This article considers how Anita Loos’s frequent column writing and close ties to the newspaper industry shed light on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. If these contexts sharpen our understanding of protagonist Lorelei Lee’s (and American culture’s) obsession with publicity and sophistication, Blondes likewise hones our understanding of a curious periodical genre known as the “colyumn.” Defining this genre prompts questions about what it would mean to think of Blondes, a text often treated as a novel, as a “colyumn.” As this article will show, Loos’s Jazz Age classic both depends on and extends the generic conventions of the “colyumn.”
“Colyumn,” popular culture, women and literature, periodical culture, Jazz Age, middlebrow modernism
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