Today you will explore Paris in a different way … you will follow and explore the city as the literary greats did. The city has lured writers and poets, such as Ernest Hemingway, and more, for centuries.
Despite the devastation wrought by two world wars, France retained its international renown as a center for the Avant Garde. Paris in particular was a magnet for experimental writers, artists and musicians. The cafés were full of American authors and Jazz musicians, and film makers. St Germain des Prés became synonymous with intellectual life centered on bars and cafés. Philosophers, writers, actors and musicians mingled in the cellar nightspots and brasseries, where existentialist philosophy co-existed with American Jazz.
Today, although the area is more stylish then in the heyday, the writers are still around enjoying the pleasures of all that the area has to offer including sitting in Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore and other haunts. The 17th-century buildings have survived, but signs of change are also evident in the affluent shops dealing in antiques, books and fashion.
Rue de l’Odéon was opened in 1779 to improve access to the Odéon theater. It was the first street in Paris to have sidewalks with gutters and it still has many 18th-Century houses. Sylvia Beach’s bookstore, the original Shakespeare & Company, stood at No. 12 from 1921 to 1940. It was a magnet for writers likes James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Hemingway.
Explore the charming Latin Quarter with the old houses of the Mouffetard market street, an impressive fragment of the medieval city wall, and the lovely historic church of St Etienne-du-Mont. This area is associated with many writers – Joyce, Orwell, Balzac, Hugo and immortalized by Hemingway in A Moveable Feast.