JOYCE, James. Autograph letter signed ('Jas A Joyce') to William Heinemann, Via S. Nicolò, Trieste, 23 September 1905, one page, 8vo, docketing stamp of W. Heinemann. Provenance: sale, Sotheby's London, 21-22 July 1983, lot 447.
'THE BOOK IS NOT A COLLECTION OF TOURIST IMPRESSIONS ...'
JOYCE OFFERS DUBLINERS FOR PUBLICATION. Joyce has almost completed Dubliners, and submits it to Heinemann, characterising it as a collection of twelve short stories, of 1800 or 2000 words each: 'The book is not a collection of tourist impressions but an attempt to represent certain aspects of the life of one of the European capitals', adding that he is 'an Irishman as you will see by the name', and that he offers the book before completion because he is anxious that publication should be as soon as possible; he enquires whether Heinemann would like to read the work, and apologises 'if my request is an unusual one'.
Joyce had expressed his confidence of Heinemann's publishing Dubliners in writing to Stanislaus on 12 June 1905: 'when Dubliners is complete I intend to offer it to Heinemann, who, I am sure, will take it' (Elmann, Letters, p.71); Heinemann had rejected Chamber Music only a few days before Joyce wrote the present letter, however, which may explain its peculiarly hesitant tone. Heinemann's rejection of Dubliners was the beginning of a struggle to secure publication of the work which was to last almost a decade.