Sylvia Beach on meeting James Joyce and the publication of Ulysses


Published privately in 1956, Ulysses in Paris is Sylvia Beach’s autobiographical account of her relationship with the Irish novelist James Joyce and the publication of Joyce's novel, Ulysses.

Beach first met the novelist earlier that year at a friend's party. Joyce had only recently arrived in Paris, and was trying to finish writing Ulysses. In her relaxed, comfortable tone, Beach describes her overriding impression of Joyce, whose work she already admired:

He was so simple and unassuming that instead of being overcome in the presence of the writer who was undoubtedly the greatest of his time, I felt quite at ease with him. It was always that way. Ever conscious though I was of his genius, I knew no one so easy to talk with.

After striking up a friendship, Beach became Joyce’s patron and published Ulysses in 1922 through her Paris bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. Following the legal scandal over the serialised publication of Ulysses in The Little Review, Beach’s support and involvement was vital to the novel’s eventual success.

Full title:
Ulysses in Paris. (A selection from Sylvia Beach's forthcoming Shakespeare and Company)
estimated 1956, New York
Harcourt, Brace & Co.
Book / Photograph / Image
Sylvia Beach, unknown [photographer]
© Estate of Sylvia Beach
Usage terms
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial licence
Held by
British Library

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