Tender is the Night: Art Deco, dancing, jazz and the lost generation.
“I want to give a really BAD party. I mean it. I want to give a party where there’s a brawl and seductions and people going home with their feelings hurt and women passed out in the cabinet de toilette. You wait and see.” - Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
In the aftermath of World War I, a group of young adults, from Europe and America known as the Lost Generation emerged. Gertrude Stein, American novelist and poet, first coined this phrase - she had witnessed the owner of a garage chastising his young employee with the comment, “You are a lost generation”.
The concept behind the expression Lost Generation referred to the horrific disillusionment and lack of purpose felt by many young people who had lived through the war. Having seen pointless death on a huge scale, many lost faith and belief in traditional values. Along with disillusionment, those who survived the war suffered from survivors’ guilt. Fitzgerald described them as: a generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken.
With moral principles shattered, hedonism, aimlessness and focus on material wealth ensued and the Lost Generation started exploring their own set of values. With decadence and panache, youth disregarded the traditional morals of their elders, demanding more from life and craving the very best that life could offer. They lived for the moment, life became faster and there was an almost manic determination to endlessly party.
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