Category Archives: 1920s

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Source: Alfred Döblin (trans. Eugene Jolas), [Berlin] Alexanderplatz: The Story of Franz Biberkopf (London: Secker & Warburg, 1974 – orig. pub. 1929, English translation orig. pub. 1931), pp. 25-26 Text: MARKET DULL, LATER BEARS VERY ACTIVE, HAMBURG DEPRESSED, LONDON WEAKER … Continue reading

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In Darkest London

Source: Mrs Cecil Chesterton, In Darkest London (New York: The Macmillan company, 1926), pp. 186-187 Text: We did some business together. I made a shilling or two, and then my friend suggested we should go to a cinema, she standing … Continue reading

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Flickerbook

Source: Leila Berg, Flickerbook (London: Granta Books, 1997), p. 81 Text: Everyone in our street went to Town to see The Jazz Singer. (Not Mrs Taylor. But Louis went.) It spoke! The picture spoke! Everyone was calling to each other … Continue reading

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The Way of a Transgressor

Source: Negley Farson, The Way of a Transgressor (London: Victor Gollancz, 1936), pp. 328, 569 Text: We saw Marie’s, the most famous brothel in the world, with its staggeringly obscene movie. In those days the star film was a French … Continue reading

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An Island Night’s Entertainment

Source: ‘Inbad’, ‘An Island Night’s Entertainment’, The Ladies’ Mirror, 1 May 1925, pp. 59-60 Text: Those who only know the “Movies” in such palatial homes as New Zealand provides may care to hear how we unsophisticated South Sea Islanders keep … Continue reading

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Journal 1929

Source: Arnold Bennett, Journal 1929 (London: Cassell, 1930), pp. 123-126 Text: London, September. I went by invitation to the “world-première” of an English-written and English-directed talking film, in which Gloria Swanson was the star. The film was apparently made in … Continue reading

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Roving Through Southern China

Source: Harry A. Franck, Roving Through Southern China (New York: Century, 1925), p. 555 Text: Now even the cages of the animals had been cleaned up; the lotus-lake was open to pleasure navigation; a good commercial museum was functioning, and … Continue reading

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The Crippled Tree

Source: Han Suyin, The Crippled Tree (London: Jonathan Cape, 1965), pp. 377-379 Text: The cinema was called in Chinese the True Light Cinema. It had a brown gooey façade, and at that time it looked enormous; it had suffered, forty … Continue reading

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Jungle Islands

Source: Sidney Nichols Shurcliff, Jungle Islands: The “Illyria” in the South Seas (New York/London: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1930), pp. 148-150 Text: That evening we tried an experiment to which we had long looked forward. We gave the natives their first … Continue reading

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