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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
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Shakespeare and Company: The Bookshop That Shaped the Lost Generation

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0727
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$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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Sylvia Beach in front of the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, Paris, 1928 (Princeton University Library)

In 1919, an American woman named Sylvia Beach opened Shakespeare and Company, an English-language bookshop and lending library on the Left Bank of Paris. In the decades that followed, she would change the course of literary history, publishing James Joyce’s banned masterpiece Ulysses in 1922 and creating a meeting place for a community of writers and artists now known as the Lost Generation.  

When Beach died in 1962, she left behind a vast archive of business and personal records, which are now held by Princeton University. Joshua Kotin, an associate professor of English at the university, draws on the archive to reveal new stories about the writers who frequented the shop, including Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. Utilizing the Shakespeare and Company Project, a digital humanities initiative at Princeton, Kotin also brings to light details about the lives of forgotten artists and intellectuals who lived and wrote in the time between the world wars.

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