“The Cats of Copenhagen” housed at bookstores in Iran 

September 17, 2021 - 19:1

TEHRAN – Irish novelist James Joyce’s “The Cats of Copenhagen” has been published in Persian.

The book translated by Gholamreza Emami has its original illustrations by Casey Sorrow. Porteqal is the publisher of the book.

“The Cats of Copenhagen” was first written for James Joyce’s most beloved audience, his only grandson Stephen James Joyce, sent in a letter dated September 5, 1936. 

Cats were clearly a common currency between Joyce and his grandson. In early August 1936, Joyce sent Stephen “a little cat filled with sweets”, a kind of Trojan cat meant to outwit grown-ups. 

A few weeks later, Joyce penned a letter from Copenhagen which begins, “Alas! I cannot send you a Copenhagen cat because there are no cats in Copenhagen.”

The letter reveals the modernist master at his most playful, yet Joyce’s Copenhagen has a keen, anti-authoritarian quality that transcends the mere whimsy of a children’s story. 

Only recently rediscovered, this marks the inaugural U.S. publication of “The Cats of Copenhagen”, a treasure for readers of all ages. 

A rare addition to Joyce’s known body of work, it is a joy to see this exquisite story in print at last.

Ithys Press published their fine arts edition of “The Cats of Copenhagen” in January 2012 when Joyce’s work entered the public domain in certain jurisdictions.

This edition features original pen and ink illustrations by Casey Sorrow, letterpress typeset by Michael Caine, and handmade paper marbling and binding of Christopher Rowlatt.

The publication attracted controversy, as the Zurich James Joyce Foundation’s Fritz Senn expressed disappointment that the script of “The Cats of Copenhagen” had been copied from a letter held at the foundation without consultation or discussion.

The book has been rendered into several other languages, including French German, Spanish and Danish.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian translation of James Joyce’s book “The Cats of Copenhagen”.


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