The Connection Between Ernest Hemingway and Sylvia Beach Essay

Ernest Hemingway (1899- 1961) and Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) both came to Paris from America with goals of reaching success. Although drastically different, each managed to achieve his or her goal on their own and with the support that the other gave, their goals became much easier to accomplish. Through the opportunities Beach provided, Hemingway transformed from an aspiring writer to a Nobel Prize winner in Literature. The influence of Sylvia Beach and her bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, provided to be the stepping-stone—through readily available novels to study and opportunities to meet other notable authors—Hemingway needed as a young, novice writer in Paris to flourish into the great American prose author that world sees him as today.Before Sylvia Beach launched Hemingway or any other new American writer, she herself started as an American along the Left Bank of Paris. As Beach explains in Shakespeare and Company (1956), it was always her goal to open a French bookstore in New York City, but with the help of her friend and French publisher, Adrienne, Beach eventually decided that it would be much more realistic to travel to Paris and open an English bookstore there instead. Once in Paris, Beach’s bookstore eventually found its home at 12 rue de l’Odeon. Beach ran the bookstore—or lending library—with no organization, but this place soon became an alcove for American writers in Paris. Matthew Stewart says in Modernism and Tradition in Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time: A Guide for Students and Readers (2001), “[Sylvia Beach] promoted young writers by stocking their books, providing encouragement, and instituting an affordable lending policy and as her little shop quickly developed into the writing hub of the Lost Generation…

…ingway to begin his career.

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Works Cited

Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York: Charles Scribner’sSons, 1969. Print.

Beach, Sylvia. Shakespeare and Company. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,1956. Print

Fitch, Noel Riley. Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris inthe Twenties and Thirties. New York: Norton, 1985. Print.

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. 1925. Rpt. New York: Scribner, 1996. Print.

—. A Moveable Feast. 1964. Rpt. New York: Scribner, 2003. Print.

—. The Sun Also Rises. 1926. Rpt. New York: Scribner, 2006. Print.

Stewart, Matthew. Modernism and Tradition in Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time: AGuide for Students and Readers. Rochester: Camden House, 2001. Print.

Tavernier-Courbin, Jacqueline. Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast: The Makingof Myth. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1991. Print.

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