JOYCE, James Augustine Aloysius (1882-1941). Ulysses. Paris: Maurice Darantière for Shakespeare and Company, 1922.
8° (237 x 183mm). Printed music in the text. (Some light browning, a few short marginal tears, pre- and postliminary blank leaves [*]1-2 and 1-2 either not issued or removed by binder [see note], [**]1-2 detached, leaves [**]1-4 and 46/5-8 with marginal tears, some neatly reinforced, those on [**]2 affecting first letter of title.) Contemporary blue cloth lettered in gilt on the spine, some gatherings unopened (lightly marked, upper hinge split), contained in a later blue cloth chemise, morocco-backed slipcase lettered in gilt on the spine (slipcase lightly rubbed at extremities). [With:]
Ezra Weston Loomis POUND. Typed letter signed ('E.P.') to Kate Buss, 70bis, N.D. des Champs, 1 Hephaistos [i.e. March] AN II [i.e. 1923], 1 page, 4°, tipped onto flyleaf. [And:]
Sylvia BEACH. Autograph letter signed ('Sylvia Beach') to Kate Buss, 12 rue de l'Odéon, Paris, 24 March 1923, on paper with printed heading of Shakespeare and Company, 2 pages, 4°, tipped onto verso of half-title.
Provenance: Kate Buss (1884-after 1923, presentation inscription 'To , Kate Buss , James Joyce , Paris , 11 May 1922' on half-title; ownership inscription on upper pastedown; pencilled annotations to Pound's letter, endleaves and leaf [**]3r)--Thomas Edward Hanley (1893-1969, cf. Slocum and Cahoon, citing this copy).
FIRST EDITION, UNNUMBERED PRESS COPY. INSCRIBED BY JOYCE TO THE AMERICAN AUTHOR AND CRITIC KATE BUSS AND WITH INSERTED LETTERS FROM POUND AND BEACH ABOUT BUSS'S REVIEW OF THE WORK, POUND'S PUNNING ON THE SUBSTITUTION OF 'JOSEPH' FOR 'JAMES' AND BEACH'S DISCUSSING JOYCE'S SIGHT PROBLEMS.
Kate Buss was an American author and critic, who lived in Paris, and moved in the city's literary circles, counting luminaries such as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound amongst her friends (indeed, for some time she lived in the same house as the Joyces in the rue de l'Université). Stein recalled her thus at this period: 'Kate Buss brought lots of people to [Stein's] house. She brought Djuna Barnes and Mina Loy and they wanted to bring James Joyce, but they didn't' (The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (London: 1933), pp.215-216). The publication of Ulysses on Joyce's birthday (2 February 1922) was an event amplified by the paucity of copies available for sale; as Joyce anxiously wrote to Harriet Shaw Weaver on 8 February, 'Since the announcement that the book was out the shop [i.e. Shakespeare and Company] has been in a state of siege--buyers driving up two or three times a day and no copies to give them' (J. Joyce Selected Letters ed. R. Ellmann (London: 1975) I, p.288). The acquisition of a copy was exacerbated by the cost of 150 francs, as Buss recorded in her review of Ulysses (a copy of which is pasted onto the flyleaf of this volume): 'If one couldn't afford a copy one borrowed. Ezra Pound was good enough to borrow Mr. Joyce's unsewed copy for my reading and reviewing'. Buss's review of the book from Joyce's copy was written in April 1922 (according to a note in her hand on the flyleaf of the present volume), and she presumably then returned the volume to its author and owner, who in turn inscribed this copy to Kate Buss the month after she had borrowed his, in gratitude for her early and enthusiastic review, which was eventually published in The Boston Evening Transcript on 10 October 1922 (cf. R.H. Deming A Bibliography of James Joyce Studies (Boston, MA: 1977), 2081).
Both Ezra Pound and Sylvia Beach wrote to Buss about her review, and their letters have been tipped into the volume by Buss, and, in the case of Pound's, annotated by her. Pound's letter discusses the arrivals past and pending of the writers (and friends of Joyce) Padraic Colum and Ford Maddox Ford in Paris, and also The Criterion: '[T.S.] Eliot's new quarterly "The Criterion" very grave and estimable, and antique. Sh[oul]d. establish itself in England and probably become an asset in time. Hope so, any how'. Pound then considers Buss's review and its fate at the hands of the printers; the article was printed with the title 'Ulysses. Joseph [sic] Joyce's Literary Studies in Human Nature', which provokes a typical Poundian outburst of punning inversions--'No one has any "fame" with a typesetter. James Joseph. indade!!! James Gehovah, bayDad.'
Sylvia Beach's letter thanks Buss for hers, and apologises for the tardy reply, particularly as 'you ... have said so many kind things about me'--Buss's review describes Beach as a 'heroine' and 'something of a blessing to the "left bank"'--before asking Buss to send copies of her book Studies in the Chinese Drama (Boston: 1922) for Shakespeare and Company to stock. Praising the review of Ulysses, Beach says, 'Your article on "Ulysses" was extremely good. It is quoted in the enclosed Press extracts [i.e. Extracts from Press Notices of Ulysses by James Joyce, where Buss's review is quoted on p.]', and then relates news of Joyce: 'Mr Joyce has been having a lot of trouble with his eyes for the last nine months. He never does anything nowadays but pays visits to the doctor's and follow the various treatments prescribed. I do hope his eyes will get well eventually'.
This copy is one of an unknown, but probably small, number of press copies that were printed, which did not bear a limitation number, but were stamped below the limitation statement 'UNNUMBERED PRESS COPY', and further stamped on the half-title and title 'PRESS COPY'; although Slocum and Cahoon state that 'In an unspecified number of the 750 copies [of the first edition printed on handmade paper] the numbers were erased and rubber stamped "Unnumbered Press Copy," e.g., the Kate Buss copy in the library of T.E. Hanley', the present copy appears to contradict that statement. The volume is printed on different weights of paper, and these paper stocks seem to be of distinctly poorer quality than the stock of the 750 copies on hand-made paper, suggesting that the press copies were printed as a small separate issue, aside from the run of 1,000 copies on various hand-made papers that comprise the first edition. Certainly press copies are rare on the market; only one is recorded at auction by ABPC since 1975 (the Goodwin copy, which contained leaves from a proof printing), and to that and the present copy can be added 4 others (the Michael Healy-James Laughlin, Richard Aldington-John J. Slocum, Josephine Murray-University of Tulsa, and the Ernest Hemingway-John F. Kennedy Library copies). These copies may have been issued unbound, which would explain the absence of the pre- and postliminary leaves that retained the dustwrapper of the standard copies; the Hemingway copy is unbound and the wear to the first and last leaves of this copy (which bears Buss's ownership signature dated 1922 on the pastedown, indicating that it was bound shortly after presentation) is consistent with that which could be expected if it were issued unbound. As the cost of printing the copies for sale entailed a significant expenditure, it seems possible that the review copies could have been printed on cheaper stocks.
THE PRESENT COPY IS ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE AND FASCINATING EXAMPLES OF JOYCE'S CHEF-D'OEUVRE TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION IN RECENT YEARS; inscribed copies of the first edition are scarce in themselves, but this copy is further distinguished not only by its provenance and bibliographical rarity as a press copy, but also by the addition of letters from Pound--one of Joyce's most vigorous literary champions--and Beach--the work's publisher, whose endeavours brought Joyce's to fruition. Connolly 100 Key Books of the Modern Movement 42; Slocum and Cahoon A17.