​"The Lost Generation" of Writers

The "Lost Generation" of writers were post World War 1 writers that tried to abandon the pre-WWI principles and values. These writers brought on a new realistic way of writing leaving the old romantic way behind, thus unifying the nation with real life issues.

Where did the phrase "Lost Generation" come from?
  • Gertrude Stein coined the phrase "Lost Generation" from supposedly having heard her french auto mechanic say "une generation perdue" (a lost generation) referring to his young workers' poor mechanic skills

What is "The Lost Generation"?
F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos are the three most famous Lost generation writers.
  • The Lost Generation of writers refers to a group of writers in the 1920's
  • Stein used the phrase to describe the people of that time who rejected post World War 1 Values.

What did "The Lost Generation" do?
  • Ernest Hemingway, who volunteered to fight the Italians in WWI, led the Lost Generation.
  • Vocal rebellion against social, sexual, and aesthetic conventions was brought on in the years immediately following World War 1 in an attempt to establish new values.
  • These young artists congregated in Greenwich Village, Chicago, and San Fransisco. Others flocked to Europe, mainly Paris, living as expatriates.
  • The writers created new literature out of their disillusion and rejection.
  • They openly accepted the name Lost Generation.
Ernest Hemingway

A new way of writing was formed
  • The realist way of writing was formed
  • The romantic clichés were abandoned for extreme realism and complex symbolism.
  • Censorship was a thing of the past.
  • Frank language and influences of new psychology and Marxian social theory was much more present.

Lost Generation writers compared to today
  • The romantic way of writing is no longer so strong.
  • Most writers of today are realists and/or naturalists.
  • Today we expect the ordinary novel of today to be based on our own world aside from the fantasy and horror genres.