• LOCATION 8 | Finding the Lost Generation in Montparnasse

    Ezra Pound's house and Alice B. Toklas's Apartment

    Stop when you reach No. 70 on your left. The poet Ezra Pound and his wife, Dorothy Shakespear, lived here from 1921 to 1924. Pound became notorious for his support for fascism in the 1930s. His long-suffering wife Dorothy was an abstract artist who put up with her husband’s infidelity, fascism, and insanity, in roughly that order.

    After the war and Ezra's trial on charges of treason, Dorothy supported him during the 12 years he spent in an asylum in Washington. When he was released, she took him to Italy. However, in the end, she left him in the care of his mistress Olga Rudge, and spent the rest of her life in England.

    Now, face the opposite side of the road and look for No. 75, where iron gates block off a little lane. Alice B. Toklas and her travelling companion Harriet Levy moved here in 1908, shortly after their arrival in Paris.

    In 1910, Harriet returned to the United States and Alice moved in with Gertrude Stein on the rue de Fleurus, which we will see later.

    Alice became Gertrude’s partner, cook, secretary, and all-round helper. When male writers came to see Gertrude, Alice's job was to serve tea to their wives and keep them out of the way of the great men hovering around the great woman. This arrangement deeply annoyed Zelda Fitzgerald. Zelda was not impressed by Gertrude Stein.

    Now retrace your steps about half a block, and turn right into the rue de la Grande Chaumière.

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Finding the Lost Generation in Montparnasse