Gisèle Freund Photographs of James Joyce in Paris

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Last Updated: 2021-07-06

This exhibit features a series of photographs taken of James Joyce during his last years in Paris. The photographs were taken by Gisèle Freund and feature Joyce, his friends, family, and contemporaries including W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, Henry Miller and Virginia Woolf. More than half of the 161 photographs in the exhibit have never before been published and are presented by the University of Victoria Libraries under an agreement with the Estate of Gisèle Freund/IMEC Images.

Gisèle Freund (1908-2000) was a photographer and writer who lived in Paris, France known for her portraits of the French literary elite. In 1965, Harcourt Brace & World agreed to publish James Joyce in Paris: His Final Years, Freund's photo essay with text by V.B. Carleton, who had worked on an earlier project with Freund. Simon de Beauvoir wrote the preface to the book.

The University of Victoria Special Collections bought the archive of the book in the early 1970s. The fonds consists of 161 photographs (many more than were published in the book) and the correspondence, manuscripts, paste-ups and proofs for the book.

Many of the photos are of Joyce proofing manuscripts in his home, Joyce with family and around Paris, but also a who's who of French, English and American writers and editors from the era. In addition, there are many memorable pictures of Paris in the late 1930's most notably of the "Shakespeare and Company" bookstore which originally published Ulysses in 1922.

Image: James Joyce with Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier at Shakespeare and Company, © Estate Gisèle Freund/IMEC Images

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