The Jazz Age was not just a drastic change in the culture; it was a new dimension in consciousness. During the 1910s and 1920s America underwent a massive paradigm shift, a transition from an era of smug Victorian conformity and certainty to one of confusion and ambiguity called “modernism.” World War I had accelerated the velocity of this change, and Fitzgerald expresses this transition in attitudes early in his 1917 play The Debutante when flapper Helen Halcyon with her cigarettes and silver flask is asked by her father if she is ready to fit into the wide, wide world, and she replies, “No daddy, just taking a more licensed view of it.

— From Sharon Carson’s Introduction to This Side of Paradise

photo from Ana Horvat’s exhibit at PS1, queens, NY.  taken on 01-24-2009 by lb with my mobile.


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April 19, 2009 · 8:58 pm

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