After renovations, the Joyce family moved into their new apartment at 2 Square de Robiac in the 7th arrondissement on 13 June 1925, just off the Rue de Grenelle. Renovations were ongoing and Joyce’s London sponsor Harriet Shaw Weaver, on holiday in Paris, was “shocked by the chaos.” But the apartment was spacious and in a prestigious suburb.
Joyce could unpack his furniture boxes and hang his Dublin art work and photographs. He also set to work on his next great novel Finnegans Wake, known only as A Work in Progress for the time being.
While he lived here, Shakespeare and Company bookstore owner, Sylvia Beach, published his poems in a collection called Pomes Penyeach in 1927. In this year, the rent doubled, but he decided to stay – while asking Beach for more and more money, straining their relationship. Ernest Hemingway introduced Joyce to new publishers, an American couple Harry and Caresse Crosby, who also lived and worked in Paris.
Joyce continued eating in restaurants on the Boulevard du Montparnasse, especially La Coupole where Lucia Joyce went dancing.
James Joyce stayed here for six years from 13 June 1925 to April 1931. Of all of his Paris residences, the Joyce family lived here the longest.
James Joyce Paris Residence: Number 9 out of 18.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls