Happy New Decade! To kick off 2020 on Curious Quotes, Points To Ponder, & Inspiring Insights, I present a collection of five quotes from five of my favorite authors writing in the 1920s. A personal goal for me this year is to read more novels with attention to classic pieces of literature from 100 years ago. There is something that I have always found fascinating about the Jazz Age and how at The Noble Experiment coincided. Let's take a closer look at quotes from Kafka, Forster, Woolf, Fitzgerald, and Joyce.
I vividly remember reading Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis for the first time as a teenager and thinking that it was one of the most bizarre and yet realistic stories I had ever read. There was something so compelling about the story of Gregor Samsa waking up to discover that he was a cockroach. In so many ways, it is the perfect allegory of growing up as a gifted adolescent. One day everything seems perfectly normal. The next day you find that your entire world has changed. For this slide I searched for an illustration of The Metamorphosis and thought that this one captured the exact emotion that I was looking for and it provided an ample amount of blank canvas for the quote. I used the American Typewriter font for the text. While this quote does not come from The Metamorphosis, it is the work that we most close associate with Kafka. Even when life turns you into a cockroach, you still need to look for the beauty in life.
I first fell in love with the work of E.M. Forster through the Merchant and Ivory film adaptations of A Room with a View and Howard's End. This image comes from the 1984 David Lean film adaptation of the 1924 Forster novel A Passage to India. In looking for quotes from the 1920s, I felt like this one really captured an important life lesson and helps us to remember how little control we often have over what life deals to us.
The second half of the 1920s saw the most productive years of Virginia Woolf's life with the publication of her best known work including Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), and of course A Room of One's Own (1929). This quote in so many ways still rings true for women in 2020. While we have come a long way in the past 100 years, there are still miles and miles to go before there are equal rights and equal pay for women. Let's keep fighting the good fight and stand up for what we know is right.
If I had to name one novel that I feel represents the 1920s, then it would have to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby published in 1925. I have always loved this painting created by Francis Cugat entitled Celestial Eyes and used for the dust jacket of the first edition of the novel. The deep blue with the yellow titles and haunting floating face give you so much to ponder. I used the color picker to carry over the yellow and the blue to the right side for the quote. I chose this quote because I think that it really speaks to the introverted extrovert or is it the extroverted introvert that I think that many gifted kids can relate to.
As I have been on a quest for quotes, I sometimes feel like I am in a happy hunting ground and looking for the perfect quote to try and make sense out of this thing called life. Here James Joyce suggests that perhaps I should try digging into Shakespeare to find some solace. Ulysses has always represented to me a huge task of reading that I am not yet prepared to tackle. Perhaps this is the year that I finally am able to conquer this novel and cross it off my life long bucket list of books that I really want to read but have never managed to overcome.