In this era of information explosion, we do not lack books, but we lack a choice for books. And a good bookstore can undoubtedly play the role of choosing the good and abandoning the bad; if it is a particularly excellent and self-contained bookstore, it can be used as a landmark existence, making the city where it is located. And to a certain extent, like the morning star, it guides the direction of people's search in the sea of knowledge. Such a bookstore has a transparent and beautiful soul. Let us wander along the banks of the Seine in Paris and linger in the mist of London to find that kind of landmark bookstore!
A legend from an exotic culture - Shakespeare and Bookstore in Paris
In the romantic flower capital of Paris, next to the Latin Quarter on the left bank of the Seine, a small three-story house is filled with the fragrance of books. Although there are green windows and yellow signs indicating that this is a store, such a small store is too unassuming for the world of Paris. However, the head portrait of Shakespeare above the store door is doomed to be extraordinary - yes, this is one of the world-renowned Paris landmarks - Shakespeare Bookstore.
On both sides of the door of the bookstore are open bookshelves, displaying old books and periodicals, giving people a sense of the heaviness of the years. Entering the store, the space is narrow, because the total area is only 30 to 40 square meters. There is a circle of counters in the center of the room, and the four walls are all bookshelves facing the ceiling. The top is filled with densely packed books. This is the view from the first floor. When you go upstairs, you will find that the place is even more cramped: in addition to the shelves full of books on the wall, there are writers' handwriting and photos hanging in the spare space, and there are beds next to the bookshelves, providing free accommodation for tourists. In addition, there is a reception room for the owner upstairs, which is also a place for literati to gather, but it does not mean that it is unattainable.
Sri Lanka is a shabby house, but I am Dexin. Shakespeare and Bookstore is not surprising in appearance, but in fact it has a profound cultural and historical origin.
If we go back to the history of the bookstore, we go back to Paris at the end of the First World War. A woman from Princeton, New Jersey, Silvia Beach, originally planned to come to Paris to study contemporary French literature, but by chance met Adrienne Maurier, who had opened a French bookstore on the left bank of the Seine. The two were both lovers of literature and hit it off. As the friendship grew stronger, after the end of the "World War I" in 1919, Silvia also opened an English bookstore on the Left Bank, which matched Maurier's. The new store is called "Shakespeare and Company" (Shakespeare and Companions), specializing in all kinds of mainstream or non-mainstream British and American literature and art books. With the help of Maurier, who is extremely active in the literature and art circle, plus the flexible operation method of renting and selling books , Shakespeare and Bookstore has been crowded since its opening. But what really makes it famous is the interaction with a series of celebrities. Time is like running water. For more than 20 years, the bookstore has been talking and laughing, and there are no white people. One day in 1941, the glorious years of the past came to an abrupt end, and it was like a shooting star, and it was finally silent, leaving a long period of melancholy and sigh. Silvia refused to sell the book to a German officer and caused trouble. In the end, although she managed to keep all the books by luck, the bookstore was closed down, and she herself suffered six months in prison. Afterwards, Silvia never had the energy to reopen the bookstore. Shakespeare, who was once brilliant, The bookstore was temporarily marked with a helpless punctuation.
Time will not stop a little because of anything in the world, and it flashes to the 1950s. George Whitman, who is also an American, came to Paris to study, and he was here for the same reason. Fascinated by the cultural atmosphere, he bought a building on the left bank to open a bookstore, which is today's "Shakespeare and Bookstore". However, it was originally named "Librairie Mistral", and by 1964, on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth At that time, George continued to use the name of Silvia's store and replaced it with "Shakespeare". Since then, the legend of the bookstore on the left bank of the Seine has continued.
As mentioned earlier, the most prominent point of Shakespeare and Bookstore is that it has close acquaintances with many celebrities. As early as Sylvia's time, the store was filled with star-studded celebrities such as Picasso, Joyce, dancer Duncan, musician Stravinsky; Gertrude Stein, DH Lawrence and Soviet-Russian director Eisenstein of "The Lost Generation" have gradually become guests here. When it comes to George, although the past era has passed away, the spirit and soul of the bookstore is still there. For more than half a century from the 1950s to the present, George has insisted on holding outdoor poetry readings in the small park next to the bookstore every Monday night, and Sunday afternoon tea time in the hut on the second floor of the bookstore. Literary lectures follow Silvia's business philosophy and goal orientation: insist on selling only English books, treat unrecognized writers well as always, and prioritize discovering and cultivating literary talents over profit. In 2004, an American film "Love at Sunset in Paris" started the story here, and in 2005, Canadian writer Jeremy Mercer wrote his wonderful experience here in "Time Becomes Tender Here - Staying in Paris". "Shakespeare and Bookshop".
If the Shakespeare and Bookstore started out as a piece of rough jade, hidden deep in the stone, without light, and unable to attract attention, then many famous people are well-deserved jade cutters, who have turned it into a priceless treasure day by day. The intersection of it and every celebrity is a shining jewel, and countless pieces are linked together to form an incomparable necklace; and the most dazzling one is Joyce.
Joyce's "Ulysses", which took many years to finally be written as a book, was initially published in a magazine, but was immediately attacked by the British and American authorities on the pretext of being indecent. Without the approval of the authorities, no publishing house or printing house dared to publish it, and Ulysses has little chance of meeting the public. Under the crisis, Ms. Silvia, who has always admired Joyce, was a woman who refused to let her men down. Although she had no experience in the publishing business, she still stepped forward, took over this hot potato, and volunteered to request the publication of "Ulysses". ". However, the result was an unexpected success. The first edition in 1922 was snapped up as soon as it came out, and Luoyang paper was expensive for a while; then the second edition, the third edition, and the fourth edition came out one after another.
It was Joyce who made the Shakespeare and Bookstore icing on the cake, but it was also Joyce who brought it to its demise. Because the book that Sylvia refused to sell to German officers was Joyce's other book, "The Night's Watch in Finnegans." Perhaps history loves to make such a joke, with misfortune and fortune intertwined, good and evil are on the line, and the best is often the worst. However, in any case, after all, times have changed, and any merits and demerits can only be left to history to comment. As long as the Shakespeare and Bookstore is dead and reborn, why should all devout book lovers dwell on the past?
You may still think that the present is not what it used to be, after all, today's bookstore is not handed down by Sylvia In that room, but the world has been changing since ancient times. Who can guarantee that all the tangible things in the world will never change? The important thing is that the spirit of Silvia has been passed down: this is still the spiritual home of literature and art lovers. Its mission is to produce and cultivate great authors and thinkers. This concept is ubiquitous in the bookstore, from the huge amount of various books and periodicals, the dazzling variety of salon gatherings, to the small details - such as the seal with Shakespeare's head on the books purchased by customers, a unique feature in the store. ——Setting up beds to provide free accommodation, etc., all show the master's good intentions. Here, guests feel at home and godlike pilgrimages, free and eye-opening, humanized care is meticulous and full of awe of looking up to the master and the starry sky, the subtlety sees the sublime, and finally the spirit is inspired to inspire pride and ambition. If Silvia and George started to provide a body, then the celebrities brought a grand light, and when the secular definition of identity and status is removed, and everyone is equal, in this vast sea of books Among them, people can roam freely, and finally merge with the book unconsciously. Only then can they truly achieve the perfect state of the bookstore, and the bookstore has a real soul because of this. History and culture, ordinary and sublime, human nature and spirit are confluent and natural here, and together they create the powerful Shakespeare Bookstore.