Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

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Castlecomer,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,
Ireland.

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Lot 427/311

SOLD Hammer price: €9000, Estimate: €7000-10000

From The Master’s HandNo. 3 of 8 Copies OnlyJoyce (James). De Honni-Soit a Mal-y-Chance. Mesures, 15 Janvier 1936. [French translation of Joyce’s essay From a banned writer to a banned singer,a tribute to the singer John Sullivan]. Sm qto, 9pp, stapled (centre pages loose) in printed paper covers, French-style glassine wrapper, probably original. No. 3 of only eight numbered copies (offprints from the periodical Mesures) on stamped Alfa Navarre paper. Signed by Joyce on f.f.e.p. and extensively corrected in ink in his hand, about ten separate corrections,mostly to spelling but including one insertion of an extra word. Staples slightly rusted with a little staining, but in excellent condition, EXCESSIVELY RARE. ‘A titre de Kerryosit‚, dis, a quoi rime un Sullivan?’Joyce first met the Irish-born tenor John Sullivan or O’Sullivan in late 1929, at the urging of his brother Stanislaus. Sullivan was Cork-born, like Joyce’s father, and had established himself at the Paris Opera. Joyce was overcome with enthusiasm when he heard him sing there. Joyce was himself a promising singer in his youth, and for several years he devoted much time and energy to promoting Sullivan among his friends, and trying to secure better opportunities for him. He claimed that Sullivan’s career had been held back by the jealousy of others [see Ellmann p. 619-21]. His tribute From a banned writer to a banned singer was first published in the New Statesman and Nation, 27 Feb.1932 [S&C C81]. This French translation by Arnold Petitjean (stated to have been reviewed by Joyce) was published in the French magazine Mesures, 15 Jan. 1936 [S&C D34]. Just eight numbered offprints of the translation were issued for Joyce and signed by him. Of the eight copies, the present item appears to be the only one surviving with manuscript corrections by Joyce. There is a copy in the NLI, without the corrections. We have not traced the other copies, and it may be that they have not survived.Almost certainly a unique Joyce item, extensively corrected in the writer’s hand, and testifying to an enthusiasm which preoccupied Joyce for several years in the 1930s. (1)

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