Professor Archambeau Presents: The Birth and Death of Bohemia: A Lost World of Art and Writing

Truth and beauty! Freedom! Youth! Art! Love! — that’s the battle cry of the literary bohemian, a creature born in the Romantic era who flourished in Paris from days of Baudelaire to the weird nights of the Surrealists, a creature who migrated to New York and London and San Francisco and even Baltimore (I’m looking at you, Edgar Allan Poe) but who may well be extinct. Let’s talk about this rare, exotic bird, where it’s found and why it may have gone away. Robert Archambeau’s more recent books include Poetry and Uselessness from Coleridge to Ashbery, Revolutions: A Collaboration and The Kafka Sutra, as well as the forthcoming The Literary Bohemians: Six Essays. As a professor in Lake Forest’s English Department he has avoided bohemianism himself, though he did recently spend an afternoon basking in the eminently bohemian aura of Jim Jarmusch.