Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.

Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.

by Jeremy Mercer

Within weeks, he was living above the store, working for the proprietor, George Whitman, patron saint of the city's down-and-out writers, and immersing himself in the love affairs and low-down watering holes of the shop's makeshift staff.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Rating: 3.84
  • Pages: 260
  • Publish Date: September 19th 2006 by Picador USA
  • Isbn10: 0312347405
  • Isbn13: 9780312347406

What People Think about "Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co."

After 44 years I still don't know what it was about me George Whitman didn't like, if anything. Our conversation went something like this: "Excuse me, do you have anything by Rousseau?" I had to repeat this once or twice, as Whitman seemed absorbed by something, either something on his desk or in his mind. Whitman's successor to the legendary Beach bookstore, in a different location, had won recognition by a new generation of young literati, with luminaries such as Ginsberg, Corso, Kerouac and Ferlinghetti frequenting the place, sleeping, writing and working there occasionally and giving readings. During his sojourn in Paris my literary Army buddy had gotten to know a young writer Whitman befriended after learning the man was sleeping under a bridge over the Seine. Mercer's book, Time Was Soft There, brought back memories and dreams from my time in Paris and shed some light on the personality of George Whitman, the man I'd annoyed or worried more than four decades earlier. Whitman, it seems, continued throughout the years to be suspicious of Americans, considering anyone he didn't know to be a potential CIA agent. I still have and periodically re-read the copy of Hammett's book I bought from Whitman, but I'm not certain I yet know the correct pronunciation of Rousseau.