains an amalgamation of an amalgamation of quotes by “Lost Modernist” writers that can be found in their novels, interviews, articles, poems, etc.
Even though this website is in its early stages, it will ideally become a place for writers — lost and found — to be recognized. Further, it will provide visitors with a plethora of information to satiate the palates of those seeking content about writers who have shaped, contorted, and influenced our conceptualizations of a novel’s style and substance. (That being said, Modernist writers that fall outside the parameters of being a “Lost Modernist” may be featured from time to time.) Interviews and works spotlighted from the aforementioned collection will also illuminate Modernist culture, zeitgeist, and literary preferences that may be the same in today’s world or not. Signed, first editions of works by James Joyce, Sylvia Beach, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Djuna Barnes, Sherwood Anderson, Thomas Wolfe, T.S. Eliot, and Ernest Hemingway are some writers complement the rare book collection of “Lost Modernist” fiction.