Skip to Content

University at Buffalo Libraries

The Poetry Collection

Case XII: Translations of Ulysses

86. James Joyce, Ulysse, 1929 (first edition of the French translation).

JAMES JOYCE | ULYSSE | Translated from the English by | M. AUGUSTE MOREL | assisted by STUART GILBERT | Translation entirely reviewed by M. VALERY LARBAUD | in collaboration with THE AUTHOR | LA MAISON DES AMIS DES LIVRES | Adrienne Monnier | 7, RUE DE L'ODÉON, 7 | PARIS | MCMXXIX

The success of Larbaud's lecture on Joyce in 1921 (item 38, case IV) prompted Joyce's interest in a French translation. Larbaud was reluctant to undertake this task himself and so he suggested Auguste Morel, a young writer from Breton who had experience translating English works into French. Adrienne Monnier, Beach's companion who ran the store La Maison des Amis des Livres, was approached to be the publisher. She agreed but only if Joyce and Larbaud would review Morel's work. Morel proceeded very slowly and over the years portions of his translation were published in various French journals. In 1927 Joyce added Stuart Gilbert to the team after he had spotted some discrepancies in a typescript copy of the translation that Beach had on display in the window of Shakespeare and Company (item 67, case VIII). The three translators did not get along and Joyce was forced to intervene. The arrangement and description of the translators' names on the title-page was suggested by Joyce in order to assuage his translators' egos. [59] Monnier finally published Ulysse in 1929 and it was received with much adulation and felicitation. The large and prestigious French publishing firm Gallimard took over publication of Ulysse from Monnier later in October 1930. Joyce's involvement in this translation has meant that its influence extends beyond the hexagonal borders of France.

The copy on display is copy F of the ten copies printed on Hollande van Gelder paper and was printed specially for Beach. Joyce inscribed it: "To | Sylvia Beach | this trophy of her Seven Years' War 1921-1929 | James Joyce | Paris | Independence Day 1929."

87. Advertisement for the French translation of Ulysses, 1928.

ULYSSE | BY | JAMES JOYCE | Complete French translation by | MM. AUGUSTE MOREL and STUART-GILBERT | entirely reviewed by | M. VALERY LARBAUD | in collaboration with THE AUTHOR | TO APPEAR IN JANUARY 1929 | at LA MAISON DES AMIS DES LIVRES | — Adrienne Monnier — | 7, RUE DE L'ODƒON — PARIS, VIe

88. Menu card for the "Déjeuner Ulysse," June 27, 1929.

DÉJEUNER " ULYSSE " | Jeudi 27 Juin 1929 | Hotel Léopold | Les Vaux de Cernay

To celebrate the publication of the French translation of Ulysses, Adrienne Monnier organized a luncheon at the Léopold Restaurant in Les Vaux de Cernay, a small village near Versailles. The menu lists such delicacies as "Le Paté Léopold."

89. Photograph of the "Déjeuner Ulysse," June 27, 1929.

Among the guests at Monnier's "Déjeuner Ulysse" were some of the most prominent figures in French literature at that time: Léon-Paul Fargue, Eduard Dujardin, Paul Valéry, Jules Romains, and Philippe Soupault. Also in attendance was Samuel Beckett (he is not in the photograph; the rumor is that he got excessively drunk at lunch). None of the translators were in attendance; apparently by this time relations between them had become exceedingly rancorous. As the lunch took place eleven days after June 16, it could be considered as the first Bloomsday celebration. (Buffalo owns the original of this photograph, with Monnier's penned-in names for some of the guests; this is currently on loan to the National Library of Ireland and so a reproduction is displayed.)

90. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1927 (first edition of the German translation).


The Swiss-German publishing firm Rhein-Verlag conducted a contest to find a German translator for A Portrait and Ulysses . Georg Goyert won the contest and set to work. His translation of A Portrait, Jugendbildnis, was published in 1926 and his translation of Ulysses the following year. The translation was first published in a hefty three-volume deluxe limited edition, bound in full tan calf with gilt edges (only one volume is on display). Subsequent printings were also limited, and effectively private, because the publishers feared that, like their British and American counterparts, they would be subject to censorship. A trade edition was finally made available in 1930. Joyce spent a little time with Goyert to go over the translation and was upset by what he saw. "It is of course full of the absurdest [sic] errors and with large gaps." [60] Of course, Joyce's dismay did not stop the publisher from proudly proclaiming that he had reviewed the translation.

The copy on display was specially printed for Joyce, copy A of 100 hors commerce copies.

91. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1932-1935, 1952 (Japanese translation)


The first complete Japanese translation of Ulysses was one of the earliest to appear anywhere. Translated by Sei Ito, Sadamu Nagamatsu and Hisanori Tsuji this was published in two volumes by Daiichi-shobo, Tokyo in 1931-1934 (revised in 1955). Many copies of the earlier printings have the "Penelope" episode cut out, presumably due to fears of prosecution. Even with this censorship, Ulysses was available in Japan in translation before being legally obtainable in England and America. A second translation by Sohei Morita, Nahara Hirosaburo, Naotaro Tatsuguchi, Takehito Ono, Ichiro Ando and Eitaro Murayama was published by Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo in 1932-1935. Because copyright on Ulysses had expired in Japan, both these translations were published without Joyce's approval. On display is a later printing of the second translation, in three volumes, borrowing Eric Gill's Homeric bow from the Bodley Head Ulysses (items 75 and 77, case X).

92. James Joyce, Uiliséas, 1984 (Irish Gaelic translation).

uiliséas | by | James Joyce | Breasal Uilsean and Séamas î hInnéirghe | translators | CUID A H-AON

On display is a preliminary version of a translation of the first three episodes of Ulysses into Irish Gaelic — one of the few languages Joyce did not know. Between 1987 and 1992 all of Ulysses was translated into Irish Gaelic in twelve small pamphlets.

93. James Joyce, Uliss, 1993 (Russian translation).

James Joyce | Uliss | novel | Translated from the English by | V. Khinkisa and S. Khoruzhego | Commentary by | S. Khoruzhego | Moscow | "Respublika" Publishers | 1993

94. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1971 (Georgian translation).

The first three episodes of Ulysses were translated into Georgian in 1971 by Nico Kiasashvili in the sixth number of the Tiblisi literary journal Kchomli (Constellation), which is on display. Translations of subsequent episodes appeared in the journal Saunje (Treasury).

95. James Joyce, Odysseas, 1969-1976 (Greek translation).

JAMES JOYCE | ODYSSEAS | TRANSLATED INTO THE GREEK BY | Leonidas Nikolouzos | [publisher's device] | Ekdoseis Pairidi [note: volumes two and three translated by Giannis Thomopoulos]

96. James Joyce, Odysseus, 1964 (Finnish translation).

JAMES JOYCE | Odysseus | Translator | Pentti Saarikoski | [publisher's device] KUSTANNUSOSAKEYHTI… TAMMI | Helsinki

97. James Joyce, Ulis, 1982 (Arabic translation).

James Joyce | [decorative rule] | Ulis | translated into Arabic | by Taha Mahmud Taha | 1 [2] | [decorative rule] | [publisher's device] | lil-Bahth wa-al-Nashr | Cairo

98. James Joyce, Uliss, 1985, 1999 (Hebrew translation).

James Joyce | Uliss | translated from the English: Yael Renan | [publisher's device] | Hots'at Mahbarot le-sifrut

99. James Joyce, Ulises, 1949 (Spanish translation).


This translation was first published in Buenos Aires in 1945 by Santiago Rueda.

100. James Joyce, Ulikses, 1967 (Slovenian translation).

JAMES JOYCE | ULIKSES [in red] | I [II] | [publisher's device in red] | DRZAVNA ZALOZBA SLOVENIJE | LJUBLJANA 1967 [translated by Janes Gradisnik]

101. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1994 (Dutch translation).

JAMES JOYCE | ULYSSES | Translated by Paul Claes and Mon Nys | [publisher's device] | Publishers De Bezige Bij | Amsterdam