GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES - Issue 13 (Spring 2013)



Allround Lenehan and the Art of the Remix

Philip Keel Geheber


            When Frank O’Connor argued that Joyce created “not characters but personalities, and Joyce would never again be able to deal with characters, people whose identity is determined by their circumstances,”[i] he was half right. Most of Joyce’s characters in Ulysses are initially conceived in determinate relations with their circumstances; they are the products of the Dublin in which Joyce situates them. Then through the novel’s composition, as the textual play increasingly predominates, they begin to be “submerged” by Joyce’s irony and the text’s multivalent voices. The cumulative effect of different constituent parts of Ulysses supplying additional information and revising initial readings of characters, events, and the city itself is the primary way the text functions. Parallactic perspectives on the same event give the reader a new angle that changes the earlier interpretation based on one character’s sensations. Ulysses performs this same operation on a much more condensed scale as well. From Lenehan’s first appearance in Dubliners and then throughout Ulysses, looking at the way in which Joyce continually adds to the descriptions and speech of Lenehan is one way to witness how Joyce not only expands the latter text but also inserts additions that intentionally and implicitly cross-reference other parts of the book or even other texts.

The encyclopedic expansion that Joyce’s development of styles and characters like Lenehan illustrates is the Joycean treatment of language and fiction as a web of interlinked ideas that coalesce to support or undermine each other. This expansive process relies on creating new modes of expression by remixing existing textual materials (both Joyce’s own and those borrowed from other sources). The novelist Tom McCarthy explores the idea of literary remixing in Transmission and the Individual Remix: How Literature Works where he argues that

Every groundbreaking or innovative work turns out, when probed a little, to be piggybacking on a precedent, which in turn has its own precedents—so much so that we should perhaps stop looking for the “radically new” and start seeking the radically old instead.[ii]

Probing Ulysses, as readers and critics have for more than ninety years, reveals many of the novel’s precedents, which Joyce artfully borrows, remixes, and redeploys. This phenomenon of textual remixing is especially evident in the speech and thought of Joyce’s characters. From Stephen’s perceptions filtered through his reading of literary history, to Bloom’s pragmatic views and interest in advertising language, to Lenehan’s reuse of music-hall lyrics, French expressions, and punning rhetoric: these characters are constituted by the language they borrow and redeploy in new forms. In this way, the Joycean text is radically borrowed and it amplifies McCarthy’s notion “that we are always not just (to use a dramatic term) in media res, i.e., in the middle of events, but also simply in media.”[iii] Joyce’s characters are constituted by the language they use, the media their thoughts and speech remix.

            Joyce ascribes two primary characteristics to Lenehan in Dubliners, which are then expanded throughout Ulysses. For this reason, Lenehan is a good locus from which to examine how the Joycean text absorbs a particular trait of a character and then accretes examples for elaboration and illustration of that characteristic. These expansions also illustrate Karen Lawrence’s assertion that the prose in Ulysses is “doubly ‘borrowed,’” once from the idiolect of the character, which is then also borrowed from social cliché and received, stereotypic language.[iv] Additionally, Frank Budgen recalls that when Joyce first told him of Ulysses, he spoke first of the “hero” of his book before the style and material of book,[v] and similarly Michael Groden argues that Joyce knew “that the first nine episodes provided support to sustain the characters as much as necessary through the successive elaborations.”[vi] The novel grew out of character and situation, and in a feedback loop evidenced on the multiple drafts, typescripts and proofs, much of the embellishments of style arose from initial ideas that were amplified, reflected and echoed throughout the text in relation to specific characters, which is certainly the case with Lenehan’s word-play. However, Joyce breaks with traditional representations of socially determined character by placing a much stronger emphasis on the idiolect and textuality of character than is normal in a literary work. For this reason, there is less emphasis on physical attribute and standard realist appeals to visual phenomena than on reiterated language to present particular characters. Lenehan provides a good early example of how Joyce’s characterizations shift from the more conventional determinations of naturalism to a textual field that relies on habitual language and puns, as well as on a collusion from the narrative voices in reflecting the idiolect of a single character.

In “Two Gallants,” Lenehan is described as “a sporting vagrant armed with a vast stock of stories, limericks, and riddles” (D 50). Since “Two Gallants” is mostly about Corley’s tales of conquest, though, there is no fitting opportunity to deploy Lenehan’s linguistic gems. Emulating the same punning language that Lenehan himself uses, many of the additions that Joyce makes in the margins of the Ulysses manuscripts seem to operate as associative additions in response to the text that Joyce is revising, much like the way in which some of Lenehan’s quips are triggered by the speech of other characters. One of these examples occurs in the Freeman’s Journal offices, the first time Lenehan attempts to tell his “brandnew riddle” of an opera resembling a railway line (U 7.477). It seems that Lenehan only thinks of this riddle in response to Myles Crawford singing two lines (’Twas rank and fame that tempted thee, / ’Twas empire charmed they heart [U 7.471-72]), originally a song in Michael William Balfe’s opera The Rose of Castile.[vii]

 Lenehan’s physical appearance is another salient example of this associative operation. The Dubliners story comments that “his figure fell into rotundity at the waist” (D 50). The “Sirens” manuscripts show how Joyce moves towards repeatedly using the pun on Lenehan’s physique. As Lenehan enters the Ormond Hotel, the first extant draft of “Sirens” at the National Library of Ireland[viii] has the line: “Lenehan entered the bar and looked about him” (MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v]). The second extant draft of “Sirens,” which is the first more or less complete and continuous draft of the episode, is contained in two notebooks. The first part of this draft is in the notebook with the (in)famous “Fuga Per Canonem” structure written on the inside cover (NLI MS 36,639/9) and it continues in Buffalo notebook V.A.5 (JJA 13.32-56). In this second draft, Joyce changes the preposition “about” to make Lenehan’s entrance refer to and pun on the Dubliners story at the same time that it also demonstrates the syntactical shifts that throughout “Sirens” enhance the text’s musicality: “In came Lenehan. Round him looked Lenehan” (NLI MS 36,639/9, p. [3r]). In the typescript the verb has been changed, becoming “In came Lenehan. Round him peered Lenehan” (Buffalo TS V.B.9; JJA 13.62; U 11.228) to negate the overtly physical reading equating the round body type with Lenehan’s: “Round looking Lenehan” or “His body looked round.” Similarly, the first NLI “Sirens” draft describes Lenehan maneuvering at the bar as, “Lenehan craned his short body round the sandwich bell” (MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v]). In the second NLI draft Joyce alters this phrasing to “Lenehan wound his short body round the sandwich bell” (MS 36,639/9, p. [3v]), before settling on “Lenehan roun^d^ the sandwichbell wound his round body round” on the first “Sirens” typescript (Buffalo TS V.B.9; JJA 13.62; U 11.239-40). On the first NLI draft Joyce even lets Lenehan reiterate the attention to roundness by appending in pencil “Round O and crooked ess” as Lenehan’s reading advice to Miss Kennedy (MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v]; U 11.244).[ix] Even if these instances of rounding out Lenehan through revision might seem overdone, Boylan does corroborate Joyce’s joke; indeed he may have caused it with his first statement to Lenehan upon arrival in the hotel, “I heard you were round” (NLI MS 36,639/9, p. [5r]; U 11.345). Boylan’s greeting is present from the first draft of the episode, so that in revision the narrator’s comment steals the colloquial speech from Boylan to pun on Lenehan’s figure in a similar way as in Dubliners. However, it is only through revision that Joyce makes these associations and connections where later writing analeptically triggers ideas for revising earlier writing. It is all the more fitting, then, that Joyce allows Lenehan to state the shapely epithet for Bloom in the “Wandering Rocks” typescript, “He’s a cultured chap ^allroundman,^” (Buffalo TS V.B.8.a; JJA 13.18).

            Lenehan’s other apparent tic is his tendency to insert French words into his speech for comic effect and emphasis. After listening to Corley’s story in “Two Gallants,” the second line of Lenehan’s speech revises and adds to his first line (“Well!...That takes the biscuit!”): “That takes the solitary, unique, and, if I may so call it, recherché biscuit!” (D 50). He affirms that Corley’s story takes the “recherché biscuit!,” indicating that it is a “sought-after” prize, but one should also keep in mind the other senses of “recherché” as it relates to language use (“mannered,” “studied,” “meticulous,” or “affected” [x]). Additionally, “biscuit” operates in the same way, whether Lenehan is aware of it or not, as it derives from the 12th- century French for “bread ‘twice baked,’ from the original mode of preparation.”[xi]Recherché biscuit” neatly encapsulates what Lenehan does in his speech patterns: they are mannered, affected, and reemploy cultural references in a twice-baked fashion. It is not accidental that he repeats “biscuit” a third time in “Two Gallants,” saying that Corley’s story “emphatically takes the biscuit” (D 51).

Other than Buck Mulligan, Lenehan is one of the most playful Dubliners in his punning, word-play, euphemistic stories, and riddling. He repeatedly inserts French words and double entendres into his speech for comic effect, participating in the same kind of multilingual word-dropping that refuses to allow or acknowledge a unilateral and unchallenged English influence on English as it is spoken in Dublin. Like the Citizen who had spent time “in Europe with Kevin Egan of Paris,” and who claims of the English that “You wouldn’t see a trace of them or their language anywhere in Europe except in a cabinet d’aisance” (U 12.1203-5), Lenehan “knows a bit of the lingo” (U 12.1208). So he interjects phrases like, “Pardon, monsieur,” “Thanky vous,” “Entrez mes enfants!(U 7.417, 468, 507), “Conspuez les anglais! Perfide Albion!” (U 12.1208-9) and then “Conspuez les français” (U 12.1389) to follow up the Citizen’s slights on the French as “dancing masters” (U 12.1385). In the Ormond Hotel, he begs Miss Douce to snap her garters, “Sonnez la cloche!” (U 11.404), and makes sure to let Simon know that he was with “the famous son of a famous father” at “Mooney’s en ville and in Mooney’s sur mer” where “[t]he élite of Erin hung upon [Stephen’s] lips” (U 11.254, 264, 267).[xii] Yet these affected French words for emphasis indicate that he is constantly attempting to appear witty to cadge drinks, like a jester hanging on to be paid in pints for his comedy, much in the same way as he was depicted in “Two Gallants”:  

He had a brave manner of coming up to a party of them in a bar and of holding himself nimbly at the borders of the company until he was included in a round. He was a sporting vagrant armed with a vast stock of stories, limericks and riddles. (D 50)

Molly calls him a “sponger” (U 18.426), and it seems that sponging in pubs is his only successful enterprise in Ulysses, especially after his “dead cert” on Sceptre turns out to be a dud (U 7.388).

Up to late 1921, Joyce continued adding to Lenehan’s stock of French phrases and riddles throughout the composition of Ulysses. Groden argues that it was during the composition of “Cyclops” that Joyce effectively began the process of a new book. Up to the summer of 1919, Ulysses was predicated on a somewhat realist conception of character in what Groden calls the “initial style”:

As he wrote “Cyclops” he had not moved radically away from a novel about Bloom and Stephen to a collection of symbols like the ones he offered in the 1921 schema. Rather, he was filtering his story through a succession of new narrative devices, and his success in this began the process that resulted in a new book.[xiii]

One marker of this “new book” is Lenehan’s increasingly cribbed language which mirrors the parodic styles of the later episodes. In Barney Kiernan’s pub, where much of the conversation focuses on nationalism and the British Empire, Lenehan’s best-known quips make the most sense read against the backdrop of political rhetoric. In the first extant draft of “Cyclops,” Lenehan’s first line of dialogue is introduced this way:

He knows a bit of French he picked up in the smutty papers

Conspuez les anglais says Lenehan. (Buffalo V.A.8, p. [19v]; JJA 13.122)

Either Lenehan had picked up this French phrase from smutty papers or for the unnamed narrator anything French is “smutty”. However, Lenehan’s deployment of the phrase carries no smutty connotations, one reason perhaps why Joyce emended the line to “Lenehan that knows a bit of the lingo” (U 12.1208). Lenehan’s lingo and anglophobia reflect the phrase’s most recent and highly publicized use prior to June 1904. Just as Bloom remembers the student demonstrations near Trinity College in support of De Wet (U 8.432-6), there were similar demonstrations in Paris after news arrived on Mardi Gras (27 February 1900) that General Piet Cronjé of the South African Republic had capitulated to the English.[xiv] The New York Times reported that crowds “parading the boulevards in the evening raised unceasing shouts of “A bas les Anglais! Vive les Boers!”; when they spotted two Englishmen on a café terrace in the Boulevard Poissonnière “the merry throng of carnival makers was metamorphosed into a howling crowd, yelling ‘Conspuez les Anglais!’” and attacked them.[xv] The Boer War is a recurrent memory of Dubliners in Ulysses, and the “Cyclops” narrator even remembers “Dirty Dan the dodger's son off Island bridge that sold the same horses twice over to the government to fight the Boers” (U 12.998-9). Lenehan reuses this well-known phrase in a new situation: in the context of the pub conversation the phrase recalls its earlier use as a French Anglophobic shout but is also expressive of Irish nationalist spleen. 

One page after Lenehan’s conspuez comment in the first “Cyclops” draft “perfidious Albion” appears scribbled in the left-hand margin (Buffalo V.A.8, p. [20r]; JJA 13.123). Joyce gives the English adjectival form to the Citizen, “Aren’t they trying to make an entente cordial now at Tay Pay’s dinnerparty with Perfidious Albion?” (U 12.1386-88), while Lenehan is given the French adjectival form earlier in the episode: “Conspuez les Anglais! Perfide Albion!” (U 12.1209). Lenehan’s use of “perfide” resonates with questions of exile and xenophobic events in England in the summer of 1901. The Nationalist weekly, United Irishman, ran a section called “Foreign Notes” each week on its front page. Towards the end of 1901, England and Germany had been in a series of talks since 1898 about an entente cordiale, which France continually rebuffed. In July 1901, Benedictines at Solesmes Abbey and others were forced into exile because of a Third Republic law against “associations.” The monks from Solesmes settled in the Isle of Wight, but met with some resistance.[xvi] The 7 December 1901 United Irishman gave the following report on these events under the headline “Francophobia[l1] ”:

outbursts of petty spite and puny rage against France and all things French to which “La Perfide” treats the world when her temper gets the better of her prudence […] England’s Francophobia has shown itself lately in the howl of derision and unmanly insults that greeted the arrival of such of the exiled French religious as sought homes in England.  The occasion was at once seized as an opportunity not to be lost of revenging the rejection of England’s ‘entente cordiale’ overture, as well as many other well-merited snubs that Great Britain has received at the hands of France.  The base ingratitude and the cowardice of England’s proposal to make things as uncomfortable as possible for the French exiles in the hour of trial, forgetful of the numerous occasions on which France offered hospitality to English religious orders, is well worthy of “La Perfide.” (p. 1)

This problem in England would have been particularly interesting for Irishmen of the time particularly because of the themes of exiles, migration, nationality, and, of course, as another chance to denigrate English hypocrisy. The United Irishman was also a paper that the men gathering around the Citizen took an interest in: it is explicitly mentioned in “Cyclops” and they would have discussed its contents over pints throughout the week, no doubt hanging on to any new terms they learned and seeking every good opportunity to use them in conversation.[xvii] 

Earlier in 1919, as Joyce wrote “Sirens” he began to experiment with a narrative filter, though not to the full extent that he would exploit in later episodes. Joyce was at work on the episode in February (“As soon as I am able to work again I shall finish the Sirens and send it”; Joyce to Harriet Shaw Weaver; 25 February 1919; LII 436) and in July of that year, after having sent the typescript to Pound, he wrote to Harriet Shaw Weaver that it “took me five months to write it” (20 July 1919; SL 240). However, these claims do not seem to include the earliest fragmentary drafting of the episode. Luca Crispi argues that the earliest extant “Sirens” draft at the National Library of Ireland (MS 36,639/7/B) confirms that this is one of the earliest Bloom episodes that Joyce worked on, since it is in the same copybook as the earliest surviving “Proteus” draft and it was also probably copied out from an earlier draft: the writing is in a neat hand and sequentially follows from rectos to versos.[xviii] Crispi conjectures that Joyce may have started work on this draft in early 1918 at the earliest, once the work on the “Telemachiad” was finished. This early draft is important, Crispi believes, because it shifts the understanding of the “experimental” turn in Ulysses almost two years earlier than previously thought, and it is also most likely the earliest extant appearance of Lenehan in the Ulysses dossier. Additionally, some of the fragmentary sections at the end of this draft (pp. [10r]-[14r]) are used in “Lestrygonians,” “Cyclops” and “Circe” and exemplify Joyce’s redeployment of textual elements in other circumstances.[xix] One of the fragments in this “Sirens” draft appearing in “Lestrygonians” is initially cast as a dialogue for the men in the Ormond bar:

—He’s witty in his own way, Father Cow Ben Dollard said. One night at a spread I [?] had to sing. ^Bloom was sitting with Aldr. Bobbob.^ Someone asked Bloom what Dan Dawson said in his speech. And says Bloom: I could [sic] hear what he said, Alderman O’Reilly was eating his soup. (NLI MS 36,639/7/B, p. [13r])[xx]

Joyce recasts this snippet of gossip about Bloom as Bloom’s memory of the Glencree dinner as he recollects other events of his life from 1894, like his job in Thom’s and living in Lombard street west with Molly and young Milly. Joyce adds this insertion on the top margin of the second version of Placard 16:

The Glencree dinner. Alderman Robert O'Reilly emptying the port into his soup before the flag fell. Bobbob lapping it ^for the inner alderman.^ Couldn't hear what the band played. What for we have already received may the Lord make us. (Buffalo V.C.4; JJA 18.100)[xxi]

Bloom’s memory of the Glencree dinner, and likely also Joyce’s, is triggered by the mention of the lord mayor, Val Dillon, which appears just before this insertion (Buffalo V.C.4; JJA 18.100; U 8.159-60). In “Wandering Rocks,” as Lenehan gives his better-known account of the Glencree reformatory dinner and subsequent cab-ride home, he says that “[t]he lord mayor was there, Val Dillon it was” (U 10.537-38), unknowingly explaining Bloom’s association of Dillon with the dinner. Just as Joyce produced Ulysses by culling textual materials from other sources and then painstakingly remixing them through the drafting and revising process,[xxii] in Lenehan’s idiolect textual and cultural references that are well-known to his listeners are continually refashioned.

In the earliest extant NLI manuscript of “Sirens” Joyce adds Lenehan’s fable of the Fox and the Stork in the left margin of page [7v] in pencil, indicating that it should follow the “Round O and crooked ess” addition (MS 36,639/7/B). The initial marginal addition reads:

            He plappered flatly to her:

–Ah fox met uh stork. Said thee fox to thee stork: will you put your bill down my troath and pull up ah bone? (NLI MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v])[xxiii]

Lenehan participates in the same type of montage and combination of borrowed material as Ulysses, because his fable is a synthesis of two fables found in Aesop and La Fontaine.[xxiv] He puts the characters of the fox and the stork into the situation described in the fable of the wolf and the crane, in which the wolf gets a bone stuck in his throat, the crane takes it out with his beak, and the wolf tells him his reward is that he was not eaten. Lenehan’s transposition of character into a new narrative situation is similar to modernist uses of classically inspired or analogous characters, like Bloom as an analogue of Odysseus. The fable’s addition also appears to have been linked with Joyce’s first description of Lenehan’s movements. As mentioned earlier, Joyce first wrote in this draft that “Lenehan craned his short body round” (NLI MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v]). In a Lenehanesque association, the fable initially appears as an oblique and surreptitious response to the kind of language that immediately precedes it.

Joyce further enhances Lenehan’s field of reference by appropriating historical and social language, with additions like Lenehan’s claim that the Rose of Castile riddle is “my brandnew riddle” (U 7.477). According to Harald Beck, this same riddle originated at least as early as six years after the opera premiered in October 1857.[xxv] None of the earlier examples use rail-lines in their formulations, except for a version published in May 1880: 

“What favourite opera,” enquires Bauldy, with a hiccup, “does the tramway lines remind one of?” and he replies with a hee-haw when eberybody gibs [sic] it up, “Why, the Rows of Cast Steel, to be sure!”[xxvi]

Not only is Lenehan’s claim to the riddle not original, this is a borrowed joke based on a borrowed opera, tending to demonstrate the “always already” status of language which undercuts any claims to originality. The English libretto of Michael William Balfe’s opera was written by Edmund Falconer after the French libretto for Adolphe Adam's Le muletier de Tolède (1854), thus it is a freer type of translation. The irony is further compounded then, when in the “stump speech” section of “Circe” Bloom mangles the same joke transposed to Gibraltar (“What railway opera is like a tramline in Gibraltar? The Rows of Casteele” [U 15.1731]) and draws laughter from the crowd. Lenehan’s accusation, “Plagiarist! Down with Bloom!” (U 15.1734) should more accurately be self-directed. Lenehan may be “painted in gayer colours” in Ulysses, but he is still the “tragic sponger,”[xxvii] parasitically hanging around to trade recycled wit for drinks.

            Lenehan’s Rose of Castile joke is already there in the Rosenbach “Aeolus” manuscript (Vol. 1, f. 18), the earliest surviving draft of the episode. But Joyce’s later additions on the placard stage amplify and reflect this theatrical punning language to create a rounder picture of Lenehan’s verbal plagiarism. In the first version of placards for “Aeolus” (revised circa 11-13 August 1921) Joyce inserted the newspaper subheadings.[xxviii] At this stage of revision, on the same page when Lenehan whispers to Stephen his limerick on the “ponderous pundit MacHugh” and reminds his listeners of his riddle, “See the wheeze? Rows of cast steel. Gee!” (U 7.591), Joyce replaces Lenehan’s line “Give us a breeze” with “O, for a fresh of breath air!” (Placard 14; JJA 18.40). This line is seemingly just another twist of words so that Lenehan can sound clever with little effort; however, it was a well-known pantomime witticism that Lenehan draws from his stock of music-hall discourse and makes his own. Beck points out that Lenehan’s line directly repeats one of Fred Leslie’s best-remembered witticisms in the pantomimes: “Let us go and have a fresh of breath air.”[xxix] For a character who in Gracehoper fashion “has to sing for his supper”[xxx], it is entirely fitting that Lenehan draws these comments from popular music, which most likely would have been well known to his listeners. The jokes derive from the social discourse of the time and so they are not Lenehan’s original formulations; instead what they demonstrate is the infinite variety of play available for social languages as they are repeated in different contexts, borrowed and juxtaposed with other “texts,” just as in the construction of a newspaper from various sources.

            Lenehan’s jokes and riddles fit well with his general verbal quickness, but much of the evidence of this wit in “Aeolus” is added on the second and third placard stages, after Lenehan’s appearances in “Cyclops” and “Wandering Rocks” had already been written.[xxxi] The densest constellation of changes are in the “CLEVER, VERY” section (U 7.674-725).[xxxii] Here Joyce revises much of Lenehan’s speech, retroactively enlivening his first appearance in the novel to correspond with the role he plays later in “Wandering Rocks,” “Sirens,” and “Oxen of the Sun.” On the second placards, Joyce adds “Very” to the first line of the section, “Clever, Lenehan said. Very,” seemingly in response to the newly printed headline, “CLEVER, VERY” (JJA 18.50; U 7.675). At this stage and in two steps he also adds Lenehan’s famous palindromes. In the right margin there is first the insertion “Lenehan bowed to a shape of air announcing: Madam, I’m Adam.” Lower in that margin, below three other insertions, is the second, “And Able was I ere I saw Elba” with an arrow drawn indicating it should follow the first palindrome (JJA 18.50). It is also here that Myles Crawford’s first description of the familial relations between journalists begins to expand. “History! Myles Crawford cried” is placed at the beginning of his short spiel in which newspaper men act in response to historical facts, with specific reference to the Phoenix Park murders. Paddy Hooper is inserted to work for Tay Pay (T.P., Thomas Power O’Connor founded the Star in 1888), as is Crawford’s claim “Pyatt! He was all their daddies” (Félix Pyat, French socialist journalist involved in the 1871 Commune) whom Lenehan glosses: “—The father of ^scare^ journalism, Lenehan confirmed, and the brother-in-law of Chris Callinan” (JJA 18.50; U 7.688-691). In the third revision of this section (JJA 18.58), along with the additions to strengthen the Irish-Israelite parallels using biblical language (“There was weeping and gnashing of teeth over that” [U 7.685]), and the motivation for Lady Dudley’s walk in the Phoenix Park (“to see all the trees that were blown down by that cyclone last year” [U 7.701-702]), Joyce makes the final change to Lenehan’s speech by replacing “Clever idea” with “Clamn dever” (JJA 18.58; U 7.695). Lenehan’s transposition of the “D” and “cl” in “Damn clever” further enlarges his idiolectic mélange of linguistic forms beyond the bounds of popular discourse, witticism, fable, palindrome, and affected foreign vocabulary. In a similar way, Joyce’s development of Ulysses’ style is a larger application of these same revisionary practices.

As with this reading of Lenehan, any tendency to understand Joyce’s Dubliners as a “submerged” population of personalities subjected to narrative ironies must be balanced by a consideration of these characters’ willful repetitions and their creative remixes of the social discourses which constitute their identities. Ulysses does not simply ironically entrap its characters within its narrative discourse. Instead, it demonstrates through both its narrative voices and the characters’ speech the struggle to use received discourses in order to create new utterances. Stephen’s Shakespeare theory, Mulligan’s parody of the Mass, and Bloom’s economically and scientifically pragmatic ideas illustrate different engagements with this creative effort. Thus, Lenehan’s redeployment of French vocabulary, allusive French political rhetoric (“Conspuez les Anglais! Perfide Albion!” [U 12.1209]), music-hall skit, and synthesized fable mirrors the mechanisms of Joyce’s text and the process of its composition. The textual production of Ulysses (and this mechanism is even more amplified for Finnegans Wake) foregrounds the artistic process of remixing literary allusion, clichéd and au courant language, and stylistic pastiche to create a polyvalent work of art which is able to respond more completely to its historic context. Just as Lenehan claims, “There’s a touch of the artist about old Bloom” (U 10.582-3), one could also say that there’s a touch of the Joycean remix-artist round Lenehan.


Editions of Joyce’s Works Cited

Joyce, James. Dubliners: Text, Criticism, and Notes. Eds. Robert Scholes and A. Walton Litz. New York: Penguin, 1996.

---. The James Joyce Archive. Ed. Michael Groden, et al. London: Garland Publishing, 1978-79.

---. Letters of James Joyce: Volume 2. Ed. Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1966.

---. Selected Letters of James Joyce. Ed. Richard Ellmann. London: Faber & Faber, 1975.

---. Ulysses. Ed. Hans Walter Gabler. New York: Garland Publishing, 1984, 1986.

---. Ulysses: A Critical and Synoptic Edition. 3 vols. New York: Garland Publishing, 1986.

---. Ulysses: A Facsimile of the Manuscript. Introduction by Harry Levin, bibliographical

preface by Clive Driver. 3 vols. New York: Octagon; Philadelphia: The Philip H.

& A.S.W. Rosenbach Foundation, 1975.


[i] O’Connor, Frank. The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story. Hoboken, New Jersey: Melville House, 2004. p. 123.


[ii] McCarthy, Tom. Transmission and the Individual Remix: How Literature Works. New York: Vintage, 2012. Kindle Book.


[iii] McCarthy is discussing Clytemnestra’s speech here. He also asserts that for Aeschylus in the Oresteia language is “a manufactured, mediated, and material regime in which we find ourselves, the precursor and precondition to our agency and actions.”


[iv] Lawrence, Karen. The Odyssey of Style in “Ulysses.Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981. p. 33.


[v] Budgen, Frank. James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1960. p. 17.


[vi] Groden, Michael. “Ulysses” in Progress. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977. p. 51.


[vii] See Ruth Bauerle ed., The James Joyce Songbook (New York: Garland, 1982), p. 281.


[viii] National Library of Ireland is hereafter abbreviated as NLI.


[ix] The full extent of Lenehan’s advice in the first draft is:

Unrewaded by a glance, he said to her:

Be sure to read only the black ones. ^Round O and crooked ess.^ (NLI MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v])


[x] “Recherché adj.” Def. a and b. Collins-Robert French-English, English-French Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1987.


[xi] I must thank Fritz Senn for pointing out this etymology to me. “Bis cuit” is literally “cooked again.” “Biscuit, n.” Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford UP. Accessed 10 April 2013.

[xii] In the first draft of “Sirens” there is only one Mooney’s referred to, “Mooney’s sur mer” (NLI MS 36,639/7/B, p. [8r]). At the end of “Aeolus” as Stephen, Myles Crawford and the others cross Abbey street, Lenehan’s “casting vote is: Mooney’s!” for their destination (U 7.892). There is initially no indication to which Mooney’s it is they are headed, nor that there is more than one Mooney’s in Dublin. Joyce had noted in the Alphabetical notebook that Devin “drank with me in Mooney’s-sur-Mer,” so it seems this was a popular re-dubbing for the pub (Cornell 25–12; JJA 7.120; The Workshop of Dedalus, Robert Scholes and Richard M. Kain, eds. [Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1965], p. 96).


[xiii] Groden, p. 156.


[xiv] “La Guerre du Transvaal: La reddition de général Kronje.” Le Figaro. No. 59. 28 February 1900. p. 1.


[xv]  “Anglophobia in Paris.” The New York Times. 4 March 1900. Henri Cyral’s book France et Transvaal: l’opinion française et la guerre sud-africaine (Paris: Société d’éditions littéraires, 1902) recalls that the protesters shouted “Chamberlain! Assassin!” as well as “Conspuez l’Anglais!” (p. 208).


[xvi] Chadwick, Owen. A History of the Popes, 1830-1914. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. pp. 495-95.

See also the history section of the Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes website:


[xvii] “Did you read that skit in the United Irishman today about that Zulu chief that’s visiting England?” (U 12.1509-10). For a more detailed discussion of sources for and etymology of “Perfidious Albion” see my note “Perfide Albion – Perfidious Albion” (James Joyce Online Notes, Eds. Harald Beck and John Simpson, Issue 3, September 2012).

[xviii] Crispi, Luca. “A First Foray into the National Library of Ireland’s Joyce Manuscripts: Bloomsday 2011.” Genetic Joyce Studies. 11 (Spring 2011).


[xix] Crispi identifies the first full fragment on p. [10v] of male pub gossip about the Blooms as the basis for a scene in “Cyclops” (U 12.1566-9). The “Cyclops” and “Circe” uses of these fragments were revised on intermediary drafts (see Crispi, “A First Foray…”).


[xx] The illegible word in this draft seems to be crossed out.


[xxi] This text is the same in the published text except that the final sentence reverses “What for” to “For what” (U 8.160-62).


[xxii] The drafts of “Proteus” are another good example of this process. The first extant draft ( NLI MS 36,639/7/A) of the episode is composed of sixteen short scenes,  ranging from six lines to thirty-three in length, each crossed diagonally in red crayon and separated by a row of x’s. Joyce then re-ordered these fragments for the subsequent “Proteus” draft, Buffalo V.A.3 (JJA 12.238-58). See Daniel Ferrer, “What Song the Sirens Sang…Is No Longer Beyond All Conjecture: A Preliminary Description of the New ‘Proteus’ and ‘Sirens’ Manuscripts,” JJQ, Vol. 39 (Fall 2001), pp. 53-67. 


[xxiii] Joyce later revises the introduction of the fable in this marginal inscription in ink. Above it he wrote “in solfaed” and it is unclear where this should be inserted. The rest he revised as: “He plappered^ing^ flatly to her ^by rote^:” (NLI MS 36,639/7/B, p. [7v]).


[xxiv] The fable of “The Fox and the Stork” (sometimes “The Fox and the Crane”) is number 426 in Perry’s index of Aesop and “Le renard et la cigogne” is I.18 in La Fontaine. “The Wolf and the Crane” is 156 in Perry’s index of Aesop and “Le Loup et la Cigogne” is III.9 in La Fontaine. Perry’s index is available in Laura Gibbs’ edition of Aesop’s Fables (Aesop’s Fables, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 285-88). The substitution of crane and stork in these different versions of the fables, in a way, authorizes Lenehan’s free substitution of the fox for the wolf.


[xxv] Beck, Harald. “My brandnew riddle.” James Joyce Online Notes. Eds. Harald Beck and John Simpson. Issue 2, October 2011.


[xxvi] This was published in “Clippings from the weekly journals” in The Hull Packet and East Riding Times (Hull, England), Friday, 28 May 1880. Beck, “My brandnew riddle.”


[xxvii] Budgen, p. 139.


[xxviii] Groden, p. 102.


[xxix] Beck found this line discussed in William Thomas Vincent’s Recollections of Fred Leslie (1894) vol. 1, p. 31. See Harald Beck. “Lenehan and the Great Outdoors.” James Joyce Online Notes. Eds. Harald Beck and John Simpson. Issue 2, October 2011.


[xxx] Beck, “Lenehan and the Great Outdoors.”


[xxxi] Groden shows that the newspaper subheadings were added on the first placards of “Aeolus,” circa 11-13 August 1921 (pp. 102-105), and that the third-placard revisions were made sometime in October 1921 (p. 66).


[xxxii] A. Walton Litz notes the additions of the palindromes (“Madam I’m Adam” and “And Able was I ere I saw Elba”), zeugma (“father of scare journalism and brother-in-law of Chris Callinan”) and metathesis (“Clamn dever”) in his short comparison of The Little Review version with the later text of “Aeolus” (The Art of James Joyce: Method and Design in “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake,” London: Oxford University Press, 1967, p. 50). He is more concerned, though, with the insertion of additional rhetorical devices since he has identified that thirty of the ninety-five devices Gilbert listed are the results of these late-stage revisions (p. 49).

 [l1]This is part of a political process in France at the time between Catholic conservatives and liberal/socialist secularists, ending in the 1905 official separation of church and state.