“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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Year Ago, January 7, 1923, Standard Examiner, Ogden, Utah; and 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris

Ogden Standard Examiner, January 7

Today’s Sunday paper in Ogden, Utah, carries a feature story about a young American entrepreneur, native New Jersey-ian Sylvia Beach, 35, and the glamorous life she and her actress sister Cyprian, 29, are living in Paris.

The “brilliance” of their careers shines through in the English-language bookshop Sylvia runs on the Left Bank, and the films Cyprian has appeared in.

Almost a year ago, Sylvia published the avant-garde novel Ulysses by ex-patriate Irish writer James Joyce, 40, which has scandalized literary circles in the United States and abroad.

According to the article, the Beach sisters, daughters of a Presbyterian minister, are living in Paris, “riding in luxury on the crest of a wave of fame and fortune.”

*****

Meanwhile, in Paris, business is brisk in Sylvia’s shop, Shakespeare and Company. The publication of Ulysses has definitely increased foot traffic. And those who come in to buy Ulysses usually leave with some of Joyce’s other works, as well as books by new authors they’ve discovered.

But her young Greek shop assistant has been ill for weeks, so Sylvia’s on her own most days. Joyce comes in almost every day to read sections of Ulysses to her and is planning a dinner party so he can “see” his close friends before he goes into the hospital for much-needed eye surgery.

Sylvia Beach and James Joyce

Ulysses sells well here in France, but in the UK copies have been confiscated and burned. Bookstores in the US, where excerpts from Ulysses have been declared obscene by a court, are getting impatient to receive their copies.

Through a connection with one of the young American wanna-be novelists who hang out at Shakespeare and Company, Toronto Star foreign correspondent, Ernest Hemingway, 23, Sylvia has arranged for copies to be smuggled into the US from Canada. But soon she will have to pay the expenses of the advertising guy who has been taking them into Detroit on the ferry from his office in Windsor, Ontario.

Cyprian’s film career is actually now non-existent. Being around her increasingly famous sister makes her miserable and she is thinking of permanently moving back to the States this year.

“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 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.

Next month I will be talking about the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 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, end of December, 1922, New York City, New York; London; and Paris

Rumors are flying around New York City that a group of con men are planning to print cheap, bootleg copies of the scandalous new novel Ulysses by Irish writer James Joyce, 40.

These literary pirates plan to take advantage of the fact that 400 copies of the banned book were destroyed when they arrived in this country from the publisher in Paris, American bookstore owner Sylvia Beach, 35. Booksellers here would love to get their hands on some copies, which are going for as much as $100 each on the black market. Some are even being smuggled over the border by an American book lover who commutes to work in Canada.

Ulysses by James Joyce, first edition

One of Beach’s American friends has written to her, lamenting,

It is too absurd that Ulysses cannot circulate over here. I feel a bitter resentment over my inability to read it.”

In his law offices, attorney John Quinn, 52, who has helped to fund the publication and promotion of Ulysses, knows that getting an injunction against these literary thieves would be too expensive. They’d pass the printing plates on to more thieves in a different state and he’d spend all his time getting injunctions, state after state.

Quinn does have a creative solution, however. If he were to alert his nemesis, John Sumner, 46, the head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice [NYSSV], that copies of the book that Sumner himself—and the court—have deemed obscene are indeed circulating, Sumner would put the time and effort into tracking down the gangs and stopping publication before the counterfeit copies hit the streets.

John Sumner

How ironic. Sumner was the guy Quinn fought in court to keep Ulysses legal.

The U. S. Customs authorities are trying to confiscate every copy of the novel that enters the country and then store them in the General Post Office Building. The local officials appeal to the Post Office Department in Washington, D. C., for instructions about what to do with the 400 copies of this 700-page book they are storing. The Feds respond that the book is obscene and all copies should be burned.

So they are.

New York General Post Office

*****

Some copies of Ulysses do make it safely into the States, shipped from London where they had been taken apart and wrapped in newspapers. These are from the second edition, published this fall in Paris by the Egoist Press, owned by Joyce’s patron, Harriet Shaw Weaver, 46.

Ulysses by James Joyce, second edition

When Harriet learned that at least 400 copies had been burned in New York, she simply ordered up 400 more.

Back in March, when the first major review of Ulysses appeared in The Observer—which considered the novel a work of genius, but concluded,

Yes. This is undoubtedly an obscene book.”

—a concerned citizen passed the clipping on to the Home Office, which contacted the undersecretary of state requesting the names and location of any bookstores selling Ulysses. Weaver also thinks they have sent a detective to follow her as she personally makes deliveries to each shop which has ordered copies to be sold under the counter only to special customers.

The Home Office also became aware of much more negative reviews of Ulysses, which led the undersecretary to call it unreadable, unquotable, and unreviewable.” He issued instructions that copies entering the country should be seized, but his order is only provisional, and he doesn’t have a copy himself to read. So the Home Office requests an official opinion from the Crown Protection Service (CPS),

In the meantime, a British customs officer, doing his duty, takes a package from a passenger who landed at Croydon Airport in London, and, recognizing it as the banned Ulysses, flips to page 704 to see why. He confiscates the book on orders from His Majesty’s Customs and Excise Office, but the passenger complains that it is a work of art, praised by many reviewers, and on sale in bookshops in London as well as Paris.

Croydon Airport

Customs and Excise keeps the book but sends it on to the Home Office for a ruling.

This copy of Ulysses makes its way through the bureaucracy and finally lands on the desk of Sir Archibald Bodkin, 60, Director of Public Prosecutions at the CPS and scourge of the suffragettes whom his officers had routinely arrested and abused.

Sir Archibald Bodkin

Bodkin only had to read the final chapter to issue his decision. Which he did two days before the end of 1922: 

I have not had the time nor, I may add, the inclination to read through this book. I have, however, read pages 690 to 732. I am entirely unable to appreciate how those pages are relevant to the rest of the book, or, indeed, what the book itself is about. I can discover no story, there is no introduction which might give a key to its purpose, and the pages above mentioned, written as they are as if composed by a more or less illiterate vulgar woman, form an entirely detached part of this production. In my opinion, there is…a great deal more than mere vulgarity or coarseness, there is a great deal of unmitigated filth and obscenity…It is filthy and filthy books are not allowed to be imported into this country.”

End of. 

*****

In Paris, at the bookstore where it all began, Sylvia Beach is selling increasing numbers of Ulysses every day. Customers who come in asking for it leave with copies of all Joyce’s books.

By the end of the year, James Joyce is her best seller, beating out William Blake, Herman Melville, and, one of Sylvia’s favorites, Walt Whitman.

Sylvia Beach and James Joyce

“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 as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Perkins’ relationships with 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, Christmas, 1922, Del Monte Ranch, near Taos, New Mexico

Happy Christmas!

This has never been the favorite holiday for English writer David Herbert Lawrence, 37. Last year he was fine staying in bed with a persistent case of flu.

But this year Lawrence is actually enjoying himself. His American publisher, Thomas Seltzer, 47, and his wife Adele, 46, have come to visit Lawrence and his German wife Frieda, 43, at their ranch here.

Del Monte Ranch

In preparation for the trip, Frieda had written to Adele: 

You will find it a different sort of life after New York—bring warm clothes and old clothes and riding things if you like riding—It’s primitive to say the least of it—but plenty of wood and cream and chickens.”

With the clean, dry scent of pine-log fires coming from the fireplace, the two couples have been cooking roasted chicken, bread, Christmas pudding, and mince pie. The Lawrences’ patron, who invited him to come live here, Mabel Dodge, 43, has given them a puppy, Bibbles, who has kept the visitors entertained.

Their hosts have taken the Seltzers to see nearby hot springs, pueblos, and Santa Fe.

In the evenings, the publisher and his author talk shop together. One recurring topic is Ulysses, the new novel by Irishman James Joyce, 40. Lawrence thinks it’s “tiresome,” but hasn’t really read the whole thing.

Their other topic of conversation is Lawrence’s agent, Robert Mountsier, 34. Seltzer is trying to convince Lawrence that he doesn’t really need an agent to be published by Thomas Seltzer, Inc. Hasn’t he always treated his authors fairly? And Mountsier has made it clear that he didn’t even like Lawrence’s most recent novels Aaron’s Rod or Kangaroo.

Robert Mountsier

The Lawrences have invited Mountsier to visit too, paying his train fare from New York with David’s royalties. Luckily, the terribly anti-semitic Mountsier won’t be arriving until the day before the Seltzers leave.

But he’s staying for four weeks. Lawrence isn’t looking forward to that

“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 as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher 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.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, December, 1922, on the newsstands of America

When Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, 37, was published a few months ago, it was met with mostly positive reactions.

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

H. L. Mencken, 42, literary critic for Smart Set, found the main character to be a symbol of everything wrong with American culture: 

It is not what [Babbitt] feels and aspires that moves him primarily; it is what the folks about him will think of him. His politics is communal politics, mob politics, herd politics; his religion is a public rite wholly without subjective significance.”

In The New Statesman, Rebecca West, just turned 30, declared that Babbitt “has that something extra, over and above, which makes the work of art.”

Fellow novelist H. G. Wells, 56, told Lewis that it is

one of the greatest novels I have read…I wish I could have written Babbitt.”

Somerset Maugham, 48, wrote to say that he felt that

it is a much better book than Main Steet.

Edith Wharton, 60, to whom the novel is dedicated, wrote from one of her villas in France,

I wonder how much of it the American public, to whom irony seems to have become unintelligible as Chinese, will even remotely feel?…Thank you again for associating my name with a book I so warmly admire and applaud.”

But now in December, Edmund Wilson, 27, has his say in Vanity Fair, comparing Lewis unfavorably to Dickens and Twain, and stating that Lewis’ literary gift “is almost entirely for making people nasty.”

*****

Last month The Dial published “The Waste Land” by T. S. Eliot, 34, and in this month’s issue the publisher, Scofield Thayer, just turned 33, announces that Eliot is the second recipient of the magazine’s annual Dial Prize of $2,000.

In the same issue, Eliot has a piece about the death of English vaudeville star, Marie Lloyd, aged 52, which depressed Eliot terribly. In October, almost 100,000 mourners attended her funeral in London.

Marie Lloyd

This issue of The Dial also contains Edmund Wilson’s praise of “The Waste Land,” an in-depth piece about Eliot’s importance as a poet:  

He feels intensely and with distinction and speaks naturally in beautiful verse…The race of the poets—though grown rare—is not yet quite dead.”

Eliot is pleased with Wilson’s review, but unhappy that Wilson called his fellow ex-pat Ezra Pound, 37, an “imitator of [Eliot]…extremely ill-focused.” Eliot considers Pound to be the greatest living English-language poet.

*****

In The Nation this month, Dial editor Gilbert Seldes, 29, is also enamored of “The Waste Land,” comparing it to Ulysses by James Joyce, 40, published earlier this year: 

That ‘The Waste Land’ is, in a sense, the inversion and the complement of Ulysses is at least tenable. We have in Ulysses the poet defeated, turning outward, savoring the ugliness which is no longer transmutable into beauty, and, in the end, homeless. We have in ‘The Waste Land’ some indication of the inner life of such a poet. The contrast between the forms of these two works is not expressed in the recognition that one is among the longest and one among the shortest of works in its genre; the important thing is that in each the theme, once it is comprehended, is seen to have dictated the form.”

Eliot sends Seldes a nice note thanking him for the review.

*****

Outlook magazine, on the other hand, features “A Flapper’s Appeal to Parents,” asking parents and society as a whole to be more understanding of these dancing females who spend “a large amount of time in automobiles.”

*****

First described by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, 26, the flapper grows up in his story in this month’s Metropolitan magazine, “Winter Dreams,” about a midwestern boy in love with a selfish rich girl, who marries someone all wrong for her. When writing the story, Fitzgerald cut some descriptions to save them for his third novel, which he is working on now.

Metropolitan, December

*****

The December Smart Set has the first short story by one of America’s most-published and most popular poets, Dorothy Parker, 29, whose “Such a Pretty Little Picture” describes a man living a monotonous life in the suburbs, just cutting his hedge. Similar to her best friend, fellow Algonquin Round Table member Robert Benchley, 33, who lives in Scarsdale with his wife and two sons.

“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 as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with 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, October 11, 1922, Librairie Six, 5 Avenue de Lowendal; Hotel Verneuil, rue de Verneuil, Paris; and 74 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London

Sitting in the backroom of Librairie Six, his friend’s bookstore and art gallery, English poet and publisher John Rodker, 27, is pretty sure he has everything organized for the big day tomorrow.

John Rodker surrounded by publishing friends

In a little more than a month he has managed to pull together the publication of a second edition of the scandalous novel Ulysses by Irish-expat in Paris James Joyce, 40, the day before the copies arrive from the Dijon-based printer Darantiere.

Back in England, Rodker had been approached by one of Joyce’s many benefactors, Harriet Shaw Weaver, 46, publisher of Joyce through her Egoist Press and Egoist magazine.

Weaver has bought the British rights to all Joyce’s work, and she is eager to publish a second edition to follow up the debut of Ulysses this past February, published by the Left Bank bookshop Shakespeare and Company, owned by American ex-pat Sylvia Beach, 35.

Ulysses has been banned in America and confiscated in the UK, so Harriet has determined that the best approach is to have all the production, promotion and administrative work done in Paris, and then ship the books out to other, less tolerant, countries.

Rodker is a good choice for this assignment as he has already founded Ovid Press to publish limited editions, and, as a Conscientious Objector during the Great War, is willing to take risks for his principles.

Joyce, Beach and Weaver look at this second edition as an opportunity to correct the more than 200 typographical errors they’ve found in Shakespeare and Company’s 700-page original. However, rumors are circulating that pirates in the States are hurrying to bring out unauthorized editions. Weaver knows she has to work faster than originally planned. So—no corrections.

From this backroom office Rodker has mailed out flyers trumpeting the publication and then processed the orders. The plan he and Weaver concocted to service the UK customers involves him sending a bulk shipment to a collaborative wholesaler in London who will unbind them, pull them apart, shove sections inside British newspapers to avoid confiscation and tariffs, and then send them to the States via a merchant ship with a first mate who has agreed to serve as their smuggler. The American wholesalers will put each clandestine copy back together and deliver it to middlemen and booksellers.

Weaver will finance the whole operation, including £200 for Rodker’s services.

Rodker’s next step is to receive the shipment of 2,000 copies—complete with typos—from Darantiere tomorrow.

Ulysses, published by the Egoist Press

*****

About a half hour’s walk across the Left Bank, in the basement of the Hotel Verneuil, Rodker’s partner in crime, critic Iris Barry, 27 (actually Sylvia Crump from Birmingham, UK), has set up shop to handle the fulfillment function for individual orders.

Iris Barry

In this small room she has gathered rolls of brown parcel paper, piles of mailing labels, scissors and string. When the books arrive tomorrow, she will wrap and tie up each one individually, write out the address of the brave person in America who has ordered it, and then take Ulysses to the nearby post office in groups of four or five and send them off with a prayer that each will be delivered to its buyer before U. S. Customs starts confiscating them.

*****

In London, Miss Weaver has decided to handle the delivery to local individuals and bookstores herself. Those copies will be sent by Rodker to a private mailing firm. When the Egoist Press receives an order from a bookshop, Harriet plans to pick up the copies from the mailing company and take them—discreetly—to the store which placed the order. There they will keep Ulysses behind the counter until a special customer requests a copy.

Gloucester Place, Marylebone

Although Weaver’s lawyers have advised against it, she is going to keep some copies of Ulysses in her office and her home. Her wealthy family has always supported Harriet’s work for liberal causes but cannot imagine why she is interested in publishing smut. Her brother-in-law laments,

How could she? How could she? An enigma! An enigma!”

“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 as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher 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.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

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

In the September issue of the Dublin Review,Domini Canis” declares that Ulysses, the recently published novel by James Joyce, 40, Irish writer living in Paris, is:

A fearful travesty on persons, happenings and intimate life of the most morbid and sickening description…spiritually offensive…[a] Cuchulain of the sewer…[an] Ossian of obscenity…[No Catholic] can even afford to be possessed of a copy of this book, for in its reading lies not only the description but the commission of a sin against the Holy Ghost…Doubtless this book was written to make angels weep and to amuse friends, but we are not sure that ‘those embattled angels of the Church, Michael’s host’ will not laugh aloud to see the failure of this frustrated Titan as he revolves and splutters hopelessly under the flood of his own vomit.”

Domini Canis,” or “Hound of the Lord,” is actually Shane Leslie, 37, Irish writer and diplomat.

Shane Leslie

*****

A longer version of the same piece appears the following month in London’s Quarterly Review, under Leslie’s real name. Leslie knows that his readership in England is more likely to be Protestant than Catholic, so he changes a few things:

As a whole, the book must remain impossible to read, and undesirable to quote…We shall not be far wrong if we describe Mr. Joyce’s work as literary Bolshevism. It is experimental, anti-Christian, chaotic, totally unmoral…From any Christian point of view this book must be proclaimed anathema, simply because it tries to pour ridicule on the most sacred themes and characters in what had been the religion of Europe for nearly two thousand years.”

In late October, poet and playwright Alfred Noyes, 42, delivers a talk to the Royal Society of Literature, which appears in the Sunday Chronicle under the title, “Rottenness in Literature”:

Alfred Noyes

It is simply the foulest book that has ever found its way into print…[In a court of law] it would be pronounced to be a corrupt mass of indescribable degradation…[This is] the extreme case of complete reduction to absurdity of what I have called ‘the literary Bolshevism of the Hour.’”

Noyes has been reading Shane Leslie, obviously.

When Leslie’s screed in The Quarterly Review is brought to the attention of the Home Office by a concerned citizen, the undersecretary instructs his department to confiscate any copies of Ulysses entering the country. Of course, he doesn’t have a copy to read himself.

*****

In New York City, Edmund Wilson, 27, managing editor of Vanity Fair, has been quite impressed by Ulysses and said so in his review in the July issue of the New Republic. He is even more impressed that, as a reward for his insight, he has received a thank you note from Joyce, written by his publisher, American bookshop owner Sylvia Beach, 35. This will make his literary friends green with envy.

Note from Sylvia Beach to Edmund Wilson

*****

In Paris, Joyce wants to let his partner, Nora Barnacle, 38, mother of their two children, know how important her support is to him. He gifts her copy number 1000 of Ulysses, with a personal inscription, and gives it to her at a dinner party. Nora says she can probably sell it.

Nora Barnacle

“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 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, Fall, 1922, Detroit and Windsor Ferryport, Detroit, Michigan

Phew. He made it.

Barnet Braverman, 34, former radical newspaper editor turned boring advertising guy, has just crossed the border from Canada into the United States carrying one copy of the recently published novel Ulysses by Irishman James Joyce, 40, which has been banned in this country for being obscene.

Detroit-Windsor Ferry

If he’d been caught, he faced a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Earlier this year Barnet had been contacted by the publisher of the controversial novel, American Sylvia Beach, 35, who operates a bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Company. One of the young aspiring novelists who hangs out in her store, Ernest Hemingway, 23, had suggested Braverman, whom he’d known when they both worked in advertising in Chicago.

Braverman is excited and proud to take part in this international literary smuggling ring. He wants to stick it to the short-sighted American publishers who refused to publish Ulysses and also put one over on the censors he refers to as “Methodist smut hounds.”

So far everything has gone to plan. For $35 a month Braverman rented a small room near the office where he works in Windsor, Ontario. He told the landlord that he’s in the publishing business.

Sylvia then shipped 40 copies of the book to his Canadian address. That’s when he had to deal with the Canadian customs officials.

Canada hasn’t gotten around to banning Ulysses yet. But their duty is 25% of the value of any printed material, which would mean $300. With some fast talking, Braverman convinced the customs officer that these 700-page books, printed on fine paper, are only worth 50 cents each. So he only had to pay $6.50 for the lot and then stored the books in his rented room.

Once he gets them into the States, Braverman will send Ulysses to American customers COD so that the private express messenger company has to deliver them to get paid. And this plan avoids sending “obscene” material through the U. S. mail.

After work today, Braverman picked up one copy, wrapped it, and carried it under his arm onto the ferry. When he got off in Detroit, he unwrapped it for the border officer there, who waved him through with no problem.

Now Barnet just has to do that 39 more times.

Windsor Ferry Landing

“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 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.

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”:  The Literary 1920s, Volume III—1922 is now available!

The blog postings about 1922, 100 years ago, continue here. But now you can skip ahead to the end of this landmark year with “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volume III—1922 available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book formats.

Cover design by Lisa Thomson

Bookended by the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in February, and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in the autumn, 1922 is often thought of as, not just the most important year in “the literary 1920s,” but the most important year in modernism.

For this reason, Volume III is 30% longer than the first two volumes—almost 130 vignettes full of great gossip about your favorite writers. There’s a beheading, a public suicide, and a celebrity sighting.

Volume III has the same informal layout as the first two, allowing you to dip in and dip out of this story-filled year, or start on January 1st and discover how it develops over 12 months. All three volumes are available on Amazon as print and e-books.

Example of layout

Designed by Lisa Thomson [LisaT2@comcast.net] and created on Amazon by Loral and Seth Pepoon of Selah Press Publishing, Volume III will soon also be available at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and at Thoor Ballylee, William Butler Yeats’ home in Co. Galway in the west of Ireland.

Free-lance writer Dr. Ann Kennedy Smith, recipient of the Women’s History Network Independent Researcher Award 2021-22, and author of the blog Cambridge Ladies’ Dining Society, 1890-1914, chose “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, as one of her “Books of the Year,” saying that the series

presents colourful, diary-like snippets, skilfully woven together, from the daily lives of writers, poets and artists of the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Bloomsbury Group, the Americans in Paris, and the Algonquin Round Table in New York.”

So get your copy now—if you live near any Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus line, I’ll come sign it personally. Just email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Two are just a coincidence—but three are a trend. Seven more to go!

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes 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 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 August, 1922, 74 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London

While English novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, in Rodmell, East Sussex, is struggling to get past page 200 of Ulysses, the book’s author, James Joyce, also 40, is about 70 miles north, here in Marylebone, London, meeting one of his key benefactors, publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver, 45, for the first time.

Gloucester Place, Marylebone

Joyce and Weaver have been corresponding for years; she published his work in her Egoist magazine and his books with her Egoist Press, in addition to supporting him substantially with stipends from her late mother’s inherited money.

Recent treatment Joyce has been receiving for his painful iritis seems to be working, so he decided this would be a good time to make the trip over from his home in Paris with his partner, Nora Barnacle, 38.

When the Joyces arrived here at Harriet’s home, she noticed that he was well-dressed and had excellent manners, but that his huge spectacles accentuate the terrible state that his eyes are in. He and Nora both impressed her with their Irish charm.

James Joyce with eye patch

Harriet is a bit concerned that the Joyces are going all over town by taxi—even Harriet rides the bus sometimes. He blows about £200 in the month they are here.

London taxis and buses

Weaver hadn’t realized until recently just how much personal care Joyce’s Paris publisher, American Sylvia Beach, 35, owner of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, has been providing for him. In addition to publishing Ulysses this past February, Sylvia has been helping to support the family and making sure Joyce is seeing eye specialists.

Now, toward the end of their trip, Joyce is having a relapse. Harriet arranges a visit to her own eye doctor who, like the French physicians, advises immediate surgery. Joyce figures it’s a good time to head back home to Paris.

Before he and Nora leave, however, they visit with one of his Irish relatives who works here in London. Joyce asks her what her mother back in Ireland thinks of his novel, Ulysses, and she says,

Well, Jim, mother thought it was not fit to read.”

To which Joyce replies,

If Ulysses isn’t fit to read, life isn’t fit to live.”

“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.