“Les Apaches: the Gangster Chic of Belle Époque Paris”

An early heads-up that Tony Wolf will be giving a live Zoom lecture on the “Apache chic” craze of the early 20th century:

At the turn of the 20th century, the exploits and styles of Parisian Apache (pronounced Ah-pahsh) street gangsters fascinated the international bourgeoisie. Readers breathlessly followed the criminal exploits of “the Terror”, “Golden Helmet” and other infamous Apaches via tabloid newspapers; nightclubbers thrilled to the danse d’Apache, which acrobatically mimicked a violent encounter between an Apache pimp and a prostitute; slumming society ladies took classes in la langue verte (“the green language”), the secret slang of Montmartre brothels and back-alleys. Apache fashions, weapons and even their ingenious pickpocketing and mugging tricks became the subjects of high society discourse, and their lore was quickly absorbed into popular culture via pulp novels, Grand Guignol plays and silent film serials.

This lavishly illustrated presentation explores the extraordinary demimonde mystique of the Apache subculture during la Belle Époque and ponders its pop-culture legacy unto the present day.

The presentation will take place at 7.00 p.m. (Eastern US time) on Monday, April 29th and bookings can be made via this site.

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