Odyssey Online

On Bookstores, Shakespeare and Company

November 26, 2012 · No Comments

…with the holiday’s upon us it seems like a good moment to contemplate bookstores. Independent bookstores.  They are, of course, cousins to libraries, and when they work they exhibit a purpose and collection that functions much as one hopes a library works in a given locale.  Much of the reading one might do in the news on bookstores and their fate would be pretty grim going…tales of closures and “creative destruction.”  However, there is a literature connected about bookstores that speaks to the higher calling therein.  Some Monday morning reading in the Sewanee Review (Fall 2012 issue) and I came across a captivating piece by Seymour I. Toll, “Shakespeare on the Left Bank.” It is a recounting of Sylvia Beach and her Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Company.  Toll’s essay not only details Beach’s involvement with the Hemingway, and Joyce, and other modern writers who frequented her shop, he writes about the bookstore as a bookstore–important in that one can accurately say that Shakespeare and Company perhaps holds a status of the Camelot of bookstores, the once and future king…

…more on bookstores anon.  In our collection we have Sylvia Beach’s memoir Shakespeare and Company, and a collection of her letters, 2012, Columbia UP, edited by Keri Walsh.

Categories: Books · Essay on Bibliography · Recommended Book

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