“Such Friends”:  100 years ago, late October, 1921, Paris

Irish novelist James Joyce, 39, is doing his best to get his Ulysses finished in time for a promised November publication. Actually, it was a promised October publication, but they missed that.

His publisher, American ex-pat bookstore owner, Sylvia Beach, 34, is dealing with angry subscribers who were expecting to have copies in hand by now. British army officer T. E. Lawrence, 33, is particularly mad as he has ordered two of the expensive deluxe copies.

T. E. Lawrence

But Sylvia figures that, as she hasn’t yet accepted any money from the subscribers, she isn’t cheating anyone.

Joyce is working hard, not only writing but also correcting proofs received back from the printer. He writes to a friend that the typesetters are

boggled by all the w’s and k’s in our tongue and can do only about 100 pages at a time…However, I am doing my best to push [Leopold] Bloom on to the stage of the world.”

Sylvia and the printer are also having a hard time finding the cover paper Joyce wants, the same blue as the Greek flag.

As he writes and revises, Joyce keeps expanding the text, by as much as 20%.

At the same time, he is also working with one of his French friends, writer Valery Larbaud, 40, on a French translation of the novel. In the backroom of another Left Bank bookshop, La Maison des Amis des Livres, owned by Sylvia’s partner, Adrienne Monnier, 29, Joyce is getting help with the translation from a young music student. Bilingual Jacques Benoist Mechin, 20, has also made some good suggestions, particularly about the ending. Joyce wanted to finish Molly Bloom’s soliloquy with “I will.” But he likes Mechin’s idea of ending with “Yes.”

“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 in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This month I am talking about Writers’ Salons in Dublin and London Before the Great War in 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 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, July 27, 1921, 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris

Everything is fitting in just right.

American ex-patriate Sylvia Beach, 34, has relocated her shop, Shakespeare & Co., to this new location, a few blocks from where she originally opened almost two years ago.

Sylvia Beach at her bookstore, 12 rue de l’Odeon

One of her recent American visitors, the Irish-American lawyer and art collector, John Quinn, 51, had pronounced the previous shop “a hovel.” Quinn is in the process of buying up the manuscript of Ulysses, the radical novel by Irish writer James Joyce, 39, which Sylvia is publishing this fall.

Quinn can be brusque. And rude.

But Beach and Joyce are glad he’s chipping in with financial [and legal] support while Joyce finishes his monumental work.

Shortly after Quinn’s visit, Sylvia’s partner, Adrienne Monnier, 29, heard that the antiques dealer here in no. 12 wanted someone to take over her lease. Sylvia jumped at the chance.

A shoemaker, a corset maker, and a book appraiser to her left. An orthopaedic specialist, a music shop, and a nose spray manufacturer to her right. And Adrienne’s own French-language bookshop, La Maison des Amis des Livres, right across the street at no. 7. A good fit.

Adrienne Monnier at her bookstore, 7 rue de l’Odeon

Best of all, Adrienne’s apartment is up the block at no. 18. Sylvia has already moved all her personal stuff in with Adrienne.

In addition to this great location just north of the Luxembourg Gardens, the new space is bigger and easier to find. Two rooms above the shop are included in the rent.

Quinn approves of the new place, happy that Joyce’s Ulysses isn’t “going to come out in that shanty.”

Now that’s she’s all settled in, Sylvia and Adrienne are going away on a brief vacation.

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

This summer I am talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh. This fall I will be talking about Writers’ Salons in Dublin and London before the Great War in the Osher 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 available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

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

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, May, 1921, en route to and in Paris

Everyone’s coming to Paris…

Novelist Sherwood Anderson, 44, and his wife Tennessee, 47, are sailing to Europe for the first time. Anderson’s third book, Winesburg, Ohio, was a big hit two years ago, and he’s been working at an ad agency in Chicago, but the Andersons wouldn’t have been able to afford this trip on their own. Sherwood’s benefactor, journalist and music critic Paul Rosenfeld, just turned 31, is accompanying them and paying for Sherwood’s expenses at least. He wants to introduce them around to the other American ex-patriate writers and artists in Paris this summer.

Sherwood and Tennessee Anderson

*****

Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, 24, and his wife Zelda, 20, are sailing to Europe for the first time.

Their first stop will be London where, thanks to a letter of introduction from Fitzgerald’s Scribner’s editor, Maxwell Perkins, 36, they plan to meet with one of Scribner’s other legendary authors, John Galsworthy, 53.

But the Fitzgeralds are mostly looking forward to the next leg of their journey—Paris. They plan to visit with one of their New York friends who has been living there since January as the foreign correspondent for Vanity Fair, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, 29.

Scott had thought of writing a European diary, but Perkins discouraged him so he will work on a new novel instead. His first, This Side of Paradise, did well for Scribner’s, and he recently handed Perkins the finished manuscript of the second, The Beautiful and Damned, to get the money to pay for these tickets.

However, Zelda is about four months pregnant. She’s been feeling sick a lot lately and this sea voyage on the RMS Aquitania isn’t helping.

RMS Aquitania brochure

*****

English painters Vanessa Bell, about to turn 42, and her partner Duncan Grant, 36, are sailing over from London to Paris again. This is their usual spring and/or summer trip. This time they plan to visit with two of the painters whom they admire, Andre Derain, 40, and Pablo Picasso, 39, both of whom they met at a Gordon Square party two summers ago. Duncan is bringing along one of his current lovers.

*****

On the Left Bank, ex-pat English-language bookshop owner Sylvia Beach, 34, is looking forward to attending a play reading tonight a few blocks away at the French-language bookshop of her partner, Adrienne Monnier, 29.

Today, May 28th, the Paris Tribune, European edition of the Chicago Tribune, is running a big feature article about Sylvia and her store, Shakespeare & Co., written by a friend.

Literary Adventurer. American Girl Conducts Novel Bookstore Here”

includes pictures of Sylvia and refers to her as “an attractive as well as a successful pioneer.”

Chicago Tribune Paris edition nameplate

What’s most important is that the article mentions Sylvia’s biggest project to date:  Her publication of Ulysses, the notorious novel by ex-pat Irish writer James Joyce, 39. Excerpts printed in a New York City magazine have already been ruled to be obscene, and this kind of publicity just increases the drama around her big upcoming publishing event.

The Tribune article warns that

its present publication may mean that Miss Beach will not be allowed to return to America.”

Who cares, thinks Sylvia. Everyone’s coming to Paris.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume 1 covering 1920 is available in print and e-book format 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 Perkins’ relationships with 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, download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, Christmas Eve, December 24, 1920, 8 rue Dupuytren, Left Bank, Paris

It’s been a good year for American ex-patriate bookstore owner Sylvia Beach, 33.

Her shop, Shakespeare & Co., has been open here for more than a year now, despite economic uncertainty in the city. She wrote recently to her sister back in New Jersey:

My business is maintaining itself in spite of crashes all about. The Bon Marche, the Louvre, the Printemps, different automobile manufacturers and other goods are tottering on the brink. The Galeries [Lafayette] are very low indeed they do say. No one will buy anything till the prices drop and the manufacturers and shops are left with floods of stuff on their hands which they would rather hold on to than sell at a sacrifice—naturellement.”

Galeries Lafayette Catalogue

She has seen an increase in both the subscribers to her lending library and the other American and British ex-patriates who gather in her shop.

Beach has taken on one particular Irish writer, James Joyce, 38, as a special project. She loved his novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and has been supporting him now that he is working on a formidable opus, Ulysses.

This year it has been serialized in a “little mag” in New York City, The Little Review, but issues have been confiscated by the authorities and the publisher and editor are awaiting trial on obscenity charges!

From talking with Joyce, Sylvia knows that the magazine’s lawyer, John Quinn, 50, who buys up pieces of the original manuscript as Joyce writes it, is trying to convince the stubborn Irishman to withdraw his novel from The Little Review, and have a legitimate American publisher—like Huebsch or Boni and Liveright—bring out a private edition of the whole work when it is finished. This would be treated differently under the law, as it wouldn’t be sent through the mail, as the magazine is.

Joyce is having none of it. He sends cryptic cables to Quinn, written in code, and Quinn telegraphs back, exasperated.

Today, Beach has arranged a special meeting for Joyce.

Sylvia and her partner, Adrienne Monnier, 28, who owns the nearby French language bookshop, La Maison des Amis des Livres, have been trying to introduce Joyce into the literary life of Paris. Today they have invited Valery Larbaud, 39, the posh French poet, who recently gave a talk in Adrienne’s store, to meet Joyce. Larbaud was impressed by Portrait, which he read on Sylvia’s recommendation, and has expressed a desire to meet the author.

James Joyce, Sylvia Beach, and Adrienne Monnier in Shakespeare & Co.

Larbaud has many influential friends in the French literary establishment, and Sylvia and Adrienne think the two men will hit it off.

Tomorrow, they are going with Larbaud to an elegant midnight Christmas party with some of their other French friends, including the well-known poet Leon-Paul Fargue, 44, and the novelist Luc Durtain, 39.

Sylvia has already made her New Year’s resolutions which will make 1921 even better:  No more coffee, tea or cigarettes. Lots more nights at the Ballets Russes and Comedie Francaise.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, soon 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 next year I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

My 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.

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 19, 1920, Left Bank, Paris

Eleanor Beach, 56, is on her annual visit to see her daughters—she calls them her “chicks”—who live in Europe.

The youngest, Sylvia, 33, owns an English-language bookshop and lending library in Paris on the rue Dupuytren, Shakespeare and Co., which seems to be going well. It hasn’t even been open a year and she already has 103 subscribers to the lending library, most of whom are pretty active borrowers.

But Mom wants to help out. So she and her daughter go on a shopping spree and come back with some decent clothes, a kitchen table, and some more books for the shop.

Sylvia writes to her sister, Holly, 35, in Florence, Italy,

PLM [Poor Little Mother] is flourishing.”

Sylvia’s good friend, Adrienne Monnier, 27, who owns a French-language bookshop a few blocks away, La Maison des Amis des Livres (The House of the Friends of Books), has been a big help in Sylvia’s first year in business.

Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach

Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach

Shakespeare & Co. recently had good write-ups in the respected trade journal Publisher’s Weekly and other English-language publications distributed in France. As a result, Sylvia is having a hard time responding to all the letters she is receiving. Many American students write asking for jobs. Sylvia is feeling more like a secretary, rather than an entrepreneur.

“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@gpysyteacher.com.

In 2020 I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the University of Pittsburgh Osher Lifelong Learning program.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins and his 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, First Week of February, 1920, 8 rue Dupuytren, Paris

After two and a half months of running her own bookshop, Shakespeare & Co., on the Left Bank of Paris, American Sylvia Beach, 32, daughter of a Princeton, New Jersey, Presbyterian minister, is having a ball.

Sylvia Beach 1919

Sylvia Beach

She is writing to her sister Holly, 35, back in the States, about her new best friend forever, Adrienne Monnier, 27, owner of the bookstore, La Maison des Amis des Livres (The House of the Friends of Books), a few blocks away. Adrienne and other Parisians were so helpful to Sylvia last fall in sorting out the details of starting a business in France. Adrienne and she had had

a sort of set-to or climax effect one day,”

she writes to Holly. Mostly about the design of the new bookshop. But now they have made up and

become the best of friends…Adrienne is the best friend in the world and we get along puffickly [sic] now.”

Monnier in front of bookstore

Adrienne Monnier in front of her bookstore

Beach loves the independence of having her own successful business—her lending library is up to 80 subscribers now—as well as getting to know the American and British ex-patriates who feel comfortable hanging out at her shop.

But the best part is being in the center of the creative life of the Left Bank. The two friends have been going to concerts and plays all over town. They’ve had fascinating lunch guests such as Parisian playwright Georges Duhamel, 35, and composer Erik Satie, 53. His works are so funny.

Satie in 1920

Erik Satie

Satie mentioned that he is working on a project now with fellow French composer Darius Milhaud, 21, for a big performance being staged by poet Jean Cocteau, 30, later this month. But Satie is so secretive about all his work. Even when collaborating with Milhaud, he sent him a note saying,

Don’t give anything away. Not a word to ANYBODY, above all:  Don’t give anything away. SERIOUS.”

Sylvia, Adrienne, and some of their French friends—she is the only “foreigner” in the group—are planning to see Duhamel’s hit play, L’Oeuvre des athletes (The Action of Athletes), at Jacques Copeau’s Theatre du Vieux-Colombier,

Beach suspects she is being included, not just because of her friendship with Monnier, but because the French like to ask her questions about one of her favorite American writers, Walt Whitman.

Sylvia writes to her sister,

I am so lucky to be able to do something interesting [for] the rest of my life.”

“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@gpysyteacher.com.

In 2020 I will be talking about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins and his relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and others in both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University’s Osher Lifelong Learning programs.

Manager as Muse, about Perkins and his writers, 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.