Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Irishmen writing in Italian

On March 29th, a letter in the collection of Roy Davids will come on sale at Bonhams, London, written by James Joyce to Carlo Linati, an Italian writer and translator. In the two-page letter, written in Italian, Joyce asks Linati to translate some of his work, explaining the trouble he was having with the censors: He wrote: “For the publication of Dubliners I had to struggle for ten years. The whole first edition of 1,000 copies was burnt at Dublin by fraud; some say it was the doing of priests, some of enemies, others of the then Viceroy or his consort, Lady Aberdeen. Altogether it is a mystery.” A transcription of the Italian has not been published [a translation has appeared in The Letters of James Joyce, ed. Stuart Gilbert (1966)] but hopefully when this letter makes its way to a new owner, it will see the light of day.

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