JAMES JOYCE / HARRY CROSBY – “Work in Progress”

by Red Cell

Harry and Caresse Crosby founded the Black Sun Press in Paris in 1927. They were dedicated to creating exquisite books by modern authors, including Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Archibald MacLeish, Hart Crane and James Joyce.

From Raiders of the Lost Archives:

Harry Crosby was a great fan of Joyce, going so far as to emulate the syntax of Ulysses in his own published memoirs, Shadows of the Sun. In 1927, Crosby accepted an editorial position for the literary magazine Transition, where he oversaw the publication of fragments of Joyce’s “Work in Progress,” which would eventually be published as Finnegans Wake. The text of Finnegans Wake was particularly difficult for the printer, as Joyce utilized unusual syntax and neologisms throughout. The image above is a reproduction of a heavily corrected galley proof page for transition.

You can read and see more by following this link to the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Special Collections Research Center, and this link to Raiders of the Lost Archives.

From the Illinois University site:

The Caresse Crosby Collection represents the largest extant body of Caresse and Harry Crosby’s efforts in prose and poetry, printing and publishing, as well as their personal correspondence and assorted memorabilia. Of special interest is material of 20th century authors, such as a bound volume of letters to Harry and Caresse Crosby from D. H. Lawrence, galley proofs of The Bridge by Hart Crane, an extensive body of correspondence from both Kay Boyle and Ezra Pound, and artwork by Henry Miller.

This collection contains all titles published by the Black Sun Press, early Black Sun Press announcements, news clippings, free-standing volumes, photographs and Caresse Crosby’s literary manuscripts, poems, short stories and plays, Caresse Crosby’s art work as well as early typescripts of The Passionate Years, and its unpublished sequel, Who in the World.

The remainder of the collection consists of packages containing scrapbooks and miscellany, oversize materials that include a great deal of original artwork, Caresse Crosby’s appointment calendars, inventories of the Crosby library, address books, miscellaneous documents, and several films. Political materials date from 1948 to her death in 1970.

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