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Early First-Order Notebook for Drafts and Notesheets (1918)1

Material Description and Collation

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook all in Joyce’s hand, except on p. [14r]. The notes on p. [1r] are in black ink and pencil and then all the notes are in pencil throughout the remainder of the notebook. It now consists of 25 leaves (50 pages) of graph paper, of which 33 pages are inscribed and 14 are blank: pp. [17v]–[24r]. The last leaf had been torn out of the notebook before it arrived in Buffalo and a portion of its left margin is still attached to it.

The sheets are stapled twice in the center and folded in half vertically to form the notebook. It has a heavier stock blue paper cover and a white paper label with scalloped edges is pasted on the front cover recto. The notebook is identical to Buffalo MS VIII.A.4 and similar to MSS VIII.A.1, VIII.A.2 and VIII.A.3, all of which Joyce used in Zurich from 1915 to 1918. The manuscript has not been conserved.


Joyce wrote “James Joyce | Universität Str. 38 | I” on the label on the front cover recto in black ink.


Each leaf measures 17.4 x 10.8 cm.


This manuscript is unique among the extant Ulysses notebooks because it consists of lists of notes Joyce took directly from printed sources (that is, it is a first-order notebook); all the other Ulysses notebooks and notesheets are compilations of notes from other note repositories (therefore, they are all second-order note repositories). Some of the notes were variously crossed through in blue, lavender or red colored crayon. These notes were used in early drafts of episodes 5 to 8 of Ulysses (“Lotus Eaters” to “Lestrygonians”), for which no manuscript survives before the Rosenbach faircopy manuscript. The notes were also used as additions to the newly discovered manuscripts of episode 9, “Scylla and Charybdis” (NLI MSS 36,639/08/B and 36,639/08/C). It is possible that at least some of these notes had been transferred to another note repository before Joyce used them in the drafts. Joyce transferred other notes from this manuscript to the BL Notesheets for “Cyclops” (12), “Nausicaa” (13), “Circe” (15) and “Eumaeus” (16); see Herring for further information concerning the sources of the notes as well as their usage in Ulysses . Page [14r] is a receipt for Joyce from Jules de Vries, dated 12 May 1918.


Joyce compiled the notebook in 1918 in Zurich.

Other Markings

Joyce made vertical marks in red crayon beside some notes on pp. [1r], [1v], [2r], [4r], [9r], [9v] and [11r]. An oval blue ink stamp within double lines that reads “THE ENGLISH PLAYERS | [ornament] | * ZURICH *” appears once on p. [25r] and twice on p. [25v]. The number “30” was written on the upper left side of the label on the front cover recto in pencil.


The manuscript has been reproduced in color photo-facsimile on JJA 12.129–166; It has been transcribed and annotated in Phillip F. Herring (ed.), Joyce’s Notes and Early Drafts for “Ulysses”: Selections from the Buffalo Collection , (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977), pp. 3–33.


Joyce compiled a now lost notebook contemporaneously with this manuscript. A transcription of its uncrossed notes by Joyce’s amanuensis, Mme France Raphael, survives as Buffalo MS VI.D.7; that is, MS VI.C.16.232–274. This “notebook” has been edited and annotated in Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon, The Lost Notebook: New Evidence on the Genesis of ‘ Ulysses’ , (Edinburgh: Split Pea Press, 1989). Also see Phillip F. Herring, ” Ulysses Notebook VIII.A.5 at Buffalo,” Studies in Bibliography , vol. XXII (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1969), 287–310.2

  1. La Hune, item 72; Slocum and Cahoon , item E.12.d.iii.
  2. Joyce had already compiled an earlier notebook, the so-called “Subject Notebook” (NLI MS 36,639/03), though it is also a second-order notebook. It is the earliest extant document devoted solely to the composition of Ulysses.