Bohemia and Counter-Culture

The Geography of Bohemia

Welcome

Identity
Geography
   Cafe Culture

Lifestyle
   Daily Life
Fashion
Dandyism

Participants
Writers
   Hugo
       Hernani

   Murger

   Baudelaire
   Borel

Women
   Grisettes

Artists
   Courbet
   Millet
   Thackeray

Students/Youth
   Marius

Evolution
Generations
La Boheme
London 1900's
Beat Culture
Hippie Culture
Rent

Works Cited

Bohemia, bordered on the North by hope, work, and gaiety, on the South by necessity and courage; on the West and East by slander and the hospital.

-Henry Murger, Bohemian Life

Bohemians had a long history as outsiders. Even before the counterculture movement started in Paris, Bohemians in the Habsburg Empire were considered outcasts. Bohemians used their location in Paris to their advantage, visiting cafes and watching the bourgeoisie from the Latin Quarter and Montmartre. Many choose to see Bohemia not as a place, but as a state of mind.

Click on the above map to see a larger version.

map courtesy of www.antique-maps-books.com

 

"Bohemiens" is traditionally the French word for gypsies. Bohemia, in the Hapsburg Empire, was home to these nomadic people. When the young French bourgeoisie adopted the term "Bohemians," it was out of defiance to the French government, who disapproved of the gypsies.

 

 

Bohemia in the mid-1800's was located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, on the Left Bank of the Seine River. Later, many Bohemians moved to Montmartre, another area of Paris, but the Latin Quarter is still a gathering place for students and artists to this day.

Click on the map to see the neighborhoods of bohemian Paris.

map courtesy of www.mtholyoke.edu

Bohemian writers, artists, and thinkers gathered around tables in Parisian cafes to discuss the important issues of the day. These cafes quickly became the center of Bohemian life