Recorded in 1924 and produced as a private venture by Sylvia Beach, who published the book two years earlier, the copies did not go on sale but were given to Joyce for distribution among family and friends. Two copies were also kept by Beach at her Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris.
The first mention of the recording seems to be in a 1935 Beach catalogue of Joyce material, where it was recorded with the following note: “Phonograph record of a reading by James Joyce from Ulysses pages 136-137, recorded by His Master’s Voice on one side only….Signed James Joyce, Paris, 17 November 1926 (date of recording). Only remaining copy of the 30 that were made.”
However, it is unknown if there were 30 or 20 copies made as Beach later wrote on the label of another example: “Only 20 copies were made of this record S.B,” writes the Irish Times.
In the recording, Joyce reads from a section of the Aeolus episode which takes place in the offices of the Freeman’s Journal – one of the main nationalist newspapers of the day. Joyce was forced to recite the whole section from memory due to his failing eyesight which led to a number of failed takes before a satisfactory recording was cut.
The 12-inch acoustic recording, signed and dated by Joyce, is being sold as part of an auction of rare books and literary memorabilia on 11 June, with a guide price of $15,000-$20,000. The recording was the first of 20/30 pressings, of which only two others are said to remain, and has apparently never been removed from its sleeve let alone played. It was described by Sotheby’s as a “true Joyce rarity.”
“This copy and the one offered in the Horowitz catalogue are the only examples we have been able to trace being offered in the last 30 years,” the auction house said.
“Our research indicates there are perhaps no more than two or three unbroken copies of this record extant and even shattered examples are almost unheard of in commerce,” reports the Irish Times.
Another Irish literary great represented in this year’s auction is Samuel Beckett, who was greatly influenced by Joyce and became friends with him in Paris in the late 1920s.
According to Reuters, the top estimate for Beckett’s “Murphy” manuscript currently lies at $2.13 million eclipsing even the $1.4 million which was paid for a partial draft of Joyce’s “Ulysses” sold at the start of the 21st century.
NAMA’S case against Gayle Killilea Dunne “is going to be tried in the tabloids and no place else”. That’s the blunt assessment of the former social diarist-turned-property developer’s US attorney, Philip Russell, after going head-to-head with the toxic loan agency’s lawyers in Connecticut last week.
Central to Nama’s claim against Ms Killilea Dunne is its belief that she acquired millions of dollars worth of properties in the exclusive town of Greenwich using money provided by her husband, the erstwhile Baron of Ballsbridge Sean Dunne. The Dunnes, for their part, insist there is no basis to Nama’s claim and say they are ready and able to disprove it in court.
But according to Ms Killilea Dunne’s lawyer, it’s unlikely she will ever have to take the stand.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent after meeting lawyers for Nama last Monday, Mr Russell said it was his view that they were now “hoping they can go back and curl up and make believe this (case) never happened”.
Following a hearing before Judge Douglas Mintz last July, Nama served papers seeking access to documents from the real estate agency Sotheby’s relating to property deals in Connecticut that it believes will support its case. While lawyers for the Dunnes had objected initially to the subpoena, last Monday they withdrew their objection.
Asked to describe what had happened in the case since Nama first filed their action against Ms Killilea Dunne last June, Mr Russell was scathing.
He said: “In June, Nama said under oath that they had an emergency basis to seek an injunction and that they had no other adequate remedy and they needed the court to intervene to stop Mrs Dunne from committing irreparable harm to property which was the property of Nama.
“The judge denied that application in July, but he said: ‘However, I will give you an opportunity to come in and have a hearing on October 22’. So Nama accepted that invitation from the court and we fully expected them to be there with their evidence as to why their claim should not be thrown out or denied again. Essentially, last Monday was the time for them to quote: ‘put up or shut up’.”
Asked to describe last Monday’s events at Stamford Superior Court, Mr Russell said: “When they came to court with four highly paid partners from the law firm of McCarter & English, one from New York, one from Hartford, one from Boston and one from Newark; when they showed up with these four titans of the law, we expected we would have our hearing. What we got instead was that the matter would be postponed until January 15.
“Now, usually in my limited experience, when you call the fire department to report a fire, you don’t tell them when they get there that you’d like them to wait six months before coming into the house. But apparently these four guys from McCarter & English are much smarter than I am. They understand things that I cannot.”
Asked what the response had been from Nama’s US attorneys to offers from Ms Killilea Dunne for full disclosure of her financial affairs on the condition that they sign a non-disclosure agreement in return, Mr Russell claimed: “They scoffed at it. We didn’t want the case to be tried in the press and it is. Apparently from their behaviour on Monday, my distinct impression is that it’s going to be tried in the tabloids and no place else, because later the same day, we resisted the application to go to January, we said we would like an immediate hearing. We said let’s come back in a week and hear it. When we did that, they withdrew their application and said ‘well, we’ll renew it if and when it’s appropriate’ which tells me they’re hoping they can go back and curl up and make believe this never happened.”
Commenting on Nama’s inclusion of newspaper clippings as evidence to support its original submission to the court, Mr Russell said: “It was an embarrassment and it still is. They have pursued every person Mrs Killilea Dunne has had business dealings with.
“They’ve served papers on them and made them sit for depositions under oath as if Mrs Killilea Dunne was someone sinister and as if she wasn’t worthy of credit and didn’t enjoy a good business reputation. We are looking at Mrs Killilea Dunne’s options when Nama either abandon this lawsuit or we convince the judge to dismiss this outright. This case is like Seinfeld, it’s the lawsuit about nothing.”
Asked by the Sunday Independent for comment on Nama’s action against Ms Killilea Dunne and her husband, a spokesman for the agency said as a matter of policy it does not comment on ongoing court cases.