George Whitman of Shakespeare and Company

A long long time ago (okay, 1988) I stayed at Shakespeare and Co as one of the tumbleweeds. One of my abiding memories is as pillion passenger on George Whitman’s motorbike as we went to somewhere in a posh arrondisement for – well, it may have been bookbuying? Anyway, my life flashed before me once or twice. That took less time than it would now.

I stayed again in 1995/6 (saw Mitterand’s funeral from the window), and took George to see the Chomsky documentary “Manufacturing Consent”.

Stayed again a couple of times in the later 90s and had [redacted] good times. My wife and I said hello to George, who by this time had handed over the running of the store to his daughter, in 2008 – he was living on the third floor by then.

Then, in 2012, I was at Shakespeare Co for his wake, with my video camera. I had forgotten this until someone commented on this video below.

George is now at Pere Lachaise, which I first visited in 1988. I will pay him a visit if/when I can.

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