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July 21, 2009

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Great post. One of my regrets in life is that I never got to step inside Shakespeare and Company (although I do have a poster).

Thank you for telling this story! You are always such a remarkable story-teller--returning history and herstory in a way that makes it real.

I'd like to thank Laura Orem and Jenny Factor for their very kind words.

Larry

Just came across this. Never had the fortune of visiting Shakespeare & Company. Closer to home, my godfather (yes I was one of the few Jewish kids with a godfather) Ted Wilentz owned the Eighth Street Bookshop with his brother and I spent many hours there. Later I discovered Gotham Bookshop on 47th Street.

Thanks to Lee Marc Stein for his comments. The Eighth Street Bookshop was the place where Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan first met.

Oh, the bookstores of the past, and how badly we miss them! As a junior in college I had a very chic girlfriend who wore black and felt that an excellent Saturday night date entailed taking the subway to 8th Street and visiting the fabled bookstore. I discovered Apollinaire's "Alcools" there that night. Do others associate a certain book or discovery with the bookstore where it was bought or made? To Shakespeare & Co in Paris, I owe my initial acquaintance with Robert Musil's "Man Without Qualities." Love at first sight. I sat there reading volume 1 for three or four hours and was invited to spend the night on a couch if I didn't have somewhere to go to.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
                   

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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THE RULE OF THUMB
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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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