Literature Lesson: Ring Lardner’s “The Golden Honeymoon”

This is a very cute, sweet story about an elderly couple going to Florida to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The story is saccharine sweet but still has value because it’s less a short story than what in Spanish we know as a costumbrista piece. Costumbrismo is a genre that describes, in a chatty, humorous tone, how people conduct their daily lives in a specific region, city or neighborhood.

From this story we find out what it was like to vacation in Florida in the 1920s. How long did the trip last? How much did people pay for breakfast? How did they entertain themselves? Where did they go if they wanted to splurge? How much steak could you get at a fancy restaurant for 75 cents?

Cute, wholesome, very entertaining.

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