Modernist Community
39 Contact Collection, 1925 ~ Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection

CONTACT COLLECTION OF | CONTEMPORARY WRITERS Djuna Barnes | Bryher | Mary Butts | Norman Douglas | Havelock Ellis | F. M. Ford | Wallace Gould | Ernest Hemingway | Marsden Hartley | H. D. | John Herrman | James Joyce | Mina Loy | Robert McAlmon | Ezra Pound | Dorothy Richardson | May Sinclair | Edith Sitwell | Gertrude Stein | W. C. Williams.

(47K)  (37K)

Contents: pp. [i–ii], blank; p. [iii], half-title; p. [iv], blank; p. [v], title-page; p. [vi], blank; p. [vii], Dedicated | to | Miss HARRIET WEAVER; p. [viii], blank; p. [ix], index; pp. 1–338, text; p. [339], PRINTED | AT DIJON | BY | MAURICE DARANTIERE | M. CM. XXV ; pp. [340–42], blank. 300 copies; $3.00; bound in gray paper covers, 19.4 x 14.3 cm., printed in black on front cover: text of title-page (reformatted, with decorative rules following contributors’ names), and on spine, vertically (from bottom to top): [horizontal double rule] Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers [horizontal double rule], and back cover: [publisher’s advertisement] and address: CONTACT EDITIONS | THREE MOUNTAINS PRESS | 29. Quai d’Anjou, Ile Saint-Louis | PARIS ; printed on white wove paper, untrimmed, unopened, 19 x 13.4 cm. [Slocum & Cahoon B7]

According to Sylvia Beach, the Contact Collection “was made up of extracts of whatever the writers happened to be working on at the time. It was the most interesting book of scraps I ever saw.”22 Here Joyce’s “From Work in Progress” appeared alongside the work of the principal modernist artists of the day. Maurice Darantiere printed the Contact Collection Series in Dijon and he somehow also managed to print Robert McAlmon’s book–with a title suggested by Joyce–A Hasty Bunch (1922) in the midst of finishing with Ulysses. The contributing writers dedicated the Contact Collection to Harriet Shaw Weaver. Most of them were indebted to her as patron or publisher or both. Sylvia Beach kept this copy at Shakespeare and Company for the next several years, collecting the signatures of the contributors whenever they stopped by. This is Harriet Weaver’s own copy with thirteen of the twenty signatures that was finally presented to her in 1931 (Figure 1).

40 Portrait of Joyce by Augustus John, November 1930
~ Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection

Lithograph, 16.8 x 12.7 cm.

English artist, Augustus Edwin John (1878–1961) sketched many literary figures, including Wyndham Lewis in 1903, W. B. Yeats in 1907, and T. E. Lawrence in 1919. Joyce sat for John for this portrait in November 1930. Joyce later signed this lithograph when he presented it to Harry and Caresse Crosby for reproduction in the opening pages of their Black Sun Press edition of Joyce’s verse, Collected Poems (1936).

41 The Joyce Book, 1933 ~ Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection


Contents: p. [1], half-title; p. [2], blank; p. [3], title-page; p. [4], printer’s statement: Printed in Great Britain ; p. [5], [portrait of James Joyce by Augustus John]; p. [6], blank; p. [7], Contents ; p. [8], blank; p. [9], Editor’s Note by Herbert Hughes ; p. [10], blank; p. [11], Prologue by James Stephens [poem]; p. [12], blank; pp. 13–15, James Joyce as Poet by Padraic Colum ; pp. [16]–77, text of thirteen poems and music; p. [78], blank; pp. 79–[84], Epilogue by Arthur Symons ; p. [85], colophon: The Joyce Book was designed by Hubert Foss and | set, engraved, and printed in England by Henderson | & Spalding Ltd., at the Sylvan Press, Sylvan Grove, | London, S.E.15. The type used throughout is Mono- | type Goudy Modern, and for engraving the words | under the music, special punches were cut by the | Monotype Corporation Ltd. The paper was mould- | made in Holland and the binding is of hand-woven | silk from Edinburgh Weavers. The collotype | frontispiece was printed by John Johnson, at the | University Press, Oxford. Five hundred copies were | printed, of which only four hundred and fifty are | for sale. | This is number | [number of copy written in ink]; pp. [86–88], blank. Bound in blue silk cloth over boards, 35.5 x 26 cm., with blue and white head and tail bands; stamped in silver on front cover: the | Joyce | book ; printed on light gray mould made paper, head silvered, other edges untrimmed, 34.5 x 25.5 cm. Issued in blue-gray paper envelope with string and button closure, printed in blue on front cover: the | Joyce | book. [Slocum & Cahoon A29 & F15]

Joyce’s first readers recognized the musical lyricism of his poetry, and the Dublin organist and composer Geoffrey Molyneux Palmer had already set eight of the verses of Chamber Music by 1909. The Joyce Book is the work of thirteen composers setting all thirteen poems of Joyce’s second and last volume of poetry, Pomes Penyeach (item 41). The composers and Sylvia Beach agreed that all of the royalties would go to Joyce. Herbert Hughes, the editor of this collection, and his wife, Suzanne McKernan Hughes were good friends of the Joyces and held a party to celebrate the publication of the edition. This is Weaver’s copy No. 106, alongside its original slipcase and blue-gray wrapper. McFarlin Library, Special Collections also has Cyril Connolly’s No. 15 of this musical tribute to Joyce’s poetry.

Photograph of “Déjeuner Ulysse,” [27 June 1929]
~ Richard Ellmann Papers

Adrienne Monnier hosted this luncheon to celebrate the publication of the French translation of Ulysses by her Les Amis des Livres (item 43). It was held 11 days after Bloomsday at the Léopold Restaurant in Les Vaux-de-Cernay, a small village outside Versailles. Some of the guest included: Samuel Beckett, Eduard Dujardin, Léon-Paul Fargue, Nino Frank, Pierre de Lanux, Thomas McGreevy, Jean Paulhan, Jules Romains, Ludmila Savitsky, Philippe Soupault, Paul Valéry, some of their spouses, Helen Fleishmann and George, Nora and Lucia Joyce as well as Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach. Oddly, none of the translators, Auguste Morel, Stuart Gilbert or Valery Larbaud, were there.

43 Ulysse, February 1929 ~ Paul and Lucie Lčon Collection

JAMES JOYCE | ULYSSE | Traduit de l’anglais par | M. AUGUSTE MOREL | assisté par M. STUART GILBERT | Traduction entièrement revue par | M. VALERY LARBAUD | avec la collaboration de L’AUTEUR | LA MAISON DES AMIS DES LIVRES | Adrienne Monnier | 7, RUE DE L’ODÉON, 7 | PARIS | MCMXXIX.

Contents: pp. [i–ii], blank; p. [iii], half-title; p. [iv], ŒUVRE DU MÊME AUTEUR TRADUITES EN FRANÇAIS ; p. [v], title-page; p. [vi], copyright statement; p. [vii], colophon: IL A ÉTÉ TIRÉ DE CET OUVRAGE: | 25 exemplaires sur Hollande van Gelder, | marqués HOLLAND VAN GELDER et numérotés de 1 à 25. | 100 exemplaires sur velin d’Arches, | marqués VÉLIN D’ARCHES et numérotés de 1 à 100 | 875 exemplaires  sur alfa verge, | marques ALFA VERGÉ et numérotés de 1 à 875. | EXEMPLAIRES D’AUTEUR HORS-COMMERCE : | 10 exemplaires sur Hollande van Gelder, | marqués EXEMPLAIRE D’AUTEUR et marqués de A à J. | 20 exemplaires sur velin d’Arches, | marqués EXEMPLAIRE D’AUTEUR et numérotés de I à XX. | 170 exemplaires sur alfa verge, | marqués EXEMPLAIRE D’AUTEUR et numérotés de 1 à 170. | EXEMPLAIRE D’AUTEUR SUR HOLLAND VAN GELDER | [copy letter]; p. [viii], blank; p. [ix], divisional title: I; p. [x], blank; pp. [1]–56, text; p. [57], divisional title: II; p. [58], blank; pp. [59]–673, text; p. [674], blank; p. [675], divisional title; III, p. [676], blank; pp. [677]–870, text; p. [871], printer’s statement: ACHEVÉ D’IMPRIMER | EN FÉVRIER 1929 | SUR LES PRESSES DE | L’IMPREMERIE DURAND | A CHARTRES; p. [872-874], blank. Bound in heavy white paper covers, 26.6 x 21.7 cm., printed in blue on front cover: JAMES JOYCE | ULYSSE | PARIS | MCMXXIX, and on spine: JAMES JOYCE | ULYSSE | PARIS | MCMXXIX; printed on cream-white paper, watermarked: VAN GELDER ZONEN, untrimmed, unopened, 26.8 x 20.2 cm.

This is Leon's Exemplaire d’Auteur “B”, printed for James Joyce, of the first French translation of Ulysses into which is laid a subscription form for the edition.  This edition was the second complete translation of Ulysses: the first was Georg Goyert’s 1927 private-press, three-volume edition. Adrienne Monnier, the proprietor of La Maison Des Amis Des Livres, had hosted the séance at which Larbaud famously introduced Joyce’s new work and had helped Beach through the process of publishing Ulysses. The translators of Monnier’s edition of Ulysses had collaborated on fragments of the work since 1924, including Larbaud and Morel’s first efforts printed in the summer 1924 issue of Commerce, and Morel and Gilbert’s translation of the Proteus episode for La Nouvelle Revue Française’s autumn 1928 issue.  McFarlin Library, Special Collections also holds Exemplaire d'Auteur "E",  printed for Harriet Shaw Weaver and inscribed:  "To Harriet Weaver |James Joyce | Nevilly-sur-Seine le 22 Fevrier 1929 | Paris-sur-Meuse le 22 Mars 1929" within the Harriet Shaw Weaver Collection, and number 290 of 875 exemplaires, inscribed:  "To Paul Leon | James Joyce | Paris | Xmas 1929", within the Paul and Lucie Lčon Collection.

44 transatlantic review, April 1924

transatlantic review, Paris, London and New York (January–December 1924). “From Work in Progress” (April 1924) Vol. 1: No. 4, pp. 215–23. [Slocum & Cahoon C62]

From its first appearance, fragments of Joyce’s last work went under the banner “Work in Progress” until 1939 when Finnegans Wake finally appeared. The transatlantic review was odd from the start, reflecting Ford’s eclectic taste, his vacillation between last names as editor and artist (Hueffer and Ford), and his unique relation to the younger modernist writers. With its plain white covers and letters of welcome and praise by H. G. Wells and Joseph Conrad, the only thing that could be construed as avant-garde were the all lowercase letters of the title in the Paris and London editions, but even then the New York edition maintained the title in its more conventional typography.
45 This Quarter, July 1925 ~ Cyril Connolly Library

This Quarter, Milan (October 1925-October-December 1932). “Fragment of an Unpublished Work,” (Autumn-Winter 1925–26) Vol. 1: No. 2., pp. 108–123.

Ethel Moorhead financed This Quarter and edited the first issue from Paris with Ernest Walsh. After Walsh’s death, Moorhead compiled a third number from Milan as a tribute to Walsh’s poetry, prose, and drawings. When Edward Titus, the Parisian bookseller, took up the editorship in summer 1929, he moved the magazine back to Paris, then in September 1932, he produced one of the most highly acclaimed collections of surrealism as Volume 5, No. 1, which was guest edited by André Breton. Like so many of the little magazines of the era, This Quarter asserted the freedom of artistic expression. The second issue included a fragment from Joyce and, to the section entitled “Personalities,” Sylvia Beach contributed two photographs of Joyce in his white jacket, one reading with a magnifying glass in hand, and the other slumped in a chair, with head in hand. Photographs of George Antheil, of Hemingway skiing with his son, and a portrait of Padraic Colum by Patrick Tuohy also illustrated the issue. The issue published George Antheil’s “Mr Bloom and the Cyclops,” an operatic tribute to Ulysses that was never completed or performed. Antheil also set Joyce’s “Nightpiece” to music for The Joyce Book.

46 Photograph of Ezra Pound [n.d.] by James Angleton
~ Ezra Pound Collection

Gorman described Pound as: “The fantastic American poet, leader and smasher of movements, always half a mile ahead of the vanguard–any vanguard at all, hardest swearing aesthete of them all, was a large bundle of unpredictable electricity.”23

47 Wyndham Lewis, The Enemy, January 1927
~ Cyril Connolly Library

The Enemy: A Review of Art and Literature, London (January 1927-First Quarter 1929). “An Analysis of the Mind of James Joyce,” (January 1927), pp. 95-130.

In May 1926 Joyce was in the midst of writing his newest set-piece, “The Triangle” (FW 282.05–304.04) when Wyndham Lewis contacted him several times, asking for something “creative” for his latest review. Lewis had already edited two influential journals, Blast (1914–15) and The Tyro (1921–22). Joyce was only too happy to comply with his friend’s request. By the end of September, Joyce learned that the prestigious American magazine The Dial had turned down his four watches of Shaun, what would become Finnegans Wake, Book III, chapters 1–4. Undeterred by this latest rejection of his new work, Joyce continued to prepare the piece for Lewis.

Rather than publish Joyce’s piece (or any one else’s for that matter) in his literary review, Lewis devoted the entire issue to his own brand of philosophical debate: “The Enemy is Mr. Wyndham Lewis” and his method was “destructive criticism.” With this venture, Lewis broke with most of his former friends, Pound, Joyce and battled others, like Gertrude Stein, whom he considered part of the “anglo-saxon rive-gauche.” As he said, “in Paris you can be certain that, if nowhere else, The Enemy will justify its name.”24

This first issue of The Enemy proved to be a decisive event in the shaping of “Work in Progress” and its reception because it contained Lewis’s critique, “An Analysis of the Mind of James Joyce.” Many have read “The Triangle” as Joyce’s response to Lewis, but the chronology of the events does not bear this out. The piece acquired its most basic thematic structure months before Joyce had an inkling of Lewis’s critique. Joyce only added those few allusions to Lewis’s critique in this piece over a year later when he prepared it for transition 11, which appeared in February 1928. Joyce often called Lewis’s criticism the most insightful in print, but never overtly bothered to answer it. Rather, as was his practice, Joyce responded to Lewis with “The Mookse and the Gripes” that both rehearsed and countered Lewis’s points (transition 6, September 1927). That same month Lewis included his own critique in Time and Western Man.

Photograph of Rebecca West, [n. d.] by Madame Yevonde (54K)
Manuscript entitled “A Hypothesis” [c. 1928] ~ Rebecca West Papers

Holograph manuscript draft of the first paragraph of the essay, later entitled, “Strange Necessity,” on pp. 37–38 of a copy book, bound in dark blue-green card, 22.5 x 17.5 cm.

Cecily Isabel Fairfield took her pen name from the character she played in Ibsen’s Rosmersholm, Rebecca West.  Born in South London to an Irishman and a Scot, West took up a career in journalism and in 1911 began writing for The Freewoman, a suffragist weekly edited by Dora Marsden (item16). In a retrospective article on The Freewoman West claimed, that while the paper was “unimportant” in content and “amateurish” in form, the paper did its country a great service through its “unblushingness.”25 The Freewoman “mentioned sex loudly and clearly and repeatedly, and in the worst possible taste; and likewise the content was not momentous. Those who laugh at Freud and Jung should turn back to those articles and see how utterly futile and blundering discussions on these points used to be even when they were conducted by earnest and intelligent people. But The Freewoman by its candor did an immense service to the world by shattering, as nothing else would, as not the mere cries of intention towards independence had ever done, the romantic conception of women.” West published a book length study of Henry James in 1916 and a novel, The Return of the Soldier in 1918, before becoming the book critic for the London paper, New Statesman and Nation, and later for the Bookman and the Daily Telegraph. West’s style was often combative, irreverent and witty and her tastes were non-conformist. Her criticism, her fondness for James, Marcel Proust, and D. H. Lawrence, and her own fiction reflected her interest in psychology. West’s long critique of Joyce’s work, the title essay of her famous, Strange Necessity (1928), takes as its occasion her encounter with Joyce’s newly published, Pomes Penyeach (item 52). This manuscript is an early version of the opening of “Strange Necessity” which West described in a letter to the book’s publisher Jonathan Cape: “it begins with a discussion of James Joyce’s Ulysses which is probably the first estimate to be done neither praying nor vomiting. In it I come to the conclusion that though it is ugly and incompetent it is <an art> {a work} of art. That is to say it is necessary.”26

50 Rebecca West, “James Joyce and His Followers,” 1930
~ Rebecca West Papers

New York Herald Tribune Books (Sunday, 12 January 1930), Section XII, pp. 1 & 6.

Here West looked in from the outside at the phenomenon, James Joyce. As transition magazine was publishing his “Work in Progress” (item 51), West saw in Joyce and his followers the epicenter of the only movement that might found a school, that might formulate a critical exposition of its own function. “If one looks round for the group that is cohering before the peril of the age in a formation that seems most likely to procure survival, one will probably find it in the group that, largely to [Joyce’s] honor and glory, runs the magazine Transition.” West’s review featured a quarter page photograph by Bernice Abbott of the icon, Joyce seated with hat and cane. West’s own pose and dress in the photo above (item 48) seems to mimic Joyce’s. Though West was not uncritical of Joyce’s works, of all contemporary “revolutionary writers” she found that in Joyce, “the most successful is the most revolutionary.” Joyce famously jested that it would take a host of scholars many years to come to grips with his work and West’s principle objection to “Work in Progress” addressed that “question of effort and time.” If Joyce, West wrote, “is to take ten, or twenty, or thirty years packing allusions into portmanteau words; and if his readers are to take twelve (since the cipher takes longer for a stranger to read than for its inventor to write) or twenty-five, or forty years unpacking these allusions out of the portmanteau words, it is impossible to avoid the suspicion that troops have been marched up a hill and then down again [….] and even Mr. Joyce’s most devoted followers do regard it as essential that they should unmake his words into the constituents of which he made them, and should acquaint themselves with his subject matter as it appeared to him before he clothed it in these words.”  In spite of her criticism, West appreciated Joyce’s “genius” and the “robust faith” of his followers for, “theirs, almost alone today, is a religious attitude to art.”


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