An Honored American Named George W.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Just beginning your writing life? Well-established and seeking new inspiration? Interested in filling six days with creative exploration, passion, great food and glorious landscape?
If so, then join James Navé, Allegra Huston and guest faculty in spectacular Taos, New Mexico for their annual writing salon — a cross-disciplinary writing adventure designed to energize, deepen and extend your writing practice. At the Writing Salon, you will discover wells of imagination you never knew you had. For more information visit http://www.TheWritingSalon.net or email [email protected]
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
He was accompanied by his stunningly beautiful blonde-haired star-quality daughter (at the ripe old age of 25), Sylvia Beach Whitman, and surrounded by a hundred or so aficionados of the bookshop Shakespeare and Company — a closely knit literary community that Whitman has engendered over the past 55 years by stubbornly keeping its utopian ideals and maintaining the legacy Sylvia Beach created in 1919 with the first bookshop at number 12 rue de l’Odéon. The gathering was one of a series of events as part of the four-day literary celebration “Travel in Words” which took place June 15th through 18th. Many of those who attended had taken part in the literary celebration such as Lucinda Holdforth who had eloquently spoken the night before at a cocktail and lecture gathering at three-star Restaurant Atelier Maître Albert about her recent book, “True Pleasures: A Memoir of Women in Paris,” and Thirza Vallois, author of “Around and About Paris” and “Romantic Paris” who led two walking tours during the festival.
Whitman has always been considered an eccentric, but others have called him “a light in a dull and homogenized world.” On this warm and long-lit Summer evening with the palace built for Marie de Medicis in the early 17th-century as a perfect backdrop, satisfying our every desire with a long table of light hors d’oeuvres and cool alcoholic potables, nothing could have been truer.
It’s no surprise to Francophiles that France should have such a long history of officially recognizing exceptional accomplishments in many domains, especially the cultural ones. The Order of Arts and Letters was established in l957 by the Minister of Culture to recognize eminent artists and writers, and people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts throughout the world.
Whitman received the second highest of the three ranks: Chevalier, Officier, and Commandeur. He had no problem qualifying for the age requirement — 30, and must not only respect French civil law, but have “significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.” The award is given out twice annually to a few hundred people worldwide and the list of recipients is published periodically in France in the government’s Journal Officiel, a government bulletin. American recipients of the medal have included Paul Auster, Richard Meier, David Bowie, Art Buchwald, Ella Fitzgerald, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, and Meryl Streep.
Now, George Whitman. Sylvia’s tears when the medal was pinned to his chest showed how proud she was of her father. At that moment, I also felt the presence of the first Sylvia Beach, who we cannot neglect as having some part in this accomplishment, and I was equally proud of the young Sylvia Beach who carries the torch on behalf of all of us.
A la prochaine…
P.S. Cultural things to do in Paris this week — DON’T MISS THEM! Read the Parler Paris Previews, A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris, for more details, but best place to be…Le Marais for Fête
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Insider Paris Guides…
If you are a successful literary translator and/or fiction writer of any kind you may be eligible for the “carte de séjour profession artistique et culturelle.” In order to obtain artistic legal status you must have a contract with a publisher or literary association/company in which your publication or project completion date is scheduled for more than three months after the date of your “carte de séjour” application. Like other non-EU “carte de séjour” holders, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa at your nearest Embassy and upon arrival contact the prefecture to begin the application process for the resident permit specific to artists…. for the complete answer, see the guide….
Novelists, journalists, poets, dreamers and doers…discover the writing life in Paris. It is possible, click here to find out how…. http://www.insiderparisguides.com/writers/index.html
* Explore Argentina and Uruguay this fall in the company of Argentina’s top sommelier… meet the best wine makers from each country… dine in some of South America’s finest restaurants… stay in five-star hotels… take chartered flights across the continent… and be thoroughly pampered in every way. For details, call Agora Travel at 800-926-6575 or click here: http://www.agoratravel.com/winesouthamerica/pp
Parler Paris Apartments
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hôtel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is in or for up to 4 people when she’s traveling.
* “Le Provençal” Studio: Available as of August 2006
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
* Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at ParlerParisApartments.com. If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Adrian Leeds at [email protected] for more information.
Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:
Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like.
An Honored American Named George W.
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