GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES - Issue 7 (Spring 2007)
 

NOTES & ARTICLES  - TOOLS & QUERIES  -  LOST & FOUND  -  ABOUT GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES


The Subject Notebook: A Nexus in the Composition History of Ulysses—A Preliminary Analysis1

Wim Van Mierlo


In shape and form, the Subject Notebook (NLI 36,639/3), now part of the Joyce Papers 2002 at the National Library of Ireland, is a type of commonplace book. In construction it resembles two other notebooks from different periods—the Alphabetical (or Trieste) notebook (Cornell MS 25, compiled in 1910 for A Portrait) and the Scribbledehobble notebook (Buffalo VI.A, compiled in 1923 for Finnegans Wake)—in that the notes are arranged under specific subject headings. Joyce’s habit of organizing notes under such headings, as distinct from the Homeric chapter titles, remains rather unusual. Keeping more or less random notes in notebooks or on notesheets allowed him to work with relative speed. (One of the remarkable features of Joyce’s notetaking, especially in later life during the writing of Finnegans Wake, is that often very little time elapses between note taking and note usage.) With the rather weighty Alphabetical (300 leaves) and Scribbledehobble (504 leaves) notebooks it is not difficult to imagine that the compilation of these notebooks was the result of selection, transcription and classification of notes that had existed in other formats, an exercise that probably facilitated retrieval by creating contextual invariants, but that would have taken some time to complete. The Subject Notebook, though much smaller in size—16 leaves in a graph paper exercise book measuring 21.8 x 17 cm—suggests much the same procedure. For the moment, there is little indication that Joyce when he had finished copying earlier the materials did not add further entries seriatim; the handwriting, however, seems fairly consistent throughout the pages and it may equally be the case that the notes were not copied from an earlier document. The dating of the notebook provides an important clue for this: the date Joyce purchased the notebook coincides with the first datable entry. The Subject Notebook, furthermore, shares the characteristic with the Alphabetical Notebook and Scribbledehobble that it was compiled at a moment when an important shift in the composition process was taking place—the Alphabetical notebook when Stephen Hero was being transformed into A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Scribbledehobble when “Work in Progress” was taking on a form that could absorb Joyce’s earlier writing in its own encyclopaedic structure, if not the actual verbiage in the guise of leftover notes, then at least the ideas and conceptions originating from them. The Subject Notebook, now the earliest surviving document specially prepared for Ulysses, points towards such a moment of transition, not in the least because it marks the moment when manuscripts for Ulysses begin to survive in the archive, itself coinciding with the prospect of serialization in The Egoist and The Little Review arranged by Ezra Pound around the end of August 1917. This act of preservation is too significant not to be meaningful.2

The Subject Notebook thus offers a glimpse into an earlier state of Ulysses. The question that concerns me in this essay is really the question that Rodney Wilson Owen asked himself in 1983: “what did Joyce do with Ulysses prior to 1918”?3 The only difference is that Owen was looking for the origins of Ulysses, the earliest manifestations of the structures, themes and motifs of the final novel from the moment Joyce conceived of his story about the Dublin Jew Mr. Hunter, through the scene in the Martello tower first configured as the ending of A Portrait and subsequent displacement as a sequel to the original work, and to the serialization of Ulysses in The Little Review and The Egoist. My purpose, rather, is to ascertain—palingenetically, as it were—through a preliminary analysis of the Subject Notebook what Ulysses may have looked like at that crucial point in the autumn of 1917.4 My method is to see the notebook as a discreet preparatory and creative moment that looks ahead at what was to be written. Insofar as this is possible, it is important not to read the final work back into the note taking process. Seeking patterns of meaning through mapping usage in a notebook-draft correlation is therefore not always useful, especially when notes are used after a considerable period of time. Usage does not always tell us anything about Joyce’s original motivations when he recorded his notes, nor does it sufficiently take into account materials that remained unused but that equally reflect his ideas, projections and expectations about the direction the writing was to take. The route I am taking, in other words, is not one of postulation—seeing the notes in terms of their distribution and final placement in the text—but of speculation—seeing the notes as avenues of textual exploration. For this, I will rely on the contextual indeterminacy of the notes as well as the value of contextual invariants. Obviously, in such a speculative approach the textual grounds are less stable, but it is seems the only proper way to understand the transitional role that the Subject Notebook seems to play.


Dating and Usage

Joyce began compiling the Subject Notebook in October 1917. This terminus a quo can be firmly established because he purchased the copybook from D. Pellanda in Locarno (“Modello c | Quaderno [emblem] Officiale | Aritmetica | per tutti le Classi delle Scuola primarie e maggiori”), where he went in the middle of the month for the mild weather to recover from an attack of glaucoma.5 In addition, two entries in the notebook can be traced to the Frankfurter Zeitung, one to an article titled “Im polnischen Mekka | Kosciuszko-Feier in Rapperswil am Zürichsee” (16 October 1917) (f.[8v]), the other to an article by Rudolf Lothar, “Über Wesen und Wert dramatischer Motive” (26 October 1917) (f.[3r]). I have not yet been able to establish a terminus ad quem, but a good proportion of its compilation was the result of an intensive period of note taking, since usage was almost immediate. Material was used for “Proteus” V.A.3 (late 1917), including “LB’s | letter: | headache | menstr[uous] | (monthly)” (extradraft marginal note, V.A.3—15) (f.[2r]);6 “I mustn’t forget his letter for the press. And after? The Ship half twelve. By the way, go easy with that money” (V.A.3—3; U 3.58-59) (f.[6r]); “Someone <would> was to read them there <in about> after thousand years, <time you thought> a mahavantara (V.A.3—6; U 3.143-4) (f.[7v]); “Belly without blemish, bulging big, a buckler of taut vellum, […] immortal, standing from everlasting to everlasting” (V.A.3—2; U 3.42-44) (f.[7v]); “Lover, for her love he prowled with colonel Richard Burke […] under Clerkenwell walls” (V.A.3—9; U 3.246-8) (f.[8v]); “On a field tenney a buck trippant proper unattired” (V.A.3—13; U 3.336-7) (f.[17v]). Two other notes even found their place in the now earliest extant draft in the “Proteus”-“Sirens” copybook (NLI 36,369/7A). The first influenced a passage that remained virtually unchanged until the published book: “The dog ambled about, trotting, sniffing on all sides. Looking for something he lost in a past life” (p.[1]); it was borrowed from Otto Weininger’s Über die letzten Dinge.7 The second note is also very much connected with Joyce’s borrowings from Weininger and appears close to Stephen’s rendering of Berkeley’s perception of the world in heraldic form as all space “hatched” on a flat surface or cloth (p.[9]; U 3.417-18): Stephen’s contemplations on sense perception are connected with Weininger’s ideas about the relationship of time to space, the “nacheindander” and “nebeneinander”.

Joyce continued using the notebook over a period of at least two years, with some considerable mining in 1919 when he prepared a copybook draft of “Cyclops” (V.A.8 and NLI 36,639/10); other entries were used in “Wandering Rocks” and “Circe”. Some examples of usage include: “<Where are the ships> And the beds of Barrow and Shannon that they won’t deepen Where is the government would leave half a million acres of marsh in the middle of the Country to make us all die of consumption” (V.A.8—45; U 12.1256-7), “Professor Pokorny”‘s “interesting point” that there is “no trace of hell in ancient Irish myth” (Rosenbach Ms f.38; U 10.1078-82) (f.[8v]); the fortune-telling sequence in which Zoe reads Stephen’s (“Thursday’s child has far to go”, U 15.3687; f.[6r]) and Bloom’s palm (Knobby knuckles for the women”, U 15.3698-9; f.[2r]). Not all of the entries were culled straight from the Subject Notebook, however; an apparently random set of notes was lifted from the notebook and entered on the “Cyclops” 10 notesheet and on “Circe” 3 (see below). As late as the 1930s, material also resurfaced in “Work in Progress”, when Madame Raphael transcribed the remaining notes in VI.C.7 (255-269).


Subjects for Ulysses

Joyce’s note taking was versatile: material in the notebooks was garnered for its potential and could therefore be used in any number of different places; it could be used almost immediately or picked up months or years later, sometimes after being transferred to another notebook or notesheet. Even when notes were earmarked for a specific passage or section but remained unused, they could still be found useful later for a different section. This does not imply, however, that all notes were simply random, meaningless or without context; regardless of their eventual use, all note material contained to a greater or lesser degree. a specific purpose and intent.

It is worth asking, then, what kind of initial intention lies behind the material in the Subject Notebook designed to give specific direction to the writing of Ulysses at a moment in time when composition was moving towards a new phase. Before I deal with the problem of the notebook’s place within the composition process, however, I would like to give a detailed overview of its contents. Two issues here are important from the start. First, it is not absolutely clear how the notebook was compiled. It is highly probable that Joyce inscribed the headings in one go and underlined them in coloured crayon, but we do not know how long this was before entering the first dateable entries in October 1917. Conversely, it is fairly unlikely that he entered the notes consecutively from front to back. Since the purpose of the notebook was to gather material under thematic headings, Joyce must have gone back and forth adding notes to different pages and subjects (although logic dictates that under each separate heading the notes were entered sequentially). Furthermore, note taking was an ongoing process (often the final entry on the page is stopped by a comma, suggesting more entries were to come), but it was a process never fully completed: many pages are only half filled or remain almost entirely blank, itself a sign that the method of conceptual note taking had exhausted itself before it was fully developed. Second, as I have already suggested, no evidence exists which demonstrates decisively either that the notes were transcribed from existing notebooks and notesheets or that they were entered here for the first time. Under several headings one can identify, for instance, discreet topical clusters, suggesting that Joyce was premeditatively selecting and arranging notes from existing note materials or that his reading was directed and specific. Either way, the notebook served a particular aim. But what that aim was remains an intriguing and difficult question.

Let us look more closely at what the Subject Notebook contains. In order of appearance, the notebook contains the following twenty headings: “Simon” (f.[1r]), “Leopold” (f.[2r]), “Books” (f.[3r]), “Recipes” (f.[4r]), “???” (f.[4v]), “Gulls” (f.[5r]), “Stephen” (f.[6r]), “Theosophy” (f.[7r-v]), “Choses vue” (f.[8r]), “Irish” (f.[8v]), “Jews” (f.[9r]), “Blind” (f.[10r]), “Art” (f.[11r]), “Names & Places” (f.[12r]), “Jesus” (f.[13r]), “Homer” (f.[13v]), “Rhetoric” (f.[14r]), “Oxen” (f.[14v]), “Weininger” (f.15r]) and “Words” (f.[16v]).


“Simon” has only five or six entries that describe Simon Dedalus’s characteristics and habits, as the one used in “Sirens” and entered into the chapter’s first extant draft (NLI 36,639/7A), when he strolls into the Ormond Hotel “picking chips off one of his rocky thumbnails” (U 11.192-3). The page is obviously incomplete and suggests that Joyce was gathering elements to flesh out the role and appearance of Stephen’s father, his life and his friends; at least one can assume so from the mention of Patrick Harding, one of Joyce senior’s cronies, a young solicitor who worked in the Estate Duty Office at the Custom House.8 The most remarkable item—clearly a later addition, probably unrelated to the heading—appears at the bottom right of the page: “rleap year | 1904” (NLI 36,639/3, f.[1r). I will return to this note below.


“Leopold” is similar in outlook but it contains a better proportion of miscellaneous entries that were used throughout Ulysses. One of the oddities is Molly’s first name, here spelled “Mollie” (NLI 36,639/3, f.[2r]). Does the variant spelling suggest that her character is only being developed in the rough? The notes in this section are encapsulated, on the one hand, by Bloom’s fancy in “Sirens” to “write” on a barmaid’s “blank face” as if on a clean sheet of paper (U 11.1086-87) and on the other by the whore’s fortunetelling used much later in “Circe”. In the notebook nothing refers these notes immediately to their respective episodes (they are not contextual invariants), though it is likely that Joyce was early on planning a scene in a barroom or similar setting. Ned Lambert’s mockery of Bloom “buying a tin of Neave’s food six weeks before the wife was delivered” (U 12.1650-3) or the derision of his alleged feminine constitution, “lying up in the hotel Pisser was telling me once a month with headache like a totty with her courses” (U 12.1658-60), were both eventually used for “Cyclops”. In the notebook, the insult that Bloom menstruates is made by Bantam Lyons, who does not appear in the episode as published. The affront does not attempt to hide a racial slur directed at Jewish men who were thought to menstruate, an idea based on the belief emerging in the early decades of the twentieth century in the work of Otto Weininger, Sigmund Freud and others that biologically there was no strict division between the genders. Jews in particular, who were deemed an effeminate race, were thought to be susceptible to recurrent bleedings.9 Another note, used for Bloom’s contention in “Eumeus” on “the existence of supernatural God”—it being his “belief […] that those bits were genuine forgeries all of them put in by monks most probably” (U 16.771-7, 780-82)—is a reworking of a much more straightforward example of barroom parlance that would fit well in “Cyclops”. In their original context notebook, the bits the monks put in are of a sexual nature and the saying is attributed to a personage named Kinky Sykes.10 From this a pattern emerges that suggests Joyce was planning the public appearance of Bloom—the way he is perceived and talked about—in the Dublin social sphere.


“Books” is the first really interesting and tantalizing page in the Notebook. Reading lists are not uncommon in Joyce’s notebooks, but this list is quite long and constitutes a full programme of reading that has both obvious and less obvious connections with Ulysses.11 The list opens with Maurice de la Sizeranne, Les aveugles, par un aveugle, avec une preface de M. le comte d’Haussonville (Paris: Hachette, 1889; reprinted several times between 1904 and 1912).12 The book was presumably recommended to him by the unidentified Dr Staub from Zurich, who is mentioned beside the entry, though it is not certain whether this is an ophthalmologist he was consulting or whether Joyce was being referred to Dr Staub by the person who advised him to read Sizeranne. It is unlikely that the book was intended to have an immediate bearing on the writing of Ulysses. The book list thus starts from a purely personal interest.

The following six items on the list show Joyce’s interest in Irish history: The Irish National Invincibles and their Times by Patrick Tynan (London: Chatham and Co., 1896), or “Number One” as the title page mentions; The Geographical Distribution of Irish Ability by D.J. O’Donoghue (Dublin: O’Donoghue & Co., 1906), the author of two other books on Irish literary subjects, Poets of Ireland (1892) and The Life and Writings of J. Clarence Mangan (1897); Twenty-Five Years in the Secret Service: The Recollections of a Spy by Major Henri Le Caron (pseud. of Thomas Miller Beach) (London: W. Heinemann, 1892); Ireland, 1798-1898 by William O’Connor Morris (London: A.D. Innes, 1898); Two Centuries of Irish History, 1691-1870: Being a series of papers, edited by R. Barry O’Brien, 2nd ed. (n.p.: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1907), a Home Rule advocate, author of a two-volume biography on Parnell and a member of the London Irish Literary Society; A History of our Own Times, 7 vols., (London: Chatto and Windus, 1905), a journalist, novelist, historian and politician, who led the majority faction of the Irish Parliamentary Party after Parnell’s divorce and who became the party’s chairman. Joyce, however, mistakenly gives the name of the author as “J. Huntley McCarthy”, also a novelist, playwright and historian, who published an Outline of Irish History, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (New York: John W. Lovell Company, 1883); James Huntley was Justin McCarthy’s son.

After this list of Irish history follows a miscellaneous set of titles: Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne (1636?-1674), published from the author’s original manuscript by Bertram Dobell (London: P.J. & A.E. Dobell, 1908), also mentioned in the Paris-Pola Common Place Book and quoted elsewhere in the Subject Notebook; Kultur-Kuriosa by Max Kemmerich (Munich: Albert Langen, 1909); the already mentioned article by Rudolf Lothar in the Frankfurter Zeitung on the dramatic art of Georg Polti;13 Das Verhältnis des Thomas von Aquino zum Judentum und zur jüdischen Litteratur by Jacob von Guttmann (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1891); and Mysticism and Logic, and other essays, by Bertrand Russell (London: Longmans, Green, 1917).14 These titles are followed by the names of five scientists and mathematicians: Richard Dedekind (1831-1916), a student of Carl Gauss at Göttingen, who wrote books such as Vorlesungen über Zahlentheorie (1863) and Über die Theorie der ganzen algebraischen Zahlen (1879); Karl Weierstrass (1815-1897), the author of Zur Theorie der Abelschen Functionen (1852 and 1856); Georg Cantor (1845-1918), a friend of Dedekind and President of the Mathematical Society at Berlin (1864-65); Peano (1858-1932), who lectured at Turin and wrote I Principii di geometria (Turin, 1889) and Formulario Mathematico (begun in 1892);15 and Gottlob Frege (1848-1925), a mathematician, logician and philosopher who studied at Jena and Göttingen, and who wrote Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik (1884) and Über Sinn und Bedeutung (1892).

The most extensive sequence is a long list of authors and works, sorted in reverse chronological order, from the nineteenth century to the Middle Ages. The list includes Thomas Love Peacock’s Headlong Hall and Nightmare Abbey; John Galt’s Annals of the Parish; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Susan Ferrier’s Marriage (1818); Mary Brunton’s Self-Control (1811) and Discipline (1814); Henry Hallam’s View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages (1818); George Crabbe’s The Borough (1810); Thomas Brown the Younger’s (a.k.a Thomas Moore) The Fudge Family in Paris; Fanny Burney’s Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1804) and Cecilia, or Memoirs of an heiress (1790); Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent; Edmund Burke’s, A letter from E.B. to a Noble Lord (1796); Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy; George Berkeley’s Siris: A Chain of Philosophical Reflexions and Inquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar Water (1744) and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713); Bernard Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees (1733); Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism (1711); Thomas Southern’s comedies; William Wycherley’s The Plain Dealer; Sir William Temple (Joyce does not mention any titles, but Temple is the author of, among others, Essay upon the Present State of Ireland [1668] and The Advancement of Trade in Ireland [1673]; his correspondence was edited by Swift, who was his secretary at Moor Park); Richard Crashaw; the next name is illegible, presumably Browne; Thomas Fuller’s Historie of the Holy Warre (1639); Thomas Carew; John Donne; Robert Green; Giles Farnaby’s “Up Tails All” from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (c. 1610); Philip Sidney—undoubtedly Joyce was thinking of the Defense of Poesy or the Apology for Poetry, since his name is mentioned next to Thomas Wilson’s Arte of Retorique (1553); Thomas Wyatt; John Skelton; William Dunbar’s Ballad of Our Lady (15th century); James I’s (King James of Scotland) The King’s Quair (after 1488); and finally Langland’s Piers Plowman and the Harrowing of Hell (14th century). The authors and titles included here belong to different genres—novels, prose, poetry, drama and philosophy—and were intended as a representative overview from what was called belles lettres. Absence in the list of selected authors and titles (Chaucer, Swift, Byron, Dickens) is probably as significant as presence (Mary Shelley), which cannot all be attributed to changes in the canon since Joyce’s time. The list, rather, seems to have a bias towards Irish (Berkeley, Burke, Edgeworth, Moore) and Scottish (Dunbar, Brunton, Galt) writers.

Although by 1917 many of the titles had been published in a modern version, Joyce does not identify specific editions. It is therefore not likely that this is his personal selection, chosen from catalogues and booksellers’ lists for purchase, but that he picked the works, as he did with George Saintsbury’s History of English Prose Rhythm (1912) and William Peacock’s English Prose from Mandeville to Ruskin (1903) in preparation for “Oxen of the Sun”, from an existing canon in a literary history or an anthology. The reason for this is that in a few instances towards the end of the list Joyce also notes down some commentary. This is the case with Thomas Fuller, Richard Crashaw (though both comments are illegible) and Thomas Carew, who is deemed “coarse”. However, I have not been able to identify the origin of Joyce’s list, except for the citation from the Frankfurter Zeitung and most of the books on Irish history, which come from the Encyclopædia Britannica (see below). Nor have I been able to find much conclusive evidence that Joyce actually read any of these works.16

Given the diverse nature of the titles under “Books” and their clear demarcation in four categories—oculism; Irish history; religion, philosophy and logic; and literature—it is obvious that Joyce’s plan of reading has a purpose but no single intent. The connections with Ulysses and its composition are either vague. As far as I have been able to determine, none of the books has left a noticeable or lasting imprint; the only traces one can find of them in the novel are quite localized at best. This is the case, for instance, with the allusion to Thomas Traherne in “Proteus” or the relevance of Bishop Berkeley’s writings for the same chapter. The Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713) are an elaboration and defence of his ideas set out in the earlier Essay Toward a New Theory of Vision (1709) and Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) in which Berkeley famously set to argue the spuriousness of material existence, the fact that all sensible material objects are not “external to the mind, but exist in it” after “an immediate act of God” who has directly implanted them there.17 It is what Stephen thinks about when “the good bishop of Cloyne” comes to his mind: “Flat I see, then think distance, near, far” (U 3.416-419). According to Berkeley, distance is not something we can perceive; it is something we think. The same applies to colour or heat, as Berkeley sets out to demonstrate in the Dialogues. Another title, the memoirs of Henri Le Caron, returns in the notebook itself under “Irish”, but the notes do not come directly from Le Caron’s book.

On the whole, however, one recognizes that the books had the potential—potential which in the end may not be realized—to shape the fabric of Ulysses: the works on Irish history could have helped shape the various nationalist interventions in Ulysses; the works on logic and philosophy could have been used to develop Stephen’s ruminations on Sandymount Strand or even the Library chapter. Guttmann’s book on Aquinas and Jews anticipates in a rudimentary way Bloom’s interview with Stephen in “Ithaca”, though I would not want to posit a direct line of inspiration. It is not likely that the section of belles letters was compiled in preparation for “Oxen of the Sun”: seeing the literary-historical synopsis as a preamble for the gestation of language is too specific, yet it is not farfetched to think that Joyce was toying with the idea of the development of English style, possibly not presented as a growth but a regression from an advanced to a more primitive state as the history of English literature moves back in time.


“Recipes” contains only a few short entries that were used for some of the female banter in Ulysses, particularly in “Sirens”, particularly the following passage:


– Am I awfully sunburnt?

Miss Bronze unbloused her neck.

– No, said Miss Kennedy. It gets brown after. Did you try the borax with the cherry laurel water?

Miss Douce halfstood to see her skin askance in the barmirror […]

– Try it with the glycerine, Miss Kennedy advised. […]

– Those things only bring out in a rash, replied, reseated. I asked that old fogey in Boyd’s for something for my skin. (U 11.114-25).


The notes were added in the “Proteus-Sirens” copybook (NLI 36,639/7A, p.[11]).18


“???” is literally the most enigmatic heading. It contains only one note that brings to mind the opening of “Aeolus”, though the location and perspective are different: “rpoints of trams in Dalkey” (f.[4v]). The sense of the importance of the “heart of the Hibernian metropolis” (U 7.1) is not expressed here. The entry on the Dublin transport system may suggest a centripetal, rather than centrifugal, movement towards the city centre. At the same time, the connection may be with “Nestor”, rather than “Aeolus” to be used for a scene that describes Stephen boarding a southbound tram on his way to Sandymount Strand. It appears, however, that not the note but the heading itself was used in the book. “? ? ?” (U 7.512) became a crosshead in “Aeolus” for the section in which Lenehan asks his riddle (“What opera resembles a railwayline?”) (U 7.514) and in which Stephen hands a puzzled Myles Crawford Mr Deasy’s letter with the bottom half of the paper torn off.


“Gulls” is another page that is almost empty. The notes and the subject suggest Bloom’s feeding the gulls “two Banbury cakes” (U 8.74-75) when he crosses the Liffey in “Lestrygonians”. But the two entries, although crossed through in red, are not found verbatim in the extant drafts or the published work.


“Stephen” is a return to characterization, but in a different manner from the notes under “Leopold” and “Simon”. Joyce appears less concerned with Stephen’s attributes (though there are quite a few of these too, such as the idea that the artist remakes his work out of real “incidents” (copied to “Circe” 3: 30; Herring, 279), perhaps reminiscent of the definition of epiphany, or Stephen’s refusal to teach Molly Italian) (p.[11]; copied to “Ithaca” 12: 69; Herring, 470) than with mapping out Stephen’s narrative on Bloomsday. Several entries state the time when events take place. Stephen’s reminder to himself that he must “go easy with that money like a good young imbecile” (U 3.59) finds its origin here, with Joyce adding the prediction that by the evening he will be a “spendthrift”. The time indicated in the note is midday, when Stephen in the final work finds himself in The Ship tavern; but the entry rather suggests that Stephen’s consideration comes at midday and that by the evening he will have abandoned his good intention. Two other entries, suggestive of “Scylla and Charybdis” because of the allusion to Stephen’s argument with Synge, are intended for ten o’clock in the morning. The implication is that Stephen’s extemporizations on art and Shakespeare were to come earlier in the day and that the chapter’s progression through the hours of the morning, afternoon and evening of 16 June was far from fixed.


“Theosophy” is by far the largest, densest, and most difficult section to interpret of the Subject Notebook. The numerous references to Madame Blavatsky, “our very illustrious sister” (U 9.71) as she is called in “Scylla and Charybdis” and in the notebook pages, provide a clue as to the basis of these notes. Yet none of the entries seems to be quoted directly from her writings or from the writings by any of her acolytes. Much of the terms that Joyce lists (such as solve, wagala, cult of Shakti, sarga, pralaya, tamas, rajas, sattva) are generic enough to come from any book on theosophy. A handful of entries can be traced to The Theosophist, the monthly journal of the Theosophical Society founded by Blavatsky and later edited by Annie Besant. They were all taken from the May 1910 issue. I will quote the source texts following the order of Joyce’s notes in the notebook.

The first is from a letter published under the title “Advice from a Master”:


[1] The following letter was written by the Master K.H. to a member of the T.S., by whose permission it is now published for the first time.” (975).


The member of the Theosophical Society in question was Miss Francesca Arundale, living in Eberfeld in Germany. In the autumn of 1884 she was sent the present letter by Koot Hoomi, a mahatma who allegedly dictated his theosophist teachings to Blavatsky and A.P. Sinnett, warning the London Lodge that “the separation [was] close at hand” (975). The letter, not made public until its publication in The Theosophist in May 1910, reminded the members of their responsibilities in the teaching of theosophy and the instruction of new aspirants, and advised them not to depart from the rules set down by the masters, whose “displeasure” they had provoked. It was a stern warning against those who were trying to escape from Blavatsky’s leadership.19

Then follow a few notes from “The Soul of Astronomy” by Alan Leo, a defence against the criticism that astrology is “the foolish daughter of a wise mother”. Astronomy and astrology are both seeking to understand the truth about the planets and the stars, but in Leo’s opinion it is astrology which provides the real meaning. What distinguishes the astrologer from the astronomer is his desire to fathom the essences, to answer the questions that the scientific materialism of astronomy is unable to answer, and to move towards revealing the “universal code of knowledge” preserved “in the symbology of astrology” (1013) and so to come a deeper appreciation of the mysteries of the universe. The article provided Joyce in the first instance with some of his stellar vocabulary:


[2] In all cases of genius the Uranian influences are most potent, as in all cases of lunacy it will be found that the lunatic was born under very adverse lunar influences. (1017)


Alan Leo takes the familiar tack that the stars exert an influence on sublunar life, but the existence of individuals is not only governed from above. One’s background cannot easily be ruled out in the determination of one’s course of life:


[3] Heredity, environment, and national characteristic are factors that no true astrologer can afford to ignore. It is on record that George Hemmings, an ironmonger, was born at the same time as King George III, and it is said that the course of the two lives ran absolutely parallel, promotion, marriage, and death occurring on the same day to the two men. It is, therefore, clear that the horoscopal indications must needs be interpreted in terms of the social status of the individual. (1016)


Despite this caveat, Alan Leo carries on stressing the prophetic importance of astrology:


[4] It is no thoughtless prophecy that inspires astrologers in all parts of the world to warn Nations that the age of warfare, competition, and greed is fast growing to a climax, and those who would set their households in order will do well to scan the universal handwriting, written in plainly decipherable hieroglyphics, upon the wall of heaven. (Leo, 1019)


[5] These planets, as representatives of the Egos, send their rays in turns as influences through the Zodiac, and piercing the horoscope at a particular time in space, become the Ruling planets, though that planet is not always Lord of the horoscope, as is generally supposed. (1021)


[6] At the base of the Cross, the triple-handed God, the trident Neptune, disturbed of the karmic ocean, forces the cancerous dregs in the lunar waters, the sign of the Crab, to ascend and sweep in fateful waves to the four cardinal points of the earth. (1019)


[7] On the Eastern Angle, most potent horizon, where the Ram has rule, the malefic Mars and Saturn are […] joined for incalculable mischief, driving martial nations to war, ruin, and desolation. (1020)


In the last excerpt, Joyce erroneously put “Jupiter” for “Saturn”; probably the strong apocalyptic tone that pervades Alan Leo’s discourse unconsciously stuck in Joyce’s mind so that he involuntarily thought of the god of light and the protector in battles instead of the god of agriculture and fertility.

The next set of notes from The Theosophist is taken from a long article by C.W. Leadbeater on the chakrams, or “Force-Centres and the Serpent-Fire: The Etheric Centres”. After first taking down the title, he noted the following:


[8] The centres which are usually employed in occult development are seven, and they are situated in the following parts of the body: (1) the base of the spine; (2) the navel; (3) the spleen; (4) the heart; (5) the throat; (6) the space between the eyebrows; and (7) the top of the head. There are other force-centres in the body besides these, but they are not employed by students of the White Magic. (1075)


[9] It must be remembered that they are vortices of etheric matter, and that they are all in rapid rotation. Into each of these open mouths, at right angles to the plane of the whirling disc or saucer, rushes a force, from the astral world (which we will call the primary force)—one of the forces of the Logos” (1076)


[10] They [the forces] may easily be seen in the etheric double, where they show themselves as saucer-like depressions or vortices in its surface. (1075)


[11] The first centre, at the base of the spine, so arranges its undulations as to give the effect of its being divided into quadrants, with hollows between them. This makes it seem as though marked with the sign of the cross, and for that reason the cross is often used to symbolise this centre, and sometimes a flaming cross is used to indicate the serpent-fire which resides in it. When aroused into full activity this centre is fiery orange-red in colour.

The second centre, at the naval or solar plexus, vibrates in such a manner as to divide itself into ten undulations or petals, and is very closely associated with feelings and emotions of various kinds. Its predominant colour is a curious blending of various shades of red.

The third centre, at the spleen, gives the effect of six petals or undulations, and it seems that all of these are concerned in the specialisation, subdivision and dispersion of the vitality which comes to us from the sun. Presumably for that reason this centre is especially radiant, glowing and sun-like.

The fourth centre, at the heart, is of a glowing golden colour, and each of its quadrants is divided into three parts, which gives it twelve undulations.

The fifth centre, at the throat, has sixteen such apparent divisions, but its general effect is silvery and gleaming, with a kind of suggestion as of moonlight upon rippling water.

The sixth centre, between the eyebrows, has the appearance of being divided into halves, the one predominantly rose-colored, and the other predominantly a kind of purplish-blue. Perhaps it is for this reason that this centre is mentioned in Indian books as having only two petals, though if we are to count undulations of the same character as those of the previous centres we shall find that each half is subdivided into forty-eight of these, making ninety-six in all.

The seventh, the centre at the top of the head, is when stirred into full activity perhaps the most resplendent of all, full of indescribable chromatic effects and vibrating with almost inconceivable rapidity. It is described in Indian books as thousand-petalled, and really this is not very far from the truth, the total number of undulations being nine hundred and sixty. In addition to this it has a feature which is possessed by none of the other centres—a sort of subsidiary whirlpool of gleaming white in its heart—a minor activity which has twelve undulations of its own. (1077-78)


To his notes on the above passage, Joyce added small drawings not in the source that are meant to be a visual representation of the symbols that Leadbeater is describing. Why Joyce did this is not clear.


[12] As we know it, the serpent-fire (called in Sanskrit kundalini) is the manifestation on the physical plane of one of the great world-forces—one of the powers of the Logos. (1084)


The etheric centres, in other words, are stages in the development of the soul through which the serpent-fire moves. Its power needs to be aroused.


[13] In this case the arousing is done by a determined and long-continued effort of the will, and to bring the first centre into activity is precisely to awaken the serpent-fire. When once that is aroused, it is by its tremendous force that the other centres are vivified. Its effect on the other etheric centres is to bring into physical consciousness the powers which were aroused by the development of the corresponding astral centres.

When the second of the etheric centres, that at the navel, comes into activity the man begins in the physical body to be conscious of all kinds of astral influences vaguely feeling that some of them are friendly and others hostile, or that some places are pleasant and others unpleasant, without in the least knowing why.

When the third centre, that at the spleen, is awakened the man is enabled to remember his vague astral journeys, though sometimes only very partially. The effect of a slight and accidental stimulation of this centre is often to produce half-remembrances of a blissful sensation of flying through the air.

Stimulation of the fourth, that at the heart, makes the man instinctively aware of the joys and sorrows of others, and sometimes even causes him to reproduce in himself by sympathy their physical aches and pains.

The arousing of the fifth, that at the throat, enables him to hear voices, which sometimes make all kinds of suggestions to him. Also sometimes he hears music, or other less pleasant sounds. When it is fully working it makes the man clairaudient as far as the etheric and astral planes are concerned.

When the sixth, between the eye-brows, becomes vivified, the man begins to see things, to have various sorts of waking visions, sometimes of places, sometimes of people. In its earlier development, when it is only just beginning to be awakened, it often means nothing more than half-seeing landscapes and clouds of color. The full arousing of this brings about clairvoyance. (1082-83)


[14] For many of us the astral vortices corresponding to the sixth and seventh of these centres both converge upon the pituitary body, and for those people the pituitary body is practically the only direct link between the physical and the higher planes. Another type of people, however, while still attaching the sixth centre to the pituitary body, bend or slant the seventh until its vortex coincides with the atrophied organ called the pineal gland, which is by that type vivified and made into a line of communication directly with the lower mental, without apparently passing through the intermediate astral plane in the ordinary way. It was for this type that Madame Blavatsky was waiting when she laid such emphasis upon the awakening of that organ. (1080-81)


When a person reaches this seventh stage, he is practically immune to physical destruction:


[15] I have seen as much as a million and a quarter volts of electricity put into a human body, so that when the man held out his arm towards the wall huge flames rushed out from his fingers, yet he felt nothing unusual, nor was he in the least burnt unless he accidentally touched some external object […] . (1085)


Leadbeater notes that he deliberately withholds any explanation as to how the arousing or vivifying of the force should be enacted, because, he warns, if the force accidentally passes downward instead of upward through the body it can cause “the most undesirable passions” (1086) that can be damaging and may give the subject supernatural powers of an evil kind. The experiment should never be undertaken except under supervision and “at the express suggestion of a Master” (1087). The student, rather, should be “absolutely certain the Masters are always watching for those whom They can help, […] and that They will unquestionably give Their directions when They think that the right time has come” (1090). Furthermore, there are substances, particularly alcohol and narcotics, but also tobacco, tea and coffee, that can interfere with the release of the force, “throw[ing] open doors which nature has kept closed” (1092) causing irreversible damage.


[16] This deterioration or destruction may be brought about in two different ways, according to the type of the person concerned and to the proportion of the constituents in his etheric and astral bodies. First, the rush of volatising actually burns away the web, and therefore leaves the door open to all sorts of irregular forces and evil influences.

The second result is that these volatile constituents, in flowing through, somehow harden the atom so that its pulsation is to a large extent checked and crippled, and it is no longer capable of being vitalised by the particular type of force which welds it into a web. The result of this is a kind of ossification of the web, so that instead of having too much coming through from one plane to the other, we have very little of any kind coming through. (1092)


The final cluster of notes I have been able to trace to The Theosophist comes from an essay by Annie Besant entitled “In the Twilight”:

[17] There was not much room in the house, so Mrs. Oakley and I shared a large attic-like room. After we had retired, a great grey eye appeared to us in turn; it came, floated over the beds and glared at us, first to my bed, then to hers, and then vanished. [...] We spoke to H. P. B. next morning about these rather disconcerting experiences, but could get no explanation from her. She was only playing little tricks on us with her favorite elemental. She also used to keep a little elemental under her writing-table to guard her papers in her absence, and she always knew if any one had been there looking at them. On one occasion it hemmed some towels for her, as the President-Founder has related in the Old Diary Leaves. It took very long stitches, but it sewed better than she could at any rate. (1099).

More notes follow on astral planes, etheric vehicles, Brahmanism and lunar cycles, and cycles of history, with two entries that stand out in connection with this: “historicity of Jesus” and a quotation from Thomas Traherne’s Centuries of Meditation, “the corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting” (Century III, Section 3). The corn in the Meditation is a symbol for eternity.

The notes under “Theosophy” easily divide into three categories: in between the first group of notes that form a short glossary of theosophical concepts and the last group taken from The Theosophist comes a group of notes that have to do with Christian dogma and heresy. They demonstrate how Christian elements underpin theosophical and esoteric thought. The beliefs and sects alluded to include docetism (a heretical belief in the first and second centuries which held that Jesus only appeared to suffer, but did not actually suffer; docetism, believing in Jesus’s god-like nature, maintained that he only assumed a human form), gnosticism (the belief in the difference between spirit and matter), the Cerinthians (or Cerinthian Gnosticism, as opposed to Docetic Gnosticism, viewed Christ as an ordinary person while the Divine Spirit, bestowed on him by God, merely resided in his body; in this view, Christ’s suffering on the cross was real), the Chiliasts (from Greek chilioi, meaning 1,000, in the second and third centuries believed, on the basis of Revelation 20:4-5, that Christ would return to earth after a 1,000 years and establish the Kingdom of God), the Ebionites (another second and third-century sect who believed in being poor in spirit and who modelled their lives after the first followers of the Apostles in Jerusalem who gave up their worldly goods) and the Ophites (a Gnostic sect from the second century, who believed that humankind had to be freed from a misanthropic God; combining Egyptian, Greek and Oriental mythology with Christian elements, they worshipped the snake in the Garden of Eden who urged Adam and Eve to rebel against God).

This middle set of notes considerably widens the intent of all notes under “Theosophy”. In Ulysses, Joyce pokes fun at the theosophical interests of AE and the Dublin adepts in various passages that were constructed almost exclusively from these notes. In “Scylla and Charybdis, the chapter which in the Linati schema is marked “Scholasticism and Mysticism”, after Russell’s rejection of the historical interpretations of Hamlet as “Clergyman’s discussions of the historicity of Jesus” and his defence of the “formless spiritual essences” of art (U 9.49), Stephen rehearses in his mind the words “Formless spiritual” and his thoughts associatively wander from notions of esoteric Christianity to the work of the Theosophical Society. Joyce picks freely from his notes and from the various strands of esoteric elements to compose the passage:


Father, Word and Holy Breath. Allfather, the heavenly man. Hiesos Kristos, magician of the beautiful, the Logos who suffers in us at every moment. This verily is that. I am the fire upon the altar. I am the sacrificial butter.

Dunlop, Judge, the noblest Roman of them all, A. E., Arval, the Name Ineffable, in heaven hight, K. H., their master, whose identity is no secret to adepts. Brothers of the great white lodge always watching to see if they can help. The Christ with the bridesister, moisture of light, born of an ensouled virgin, repentant sophia, departed to the plane of buddhi. The life esoteric is not for ordinary person. O. P. must work off bad karma first. Mrs Cooper Oakley once glimpsed our very illustrious sister H. P. B’s elemental. (U 9.65-71)


A few moments later, with increasing mockery, he thinks about the hocus-pocus performed at Russell’s Thursday night meetings of the Hermetic Society:


Yogibogeybox in Dawson chambers. Isis Unveiled. Their Pali book we tried to pawn. Crosslegged under an umbrel undershoot he thrones an Aztec logos, functioning on astral levels, their oversoul, mahamahatma. The faithful hermetists await the light, ripe for chelaship, ringroundabout him. Louis H. Victory. T. Caulfield Irwin. Lotus ladies tend them i’the eyes, their pineal glands aglow. Filled with his god he thrones, Buddh under plantain. Gulfer of souls, engulfer. Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls. Engulfed with wailing creecries, whirled, whirling, they bewail. (U 9.279-86)


The untraced names and phrases from this passage suggests there were other esoteric note materials.

Apart from Stephen’s use of Traherne in “Proteus”, "Spouse and helpmate of Adam Kadmon: Heva, naked Eve. She had no navel. Gaze. Belly without blemish, bulging big, a buckler of taut vellum, no, whiteheaped corn, orient and immortal, standing from everlasting to everlasting. Womb of sin" (U 3.42-44), and the likening of his epiphanies being read in a thousand years to “a mahamanvantara” (U 3.144), all other passages in Ulysses using these notes are parodic and appear in obviously parodic chapters. In “Cylops”, the séance with the deceased Paddy Dignam:


In the darkness spirit hands were felt to flutter and when prayer by tantras had been directed to the proper quarter a faint but increasing luminosity of ruby light became gradually visible, the apparition of the etheric double being particularly lifelike owing to the discharge of jivic rays from the crown of the head and face. Communication was effected through the pituitary body and also by means of the orangefiery and scarlet rays emanating from the sacral region and solar plexus. Questioned by his earthname as to his whereabouts in the heavenworld he stated that he was now on the path of pralaya or return but was still submitted to trial at the hands of certain bloodthirsty entities on the lower astral levels. […] Asked if he had any message for the living he exhorted all who were still at the wrong side of Maya to acknowledge the true path for it was reported in devanic circles that Mars and Jupiter were out for mischief on the eastern angle where the ram has power. (U 12.338-360)


In “Oxen of the Sun”, Stephen’s drunken reply, to Mulligan’s suggestion that intense contemplation of an object gives on access to a higher world:


Theosophos told me so, Stephen answered, whom in a previous existence Egyptian priests initiated into the mysteries of karmic law. The lords of the moon, Theosophos told me, an orangefiery shipload from planet Alpha of the lunar chain, would not assume the etheric doubles and these were therefore incarnated by the rubycoloured egos from the second constellation. (U 14.1168-73).


And in “Circe”:

Mananaun MacLir

(With a voice of waves.) Aum! Hek! Wal! Ak! Lub! Mor! Ma! White yoghin of the gods. Occult pimander of Hermes Trismegistos. (With a voice of whistling seawind.) Punarjanam patsypunjaub! I won’t have my leg pulled. It has been said by one: beware the left, the cult of Shakti. (With a cry of stormbirds.) Shakti Shiva, darkhidden Father! (He smites with his bicycle pump the crayfish in his left hand. On its cooperative dial glow the twelve signs of the zodiac. He wails with the vehemence of the ocean.) Aum! Baum! Pyjaum! I am the light of the homestead! I am the dreamery creamery butter. (U 15.2267-76)


Dreamery creamery butter, echoing Stephens phrase sacrificial butter, captures the disparagement for occult practices. Earlier in the day, Bloom too had thought with disdain of George Russell's lifestyle. However, the parodic extent of these passages stands in marked contrast to the methodical and studious nature of the note taking.

One cannot easily extrapolate from these notes that Joyce intended to use them largely to poke fun at what was a fashion among middle-class intellectuals in Dublin and London. Though it is hard to imagine on the basis of these materials (or, indeed, from their use in the novel) that Stephen would be a dabbler in spiritualism like AE or W.B. Yeats. Joyce himself had an interest in theosophy during the early period of his life, at least judging from the titles by Annie Besant, W.T. Horton, Henry S. Olcott, Yogi Ramarachaka, and a few other writers he had in his library in Trieste and the advice he gave to Stuart Gilbert to read the work of A.P. Sinnet.20 Ellmann believed that like Yeats he was probably more attracted by its symbology than by its spiritual generalizations (JJII 76), but this is hardly apt; in the case of Yeats it overlooks the close connections between the system of A Vision, the imagery comprising the “Spiritus Mundi” in the poetry, the spiritual folklore of ancient Ireland and in Mythologies, and the occult; with Joyce it does not account for the rather indiscriminate manner in which he satisfied his intellectual hunger that was to prove so fruitful in later years while writing Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.21

In 1917, Joyce may have foreseen that in Ulysses Stephen would have an interest in esoteric thinking, just as he got him fascinated by questions of Christian dogma and heresy, and also just as he had set out his plans to “reunite the children of the spirit, jealous and long-divided” in his early essay “A Portrait of the Artist” of 1904 against the fraud of heterodoxy by those embracing a sterile atheism; in response he lines up a host of heretics and mystics, Joachim Abbas, Giordano Bruno, Michael Sendivogius, Emmanuel Swedenborg and St John of the Cross, to help him in his task: “Like an alchemist bent upon his handiwork, bringing together the mysterious elements, separating the subtle from the gross”. That art and aesthetics are his concerns also is apparent: “Sceptically, cynically, mystically, he had sought for an absolute satisfaction and now little by little he began to be conscious of the beauty of mortal conditions”.22 The language is the language of the bird-girl scene in Portrait of the Artist, to which it is moving, but it also retains elements of a mystical language, leaning towards a Yeatsian hermeticism. Ulysses, too, maintains the possibility that Stephen was perhaps half-seriously probing theosophical questions. The story is circulating in Dublin that Stephen one time visited AE in the early hours of the morning to “ask him about planes of consciousness”. When J.J. O’Molloy asks Stephen in “Aeolus”, “What do you think really of that hermetic crowd?” he is seeking confirmation for Magennis’ belief that Stephen was pulling AE’s leg; although there is no doubt about how O’Molloy feels about AE’s mysticism, there is enough uncertainty in his mind to think that Stephen may be aspiring to be a true follower (U 7.786-7). Stephen does not answer.


“Choses Vue” suggests an epiphanic mode of observation that, in the style of the flaneur, records passing moments in a busy city. In that sense, the heading suggests “Wandering Rocks” (though there is hardly any specific link between that chapter and these notes). The style of the notes, however, does not bear this out, in that they are quite unremarkable, literal observations very much like the notes under “Leopold”, “Simon” and “Stephen”. The page is populated with a number of Dublin’s minor characters, like John Howard Parnell (playing chess in the DBC), Long John Fanning, W.K. Magee, Mrs. Breen and a pair of Barmaids eying each other’s blouses.


“Irish” contains a mixed set of notes in English, and some in German, on the Fenians, Celtic poetry and folklore, and Ireland’s economic problems under British colonialism. The first note is the rather peculiar observation that the Irish have a “rich vocabulary because [they] read little” (f.[8v]). Then follows a series of notes taken from the article on “Fenians” in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Joyce took notes from two separate sections of the article and they appear in reverse order. The first section treats of Richard Burke and the Clerkenwell prison incident, which Stephen recalls in “Proteus”:


In the same month, November 1867, one Richard Burke [Joyce rightfully adds his title “Col.”], who had been employed by the Fenians to purchase arms in Birmingham, was arrested and lodged in Clerkenwell prison in London. While he was awaiting trial a wall of the prison was blown down by gunpowder, the explosion causing the death of twelve persons, and maiming of some hundred and twenty others. This outrage, for which Michael Barrett suffered the death penalty [as Joyce specifies, he was hanged], powerfully influenced W.E. Gladstone in deciding that the Protestant Church of Ireland should be disestablished as a concession to Irish disaffection.


The second treats of Henri Le Caron, the author of Twenty-Five Years in the Secret Service, who as a British spy infiltrated the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, and unsuspected was taken into trust by their leader John O’Neill. He then relayed information on the plot to attack British army posts and other targets across the Canadian border to the British government.


Le Caron (q.v.), who, while acting as a secret agent for the English government, held the position of ‘inspector-general of the Irish Republican Army’, asserts that he ‘distributed fifteen thousand stands of arms and almost three million rounds of ammunition in the care of the many trusted men stationed between Ogdensburg and St Albans’, in preparation for the intended raid. It took place in April 1870, and proved a failure not less rapid or complete than the attempt of 1866. The Fenians under O’Neill’s command crossed the Canadian frontier near Franklin, Vt., but were dispersed by a single volley from Canadian volunteers; while O’Neill himself was promptly arrested by the United States authorities acting under the orders of President Grant.


The Fenians had been tipped off by Le Caron and they walked into a trap. Le Caron’s career as a spy ended, however, when his cover was exposed at the moment he was called upon as a witness in the Parnell Commission of 1888. The bibliography appended to the article on “Fenians” lists the same historical works that Joyce entered under “Books”, with the exception of the book by O’Donoghue.

The next entry is taken from the Frankfurther Zeitung of 16 October 1917 from the article already mentioned on the Kosciuszko celebrations in Rapperswil that had taken place earlier that week, describing, among others, the mausoleum in the Swiss city that contains the urn in which the heart of the Polish freedom fighter was buried (it was later returned to Poland). Next is the note that led to the passage on Lambert Simnel and his “tail of […] sutlers” in “Proteus” (U 3.315-16). Simnel, the son of an Oxford joiner, was passed off as heir to the throne and crowned Edward VI by the Anglo-Irish lords in Dublin in 1487. After the invasion of England, and the defeat of Thomas Fitzgerald (Silken Thomas) in the battle of Stoke-on-Trent on 16 June of that year, Simnel was taken prisoner. When Henry VII recognized the boy had been a tool in the hands of conspirators he made him a scullion in the royal kitchen. Joyce’s note, however, ironically alludes to George III who is accompanied by the sutlers with their dixies to the viceregal lodge; having refused to sign the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1801, the king’s growing mental illness led to the installation of the regency in 1811.

The following entry is probably the most poignant of all on this page. It is a paraphrase of Malthus’s infamous law from An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798): “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio”.23 The Malthusian principle was repeatedly invoked as the British excuse for non-intervention in the Irish Famine and used as a justification for encouraging emigration. The entry is separated from the final portion of notes on the contemporary economic situation in Ireland by a handful of entries on Celtic poetry and folklore, including the claim of Celtic scholar Julius Pokorny that there is “no trace of hell in ancient Irish myth” (U 10.1082) taken from his essay “Perlen der irischen Literatur”.24 The Malthusian principle, however, provides a meaningful context for the substantial cluster of notes on the economic and agricultural situation in Ireland around the turn of the century. The material was used in “Cyclops” for the Citizen’s (not always accurate) diatribe against emigration and the decline of the country’s indigenous industries:


Raimeis, says the citizen. There’s no-one as blind as the fellow that won’t see, if you know what that means. Where are our missing twenty millions of Irish should be here today instead of four, our lost tribes? And our potteries and textiles, the finest in the whole world! And our wool that was sold in Rome in the time of Juvenal and our flax and our damask from the looms of Antrim and our Limerick lace, our tanneries and our white flint glass down there by Ballybough and our Huguenot poplin that we have since Jacquard de Lyon and our woven silk and our Foxford tweeds and ivory raised point from the Carmelite convent in New Ross, nothing like it in the whole wide world! Where are the Greek merchants that came through the pillars of Hercules, the Gibraltar now grabbed by the foe of mankind, with gold and Tyrian purple to sell in Wexford at the fair of Carmen? Read Tacitus and Ptolemy, even Giraldus Cambrensis. Wine, peltries, Connemara marble, silver from Tipperary, second to none, our far-famed horses even today, the Irish hobbies, with king Philip of Spain offering to pay customs duties for the right to fish in our waters. What do the yellowjohns of Anglia owe us for our ruined trade and our ruined hearths? And the beds of the Barrow and Shannon they won’t deepen with millions of acres of marsh and bog to make us all die of consumption. (U 12.1239-57)


The passage’s ending was taken from an entry in the notesheets, which itself was copied from the Subject Notebook: “rdeepen beds of Barrow & Shannon 1/2 m. acres | K. wool, textiles & potteriesr | […] | Danish butter in Limerick” (“Cyclops” 8: 2-6; Herring, 113).25

A second passage in the final text of “Hades” that derives from the “Irish” notes in the Subject Notebook (and is fused with material from NLI 36,639/4, f.[3v]) also touches upon this topic:


Thursday of course. Tomorrow is killing day. Springers. Cuffe sold them about twentyseven quid each. For Liverpool probably. Roast beef for old England. They buy up all the juicy ones. And then the fifth quarter is lost: all that raw stuff, hide, hair, horns. Comes to a big thing in a year. Dead meat trade. Byproducts of the slaughterhouses for tanneries, soap, margarine. (U 6.392-97)


In this case, the consideration of the “meat trade” is Bloom’s, who, remembering his former employer Joe Cuffe of the Dublin Cattle Market, North Circular Road, connects the economic aspect of the trade with their humanitarian or ecological impact. But it is interesting, and ironic, that through the notes the politics of the two passages are connected, and Bloom’s opinions link up with those of the Citizen. Moreover, they reflect Joyce’s own position from 1909 when he discussed current economic conditions in his lecture “Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages”. Explaining British economic policy, he argued that “Ireland is poor because English laws ruined the country’s industries, especially the wool industry” and the devastating effects brought on by colonialism continued to drive emigration; as he put it forcibly, people in their right mind would not remain in the country, but would try to escape as if it had been visited by “an angered Jove” (CW 167, 171). The argument for economic self-determination—that Ireland cannot be politically independent until it is economically independent—is one that was promulgated in most of the nationalist organs in the early decades of the twentieth century, from Plunkett’s Irish Homestead to D.P. Moran’s Leader.26


“Jews”, like the previous heading, also contributes to the political canvas of Ulysses. It is worth noting, moreover, that Joyce for the first time in the notebook used a verso page (f.[8v]) for the notes under “Irish” and placed them alongside “Jews” on the accompanying recto (f.[9r]), suggesting, as elsewhere in his work, a link between the plights of the two people. The notes are not extensive but clearly fall into two sections. The first deals with Bloom and his Jewish acquaintances. The notes contain new background information on the Queen’s Hotel in Ennis, where Bloom’s father took his own life, which, however, never became part of the final book; apparently the hotel was bought by one Isaac Marshall. Further there is mention of a “dispute” between Bloom and one Lionel Harris, an English Jew (f.[18r]). The second group of notes is historical and gives the briefest details of the history of Jewish persecution in Europe, from Torquemada banishing the Jews from Spain in 1492, the last great auto-da-fe in Seville in 1781, to the requirement for Jews to wear a yellow badge in the Italy of the 1730s.


“Blind” contains just a few entries probably taken from a medical source on blindness. There is no context that connects these notes immediately with Ulysses, although some entries have been crossed through.


“Art”, though more intriguing than “Blind”, similarly has very few direct links with the final novel, the only one being Stephen’s account in “Scylla and Charybdis” that Shakespeare “has hidden his own name, a fair name, William, in the plays, a super here, a clown there, as a painter of old Italy set his face in a dark corner of his canvas!” (U 9.921-23). The handful of entries mostly allude to the aesthetics of dramatic art and thus again suggest the Library scene, but none of the crossed-through items are immediately traceable. One, however, has some resonance in “Scylla”, primarily owing to the suggestion that the first character in a play casts an insurmountable “shadow” over the others, while the “shadow” of the playwright is restricted by the boundaries of “human understanding” (f.[11r]); the word “shadow” echoes through the chapter, which not coincidentally is set in the dim spaces of the National Library offices, and returns in two passages in which the topic of debate is Hamlet. Both recall the tone of Joyce’s original note:


A player comes on under the shadow, made up in the castoff mail of a court buck, a wellset man with a bass voice. It is the ghost, the king, a king and no king, and the player is Shakespeare who has studied Hamlet all the years of his life which were not vanity in order to play the part of the spectre. He speaks the words to Burbage, the young player who stands before him beyond the rack of cerecloth, calling him by a name. (U 9.164-69)


There is, I feel in the words, some goad of the flesh driving him into a new passion, a darker shadow of the first, darkening even his own understanding of himself. (U 9.461-64)


The last entry on the notebook page, presumably alluding to the classical rule of the unity of time, space and action, is Joyce’s enigmatic, alchemical instruction to himself to convert motion in Ulysses into heat in order to let it cool down again.


“Names and Places” provides input for the Dublin cityscape in Ulysses. The presence of Mrs. Mack and Mrs. Cohen and the address 85 Tyrone Street (U 15.1285-87) suggests that Joyce was already thinking of writing a brothel scene. In Thom’s 1904 directory, a Mrs. Annie Mack lives at no. 85 Lower Tyrone Street and a Mrs. Cohen at no. 82.


“Jesus” is another instance of Joyce’s directed reading. The detailed notes on a crucial aspect of Catholic dogma, the circumcision of Christ, comes from a book by Alphons Victor Müller called Die hochheilige Vorhaut Christi, im Kult und in der Theologie der Papstkirche (Berlin: C.A. Schwetschke und Sohn, 1907).27 Most of the book is given over to a critical review of the relic; no less than three locations—the church of Saint John Lateran in Rome, the Benedictine abbey of Charroux and the Collegiate Church of Antwerp--claimed to possess the genuine article, while the true prepuce was (allegedly) preserved in the Church of Calcata in Rome, where, however, it had not actually been seen by anybody since the sixteenth century. To prove its existence the metal grilles guarding the “sancta sanctorum” were reopened in April 1903 and inside some fifteen to twenty ornate boxes were discovered containing relics of all kinds. It was thought the prepuce was among them in a golden crucifix studded with valuable stones, but there are no accounts of anyone having seen the artefact. Three years later the same cross was discovered broken open and the prepuce had disappeared. Joyce, however, seems to have particularly been interested in the chapter on “Dogma und Praepitium”, and he notes a number of theological questions, such as whether the prepuce is part of the body of Christ in the transubstantiation, whether Christ assumed it again during his resurrection, what would happen to it at the end of the world, and whether it is worthy of veneration or adoration. He used it in Ithaca” in answer to the question:


What different problems presented themselves to each concerning the invisible audible collateral organ of the other?

To Bloom: the problems of irritability, tumescence, rigidity, reactivity, dimension, sanitariness, pelosity. To Stephen: the problem of the sacerdotal integrity of Jesus circumcised (1st January, holiday of obligation to hear mass and abstain from unnecessary servile work) and the problem as to whether the divine prepuce, the carnal bridal ring of the holy Roman catholic apostolic church, conserved in Calcata, were deserving of simple hyperduly or of the fourth degree of latria accorded to the abscission of such divine excrescences as hair and toenails. (U 17.1201-09)


The passage compresses the first ten lines of the index, which are all crossed in red crayon with a large X, presumably when it was transferred to the “Ithaca” notesheets (“Ithaca”12:42-45; Herring, 469) and then added in the pre-Rosenbach “Ithaca” copybook (NLI 36,639/13, f.[6v]).


“Homer” has just one entry: “rCalypso = Penelope” (f.[13v]). The implications of this entry, however, are great, since it is now the earliest allusion we have of Joyce beginning to structure his book according to a Homeric parallel. Did he only now think of the cyclical idea of Ulysses-Bloom returning home. Or is this the remainder of an intention now lost from the genetic dossier?


“Rhetoric”, another one of the more fascinating sections in the Subject Notebook, contains a list of forty-six different rhetorical figures together with appropriate examples. Several aspects need to be observed. In each example, Joyce underlined the word or part of a word that illustrates most specifically the trope in question (e.g., in the example for alliteration, he underlines the letters “b” in “budding Buddhists”) (f.[14r]). The illustrations are a mixed group: some phrases appear to be Joyce’s invention; others are stock phrases or quotes: “a paly light, as of the dawning, shone” comes from Walter Scott’s Vision of Don Roderick (paragoge); “saxo cere comminuit bonum” is from an adage by Quintus Ennius (tmesis); “—Is’t possible? —Confess—handkerchief! —O devil!—” is from Othello (III.4.43) (ellipsis); “To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him” is from Deuteronomy (4:35) (pleonasm); the phrase also occurs as “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us” in Psalm 100, “Happy, happy, happy pair! | None but the brave, | None but the brave, | None but the brave deserves the fair” is from John Dryden’s Alexander’s Feast (epizeuxis); “arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris” is the opening line of Vergil’s Æneid (hyperbaton); “His coward lips did from their colour fly” is from Julius Caesar (I.ii.124) (hypallage); “The grave is but a covered bridge | Leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!” is from Longfellow’s “A Covered Bridge at Lucerne” (metaphor); “Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly” is from Othello (III.3.198) (antithesis); “festina lente” is a well-known saying meaning make haste slowly (oxymoron); “But by the grace of God, I am what I am; and his grace in me hath not been void, but I have laboured more abundantly than all they: yet not I, but the grace of God with me” comes from 1 Corinthians 15:10 (epanorthosis); “Breathes there the man with soul so dead, | Who never to himself hath said, | ‘This is my own, my native land!’” is from Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto 6) (interrogation); and “starry eyes and alabaster neck” probably comes from an unidentified popular song (trite tropes).28 Other illustrations Joyce took from his own writing: “moocow” (P 7) (onomatopoeia); “budding Buddhists” (alliteration) (P 226). Some even come from the Subject Notebook itself: “Pilgrim’s Progress” (allegory) and “Fable of Bees” (parable) are two titles included under “Books”. The conclusion certainly is that Joyce did not take his examples from a single source.29 This, together with the underlinings and the fact that hardly any examples made it into Ulysses, suggests they were an exercise rather than a collection of phrases for immediate use. The examples that found their way into the text are J.J. O’Molloy in “Aeolus” quoting the speech of Seymour Bushe quoting Michelangelo: “He said of it: that stony effigy in frozen music, horned and terrible, of the human form divine, that eternal symbol of wisdom and of prophecy which, if aught that the imagination or the hand of sculptor has wrought in marble of soultransfigured and of soultransfiguring deserves to live, deserves to live.” (U 7.768-71), an example of epistrophe; Lenehan’s phrase, “Expecting every moment will be his next” (U 12.1649), which appears as an example of anti-climax; “the paly light of evening” described in “Nausikaa” (U 13.193) is an example of paragoge; and the phrase from Poverbs 17.19, an example of epigram, “he who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord” is used twice (U 1.727 and 14.261). Another example appears in “Scylla and Charybdis” in Stephen’s quotation from one of Douglas Hyde’s poems: “Writ, I ween, ‘twas not my wish” (U 9.98); “I ween” is listed under archaism.

In his introduction to the edition of the Ulysses Notesheets, Philip Herring speculated that Joyce must have “compiled a table of rhetorical forms” for “Aeolus” just as he constructed the embryological chart for “Oxen of the Sun” (if only to give it to Stuart Gilbert for his study of Ulysses) (Notesheets, 4); the current list proves him only partly right. Only 19 of the tropes listed here are mentioned by Gilbert (194-198), whose list is far more exhaustive. A slightly larger number number, thirty, appear in Gifford’s Annotations (642-643). However, the discrepancies between Joyce’s list and the ones in Gilbert and Gifford are striking, also because Joyce has ticked all but 14 of his examples, which could suggest usage; but not all of those that Joyce ticked appear in Gilbert or Gifford. Of the sample phrases that made it into the text, only one was used in “Aeolus”, which makes it possible that the list of tropes was not specifically compiled for the newspaper chapter.


“Oxen” is not a reference to “Oxen of the Sun”, but (indirectly) to the issue that preoccupies both Deasy and Bloom: the foot and mouth disease. The entries deal with Rinderpest, originating from the Russian steppes, for which a vaccine was being developed. Mr Deasy mentions Rinderpest, too, in his letter to the press (U 2.333) implying that doctors on the Continent were more advanced than the British in finding a solution for cattle disease. Joyce did not make such a claim in his article on “Politics and Cattle Trade” from 1912; but like Deasy he rails against the protectionism of the British who put restrictions on the cattle trade rather than contribute to a viable solution for the farmer and for the Irish economy.


“Weininger” contains a detailed index of notes in German taken from Über die letzten Dinge (1904/1907) by Otto Weininger, a collection of essays and aphorisms published after Weininger’s death in 1903. Weininger has been cited by Joyce critics as the inspiration for the idea that Bloom is the “new womanly man” (U 15.1798-99), which Joyce allegedly borrowed from Geschlecht und Karakter (1903). In this book, Weininger uses the notion of androgyny to set out his misogynist and anti-Semitic theory that Jews are a feminine people.30 The notes from Über die letzten Dinge were already partially known through Madame Raphael’s transcription in VI.C.7, but here we have the full set, with one important find: the source of Stephen’s speculations on space and time in the opening of “Proteus” (see below). All of Weininger’s statements on time are potentially significant to Joyce.

Without showing any interest in Weininger’s treatment of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, Joyce started taking notes from a series of aphorisms on the psychology of sado-masochism, murder, ethics and original sin. His first entries go straight to the heart of Weininger’s philosophy of the sexes in which the nurturing of the mother is equal to psychological self-destruction as opposed to the will of the father, which is a will to power:

[1] Der Mensch kann auch geistig dem Vater oder der Mutter nachgeraten: dem Vater, indem er Gott wird, der Mutter, indem er psychisch zugrunde geht. So entsteht der Mensch durch höhere Art von Vererbung als das Tier; er kehrt zum Vater zurück, wenn er die Erbsünde verneint, er taucht in die Verborgenheit des Mutterschoßes unter, wenn er sie bejaht. (61).


[2] Die Geburt is eine Feigheit: Verknüpfung mit anderen Menschen, weil man nicht den Mut zu sich selbst hat. Darum sucht man Schutz im Mutterleibe. (62)


In Weininger’s system, the “Verbrecher”—the sinner, the transgressor, the criminal instinct—who represents the Nietzschean will to power, or Lucifer’s non serviam, is the symbol of male power and the power of artistic creation. Both artistic genius and evil, Weininger says in Geschlecht und Karakter, originate from the drive to transgress.31 To deny original sin, the fall from paradise, is only next to the desire to kill God: “es ist höchste allgemeinste Verneinung” (Geschlecht, 120). The position is stronger than the one Stephen adheres to: not willing to serve that in which he no longer believes, Stephen remains a step below Weininger’s abnegation (P 146-47). Joyce later associated the act of denying original sin with the “Circe” chapter when he transcribed his original onto one of the notesheets (“Circe” 3: 136; Herring, 282).

Weininger’s ideas about sadists and masochists are an example of Weininger’s need to classify types neatly according to the opposing forces surrounding his interpretation of the will-to-power, self-elevation and self-destruction.


[3] Der Rythmus, welcher jeden einzelnen Ton, jede einzelne Silbe genau beachtet, ist sadistisch; die Harmonie masochistisch, wie auch der eigentliche melodiöse Gesang (in dem die einzelnen Töne nicht als solche hervortreten). (67)


[4] Dem Masochisten sind schon als Kind Uhren, Kalender das größte Rätsel, weil ihm die Zeit stets Hauptproblem ist. (68)


[5] Der Selbstmörder ist fast stets Sadist; weil dieser allein aus einer Gegenwart heraus wollen und handeln kann; der Masochist müßte erst alle Ewigkeit befragen, ob er sich töten dürfe, müsse. (68)


For the suicide, the questioning of eternity is related to the question of time. People can only influence or have power over the present, not the future (or the past for that matter, though Weininger does not mention this) because the future cannot be altered. For the sadist to take his own life, therefore, is simply to undo life in the present; the masochist, on the other hand, who experiences life in the present as a torment, as something unreal, desires to turn the present into the eternal. He cannot act in the present, only in the timelessness of the everlasting and must ground his decision to take his own life on those principles.

More than in Geschlecht und Karakter, Weininger in Über die letzten Dinge is concerned with morality, and with giving a scientific dimension to morality, and seeing the whole world in terms of that morality; rejecting the social ethics of Bentham and Mill and the individualist ethics of Christianity and German Idealism, he wanted a logical and scientific basis for morality (a “Wissenschaft vom Sollen” [Geschlecht, 222]) grounded in actions, not abstract, a posteriori ideas. The dichotomy he constructs around the will-to-power (here the will to do good or the will to do bad) he finds in all aspects of the universe, from music and literature to biology. Every aspect of the world—whether literally or metaphorically—is made to fit his narrow schema.


[6] [D]ie Pflanze wächst vom Erdmittelpunkte senkrecht weg gerade dem Himmel entge-gen; der Blick des Tieres ist gegen die Erde gerichtet. (Die Pflanze kann nie als antimoralisches Symbol gelten, wie so viele Tiere.) (70)


Weininger here uses plants and the animal kingdom as analogies to the perspective on morality of the madman and the transgressor. Since plants grow toward the light, so the madman sets his sight towards heaven, passionately pleading for salvation; animals, by contrast, are symbolic of the transgressor, who in his fall from grace tumbles down to the earth like Lucifer.

The following four entries are all separate aphorisms, but their focus on social interaction seems to have resonance for Stephen’s public performance in “Scylla and Charybdis”. In his note based on quotation 10 below on mass psychology, Joyce makes the connection with the library chapter explicit.

[7] Jedermann kann sich selbst immer bloß als Qualität auffassen; erst durch Vergleichung mit anderen werden quantitative Betrachtungen nahegerückt. Zahl und Zeit. (70)

[8] Geschichte und Gesellschaft: Personen, die in einem Raume beisammen sind, bilden immer eine Gemeinschaft gegen Neu-Eintretende. (70)


[9] Das Bedürfnis, geliebt zu werden, wächst mit dem Gefühle des Verfolgtseins und ist diesem proportional. (73)


[10] Problem der zwei Menschen,

Problem der drei Menschen.

Mit vieren beginnt die Mengenpsychologie. (75)


The next few entries have no apparent connection. In the first Joyce picks up on Weininger’s penchant for opposites:


[11] Zur tiefsten Erkenntnis seiner selbst und seiner Bestimmung gelangt der Mensch immer erst, wenn er sich untreu geworden ist, wenn er gegen seine Bestimmung (Gott) gefehlt hat, durch Schuld. Darum ist vielleicht das Leben auf der Erde notwendig, damit Gott sich selbst finde; denn Bewußtsein ist nur durch Gegensatz möglich. (75)


[12] “Dem Menschen als dem Mikrokosmus wird die Bedeutung dieser Dinge [an analogy between mouth and anus], ihre innere Verwandtheit mehr oder minder bewußt, darum schämt er sich des Mundinneren. Wäre hingegen die Deszedenztheorie richtig, so müßten die Tiere, welche dem Balanoglossus (wo die Geschlechtsteile noch in der Kiemenregion liegen) noch näher stehen, mehr Scham empfinden als der Mensch” (76).


Joyce associates this shame for the oral with Blazes Boylan and he transferred the note to the “Eumaeus” notesheets (5:16; Herring, 393). After this, Joyce notes several of Weininger’s ideas on time, space and repetition.


[13] Darum ist auch das Gefühl so unheimlich […], das viele Menschen kennen, eine neue Situation bereits einmal erlebt zu haben. Man hat in diesem Gefühle ganz unsinniger weise die tatsächliche Basis des Glaubens an die Unsterblichkeit gesucht. Unsinnig ist diese Ableitung: denn jenes Gefühl ist voll Furcht, weil wir uns in solchem Augenblick wie völlig determiniert, wie an ein Rad oder an eine Zykloide gebunden vorkommen; der Unsterblichkeitsgedanke negiert aber gerade die Determiniertheit durch irgendeine Kausalität von außen, er setzt und bejaht etwas, das gerade allein nicht Funktion der Zeit ist, er ist der Freiheitsgedanke […]. Die Kreisbewegung [Joyce writes “Wiederholung”] ist schließlich auch lächerlich, wie alles bloß Empirische, d.h. Sinnlose; indes alles Sinnvolle erhaben ist. (99-100)


Weininger considers time to be linear, and therefore repetition or return are impossible. Time and freedom (in a metaphysical, not a political sense) are thus incompatible as concepts, but to transgress time is to deny it, is to desire eternity; it does not mean that time is circular.


[14] Alle jene Phänomene der Neigung und Abneigung, der Bejahung und der Furcht finden ihre Zusammenfassung in der Einsinnigkeit der Zeit. Diese besteht darin, daß die reale Gegenwart zwar zur realen Vergangenheit, aber nie zur realen Zukunft wird: oder, wie man auch sagen könnte, darin, daß die Zeit sich nur in der Form entwickelt, daß das Quantum der Vergangenheit immer größer, das der Zukunft immer kleiner wird, nie umgekehrt. Nur ideale Gegenwart kann zur realen Zukunft werden: indem ich etwas will, schaffe ich Zukunft. (101)


[15] Unethisch ist es, die Vergangenheit ändern zu wollen: Alle Lüge ist Geschichtsfälschung. Man fälscht zuerst seine eigene Geschichte, dann die der anderen. Unethisch, die Zukunft nicht ändern zu wollen, sie nicht anders, besser als die Gegenwart, d.h. nicht schaffen zu wollen. (103)


[16] Die Bewegung ist es, die hierauf Antwort gibt […]. Die Zeit is die Art, in welcher der Raum einzig durchmessen werden kann; es gibt keine Fernwirkung. Sie ist aber auch die einzige Form, in welcher das Ich (Gott im Menschen) sich findet.

Der Raum ist also eine Projektion des Ich (aus dem Reich der Freiheit ins Reich der Notwendigkeit). Er enthält im nebeneinander, was nur im zeitlichen Nacheinander erlebt werden kann. Der Raum ist symbolisch für das vollendete, die Zeit für das sich wollende Ich. (107).


The final three entries are all notes on Weininger’s interest in metaphysical psychology.


[17] Das Leben ist eine Art Reise durch den Raum des inneren Ich, eine Reise vom engsten Binnenlande freilich zur umfassendsten, freiesten Überschau des Alls. (108).


[18] Diebstahl und Raub sind Demonstrationen gegen die Eigenheit des Eigners und ihr Recht auf freies Eigentum; die Tötung endlich ist der zur Handlung gewordene Haß gegen Unsterblichkeit. Der Mord is das letzte, was der Verbrecher tun kann, sein letztes Mittel, sich als Verbrecher zu behaupten [...]. Wenn der Verbrecher nicht mehr aus noch ein weiß, dann sucht er als durch ein letztes Mittel sich zu helfen, durch Mord. Der Mord is die Tat des schwächsten Menschen. (120)


[19] Ein Surrogat für den Mord ist der Koitus, und nur durch eine Linie vom Mörder getrennt der Don Juan. Er ist innerlich genau so leer und verzweifelt wie der Mörder, und braucht als Stütze die Eroberung durch den Koitus. [...] Beides ist in gewissem Sinne allerdings gegen die Langeweile gerichtet. (121).


[20] Das Auge des Hundes ruft underwiderstehlich den Eindruck hervor, daß der Hund etwas verloren habe: es spricht aus ihm (wie übrigens aus dem ganzen Wesen des Hundes) eine gewissen rätselhafte Beziehung zur Vergangenheit. Was er verloren hat, ist das Ich, der Eigenwert, die Freiheit. (121-2).


I have already mentioned that this was the source for the ambling dog searching for something lost in a past life in “Proteus” (U 3.417-18). Weininger observes that a dog’s eyes, as well as the animal’s entire being, leaves the impression that it has lost something—its own self-worth and freedom—which gives the creature a peculiar relationship to the past. That the passage comes from Weininger is corroborated by a conversation reported by Frank Budgen:


“Did you see the point of that bit about the dog?”said Joyce. “He is the mummer among beasts—the Protean animal.’ Weininger says something about the imitative nature of the dog in his Über den letzen Dingen [sic],” I remembered. “He does?” said Joyce. “This one mimics the other animals while Stephen is watching him. Listen.” [Joyce then reads the passage from “Proteus”] “There he is”, said Joyce. “Panther: all animals.” “I don’t know a better word-picture of a dog”, I said. “English and Irish, we are all dog-lovers. But when we write about dogs or paint them we sentimentalize them. Landseer”.

“This certainly wasn’t done by a dog-lover”, said Joyce. “I don’t like them. I am afraid of them”.32


The final two entries are:


Äußerst Rätselhaft ist dat fortwährende Nicken des Pferdes. Lange nicht mit gleicher Sicherheit wie beim Hunde, aber doch als aufklärender Gedanke kam mir der Einfall, daß das Pferd den Irrsinn repräsentiere. (125)


Die Gravitation ist das Symbol des Gnadelosen; so hoch er sich auch werfe, der Mensch wird ohne Gnade hinabgezogen. (Der Fall des Sternes ist der Sündenfall.) (130)


As this last excerpt again shows, Joyce’s fascination with Über die letzten Dinge certainly focused on Weininger’s obsession with the fall, which opens and closes Joyce’s index.

Even though the passages that Joyce selected from Über die letzten Dinge do not amount to a coherent philosophy or reflect its central thesis (Weininger’s book simply does not present itself that way) nor to a synopsis of its contents (as usual, Joyce’s notetaking is highly selective, choosing the specific idea rather than the overall theory, even skipping chapters that would seem to be of special interest to him, such as “Über Henrik Ibsen und seine Dichtung ‘Peer Gynt’” and “Über den Gedankengehalt der Werke Richard Wagners, insbesondere seines ‘Parsifal’”). Taken together, Joyce’s notes read like a series of abstractions, with some though not many intrinsic connections that are often difficult to place within the narrative of Ulysses.

As I have mentioned, only two entries find their way into the book. One that I have already discussed is the orientation of the dog’s psychology towards the past as a result of his melancholy expression. In this instance, the idea is expressed rather than the words—which of course in literary history is a common form of influence, but which for Joyce is almost unusual. The other is in Stephen’s famous reflection on the “ineluctable modality of the visible” on Sandymount strand: “You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the Nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o’er his base, fell through the Nebeneinander ineluctably. I am getting on nicely in the dark” (U 3.11-15). Usually attributed to Joyce’s borrowing from Lessing’s Laocoön, the words “Nacheinander” and “Nebeneinander” signify a distinction between the temporal aspects of poetry and the spatial aspects of the visual arts: the “succession of time is the province of the poet just as space is that of the painter”.33 Lessing, however, does not use the word “Nacheinander”, but says about action in writing that its “verschiedene Teile sich nach und nach, in der Folge der Zeit, eräugnen”.34 Elsewhere he uses the term “aufeinander”, which led Fritz Senn to speculate that rather than the actual book Joyce probably used a summary or a textbook, where “aufeinander” is rendered as “nacheinder”.35 Despite the accepted orthodoxy of the allusion, the Laokoön as a source never rang completely true for a passage that does not really treat of poetry and art anyway (although Stephen in “Circe” remembers Lessing rather than Weininger: “Moment before the next Lessing says” [U 15.3609]). The problem he develops from the “ineluctable modality of the visible” is the problem of the senses and of perception in general. In his soliloquy, Stephen contrasts Aristotle and Berkeley, who held opposite opinions about sense-data, and interrelates their ideas with the problem of space and time. In this Stephen shows himself aware of Weininger’s position, but he does not blindly follow the latter’s opinion. Weininger gives transcendental value to time and subjective value to space, saying that space is a projection of the ego, a subjective category that places side by side (“nebeneinander”) things that are otherwise experienced as following each other (“nacheinander”). Stephen, by contrast, does not make this distinction, but sees himself moving (spatially, that is) through time; movement, in other words, cannot be separated from time; it entails a progress both through space and time. Interestingly, expanding the idea, Stephen continues to reflect on rhythm in poetry as a movement through space and time as well, which perhaps contains a faint echo of Weininger’s idea that rhythm, a sequence of individual sounds, belongs to the domain of the sadists, whereas harmony belongs to the sadomasochist.

One of the most problematic aspects of the Weininger index is that practically all entries have been deleted in colored crayon (blue and at least two different shades of red) suggesting different stages of usage, but so very few notes can be traced verbatim to the text. And yet the notes do not seem entirely alien to Ulysses. Besides the explicit connection that Joyce makes with “Scylla and Charybdis” and the social economy of that chapter (the notes about group psychology aptly fit Stephen’s desire to penetrate the inner circle of the Dublin literati), most of the entries, even when they do not suggest a specific context, could be attributed to Stephen. Some of Weininger’s ideas—including some not noted by Joyce—remind us of Stephen, such as the notion that consciousness is only possible through opposition: self-realization (in the sense of achieving self-knowledge) for Weininger can come when the person acts against his destiny—i.e., his destiny to obey God (75). This gives a different motivation for Stephen’s non serviam. One instance from the source that was not used, but that certainly must have rung true, is Weininger’s distinction between “searchers” and “priests”: “Man kann die Menschen einteilen in Sucher und in Priester […]. Der Sucher sucht, der Priester teilt mit” (79). Weininger’s distinction calls up an entire set of Joycean associations, not only Stephen’s remark in “Nestor” that he is a learner rather than a teacher, but also the world of A Portrait where the growth of the artist’s mind entails a transformation from the mystical, but ultimately dogmatic power of the priest to the free, unfettered power of the poet.


“Words” contains a miscellaneous set of entries that do not seem to have much thematic value beyond their discursive intent. Some of the vocabulary is indeed taken from specific discourses, such as, for example, heraldry. However, the page contains more than words alone and in fact looks quite like any ordinary page of notes, where Joyce has made no attempt to categorize. It seems that whenever he was organizing his material under specific headings, he still needed room to record words, phrases or ideas that did not or not yet belong to any specific category. He does this, too, in Scribbledehobble, which also has a section called “Words” (VI.A.981ff.), and in some Ulysses notebooks where alongside notes gathered under the Homeric chapter titles he arranges random or unallocated notes under “Eventuali”, a word not usually used by itself in Italian, but which means something like “possibilities” (see NLI 36,639/5A and V.A.2).36


Proto-Ulysses

Predating all other surviving manuscripts and notebooks for Ulysses, the Subject Notebook gives us a glimpse of what Ulysses may have looked like in late 1917, at a moment when Joyce began redrafting what he had written since 1912 or 1914 to begin the process of reshaping the book in the form it was finally to assume in 1922. What had already been written or even in what style (did Joyce already use the interior monologue?) remains impossible to say. Impossible to say also is whether the renewal in the writing process constitutes a radical departure from what existed already. Did he discard most of what had been written to start almost from scratch, cutting up and revamping the text as he had done with Stephen Hero and Portrait? Or did he carry on with existing materials, simply revising what was already written?37 One thing is certain, though, and that is that prior to 1917 Ulysses was not the same book as the Ulysses that was about to be serialized in the Little Review.

The notebook contains enough indications that the structure of Ulysses was not yet fixed. External evidence presents the same picture. Between 1915 and 1917, Joyce mentions several times in his correspondence that he is writing a book called Ulysses; yet how he was going on is not clear. For one, he was not certain about how many chapters the book was to have. Informing his brother that he had begun a new novel on 16 June 1915, he projected a total of 22 chapters, with the Telemachia comprising 4 chapters, Ulysses’ wanderings 15 chapters and his homecoming another 3 chapters; but only one of these chapters had actually been written (SL 209). On 18 May 1918, he had settled on 17 chapters, having delivered “Telemachus” through “Hades” to the Little Review, telling Miss Weaver that he had spent about 200 hours on “Proteus”, which had remained for “a long time in the second draft”; “just how much of the book [was] really written” remained “impossible to say” (LI 113). A few weeks later, on 9 June, he appears to have dropped one chapter, putting 16 chapters in the balance (3 + 10 +3) which he offers James Pinker for publication in three paperbound volumes in the United States. ( L I 114).

The fact that Joyce remained rather vague about his work before 1917 could mean that the writing was not progressing as well as it should.38 He was ploughing ahead (in October 1916, he has “about finished the first part” and “written out part of the middle and end” [L II 387]), but he still had not found a definite form for the novel. By the summer and fall of 1917, the situation had not much improved. In an unpublished letter to Ezra Pound for 24 July 1917, he wrote:


As regards Ulysses I write and think and write and think all day and part of the night. It goes on as it has been going these five or six years. But the ingredients will not fuse until they have reached a certain temperature. (quoted in JJ 416)



The image that elements will fuse after existing in each other’s proximity for a period of time is one that Joyce was to use again, particularly while writing Finnegans Wake; it is always a sign that the parts had not yet matured into a whole, but were awaiting further welding. The notes for Joyce have an important function in this process of conglomeration.

Note taking is a forward-looking act, reflective of an intention (or intentions) yet to be carried out and is thus separate from the actual drafting. Nonetheless, studying the notes also allows the manuscript scholar a backward glance in that the note taking also tends to build on what already does exist. One can assume that the subject headings in the Subject Notebook, and the materials garnered under them, are not all new, but that they represent topics already present in the writing that Joyce was building on. The reading programme under “Books” and the reading notes from “Jesus” and “Weininger” point to new directions and newly explored (and to be explored) territories, but “Leopold”, “Simon” and “Stephen”, for instance, were quite obviously already part of the novel. One may suppose that other topics like “Irish”, “Jews” and “Art” were also already present in the political and aesthetic intent of the writing. In all of these cases, however, the subject is familiar, but the content of the notes is new. “Homer” in this respect forms an interesting exception. One can hardly imagine Joyce naming his project Ulysses without thinking of the Homeric parallel, but the absence of Homeric material (a whole page left blank but for one entry) is striking, especially in light of the following two notebooks, VI.D.7 and VIII.A.5—which contain a wealth of Homeric material, first from Walter Leaf’s Troy: A Study in Homeric Geography (1912) and the discovery of and subsequent extensive note taking from Victor Bérard’s Les Phéniciens et l’Odysee (1902)—as well as the page of notes on Helen and Menelaus at the end of the “Proteus-Sirens” copybook.39 The absence of chapter titles for arranging notes (he only began using the chapter titles from 1919 onwards in the British Library notesheets and the later National Library and Buffalo notebooks) is also an indication that Joyce is not yet working according to a fixed schema.

Given its topical nature, the Subject Notebook does not reveal any plan (it is like all of Joyce’s notebooks in that respect) or structure either. The belated entry “leap year | 1904” on the first page of notes is certainly surprising, as if Joyce is only just beginning to register some of the most basic features of the plot structure. Did Joyce suddenly realize that 1904 was a leap year and that he wanted to make good use of this discovery? Or did he simply remind himself of this detail in order to explore its potential? No matter what, it is apparent that Joyce’s note taking at this stage did not proceed in terms of developing his chapters according to a clear outline. On the one hand, his note taking proceeded in terms of finding devices and motifs that were to shape the fabric of everyday life in the novel. The specificity of some headings like “Recipes”, “Gulls” or “Oxen” suggests a concrete and specific intended usage, and yet Joyce did not explicitly connect them with particular chapters; perhaps not in spite but because of the notes’ specific reference, they could be planted anywhere in the novel. They did not give a new impetus to the writing rather than that they served to enhance and flesh out an already existing text. As subjects, however, the notes on “Recipes” and so on seemed to leave little space for expansion, and the pages remained very sparsely populated with notes.

On the other hand, the note taking was also speculative. Some of the other subjects in the notebooks Books, Rhetoric, Theosophy, Weininger have an exploratory function. In these cases, Joyce was exploring new territories; he was looking for a deliberate way forward with the writing (whether or not the materials reverted in the end to being merely of topical value). The significance of philosophy, language and literature to the development of Stephen is evident. The proximity of the note taking to the initial drafting of Proteus (along with the absence of usage in the earlier Telemachus and Nestor) may lead one to conclude that the notebook was specifically designed for the preparation of this chapter. But this view only offers a partial explanation of the materials in the notebook. The contextual invariants that point to Scylla and Charybdis (which Joyce in this period never calls by its Homeric name, but refers to as the Library or the Hamlet chapter) nonetheless suggest the broader preoccupation with Stephen and his theories. The philosophical and mystical ideas that Joyce was researching could be used both for Proteus as well as Scylla.40 The emphasis on literature, rhetoric and mysticism (I would speculate) could all be seen to emanate from the debates in the National Library. It is certainly one of the chapters that Joyce had been working on prior to the autumn of 1917; on 9 April 1917 he informed Pound that it was “the only thing [he] could send” him, nothing else was ready (Letters I 101). “Scylla” could thus be one of the episodes that inspired sections of the Subject Notebook.

The contextual invariants in the notebook, however, reach beyond the library chapter (completed in December 1918) seemingly to Cyclops (begun in summer of 1919). One of the notes used in the second extant draft of the chapter is placed at 6 oclock in the notebook, one hour later than bar scene in the final book. The passage in question deals with one of the as-yet-unidentified characters attempt to alleviate the tension in Barney Kiernans by coaxing the Citizen to a different pub: wanted to get him away before Bloom came back for the next round and he took him by the arm. | Come on, Michael. Come where the boose is cheaper” (V.A.6—3; U 12.1397-98). In general, since so many notes were inserted in the early “Cyclops” drafts, usage could indicate that Joyce had this chapter in mind when he was compiling the notebook. But why would he delay drafting “Cyclops” when he was mining the notebook for other chapters almost immediately after putting it together? Serialization in the Little Review compelled Joyce to revise the chapters in sequence, which before that was not necessarily his habit; in this view he simply did not get round to revising “Cyclops” until 1919.

However, it is not necessary to believe that Joyce had conceived of Cyclops in late 1917 in something close to its published form, but that he merely anticipated a barroom setting. There is evidence that points to an intermediate stage. Material that ended up in Cyclops was not always taken directly from the Subject Notebook, but was first transferred to other repositories before being used. The right column on Cyclops 10 in the notesheets contains a seemingly random set of nineteen items lifted from the Subject Notebook:, beginning with “rbloodthirsty entities on astral” and ending with “rKaffir”, bringing together, though not in sequence, entries from “Theosophy”, “Leopold”, “Jews” and “Words” (“Cyclops” 10: 90-115; Herring, 121-22). This list of transcribed notes is a crucial example of Joyce’s recontextualizing of existing materials. Not all of these notes were originally intended for a barroom setting, but once they were brought together on the “Cyclops” sheets, they began to function that way.

The same holds for a handful of scattered notes transferred to Ithaca 12 (ll. 42-45, 70-71; Herring, 469-70) and two other more substantial sets of entries transferred to Circe 3. The first of these, in the left margin bottom, begins with bwhore tells his fortune: knobby knuckles” and ends with “bGod’s handwriting on hand” bringing together entries from “Leopold”, “Stephen” and “Theosophy”; the second in the right margin vertical top begins with “Malthus in Irel. food decreases arithm | population incre[ases] geometrically”) and ends with “benema”, bringing together entries from “Irish”, “Names and Places”, “Weininger” and “Words” (“Circe” 3: 30-38; 131-46; Herring, 279, 282). Taken together, the entries may have the appearance of having been intended from the start to amplify the Circe nightmare—the Bawd trying to tempt Stephen: “Maidenhead inside” (f.[17v], U 15.81, 359); the fortune telling, the chapter’s agnomens “Mary Shortall”, “Jimmy Pidgeon” and “Tommy Tittlemouse” (f.[12r] and f.[17v], U 15.2578-9 and 1985), the “odour of the sicksweet weed”, the analogue of the herb moly, spread by the smoking whores in their doorways (f.[17v], U 15.653). One has to remember that they were pulled and reconfigured from a variety of contexts; old “subjects” were put to new uses, as Joyce built upon their contexts while his chapters were taking shape.

As I have indicated before, in the Subject Notebook Joyce was very much concerned with a public view of the novels protagonists: the city appears in its external features as names and places, Stephen and Bloom are seen in a social setting, and there are numerous references to public places (the library, but also bars and pubs and a brothel), not to mention Irish history as a topic for public discussion). In the notebook these are specific, localized components that as yet have not been fitted with a defined place in the framework of the book. It is, however, striking that given the importance of Stephen in the notebook and the notes emphasis on a public perspective, that Joyce would place Stephen (and his interlocutors of the Aeolus episode, Professor McHugh, OMadden Burke and J.J. OMolloy) alongside Bloom in the first draft of Cyclops. What is only suggested in the published version that Stephen has been going from pub to pub all day was a more explicit feature of this proto-Ulysses.

Conclusions about Joyces work on Ulysses in the early years before 1917 must be considered tentative”, writes Rodney Wilson Owen, 41 and this also applies to any conclusion one might draw about the Subject Notebook and the state of Ulysses at the time of its compilation. More research into the notebook is required in order to clarify exegetically its contents, further disclose its sources, and establish its precise relation to the other early surviving documents; more work remains to be done also in terms of our understanding of the notes’ relation to the final work, when and where and how and why they were transposed from notebook to draft, whether they were used directly or recycled through other notebooks, and also whether they were actualized in the writing or remained forever possibilities, segments of a virtual Ulysses or perhaps of a sequel. This goes to show just how organic Joyce’s notebooks really were. His diligence in collecting notes reveals him, as one critic described his reading and notetaking, as a “tireless searcher”.42 His efforts in mining these notes, transposing and recreating them into fiction demonstrate that in his writing Joyce was more than an artist, but a kind of alchemist who transformed base material into high art.


1 I am enormously grateful for assistance and suggestions I received while writing this essay from Luca Crispi, Ronan Crowley, Hans Gabler, Geert Lernout and Len Platt.

2 For the period 1917-1919 there are still many gaps among the extant documents, however, see Michael Groden, “The National Library of Ireland’s New Joyce Manuscripts: an Outline and Archive Comparisons”, Joyce Studies Annual 14, ed. Thomas F. Staley (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003), 13-15.

3 Rodney Wilson Owen, James Joyce and the Beginnings of Ulysses (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1983), ix.

4 Palingenesis (from Greek, coming into being again) is a term from alchemy, meaning the recreation of a form that no longer has a substance through alchemical means, as well from biology, where it means an “ontogenetic development characterized by the ordered recapitulation of inherited ancestral forms, with any innovation arising at the end of the sequence rather than interrupting or modifying it” (OED).


5 See Peter Kenny, comp., The James Joyce Papers 2002 (Dublin: National Library of Ireland, n.d.), 14. Copybook V.A.3 at Buffalo, containing an early draft of “Proteus”, is of exactly the same type.

6 The entry was later transferred to the Ulysses notesheets where it is actually closer to the original in the Subject Notebook: “rmenstruates (1 day per mensa)” (“Cyclops” 10:94, Herring, 121). To adhere to the convention of “fair dealing” I have kept direct quotation from the Subject Notebook to a strict minimum; wherever possible, I quote from other contexts and specify in bold the items that derive from or approximate the words in the notebook.

7 Otto Weininger, Über die letzten Dinge, mit einem Biographisches Vorwort von Dr. Moriz Rappaport, 4th ed. (Wien und Leipzig: Wilhelm Braumülller, 1918), 121-2. See below quotation 20. The fourth edition of 1918, from which I quote in this essay, is identical with the third edition of 1912.

8 See Stanislaus Joyce, My Brother’s Keeper: James Joyce’s Early Years, ed. Richard Ellmann (Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2003), 41, and LII 244 n.10.

9 Maria Damon, “Jazz-Jews, Jive and Gender: The Ethnic Politics of Jazz Argot”, Jews and Other Differences: The New Jewish Cultural Studies, eds. Jonathan Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 113-14.

10 The allusion is most likely to Joyce’s friend, the critic Claude Sykes, to whom he sent the manuscript of the “Telemachia” for typing while he was regaining his health in Locarno (JJII 419).

11 Usually, Joyce limits himself to just a handful of references, noted down for immediate consultation. The most extensive reading list of this kind appears in the Paris-Pola Commonplace Book (NLI 36,639/2/A), 1903-04, where on two densely packed pages (pp.16-17) Joyce lists in two columns the major Irish poets and ballad writers from the nineteenth century under the heading “Verse”, a wide selection of historical writings under “Biography & History”, a list with authors’ names under “Fiction” and a list with essays under “Speeches”; further down in the notebook is a shorter list of “Verse”, “Drama”, “Old Literature” and “Modern Literature” (p.30); a third, short, miscellaneous list appears under “Books” (p.43).

12 Joyce cites an edition published by [G]. Poisson in Caen, which I have not been able to identify. It is probably a mistake; Poisson published one of Sizeranne’s other books, La question des aveugles, in 1910.

13 In his Trieste library, Joyce had a copy of Georges Polti’s Les trente-six situations dramatiques (Paris: Mercure de France, 1912). He also had Rudolph Lothar’s Das Wiener Burgtheater (Berlin and Leipzig: Schuster und Loeffler, n.d.). See Richard Ellmann, The Consciousness of Joyce (Toronto and New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 124, 117..

14 In Trieste, Joyce also possessed a copy of his Principles of Social Reconstruction (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1917). See Ellmann, 125.

15 See also the entry “Peano” (V.A.2.29) (Herring, Phillip F., ed., Joyce's Notes and Drafts for Ulysses: Selections from the Buffalo Collection [Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of Virginia, 1977], 106). Joyce took the name as part of an index from Bertrand Russell, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919).

16 A very small set of notes taken from Wycherly’s Plain Dealer appears in VI.D.7.34.

17 Joseph Stock, An Account of the Life of George Berkeley, D.D. Late Bishop of Cloyne in Ireland (London: J. Murray, 1776), available online at http://www.maths.tcd.ie/~dwilkins/Berkeley/Stock/Life.html.

18 The number of additions to both the “Proteus” and “Sirens” drafts in this copybook that were lifted from the Subject Notebook may make it likely that the drafts were composed in tandem, see Michael Groden, “The National Library of Ireland’s New Joyce Manuscripts: A Statement and Document Descriptions”, JJQ 36 (2001): 40-42 and Daniel Ferrer, “What Song the Sirens Sang… Is No Longer Beyond All Conjecture: A Preliminary Description of the New ‘Proteus’ and ‘Sirens’ Manuscripts”, JJQ 36 (2001): 57, 65.

19 See “The Theosophical Movement”, a series on the history of the movement published in Theosophy from 1920 to 1922, in particular vol. 10, No. 4, February 1922 (available online at http://www.wisdomworld.org/additional/TheTheosophicalMovement-Series/Chapter-24.html); see also Don Gifford, with Robert Seidman, Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s Ulysses, rev.ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 197.

20 Gilbert reports that when he was discussing the work of Eliphas Lévi on magic and Madame Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled, Joyce asked whether he had read Sinnett. While Joyce was “conversant” with theosophical literature and “ready enough” to talk about the subject, he “shied off the subject”, Gilbert notes, probably because of his Catholic background. In his opinion, Joyce was not a believer in any of the doctrines, but “accepted their existence” as a possibility (Stuart Gilbert, James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study [1930; New York: Vintage Books, 1961], vii-viii). Stanislaus Joyce also admitted that Joyce “toy[ed] with theosophy” for a brief period, but quickly dismissed the subject (in Ellmann’s estimation) as a pass-time for “disaffected Protestants” (My Brother’s Keeper, 131 and JJII 98).

21 Unused notes under “Theosophy” were in early 1935 were transcribed by Madame Raphael in VI.C.7.261-62.

22 “A Portrait of the Artist”, The Workshop of Daedalus, eds. Robert Scholes and Richard M. Kain (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1965), 63-64, 65.

23 Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, ed. Geoffrey Gilbert (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 13

24 Julius Pokorny, “Perlen der irishen Literatur”, Irische Blätter 1 (1917): 343. See Pól Ó Dochertaigh, “The Source of Hell: Professor Pokorny of Vienna in Ulysses”, JJQ 41 (2004): 826.

25 Another entry in the notesheets also dwells on the extent Irish goods were exported to Britain, but is not directly linked to the Subject Notebook: “bCattle exp. £15m. 6m. pork, 51/5 m. butter, 5 m. eggs” (“Cyclops” 10: 70; Herring, 121).

26 See also my “The Greater Ireland Beyond the Sea: Joyce, Exile and Irish Emigration”, Joyce, Ireland, and Britain, eds. Andrew Gibson and Len Platt (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006), forthcoming.

27 This source has been identified by Geert Lernout. A description and discussion of the source will be published in the next issue of the James Joyce Quarterly.

28 According to Weldon Thornton, the song is parodied in the line “your starving eyes and allbeplastered neck you stole my heart”, Allusions in Ulysses: An Annotated List (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968), 350. Compare Gifford, 443.

29 In notebook VIII.A.5-24, Joyce in the same fashion noted down examples of parison, paromœon and paromology taken from the OED; but these notes appear in between notes taken from Aristotle’s Rhetoric (Phillip F. Herring, ed., Joyce’s Notes and Early Drafts for Ulysses: Selections from the Buffalo Collection [Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1977], 26).

30 See JJII 463 and Marilyn Reizbaum, “Weininger and the Bloom of Jewish Self-Hatred in Joyce’s Ulysses”, Jews and Gender: Responses to Otto Weininger, eds. Nancy A. Harrowitz and Barbara Hyams (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995), 207-13. Reizbaum correctly notes that Ellmann provides no real evidence for Joyce’s reading of Sex and Character (207-08); as I have indicated, Weininger’s ideas were more broadly reflected in early twentieth-century opinion on Jews and gender.

31 Otto Weininger, Geschlecht und Karakter: Eine prinzipielle Untersuchung 19th ed. (Wien and Leipzig: Wilhelm Braunmüller, 1920), 133-34.

32 Frank Budgen, James Joyce and The Making of Ulysses, and Other Writings (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), 53-4.

33 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Laocoön: An Essay in the Limits of Painting and Poetry, trans. Edward Allen McCormick (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 1984), 91. In the original Lessing uses the term “Zeitfolge”.

34 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Werke, Vol 2: Kritische Schriften—Philosophische Schriften, München: Winkler-Verlag, 1969, 90, my italics.

35 Fritz Senn, “Esthetic Theories”, JJQ 2 (1965): 135.

36 The page with “Eventuali” on VI.C.7.163 is a transcription of NLI 36,639/5A).

37 The fragmentary nature of some of the early drafts, like “Proteus” (NLI 36,639/7A) or “Cyclops” (NLI 36,639/10 and V.A.8) may support the thesis that Joyce abandoned an early version of the novel, though not without scavenging the discarded texts. For similar reasons Hans Walter Gabler (in conversation with me, June 2006) surmised that the fragmentation of the NLI draft of “Proteus” was simply the result of a slow process of composition. He speculated that the draft could have been assembled from various epiphanic segments over a period of as long as three years. I can see no evidence, however, of such a protracted composition history of just this one draft. Daniel Ferrer, too, speculates that the draft may be copied at least in part from “a still earlier complete version or a series of separate drafts, perhaps on loose sheets” (55).

38 See also Owen, 72.

39 See James Joyce, The Lost Notebook: New Evidence on the Genesis of Ulysses, eds. Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon (Edinburgh: Split Pea Press, 1989), xxvii-xxxii. Rose and O’Hanlon are rather liberal in their earliest possible date for VI.D.7, which they give as Summer-Autumn 1917. It does not seem logical that VI.D.7 predates NLI 36,639/3, because the Subject Notebook does not have any Homeric materials while the Lost Notebook does (unless one would posit concurrent use, which is unlikely). The Lost Notebook is already concurrent with VIII.A.5, as Rose and O’Hanlon demonstrate on the basis of the Homeric materials (xxxiv-xxxvi) and thus on the basis of internal and external evidence VI.D.7 cannot date from before October 1917. The compilation of VIII.A.5 dates from between Joyce’s return to Zurich in the first week of January 1918, when Joyce took residence in Universitätsstraße 38, and May 1918, a date given on p.27. That VI.D.7 follows NLI 36,639/3 is also indicated by the fact that the notes from the Subject Notebook were used in NLI 36,369/7A, the earliest extant “Proteus” draft, and V.A.3, while notes from the Lost Notebook were entered only in the later V.A.3. For the Homeric notes in NLI 36,639/7A (p.[28]), probably dating from autumn 1917-spring 1919, see Groden, “Statement and Document Descriptions”, 42 and Ferrer, 60-61.

40 For the background on Hamlet, Joyce could rely on the notes for his 1912 lecture on that play and on the list of dates in V.A.4, see Owen, 26, 91-92. See also William H. Quillian, “Shakespeare in Trieste: Joyce’s 1912 Hamlet Lectures”, JJQ 12 (1974-75): 7-63.

41 Owen, 116.

42 Michael Patrick Gillespie, Inverted Volumes Improperly Arranged: James Joyce and His Trieste Library (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1983), 61.

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