Robert Benchley on Bohemians

“Like the measles, which are so delightful in retrospect because we remember only the period of convalescence and its accompanying chicken and jellies, Bohemia seems to be a state which grows dearer the farther away you get from it.

The only trouble with this pitiless exposé of Bohemia is that I know practically nothing about the subject at all. I have only taken the most superficial glances into New York’s Bohemia and for all I know it may be one of the most delightful and beneficial existences imaginable. It merely seemed to me like a good thing to write about, because the editor might, while reading it, think of a dashing illustration that could be made for it.

And, if I have been entirely in error in my estimate of Bohemia, maybe some real, genuine Bohemian will conduct me, some night, where the lights and good-fellowship are mellow and rich and where we may sit about a table and sing songs of Youth and Freedom, and Love, and Girls, like so many Francois Villons.”

~ Robert Benchley, 1919 from “Vanity Fair Magazine: The Art of Being a Bohemian.”

Pictured Above: Cartoon of Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker.

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