Joyce's Recording of Ulysses


This is one of the two recordings of Joyce’s voice—a reading of John F. Taylor’s speech from the “Aeolus” episode of Ulysses, recited by the author in a Cork accent. Sylvia Beach, who commissioned the disc, had planned to invite journalists to the session, but the producer at the record label His Master’s Voice was not interested in publicity. He foresaw no profit (voice recordings by authors were anomalies in 1924) and insisted the label’s name be kept out of it. Of the twenty or thirty pressings Beach authorized, all but a handful soon broke into pieces. To this day, it remains Joyce and Beach’s rarest “publication.”

James Joyce (1882–1941)
Ulysses (pp. 136–137)
78 rpm audio disc
Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1924
The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Sean and Mary Kelly, 2018: PML 197880