[ModLib] Dubliners "defintive text" 1969

Roger Lathbury lathbury at gmu.edu
Tue Feb 15 14:43:19 EST 2011

Dear Terry:

How wonderful. I know the collection at Buffalo is terrific. They bought (as did the Rosenbach collection) a copy of my facsimile, now in its second printing.

It reminds me of seeing Scott Fitzgerald's pocket flask and birefcase at the Thomas Cooper Library in South Carolina. Is this stick the thin one in the backlit picture taken on rue de l'Odéon in the doorway? (Maybe Gisèle Freund was the photographer?)

I don't have any giving away copies of the facsimile. It's a bread and butter backlist item for me--Amazon orders a few every week (five yesterday). I get $75 for them too. Had to buy a first edition to use for making the book.

When the facsimile came out, the first buyer was a NYC law firm--four copies. I thought I was going to be sued (and I would have won) by Andrew Wylie, the agent (dubbed "The Jackal"), but I wasn't.

A friend who publishes on Joyce has had numerous run-ins with Mr. Extremely Rebarbative. He tape recorded a conversation, really a rant and monologue some 50 minutes long SJJ treated him to from Ile St. Louis. Curiously enough, the man has an American accent, doubtless from his American college education.

He likes to speak French if he thinks one can't understand it. Foutez-moi la paix, espèce d'idiot. He demanded my friend give him $750 for reprinting a public domain story, "A Little Cloud." Cóilín was willing to pay, too, to keep peace and to prepare the way for other favors, which would have been denied probably, but Joyce never pressed the matter. I think he just likes being a prick. (As in thorn, of course.)



----- Original Message -----
From: "Morris, Terry" <Terry.Morris at PolarisLibrary.com>
Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:03 am
Subject: RE: [ModLib] Joyce, Dubliners "defintive text" 1969

> Roger,
> While in Grad school at the University of Buffalo (UB) I worked at 
> the Poetry Rare Book collection. In addition to collecting all 
> poetry published in the English language it also housed an amazing 
> Joyce Collection; up to and including the man's eye glasses and 
> walking stick, truly a phenomenal collection. I recall speaking to 
> the then curator of the collection about Mr. Stephen James Joyce 
> and would it be too much to add the descriptor extremely in front 
> of you use of the word rebarbative? 
> Thank You,
> Terry
> P.S. you don't happen to have any of those 1998 facsimile's lying 
> around looking to be donated to a good home do you? 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roger Lathbury [mailto:lathbury at gmu.edu] 
> Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 4:58 PM
> To: For collectors of Modern Library books
> Subject: [ModLib] Joyce, Dubliners "defintive text" 1969
> Biens Chers Tous:
> This is one of the rare occasions when I might actually contribute 
> something--though I fear it is superfluous now--to the discussion 
> of this list serve. I indeed own and use as my reading copy of 
> _Dubliners_ the smaller format 7 1/4" Modern Library copy of the 
> definitive text. I attach jpgs of the jacket. I have not looked at 
> other printings of this work.
> I remember buying this volume in 1970 or so (in North Carolina) 
> because Viking had issued the revised text, apparently, in 
> paperback form only and I thought I would need a more permanent 
> book. The Modern Library edition was slightly smaller, more 
> durable, and sewn in 32 page signatures compared to the Compass 
> Viking paperback. It appears to be an offset of the letterpress 
> paperback edition. I have not done a collation.
> I thought it odd that the Modern Library did not also issue _A 
> Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man_ simultaneously since the 
> definitive texts of both these works appeared at about the same 
> time. However, _Portrait_ may have sold better and Viking may have 
> wished to retain the royalties. I do own a hardcover, sewn, cloth 
> covered Viking _Portrait._ Early printings of the paperback of 
> _Portrait_ were also sewn.
> In 1969, Giorgio Joyce, James Joyce's son, a musician and an 
> alcoholic, was still alive. He may have affected the publishing 
> arrangements, for he depended in part on royalties from his 
> father's work for his living. His sister Lucia was in a mental 
> institution; her care put a strain on the Joyce estate's 
> resources. Giorgio died in 1976, Lucia in 1982. Joyce's wife Nora 
> had died in 1951).
> Currently Stephen James Joyce, Giorgio's son and a rebarbative 
> individual, sometimes interferes on these issues. The ambiguous 
> status of later texts of _Ulysses_ and the subsequent reissues of 
> this work are matters lawyers for Giorgio's son in New York 
> monitor closely enough (as I have reason to know having published 
> a facsimile of the 1922 first printing in 1998).
> Doubtless this strays far afield from the interest of this group, 
> but perhaps it all is of some interest.
> Cordially,
> Roger Lathbury
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