The Croessmann Collection of James Joyce 1901-1958 | English | SIU

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The Croessmann Collection of James Joyce 1901-1958

The Croessmann Collection of James Joyce, assembled by Dr. Harley K. Croessmann, contains correspondence by and about Joyce and many manuscripts, notes, galley proofs, photographs, pictorial representations, sculpture, and ephemera, by Joyce and his friends, biographers, and critics. The collection is divided into three parts: the Herbert Gorman Papers, the Georg Goyert Papers, and other Croessmann acquisitions.

The Herbert Gorman Papers contain materials relating to Gorman's 1924 biography of Joyce, including 330 original and transcribed letters, notes, drafts, typescripts, galley proofs, and manuscripts by Joyce and others. The correspondence consists of letters Gorman received from Joyce and others and transcriptions of Joyce letters for the biography. There are thirty letters and cards, dated 1925-1938, from Joyce to Gorman (and his wife), discussing corrections for the biography and for Joyce's manuscript "Sullivan," as well as efforts to help tenor John Sullivan. In addition, the correspondence contains letters from some of Joyce's friends and acquaintances, who helped Gorman by providing their recollections of Joyce and details about Dublin. These correspondents include: Alf Bergan, Harriet Weaver, T. S. Eliot, Arthur Symons, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Stanislaus Joyce, Eugene Jolas, James S. Starkey (Seumas O'Sullivan), and Padraic Colum.

Many of the 150 transcriptions of Joyce letters were provided by Joyce's brother Stanislaus Joyce, and include letters from Joyce to his mother, his wife, and to Stanislaus. Though the originals of the Joyce-Stanislaus Joyce correspondence are housed in the Cornell Joyce Collection, some of the originals did not survive, making these transcriptions the only record of the contents of the missing letters. There are other transcribed letters, including some from John Quinn to Ezra Pound and Margaret Anderson about the Little Review--Ulysses obscenity proceedings.

The collection contains valuable notes that Herbert Gorman took while reading Joyce's Paris Notebook (1902-1904), the original of which has not been found. The notes record Joyce's notes for Stephen Hero and Dubliners, as well as the author's aesthetic theories, among other material. Joyce's schema for Ulysses is here as are drafts of "From a Banned Writer to a Banned Singer" (originally titled "Sullivan") and "Epilogue to Ibsen's 'Ghosts.'" The typescripts and galley proofs of Gorman's biography have autograph corrections by Gorman and suggested corrections by Joyce (in Paul Leon's hand).

The Georg Goyert Papers, covering the years 1927-1939, consist almost entirely of letters from Joyce to Goyert about personal matters and Goyert's translations of Dubliners and Ulysses into German. Some of the letters are written in German. The collection also includes Joyce's gloss for the "Oxen of the Sun" chapter of Ulysses, with the author's comments on difficult parts to help Goyert with his translation of the episode, and a copy of the "International Protest" against the pirating of Ulysses.

The final section of the Croessmann Collection of James Joyce is the most diverse, containing correspondence, manuscripts, galley proofs, musical holographs, photographs, pictorial representations, sculpture, and ephemera. The correspondence (1904-1940) consists of thirty-eight letters from Joyce to George Roberts, Elkin Mathews, Jonathan Cape, Michael Lennon, and Lucia Joyce, among others, concerning personal matters, and publishing and royalties for Chamber Music, with references to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Finnegans Wake as well. Some of the letters are written in Italian, a few in French, but the majority of them are in English.

Manuscripts in this section of the Croessmann Collection include pages from a late draft of the "Circe" episode, and drafts of essays by Michael J. Lennon, John Cowper Powys (on Finnegans Wake), and Lucie Noel (wife of Paul Leon). There are also galleys and manuscripts of Stuart Gilbert's Letters of James Joyce (first volume published in 1957), and Stanislaus Joyce's My Brother's Keeper (published in 1958). In addition, the collection includes final drafts, in the composer's hand, of the music for thirty-two songs from Chamber Music, dated 1909, by Geoffrey Molyneux Palmer.

The collection also contains approximately forty photographs, ranging from pictures of Joyce as a baby to photos of the graves of Joyce and his wife Nora. There are family photographs as well as pictures of Joyce with Sylvia Beach, James Stephens, John Sullivan, and others, in addition to photos of buildings and monuments, including the Martello tower at Sandycove and Barney Kiernan's public house. Printed matter includes a pamphlet containing Joyce's essay "The Day of the Rabblement" and a first edition broadside of "The Holy Office." In addition, the Croessmann Collection contains oil paintings by Frank Budgen, photographs by Man Ray, a bust of Joyce, various other drawings and paintings, and ephemera, including theater playbills, legal briefs, radio scripts, journal tearsheets, and newscuttings. Finally, the Croessmann correspondence documents the compilation of materials for the collection and includes the following correspondents, among others: Sylvia Beach, Padraic Colum, Stuart Gilbert, Elkin Mathews, Samuel Roth, Harriet Weaver, and H. L. Mencken.

Steven Lund's James Joyce: Letters, Manuscripts, and Photographs at Southern Illinois University (Whitson Publishing, 1983) provides extensive documentation of the Croessmann, Feinberg, Bertelli, Francini-Bruni, and Richard Wallace collections of James Joyce.