JOYCE, James (1882-1941). Ulysses. Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922.
JOYCE, James (1882-1941). Ulysses. Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922. 4to. (Pale offsetting on half-title, inscription slightly bled, old glue remains beneath inscription presumably where bookplate removed.) Original "Greek flag" blue printed wrappers, uncut (some small losses at corners of spine, a few short tears to edges, a few splits in spine with discreet repairs). FIRST EDITION, LIMITED ISSUE, ONE OF 100 COPIES ON DUTCH HANDMADE PAPER, this copy number 74, SIGNED BY JOYCE on the limitation page. Joyce’s Ulysses was revolutionary in its time, and it stands as the most significant English-language novel of the 20th-century. The mock-heroic epic novel, celebrating the events of a single day, June 16th 1904, employs a complexity of language and structure, and a cohesion of historical sources which have made Ulysses the most diligently studied work of modern literature in English. Joyce began writing Ulysses in 1914 or 1915, and, thanks to assistance from Ezra Pound, fourteen installments were published in 23 successive issues of Margaret Anderson’s American Journal, The Little Review between 1918 and 1920. Pound was also influential in getting portions of the work published in Harriet Shaw Weaver’s The Egoist in London in 1919. Facing legal issues in America and England, resulting from the novel’s presumed obscene content, The Little Review was reluctant to publish the complete work. After several unsuccessful attempts to find a publisher, Pound introduced Joyce to Sylvia Beach of the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris, who was willing to publish the work under her imprint. The first edition consisted of 1,000 copies: the first 100 copies (as here) were printed on handmade paper and signed by Joyce; copies 101-250 were printed on a slightly lesser grade of handmade paper and were not signed; the final 750 copies were printed on the least expensive stock of paper, also unsigned. In a letter to Bennett Cerf, of Random House in New York, Joyce writes: “My friend Mr. Ezra Pound and good luck brought me into contact with a very clever and energetic person Miss Sylvia Beach…This brave woman risked what professional publishers did not wish to, she took the manuscript and handed it to the printers….thus it came about that thanks to extra work and the kindness of Mr. Darantière the well-known Dijon printer Ulysses came out a very short time after the manuscript had been delivered and the first printed copy was sent to me for my fortieth birthday on the second of February 1922.” A FINE COPY of the novel that Hart Crane called, “the epic of the age,” and which Nabokov described as “a divine work of art.” Connolly The Modern Movement 42; Slocum & Cahoon A17.
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