Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Shakespeare on the Beach centenary

Jamison Pfeifer writes for Jstor:

In 1919, Sylvia Beach sent a telegram to her mother in America: “Opening bookshop in Paris. Please send money.” At the time, Beach, a 32-year-old ex-pat and former Red Cross worker with an interest in contemporary French literature, wrote that she “had long wanted a bookshop.” Later that year, on November 19, the doors opened at Shakespeare and Company, a small lending library located at 8 rue Dupuytren, a tiny street on the Left Bank. “From that moment on, for over twenty years, they never gave me time to meditate,” Beach later wrote in her memoir.

Beach is remembered for first publishing James Joyce's Ulysses when no other house would touch it, but there is much more in Pfeifer's fascinating biography of the bookshop.

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