Paris Bookseller George Whitman Remembered

George Whitman, the owner of the legendary Paris bookstore Shakespeare & Co., died yesterday at the age of 98. Known for extending hospitality to writers on Parisian sojourns, Mr. Whitman’s bookstore carried on a literary dream long after that dream died. Alexander Nazaryan remembers his stay there at the New York Daily News:

I hated that it wasn’t the same Shakespeare and Company that Sylvia Beach opened in 1919, and which published James Joyce’ Ulysses three years later – I felt cheated, somehow. I hated the evocations of Henry Miller and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who lived lives of more daring that I could summon. I hated, too, the older expats who spoke of heartbreak with slightly melancholy boredom, who quoted Paul Celan as if he were an old friend, who smoked Lucky Strikes – and they all smoked Lucky Strikes, I have no idea why – without coughing.

At Huffington Post Books, Janice Harper is slightly more positive about her memories of staying there. At CounterPunch, Harvey Wasserman remembers his week too. Paris Bookseller George Whitman Remembered