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THREE DAYS WITH JOYCE by Gisele Freund (Persea Books: $11.95)

November 11, 1990|Charles Solomon

These exceptional photographs were taken in Paris in 1938 and 1939, near the end of Joyce's life. Two extraordinary series of images, one of the author revisiting Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier at the celebrated Shakespeare and Company bookstore, the other with his beloved grandson at the home of his son, Giorgio, on the rue Scheffer, seem to summarize the writer's life. Despite his popular image as a distracted, untidy man, Joyce appears elegant, even dandified in silk bow ties, patterned socks and rings. But he also looks frail, weary and otherworldly: The later pictures clearly show a man approaching death. Gisele Freund's studies form a revealing portrait of this elusive genius.

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