Learning from George
An essay-memoir about the legendary Shakespeare & Company bookstore, and its Don Quixote-like former proprietor, George Whitman. In 2000 Adrian Hornsby rocked up in Paris looking for literature. He spent the next three years: managing the store, living on and off among the shelves, watching the trains of poets and ragged dreamers passing through, and finding that what both books and bookstores really reveal are lessons in humanity.
The original Shakespeare & Company was founded by Sylvia Beach in 1919, and in 1922 published James Joyce’s Ulysses. It was closed down during the Second World War, but in the early 1950s, George Whitman opened a successor English language bookstore a few hundred yards up the left bank. It rapidly became a hang out for Beat-generation writers and their heirs, as well as a temporary home to the literally tens of thousands of literary vagabonds who stayed there over the half-century George ran it.
Paravion Press publish short works in postcard-sized editions. All titles come with an envelope and a page left blank ‘For your correspondence’. The idea is you write something here, and send the book par avion, or by air mail.