JOYCE, James. Pomes Penyeach. Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1927.
12o. Errata slip tipped to rear pastedown. (Top edge of first blank torn off, not affecting Crane's signature beneath.) Original pale green printed boards (soiled, few chips to spine). Provenance: HART CRANE (1899-1932), American poet (signature on front blank).
"HE IS THE ONE ABOVE ALL OTHERS I SHOULD LIKE TO TALK TO..."
FIRST EDITION. HART CRANE'S COPY, SIGNED BY HIM ON THE FRONT BLANK. A REMARKABLE ASSOCIATION COPY, LINKING TWO GREAT MODERNIST MASTERS. The young Crane proclaimed in 1919, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, aside from Dante, is spiritually the most inspiring book I have ever read" (John Unterecker, Voyager: A Life of Hart Crane, NY, 1987, p.115). Crane devoured all of Joyce's work (his letters home are filled with requests for newly published Joyce) and he considered writing a critical appraisal of him.
After the publication of Ulysses in 1922--which Crane deemed "the epic of the age"--Crane's worship of Joyce reached new heights. He wrote to a friend: "Joyce dresses quietly and neatly. Is very quiet in manner, and Anderson says, does not seem to have read anything contemporary for years. His book is steeped in the Elizabethans, his early love, and Latin Church, and some Greek--but the man rarely talks about books... Joyce is still very poor. Recently some French writers headed by Valery Larbaud gave a dinner and reading for his benefit. It is my opinion that some fanatic will kill Joyce sometime soon for the wonderful things said in Ulysses. Joyce is too big for chit-chat, so I hope I haven't offended you with the above details about him. He is the one above all others I should like to talk to" (27 July 1922, The Letters of Hart Crane, ed. Brom Weber, NY, 1952, pp.94-95). There is no record of their ever meeting. (For Hart's Crane's works, see lots 55-60.) Slocum & Cahoon A24.