“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, April 21, 1921, Boulevard Raspail, Paris; and 13 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

In Paris, Irish ex-patriate James Joyce, 39, is writing to one of his benefactors, Irish-American lawyer John Quinn, about to turn 51, in New York City, who has been trying to have a publisher bring out a private edition of Joyce’s novel-in-progress, Ulysses.

Boulevard Raspail

Quinn has been supporting Joyce for the past few years, not only by defending the publication of Ulysses excerpts in the American magazine, The Little Review, but also by buying up the manuscript for cash as Joyce works on it.

The legal help has been greatly appreciated, but this past February the court ruled that the sections are obscene and stopped their publication.

Now that Sylvia Beach, 34, owner of Paris bookstore Shakespeare & Company, has offered to publish the novel, Joyce feels he needs to pass the news on to Quinn: 

The publication of Ulysses (complete) was arranged here [in Paris] in a couple of days…Best thanks for your advocacy.”

*****

Back in New York, Quinn has just received the call he has been waiting for from Horace Liveright, 36. His company, Boni and Liveright, is interested in bringing out a private publication of Ulysses, which Quinn has been pitching to them for most of the past year. Private publication of a book won’t be subject to the same legal restrictions as the magazine, which is sent through the mails.

Horace Liveright

Quinn’s staff tells him that a package has just arrived from Paris containing “Circe,” the latest section of Joyce’s manuscript.

Eagerly, Quinn begins to read the handwritten pages, and his optimism quickly fades. He realizes that no matter how it is published, this will be a legal disaster. Anyone who would take the chance would be convicted. He calls Liveright back.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available in both print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, April 17, 1921, Hogarth House, Richmond, London

Novelist Virginia Woolf, 39, is concerned about the sales of her most recent book. Her first short story collection, Monday or Tuesday, was published by her and her husband Leonard’s own Hogarth Press last month.

Monday or Tuesday, cover design by Vanessa Bell

Today she writes in her diary, “

Sales & revenues flag, & I much doubt if M. & T. will sell 500, or cover expenses.”

First, the book looks horrible. Terrible printing job. The Woolfs will never use that printer again.

Then their assistant, Ralph Partridge, 27, screwed up the publicity from the start by sending a review copy to the Times that didn’t include the publication date. All she got was a tiny write-up in an obscure part of the paper.

In the meantime, the new biography, Queen Victoria by her friend Lytton Strachey, 41, is featured in the paper with three columns of unabashed praise! Virginia has also heard that Lytton’s book sold 5,000 copies in the same week hers only moved 300. No wonder.

Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey

Lytton dedicated his book to her, and he has been complimentary about her collection, particularly the story “The String Quartet.”

But the slow sales are beginning to depress Virginia. On the other hand, when she receives reports of strong sales she worries that she is becoming too commercial.

A little over a week ago Virginia confided to her diary,

I ought to be writing Jacob’s Room; and I can’t, and instead I shall write down the reasons why I can’t…Well, you see, I’m a failure as a writer… And thus I can’t get on with Jacob…My temper sank and sank till for half an hour I was as depressed as I ever am. I mean I thought of never writing any more—save reviews…What depresses me is the thought that I have ceased to interest people…One does not want an established reputation, such as I think I was getting, as one of our leading female novelists. I have still, of course, to gather in all the private criticism, which is the real test.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s Volume I covering 1920 is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, mid-April, 1921, Greenwich Village, New York City, New York

Photographer and painter Man Ray, 30, is proud of his latest work.

He and his friend, painter and surrealist Marcel Duchamp, 33, have produced the first issue of a magazine, New York Dada.

They put a lot of effort into it, particularly the cover. To the uninitiated, it is a small photo of a perfume bottle, Belle Helaine, Eau de Voilette, with a not particularly attractive woman on the label.

New York Dada, issue #1

But their friends in Greenwich Village would recognize “her” as Rrose Selavy, one of the many pseudonyms Duchamp uses. In French the name sounds like “Eros, c’est la vie,” which translates as “Eros, such is life,” or even “arroser la vie” meaning “to toast to life.” Duchamp had the original idea and together they dressed him in a coy hat and makeup for the photo Ray took.

Rrose Selavy

The surreal theme continues inside with a picture of one of their surreal friends, artist and writer Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, 46, whose poetry has appeared in The Little Review magazine.

Self-portrait by Man Ray

Although Dada in the United States has developed separately from its European counterpart, Ray and Duchamp have managed to include in the issue a letter from the founder of the European movement, Tristan Tzara, about to turn 25, giving them permission to use the name “Dada” for their magazine. In his letter Tzara says,

Dada belongs to everybody…like the idea of God or the tooth-brush…[There] is nothing more incomprehensible than Dada. Nothing more indefinable.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats. 

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, April 10, 1921, Boulevard Raspail, Paris

Irish ex-patriate James Joyce, 39, figures he has to write to his benefactor in London, Harriet Shaw Weaver, 44, founder of the Egoist Press, who has been supportive—financially and morally—of his current novel-in-progress, Ulysses.

Just last week Joyce had reported to her the distressing results of the trial back in New York that stopped publication of excerpts from his novel in The Little Review magazine by declaring that they were obscene. He was so upset, he took the time to transcribe by hand the full article from the New York Tribune clipping that he’d been given. He added that he knows 1921 is going to be unlucky because the digits add up to 13.

Now there is even worse news to report.

The English woman currently typing his manuscript showed up here at his hotel the other night. Her husband, an employee at the British embassy, found the manuscript and, when he read it, became furious. He ripped up the papers and threw them into the burning fire, including pages from the original as well as her already typed script.

James Joyce’s “Circe” manuscript

She came back the next day with what she could retrieve.

Joyce realizes that the damage is so great that the only complete copy of the “Circe” section he has been working on for so long is right now on board a steamship to New York City. Joyce has been selling the clean copies to one of his other benefactors, Irish-American attorney John Quinn, 50, to raise money to support himself and his family.

The copies Joyce has been giving to the typists are so sloppy that they are driving the women nuts. This is the ninth typist he has hired—just for the “Circe” chapter.

He knows he has to tell Weaver about this disaster, but Joyce also has some good news to pass on:

I arranged for a Paris publication to replace the American one—or rather I accepted a proposal made to me by Shakespeare & Co., a bookseller’s here…

“The proposal is to publish here in October an edition (complete) of the book…1,000 copies with 20 copies extra for libraries and press. A prospectus will be sent out next week…They offer me 66% of the net profit…The actual printing will begin as soon as the number of orders covers approximately the cost of printing…[Until the profits arrive] I need an advance.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available on Amazon in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, April, 1921, Stillingford, Berkshire, England

Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 55, is thrilled to find out that Iseult Gonne Stuart, 26, whom he thinks of as a daughter, has had her first child.

Iseult Gonne Stuart

To be honest, Yeats has been in love with Iseult’s mother, Irish independence activist, Maud Gonne, 54, his whole life. Many times during their stormy relationship he proposed marriage and she always turned him down. A few years ago, she even suggested that he propose to Iseult instead. And she turned him down.

Willie is now happily married to Georgie Hyde-Lees Yeats, 29. They have a daughter, Anne, 2, and are expecting another child in August. Willie really wants a boy.

Yeats has done Iseult the favor of creating a horoscope for her new daughter. He writes to her suggesting that perhaps her Dolores will grow up to marry his expected son! He adds,

By that time I shall be very old and stern & with my authority to support yours, she will do in that matter what she is told to do.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the sries, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available now in both print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, March 31, 1921, 8 rue Dupuytren, Left Bank, Paris

Sylvia Beach, just turned 34, American ex-pat owner of this bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., knows that she has to be the one to bring the bad news.

She has received a clipping of an editorial in last month’s New York Tribune stating that the court has ruled that excerpts from Ulysses, the work in progress by Irish novelist James Joyce, 39, her friend and customer, are officially, legally obscene.

Sylvia Beach and James Joyce

And the “melancholy Jesus,” as she calls him, has just walked into her store.

Joyce has been working on this novel for over six years now, and the late nights in a dimly lit room have severely affected his eyesight. He says he is now writing the last two sections and will be finished by May. Sylvia is dubious.

Recently he received a briefcase, sent from his previous home in Trieste, Italy, containing 12-year-old love letters between him and his partner and mother of his children, Nora Barnacle, just turned 37. This will help him to write the ending he has planned.

Despite the efforts of his benefactor in New York, lawyer and art collector John Quinn, 50, to get a major publisher to bring out a private edition, the only place excerpts of Ulysses have appeared is in The Little Review. And now the magazine’s publishers have been fined and prohibited from publishing any more.

After reading the clipping Joyce says,

My book will never come out now.”

What disturbs him even more is that, according to the editorial, the defense that Quinn had used in court was that his manuscript was incomprehensible to the average reader and disgusting. But not obscene. Because most people couldn’t understand it anyway, what was the point in suppressing it?

The judges didn’t agree. And they had recently punished a publisher in another obscenity case with a choice between a $1,000 fine or three months in prison. So the Little Review publishers take them seriously.

Sylvia felt for Joyce. His short story collection, Dubliners, had been rejected by 22 publishers before being brought out by Grant Richards Ltd. seven years ago in London.

What could she do to help? Does she know any publishers here? Her partner, Adrienne Monnier, 28, who owns a French language bookshop a few blocks away, has been bringing out Les Cahiers des Amis des Livres, a series of French writing and translations, for almost two years now. She works with a printer in Dijon and knows about typesetting and production.

Quinn had talked to Joyce about creating a private, high quality edition to sell for $10. Sylvia is thinking that she could have three different versions, of varying quality, and charge twice that much for a signed limited edition.

If she sets up a subscription scheme to get orders in advance, Sylvia figures she could pay the printer in instalments. And she could also hit up her mother and sisters for more family money to cover expenses.

Sylvia knows little about publishing, but she knows how to sell books. Not only is she fond of Joyce, she loves his work and has read enough of this novel to know that it will be one of the most important works published in English this decade.

Beach turns to Joyce and says,

Mr. Joyce, would you let Shakespeare & Co. have the honor of bringing out your Ulysses?”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available on Amazon in print and e-book versions. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, March, 1921, Charleston Farmhouse, East Sussex, England

Vanessa Bell, 41, painting at her country home, Charleston, is pleased to have her work in an exhibit, “Some Contemporary English Artists,” on now at the Independent Gallery, in Grafton Street in the posh Mayfair section of London.

Chrysanthemums by Vanessa Bell, 1920

Also included in the exhibit is work by her partner, Duncan Grant, 36.

Self-portrait in a Mirror by Duncan Grant, 1920

Last month her brother Adrian Stephen, 37, and his wife Karin, 32, both psychologists, commissioned Vanessa and Duncan to decorate their rooms at 40 Gordon Square, the same part of Bloomsbury where Vanessa has lived since her father died in 1904.

And the two painters are still working on a big commission from their Bloomsbury friend, economist John Maynard Keynes, 37, to create new murals for his rooms at King’s College, Cambridge. Since last summer they have been producing eight allegorical figures, alternating male and female, to fill almost a whole wall, representing Science, Political Economics, Music, Classics, Law, Mathematics, Philosophy and History as well as advising Maynard on every detail of the interior decoration of the sitting room, right down to the color of the curtains.

Drawings for Vanessa and Duncan’s murals for Maynard’s Cambridge sitting room

So they are busy. Together.  They work well as a team and have received recognition. But Vanessa is worried that her painting is becoming too much like Duncan’s.

What Vanessa really wants is to have a solo exhibit of her own work. As Duncan did last year.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, Spring, 1921, Mayfair, London

Sitting in his new in-laws’ posh house, American publisher, poet, and general drifter Robert McAlmon, 26, can’t believe his luck.

Back in February he had accepted the offer of a woman he had just met, Annie Ellerman, also 26, always known as Bryher, to get married so she could have access to her family money. Until they came over here to introduce Bob to her parents, he hadn’t realized how much family money there is.

The New York Times broke the story this month that the daughter of Sir John Ellerman, 58, first baronet, owner of British newspapers, breweries and shipping lines and the richest man in the United Kingdom, had married some unknown writer and artists’ model, Robert McAlmon. The family made no comment.

McAlmon is getting along well with his new British in-laws. Bryher’s parents have succumb to his charms and promised him a generous allowance. He even has enjoyed chatting with her younger brother John, 11, a reclusive boy. He writes books about rodents.

Sir John Ellerman with his son, John

The newlyweds had hosted a big party at the Hotel Brevoort before their sailing. His fellow co-founder of Contact magazine, poet Dr. William Carlos Williams, 37, had brought the couple orchids. McAlmon did explain to him later that this is a marriage of convenience only.

And how convenient it has turned out for Bob. Bryher is introducing him to most of the literary lights of London. Writer and painter Wyndham Lewis, 38, has agreed to publish two of McAlmon’s poems in his magazine, Blast. Publisher and philanthropist Harriet Shaw Weaver, 44, will publish some in her magazine, The Egoist, and is talking about bringing out a whole collection. American ex-patriate poet T. S. Eliot, 32, has introduced him to Bloomsbury art critic, Clive Bell, 39, although Eliot doesn’t really take Bell seriously as a writer.

Harriet Shaw Weaver

McAlmon and Bryher agree that one of the best uses of her money is supporting fledgling writers like themselves. She has given funds to Weaver’s Egoist Press to publish new poets. In return, Weaver has given McAlmon a letter of introduction to one of his literary idols, Irish novelist James Joyce, 39. He can’t wait to look him up as soon as they move to Paris.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I covering 1920 is available on Amazon in print and e-book versions. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, Spring, 1921, Hotel Saints-Peres, 65 rue des Saints Peres, Paris

Back in her hotel room, American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, 29, foreign correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, has been out all evening at one of the cafes in the nearby Latin Quarter.

Millay really has been enjoying the past few months living in Paris. She quickly became fluent in French, has been invited to parties, and loves the bawdiness of French theatre. The only thing that doesn’t agree with her is the dairy-rich diet, particularly the coffee and cream.

But tonight. Tonight.

She’d gone to the café with one of her on-again, off-again lovers, British journalist Griffin Barry, 37. He introduced her to the most striking man in the room, red-headed, red-bearded English George Slocombe, 27, special correspondent for the London Daily Herald. He was wearing a black hat and striking ascot.

George Slocombe

Edna felt the attraction right away. And so did he. She told him about her job and her family back in New York. He talked about the international political stories he has been covering and explained that he had lost two teeth in the Great War.

On the way home in a cheap taxi, Edna could think of nothing but him. They had made plans to meet up tomorrow for a walk in the Bois de Boulogne.

George had left the café before her. He had to get back to his wife and three children in Saint-Cloud.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I covering 1920 is available on Amazon in print and e-book versions. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, March 13, 1921, Shillingford, Berkshire, England

Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 55, is writing to his friend and fellow founder of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Lady Augusta Gregory, about to turn 69, back in her home in Coole Park in the west of Ireland.

Yeats wants to explain to her why he and his pregnant wife, Georgie, 29, and their two-year-old daughter Anne, have moved from the place they had rented in Oxford to this cottage in Berkshire.

Shillingford Bridge, Berkshire

Mainly, to save money. Not only is there a baby on the way [Yeats is hoping for a boy], but Willie is still sending money to New York to support his father, painter John Butler Yeats, almost 82. Thankfully, Dad is being watched over by their friend, Irish-American lawyer and art collector, John Quinn, 50. Quinn often buys some of Willie’s manuscripts, giving the money to JB to keep him going.

But Yeats and his sisters are pressuring Dad to move back home. To no avail.

The Yeatses also considered moving back to Ireland. But their tower in the west of the country, Thoor Ballylee, has been terribly flooded by the recent rains. And living there, near Galway, is too dangerous now with the Civil War raging.

So Willie and Georgie found this cottage in Shillingford, about ten miles south of Oxford, which will reduce their expenses. And it is within walking distance of the town’s Catholic Church. Of course, the Yeatses are Protestants. But the proximity makes it more convenient for their maids.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I covering 1920 is available in both print and e-book formats on Amazon.

This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.