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History

Zack Bowen: "The New York James Joyce Society". A memoir of Frances Steloff, the Gotham Book Mart, and the early days of James Joyce Society -- © Joyce Studies Annual, (v.12)
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  • From the Joyce Society in HTML, (by permission of the author)
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  • The Gotham Book Mart and The James Joyce Society

    History: The James Joyce Society was founded in February 1947 at the Gotham Book Mart in New York City. Its first member was T.S. Eliot. The Joyce bibliographer, John Slocum, was the society's first president and Frances Steloff, founder and owner of the Gotham, served as the its first treasurer. In his book, Wise Men Fish Here: The Story of Francis Steloff and the Gotham Book Mart, W.G. Rogers writes that the society's original aims were "to introduce Joyce students to scholars, maintain a Joyce library, further the publication and distribution of his works, encourage the presentation of Exiles, and issue occasional bulletins."

    Since its founding, the Society has expanded its membership and goals, and at its meetings presents a variety of Joyce-related topics. Normally four meetings are held each year with one on or close to Joyce's birthday, February 2nd, and another around Bloomsday, June 16th.

    In 2006, the Gotham Book Mart sold its long-occupied building at 41 West 47th Street, New York City, the traditional meeting place of The James Joyce Society in the heart of the diamond district, When the Gotham moved to its new location at 16 East 46th Street, so did the meetings of the James Joyce Society. But the change only lasted until 2007.


    A 1940s gathering of celebrity writers at the old Gotham Book Mart.


    Nick Fargnoli, President of The James Joyce Society, at the old Gotham in 2002

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    Old "Wise Men Fish Here" sign on 47th Street building up for sale


    Brief happy days at the new East 46th Street building...


    Bidders line up for the final auction ... The interior on the last day (© NY Times).

  • See the tribute to the old Gotham Book Mart from the Finnegans Wake Society of New York.

  • Read the account of the auction in May 2007 in The New York Times. See also the extensive New York Times archive on Joyce .

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    Email: Send email to info@joycesociety.org

    President: A. Nicholas Fargnoli, afargnoli@molloy.edu

    Webmaster: Heyward Ehrlich, info@heywardehrlich.com. Site created 02/02/02, format rev. 4 May 2002, 14 Nov 2003 (Ver. 1.6). © 2002-2008 The James Joyce Society.


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