Lot #522
James Joyce

Joyce praises the "breathing and phrasing" of a famed Irish tenor
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Estimate: $8000+

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Description

Joyce praises the "breathing and phrasing" of a famed Irish tenor

Sought-after ALS, one page, 7.5 x 9.75, December 8, 1920. Letter to the famous Irish tenor John McCormack, praising a recent performance, in full: "In the general confusion the other afternoon I had not an opportunity to tell you how delighted we were by your singing, especially the aria from Don Giovanni: I have lived in Italy practically ever since we last met but no Italian lyrical tenor that I know (Bonci possibly excepted) could do such a feat of breathing and phrasing—to say nothing of the beauty of tone in which, I am glad to see, Roscommon can leave the peninsula a fair distance behind. We are all going to hear you again next Tuesday and I am sure you will have another big success. Di nuovo tanti mirallegri ed una stretta di mano cordialissimo [Again many greetings and a cordial handshake]." In fine condition, with a light block of toning from prior display. Published in the third volume of The Letters of James Joyce, this letter clearly displays the esteemed relationship shared between Joyce and McCormack, one which dates to twenty years earlier. On the encouragement of McCormack, Joyce, an aspiring singer and a talented tenor in his own right, entered the Feis Ceoil Tenor solo competition in 1904 and finished in third place. In perhaps a show of honor, Joyce later incorporated McCormack into his classic modernist novel Ulysses, adding him in as 'MacCormick' in Episode six, Hades.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: August 18 - September 13





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