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Eugene Jolas

Eugene Jolas

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Encyclopedia
John George Eugene Jolas (October 26, 1894 – May 26, 1952) was a writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, translator
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

 and literary critic.

Biography


Eugene Jolas was born in Union City, New Jersey
Union City, New Jersey
Union City is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. According to the 2010 United States Census the city had a total population of 66,455. All of the city is on land, an area of...

, but grew up in Forbach
Forbach
Forbach is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France.It is located near the German border. Population : 22,784....

 in Elsass-Lothringen (today in French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Lorraine
Lorraine (province)
The Duchy of Upper Lorraine was an historical duchy roughly corresponding with the present-day northeastern Lorraine region of France, including parts of modern Luxembourg and Germany. The main cities were Metz, Verdun, and the historic capital Nancy....

), to which his family returned when he was two years old. He spent periods of his adult life living in both the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, but wrote mostly in English.

Along with his wife Maria McDonald
Maria Jolas
Maria Jolas , born Maria McDonald, was one of the founding members of transition in Paris with her husband Eugene Jolas....

 and Elliot Paul
Elliot Paul
Elliot Harold Paul , was an American journalist and author.-Biography:Born in Linden, a part of Malden, Massachusetts, Elliot Paul graduated from Malden High School then worked in the U.S...

, in 1927 he founded the influential Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

ian literary magazine, transition
Transition (literary journal)
transition was an experimental literary journal that featured surrealist, expressionist, and Dada art and artists. It was founded in 1927 by poet Eugene Jolas and his wife Maria McDonald and published in Paris...

.

In Paris, Eugene Jolas met James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

 and played a major part in encouraging and defending Joyce's 'Work in Progress' (which would later become Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake is a novel by Irish author James Joyce, significant for its experimental style and resulting reputation as one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language. Written in Paris over a period of seventeen years, and published in 1939, two years before the author's...

), a work which Jolas viewed as the perfect illustration to his manifesto, published in 1927 in transition.

The manifesto, sometimes referred to as the Revolution of the Word Manifesto, states, in particular, that 'the revolution in the English language is an accomplished fact', 'time is a tyranny to be abolished', 'the writer expresses, he does not communicate', and 'the plain reader be damned'. On many occasion, he used to write under the pseudonym 'Theo Rutra'.

Works


Jolas' published works include:
  • Secession in Astropolis (1929) Black Sun Press
    Black Sun Press
    The Black Sun Press was an English language book publisher founded in 1927 as Éditions Narcisse by poet Harry Crosby and his wife Caresse Crosby , American expatriates living in Paris...

  • I Have Seen Monsters and Angels
  • Man from Babel (Yale University Press, 1998)
  • Eugene Jolas: critical writings, 1924-1951 (Northwestern University Press, 2009)
  • An essay on James Joyce
    James Joyce
    James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

     in Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress
    Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress
    Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress is a 1929 collection of critical essays, and two letters, on the subject of James Joyce's book Finnegans Wake, then being published in discrete sections under the title Work in Progress...

    (1929), a collection on Joyce that also included contributions from Samuel Beckett
    Samuel Beckett
    Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.Beckett is widely regarded as among the most...

    , Stuart Gilbert
    Stuart Gilbert
    Stuart Gilbert was an English literary scholar and translator. Among his translations into English are works by André Malraux, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Georges Simenon, Jean Cocteau, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre...

    , Robert McAlmon
    Robert McAlmon
    Robert Menzies McAlmon was an American author, poet and publisher.-Life:McAlmon was born in Clifton, Kansas, the youngest of ten children of an itinerant Presbyterian minister....

    , William Carlos Williams
    William Carlos Williams
    William Carlos Williams was an American poet closely associated with modernism and Imagism. He was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine, having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania...

    .

External links