Ulysse (Fragment) [in “900” Cahiers d’Italie et D’Europe 1. Cahier…

~ Ulysse (Fragment) [in “900” Cahiers d’Italie et D’Europe 1. Cahier d’Automne 1926, ed. Massimo BONTEMPELLI et al, offered with the three succeeding issues of “900” all in hardbound deluxe editions of 300 copies only] Rome and Florence: “La Voce”, 1926

8vo (192 × 130 mm), pp. 203, [13] (including adverts), the Ulysses fragment on pp. 107-131, illustrations. Original orange wrappers, which are quite spotted with some creasing to spine and extremities. Early Italian ownership inscription. A good copy of a rare and fragile journal. Offered with a copy of the succeeding issue (Winter, 1926-7) in equivalent condition.

The earliest portrait of Leopold Bloom? Mariette Lydis contributed one illustration to the first issue of “900”, placed with the fragment of Ulysses in the French translation by Auguste Morel. The image is clearly identifiable as a Leopold Bloom-like figure, yet is perhaps not a direct illustration (what are we to make of the Ostende tourist poster in the background?). It is dated 1925 in the lower corner and is captioned ‘Illustration’ at the foot. No earlier illustration of Bloom is known (nor indeed any earlier illustration of Ulysses) and the standard idea of him is drawn partly from Joyce’s own inept sketch of him made in Paris in 1926.

Joyce was nominally a joint editor of the radical literary review “900”, with Massimo Bontempelli. Mariette Lydis was Bontempelli’s lover at this period (her letters to him are preserved at the Getty Institute) and probably also know Joyce. She sketched his portrait the following year in Paris.

The Ulysses excerpt translated by Morel is episode 4, ‘Calypso’, introducing Leopold Bloom with his morning visit to the butcher’s shop for a kidney for Molly’s breakfast. James Joyce is listed among the journal’s editors on the half-title verso (along with Bontempelli, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Jerog Kaiser and Pierre Mac Orlan). Among the adverts at the end of the volume is a full-page for the forthcoming German edition of Ulysses by Rheinverlag of Zurich (the book appeared in the autumn of 1927). Another advert is for the journal Critica Fascista (a ’Fornightly Fascist Review’). Slocum & Cahoon, A Bibliography of James Joyce (953), D25 (p. 113).

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