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The Poetry Collection

IV: Publishing and Promoting Ulysses


29. James Joyce and Sylvia Beach in the doorway of Shakespeare and Company (8, rue Dupuytren), 1921.


30. Letter from Maurice Darantiere to Sylvia Beach, April 8, 1921.

Adrienne Monnier, Beach's companion, recommended that she hire Maurice Darantiere, an established printer in Dijon, to produce Ulysses. Darantiere made books for tony French publishers and bibliophiles but also worked with contemporary French writers and so was used to dealing with experimental works of fiction. He was very accommodating to Beach and her unusual circumstances. Joyce had the highest respect for him. Darantiere had many obstacles to contend with beyond Joyce's unclear typescript and penchant for substantial revision. Only one of his typesetters, Maurice Hirchwald, actually knew English but somewhat unfortunately he decided to proofread Ulysses and thereby introduced further distortions into the text. Joyce was able to correct many of these errors perpetrated by Darantiere and his team; however, some did creep into the first edition.[28] While the edition Darantiere ultimately produced has flaws and mistakes, it is a testament to his scrupulous skill and understanding that Ulysses was able to come out at all.

In this letter, Darantiere estimates the cost of producing Ulysses to be a total of 27,875.96 Fr. Darantiere also warns that he will levy an additional charge of 4.75Fr./hour for accommodating the author's corrections. Ultimately, Darantiere charged an additional 3,852 Fr. for all the changes he had to implement [29]


31. Letter from Maurice Darantiere to Sylvia Beach, June 16, 1921.

In this letter, Darantiere asks Beach to remind Joyce that the printing of Ulysses cannot proceed unless Joyce returns the corrected proofs in a timely fashion. He also reminds her that she will be charged for all the corrections Joyce has been making. He ends by saying that a new proof of the prospectus (items 35 and 36) will be sent the next day.


32. Joyce's handwritten list of press notices for Ulysses, 1921.

Joyce took an active role in all aspects of publishing Ulysses. He insisted to Darantiere that the cover be the blue of the Greek flag and it took Darantiere several attempts to get the color exactly right. Joyce also designed the front-matter for Ulysses and was keenly involved with marketing his book. He realized that the censorship his novel had suffered could be used to publicize and promote it. On this document, he wrote out some of the quotes to be used on the "Extracts of Press Notices of Ulysses " (item 33) and the subscription form (item 36), with blank spaces left for reviews by Pound and Valery Larbaud, which he was awaiting.


33. "Extracts of Press Notices of Ulysses," 1922.

Extracts from PRESS NOTICES | — OF — | ULYSSES | By JAMES JOYCE | [decorative rule]

Joyce, along with Weaver and Beach, collected a variety of press reviews of Ulysses (items 52-58, case VI). Joyce even included negative reviews in this collection because he found them to be "amusingly contradictory."[30]


34. Joyce's handwritten list of potential subscribers to Ulysses, 1921.

Joyce and Beach had decided to publish Ulysses by subscription as a way of forestalling any attempts at prosecution. This list, in Joyce's hand, has the names and addresses of people to whom the subscription form (items 35, 36, and 37) should be sent.


35 & 36. Subscription form for Ulysses, 1921.

ULYSSES | by | JAMES JOYCE | will be published in | the Autumn of 1921 | by | [publisher's device] | "SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY" | — SYLVIA BEACH — | 12, RUE DE L'ODƒON, PARIS — VIe

The extensive revisions Joyce made to Ulysses during the proof stages delayed the publication considerably. When the subscription form came out (it was also printed by Darantiere), it indicated a release date of the Autumn of 1921. On one copy displayed here (item 35), Joyce corrected the release date to January 1922. In the end, the book was finished just in time for Joyce's fortieth birthday on February 2, 1922. There are three variants of the subscription form. The first two indicate an Autumn 1921 release date and the third, wisely, gives no date. The first was made when Shakespeare and Company was located at its original address of 8, rue Dupuytren. In the Autumn of 1921 Beach moved the store to 12, rue de l'Odéon, a change reflected on the second variant. The first two variants state that "The work will be a volume in-8¡ crown of 600 pages." By the time the third variant was made, that estimate had expanded to 732 pages.

Next to the front page is the inside of the first variant of the subscription form (item 36). The verso of the inside has a picture of Joyce and some of the more favorable advance press notices that Joyce had culled. The recto indicates the three different limitations of the first edition that could be ordered: copies 1-100, priced at 350 Fr., were on fine Dutch handmade paper and were signed by Joyce; 101-250, priced at 250 Fr., were on vergé d'Arches paper; and 251-1,000, priced at 150 Fr., on vergé à barbes (about twenty unnumbered copies were also produced).


37. André Gide's Subscription Form for Ulysses, 1921.

Among the many filled-out subscription forms for the first edition of Ulysses is this one from André Gide, the writer and founder of the Nouvelle Revue Française. Apparently, Gide was a less than satisfied customer; in a letter to Dorothy Bussy, he confessed, "Joyce's Portrait of the Artist amused me greatly — as much as Ulysses repelled me."[31]


38.Nouvelle Revue Française, 103, April 1922.

Thanks to the censorship of The Little Review, Ulysses had become famous (if unpublished) in the English-speaking world. However, Joyce was little known in France, the country he had been living in since 1920 and the country in which his Ulysses would first be published. Valery Larbaud, one of the most prominent French writers and critics of the 1920s, helped introduce Joyce to the French literary world. Sylvia Beach introduced Larbaud to Joyce on Christmas Eve 1920. In early February she sent him copies of The Little Review in which Ulysses had been serialized. Larbaud was more than enthusiastic; on February 22 he wrote Beach (in English) "I am raving mad over Ulysses. ... It is wonderful! As great as Rabelais."111 [32] Larbaud gave a lecture on Joyce and Ulysses at Adrienne Monnier's bookstore La Maison des Amis des Livres (which was across the street from Beach's Shakespeare and Company on the rue d'Odéon) on December 7, 1921, still two months before the publication of Ulysses . Joyce kept in close contact with Larbaud, sending him page proofs of recently-completed episodes as well as a copy of the schema he had prepared. Larbaud gave his talk to an audience of over two hundred and fifty people. Adrienne Monnier remarked: "I believe it was the first time a work in English had been studied in France, by a French writer, before its having been done in England or in America." [33] An expanded version of Larbaud's lecture appeared in the journal La Nouvelle Revue Française. Joyce called the N.R.F. "the Little Review of France (though it is now more conservative)." [34] In both his lecture and the subsequent article, Larbaud emphasized the European backgrounds to Joyce's literary sensibility. The article was tremendously influential on other early critical appraisals of Joyce in France, Europe, and even England and America.


39. The Criterion, I.1, October 1922.

The first issue of T.S. Eliot's journal The Criterion included an English translation of Larbaud's N.R.F. article on Joyce, along with Eliot's poem The Waste Land. The English version omits the first part of Larbaud's article, a general introduction to Joyce, because, presumably, the English-speaking world would have less need for it than the French.


40. Joyce, Zürich, 1919.

This signed photograph is the same one that was used in the Ulysses prospectus (item 36).