Because of work I am doing on a novel, I’ve dipped far into the beginnings of the Jazz Age. I’ve reread much of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work, and found and played a lot of the music from the beginnings of Jazz and the Jazz Age. The music thrills me, and the social history of the period fascinates me. My fiction project is about those changing times, and it is rooted in the immediate pre-World War I time when Jazz had not quite emerged.
A new version of the Great Gatsby is due out soon on film. That and other forces conspire to refocus attention on the Jazz Age, and the flappers, if less so the music itself. The books and stories of the time are terrific, and hold plenty of insights for us today–difficult social change and the struggles we each face in life, social, emotional, economic–are as powerful to explore today through this fiction as it must have been when these works first got to print.
I note at least one new edition of Fitzgerald’s short Jazz Age fiction is coming out too: Tales of the Jazz Age. Looking forward to the revival!