Ulysses

JOYCE, James

INSCRIBED BY JAMES JOYCE

JOYCE, James Ulysses

The Odyssey Press, 1932.

Odyssey Press edition. Two volumes, contemporary half roan over paper covered boards. Author's presentation copy, inscribed by Joyce in green ink on the half-title of volume I, "To Gustave Zumsteg, with many thanks and best wishes, James Joyce, Zurich, New Year 1941". A very good set indeed, with a little wear to the spine ends and joints.

Gustav Zumsreg was the son of Hulda Zumsteg, proprietor of the legendary Kronenhalle restaurant in Z├╝rich, which made its name in the inter-war years as a haven for artists and writers and is where Joyce worked on the manuscript of Finnegans Wake in the thirties and spent much of his last months of his life. This inscription is dated just nine days before his death.
Joyce had always looked on Zurich as a safe haven. It was to Zurich that he and Nora first fled on Joyce's self imposed exile in 1904, before settling in Trieste. When Italy entered the war in 1915 Joyce again fled to Zurich and although they lived in Paris throughout the 1920s and 30s, Joyce made regular visits to Zurich to see specialists about his failing eyesight. After the Nazi occupation of France in 1940, Joyce again obtained asylum in Zurich for himself and his family, this time for the final time, dying there on 13 January 1941.
In a 1987 interview for the New York Times, Zumsteg, then in his seventies commented, ''Joyce lived here for eight years. He came here every day. And he left this place to die.''
The article goes on, "Hulda Zumsteg was his dear friend. And he treated young Gustav as his own son, told him fairy tales, talked about birds and the beauty of life, gave him the pen he used to write ''Finnegans Wake.'' It was the restaurant's warmth and sparkle that attracted Joyce. 'The door,' he said, 'locked out all the disappointment.'" (NY Times, 4 Jan 1987)

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