GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES - Issue 6 (Spring 2006)


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Collating the Pirate and the Professionals:

Preliminary Analysis of the Texts of Ulysses 1927-1934

 

Alistair McCleery

 

This paper summarises ongoing work on the editions of Ulysses published between 1927 and 1934. These are the Shakespeare and Company edition of 1927 (the 'ninth'), the Roth piracy – of that ninth edition – published in 1929, the Odyssey Press edition of 1932, and the Random House edition of 1934. The Roth and the Random House editions have not been the subject of much textual investigation to date as they stand outside the chief line of potentially author-influenced transmission. On the other hand, the Random House 1934 edition rapidly acquired the status of a 'standard' edition. In terms of sales and distribution, it became the edition of Ulysses that most readers read, particularly those in the academy. As such, its textual history and that of those editions to which it is linked, including the Roth, are appropriate subjects for further investigation in terms of the reception of Ulysses. Although this presentation appears under my name, it embodies collaborative work with Bill Brockman and Ian Gunn. I will highlight this collaboration at the appropriate points.

The work, in fact, did not follow the chronological line of editions but began with the Odyssey Press 1932 issue.  The Odyssey Press was an ad hoc imprint of the Albatross Press that had itself been founded in 1931, the point at which the process of negotiating and signing contracts began, by John Holroyd Reece and Christian Wegner to publish English-language works in paperback for distribution only outside the British Empire and the USA, for copyright reasons. John Holroyd Reece was a larger-than-life publisher dedicated to the twin goals of making profits and supporting modern artists and their work. He had been Jonathan Cape's partner in the highly lucrative but legally disastrous publication of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness in Paris in 1928. Holroyd Reece came over to London to stand by Radclyffe Hall at the book's trial and he was a stalwart supporter of her thereafter. Christian Wegner had been appointed in 1929 'Geschäftsführer', or CEO, of Bernhard Tauchnitz Verlag with day-to-day responsibilities for the ailing publishing firm but answering to a conservative Board very conscious of the traditions and glorious past of Tauchnitz. Wegner set out to restore the financial health of Tauchnitz as a publisher of English-language paperback reprints. That Tauchnitz had not earlier collapsed during the First World War and its immediate aftermath was due to the endeavours of its previous CEO, Curt Otto, who as a result achieved on his demise an apotheosis in the eyes of the Board.

Wegner began his treatment by cutting back on the size of the backlist kept in print by his late predecessor.  He also took what would now appear to publishers the sensible step of divorcing the editorial and marketing aspects of Tauchnitz books from their production. Wegner used two other Leipzig printers (and a third when necessary in Budapest) in order to secure the best price. In doing all this, and in contracting for newer, more modern titles such as Edna Farber's Cimarron (1930), Wegner showed himself to be a dynamic and innovative publisher. Yet Wegner's surgery, however necessary, proved anathema to the Board and he was forced out of the company by mid-1931. His ideas, knowledge, and acumen were put to new use in the creation with Holroyd Reece of the Albatross Press in Paris. I mention all this to underscore the dynamic and professional nature of Wegner's contribution to the publishing history of Ulysses.

The contrast between the treatment by both firms of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners is clearly indicative of the difference in editorial approach of pre-Wegner Tauchnitz, Wegner-managed Tauchnitz, and Albatross. Joyce, himself the epitome of a Continental reader, offered Portrait to Tauchnitz in early May 1920 when Curt Otto was still in charge. A copy was dispatched by Harriet Weaver in late May but disappeared into Otto's files without any further action being taken. It was rediscovered after Otto's death when Wegner took over control and, with his backing, eventually appeared as Tauchnitz 4937 in May 1930. When the Albatross launched its own publishing programme in 1932, Dubliners was issued as Albatross Modern Continental Library number 1. Wegner and Holroyd Reece were enthusiastic supporters of Joyce's work; both were also entrepreneurial publishers able to identify and promote strong-selling titles. It was no surprise, therefore, that they should wish also to publish Ulysses.

          

It was decided to set up an ad hoc imprint, the Odyssey Press, for the express publication of Ulysses for three reasons: the Albatross was a paperback reprint house and wished to retain its brand distinctiveness; if Holroyd Reece and Wegner were also to sell the novel in the UK, then Albatross books as such were for circulation only outside that country; and, finally, the Albatross could keep itself clear of any harmful publicity that might arise from the publication of such a notorious work. The Odyssey Press Ulysses appeared in 1932 with the bold statement on the verso of its title-page that 'The present edition may be regarded as the definitive standard edition, as it has been specially revised, at the author's request, by Stuart Gilbert.' My article in PBSA, first given as a paper at the Dublin Symposium in 2004, examined more critically the circumstances of the edition's publication and the nature of Stuart Gilbert's involvement in order to trace the origins and acceptance of that status and to assess its authority.[i] Its conclusions were that:

All those antiquarian book-dealers charging a large premium for copies of this edition on the grounds of its textual status as 'definitive standard edition' were misled and misleading potential purchasers by perpetuating this claim.

                       

Indeed, responsibility for the text of the Odyssey Press 1932 edition of Ulysses lay with a freelance editor employed by Albatross, among other publishers  – R.H. Boothroyd. Boothroyd, who was based at the Mondadori works in Verona, had written to Joyce in October 1932 asking for permission to change the French dashes used for dialogue in the Shakespeare and Company editions to the conventional quotation marks of English-language setting. Boothroyd possessed no particular knowledge of the novel or its textual history. His links to the Albatross had come through his association with Hans Mardersteig, designer of the Albatross books.[ii] Boothroyd's chief skill was in translating from German and Italian: he revised the English translation of Tino di Camaino, a Sienese sculptor of the fourteenth century by Wilhelm Reinhold Valentiner for Holroyd Reece's Pegasus Press in 1935; he translated the English edition of Felice Feliciano, Alphabetum Romanum, produced in an edition of 400 copies by Mardersteig at the Officina Bodoni in 1960; he edited Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi printed by Mardersteig at the Officina Bodoni in 1951 for the Limited Editions Club; and he translated  in 1960 Egyptian Art: An Introduction by Boris de Rachelwitz, Pound's son-in-law. In other words, he was extremely competent in taking someone else's words and putting them into standard (British) English and preparing the resulting material for the demands of a production process where the emphasis was placed on the visual.

In the course of the Dublin paper, I noted that such was the enduring power of the picture of Gilbert as editor that the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin, had tentatively ascribed to him another boxed copy of the 1932 two-volume edition that it possesses. This catalogue attribution seems to derive from the large number of corrections made throughout the text: 'ms. notes throughout text in Stuart Gilbert's hand?' The writing is not, in fact, Gilbert's but belongs to a left-handed American corrector who began marking up the Odyssey Press edition on 18 or 19 December 1933 – that is, immediately after the Woolsey Judgement. He or she worked over Christmas and completed the marking up by 2 January. The following table gives his rate of work by pages in the Odyssey Press 1932 two-volume set.

19 Dec 1933

 

1-160

 

20 Dec 1933

 

161-276

 

21 Dec 1933

 

0

 

22 Dec 1933

 

277-402

 

23 Dec 1933

 

403-435

 

24 Dec 1933

 

0

 

25 Dec 1933

 

436-465

 

26 Dec 1933

 

466-509

 

27 Dec 1933

 

509-581

 

28 Dec 1933

 

582-632

 

29 Dec 1933

 

633-675

 

30 Dec 1933

 

0

 

31 Dec 1933

 

0

 

1 Jan 1934

 

0

 

2 Jan 1934

 

676-702

 

He or she was very punctilious about noting the date of each break in the work. The nature of the corrections indicates that they were made by a competent copyeditor with no particular knowledge of the novel or its textual history.  The detail of the corrections indicates that the copy was being marked up for the 1934 Random House edition of Ulysses. For example, on page 792, line 7, bigs is corrected to big. The original error is repeated in every Odyssey edition up to and including 1939 as well as the Limited Editions Club issue in 1935 (introduced by Stuart Gilbert). It has been corrected in the Random House 1934 edition. In Dublin Sam Slote rightly challenged me to justify these wild claims. Bill Brockman, who had also examined this HRHRC set, spoke up from the audience to support my interpretation. That summer, Bill and I, together with Ian Gunn, began a fuller examination of those marked-up Odyssey Press 1932 volumes and to relate them to the Random House 1934 edition as well as the Roth piracy of 1929.

                       

The deficiencies in the Random House 1934 edition have been long recognised and there has been general acceptance that these originated in the use of the Roth pirated edition of the novel as copytext in circumstances of great haste after the Woolsey judgement of December 1933. The sequence of events set out by R.F. Roberts, in a 1936 article, of the 1929 piracy being used to set the novel and the proofs then being corrected and read against a copy of the Odyssey Press 1932 edition has been repeated and cited in most accounts of the genesis of the Random House 1934 edition.[iii] His collations used to prove the Roth as copytext are given below.

Roberts (1936) collations

Random House

 

 

Pirated

Others

Gabler

Roth

Page

Line

 

 

[OP32]

 

 

62

14

Poddy

Poddy

Poldy

4:268

60.10

151

34

No Pills

No Pills

110 Pills

8:101

146.37

212

6

oats

oats

orts

9:1094

205.36

261

20

sole

sole

sloe

11:369

254.35

265

23

cods' rose

cods' rose

cods' roes

11:520

258.35

268

25

blackkbird

blackkbird

blackbird

11:633

261.32

386

7

droll

droll

drool

14:329

374.32

412

39

ailments

ailments

aliments

14:1289

399.32

435

24

ears

ears

hears

15:399

421.13

457

26

Thronley

Thronley

Thornley

15:1030

441.20

626

5

geen

geen

been

16:1044

600.23

659

25

subtraced

subtraced

subtracted

17:314

632.11

740

9

witehot

witehot

whitehot

18:610

710.02

The two italicised columns of references have been added to Roberts's original table.

Yet, if the Roth-derived proofs were read against the Odyssey Press 1932 edition, how can we account for the persistence of these and even more glaring errors transmitted from the Roth? It could have been very casual proof reading or it could have been a breakdown in established procedures or it could have been both. We prefer the last option. We use evidence of the marked-up volumes to argue that the exigencies of a rushed publication led to an even worse sequence (in terms of the authority of the text). 

The editor made about 300 amendments to the two volumes of the Odyssey Press 1932 edition. The following table shows the marked-up Telemachus.

OP32

page/ line

original

Marginal mark

corrected

Roth 1929

1929/27

Ref

6.31

woful

^e

woeful

woeful

4.34

6.39

trouser

^s

trousers

trousers

5.02

8.11

wiped again his

not in original

wiped his

wiped his

6.09

9.26

Hellenize

s

Hellenise

Helenise

7.18

13.13

apologizing

s

apologising

apologising

10.33

17.37

halting.

^by

halting by.

haltingly.

15.08

18.03

trouser

^s

trousers

trousers

15.14

20.35

fiftyfive

^-

fifty-five

fifty-five

17.37

None of the changes above mattered as they simply reflected, with two exceptions, the normalisation already undertaken by Roth.  The correction of Hellenize to Hellenise (9.26) follows this pattern but in confirming the Roth reading fails to notice the single rather than double l. The two exceptions are at 8.11 and 17.37: the former indicates some form of comparative reading with the Roth but begs the question why the correction should be entered on to this copy of the Odyssey Press 1932; the latter illustrates the editor trying to make conventional sense by adding by after halting where Roth's solution, which stands in the Random House 1934, had been to convert the dubious halting to the adverb haltingly. The table below shows the marked-up Penelope.

OP32

page/ line

original

Marginal mark

corrected

Roth 1929

1929/27

Ref

748.21

the night be the

1st 3rd

 

 

699.18

749.15

10000

^, so ante

10,000

10,000

700.07

755.21

stop press

close up so ante

stoppress

stoppress

705.09

758.05

prefers plottering

d

prefers pottering

prefers pottering

707.14

761.24

wogger wd give

so R.H. edition

wogger wd give

wogger Id give

710.08

764.04

I supposed he died

d

I suppose he died

I supposed he died

712.09

765.05

symphathy

d

sympathy

sympathy

713.03

765.28

ashpit.

d

ashpit

ashpit.

713.20

768.08

black water

B close up

Blackwater

black water

715.21

773.08

mandolines

d

mandolins

mandolines

719.23/24

774.01

g t

^e

get

get

720.11

788.36

seor

d

senor

senor

732.20

789.22

mi fa pietà

 

ma fa pieta

mi fa pieta

733.02

792.07

bigs

d

big

bigs

735.09

Many of the changes to this episode again comprise the sort of correction to typos or normalisation that Roth had already carried and therefore made no impact on the proofs. There are several unique readings, however, that did make their way through to the Random House 1934. These are at 764.04, 765.28, strikingly at 768.08, 773.08 and at 792.07. Their nature indicates conclusively that the corrections to this Odyssey Press 1932 edition were added directly to the Roth-derived proofs. The change at 774.01, where a letter has dropped out of the Odyssey edition, is unnecessary as this had not happened in the Shakespeare and Company 1927 or its Roth 1929 piracy; yet the editor marks this up as he does not always have the proofs in front of him and does not realise that the unique missing e is unique to  this printing. The marginal comment at 761.24 we interpret as an assertion that wogger wd give is to be the reading in the Random House 1934 edition as opposed to the Roth-derived wogger Id give; this may imply that at this point the editor could check the unusual phrase against the proofs or a copy of the Roth.

                       

Of the 300-odd amendments the editor makes to the two volumes of the Odyssey Press 1932 edition:

Our conclusion was that the novel was set from the corrupt 1929 piracy;  the proofs were read in an increasingly negligent manner; simultaneously, a copy of the Odyssey Press 1932 edition was marked up by the conscientious copyeditor; the changes marked up on this copy were then made to the proofs; the novel was printed. The legal and commercial circumstances of publication resulted, we concluded, in over-correction being piled upon corruption. This particular phase of our work is now complete and awaits publication.

In the meantime, Ian Gunn and I have moved on to a complete collation of the texts of the Shakespeare and Company 1926 and 1927, the Roth 1929 piracy, the Odyssey Press 1932, and the Random House 1934. We have been greatly assisted in this by Hans Walter Gabler who has given us access to the digitised versions of those texts prepared for the editing of his 1984 Ulysses. The original codings have been stripped out of these and cross comparisons have been carried out with our own digitised texts of the Roth 1929 piracy and the Random House 1934 in order to create lists of all substantive variants. From these we would hope to provide answers to the two questions:

We have used the 'compare documents' facility in Microsoft Word to undertake the collations resulting in the typical example below: 

     

Here, once the differences in formatting, such as small caps, and the residual OCR errors from our digitisation, such as the c/e and I/l/1 confusions, are ignored, it is relatively easy to spot the one substantive difference: anything / everything. By proceeding in this fashion through all the texts, and with the originals to hand, it was possible to build up the tables of variants. The table below represents Telemachus and a little beyond:

 

1926

1927

OP 1932

Roth 1929

RH 1934

p3 line 14

 

untonsured

untonsured

untonsored

untonsored

p4 line 9

 

over to the parapet

over to the parapet

over the parapet

over the parapet

p4 line 28

indigestion

indigest on

indigestion

indigestion

indigestion

p4 line 34

 

woful

woful

woeful

woeful

p6 line  2

 

giving off

giving off

giving of

giving off

p6 line 9

 

wiped again his

wiped again his

wiped his

wiped his

p6 line 34

 

crooked crack, hair on end

crooked crack, hair on end

crooked hair

crooked crack on end

p7 line 18

 

Hellenise

Hellenize

Helenise

Helenise

p8 line 29

 

cut up into

cut up into

cut into

cut into

p8 line 31

 

deathbed

deathbed

deathbead

deathbed

p9 line 16

 

Loyola

Loyola

Loyolo

Loyola

p10 line 1

 

wretched

wretched

wrteched

wretched

p10 line 11

 

muskperfumed

muskperfumed

musketperfumed

muskperfumed

p14 line 20

 

old woman

old woman

old lady

old lady

p15 line 14

 

trouser

trouser

trousers

trousers

p17 line 1

 

pockets on to the

pockets on to the

pocket on the

pockets on the

p18 line 16

The scared pint

The sacred pint

The sacred pint

The sacred pint

The sacred pint

p18 line 24

 

the sea the wind

the sea the wind

the sea wind

the sea the wind

p18 line 32

withrawn

withdrawn

withdrawn

withdrawn

withdrawn

p20 line 27

detaches

detached

detached

detached

detached

p20 line 33

 

sanctam

sanctam

sanctum

sanctam

p20 line 35

 

for pope

for pope

for the pope

for pope

p21 line 7

 

embattled

embattled

embattle

embattled

p21 line 8

 

and their shields

and their shields

and shields

and their shields

p21 line 19

 

puffy

puffy

puny

puffy

p21 line 32

 

glistening

glistening

gilstening

glistening

p24 line 7-8

it not is memory fabled it

if not as memory fabled it

if not as memory fabled it

if not as memory fabled it

if not as memory fabled it

p25 line 14

drink and tall

drink and talk

drink and talk

drink and talk

drink and talk

p37 line 8

throught

through

through

through

through

p44 line 31

Iridzmau

Iridzman

Iridzman

Iridzman

Iridzman

Only four out of the twenty-two instances where the Roth and the Odyssey Press differ were picked up by the editor of the HRHRC set and, with the exception of wiped his, all were straightforward normalisation, again indicating that he was primarily correcting the Odyssey Press rather than making any comparison. In that way, errors in the Roth, including the infamous over the parapet, were transmitted without challenge to the Random House 1934. The change from old woman to old lady, while it might be explained by Roth's reverence for the feminine sex (not really), does result in a more polite Random House. The application of commonsense and a competence in standard English by the proofreader probably account for most of the instances where the Random House does differ from the Roth: giving off rather than giving of, deathbed rather than deathbead, Loyola rather than Loyolo, for example. Pocket on the is altered to pockets on the to make better sense in context but it is not changed to pockets on to the to be more textually accurate. Roth sets the original crooked crack, hair on end (describing the mirror) as crooked hair and the puzzled proofreader comes up with crooked crack on end to make sense of it. One change by the proofreader, if to be seen (as above) as the result of no particular knowledge of the original apart from the Roth copytext, does demand a great sensitivity to the rhythm of Joyce's prose and that is the amendment of the sea wind to the sea the wind. However, the full tables involve a more detailed and holistic analysis of the relationship between the various editions and it will be a while before Ian and I have completed this. At that point we will not only seek publication of our conclusions but, as with the study of the HRHRC set, issue the full tables online so that others can assess our work and refine it. At that point, we may also be able to make further contributions to the Antwerp seminar and to Genetic Joyce Studies.


[i] Alistair McCleery, 'The 1932 Odyssey Press Edition of Ulysses', PBSA 100, 1 (2006): 79-93.

[ii] See Alistair McCleery, 'The Paperback Evolution: Tauchnitz, Albatross and Penguin' in N. Matthews and N. Moody (eds.), Judging a Book by Its Cover (Aldershot, Hants. and Burlington, Vt. forthcoming 2007).

[iii] R.F. Roberts, 'Bibliographical Notes on James Joyce's "Ulysses",' The Colophon NS 1.4 (Spring 1936): 565-579.

 

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