Recreating the world of the Lost Generation in interwar Paris
Gertrude Stein. James Joyce. Ernest Hemingway. Aimé Césaire. Simone de Beauvoir. Jacques Lacan. Walter Benjamin.
All these writers were members of the Shakespeare and Company lending library.
In 1919, an American 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’s Ulysses under the Shakespeare and Company imprint, a feat that made her—and her bookshop and lending library—famous around the world. In the 1930s, she catered increasingly to French intellectuals, supplying English-language books and magazines 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.
Source: Shakespeare and Company Project
Secondary Source: The Scout Report, March 26, 2021 issue…