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Bohemia in America, 1858-1920$
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Joanna Levin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760836

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760836.001.0001

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The Spiritual Geography of Greenwich Village, 1912–1920

The Spiritual Geography of Greenwich Village, 1912–1920

(p.339) 7 The Spiritual Geography of Greenwich Village, 1912–1920
Bohemia in America, 1858-1920
Stanford University Press

Between 1910 and 1920, Greenwich Village in New York City became increasingly synonymous with Bohemia. In 1913, Hutchins Hapgood declared that “the New Bohemia...is an attitude of temperament ... whose geography is a spiritual geography.” Hapgood associated this New Bohemia with Greenwich Village. This chapter examines what remains of the most legendary of American Bohemias. Despite being identified with Greenwich Village, the Bohemian “spirit” promised to defy geographic boundaries. In Greenwich Village, many of the trends pioneered by earlier American Bohemias became a reality. The Village negotiated between art and life, capital and labor, women and men, the modern and the genteel, the spiritual and the commercial. It also popularized new forms of artistic expression, political activism, and “free love.” Because of Greenwich Village, Bohemia became an essential part of bourgeois life.

Keywords:   Greenwich Village, Bohemia, bourgeois life, New York City, Hutchins Hapgood, spiritual geography, artistic expression, New Bohemia, free love, political activism

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