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University at Buffalo Libraries

The Poetry Collection

Case VIII: Ulysses After Shakespeare and Company

66. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1932 (first Odyssey Press edition).


While Beach was publishing Ulysses, some American publishers expressed an interest in Joyce's novel; however, stores which (discretely) sold copies of the Shakespeare edition in America were still being prosecuted.[46] Before any formal arrangements could be made with an American publisher, the German firm the Albatross Press offered to take over publication of Ulysses in continental Europe from Beach. Their edition was published under the imprint "The Odyssey Press." Between 1932 and 1939 there were four printings, usually as two small volumes. The so-called first printing of 1932 came in three limitations: one on thin India paper in one volume, one in two volumes (each one about the same size of the one volume limitation), and one a special deluxe two volume edition of only thirty-five copies. The one volume limitation must have come first as it has errors that are corrected in the other two and the deluxe limitation must have been last as it corrects some errors from the previous two. Thus the first printing contains three distinct textual states. Each of the three printings after 1932 corrects further errors (the 1935 printing came in both one- and two-volume formats). [47]

As a reflection of the legal difficulties still confronting Ulysses, a note on the back cover page reads "Not to be introduced into the British Empire or the U.S.A." A note on the title-page verso reads "The present edition may be regarded as the definitive standard edition as it has been specially revised, at the author's request, by Stuart Gilbert." By this time Gilbert had effectively become "the official Joycean" largely on the strength of his 1930 book-length study of Ulysses (items 67 and 68). In two 1965 letters to Jack Dalton, Gilbert describes his role in preparing the Odyssey Press edition: "I consulted Joyce re some doubtful points" and "As far as I remember I used what was then the latest Shakespeare & Co edition and also my copy of the First, when correcting the Odyssey Press text of Ulysses. I certainly asked for, and received, revise proofs."[48] Despite Gilbert's efforts, many errors remained and a host of new ones were introduced.

On display is Sylvia Beach's copy of the deluxe limitation of the first printing, which was printed especially for her and signed by Joyce.

67. Stuart Gilbert, James Joyce's "Ulysses," 1930, 1952.


Stuart Gilbert (1883-1969) was living in Paris in the late 1920s after having retired from the British Civil Service. He had read and reread Ulysses while serving as a judge in Burma. One afternoon in 1927, while walking in Paris with his wife he passed by Shakespeare and Company and started reading some typescript pages for the forthcoming French translation of Ulysses being undertaken by Valery Larbaud and Auguste Morel (item 86, case XII). He went in to the store to inform Beach of several discrepancies he had found in the translation. Beach contacted Joyce and the next day Joyce called Gilbert to arrange for a meeting. Joyce quickly enlisted Gilbert to join Larbaud and Morel in working on the French translation. Of Gilbert's many contributions to Joyce and Joyce studies, the most important is his 1930 book-length study James Joyce's "Ulysses." Joyce gave Gilbert a copy of the second schema he had prepared (item 43, case V) and generally supervised him as he was writing his book. While clearly still an invaluable and pioneering work of scholarship, in many ways Gilbert's study has since been superceded.

In 1932 Charles Duff called Gilbert's study "the best substitute for the original."[49] When Gilbert's study came out, it was indeed a substitute for Ulysses for readers in both England and America as Joyce's novel was still banned. Because of that, Gilbert quoted extensively from Ulysses to provide at least some bits of Ulysses to English and American readers. His book also served another purpose. By having a scholarly book-length study of Ulysses, Joyce and his prospective American publishers could claim that Ulysses was a work of serious literature rather than craven pornography. When his study was republished after the ban on Ulysses had ended, Gilbert declined to shorten the lengthy citations. On display here is the 1952 revised edition.

68. Stuart Gilbert, James Joyce's "Ulysses," 1930.


This is Joyce's personal copy of Gilbert's study, inscribed: "To James Joyce | in gratitude and respect | Stuart Gilbert."

69. Herbert Gorman, James Joyce: His First Forty Years, 1924.

JAMES JOYCE | HIS FIRST FORTY YEARS | by | HERBERT S. GORMAN | Author of "The Fool of Love," "The Barcarole | of James Smith," "The Procession | of Masks," etc. | [publisher's device] | NEW YORK B.W HUEBSCH, INC. MCMXXIV

Along with Stuart Gilbert, Herbert Gorman (1893-1954) was one of the first Joyce scholars. In 1924 he published a critical study of Joyce's works, James Joyce: His First Forty Years . On display is Joyce's copy. In 1939, Gorman published the first biography of Joyce, James Joyce (revised in 1948), with Joyce's assistance (and a certain measure of censorship).

70. Joyce, Moune and Stuart Gilbert, Zürich, c. 1932.