by Maria Popova
A 22-karat creative cross-pollination.
Bloomsday may have come and gone — the world’s foremost holiday of talking about books you haven’t read — but a rare gem calls for extending the Joyce-related celebrations a little while longer. In 1935, American publisher George Macey offered the greatHenri Matisse $5,000 to create as many etchings as this budget would afford for a special illustrated edition of Ulysses. AfterOpen Culture flagged the book last week, I gathered up my year’s worth of lunch money and was able to grab one of the last copiesavailable online — a glorious leather-bound tome with 22-karat gold accents, gilt edges, moire fabric endsheets, and a satin page marker. The Matisse drawings inside it, of course, are the most priceless of its offerings — the best thing since Salvador Dalí’s little-known Alice in Wonderland illustrations. Enjoy.
A few more copies still remain on Amazon, or if you’re so endowed, you could snag a copy signed by both Joyce and Matisse for $30,000.