A Pricey Bundle of Joyce

James Joyce.

By Irish America Staff
October / November 2001

Also available for viewing for the first time, or at least it was before it was auctioned off, was a previously unknown draft of one of the final chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The Eumaeus chapter, described by Joyce critic Hugh Kenner as ‘the book’s most profound tribute to its hero Ulysses,’ has only one other known working draft – the one kept at the State University of New York in Buffalo – and that draft is incomplete. The 44-page draft (the other is 23), hand-written by Joyce while in Trieste and Paris, is heavily revised with red, black and green ink, providing not only a brilliant sight but insight into the author’s process. For sale by a private collector who acquired it from a poet and diplomat Henri-Etienne Hoppenot (1891-1977), it was estimated to bring in £800,000 – £1,200,000 at the Sotheby’s auction on July 10th, 2001. Even with the gavel coming down on the low side at £861,250, the private buyer is still paying nearly £20,000 per page. ♦ 

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