Shakespeare and Company
Sylvia Beach was intimately acquainted with the expatriate and visiting writers of the Lost Generation, a label that she never accepted. Like moths of great promise, they were drawn to her well-lighted bookstore and warm hearth on the Left Bank. Shakespeare and Company evokes the zeitgeist of an era through its revealing glimpses of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fit...more
The third book read in my project to learn more about literary expatriates in 1920s and 1930s Paris, Sylvia Beach's memoir was in many ways the most enjoyable reading experience to date. Beach was an American woman who operated an English language lending library and bookstore called Shakespeare & Company on Paris' Left Bank from 1919 to 1941*. During that period, her store was a hub for expatriate writers including Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fizgerald and, most signficantly, Jame ...more
At a certain point the memoir devolved into a series of short po ...more
It was the period between the wars.
“The news of my bookshop, to my surprise, soon spread all over the United States, and it was the first thing the pilgrims looked up in Paris. They were all customers at the Shakespeare and Company, which many of them looked upon as their club.”
I didn’t realize that, more than anything else, this book is about James Joyce. Beach not only published Ulysses, but s ...more
When she was old enough Sylvia went to Spain, and spent a few months there before moving on to Paris where she 'w ...more
Sylvia Beach and her bookstore Shakespeare and Company are legendary now - but were also quickly popular in her time, as the bookshop became a meeting place for visitors to stop in and perhaps use its address to forward their mail. It was as much a club and a writers' meeting place as it was a bookstore and lending library.
Since Beach was so immersed in the society of authors, poets, and other famous folk, and often doesn't give you much more than their names a ...more
This memoir gives such personal details and clear memories of Paris in the 1920s an ...more
I found myself wishing for a bit more personal detail, but that's just me-- I read Ann Landers and Dear Abby because I like the juicy stuff. Were this written today, I know it w ...more
The atmosphere of the time in Paris is better captured in A Moveable Feast but Sylvia Beach saw everything first hand and was influential in a lot of it, like actually publishing Ulysses. Her prose is fairly dry and matter of fact, very much the practical American navigating a very worldly life. Her family traveled a lot because ...more
This was a gathering place in the 20's for those desiring books written in English. It was also a gathering place for the writers of the time and even a few artists. Sylvia Beach was very involved in helping James Joyce get his Ulysses published. His book was banned in the America and secretly ...more
Before delving into the particulars of this wonderful book, it is probably best to clear up any confusion over the store itself. There is still a Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, but it is not the store Sylvia Beach founded. Rather, it one that another expatriate ...more
The first half is wonderful. You get a great glimpse into Sylvia's decision to open the store/lending library and how she went about it. We see her develop friendships with legendary writers that it almost becomes a "James Joyce and Ernest Hemin ...more