Paul Bowles letter to c[harles] h[enri] f[ord] [manuscript], 1978 October.


Paul Bowles letter to c[harles] h[enri] f[ord] [manuscript], 1978 October.

Bowles reminisces about the year 1929, stating the months before the stock market crash were "ordinary enough." He notes that at the University of Virginia where he was studying "the more literary students quoted The Waste Land to each other" and "one of the fraternities took the radical step of hiring McKinney's Cotton-Pickers to play at its prom. This move was criticized by the students who objected to the idea of dancing to music made by blacks." He relates that after he dropped out of college and went to Paris his parents "were visited by a professor and his sadistic wife" who showed them a copy of "The sun also rises" about the expatriate life, after which his parents refused to support him. He describes his life in Paris as "being in a state of desperate euphoria which precluded rational thought" and mentions that he earned $8-$10 a week, listened to Cole Porter songs and attended the Russian opera and the Diaghilev Ballet. He relates an incident about Tristan Tzara and his killer Siamese cat. He describes the atmosphere in Nice where he sat in cafes in the sun, drank cafe au lait and wrote his first poems about villages in the Basses Alpes which Ford published in "Blues." Bowles concludes with his acqusition of the all the small format issues of Transition and the last two issues of Ethel Moorehead's This Quarter purchased at Sylvia Beach's but the books published by Contact and Black Sun were too expensive. After returning to New York he found Transition #13, and had tea with Carl Van Vechten who autographed 6 books for him. He also attended a New Masses ball and ended the year in a alcoholic fog in the Village.

1 item.


SNAC Resource ID: 8126339

University of Virginia. Library

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