JOYCE, JAMES (1882-1941, Irish novelist, poet and playwright)

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Lot 136
JOYCE, JAMES (1882-1941, Irish novelist, poet and playwright)

Sold for £ 33,600 (US$ 42,759) inc. premium
JOYCE, JAMES (1882-1941, Irish novelist, poet and playwright)
REMARKABLE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ('James Joyce'), to Carlo Linati, DESCRIBING HIS DIFFICULTIES IN PUBLISHING ULYSSES, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, DUBLINERS AND HIS PLAY EXILES: commenting that 'the story of my books is very strange'; recommending Who's Who as a source of information about himself, giving an outline of his life in the last fourteen years ('...I have lived here at Trieste from 1904 onwards. In 1914 the Austrian Government allowed me to move with my family to Switzerland (Zurich), where I remained till a little while ago. I suffered a good deal with my eyes at Zurich and underwent a grave operation, iridotomy. In 1916 I received a gift from the Crown for literary merit, on the recommendation of Mr Asquith...'); telling him where he can get a copy of the manifesto about the publishing history of Dubliners; mentioning Shaw's objection to Exiles on the grounds of obscenity; describing himself as a personal friend of Yeats and as knowing Synge; and repeating Linati's observation that his work enters the infamy of the movement founded and conducted by Yeats and Synge; in Italian (Joyce states in this letter that he began studying Italian when he was nine years old at a Jesuit college and then went on to take a degree in Romance languages), 2 closely written full pages, quarto, Via della Sanita, Trieste, 19 December 1919

Footnotes

  • Dubliners: '...For the publication of Dubliners I had to struggle for ten years. The whole first edition of 1000 copies was burnt at Dublin by fraud; some say it was the doing of priests, some of enemies, others of the then Viceroy or his consort, Lady Aberdeen. Altogether it is a mystery...'

    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: '...it was refused by nearly all the publishers in London. Moreover, when the courageous review The Egoist decided to publish it, not one printing works in the whole of the United Kingdom could be found to consent to print it. It was printed in America. The sheets were sent to London and bound there...'

    Ulysses: '...My new book Ulysses was to appear in the Egoist of London. The same old story. From the very beginning the printers refused again. It appeared in fragments in the New York Little Review. On three occasions its distribution through the postal system has been halted by the intervention of the American Government. Now legal action is being taken against it...'

    Exiles: '...raised a kind of storm at Munich. My agent at Berlin writes to me that for the moment nothing can be done, that it would be better to wait for public opinion to quieten down. I hope all the same to get it put on in Italy...In England it is not even spoken of. It was put in the programme of the Stage Society together with Congreve's Way of the World, and d'Annunzio's Dead City (translation by Arthur Symons) but then removed again, owing to a protest by Bernard Shaw, who found it obscene...'

    Carlo Linati (1878-1949), a distinguished Italian writer and translator of Yeats, Synge and Lady Gregory, had been asked by Joyce if he would like to translate Portrait of the Artist. Linati instead suggested that Exiles would be more suitable for the Italian public. He afterwards translated 'Arady' from Dubliners and a fragment of Ulysses. It was to him that Joyce sent a pre-publication version of his famous schema for Ulysses ('A sort of summary-key-skeleton-scheme') which has became known as the Linati Schema.

    This important letter, one of the most significant by Joyce to come on the market in recent years, is printed in translation only in The Letters of James Joyce, 1966, edited by Stuart Gilbert, volume I, pp. 132-133. The last three lines of the letter are omitted in the translation and there seems to be a muddle over Monaco / Munich.
Contacts
JOYCE, JAMES (1882-1941, Irish novelist, poet and playwright)
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