Edited & Annotated by Danis Rose

2nd Edition


Foreword to the 2nd Edition

It is well understood among textual scholars that editions such as these Dublin Ulysses Papers—annotated transcriptions of an author’s hastily written, rough working documents—are well nigh impossible to get letter-perfect. Re-readings of the original against the transcription will invariably throw up improvements. In the present case, where the edition also includes lists of words for export into James Joyce’s text in progress, continued investigation of the notebook-draft concatenations will evince new placements. One’s print edition is always lagging behind one’s actual knowledge. The solution is to provide a new print edition where the quantum of new information is sufficiently substantive to warrant it, and/or to complement the hard-copy model with a digital version where files can be stored in an accessible address and revised as new information is processed.

While I do hope ultimately to move online, as it were, within the framework of a comprehensive hypertext structure, for the present I am confident that a new physical edition is called for. Over the course of the last year the texts in question, especially the draft versions of the episodes, have been subjected to a major overhaul, and the result is a much more exact version. I have had the great benefit of a second set of ‘great searching’ eyes—John O’Hanlon’s. John has painstakingly worked over the entire set of texts and provided very many new readings and improved locations of first, second and third order additions within the base text: so much so that this second edition is essentially co-authored.

I am also grateful to Anastasia Herbert, who has taken the materials and embodied them typographically for the printer far more professionally than they were before. The materials are now, I believe, more user-friendly.

I should be most grateful to any reader who can send me further corrections, no matter how small, to these edited texts and notebooks; in particular, and for the next phase of the work, I am anxious to locate Joyce’s sources for his notebook listings. For example, I am convinced Joyce mined several treatises on ancient sexual rites for his ‘Circe’ notes, but I have been unable to identify what these might be (the treatises, not the rites): they are likely to be most illuminating.

Information can be sent to me by e-mail via houseofbreathings@gmail.com All such corrections and enhancements will be duly attributed.

Danis Rose, Dublin, November 2012

Preface to The Dublin Ulysses Papers by James Joyce


The above heading was inspired by Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall by the justly renowned Indo-English-Irishman, Spike Milligan. (One thinks of Buck Mulligan.) I should perhaps add that Spike was granted his Irish citizenship on account of his name, or, to be more strictly accurate, on account of the “-igan” in his name. Had he been a mere “Spike Mill” our then beloved Taoiseach, Charlie Haughey (pronounced Haw-Hee), would never have put his name forward for this signal honour.

But I digress. My part in the acquisition and thus the future safeguarding for scholarship and tourism of the entirely magnificent collection of Joyce manuscripts presently held in the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, began humbly enough. I was asked to inspect the so-called Quinn manuscript of “Circe” (the 15th and longest episode in Ulysses) and pronounce on its authenticity.

My credentials for this task were practically impeccable. I had spent the preceding quarter-century studying in minute detail all the then-available manuscripts of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. I had co-edited 36 volumes of the James Joyce Archive (Garland: New York and London, 1977-78), worked as an assistant editor to Hans Walter Gabler for his Critical and Synoptic Edition of Ulysses (1984), and edited, co-edited, authored or co-authored several books on the subject (The Index Manuscript, Understanding Finnegans Wake, The Lost Notebook and The Textual Diaries of James Joyce spring to mind) and numerous articles.

Although the authenticity of the Quinn manuscript (and it is a remarkably beautiful and colourful manuscript) was obvious at first glance, I also had to account for the contents and check on how much of the final, published episode was covered. So I spent quite some time on it, taking copious notes. I had a second opportunity for a detailed inspection when Sothebys put the manuscript on display in the James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1, under the watchful eye of Bob Joyce, then director of the Centre and the novelist’s great-grandnephew. The National Library had not as yet decided to purchase it, so I was cognizant of the possibility of it being bought by a private buyer and disappearing again, to scholarship’s loss, as did another significant Joyce manuscript (see below). So again I took copious notes.

My second foray into the world of manuscript acquisition occurred when, at the turn of the Millennium, I was asked by Alexis Léon, the son of Joyce’s confidant and helpmate, Paul Léon, to identify the contents of a parcel of manuscripts he owned that had once belonged to his mother. With considerable alacrity I agreed and immediately boarded a plane for chez Léon. Not since Carter gazed into the tomb of Tutankhamen has a scholar experienced such tremors of the soul as I did on looking through the entire collection. Here were almost all of the missing early drafts and notebooks of James Joyce’s great novel Ulysses. Mr Léon was bemused when I told him what a unique, important and valuable archive he had unearthed. We both agreed that the natural home for the collection was the National Library of Ireland, to whom his father had gifted his collection of Joyce’s business and sometimes personal correspondence many years earlier.

I prepared the first-ever catalogue of the items in the collection and, armed with this and a sample copybook, returned to Ireland and made directly for the National Library. I hoped and argued for a quick and speedy decision, which would in the end have saved the state a (to me) considerable sum of money, but that is not how bureaucracies work. Whatever (or, as Joyce would say, howsomever), everything worked out well enough in the end and Ireland welcomed back a priceless literary heritage.

Next on the list is the “Eumeo” copybook – another literary gem and also a joy to behold. This copybook contains the first draft of the Eumeus episode of Ulysses, where a tired Bloom and a semi-comatose Stephen repair to a cabman’s shelter on Butt Bridge for a chat, a perusal of the paper, a coffee and a stale bun. This manuscript appeared as if from thin air and went up for auction at Christies. Unfortunately for Ireland and for scholarship, the National Library were at the time still going through the motions – prolonged slow-boat motions – of acquiring the Léon horde. They declined to make an offer for “Eumeo.” It went instead to a private collector and has not been seen since in public.

Before the auction, Christies put the “Eumeo” manuscript on show in Dublin. I went to have a look at it in the company of Professor Hans Walter Gabler, who was also most interested to see it and for the same reason. We were unable to inspect much, however, apart from the page that was displayed in the glass case. I gleaned as much as I could from this page. In addition, Christies produced a fine catalogue, with many photographs of fragments of pages. This I took home. I used it to reconstruct as much as I could of the remainder of the manuscript: not a great deal, but better than nothing.

Moving on from Ulysses, another valuable collection surfaced in Paris around the turn of the year 2004. This material was being offered for sale by Jean-Claude Vrain, a rare book dealer. At first, M. Vrain was not quite sure what the documents were, or what their significance might be, and I agreed to write a report on them for him. The most important of the manuscripts were 7 sheets of text dating from the Spring and Summer of 1923, immediately before Joyce started working on Finnegans Wake. Of these manuscripts, 8 pages (a sheet has two pages, recto and verso) contained text that had never been seen before. What is more, 6 pages were in the hand of James Joyce alone, and 6 in the hand of Nora Joyce but with revisions in the hand of James Joyce. They also looked great. What a find!

Better again, the sheets were not all that M. Vrain had. There was also an early Finnegans Wake notebook dating from 1923, one of two whose existence I had predicted in my book The Textual Diaries of James Joyce. Alas, I only got to see one page of the notebook. Finally, there was a late-1936 marked-up typescript of a portion of the “Pub” scene in Finnegans Wake.

Once again, I thought of the National Library and passed on the word. Time was of the essence if this treasure trove was to be captured. Alas, through failures of communication, prevarication, who’s in charge?, excessive caution, and God knows what, the Library missed the boat on its first sailing. Luckily, they had a second chance and, seizing it, they acquired the 7 sheets from the private party who had moved and had bought them. I was very annoyed about this at the time, but not because of the price paid: they were still worth buying. I was irritated because if the Library had moved quicker they could have picked up, for the same amount or even less, the 7 sheets and the Finnegans Wake notebook. I was unhappy because I have always had a great fondness for the seminally important Wake notebooks. Dublin should have at least one.


There are two reasons: both are pre-emptive: one is general and the other personal.

(1) The copyright in James Joyce’s unpublished manuscripts expired in the United States and in many European Union countries on 1st January 2012.

In the U.S. there are no complications or caveats to worry about: it’s all pure public domain. Go ahead and copy.

In the European Union, however, there is a provision in law that the first person to publish previously unpublished material entering the public domain acquires economic rights equivalent to copyright for a period of twenty five (25) years. Hence it is perfectly possible – if not probable – that future and further exploitation / use of the Joyce materials would again be denied to European and in particular to Irish scholars, writers and artists if the first publisher, for whatever reason, chose to adopt a restrictive practice. In such case even the holding institution, the National Library, would be prevented from making copies of the documents available, for example in a facsimile edition along the lines of the splendid Garland James Joyce Archive, but now in full colour.

Scholars, librarians, and artists, need have no such fears, as I consider that any such overarching rights as described above that I have acquired by virtue of the present first publication I temporarily hold in trust for them. To make the situation explicit, I will make over to the Irish State such rights in the Joyce text in the Ulysses documents that I have acquired. I believe that this is what Mr Paul Leopold Léon, the friend and confidant to whom Joyce originally gave these papers, and beyond him the great author himself, would have wished.

There is something more. Irrespective of what I have written above regarding the stellar date of January 1, 2012, and its implications, there is a compelling legal argument (that has been made known to me by a leading authority) to the effect that the copyright in the unpublished Joyce materials in the NLI expired on the date that the Copyright Act of 2000 came into force. Article 33 of this Act reads:

“33.—Where the term of copyright in a work is not calculated from the death of the author or authors and the work is not lawfully made available to the public within 70 years of its creation, the copyright in that work shall expire on the expiration of that period of 70 years.”

When the 2000 Act came into force, the term of copyright in the National Library’s Ulysses materials either did not subsist or it was calculated as “50 years from first publication” (i.e., not from the death of the author). It would follow that, ironically, despite all of the concerns of the State, of the librarians, and of scholars, these materials would have been in the public domain – and hence would have had no copyright owner – for the whole time that they were housed in the library.

(2) The above declaration applies to the Joyce texts in themselves. But I am not publishing mere transcriptions: I am publishing edited and annotated editions of the materials. While it is true that these editions are still works in progress – many details need to be checked and rechecked several more times – they are essential to  major projects on which I have worked for decades: published editions of Ulysses, and the forthcoming hypertext of Ulysses.

It is therefore of the utmost importance to me to assert my copyright and database rights in the editorial content of the works. I have spent the past twenty years fighting for the right to complete and publish my work on the Joyce texts and I most certainly do not want a brand-new spanner to be thrown into my works.

Danis Rose

January 2012


First Published:  (Lansing: House of Breathings, 2012)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s