Shakespeare and Company
There is a private not of Flanner here which I will relate in short. Sylvia Beach at this time had to sell some of her treasures since she was out of money. Since she was hoping that some Americans might be interested, Janet Flanner announced the sale in her Paris Letter in The New Yorker. Unfortunately, it did not seem to help. Flanner was given a numbered, uncut first edition of Ulysses, which had an original page of the manuscript, which Joyce had overwritten with his typical extra entangling sentences, dealing with the so-called Circe incident. In 1950 Flanner decided to sell the treasure and offered it to a friend who was going to give it to the Morgan Library. Flanner said she would sell it for the market price which would be around 500 dollars. To her surprise the market price was only one hundred dollar, which seemed to little for a book that cause so much stir in 1922. Sylvia Beach accepted the sum and was delighted that is should belong to such a glorious Library. The fellows of the library wrote in their announcement of the purchase:
"The card catalogue on the acquisition further noted that it was accompanied by Miss Beach's engraved calling card, pasted on the book's from lining, and bearing her autographed inscription, 'For Janet Flanner with Sylvia Beach's love and gratitude.' She always gave more than she received, Publishing Ulysses was her greatest act of generosity. J.F."
Sylvia Beach seemed to have been a real lover of books. The books being more important that her survival instinct!
André Citroën (1878-1935
The recent bankruptcy and death of André Citroën, France's greatest automobile manufacturer, ends a curiously un-French career. Before the war, he was a salesman in a motor house, which promptly failed; during the war, he was the organiser of the arsenal at Roannes; after the war, he was the father of the little five-horse-power car that gave him international fame and over a billion franc annually. He sent great photographic expeditions into both Asia and Africa, as publicity wrote his name in electricity on the top of the Tour Eiffel, built beautiful model factories with playgrounds and nurseries, gambled a million francs a throw at gamin tables, believed in mass production in the American manner, and so died without a franc. ...
... When he crossed the Spanish border on a motor trip, he was topped by a customs officer, who asked, 'Name?' 'Citroën,' he replied. 'I didn't ask the car's name but yours,' said the officer. 'Oh, ' sid the manufactuer, 'I'm Citroën, but it's Hispano.' It was. He was a likeable, sly little man with charm and the ability to wrap people and banks around his finger. His errors lay in believing that Paris was Detroit and in stating with satisfaction on his deathbed, 'After I'm gone, the House of Citroën will fall.' It had fallen long before. It was, indeed, doomed to fall from its inception. For France is not the USA.