“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 2, 1923, 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris

Happy birthday to Ulysses! Published here one year ago this day.

And happy birthday to the novel’s author, Irishman James Joyce, 41 today.

The courageous publisher, American ex-pat Sylvia Beach, 35, has filled the display window of her shop, Shakespeare and Company, with extra copies of the bright blue book.

Ulysses by James Joyce

A small group of friends has gathered to celebrate. Sylvia receives a bouquet of flowers and champagne toasts to her health.

Toasts also to the health of Joyce, who entertains the crowd by singing Irish songs and accompanying himself on the piano.

It’s been quite a year since Beach handed the first copy of Ulysses to Joyce. Her shop has had increased foot traffic, but Sylvia has spent a lot of extra time promoting the book—and arranging to have it smuggled into the United States where it is often confiscated for being declared obscene by the courts.

The fluctuation in exchange rates is also killing her. Beach feels she should have been paying more attention to the political situation in Europe. She thinks she should be reading those reports filed by the Toronto Star foreign correspondent who hangs out in her store, American Ernest Hemingway, 23.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available at Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later this month I will be talking about the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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.

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