American Literary Greats

After my first week back at work, I decided to pick up a novel I’d been yearning to read for quite some time; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. Published when Fitzgerald was only twenty-three years old, I was eager to read this novel based on his own experience as an undergraduate student at Princeton. Given that I’m twenty-three years old and nowhere near completing my first novel, the novel Fitzgerald penned at the start of his career inspires me in a myriad of ways.

My ongoing obsession with the Roaring Twenties goes all the way back to my high school days when I was first introduced to the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Fitzgerald. My first Jazz Age novel? The Great Gatsby, of course. English had always been my favourite and strongest subject, I adored tucking away to read and re-read our course list while diligently neglecting my math and science homework. A few chapters in, I was ready to declare the 1920s as my favourite decade, a statement I can still attest to. These characters, despite their multitude of flaws, represented glamour, intrigue and a je ne sais quoi, that we can’t help admire. Luckily, with a Bachelor of Arts in English, I’ve been able to venture further into these works. I’ve seriously enjoyed discussing the 1920s and, whenever possible, throwing in some Gertrude Stein for good measure. Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris, continued the trend, featuring an array of characters we were all familiar with, in one way or another. It’s one of those films you can watch again and again, laughing and wishing you, like Owen Wilson’s character, could transport back in time to this decade of boozing and canoodling.

I am clearly anticipating The Great Gatsby in its new film-format, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan (my favourite) as Daisy Buchanan! The music, the costumes and the sets will be oh-so-fabulous! I’m already devising a plan to score tickets to the premiere! I can’t help but explore my favourite authors previous works. After This Side of Paradise, I’ll be diving into Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden. I’m looking forward to it already!

Furthermore, who can’t resist 1920s fashion? Short hemlines, sequins, shift dresses and drop-waisted skirts are accentuated with elaborate headbands and feathers galore! Anyone who knows me is aware of my fascination with sequins and shift dresses. As much as I try to shop and dress practically, my closet is brimming with impractical and fantastic ensembles. My favourite dress is a Topshop 1920s-inspired number that suits any occasion, from New Years Eve celebration to a cocktail soirée with your girlfriends. Here are some of my favourite 1920s-inspired images:

What’s your favourite decade?

Love, Vanessa

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