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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995


James Joyce arrived in Paris in July, 1920, at the invitation of Ezra Pound. The two of them had met in Sirmione, Italy, while Joyce had been living in Trieste. James Joyce and his family moved into a private hotel at 9 rue de l'Université (7th), a place that reminded Joyce of Dublin.

On 7 July, 1924, Ezra Pound sponsored a private concert in the small recital hall of the Salle Pleyel, at 252 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré (8th). His guests included Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Sylvia Beach, and the program was called "American music (declaration of independence), played by Olga Rudge and George Antheil.

At number 20 rue Jacob (6th), James Joyce sometimes visited Natalie Clifford Barney, a long-time resident at this address. Other visitors were T.S. Eliot, Sherwood Anderson, Proust and Apollinaire.

At the studio of Jo Davidson, 14 ave du Maine (15th), casual visitors included James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Clarence Darrow.

The Theatre des Champs-Elysees is located at 13-15 ave Montaigne (8th). On 19 June 1926, the Joyces had a box here for George Antheil's Ballet Mécanique, a full-house affair attended by many of the Paris "in crowd", including T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and Sylvia Beach.

Contact Editions, 8 Rue de l'Odéon, was a small publishing house run by Robert McAlmon. With private funding, provided by his father-in-law, he published new writers that the commercial presses wouldn't handle. In addition to James Joyce, he published Hemingway's Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923) and Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans (1925).

Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company, 12 Rue de l'Odéon (6th). Sylvia Beach's lending library and bookshop is probably the most famous place in Paris for the literary scene of that era. It's not the same place as the more recent, but still famous, bookshop of the same name at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie. Sylvia's friend Adrienne Monnier discovered a location for the first shop, at 8 Rue Dupuytren (6th), which opened on 19 Nov 1919. In July 1921 they moved the shop around the corner to Rue de l'Odéon, where it remained until 1940.

Sylvia Beach

James Joyce visited Sylvia Beach's shop after meeting her at a party on 11 July 1920. Sylvia agreed to publish Ulysses, and an order for 1000 copies was placed with the printer Maurice Darantière in Dijon. They received the first two copies on 2 Feb 1922, the eve of Joyce's 40th birthday. Sylvia allowed Joyce to add phrases, paragraphs and whole lists of names to enrich the final text, and nearly doubling the cost of publication.

On 21 April 1926, James Joyce attended the opening of Walt Whitman's exhibition at Shakespeare and Company, and later quoted Whitman in Finnegans Wake (1939). In 1927 Sylvia Beach published James Joyce's Pomes Penyeach, and she agreed to poublish Finnegans Wake. Portions of Finnegans Wake had been published in transition, and reactions were so negative that a lot of support was withdrawn, even by strong admires of Joyce, Ezra Pound and Harriet Weaver.

Sylvia went deeply in debt to advance Joyce money, who was burdened with glaucoma attacks, a series of operations, and a mentally ill daughter. Then, just before the 12th editon of Ulysses was going to press in 1932, Sylvia learned that Joyce was negotiation with Random House to publish an American editon. Sylvia cancelled the printing, and the American edition was published by Random House in Feb 1934. Sylvia Beach received nothing for her rights as publisher of Ulysses.

Others ...

The poet and physician William Carlos Willimas stayed at the Hotel Lutetia at 43-45 Bvd Raspail (7th) in Jan 1924. He met with James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Man Ray, Sylvia Beach and Mina Loy, among others.

Eugene Jolas had an apartment at 6 Rue de Verneuil (7th). Jolas became an editor with the Paris Tribune in 1924. In his column Rambles through Literary Paris he introduced American readers to Franch writers, and French readers to the writers Jame Joyce, Eugene O'Neill, Sherwood Anderson and Ezra Pound.

40 ter, Rue Fabert (7th). At the Hotel de la Gare des Invalides, Eugene Jolas and Elliot Paul established the new editoral office here in the summer of 1926 for their literary review transition. The first appearance of James Joyce's Work in Progress was in transition, and later was included as part of Finnegans Wake.

In 1930 Joyce was living in an apartment at Square Robiac, where Samuel Beckett was a frequent visitor.


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