“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, early September, 1922, 31 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

After dinner in Paris many months ago.

After cables from publisher to author and author to lawyer.

After phone calls from lawyer to publisher.

After numerous letters from author to lawyer to editors to publishers.

Finally, corporate attorney, supporter of artists and writers, John Quinn, 52, has managed to get Horace Liveright, 37, owner of Boni and Liveright publishing company, and Gilbert Seldes, 29, managing editor of The Dial magazine, sitting together here in his law office to work out who is going to be first to publish The Waste Land, the latest poem by T. S. Eliot, 33, living in London.

Nassau Street

Liveright first expressed interest when he was introduced to Eliot by another American ex-pat poet, Ezra Pound, 36, in Paris over dinner at the beginning of the year.

They began corresponding and Liveright was interested in publishing the poem but concerned it wouldn’t be long enough to be a book on its own. Quinn wanted Eliot to add four or five more poems, but Eliot refused.

The Dial magazine has published Eliot’s poetry before, and he has been writing a “London Letter” column for them when he is feeling up to it.

Horace Liveright

Seldes and one of the owners, James Sibley Watson, Jr., 28, are both keen to have The Waste Land debut in The Dial. But the other owner, Scofield Thayer, 32, currently living in Vienna, is not impressed with Eliot or his work.

Gilbert Seldes

Eliot estimates that the finished poem will be 450 lines. Figuring 35 to 40 lines to a printed page, and standard payment of $10 per page for poetry, paid upon acceptance, and adding in a little extra, Thayer offered Eliot a generous $150. Eliot was not impressed. He cabled that he wanted $250.

Scofield Thayer

Thayer hadn’t seen the poem yet but wrote to his staff that it might be a good thing if they don’t get to publish it. He’d rather publish classics like Edith Wharton, 60, who currently has a hit novel, The Glimpses of the Moon.

But Seldes is worried that he doesn’t have enough material for his upcoming issues, and so he wants to get this agreement nailed down.

Pound assured Thayer, by letter, that The Waste Land is Eliot’s best work. And he has pulled it off while working full-time at a bank and nursing a depressed wife.

Meanwhile, Liveright mailed Eliot a contract for publishing the book—and the poet didn’t like those terms either. He asked Quinn to negotiate for him, giving him power of attorney to make whatever decision he feels is best.

Quinn is happy to help because he likes Eliot. He’s not always begging Quinn for money the way Irish novelist James Joyce, 40, does.

Quinn received the typescript from Eliot at the end of July, read it, had it typed up professionally, and sent it over to Liveright—although at that point he couldn’t remember what the final title was—before leaving on a month-long vacation in the Adirondacks.

Now he is back in his office, well rested, facing the editor of the only magazine that wants to publish The Waste Land and the owner of the only book publishing company that wants to publish it.

Why has it taken so long?!

Quinn and Seldes convince Liveright that the best plan is to publish the poem in The Dial first, in the November issue which will be on newsstands around October 20th.

To entice Eliot, Seldes promises that the magazine will announce in the December issue that the poet will receive the second annual Dial award of $2,000, in addition to the regular fee of $150.

Boni and Liveright will then follow up with publication of The Waste Land as a book before the end of the year, with copious notes which Eliot is adding, that won’t be in the magazine version. They will pay him $150 upfront plus royalties.

The Dial also agrees to buy 350 copies of the $2 book version, at a 40% discount, to use as promotional items for subscribers, thereby guaranteeing that Boni and Liveright won’t lose money on the deal.

Everyone agrees to keep the news about the Dial prize a secret until it is officially announced in the magazine.

Then they all sign the agreement and go to lunch.

John Quinn

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes 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 also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, August, 1922, New York City, New York; Dublin; and London

In America, Ireland and England, many are still working their way through Ulysses.

In the States, Gilbert Seldes, 29, writes in The Nation,

Today [James Joyce] has brought forth Ulysses…a monstrous and magnificent travesty, which makes him possibly the most interesting and the most formidable of our time….I think that Nietzsche would have cared for the tragic gaiety of Ulysses.”

Gilbert Seldes

*****

In Dublin, poet and artist AE [George Russell, 55] writes to his friend in New York City, Irish-American lawyer John Quinn, 52:  

I see the ability and mastery while not liking the mood…[Joyce is] very Irish…The Irish genius is coming out of its seclusion and [W. B.] Yeats, [John Millington] Synge, [George] Moore, [George Bernard] Shaw, Joyce and others are forerunners. The Irish imagination is virgin soil and virgin soil is immensely productive when cultivated. We are devotees of convention in normal circumstances and when we break away we outrage convention.”

George Russell, AE

Another Irish friend, novelist and poet James Stephens, 42, writes to Quinn that he didn’t even bother to try Ulysses.

It is too expensive to buy and too difficult to borrow, and too long to read, and, from what I have heard about it, altogether too difficult to talk about.”

*****

In London, novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, has been working on a short story, “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street” while still trying to get through Ulysses. She admits to her diary,

I should be reading Ulysses, & fabricating my case for & against. I have read 200 pages. So far—not a third; & have been amused, stimulated, charmed interested by the first two or three chapters–to the end of the Cemetery scene; & then puzzled, bored, irritated, & disillusioned as by a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples. And Tom [American ex-pat poet T. S. Eliot], great Tom, thinks this on a par with War & Peace! An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me:  the book of a self-taught working man, & we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, & ultimately nauseating. When 1 can have the cooked flesh, why have the raw? But I think if you are anemic, as Tom is, there is glory in blood. Being fairly normal myself I am soon ready for the classics again. I may revise this later. I do not compromise my critical sagacity. I plant a stick in the ground to mark page 200…I dislike Ulysses more & more–that is I think it more & more unimportant:  & don’t even trouble conscientiously to make out its meanings. Thank God, I need not write about it.”

But Virginia does write about it to her Bloomsbury friend, biographer and essayist Lytton Strachey, 42:  

Never did I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters we will let them pass, but the 3rd 4th 5th 6th–merely the scratching of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges. Of course genius may blaze out on page 652 but I have my doubts. And this is what Eliot worships…”

Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes 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 also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, July 30, 1922, Central Park West, New York City, New York

If Irish-American lawyer and patron of the arts John Quinn, 52, wants to get out of the city as planned to spend all of August with his sister and niece in the Adirondacks, he has a bit of correspondence to catch up on.

Quinn has been corresponding with his emissary in Paris, Henri-Pierre Roche, 43, about leaving his best French paintings to the government of France, to be cared for in the Louvre. Roche has been negotiating to have Quinn acquire The Circus by Georges Seurat. Roche wrote to him at the beginning of the month about a crazy day when he and Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, 40, went flying around Paris carrying a Cezanne landscape with them in a taxi, stopping at every shop to buy up all the suitable frames they could find.

The Circus by Georges Seurat

One of the writers Quinn supports, American T. S. Eliot, 33, living in London, has written to give him power of attorney when negotiating a contract with Boni and Liveright to publish his latest work, an untitled lengthy poem. They are not sure, however, if it will be lengthy enough to appear as a book. Eliot writes that he is planning to add some notes to make it fatter. Quinn is finally getting around to reading the typescript Eliot has sent and is turning it over to his office secretary to make a copy that can be submitted to Liveright.

Typescript of poem by T. S. Eliot

Quinn is finishing off a lengthy letter to one of his Irish friends, poet and painter AE (George Russell, 55). Their mutual friend, Lady Augusta Gregory, 70, had recently asked Quinn to recommend painters for inclusion in the Hugh Lane Gallery, which she is trying to establish in memory of her nephew who went down with the Lusitania seven years ago. Quinn reports to AE that he told her that of the dead ones he would rank, in order, Cezanne, Seurat (much better than Renoir), and Rousseau. He puts Gauguin and van Gogh a bit farther down.

Of living artists he would include Picasso, Georges Braque, 40; Andre Derain, 42; and Henri Matisse, 52; in the first tier. In the second, Raoul Dufy, 45; Constantin Brancusi, 46—whom he has become good friends with—and Georges Rouault, 51.

Quinn tells AE that he would add a third tier of the living:  Juan Gris, 35; Marie Laurencin, 39; and Jacques Villon, about to turn 47, among others.

The Winged Horse by AE

Quinn’s longest letter is to another Irish friend, poet and playwright, William Butler Yeats, 57. He brings Willie up to date on the recent funeral of his father, whom Quinn had taken care of during the past 15 years in New York City. The Yeats family decided it would be better for Dad to be buried in the States, and Quinn arranged a site in upstate New York: 

If you and your sisters could see the place, I am sure you would have approved of [our] selection. When Lady Gregory was here the last time, lecturing, she told me one day, half in earnest and half in fun, that if she died in this country she wanted to be buried where she died, unless she died in Pittsburgh. She refused to be buried in Pittsburgh…One day downtown, when I was having coffee after lunch with two or three men, one of them said:  ‘Times change. Now there is [famous actress] Lillian Russell. In the old days she was supposed to have had many lovers and she was married and divorced four or five times. But years go by, and she marries again, and settles down, and finally dies in the odor of—’

‘Pittsburgh,’ said I.

Lady Gregory refused to be buried in the odor of Pittsburgh.”

Quinn ends by congratulating Yeats on his honorary degree from Trinity College and asks that Willie’s wife send him some photos of their children and Thoor Ballylee, the tower they are living in.

Now he is ready to pack up and go on a well-earned vacation.

Pittsburgh, 1912, when Lady Gregory visited with The Abbey Theatre

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes 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 also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, June 21, 1922, 31 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

About three years ago, New York lawyer John Quinn, 51, had helped to negotiate a contract for an American poet living in London, T. S. Eliot, then 30, with Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. for the publication of his Poems. Eliot had felt that the original contract advantaged the publisher more than the published. Quinn was glad to do it; he advised Eliot that he was well-known enough now to secure the services of a literary agent and hadn’t heard from him since.

Poems by T. S. Eliot, UK edition

Through their mutual friend, another American poet living abroad, Ezra Pound, 36, Quinn knows that Eliot is working on a “big” poem, probably his best work.

Today, Quinn receives a telegram from Eliot in London: 

DISSATISFIED LIVERIGHTS CONTRACT POEM

MAY I ASK YOUR ASSISTANCE APOLOGIES WRITING ELIOT”

Quinn cables back right away:

GLAD TO ASSIST EVERY WAY POSSIBLE YOUR CONTRACT”

The second cable he sends today is to his Irish friend, poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, just turned 57, who has written to ask if he may dedicate his memoirs to Quinn:

Yeats

Ballylee

Gort

County Galway

Ireland

GREATLY TOUCHED AND DELIGHTED YOUR SUGGESTION

DEDICATION MEMOIRS.

GLADLY ACCEPT THO PERSONALLY FEEL LADY GREGORY DESERVES

THAT HONOR MUCH MORE THAN I.

(Signed)

QUINN”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This month I am talking about the Stein family salons in Paris before and after The Great War at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Carnegie-Mellon University.

In the fall, I will be talking about the centenary of The Waste Land in the Osher programs at CMU 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 also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, June 5, 1922, Thoor Ballylee, Co. Galway, Ireland

The Yeats family is settling in nicely to their new home in the west of Ireland, a 15th century Norman tower they have re-named Thoor Ballylee.

The poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, about to turn 57, is impressed by the way his wife Georgie, 29, not only takes care of their two children, Anne, 3, and Michael, almost 10 months old, but has also decorated their home to look like a 14th century painting.

Interior of Thoor Ballylee

Uncharacteristically, Willie has been thinking a lot about family. He has just sent off to his publisher the second volume of his Autobiographies, titled The Trembling of the Veil. His father, the painter John Butler Yeats, died about four months ago at age 83, in New York City. Willie and his sisters are thinking of bringing out a volume of their father’s memoirs.

His friend and mentor, Lady Augusta Gregory, 70, has been at her home, Coole Park, about four miles down the road from Thoor Ballylee, working on her own memoirs about their days founding The Abbey Theatre together. She’s been reading out sections to Willie and incorporating many of his suggestions. Their writing styles are very different—Augusta is trying to remain objective; Yeats favors a more impressionistic interpretation.

Coole Park, drawing by W. B. Yeats

Now that The Trembling of the Veil is completed, today Willie is writing to his friend in New York, the Irish-American lawyer and patron of the arts, John Quinn, 52.

He brings Quinn up to date on the family living arrangements and tells him that his godson, Michael, now has eight teeth! Anne has invented her own version of The Lord’s Prayer, which includes, “Father not in heaven—father in the study,” and “Thine is the Kitten, the Power, and the Glory.”

W. B. and Georgie Yeats

Quinn had expressed his concern about how Ireland’s political turmoil is impacting the west of the country. Yeats assures him that there hasn’t been much trouble here:

There was what seemed a raid at Coole, men came and shouted at night and demanded to be let in, and then went away either because the moon came out or because they only meant to threaten.”

Most importantly, Willie wants his friend’s permission to dedicate his latest volume to Quinn.

If you violently object you must cable…for [Werner Laurie, the publisher] is in a devil of a hurry.”

The dedication reads,

To John Quinn my friend and helper and friend and helper of certain people mentioned in this book.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This month I will be talking about the Stein family salons in Paris before and after The Great War at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Carnegie-Mellon University.

In the fall I will be talking about the centenary of The Waste Land in the Osher programs at both Carnegie-Mellon University and at 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.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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, late March, 1922, Shakespeare and Company, 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris; 31 Nassau Street, New York City, New York; and 311 Chatham Street, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

At the Shakespeare and Company bookstore on rue de l’Odeon, the American owner Sylvia Beach, 35, is sending out copies of the new novel Ulysses, by Irish ex-pat James Joyce, 40, which she published last month.

Sylvia is able to fill orders from countries all over the world—except the United States.

Because excerpts from the novel, which appeared in The Little Review there a few years ago, were determined to be obscene by a New York state court, U. S. Customs officials are on alert.

Oh, she has plenty of orders. One of the largest—25 copies—is from the Washington Square Bookshop in Greenwich Village, where The Little Review was first confiscated.

Washington Square Bookshop stationery

Sylvia is determined. One of Joyce’s many benefactors, Irish-American attorney John Quinn, 52, who unsuccessfully argued the case for the Ulysses excerpts in court, has suggested smuggling copies in to some northern city from Canada. Sylvia asked one of the young American would-be novelists who frequent her store, Ernest Hemingway, 22, if he knew anyone back home in Chicago who could help. The next day he gave Sylvia contact details of a friend and Sylvia shot off a letter to him.

But that was in the beginning of February. She didn’t hear anything until last week when he sent a brief telegram: 

SHOOT BOOKS PREPAID YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

ADDRESSING SAME TO ME CARE DOMINION EXPRESS COMPANY,”

with a Canadian address.

Not very promising.

Sylvia is thinking of giving up on Hemingway’s friend and exploring one of Quinn’s contacts, a good friend of his, Mitchell Kennerley, 43, who has a successful Park Avenue auction house. Kennerley imports books and other items from the UK all the time. Quinn says Mitch is personal friends with the captain of a transatlantic liner who could bring Ulysses over from London, slowly, in batches of 25 or 30 copies per month.

That might be the best option.

*****

In his law office, John Quinn is catching up on his correspondence. He is updating Sylvia Beach on the fate of Ulysses in New York. Copies have started to appear in bookshops here. One of his favorites, Drake’s on 40th Street, is selling her $12 non-deluxe copies for $20; Brentano’s for $35, even $50.

Brentano’s logo

How did they get a hold of the books?! Traveling Americans might have brought them back in their luggage. But Quinn advises Sylvia that the authorities will soon start confiscating any that they find. Some returning tourists have already had their copies destroyed at the Port of New York.

Quinn is willing to make an arrangement with Kennerley.

Beach would have to ship the books in large quantities from Paris to London. They would enter the U. S. as freight, so customs would probably overlook them; they are more intent these days on catching bootleggers. Even if the books were found, they would probably be returned to London rather than burned.

Kennerley would collect the cash from the American buyers, have the copies delivered by private carriers—thereby avoiding sending “obscene” material through the mail—and pass the profits on to Sylvia. Retaining a commission of 10% of the retail price.

Quinn emphasizes to her that Kennerley is willing to break the law and, if he were arrested,

There wouldn’t be a ghost of a shade of a shadow of a chance of acquitting Kennerly.”

In fact, Quinn tells her, hold on to the 14 copies he ordered for now, until he comes up with a definitive plan to receive them.

*****

In Windsor, Ontario, Barnet Braverman, 34, is wondering why he hasn’t heard anything from that American woman in Paris who wants him to smuggle books across the border.

When her initial letter finally caught up to him a week or so ago—he had moved from Chicago to Toronto and is now packing to move to Detroit—he was intrigued.

Miss Beach said a mutual friend had recommended him and that she needs to get copies of James Joyce’s new novel, Ulysses, to Americans—particularly New York publishers like Knopf and Huebsch who are too yellow to publish it themselves.

Braverman really wants to have a part in sticking it to the publishing establishment. His new ad agency job here in Windsor means he will be taking a short boat ride from and to Detroit across Lake St. Clair every day as part of his commute.

The Detroit and Windsor Ferry

Barnet is thinking he should write Miss Beach a detailed letter so she knows how eager he is to help out.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

In June I will be talking about the Stein family salons in Paris before and after the Great War 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 21, 1922, 70 bis, rue Notre Dame des Champs, Paris

Irish-American lawyer, John Quinn, 51, has been ill recently and this has cut into his time, not only as a successful corporate lawyer, but also as a patron of artists and writers, including Irish novelist James Joyce, 40, living in Paris.

Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses has just been published in Paris by an American ex-pat bookstore owner, with financial help from Quinn. He and Shakespeare and Company owner Sylvia Beach, 34, have been tussling with each other in letters. She’s always asking for money to support Joyce, and Quinn wonders if the writer really needs that much support. Quinn is sure Beach is getting her share of the profits. Although she has told him that Joyce’s royalty is going to be an outstanding 66%.

Sylvia Beach

Recently Beach wrote to Quinn to smooth things over: 

I know that no matter how testy you like to seem, you are the kindest man alive.”

Today, another one of Joyce’s American supporters, ex-pat poet Ezra Pound, 36, also living in Paris, is writing one of his usual lengthy and colorful letters, to bring Quinn up to date on the writers he is supporting:

Cher ami:

“I am sorry you have been ill; has anyone suggested that you work too much. Most men stop when buried, but I see you pushing up the lid of the cercueil, or having a telephone fixed inside the damn thing ante mortem, so that you can dictate to the office…

Ezra Pound

Joyce told me yesterday that his english patron [publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver] had come across with another $1000, so that his income, “unearned” (or damn well earned) is now about £450 per year. So that’s that. I dont think Miss Bitch (as the name is pronounced by Parisians) was writing [at Joyce’s] instigation…

“She has been very sporting over Ulysses, but she is bone ignorant and lacking in tact. (I mean, in my own case, that she insults me every other time I go into the shop, in perfect, oh, I am convinced, in perfect unconsciousness of the fact. She has nothing to gain by insulting me)…

“That I think is a fair definition of tactlessness:  to insult when you dont mean to….

“I am worried about [poet T. S.] Eliot; and if you start chucking money about, I shd. certainly make out a case for him, now, before anyone else…

“Eliot came back from his Lausanne specialist looking O.K.; and with a damn good poem (19 pages) in his suit case…

“[New York publisher Horace] Liveright made a good impression here; offered to bring out Ulysses in the U. S. and hand over 1000 bones to J. J[oyce]. Why the hell J. J. didn’t nail it AT once I don’t know. The terms were o. k. 1000 dollars for first edition, etc…However, Joyce is off my hands; free, white, 21 years or more, of age etc…

“Eliot ought to be private secretary to some rich imbecile…failing that you might send over someone to elope, kidnap, or otherwise eliminate Mrs. E[liot]…

“Hell, mon cher, will you retire sensibly now? Or will you insist [on] being useful to other people until it is too late?…

“So far it has been a winter without colds in the head. Hope to get some Italian sun in April. Have bought lire with that intent, as their value on the exchange seems to be drifting up.

“yours ever

“Ezra Pound”

Pound’s unique spelling and punctuation have been left intact.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Thanks to all who came out in record-breaking rainfall to see my presentation about Gertrude Stein at Riverstone Books. This summer I will be talking about the Stein family salons in Paris at 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.

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 versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 5, 1922, Petitpas, 317 West 29th Street, New York City, New York

After the funeral, Irish-American lawyer John Quinn, 51, and his assistant [and mistress] Mrs. Jeanne Foster, 42, have come back here, to the Lower East Side boarding house where the Irish painter, John Butler [“JB”] Yeats lived for most of the past 15 years that he has been in New York City.

Father of Quinn’s good friend, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 56, JB died two days ago, age 82, feisty and painting right up until the end. His unfinished self-portrait, which was a commission from Quinn, hangs here in his bedroom.

Self-portrait [unfinished] by JB Yeats

The old man had come to New York with his daughter for a holiday visit and just decided to stay, despite constant entreaties from his family to come home to Ireland. As he explained to them, a friend had told him that

In Dublin it is hopeless insolvency. Here it is hopeful insolvency.”

Quinn has kept an eye on him, and, as JB became more unwell in the past year, had taken care of him with help from Jeanne. Willie Yeats would sell his original manuscripts to Quinn but tell him to use the money to pay for his Dad’s upkeep.

JB was quite active—going out for breakfasts, coming to Quinn’s for Sunday lunch, staying up late talking to friends—up until a week or so ago. He had gone to a poetry reading out in Brooklyn, and, confused, took the wrong subway and ended up walking too long in the cold winter air. Since then his cough had worsened, and his health had generally gone downhill.

Now Quinn and Foster are surveying the room, filled with the life of this old artist. Yeats and his sisters will let them know if their Dad is to buried in Ireland in the spring, or laid to rest here sooner. Jeanne has suggested a spot in her family plot in the Adirondacks.

In the meantime, they will have to go through the papers and the pictures to determine what to throw out and what to send back to Ireland. Willie wants his sisters’ Cuala Press to bring out a volume of their father’s correspondence.

On an easel in a corner of the room is another of his unfinished works, a drawing of Jeanne. JB’s last words to her as she left him on Thursday night were,

Remember you have promised me a sitting in the morning.”

Jeanne Robert Foster by JB Yeats

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Due to the horrible winter weather, we have had to postpone our celebration of the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein to Thursday, February 17, at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of the month I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at 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.

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 versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February 2, 1922, Gare de Lyon, Place Louis-Armand, Paris; and 13 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

Standing on the platform at the Gare de Lyon, American ex-pat Sylvia Beach, 34, is waiting for the Paris-Dijon Express, due in at 7 am.

Gare de Lyon

The first copies of the novel Ulysses, by Irish ex-pat James Joyce, 40 today, will arrive from Darantiere, the printer in Dijon. Sylvia’s little Left Bank bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, has taken on the responsibility of publishing the controversial book when no one else would.

When Beach told Joyce that Darantiere guaranteed to mail the parcel on 1st February, Joyce was not pleased. He insisted that the package be put on the train so the conductor can hand deliver the two copies to Sylvia personally.

As the train approaches, Beach is working out the next steps in her head. She will get a taxi to Joyce’s apartment at 9 rue de l’Universite to give him the 40th birthday present that he wants most, the first copy of Ulysses.

Then she will continue on to her shop, at 12 rue de l’Odeon, about 20 minutes away, to put the second copy on display in the window. Word has been circulating around the Left Bank that the book will soon be available, and those who subscribed in advance are eager to get their copies.

Tonight Joyce has planned a small party at one of his favorite restaurants, Ferraris, to celebrate his accomplishment, eight years in the making. He and his partner, and the mother of his children, Nora Barnacle, 37, have invited just a few friends. One of Joyce’s most loyal supporters and drinking buddies, American writer Robert McAlmon, 26, left town for the Riviera just yesterday. Didn’t even leave behind a birthday present.

Sylvia Beach and James Joyce

*****

The next day, Joyce cables one of his main benefactors, Irish-American attorney, John Quinn, 51, at his Manhattan law office:

Ulysses published. Thanks.”

Quinn, meanwhile, cables to his friend, Irish playwright William Butler Yeats, 56:

Regret your father [painter JB Yeats, 82] passed away this morning, 7 o’clock…The end came in sleep without pain or struggle.”

The author and her Irishman, Tony Dixon

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

My talk about my fellow Pittsburgher, Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill tomorrow has been postponed due to the weather gods sending “extra ice on Thursday” in the middle of a snowstorm. The new date will be posted on this blog and you can register your interest in coming here.

At the end of February I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University, on Zoom, no matter what the weather is like.

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 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, January 27, 1922, American Art Galleries, American Art Association, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York

What a lovely day.

Irish-American lawyer and art collector, John Quinn, 51, has some business at the American Art Galleries, where the Kelekian Collection is about to go on sale. He has invited along Irish painter John Butler “JB” Yeats, 82, father of Quinn’s friend, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 56.

Since Yeats’ Dad has been living in New York for the past few years, Quinn has basically been taking care of him.

Quinn has arranged for a Packard touring car and driver and had his assistant [and mistress], Mrs. Jeanne Foster, 42, go on ahead to pick up JB. She has wrapped him up nice and warm against the bright chilly day, and they have met John at the gallery.

Packard touring car

The three are having a great time looking at the paintings. Quinn is interested to see how the sale goes overall, because it will be an indication of the worth of his own similar—but much superior, in his view—collection.

Mr. Yeats and Mrs. Foster are both just enjoying being surrounded by such works of art. Corots! Courbets! Cezannes!

Quinn admires the self-portrait by Toulouse Lautrec. JB says that, the way that man looks, he should be guillotined. They make fun of a pastel by Degas. JB calls it “the washer woman exposed.” Quinn asks their opinion of the Seurat, La Poudreuse. They both agree that it is lovely.

Quinn can tell that the old man is starting to tire, and his cough is getting more distressing. But he is definitely enjoying Jeanne’s company.

Quinn bundles them both into the Packard to have a restful lunch, do some shopping, then end up back at JB’s rooms. Quinn goes back into the galleries to determine how much to bid for La Poudreuse at the upcoming auction.

La Poudreuse by Seurat

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

On February 3, 2022, we will be celebrating the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of February I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

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 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.