Friday, 19 November 2010
Paris (2): Shakespeare and Company
It’s a few steps back from the left bank of the Seine, a couple of stone’s throws from Notre Dame. The present Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1951 by George Whitman (now aged 96, and living adjacent to the store); it’s named after the bookshop opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach (the original publisher of Ulysses, when it was banned in the US and the UK) and closed in 1941 during the German occupation of Paris. Sylvia is also, and not by accident, the name of George Whitman’s daughter, who now runs the store.
The photos above, taken (by Lauren Goldenberg) last Monday evening, show Sylvia and then, in the order they read, Beverley Bie Brahic (translator of the CBe edition of Francis Ponge, Unfinished Ode to Mud), Gabriel Josipovici (Only Joking) and Wiesiek Powaga (translator of Grabinski and Bursa).
There are some nights when, prompted by the mix of books, fellowship, wine, you think (next year Budapest/ Prague/ San Francisco? and what is going to happen to that vacant premises in the Goldhawk Road, the one with the split levels and the big slow ceiling fans that would make a great bookshop?): why not?
More photos here.