James Joyce (1882-1941)
JOYCE, James Augustine Aloysius (1882-1941). Ulysses. Hamburg: Odyssey Press, 1932.
Author's presentation copy to Gustav Zumsteg, son of Hulda Zumsteg, the notable proprietors of the famous Kronenhalle restaurant in Zürich, just a few days before Joyce's death. Joyce's travels over continental Europe often took him to Zürich, which he first visited in 1904. He wrote portions of Ulysses while in the city during the First World War, and later 'Work in Progress', or Finnegans Wake, as it came to be known. With the invasion of France in 1940, Joyce managed to secure exile in Zürich, arriving there on 17 December 1940. He was a frequent visitor to the Kronenhalle; in an interview with the New York Times in 1987, Gustav Zumsteg claimed that, 'Joyce lived here for eight years ... He came here every day. And he left this place to die' (https://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/04/travel/zurich-s-haven-of-genius-and-joviality.html). The present lot is inscribed 'New Year 1941'; just a few days later, Joyce was struck down with acute abdominal pains, but after an operation to remove a perforated duodenal ulcer, never suffucently recovered, and passed away on 13 January. The impact of Joyce's Ulysses was revolutionary in its own time, and the book continues to stand as the single most significant English language novel of the last century. The complexity of it is revealed in the statement on verso of the present lot's title: 'The present edition may be regarded as the deifnitive standard edition, as it has been specially revised, at the author's request, by Stuart Gilbert'. It predates the first edition to be printed in England by 4 years. Slocum and Cahoon 20 ('generally considered to be the most accurate and authoritative text').
2 volumes, octavo (175 x 111mm). Standard Odyssey edition. Half-titles and final blanks in both vols. Contemporary half roan over paper-covered boards (extremities lightly rubbed, joints more heavily). Provenance: author's presentation copy (inscribed in green ink on half-title of vol. I, 'With many thanks and best wishes ... Zurich New Year 1941' to:) – Gustav Zumsteg (1915-2005).