Jan and Cora Gordon, How Places Change: La Closerie des Lilas 1930

La Closerie des Lilas had been the scene of Paul Fort's vibrant Tuesday evening gatherings before WW1. Those international sessions had included the participation of Jan and Cora Gordon, together with André Salmon, Rainer Maria Rilke, Elin and David Wallin, Umberto Boccioni and Filippo Marinetti, Marie Laurencin, Jean Cocteau, Fritz Vanderpyl and Francis Carco, amongst others.

In "Three Lands on Three Wheels" Jan and Cora Gordon lamented how the place had changed.

Jo [Cora] Gordon had taken pity on a scruffy dog (not actually abandoned and lost, as revealed later in the story) and insisted on buying it some food.

"The unwilling victim"

However, the "only lighted windows of the whole broad place were those of the Closerie des Lilas.." and the cafe was no longer the place they once knew. "Formerly a simple and inviting haunt, it is now redecorated, bemirrored, and unsympathetic."

"Jo, having pushed through the doors, was momentarily dazed by the modern glare in this ancient haunt of Symbolists, Cubists and Futurists, which had merely followed the trend of most Bohemianism and had turned bourgeois on the first profitable opportunity." The cafe is still there today and still fits this description.

"The Serenade"


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