Arranged with considerable taste and skill, a collection of some of James Joyce's most important manuscripts and first editions are now on exhibition in the front hall of Widener Library.
First is interest at the moment because it is exhibited to call attention to the fact that the College Library has obtained an option for the purchase of it, is the polograph manuscript of a few hundred pages of the first version of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," Joyce's first novel. the manuscript after being rejected by the twentieth publisher, was flung but the author into the fire, from which Mrs. Joyce, at the risk of burning her hands resumed it.
Departure from Tradition
Also exhibited is the first serialized publication of the later version of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," which is regarded as one of the most important works in the development of the modern novel, since it marks Joyce's unmistakable departure, from literary tradition, and his first experiment in recording the activity of the sub conscious mind.
The display includes a complete set of proofs of "Ulysses," as corrected by the author; the first serialized publication of "Ulysses," and several first editions of the work. The united States government forbade publication of "Ulysses" in this country until it was permitted by judge John M. Woolsey's decree, which is shown along with the other documents about "Ulysses."
Object of Controversy
Joyce has probably been responsible from more dismay among censors and more controversy among critics than any other living author. Widener contains, besides 24 editions of his works, many of them firsts, some 15 books entirely devoted to this and his writings.
There can be little doubt that, whether or not Joyce will be a popular author according to the taste of future generations, he will always be a writer of primary importance to the historian and student of the novel in this country.