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Author Research

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Authors Hanging Out with Other Authors: Cultural Circles

By Dr. William Kumbier

Sometimes times and circumstances bring authors together in intellectually and artistically prolific literary movements or circles.  When this happens, we can learn a lot about an author by exploring the author’s interactions with other writers or artists in the same cultural milieu.  Examples of celebrated, intriguing literary circles include the “Lost Generation,” American expatriate writers living and working in Paris in the 1920s; the African-American writers of the Harlem Renaissance; the Beat Poets; the British Romantics—Byron, Shelley and Mary Shelley—who lived, traveled and wrote together in Europe; and the French writers and artists—Baudelaire, Flaubert, Manet, Zola, Cézanne and others—who interacted in Paris in the second half of the nineteenth century.   If you’re interested in an author and you discover that the author was connected with a literary circle, you probably will want to read more about that circle—and that’s usually pretty exciting, stimulating reading!

Midnight in Paris

Owen Wilson's character meets F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Hemingway and the surrealist circles while wondering the streets of Paris looking for inspiration for his next book.

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