Strange Love Letters - James Joyce's Get's Record Price
James Joyce erotic love letter to Nora gets record price
A record $445,000 was paid for a sexually explicit letter written by world famous author James Joyce to his lifelong love and partner Nora Barnacle.
The erotic love letter written in 1909 made the highest price ever reached for a 20th Century autographed letter.
Joyce's steamy correspondence to future wife Nora Barnacle was the best known of several items from the Irish author that went under the hammer at a Sotheby's auction in London.
The raunchy letter speaks of Joyce's "ungovernable lust" and describes different ways in which he wishes to satisfy his desires.
Sotheby's refused to name the anonymous bidder who bought the letter at an auction in July 2004 for more than four times the guide price.
The sale of the letter was opposed by the author's grandson Stephen Joyce who forbade the showing of the contents to anyone except serious bidders.
But journalists from Ireland's Irish Independent who managed to get a glimpse of the letter revealed some of its contents.
In it Joyce writes to Nora of a sexual encounter similar to the couple's first on June 16, 1904, when Nora opened his trousers and "made a man of him". He writes of his "ungovernable lust" and describes his wish to satisfy his and Nora's desires in a variety of fashions.
"My sweet little whorish Nora, I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being f***ed a***ways."
And he implores his "dirty little f***bird" to write back "sweetly, dirtier, dirtier" and closes the letter with "Heaven forgive my madness, Jim."
The letter is said to be remarkable because of Joyce's well-known hatred of obscene jokes and swearing.
It was written in the winter of 1909 after Joyce's return to Dublin without Nora for the first time since the couple's elopement from Dublin to Trieste, Italy five years earlier.
Joyce and Nora met in Dublin on June 16, 1904 - the day on which Joyce's masterwork "Ulysses" is set. They left together for continental Europe in October that year, never to return together to Ireland. They were married in 1931, a decade before Joyce's death.
Joyce's novel "Ulysses" is regarded by many as the greatest novel of the 20th century.