Chamber Music. First American Edition (1918)

Author: James Joyce

Book ID: 64945

Price: 475.00

Chamber Music. New York: Huebsch,1918. First Authorized Edition. Black paper boards, title lettered in gilt to upper cover, in publisher’s dust jacket with photo of Joyce to centre. Jacket chipped and lightly worn, spotting throughout the text, but overall a good copy. Scarce in jacket.

This first authorized edition was printed by Huebsch in 1918 & was preceded by the unauthorized Cornhill edition published in the same year. 

Chamber Music is a collection of poems, first published published by Elkin Matthews in May 1907. The collection originally comprised 34 love poems, but two further poems were added before publication (“All day I hear the noise of waters” and “I hear an army charging upon the land”). Although the poems did not sell well (fewer than half of the original print run of 500 had been sold in the first year), they received some critical acclaim. Ezra Pound admired the “delicate temperament” of these early poems, while Yeats described “I hear an army charging upon the land” as “a technical and emotional masterpiece.”

In 1909, Joyce wrote to his wife, “When I wrote [ Chamber Music ], I was a lonely boy, walking about by myself at night and thinking that one day a girl would love me.” Today, although the individual poems of Chamber Music are less frequently anthologized than the later Pomes Penyeach, they continue to have – as Joyce hoped – an accessible lyricism which has led to a wide-ranging number of musical adaptations, including pieces by Samuel Barber, Luciano Berio

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