Early Vestiges of Ulysses
THE unity of Joyce's accomplishment is nowhere more evident than in the evolution of the texts of his major works. Phrases, characters, and long passages are deleted from one manuscript only to appear later in a different context. Thus many of the early Epiphanies, written in Paris during the winter and spring of 1902-03, eventually found their place in the texts of Stephen Hero, the Portrait and Ulysses.1 Joyce's economical methods of revision are clearly illustrated by five manuscript sheets which were given to Harriet Weaver by Sylvia Beach in March of 1939. These sheets, fair copies in Joyce's hand of passages intended for his autobiographical novel, are evidence of the complex relationship that links Stephen Hero and the Portrait with Ulysses. Most important of all, they reveal his techniques of composition at the time when he began Ulysses and are the earliest extant fragments of that novel.
Each sheet is 8 5/16 by 6 11/16 inches (21 by 17 cms.) in size. The lefthand edges are slightly ragged, suggesting that Joyce may have cut the pages from a notebook or from larger sheets; the wide left-hand margins (2 inches) were probably intended for corrections. The five pages comprise three distinct narrative units, which I have distinguished as Fragments A, B, and C. The left-hand column below is an exact transcript of the three fragments, arranged so that textual duplications and similarities in other works and MSS. are displayed in the parallel right-hand column.2 Deletions in Joyce's MS. are indicated by square brackets.
|FRAGMENT A (three sheets)|
But the echo of his laughter had|
been the remembrance of Doherty,
standing on the steps of his house the
night before, saying:
--And on Sunday I consume the
particle. Christine, semel in die. The
mockery of it all! But it's for the sake
of the poor aunt. God, we must be
'Dr. Doherty and the Holy City' is|
one of Joyce's early ( 1904) notes for
his autobiographical novel.3
'--For this, O dearly beloved, is the|
genuine Christine . . .' Spoken by
Buck Mulligan (U 5).
|'--The mockery of it . . .' Mulligan|