Today, I walked with McKay to Le Dome Cafe, where Hemingway, Stein, Man Ray, Picasso and countless others met. Here they created works that defined more than a generation, they created art and literature that has transcended.
The weight of history is something I’ve been pondering this first week abroad — today marks my first full week. Everywhere I go there are statues, and gardens, monuments and memorials, palaces and churches. Old things, beautiful old things.
We went in The Catacombs this morning. There are some old things down there too. Deep beneath the Paris streets are the bones there weren’t room for anymore. Six million people’s remains lay stacked neatly among the passage ways of former limestone quarries. These were living breathing people with full, rich lives. They had been a part of the history that was memorialized above. I have mixed feelings about the Ossuary, as it is formally known. In death we are equal, and of what we leave behind, our bones are not particularly valuable.
The bones of the Lost Generation aren’t valuable, no one really cares. What they left behind as a part of our cultural history, some will persist for countless generations. Not bad for a bunch of degenerate artists lost in the chaos of the post-war.