Villa America

personal diary

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I’m in the midst of reading Villa America right now. I’m at the part where Gerald Murphy and Sara Wiborg writes love letters prior to them getting married. I’m fascinated by the Murphys, I really am. They were real-life characters who inspired Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night (a very, very good book by the way). They were iconic in the Golden age of 1920s Europe. They threw magnificent parties –  with equally magnificent guests like F. Scott Fitzgerald himself to Man Ray to Joyce to Picasso and Hemingway. Villa America at Cap d’Antibes in the French Riviera is a real place too. Oh, how I wish I’d lived to be friends with the Murphys. Sometimes I’m able to visualise how enchanting the 1920s Europe was, and sometimes, I just sit and sigh wondering how it really was. Sara and Gerald grew up in a tableau vivant and they swore not to succumb to that once they got married. They have the most peculiar taste in things – a bassinet that was made of reeds, a pair of silver grape scissors, a set of ivory oyster forks, a strange lavender pitcher for Honoria’s (their first born) bath. Can you just imagine their house? Can you imagine the art collection that they had mounted on the walls at Villa America? Gerald Murphy dabbled in fine arts too for awhile and produced 14 paintings from 1922 and 1929 which is now considered major works of American Modernism. This book has piqued my interest in the Murphys even more. I wish someone would write me love letters… or emails. Don’t people believe in romance anymore? I don’t know. I’m a bit tipsy as I’m writing this.

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