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(JOYCE, James.) LARBAUD, Valery.

Autograph letter signed to James Joyce.

Paris, 30 May 1925 Stock Code: 129889
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Autograph letter signed to James Joyce, in which Larbaud thanks Joyce for a previous letter and declines an invitation to a party hosted by the Symbolist critic Arthur Symons. Notably Larbaud informs Joyce that he is going to Valais in Switzerland for five weeks to continue his work supervising Auguste Morel's French translation of Ulysses, which was only one year into a five year project at the time of writing.
Valery Larbaud and Joyce first met just before Christmas in 1920 and quickly became a champion of Joyce's work, even offering in June 1921 to house Joyce and his family in his apartment rent free. Larbaud intended to bring Ulysses to a French audience ahead of its publication in 1922 and, on 7th December 1921 in Adrienne Monnier's bookshop, delivered the first lecture on Ulysses. It was the first such analysis of the book, which placed the novel in the context of European literature and refuted the prevailing view that the novel was scatological and obscene. Joyce finished the 'Penelope' episode first so that Larbaud would be able to see the end of the book before his lecture, and it is testament to their friendship that Larbaud was the first person Joyce wrote to following the completion of the penultimate 'Ithaca' chapter, the last one to be finished by Joyce and thus signaling the completion of Ulysses.
Following his enthusiastic lecture, Larbaud was asked to work on a French translation of Ulysses, but proved too busy and declined. Nonetheless he agreed to oversee the translation, joining a team that would eventually include Auguste Morel, Stuart Gilbert, Adrienne Monnier, and Joyce himself, to work on a faithful French translation. It was published in 1929 as Ulysse by Adrienne Monnier's at La Maison des Amies des Livres.
This letter is from the library of Alexander Neubauer, who had one of the greatest James Joyce collections in private hands.

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Single sheet (270 x 208 mm), letterhead printed in black ("Commerce, 160, Rue du Fauborg Saint-Honore, Paris (VIII)"), hand written across one page in ink.


Creased where folded, a few nicks to left edge, overall very good.


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