Eugene Jolas was born in Union City, New Jersey, but grew up in Forbach in Elsass-Lothringen (today in french Lorraine), to which his family returned when he was two years old. He spent periods of his adult life living in both the U.S. and France, but wrote mostly in English.
Along with his wife Maria McDonald and Elliot Paul, in 1927 he founded the influential Parisian literary magazine, transition.
In Paris, Eugene Jolas met James Joyce and played a major part in encouraging and defending Joyce's 'Work in Progress' (which would later become Finnegans Wake), a work which Jolas viewed as the perfect illustration to his manifesto, published in 1927 in transition.
The manifesto, sometimes referred to as the Revolution of the Word Manifesto, states, in particular, that 'the revolution in the English language is an accomplished fact', 'time is a tyranny to be abolished', 'the writer expresses, he does not communicate', and 'the plain reader be damned'. On many occasion, he used to write under the pseudonym 'Theo Rutra'.
Eugene Jolas: critical writings, 1924-1951 (Northwestern University Press, 2009)
An essay on James Joyce in Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress (1929), a collection on Joyce that also included contributions from Samuel Beckett, Stuart Gilbert, Robert McAlmon, William Carlos Williams.