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The Poetry Collection

Case III: Seeing Ulysses into Print


23.The Little Review (March 1918; April 1919; August 1919; July-August 1920; September-December 1920).

In August 1915, Ezra Pound arranged to have episodes of Ulysses serialized in two magazines for which he served as an editor, The Egoist in England and The Little Review in the United States. Ultimately, The Egoist only published four episodes of Ulysses ("Nestor", "Proteus", "Hades", and "Wandering Rocks") because Harriet Weaver could not find a printer who would accept Joyce's novel. The Little Review was founded in 1914 by Margaret Anderson; its subtitle was "A Magazine of the Arts, Making no Compromise with the Public Taste." When Anderson first read "Proteus," she exclaimed "This is the most beautiful thing we'll ever have. We'll print it if it's the last effort of our lives."[18] In the Autumn of 1917, Joyce began submitting typescripts for publication in The Little Review and the first episode, "Telemachus," appeared in the March 1918 issue (on display).

Pound was acutely aware that Joyce's writing would invite the opprobrium of the authorities and censorship, or worse, was a very real possibility. The Little Review had already suffered problems: the November 1917 issue had been suppressed because of the alleged indecency of Wyndham Lewis' story "Cantleman's Spring Mate." Pound therefore decided that some compromises would have to be made in order to publish "Calypso." He wrote Joyce: "I think certain things simply bad writing, in this section. ... The contrast between Blooms [sic] interior poetry and his outward surroundings is excellent, but it will come up without such detailed treatment of his dropping feces. ... Perhaps an unexpurgated text of you can be printed in a greek or bulgarian translation later".[19] Pound deleted about twenty lines from "Calypso" for publication in The Little Review, all from the account of Bloom's visit to the outhouse. While Pound disagreed with Joyce's artistic choices, he was primarily acting in the best interests of the publishers of The Little Review. Uncompromising to the last, Joyce refused to tolerate any repeat of Pound's excisions and he insisted that Ulysses only be published in the form he wrote it.

The January 1919 issue, which contained the first half "Lestrygonians," was confiscated by the American Postal Authorities. This was followed by seizures of the May issue, which had the second half of "Scylla and Charybdis," and then the January 1920 issue, the third part of "Cyclops." In September 1920, matters took a turn for the worse when John S. Sumner, the secretary for the New York Society for the Prevention of Vice, filed an official complaint against The Little Review on the basis of the July-August 1920 issue (on display), which contained the third part of the "Nausicaa" episode. Legal action was taken against The Little Review and its editors, Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap; the trial was held in February 1921. Acting as their lawyer, Quinn was able to spare Anderson and Heap a jail sentence but they were each fined $50. Although the magazine itself survived the trial, it emerged much-weakened and finally ceased publication in 1929. The trial scared off potential commercial publishers, such as B.W. Huebsch, from issuing an unexpurgated Ulysses.

Publication of Ulysses in The Little Review ceased with the first portion of "Oxen of the Sun" in the September-December 1920 issue (on display). This meant that Joyce was no longer writing on deadline and so from "Oxen of the Sun" onwards, the episodes became longer and stranger. Had publication in The Little Review continued, most likely Ulysses would have wound up being a very different and quite possibly far less revolutionary book.[20]


24. Sylvia Beach, c. 1920.

Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister in Princeton. In 1916 she moved to Paris and in 1919 she opened a bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, on 8, rue Dupuytren, which served as a meeting place for English and American expatriates. The story of how she took over the publication of Ulysses once it seemed that no one else would has become legendary. In her memoirs she writes that upon hearing of Joyce's exasperation in learning that Ulysses might never be published, she was inspired to suggest that she and her bookstore "have the honor of bringing out your Ulysses. He accepted my offer immediately and joyfully. I thought it rash of him to entrust his great Ulysses to such a funny little publisher. But he seemed delighted, and so was I. We parted, both of us, I think, very much moved." [21] This account is most likely exaggerated. Earlier drafts of the memoirs have Joyce himself suggesting that she publish Ulysses: "Joyce said to me: ' I'm afraid you'll have to do it, Miss Beach.' I was quite willing to accept the honor, though I felt it was going to be rather a huge venture." [22] In fact, in order to circumvent prosecution, John Rodker, an English poet, had earlier offered to Weaver that he would publish a subscription-based edition of Ulysses using a French printer.[23] In effect, Joyce had Beach follow a plan that had already been devised for publishing Ulysses. It is a testament to her courage and dedication that she was able to do what no one else could.


25. Typescript for the "Hades" episode, 1918-1921 (V.B.4: 5).

For the episodes of Ulysses that appeared in The Little Review, Joyce had three copies of the typescript prepared: one for The Egoist, one for The Little Review, and one for himself. He would make corrections and revisions on all three typescripts before sending them out. Because of the complexity of some of the fair-copy drafts, the typists made frequent mistakes, only some of which Joyce was able to correct. Of course, he also added some new material at this stage. After Beach had agreed to publish Ulysses, Joyce took one of the typescript copies and revised each episode further before sending it to Darantiere, the printer in Dijon (item 30, case IV). The episodes that received the most revisions at this stage were "Lotus Eaters," "Lestrygonians," "Cyclops," and "Nausicaa." For the episodes written after the trial of The Little Review ("Circe"-"Penelope"), new typescripts were prepared, although this sometimes proved to be a cumbersome process (item 28).

This particular page on display, page 5 of Buffalo V.B.4, contains the reworked version of epiphany 21 (item 5, case I).


26. Typescript for the "Sirens" episode, 1920-1921 (V.B.9: 37).

This typescript page shows Joyce's revisions and also the printer's signature in the top left margin of the page.


27. Page Proofs for the "Circe" episode, December 1921 (V.C.I-30b).

Normally, a writer stops work on a book once it has been submitted to the printer, their only remaining task being correcting any mistakes the printer might make. However, Joyce took a very different approach and with Ulysses (and later with Finnegans Wake) he saw the proof stage as an integral facet of the book's composition. Indeed, as much as one third of Ulysses was written on the proof pages. This meant that Darantiere, the printer (item 30, case IV), would have to produce multiple versions of each proof in order to accommodate the ever-expanding text. Joyce's habit of imposing substantial additions as the book was being printed was actually relatively common practice in 19th-Century France. [24] The proofs were pulled in two stages: galleys (referred to by their French name placards), which typically consist of eight unnumbered pages on one side of a large sheet, and page proofs, which are printed on both sides of the sheet and are folded to form a gathering of sixteen pages.

Since Joyce was working on many different sections of Ulysses at the same time as he was preparing the proofs, many of the late additions deal with introducing patterns of cross-referencing and symbolic correspondences throughout the novel.[25] Certain episodes changed dramatically during the proof stages. For example, "Aeolus" was recast: on the first set of placards Joyce added in a series of headings to punctuate the text. This distinctive feature had been absent in previous versions, most obviously to readers of The Little Review's serialization of this episode. [26]

This particular page proof on display shows an interesting situation in the development of Ulysses, atypical in itself but representative of the kinds of problems Darantiere faced in general. After making a few revisions, Joyce signed one copy of this page proof with the coveted stamp of approval "Bon à tirer" ("Ready to print"). However, a few days later Joyce took up a duplicate of this page proof and introduced substantial new passages. He marked this page "Corrections supplémentaires si encore possible" ("Supplementary corrections if still possible"). Apparently, by the time Darantiere received this copy of the proofs it was no longer possible to incorporate the new revisions. Therefore, Joyce instead added these passages to a later section of "Circe" that was in an earlier stage of the proof process. He modified them to fit in the new context but they are clearly recognizable.[27]


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28. Stemma for the "Circe" episode.

In order to account for the often very complex process of composition for each episode in Ulysses, we at Buffalo have prepared a flowchart or stemma for each episode that represents the inter-relationship between the various draft levels. This stemma illustrates the evolution of the "Circe" episode. The earliest extant draft is at Buffalo (V.A.19), although there were an indeterminate number of earlier drafts that have not survived. The two successive drafts are now at the National Library of Ireland. Before the fair-copy was made, there had to have been an intermediate, now-missing, draft. From the fair-copy, a typescript was prepared but this proved to be especially cumbersome. Initially, the typing went smoothly, but after the typist had completed forty-five pages, her father suffered a heart attack. Joyce then decided to have the remaining half of the episode copied out by an amanuenses under Beach's supervision. From these amanuensis copies, a second typescript was prepared that followed from where the first one left off. A further complication was that the husband of one of Joyce's typists was so offended by the material his wife was typing, he threw a portion of the manuscript into the fire. Since Joyce had by that time already sent the fair-copy to Quinn, he was left without any documentation for a few pages of "Circe." Joyce wrote Quinn to send back the missing pages. Instead, Quinn sent Joyce photostatic reproductions which were then copied by an amanuensis, then typed, and then copied again by the amanuensis who did the second half of the episode, and then, finally, typed for the master typescript (which was duplicated). Darantiere started pulling proofs sequentially once he received the typescript and pulled further proofs as he received the inevitable series of revisions from Joyce. Independent of this chain of composition, Joyce drafted a lengthy insertion, the Messianic sequence. The fair-copy of this sequence (Buffalo V.A.20) appears to be the first draft. From this fair-copy a typescript was made and then a series of proofs, pulled at first independently from the rest of the episode and only incorporated into it some two months later, in December 1921. The sequence described above (item 27) is also illustrated here: the aborted revisions made on the duplicate proof 30ii (Buffalo V.C.1-30b) wind up on proof 35i and proof 35ii.

This stemma was prepared by Sam Slote and Luca Crispi.