Tag Archives: Shakespeare And Company

Shakespeare & Company: Author Rebecca Solnit On Her Book ‘Orwell’s Roses’

Shakespeare & Company: Author Aysegul Savas On Her Book ‘White On White’

A “marvelous” (Lauren Groff) and “gentle, mysterious and profound‚ÄĚ (Marina Abramovińá)¬†novel about a woman who has come undone.

A student moves to the city to research Gothic nudes, renting an apartment from a painter, Agnes, who lives in another town with her husband. One day, Agnes arrives in the city and settles into the upstairs studio.

In their meetings on the stairs, in the studio, at the corner caf√©, the kitchen at dawn, Agnes tells stories of her youth, her family, her marriage, and ideas for her art – which is always just about to be created. As the months pass, it becomes clear that Agnes might not have a place to return to. The student is increasingly aware of Agnes’s disintegration. Her stories are frenetic; her art scattered and unfinished, white paint on a white canvas.

What emerges is the menacing sense that every life is always at the edge of disaster, no matter its seeming stability. Alongside the research into human figures, the student is learning, from a cool distance, about the narrow divide between happiness and resentment, creativity and madness, contentment and chaos.

White on White is a sharp exploration of empathy and cruelty, and the stunning discovery of what it means to be truly vulnerable, and laid bare.

Shakespeare & Company: ‘Matrix’ Author Lauren Groff Interview (Podcast)

Lauren Groff is the author of six books of fiction, the most recent the novel MATRIX (September 2021). Her work has won The Story Prize, the ABA Indies‚Äô Choice Award, and France‚Äôs Grand Prix de l‚ÄôH√©ro√Įne, was a three time finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and twice for the¬†Kirkus¬†Prize, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Prize, the Southern Book Prize, and the¬†Los Angeles Times¬†Prize.

She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Top Podcast Interviews: ‘Confronting Leviathan’ Author David Runciman

Top Walking Tours: ‘Paris – Hidden Gems & Landmarks’

Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honor√©.

Video timeline: 00:00‚Äč Introduction 00:35‚Äč Shakespeare and Company Bookstore 01:25‚Äč Wallace fountains 02:14‚Äč Oldest bridge in the City 03:15‚Äč Pont des Arts 04:00‚Äč Notre Dame 05:27‚Äč Louvre Museum 06:08‚Äč Eiffel Tower 06:53‚Äč Montmartre 07:40‚Äč Wall of Love

Literature: “Shakespeare And Company” Digitizes Reading Library Of Joyce, Hemingway & De Beauvoir

Shakespeare and Company lending library cards

Shakespeare And CompanyGertrude Stein. James Joyce. Ernest Hemingway. Aimé Césaire. Simone de Beauvoir. Jacques Lacan. Walter Benjamin.

What do these writers have in common? They were all members of the Shakespeare and Company lending library.

In 1919, an American woman named Sylvia Beach opened Shakespeare and Company, an English-language bookshop and lending library in Paris. Almost immediately, it became the home away from home for a community of expatriate writers and artists now known as the Lost Generation. In 1922, she published James Joyce‚Äôs¬†Ulysses¬†under the Shakespeare and Company imprint, a feat that made her‚ÄĒand her bookshop and lending library‚ÄĒfamous around the world. In the 1930s, she increasingly catered to French intellectuals, supplying English-language publications from the recently rediscovered¬†Moby Dick¬†to the latest issues of¬†The New Yorker. In 1941, she preemptively closed Shakespeare and Company after refusing to sell her last copy of Joyce’s¬†Finnegans Wake¬†to a Nazi officer.

The Shakespeare and Company Project uses sources from the Beach Papers at Princeton University to reveal what the lending library members read and where they lived. The Project is a work-in-progress, but you can begin to explore now. Search and browse the lending library members and books. Read about joining the lending library. Download a preliminary export of Project data. In the coming months, check back for new features and essays.


Literary Milestones: A Letter To Sylvia Beach, Founder, “Shakespeare And Company” In Paris (100 Years Old This Month)

From a Shakespeare and Company email:

Dear Sylvia Beach,

Sylvia Beach Shakespeare and Company 1919-1941One hundred years ago this month, you opened the shutters of a small bookshop on rue Dupuytren. Its name was Shakespeare and Company. I often wonder if, on that first morning, you could ever have imagined how important your story would be.

You were only 32 but had already lived quite a life. Soulful and fearless, witty and energetic, you’d been active in the women’s suffrage movement, studied French poetry in Paris, and served with the Red Cross in Serbia during the First World War. You had also met Adrienne Monnier, one of the first women in France to found her own bookshop. Adrienne would be your companion for decades to come.

Your bookshop‚ÄĒfirst on rue Dupuytren, then around the corner on rue de l‚ÄôOd√©on‚ÄĒbecame a sanctuary for Anglophone and Francophone writers. T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Djuna Barnes, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as Andr√© Gide, Paul Val√©ry, and Louis Aragon, among many others, all bought and borrowed books from you, and attended readings and parties at Shakespeare and Company. As Andr√© Chamson wrote about you: ‚ÄúSylvia Beach carried pollen like a bee. She cross-fertilised these writers. She did more to link England, the United States, Ireland, and France than four great ambassadors combined.‚ÄĚ I think of this whenever I ponder the role booksellers and bookshops can play during this age of political and ecological turbulence. When¬†James Joyce¬†couldn‚Äôt find anyone to publish¬†Ulysses‚ÄĒhis modernist masterpiece that had been condemned for obscenity‚ÄĒyou stepped up. Even when you closed your bookshop in 1941, it was not an act of defeat but of defiance‚ÄĒyou would rather see your life‚Äôs work shuttered forever than sell¬†Finnegans Wake¬†to a high-ranking Nazi officer.

Sylvia Whitman Shakespeare and Company Paris
Sylvia Whitman

When my father, George Whitman, opened this bookshop in 1951, you were not just a regular visitor but an inspiration. You had shown how a true bookseller must also be prepared to be a librarian, a publisher, a PO box, a banker, a hotelier, and‚ÄĒmost importantly‚ÄĒa friend to writers and readers. For your belief that a love of reading is more important than the quest for profit, you have been called the patron saint of independent bookstores. We‚Äôre sure that your¬†extraordinary memoir¬†and your¬†beautiful letters¬†continue to embolden booksellers the world over, just as they embolden us. Particularly during hard times, your story stands like a beacon when we need direction, comfort, or inspiration.

Thank you, Sylvia, for everything you did and everything you stood for.

In loving homage,

Sylvia Whitman
Shakespeare And Company


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