Joyce's letter to a composer about Dubliners

This letter to Adolph Mann (1874–1941)—one of many composers to set Joyce’s poems to music—dates from 1910. Joyce’s musicality (he had pondered a career as a singer) is reflected in his brief, though nuanced, evaluation of Mann’s composition. As the letter indicates, Joyce is much more interested in the proofs he is revising for the imminent publication of Dubliners, a book of short stories. His optimism about Dubliners would soon vanish. The process of publishing it would be drawn out for four more years, primarily because Joyce would not consent to editors’ and printers’ demands for changes.

James Joyce (1882–1941)
Letter to Adolph Mann
24 June 1910
The Morgan Library & Museum, purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund for the Sean and Mary Kelly Collection, 2018; MA 22859
© The Estate of James Joyce.