“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, 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, early August 1920, law offices, 31 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

Margaret Anderson, 33, founder and publisher of the six-year-old magazine The Little Review, doesn’t want to have to be here.

But her magazine needs money. Again. And this is one of the only ways she knows how to get it.

The lawyer she is waiting to see, patron of the arts John Quinn, 50, has been a key source of her funding for the past few years. The magazine’s foreign editor, American ex-pat poet Ezra Pound, 34, had brought them together. The first time they met, three years ago, at Quinn’s fashionable penthouse apartment, looking out over Central Park West, Anderson had been impressed. Quinn wanted to help bankroll the magazine, but also felt he could tell them how to run it. On an art collector-lawyer’s budget. Not realistic for a semi-monthly publication produced out of the Greenwich Village apartment she shares with her partner, Jane Heap, 36, editor of The Little Review.

Marg Anderson c 1920

Margaret Anderson

Quinn had pulled together some American investors and given Pound money to find and pay Europe’s best poetry contributors for the magazine.

More recently, The Little Review has attracted the attention of the authorities, particularly the US Post Office. Quinn had defended the first charge brought against them for publishing an allegedly obscene short story which was distributed through the mails. Now their serialization of Ulysses, the latest work by Pound’s find, James Joyce, 38, the Irish writer living in Paris, has been under threat of confiscation. Quinn is going to defend them again, if needs be. Anderson hopes.

Now she needs more cash. She hadn’t even bothered to phone Quinn to ask if she could come by his office. Anderson is wearing one of her best grey suits; her blonde hair is tucked under her little black hat; she’s lost some weight; she’s learned the way to smile at Quinn to make him think that she just might be interested in him. [She isn’t.]

The Little Review is once again in danger of going under. Could Quinn go back to some of the original investors he’d rounded up and see if any is willing to provide more support? Being the first to publish Joyce’s work in America is a real coup.

Quinn is tired of asking his friends for cash. He gives Anderson a check for $200 and sends her away. He’s determined that this will be his last contribution to The Little Review. And regrets having given them this one.

“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.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and 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, April 29, 1920, 31 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

Irish-American lawyer, John Quinn, 49, is in his office sorting out financial arrangements for his friend, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 54, finishing off his lecture tour of America, accompanied by his wife, Georgie, 28.

The company that arranged Yeats’ tour, the Pond Lyceum Bureau, is on the verge of bankruptcy. On Quinn’s recommendation, Yeats insisted that his speaking fees be sent to Quinn to hold in trust. Pond was not happy about going through Quinn, who cabled Yeats last week:

POND WRITES CONSIDERS YOU GREAT FRIEND AND THAT MY PRESSING HIM YOUR SHARE PROCEEDS DOES NOT IMPROVE THAT FRIENDSHIP (STOP) RUBBISH (STOP)”

Conplaint letter to Pond Lyceum Bureau

A previous complaint against the Pond Lyceum Bureau, from publisher Alfred A. Knopf

Today Quinn is writing to Yeats in Sherman, Texas, about the arrangements for his ocean voyage back to Ireland later next month. The Yeats will spend some weeks in New York City first, and are booked in to the Algonquin Hotel. Quinn writes,

I am sorry that you and your wife are not coming directly to my apartment. I had assumed you would both come there but perhaps you will both come in a few days. I won’t be in your way or either of you in my way and ‘twill be very pleasant for me and I think pleasant for both of you…I enclose you an account of the moneys that I have received from Pond, with the dates. Sincerely yours’ [signed John Quinn]

“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.

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

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 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.