SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY: Memory lane…

When recently WordPress reminded me that this, my second blog, had reached its ninth anniversary, I decided not to re-post the original post but to share once again a place that is special to me.


Upon arriving in Paris, many are drawn to such destinations as The Eiffel Tower, Cathedral Notre Dame, La Louvre or one of many other Parisian landmarks. However, when I first arrived in Paris my first stop was to a landmark English Book Store in the Latin Quarter.

Located across the Seine from Cathedral Notre Dame, this haven for readers and writers is a living legend. The focus of this bookstore is English-language literature. It has served as not only inspiration but also home to writers for decades. In its current incarnation, it honors the past and the work of the original owner, Sylvia Beach. Miss Beach was responsible for publishing authors who had previously been unsuccessful in their attempts to be in print such as James Joyce. The advent of WWII closed the doors of the original Shakespeare & Company begun by Miss Beach. Miss Beach managed to keep the bookstore open through 1941 and the fall of Paris. However, the war had taken its toll.

After the war, American, George Whitman was not eager to return immediately. Instead, he enrolled in French classes at the Sorbonne. He amassed a large collection of books and his apartment became a lending library. After discussions with a friend, he found an apartment in the location where the bookstore still stands and turned that into a bookstore library. He used the name Shakespeare and Company in honor of Miss Beach and all that she had achieved.

There is a sign that you will see when you enter the shop that sums up George’s philosophy in life. “Be not inhospitable to strangers least they be angels in disguise.” George Whitman took in many hungry writers and shared his home and his life. There were beds among the books and often pancakes with George himself. His story is truly amazing and bears future reading.  The list of authors who have received inspiration and support at Shakespeare and Company is like reading a list of who’s who in the literary world for the past century. George and his daughter continue to support writers. Visiting authors, late night poetry readings are just some of the delights that are waiting for you.

In his novel, Time Was Soft There, Canadian journalist Jeremy Mercer chronicles his time living and working in the bookstore. It is food for any reader or writer’s soul. Unless the copy you find, of Jeremy’s book, is as old as mine, the re-printed edition is under a different title, Books, Baugettes, and Bedbugs. When you are planning that trip to Paris, put it on your list of musts.

This writer was thrilled when the shop took a few of my first poetry chapbooks on consignment and still have the receipt as a treasured souvenir of my first trip to France. I look forward to returning to Paris and to Shakespeare & Company. Fortunately, this time I won’t have to worry about buying more books than will fit in my suitcase…

Sadly, shortly after the original posting of this article, George Whitman traded the flesh and literally became one of those angels. His daughter continues her father’s work and I encourage everyone to check out the website put together by George’s daughter, Sophie, and the group who has banded to support the ideals that George and Sylvia Beach shared. https://friendsofshakespeareandcompany.com/

Company.

Bisous,

Léa

The 8 Fears That Hold Writers Back From Publishing Their Books – by Scott Allan… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on The Creative Penn: Intro by Joanna Penn: I truly believe that everyone should write a book. Because every person who writes a book will buy and read a whole load more – and together, we are a self-sustaining industry. In this article, Scott Allan outlines 8 fears that hold writers back and how […]

via The 8 Fears That Hold Writers Back From Publishing Their Books – by Scott Allan… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Free books or the price of ignorance…

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”  – Haruki Murakami 

“You don’t have to burn books to destoy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”     – Ray Bradbury

For Jack Eason and the other authors who keep us in stories despite the struggle. Please visit Jack at his blog: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/ and do all you can to support our independent authors, presses and publishers.  I owe so much to the books in my life as well as the neighbor’s daughters that taught a three year-old how to read. It saved me.

Free books or the price of ignorance…

The author says nobody wants to buy

Real books, waiting for kindle

Or what they can get for free

Long ago I learned that

Precious little is free

Waiting to see the strings attached

Or what might appear

From behind someone’s back

I will admit to a “free” book

But I did have to exchange one

Of my own precious volumes

The price to be paid

Yet Jack is right

The author deserves his compensation

When one writes, much of who we are

What we believe is invested in each word

Writing is not merely work, a job

It is opening veins and pouring

Out your blood, opening oneself

To the acid tongues of the critics,

Those judging not only your work

But your life, who you are

Fiction’s DNA, the authors reality

To take what is produced

Without re-numeration, theft

 

 

Remember, purchasing a good book is a gift you give yourself. It needs no batteries nor electricity and is easily shared. 

 

Bisous, 

Léa

 

 

Amazon exclusive? or NO THANK YOU!

Ever wondered how to remove a book from the reading public’s gaze? Simple. Publish it exclusively on Amazon! The company’s CEO Jeff Bezos only cares about profit. When he realised he was losing money by paying royalties to each and every author who make their book available only through his company, he put a stop […]

via Bezos’ book graveyard — Have We Had Help?

Well done David!

Just to let people who may be interested know, I have my first novel on Amazon, printed and Kindle versions. Having waited in vain for agents to even acknowledge my e-mails, I have decided to self-publish because I would like people to READ it. It’s called Zazou and Rebecca, and is set in Southern France, […]

via A bit of self-publicity… — belovedalder

GIGI ET LE CHAT

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Le chat

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“I cannot interest myself in anything that is not life.”

“Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you.”

   Sidonie Gabrielle Colette – Gigi and The Cat

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Bisous,

Léa