Echoes of the Jazz Age


The word jazz in its progress toward respectability has meant first sex, then dancing, then music.

It is associated with a state of nervous stimulation, not unlike that of big cities on the edge of a war zone.

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An age of excess


It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire. A Stuffed Shirt, squirming to blackmail in a lifelike way, sat upon the throne of the United States. A stylish young man hurried over to represent to us the throne of England.

A world of girls yearned for the young Englishman. The old American groaned in his sleep as he waited to be poisoned by his wife, upon the advice of the female Rasputin who then made the ultimate decision in our national affairs. But such matters apart, we had things our way at last.

With Americans ordering suits by the gross in London, the Bond Street tailors perforce agreed to moderate their cut to the American long-waisted figure and loose-fitting taste, something subtle passed to America, the style of man.

During the Renaissance, Francis the First looked to Florence to trim his leg. Seventeenth-century England aped the court of France, and fifty years ago the German Guards officer bought his civilian clothes in London. Gentleman's clothes—symbol of "the power that man must hold and that passes from race to race."

We were the most powerful nation. Who could tell us any longer what was fashionable and what was fun? Isolated during the European War, we had begun combing the unknown South and West for folkways and pastimes and there were more ready to hand.


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Mots clés : Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald, charleston, age of art, age of excess