Book Discussion: We’ll Always Have Paris, Literature in the City of Light– Gertrude Stein with Samuél Lopez-Barrantes

Book Discussion: We’ll Always Have Paris, Literature in the City of Light– Gertrude Stein with Samuél Lopez-Barrantes


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

What is it about Paris that has kept Americans dreaming for over a century? Is it the majestic tree-lined Boulevard Saint Germain or the seedy cafes in Pigalle? The long walks along the Seine, or the illicit parties in the city’s underbelly?

In this four-part series that spans history, literature, and philosophy, author, musician, and Sorbonne professor Samuél Lopez-Barrantes will guide you through the lives and imaginations of four of the most important artists to ever live and write in the City of Lights. Each session will be devoted to one book and one author–Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, and finally James Baldwin.

Participants are invited to either read the works before attending the seminar or to use the session as a precursor to later reading. In this session, we will read and discuss Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Gertrude Stein is remembered as one of the founders of literary modernism as well as one of the most important art collectors in the 20th century, but her distinct and esoteric writing style is far less understood. Using her approachable The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas as a springboard for a discussion of Stein’s writing style and life in Paris, this course will cover Stein’s relationship to art and literature in Paris as well her outsized influence on Ernest Hemingway. 

Led by an expert on history and literature, Professor Samuél Lopez-Barrantes, this interactive seminar will discuss four 20th century American masterpieces that were written in and about the City of Lights. Designed to inform curiosity as well as educate, participants will come away with a deeper appreciation for the selected works as well as for a better understanding as to why Paris has continually attracted American artists well into the 21st century. 

This conversation is part of a four-part series on literature connected to Paris. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a four-week series. We invite you to explore:

Samuél is a writer and musician who has lived in Paris since 2008. He holds an M.A. in European Society from University College London and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Samuél teaches creative writing at the Sorbonne, and is also a pianist and singer in the American indie-rock trio, Slim & The Beast.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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