Marcelo Alves Dias de Sousa
Regional Advocate of the Republic • Doctor of Laws (Doctor of Laws) from King’s College London – KCL • LLM from PUC/SP
You’ve talked a lot about books, it’s true. I even admitted to literally sleeping between them. But make no mistake: books aren’t the only fun in my life. I also love to travel. And I love whiskey, bottled dog, and the like. If you’re a bit “retired” with the pandemic, you’ve been really good at it. I talk about travel as much as I talk about whiskey. rest assured.
In doing so, I shall mix all these pleasures. Let’s deal with pubs in London, particularly the so-called ‘literary pubs’, which I knew / attended when I lived there. I can say that literary pubs are in London – though not the same charm, I confess – what literary cafés are in Vienna or, more famously, to Paris.
When it comes to bars, London isn’t exactly Dublin. “In Ireland, no one goes where you can’t drink,” said Dr Johnson. Dublin, smaller than London, should now have nearly a thousand such “public homes”. Life turns around them: business, politics, sports, religion, my right and our literature. Bars are witnesses or even artistic spectacles of people like James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Flann O’Brien, Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanaugh, Seamus Heaney and others with less votes. Or less drinkers.
But London, even because of the equally rainy climate, has the same preference for alcohol. Almost every day, the end of work, about 17 hours, you drink something or a lot. The pub is the place for a lot of discussion about football. But literature also has its own space. With the help of Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Johnny Rendon’s New Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen Bath to Key West by Ernest Hemingway (National Geographic Society, 2009), I will name three of these homes, called “literary pubs” I attended. For them, like the old warrior Tempera from “I-Juca-Pirama,” by Gonçalves Dias, I can say, albeit not with the same drama, “Boys, I saw.”
Start with the Spaniards Inn, in the picturesque suburb of Hampstead. They say John Keats used to live nearby and was a regular in the house. The pub is mentioned in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. The Spaniards were also the background to “The Pickwick Papers” by Charles Dickens. This is enough to guarantee your fame. A neighborhood out of town, I’d go to Hampstead from time to time, when I was “tired” of London. Although this really worries me, because, according to the aforementioned doctor, “everyone who is tired of London is tired of life.”
Another highly recommended one is the anchor. On the edge of the Thames. South Bank. Great view. From the river and from a large part of London (its north bank, richer and more famous), including the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. The surroundings are displayed. The Tate Modern, UK Museum of Modern Art. And the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s new home, that says it all. Samuel Pepes is said to have taken refuge in The Anchor “while watching the destruction of London in the fire of 1666”. It’s crazy and a diary for everything. I have already taken many brazilian friends there. I walk there every weekend. I think the walk along the south bank of the Thames is the best in London. And she had a few pints, of course.
Finally, I quote from the old Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, located on Fleet Street, the former street of London newspapers. Very close to the King’s College London – KCL library, where I was studying almost daily, I used to go there quite often. The aforementioned Dr. Johnson (who lived next door), Pepes (the firefighter) and Dickens (who alludes to the pub in A Tale of Two Cities) were regulars there. Such as Conan Doyle, JK Chesterton, PJ Woodhouse, Thomas Carlyle, E.M. Foster, Joseph Conrad, Sinclair Lewis, WB Wests and other members of the rhyming club. I myself did not write anything there. But I fell down the stairs without dropping the beer. Which is something.
Well, the options for bars in London are enormous. There are even guided tours/tours to explore this. When she was inspired by literature, they called her “London literature Bob Weeks”. Being there, they can call me for it. Sick. I just don’t know how to go back.
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