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V.A.1. a

Earliest Extant Ulysses Holograph Manuscript Version: “The Linati Schema” (1920):

Material Description

The manuscript is composed of 2 loose sheets of large graph paper in Joyce’s hand in black ink, with one addition in pencil. Joyce also circled the 3 parts of Ulysses in blue crayon and underlined the 6 sections of the day listed here in orange crayon.1 Joyce wrote on only once side of the 1st sheet and on both sides of the 2nd sheet, but crossed through the writing on the verso of the 2nd sheet in pencil.2 The sheets were folded into eights, presumably for mailing. Both sheets were cleaned, de-acidified and individually encapsulated in February 1988.


: Each sheet measures 29.6 x 38.6 cm.


The manuscript is an early schema of the 18 episodes of Ulysses in Italian, which Joyce prepared to assist his Triestine friend Carlo Linati to write an article on the work as it was appearing in The Little Review.3 Like Ulysses , this schema is divided into the 3 main parts but, unlike all subsequent versions of the schemata, this one is further divided into 6 sections of the day as follows:

Alba [Dawn]

Mattina [Morning]
Mezzogiorno [Noon]
Giorno [Day]

Mezzanotte [Midnight]
Note Alta – Alba [Deep Night – Dawn]

Also notable is the fact that here Joyce divided part II (the so-called “Odyssey” part of Ulysses ) into 3 further sections of the day and that there is also a final section in part III that extends beyond the action of Ulysses . Like the later and better-known typescript schemata in English, the Linati Schema lists many of the structural features of the work, such as the titles, times, colors, Homeric associations, techniques, sciences/arts, organs and symbols of each episode. Though the versions of the schemata are basically similar in this regard, there are numerous deviations between the two kinds of schemata. The most obvious differences are the fact that the Linati Schema contains the category “senso (significato)”, i.e. sense (meaning) that is not part of the later schemata and the later versions have a different category that is absent from the Linati Schema: “Correspondences”.


Joyce wrote the manuscript in September 1920 (see Joyce to Carlo Linati; 21 September 1920; LI 146–147).

Other Markings

Sylvia Beach wrote “Joyce Manuscript of | plan of Ulysses | given by Joyce to SB” on the verso of the 2nd sheet in pencil. Also, during conservation, therefore after the manuscript’s publication in the JJA , the rectos of both sheets were marked “V. A. 1. a” in the lower right corners in pencil.


The manuscript has been reproduced (in full twice) as the front and back endpapers of Spielberg as well as in black and white photo-facsimile on JJA 12.168–173. It has also been transcribed and translated in Richard Ellmann’s ‘ Ulysses on the Liffey (3rd rev. ed., London: Faber and Faber, 1984), between pp. [188] and 189.4


Joyce produced at least two substantially distinct kinds of schemata of Ulysses , first this “Linati Schema” and then at least two different, later typescript versions in English (see Buffalo MS V.A.1.b.i, Notes).

In a letter to John Quinn, Joyce provided the earliest known list of all the Ulysses episodes by their Homeric names and divided the book into three parts and two halves (3 September 1920; LI 145–146). This exchange with Quinn may have prompted Joyce to create the more elaborate Linati Schema. Joyce wrote out this early version of the Ulysses schema while continuing to write “Circe” in mid September 1920, the same month that the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice lodged its complaint against The Little Review with the Court. This manuscript documents a turning point in Joyce’s conception of the novel, when publication seemed unlikely and before significant portions of the final episodes were even written. This version of the schema lists many parallels that are difficult to ascertain in the published work. Joyce’s wariness in making any plan of his work public at all is evident as early as the letter to Linati that accompanied this first version of schema (21 September 1920; LI 146–147).

Also see the later, different versions of the Ulysses Schemata: Buffalo MSS V.A.1.b.i–iii.

  1. The word “Chimica” in the “scienza, arte” category of the “Lestrygonians” episode is in pencil.
  2. Joyce inadvertently wrote out some of the information concerning the “Sirens” episode in place of that for “Wandering Rocks.” He therefore started the schema over again on the other side of the sheet. This suggests that Joyce may have been working from notes or another draft as he prepared this manuscript.
  3. Ultimately, the review did not appear there and it is unknown if it was ever written. Also see Claude Jacquet, “Les plans de Joyce pour ‘Ulysses’ ” in ‘Ulysses’: Cinquante Ans Après. Ed. Louis Bonnerot. Paris: Didier, 1974, 45–82, and Phillip F. Herring, ed. Joyce’s Notes and Early Drafts for ‘Ulysses ‘: Selections from the Buffalo Collection, 121–124.
  4. Transcriptional errors in the first edition of Ellmann’s ‘ Ulysses on the Liffey (London: Faber and Faber, 1972) were corrected in the subsequent paperback editions, with minor emendations, in 1973 (New York: Oxford UP), between pp. 187 and 189 and in 1974 (London: Faber and Faber), pp. [183]–[187].