London, South Kensington
30 November 2005
JOYCE, James (1882-1941). Letter addressed from 7 rue Edmond Valentin and signed to Carola Giedion-Welcker ('Mrs Gideon' [sic]), thanking her for an unnamed book and for 'typed certificates' of his brother, Stanislaus, apparently referring to the latter's attempts to find employment in Switzerland following his temporary dismissal from his post at the University of Trieste. The letter is undated but Joyce's reference to his 'wretched Whitsuntide' suggests that it was written around 18 May 1937. Single sheet, 8°, folded and written in ink on two sides, without envelope. (Ellmann: Letters of James Joyce, p397)
A LETTER COMMEMORATING ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FRIENDSHIPS OF JOYCE'S FINAL YEARS IN ZURICH. Joyce met the art critic Carola Giedion-Welcker in Zurich in 1930. She and her husband Siegfried Giedion, author of Space, Time and Architecture, recommended the brilliant Swiss surgeon Professor Alfred Vogt, for Joyce's worsening eye trouble. The Giedion-Welckers were consistently supportive friends and confidants, introducing Joyce to the architect Le Corbusier in 1937 and counselling him in his attempts to find treatment for the mental disorders which afflicted his daughter, Lucia. Joyce spent his last Christmas (1940) with the Giedion-Welckers at their house at 7 Doldertal, Zurich: 'Here ... life is settled' (Ellmann, p753). Carola Giedion-Welcker rushed to Joyce's bedside when, just days later, he was taken ill with a duodenal ulcer, arriving minutes after his death in the early hours of 13 January 1941. She arranged for the sculptor Paul Speck to take a death mask of the author.
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