University of Virginia Library

Search this document 


expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
collapse section 
expand section 
expand section 

expand section 

1918 was a memorable year for James Joyce. War raged in Europe, but Joyce wore his neutrality with a flair, and like his Mr. Dooley

Who is the man when all the gallant nations run to war
Goes home to have his dinner by the very first cablecar
And as he eats his cantelope contorts himself in mirth
To read the blatant bulletins of the rulers of the earth?[1]


Page 288
he remained aloof from any controversy which did not affect him personally. True, in order to procure a transit visa to move his family from Trieste to the safety of Zürich, he had had to promise the Austrian authorities that he would remain neutral,[2] but this did not prevent him from waging his own litigious war against a British consular official over the price of a suit of clothes. Joyce had promised the British nothing.

On the brighter side, the Little Review began the serial publication of Ulysses in March of 1918 (by 1920 half the book had appeared), and Joyce's play Exiles was published in both England and the United States on the 25th of May. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man had already appeared.[3]

It was in the previous summer that Joyce endured the first of a series of painful eye operations; from October until December of 1917 he was dodging the chill of Zürich in Locarno, a balmy resort which was not so balmy that year. He returned to Zürich with renewed passion for work, however, and took a flat at 38 Universitätstrasse. During the next few months he compiled the notebook for Ulysses which is published here for the first time.

Notebook VIII.A.5 is listed in Bernard Gheerbrant, James Joyce: sa vie, son oeuvre, son rayonnement (1949) as item 72, and in John J. Slocum and Herbert Cahoon, A Bibliography of James Joyce (1953) as item E.12.d.iii. Now deposited in the Poetry Collection of the Lockwood Library at Buffalo, it is described in Peter Spielberg's James Joyce's Manuscripts and Letters at the University of Buffalo: A Catalogue (1962), pp. 164-165:

  • Notebook, Joyce's hand in ink and pencil (except p. [27] which is in the hand of Jules de Vries).
  • Title: "James Joyce / Universität Str. 38 / I", Joyce's hand in ink on oval white paper label, scalloped edges, pasted on front cover.
  • Collation: Blue paper covers. 25 leaves of graph paper (last leaf torn from notebook), stapled: first 33 pages and last 3 pages written on; balance of notebook, 14 pages, blank. Pocket-sized notebook, 17.4 x 10.8 cm.
  • Other Markings: "30" in pencil on left side of label on front cover — probably mark of stationer. Stamp of "The English Players* Zürich*" appears on p. [49] and twice on p. [50]. Many entries crossed through with red, blue, maroon, or orange crayon.[4]

In Ulysses Joyce's creative process was one of continual accretion, expansion and elaboration of verbal and thematic material relevant to a particular episode. He researched his subject more like a pedantic scholar than a


Page 289
gifted writer, trusting his notes to suggest to him hitherto unforeseen possibilities for his art. Having already decided, for instance, to use Homer's Odyssey as a scaffold on which to build his novel, he made an intensive study of Homer, Homeric scholarship and Greek mythology. As he read, perhaps in the tranquility of the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, he noted down words, phrases and references which he thought would be of use to him.

Joyce's friend Frank Budgen describes this process:

In one of the richest pages of Ulysses Stephen, on the seashore, communing with himself and tentatively building with words, calls for his tablets . . . As far as concerns the need for tablets, the self-portrait was still like, only in Zürich Joyce was never without them. And they were not library slips, but little writing blocks specially made for the waistcoat pocket . . . The method of making a multitude of criss-cross notes in pencil was a strange one for a man whose sight was never good. A necessary adjunct to the method was a huge oblong magnifying glass.[5]

With few exceptions, ideas or words which Joyce found useful in his rough notes were transferred to later drafts or notesheets; the original notes were then methodically scratched out with color pencils so that he would not reharvest them at a later date. Undeleted phrases cannot be dismissed as unimportant, however, for they too sometimes crop up in unexpected places.[6] Reading "Ithaca" one begins to doubt that the word "trivia" has any meaning as applied to the material out of which Ulysses was made; indeed the transformation of trivial into sublime is one of the most salient characteristics of Joyce's art.

In 1918 Joyce was working on the Calypso, Lotus-Eaters, Hades, Aeolus and Lestrygonians episodes, though he made notes for later ones such as Oxen and Circe when he found useful material in his reading. Those for the later episodes were not usually entered directly into early drafts, but were transferred to a larger repository of information: the British Museum notesheets[7] (Add. MS. 49975). This manuscript consists of approximately ninety sides of rough notes on folded foolscap paper containing material relevant to the last seven episodes of Ulysses.

Zürich notebook VIII.A.5 is distinct from the earlier Trieste and Pola notebooks[8] which influenced the Portrait, or the subsequently compiled British Museum notesheets, though Joyce's technique is much the same. The notes here, with some exceptions, were based on his reading and do not in themselves represent creative acts of stylistic or thematic importance. It is unlike the vast reservoir of diverse material which one finds crammed


Page 290
onto the notesheets for the simple reason that the later episodes are more complex in nature. Then, too, the relatively large handwriting one finds in VIII.A.5, often more approximate than precise, more closely resembles the Finnegans Wake notebooks than the Ulysses notesheets. (It is likely that Joyce was using a magnifying glass.) But, sloppy as it is, the handwriting here was meant for his own weak eyes, and one need but compare the facsimile reproduction of Giacomo Joyce to see how legible he could be when writing for others.

This notebook is important both as a document pertinent to Joyce's creative process in Ulysses and in the study of his use of source books. Walton Litz, in his The Art of James Joyce (1961), was the first scholar to publish an extensive account of Joyce's art, but neither he nor anyone subsequently has presented detailed evidence of Joyce's use of source material in Ulysses.[9] A typical example of an important influence on Joyce which has never been properly explored is that of Victor Bérard, although Stuart Gilbert, writing under Joyce's guidance, did make much of Bérard in his explication of Ulysses. In fact a number of the Bérard notes in VIII.A.5 are also in the Gilbert book, which suggests that Gilbert either used the notebook or Joyce emphasized these ideas in their conversations.[10]

Richard Ellmann, Joyce's latest biographer, also mentions Bérard:

He came to know, at about this time [1917], the contention Victor Bérard first formulated about the beginning of the century, that the Odyssey had Semitic roots, and that all its place names were actual places, often detectable by finding a Hebrew word that closely resembled the Greek. This theory suited his own conception of Bloom as Ulysses.[11]
Mary and Padraic Colum suggest that Joyce's regard for Bérard was reverential:
In a recent book, Joyce and Shakespeare, the writer says, "One can almost hear Joyce chuckle as he casually tossed out a hint that Victor Bérard's The Phoenicians and the Odyssey might be interesting to investigate." But Joyce neither chuckled nor was casual when he talked about Bérard; he was deeply impressed — by this scholar's revelations as to the origin of the Odyssey, and when Bérard died he made a point of attending his funeral, and thought of his death as a great loss. Indeed, when Joyce wanted to pay an intimate friend an unusual compliment he presented him or her with a copy of Bérard's translation of the Odyssey: I have such a presentation copy at my elbow.[12]


Page 291

Bérard, who published his Les Phéniciens et l'Odyssée in 1902, appealed to Joyce for several reasons: Joyce had already decided to make his Odyssean counterpart a Jew: Bérard's philological approach to history would have been particularly interesting to the future author of Finnegans Wake; and both were fascinated by racial parallels. (Joyce found the multiracial character of war-time Zürich especially conducive to his formulation of theories about racial correspondences between Jew, Greek and Irishman.) Bérard's book would also have been useful in that it provided pictures and detailed descriptions of Homeric places. He was reminded, for instance, that people were classified according to diet as well as language: thus the lotus-eaters, the sitophages and the ichthyophages. The direction of Joyce's thought here becomes apparent when one finds the textual equivalents for such phrases as "LB. — all eat it — all one family" and "Lotos — priest give it to any chap that came along." The original lotus-eaters were, according to Bérard, generous with their opium: the euphoria produced eliminated the necessity for laws or government — or even an army since invaders were often tamed by the generosity of what we might today call "flower children." But for Bloom, the lotus-eaters are the devout communicants in All Hallows' Church:

Something like those mazzoth: it's that sort of bread: unleavened shewbread. Look at them. Now I bet it makes them feel happy. Lollipop. It does. Yes, bread of angels it's called. There's a big idea behind it, kind of kingdom of God is within you feel. First communicants. Hokypoky penny a lump. Then feel all like one family party, same in the theatre, all in the same swim. They do. I'm sure of that. Not so lonely. In our confraternity. . . . Blind faith. Safe in the arms of kingdom come. Lulls all pain (Ulysses, p. 81).
What Joyce is suggesting, of course, is that the Irish predilection for dreaming (and by implication such related characteristics as euphoria, inactivity and blind chauvinism) is caused by Ireland's intense Catholicism, the communion wafer (lotus) being the diet which unites them racially. On page 3 of the notebook are notes from Bérard which provided Joyce with the historical and philological justification for the parallels he draws and the symbolism he creates. Bérard says that in Africa there is a variety of lotus called "celtis" which is now acclimatized in Italy and, further, that for the Greeks "lotus" meant a prairie herb, a sort of shamrock (II, 102). Bloom, innocent observer in the scene above, is a Jew of sorts; "lotus" is from the Hebrew word "lot"; the symbolic racial trinity is complete.

Unlike the case of Bérard, nobody to my knowledge has cited W. H. Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der Griechischen und Römischen Mythologie as a source for Joyce's knowledge of classical mythology and literature. This reference work must have attracted Joyce because it contains exhaustive information on the properties and characteristics of all the men and gods in Homer. I have explored the importance of Roscher as the source for Joyce's notes on the post-Homeric version of the unfaithful


Page 292
Penelope[13] and will not repeat myself except to say that we need not be satisfied with a simplistic view of Molly as "ironic" counterpart to Homer's faithful Penelope.

Joyce's notes on Hades out of Roscher reveal his continual search for parallels between the Greek world of Homer and Dublin of 1904, parallels which were admittedly more significant to Joyce than to most of his readers. In his elaborate diagram[14] for the eighteen episodes of Ulysses, Joyce noted the following character correspondences for "Hades":

Cunningham -- Sisyphus  Daniel O'Connell -- Hercules 
Father Coffey -- Cerberus  Dignam -- Elpenor 
Caretaker -- Hades  Parnell -- Agamemnon; Ajax 
He did not, of course, provide an answer to the identity of the Man in the Macintosh, who remains one of the most tantalizing mysteries in Joyce scholarship. Assuming that he has an identity, is more than Joyce's own private joke, there is perhaps a clue to his identity in notebook VIII.A.5. On pages 26-29 of the notebook is a list of some of Hades' characteristics; the German word "Tarnkappe" appears, which Roscher uses to compare Hades' cloak of invisibility with that of Nordic mythology. Joyce's mystery man has two prominent characteristics: his macintosh and his elusiveness. This evidence suggests that both the caretaker John O'Connell and the Man in the Macintosh are avatars of Hades.[15]
I am the boy
That can enjoy
Invisibility. (Ulysses, p. 10)
There is further support for this theory in the text:
Mr Bloom stood far back, his hat in his hand, counting the bared heads. Twelve. I'm thirteen. No. The chap in the macintosh is thirteen. Death's number. Where the deuce did he pop out of? He wasn't in the chapel, that I'll swear. Silly superstition that about thirteen (Ulysses, p. 110).
This is perhaps not conclusive proof that M'Intosh is Hades, but the word "Tarnkappe" may very well have suggested this hoax to Joyce.


Page 293

The plays of Thomas Otway probably interested Joyce because of the profusion of Restoration slang words (such as blub lips, fubsy, and birdsnies), though Otway's frank treatment of sex and cuckoldry may have appealed to him as well. On page 16 of the notebook is a library call number which I am convinced refers to the exact copy of the plays which Joyce used. The two volume Plays of Thomas Otway is an issue on the order of the 1736 edition with separate title pages and dates for each of the plays. (The Zentralbibliothek Zürich kindly sent these volumes for my examination.) It is disappointing that while there are pencil marks throughout, there are no notes in Joyce's (or anyone else's) handwriting.

The only source book Joyce copied from in notebook VIII.A.5 which I was unable to find is a book on rhetoric and prosody (pp. 23-24). The examples of parison, paromoeon and paromology (p. 24) appear under their appropriate entries in the Oxford English Dictionary, but Joyce most likely copied them out of another source. Perhaps some reader will be luckier than I have been in pinning this one down.

The edition which follows conforms in most respects to the critical edition of Joyce's notesheets for Ulysses which I am currently preparing for publication in book form, except that page references here are in the right margin (in italics) instead of immediately following the word or phrase, and the 1961 edition of Ulysses has been used. PARENTHESES, preceded by COLOR INDICATORS (B = blue, R = red, L = lavender) show the portion of a phrase marked through in color pencil, and, generally, what Joyce found most interesting. BRACKETS have been substituted for Joyce's own parentheses. QUESTION MARKS preceding a word indicate doubtful readings or guesses on the part of the editor; those which follow a word are Joyce's. ELLIPSES indicate an illegible word omitted. Joyce's interpolations are in smaller elevated type (e.g. "children teeth set on edge"). FOOTNOTES following the edition have been kept to a minimum and, with a few exceptions, interpretive notes have been omitted entirely under the assumption that the interested reader will refer to the source books where possible. The lines which cross the pages at various points are Joyce's. All of his notes here are in pencil except for the first half of page 1 (down to E. Curtius). I have separated run-together words and phrases where confusion could otherwise occur; those interested in more exact details will, of course, need to consult the original manuscript. It must be admitted that the incorporation of paraphernalia onto the page transcribed results in something of an eyesore, but it eliminates literally hundreds of additional footnotes and is ultimately in the reader's interest.

Errors undoubtedly remain in my transcription, but I do not believe them to be many or significant. It is hoped that this introduction and edition will open the way for a more thorough critical evaluation of notebook VIII.A.5 as one of the designs woven into the tapestry of Ulysses.


Page 294



Page 295


Page 296


Page 297


Page 298


Page 299


Page 300


Page 301


Page 302


Page 303


Page 304


Page 305


Page 306


Page 307


Page 308


Page 309


Page 310