Indiscretions Historical Context

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The Parisian Artistic Community between the World Wars

In the period from 1918 to 1939, between World War I and World War II, Paris was famous for its cultural and artistic communities. The city became a vibrant meeting place for artists from other European countries and the United States, including exiled Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, Spanish painters Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, and various writers, such as the Irish James Joyce and the Americans Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Cocteau was at the center of this group of artists and formed many fruitful collaborations. For example, with Picasso, the Russian ballet master Sergei Diaghilev, and the French composer Erik Satie, Cocteau produced the revolutionary new ballet Parade (1917).

Many aspects of this artistic community were characterized as bohemian, a term derived from the French word for gypsy. The term comes from the association of gypsies with Bohemia, which during...

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