George Whitman just died at the ripe old age of 98. He took over the famous Left Bank bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., after the the original owner, Sylvia Beach, left it at the onset of World War II. She ran it as a publishing company that famously published James Joyce’s revolutionary novel Ulysses in 1922. The book was banned in the U.S., no American publisher would publish it. It was considered obscene. But what is considered obscene in America is often considered great literature or art in Paris. George Whitman took over the book store part after she left and ran it pretty much until he was in his 90s and infirm; his daughter then took over.
I got to know George Whitman while in Paris in 1970 and a student at the Sorbonne. Read More →