“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, early May, 1921, en route from New York City to Paris

Eleanor Beach, 59, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is enjoying her crossing. She’s looking forward to seeing her daughters—she calls them her “chicks”—who live in Europe now.

But Eleanor is concerned about the precious parcel in her luggage.

Her adventurous daughter Sylvia, 34, has not only opened her own business, a bookstore on the Left Bank of Paris called Shakespeare & Co., but now she’s become a publisher too. She’s offered to publish the scandalous novel, Ulysses, by Irish ex-patriate writer James Joyce, 39. Earlier this year, a court in New York declared excerpts which appeared in a magazine to be obscene, so no decent publisher will touch it.

Sylvia snapped up the opportunity.

A wealthy New York lawyer, John Quinn, 51, is buying copies of the handwritten manuscript to keep some cash flowing to Joyce. Just last month he received in the mail the text of the “Circe” section of the novel.

James Joyce’s “Circe” manuscript

Good thing. Back in Paris, one of the many typists working on the book had her copy seized by her outraged husband and thrown into the fire! Apparently he agreed with the New York court. The typist salvaged what she could, but Joyce and Beach implored Quinn to send his copy back so it can be typed.

That’s where Eleanor comes in. For the past few weeks she has been calling Quinn asking if he would entrust her with the manuscript to bring along on her voyage over.

He has consistently said no. Over and over again. And, as she pointed out to her daughter, he used “language unfit” for a minister’s wife like Mrs. Beach.

Finally, the rude man agreed to have the pages of the manuscript photographed so Mrs. Beach could take the pictures with her instead.

Eleanor is well aware of the importance of the parcel in the luggage which she is bringing 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 Paris and New York 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 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, December 12, 1920, 5 boulevard Raspail, Quartier Saint Germain, Paris

Irish novelist James Joyce, 38, and his family are pleased to finally be settling in to this posh apartment near Saint Sulpice.

5 boulevard Raspail, Quartier Saint Germain, Paris

One of their benefactors, American ex-patriate poet Ezra Pound, 35, has helped the Joyces with everything since they moved here to Paris in the summer, including getting a friend to let them rent this fabulous place for only £300 for six months.

Today he is writing to Ezra, in London, to tell him how sick and cold he had been in the previous, dark hotel. He was suffering from iritis again, and it was so cold there, he had to wrap a blanket around his shoulders and a shawl around his head to work on his novel, Ulysses, expanding the section known as “Circe.”

Since he moved his family up to this posh flat, he wrote to another friend,

By the way, is it not extraordinary the way I enter a city barefoot and end up in a luxurious flat?”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@ gypsyteacher.com.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view for free on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

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. Early in the new year I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

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, November 24, 1920, 31 Nassau Street, Manhattan, New York City, and rue de l’Universite, Paris

In his Manhattan law offices, John Quinn, 50, is stumped by the telegram he received yesterday from Irish novelist James Joyce, 38, in Paris.

SCOTTS  TETTOJA  MOIEDURA  GEIZLSUND.  JOYCE”

Quinn sent his law clerk out to find some kind of code manual they could use to decipher it, and they have come up with:

You will be receiving a letter upon this subject in a few days giving information and my views pretty fully. I think a little delay will not be disadvantageous.”

Quinn’s a bit disappointed, to say the least. He had written an urgent letter to Joyce almost a month ago, firmly telling him to contact The Little Review magazine and withdraw the rights to serialize his work in progress, Ulysses.

In the past year or so, the issues of the magazine carrying chapters of Ulysses have been seized, burnt, and now confiscated by the New York district attorney in preparation for an upcoming trial on the grounds of obscenity.

Quinn is convinced that the DA might drop the charges if Ulysses is withdrawn from the magazine. He cables Joyce that he wants legal custody of the manuscript before an upcoming meeting he has arranged with publisher Ben Huebsch, 44, who four years ago published the American editions of Joyce’s Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Quinn is sure that Huebsch will publish the full novel in a privately printed edition, which would be immune from prosecution.

Ben Huebsch

*****

In his freezing cold Paris hotel room, with a shawl wrapped around his head for warmth, James Joyce responds by letter to Quinn’s entreaties.

He points out that he has been working on Ulysses for six years now, at twenty different addresses, this most recent being the coldest. Having heard very little about the recent court case, Joyce tells Quinn that he has assumed that The Little Review is no longer being published—there’s been no issue since the one in July-August which was confiscated—and so there is no need for him to withdraw the rights.

In previous letters, Joyce had reminded Quinn that Huebsch had talked to him about publishing Ulysses before, and actually threatened to bring out a pirated edition in the States if Joyce had his novel published in Europe. Joyce doesn’t think the manuscript’s current legal troubles will put Mr. Huebsch off from publishing the full book.

Now he just wants to get back to writing. Joyce is planning to finish the novel next year and then take a whole year off. Right now he is on the ninth draft of the “Circe” episode.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

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. Early in 2021 I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

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, October 21, 1920, Jefferson Market Police Court, Greenwich Village, New York and rue de l’Assomption, 16 arrondissement, Paris, France

John Quinn, 50, attorney, art collector, and supporter of the arts and artists, doesn’t want to have to be here.

But The Little Review magazine needs him. Again.

Here in court for the preliminary hearing into their obscenity trial, Quinn has asked The Little Review’s founder and publisher, Margaret Anderson, 33, and her editor, Jane Heap, 37, to sit away from him.

Jefferson Market Courthouse by the Sixth Avenue Elevated

It’s bad enough that he has to be here, pro bono, when he should be in Washington DC preparing for the corporate case he is set to argue before the US Supreme Court. For a big fee.

Quinn only rushed over here because, after he stopped in his midtown law office following an important corporate meeting in the Bronx, the junior lawyer he had assigned to The Little Review case had called to say it would be best if Quinn were present in court. The magistrate, Judge Joseph E. Corrigan, 44, was not a fan of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice [NYSSV] which brought the complaint. But he is an old friend of Quinn’s from their involvement in Irish-American groups in the city.

So Quinn took the Sixth Avenue El down here to sit, in his three-piece suit with his gold watch chain spread across his vest, amidst the

immigrants, Negroes, Italians, and Lesbians,”

as he later describes them, waiting for Corrigan to finish privately reading the passage in question, the “Nausicaa” episode of Ulysses, by the genius—as far as Quinn is concerned—Irish novelist James Joyce, 38, published in the July-August issue of The Little Review.

Previous issues of the magazine with other Ulysses excerpts had been confiscated by the US Post Office. But this is the first time a warrant has been served for the arrest of Anderson, Heap and even bookstore owners who sold the magazine. Quinn managed to at least get charges against the book sellers dismissed and delay the preliminary hearing until now.

As Quinn understands it, some uptight conservative businessman had found a copy of this issue of Little Review with his teenage daughter’s magazines—and read it. He was appalled by Gerty MacDowell flashing her knickers, and wrote a nasty letter to the New York City District Attorney asking how this smut could be kept out of the hands of unsuspecting readers—the magazine had been mailed unsolicited to his daughter!

The DA knew that there is a way—the NYSSV, directed by John Sumner, 44, whose mission is to rid New York of filth.

John Sumner

Quinn had taken Sumner to lunch last week, hoping to get all the charges dismissed. He gave the NYSSV director a copy of a glowing review of Joyce’s work from the Dial magazine, and admitted that some of that language should not have been in a magazine. Quinn assured Sumner that he would stop Joyce from publishing his work-in-progress in the Little Review. Quinn has been urging Joyce to agree to private publication of a high-quality book version of Ulysses, and he’s close to getting a publisher, Ben Huebsch, 44, to agree.

Sumner doesn’t believe Quinn can get Joyce to withdraw the rights from the magazine. And he wants the smut eliminated.

Sumner’s deposition only has to say that the material is

obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, indecent and disgusting.”

The law says that to quote passages would just repeat the offense.

But Corrigan is not willing to take Sumner’s word for it. So he has halted today’s proceedings to retire to his chambers and read the relevant 16 pages of the issue himself.

When he comes back into court, he shoots a bit of a smile towards his friend, Quinn. He says that one passage

where the man went off in his pants [is definitely] smutty, filthy.”

Then Corrigan orders Anderson and Heap held for trial, postponed until February. Quinn asks that they be released to his custody—a technicality, as he intends to spend no more time with them than professionally required. His junior lawyer pays their $25 bail—each—and they are all free to go.

The Little Review is thrilled—Anderson defiantly tells the judge that this trial

would be the making of The Little Review.”

Quinn doesn’t give a damn about the magazine or the women. He wishes they would go back to the stockyards of Chicago where they started. He feels work like Joyce’s should be kept out of publications sent through the mail, where any teenager can see them. Quinn believes that literature belongs in books.

Now Quinn is looking forward to a week’s hiking trip in the Catskills. He’s bought new light woollen socks and rubber-soled shoes for the occasion.

*****

At 5 rue l’Assomption, 16th arrondissement of Paris, James Joyce sits at the desk in his family’s cramped three-room apartment trying to finish the “Circe” section of his novel.

He’s been working on Ulysses for six years, and on this part for six months. Joyce described his current state to a friend as

working like a galley-slave, an ass, a brute.”

Joyce is aware that the sections he has sent to The Little Review, via their foreign editor, American poet living in London, Ezra Pound, about to turn 35, have been published. And confiscated. And in some cases burned.

He hasn’t heard much more about it. The magazine’s attorney, Quinn, says that Joyce would be better off pulling out of the publication and publishing an expensive privately printed book version. The legal controversy could even increase book sales! But Joyce doesn’t want to lose his Little Review audience.

And he has to finish writing the book first. Joyce just wants to keep working.

5 rue l’Assomption

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This fall I am talking about writers’ salons in Paris and New York after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table are available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

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. I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University early next year.

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