The textual and publishing history of Ulysses is fascinating and complex. Every edition of Ulysses is a unique union of language and material: each joins a version of the text to a special combination of ink, type, paper and fabric. The Family Tree begins with the grand-daddy of all editions, the first Shakespeare and Company Ulysses, and traces the textual transmission of the work over eight decades. Like the best family dramas, prodigal sons, black sheep, legitimate and bastard children, prolific progenitors and son-less mothers all play their role.
“Ulysses in Print: the Family Tree” consists of a material exhibition and digital-interactive presentation. In developing the digital installation, I divided the many editions and printings of Ulysses from 1922–2004 into three categories. This April 2004 draft includes discussion only of the “Primary Items”, or those items which were either landmark editions or the most prolific progenitors of other editions and printings. Accompanying the text and images (in HTML) is a draft for the navigational interface between editions and printings (in PDF) where the items on p.1 are linked to their generational groups drawn out on the following pages. Through exploration of any one of these eight primary, nodal editions the interactive reader is progressively introduced to the many other related, inter-generational editions and printings. Brief, illustrated bibliographical descriptions, publishing histories, and textual condition studies accompany each item in the digital interactive. The completed Family Tree exhibition is on display in material and digital media at The National Library of Ireland from 14 June 2004–September 2005.
I would like to thank the National Library of Ireland for its support of this project. I am grateful to Hans Walter Gabler, Luca Crispi, and Alicia St. Leger for reading and commenting on this and earlier drafts and to Geert Lernout and Daniel Ferrer for the opportunity to present a draft of the work at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium in April 2004. I would like to thank Sam Slote for sharing with me a draft of his “Ulysses in the Plural” essay (forthcoming as No. 5 in the National Library of Ireland’s Joyce Studies 2004 series) from which I drew some of the examples of textual variants.
Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 1922, state B (1 of 150)
When George Slocombe reported in his Paris-society column, “…and here it is at last, as large as a telephone directory or a family Bible, and with many of the literary and social characteristics of each!” he aptly described the first Ulysses. The first edition was unwieldy and fragile but purchasers of this book were expected to have it individually rebound in cloth or leather to match other items in their library.
This volume is a quarto in eights, of 46 signatures, issued untrimmed and unopened.
Maurice Darantiere of Dijon printed this edition in Elsevir type on letterpress for publication on 2 February 1922.
The edition was issued in a tripartite series of 1000 numbered copies on different papers. Copies numbered 101–150 were printed on handmade verge d’Arches and sold for 250 Francs.
The volumes were bound in white paper covers lithographed in blue on one side, with title and author in reserve on the front cover.
The controversy surrounding the publication of Ulysses in the Little Review gave pause to possible publishers of the work in book form. Harriet Shaw Weaver had turned the Egoist magazine into a publishing house to publish Joyce but by 25 August 1920 the last of the many printers Weaver had approached declined to print her English edition of Ulysses. John Quinn had been in negotiations with B.W. Huebsch, the American publisher of Chamber Music, Dubliners and A Portrait, regarding the publication of Ulysses at least since January of 1921. Huebsch saw the publication as a lucrative opportunity and was eager to bring it out if Joyce were willing to make certain editorial changes to the text: Joyce was not. Quinn had also been soliciting another American publisher, Boni and Liveright. But sensational coverage of the actions of the Society for Suppression of Vice increased the threat of censure and seizure by the authorities making the venture risky.
On 6 April, while visiting her bookshop, Joyce reported the bad news to Sylvia Beach: the two American publishers were finally compelled to decline. On that same day, Beach offered to publish Ulysses under her Shakespeare and Company imprint. By mid-April, Beach, with Adrienne Monnier’s help, secured a printer for the job and proposed to Darantiere an edition of one thousand copies. Joyce wrote to Weaver about his change of fortunes on 10 April and they undertook plans almost immediately for an Egoist Press, English edition also to be produced after the French edition sold out. Beach and Joyce planned to publish the book in October 1921 and decided to offer the book to subscribers, hoping to acquire enough advance funds to cover the printing of the edition. As part of the advertising initiative, Joyce and Beach included on the form a number of brief review statements by well-known literati.
Beach moved Shakespeare and Company to a larger, new address at rue de l’Odeon in September 1921. Meanwhile, Joyce continued to compose and correct Ulysses. The author’s numerous and substantial late-stage emendations to his text delayed the printing and publication of the book. Joyce continued to correct proofs and delivered the last of them to Dijon only on 30 January 1922. Finally, on 2 February 1922, Darantiere delivered two copies (#901 and #902) of Ulysses to Beach, who in turn brought them to Joyce on this, his fortieth birthday.
Joyce’s substantial late-stage revisions to his text delayed its printing and publication. He continued to correct proofs and delivered the last of them to Dijon only on 30 January 1922. Darantiere printed the 750 series first, the 100 series second, and the 250 series last. This is an example of the second state of the first edition, the “large paper” series of 250 copies numbered 101-250. Darantiere was required to re-impose the formes for this 250 series because of the large paper, so Joyce was able to make a single of the (several) corrections that he noticed on the first two signatures. Joyce corrected “boroard to read “board” on page 31, but missed “rockv” which remained uncorrected until the second edition in May 1926 printed it correctly, “rocky”. This printing state, the most “correct” text of the first edition, was the setting text for the next impression of Ulysses, issued by the Egoist Press in October 1922.
Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 1926 (2nd Edition, type reset)
Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company issued 7 printings of the first edition of Ulysses and 4 printings of the second edition between February 1922 and May 1930. The fourth, fifth and sixth printings were issued on inexpensive, pulp paper and offered at 60 Francs (whereas the least expensive of the 1922 printings was 150 Francs). The binding colours were reversed for those three printings: they were bound in white paper covers with the title and author printed in blue. The original colours were used again for all printings of the second edition and the title and author were also added to the spine.
Maurice Darantiere of Dijon, France printed this edition for Sylvia Beach under the imprint of Shakespeare and Company in May 1926.
The volume is bound in heavy white paper, edges trimmed, printed in blue on one side with author and title in reserve on front cover and spine.
Later in Finnegans Wake, Joyce alluded to the first edition of Ulysses as “his usylessly unreadable Blue Book of Eccles”. Shakespeare and Company, in association with the Egoist Press produced 28,000 copies of Ulysses by 1930. In the eight years Beach published Joyce’s novel, Ulysses was banned in the United States, Beach’s home, and declared unprintable in England, Weaver’s home. Nonetheless, Ulysses was successfully smuggled into both countries and by 1930 the book had readers in Europe, North America and beyond: it was a popular Paris holiday souvenir. In turn, Beach had herself become famous as the “plucky young American” brave enough to take on Ulysses. With the fourth printing, new corrections were incorporated based on errata in the previous printings. Finally in 1926, Darantiere suggested issuing a proper second edition by starting from scratch and resetting the type completely. This second edition, published in May 1926, is also incorrectly known as the eighth printing of Ulysses.
When Beach published the second edition of Ulysses, Joyce was deeply engaged in his “Work in Progress” which would be published in 1939 as Finnegans Wake. As Beach recalls, she hired a professional proof-reader from the Daily Mail to read through the seventh printing in preparation for a second and corrected edition. Unfortunately, in spite of her efforts, Beach recalled that when Joyce first looked at the new edition, he “eagerly scrutinized the first pages with the help of his two pairs of glasses plus a magnifying glass–and I heard an exclamation. Three errors already!”
One example of a proofreading “correction” actually corrupting the text comes at the end of “Proteus” (3) when Stephen thinks of “hismy sandal shoon” (1922, p. 50, line 5). There, the compound “hismy” neatly expresses the fact that Stephen’s shoes are borrowed from Mulligan. The second edition, however “corrects” the compound to read: “his my sandal shoon”. This reset, second edition, was issued without errata, and the text was expanded to 735 pages. This was the last edition of Ulysses reset by Darantiere under the imprint of Shakespeare and Company. Two years later, Ulysses was fully reset again, corrected by Stuart Gilbert under Joyce’s direction and published by Odyssey Press, Hamburg in 1932.
Odyssey Press, Hamburg, 1933
The Odyssey Press edition was the first compact volume of Joyce’s modernist tome. The first printing of the Odyssey Press edition was published in 3 formats: a single volume on thin paper in a white cloth binding; a two volume-set on wove paper in grey card covers; and slightly taller two volume-set on wove paper also in grey card covers of which only 35 copies were printed. This 1933, second printing was issued in two volumes printed on wove paper and is nearly identical to the first two volume printing.
This edition is a two-volume set of 800 pages.
This second impression was published in October 1933 and sold for 5.60 Reichsmarks; 36.00 Francs; and 28.00 Lire.
The volumes were bound in grey card covers with title and author printed in dark red on the front covers and title, author and press printed on the spines. The volumes were issued in glassine and a plain cardboard box.
From its first appearance in 1922, critics hailed Ulysses as one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century. But surprisingly, the work was not considered printable or publishable in an English speaking country until 1934. The Shakespeare and Company first edition was printed and published in France; the Egoist Press editions were printed in France for an English publisher but confiscated by customs upon entry to England and the U.S.A. The Odyssey Press edition was the first authorized edition of Ulysses not printed in France–it was published in English, in Germany at a time when the work was banned in England and the United States. While Random House was trying to overturn the ban against Ulysses in the United States, the Albatross Press of Hamburg approached Joyce and Beach, hoping to assume Beach’s rights to Ulysses in continental Europe, then to take up the task of a publication in England where the work was still banned.
Joyce and Paul Léon, who was acting on his behalf, were reassured that the Albatross Press had some sway with the English government: its owner was the South African copper-baron Sir Edmund Davis. By October 1932 Joyce had signed a contract with Albatross of Hamburg who created an imprint, “Odyssey Press”, especially for publication of Ulysses. The Odyssey Press published an edition for the European market selling at 5.60 Marks, one quarter the price of the Shakespeare and Company edition, and at a lesser royalty, but as Joyce accurately anticipated, their sales were more numerous. Beach received 2% and Joyce 10% of the royalties for the first five years; afterward all the royalties plus 15,000 Francs were paid to Joyce. Albatross and the Odyssey Press who had right of first refusal for an English edition, never did issue one: after the court’s ruling in favour of Ulysses in New York, the publisher for an English edition was negotiated anew.
Stuart Gilbert corrected the text for the first Odyssey Press edition of Ulysses (1932) at James Joyce’s request. By Gilbert’s own, later account, he used “what was then the latest Shakespeare & Co edition and also my copy of the First, when correcting the Odyssey Press text of Ulysses. I certainly asked for, and received, revise proofs.” Gilbert would then have worked from the 1930 printing of Ulysses, the third impression of the second Shakespeare and Company edition, comparing it against the 1922 first edition and proofs of that, and presumably with other printings along the way. The 1932 edition was generally accepted as the most accurate text of Ulysses. Even so, the early printings of this edition included numerous errors corrected in later impressions of the edition.
But even within the first Odyssey Press edition (1932) there are three distinct texts: the single-volume series was printed first and contains errors corrected in the other two; the deluxe limitation was printed last and corrects at least one error: the newspaper headline in “Aeolus” (7), printed “LINKS TH BYGONE DAYS OF YOREWI” was corrected to read: “LINKS WITH BYGONE DAYS OF YORE”. While this glaring error was corrected in all subsequent printings of Odyssey Press Ulysses, it reappears in the later, 1935 Limited Editions Club. Thus, the setting text for the first deluxe American edition of Ulysses had less than ideal provenance: it was based on the first setting of the Odyssey Press edition. These two volumes are examples of the October 1933 second impression of the Odyssey Press Ulysses, which corrected at least three known errors of the 1932 edition. It provided the setting text for a new generation of Ulysses editions.
Random House, New York, 1934
The first authorised American edition of Ulysses was wrapped in an attention-grabbing, Art Deco, black and red wrapper. The edition included Woolsey’s landmark decision, a letter from Joyce to Cerf on the history of Ulysses’ battles with the censors, and an editorial “Foreword” by Morris Ernst who said of Woolsey’s decision: “The precedent he has established will do much to rescue the mental pabulum of the public from the censors who have striven to convert it into treacle, and will help to make it the strong, provocative fare it ought to be.”
H. Wolff printed 10,300 volumes of 792 pages, on white wove paper, for publication 25 January 1934, and sold for $3.50. An additional 100 copies were printed first to secure copyright.
Ernst Reichl designed this edition, bound in cream-coloured cloth with the author and title stamped in red and black on the front cover and author, title and publisher stamped red and black on the spine.
In early February 1932 Sylvia Beach relinquished her publication rights to Ulysses: Joyce was now the sole owner of the world rights to the work. As Joyce looked for publishers for an American edition, he stipulated four conditions (none of which would ultimately be followed!): there was to be no preface, the text must be unabridged and unaltered, the publication was to happen as soon as possible, and the text was to be based on the last (11th) Shakespeare and Company printing and read by an expert proof reader. On 14 March 1932 Joyce signed a contract with Bennett Cerf of New York’s Random House to publish Ulysses. At that time Ulysses was still banned in the United States.
Cerf then engaged Joyce and Léon in his efforts to bring the issue to trial in the States. At Cerf’s instruction, Léon pasted favourable opinions of Ulysses into a copy of the book and then posted it to Random House so that it would be seized by Customs and thus the book and literary opinions would be entered into evidence simultaneously. By 18 July, Cerf reported that the book had indeed been seized and Morris Ernst retained for their defence in a trial scheduled for that autumn. In early spring of 1933, Cerf and Ernst were still waiting for a liberal judge to preside over their case. Finally on 6 December 1933, after three postponements of the trial, Judge John M. Woolsey ruled in favour of Ulysses.
Joyce was amused that the American judge gave more publicity to Ulysses by listing the numbers of the pages containing so-called obscene material than any publisher would dare to do. Printing of the first authorised American edition began immediately and the book was published just fifty days later on 25 January 1934. Random House also issued large broadside, “How to Enjoy Ulysses”, as an advertisement and guide to the notoriously difficult work. Cerf had hoped to include in the book a version of Joyce’s famous schema outlining the parallels between Ulysses and Homer’s Odyssey (a copy of which he claimed to have acquired from Joyce’s friend Herbert Gorman): Joyce refused.
The textual history of the first authorised American edition is muddled and ironic. After years of legal battles to get Ulysses published in the States and to protect United States copyright of the work, the New York publisher, Bennett Cerf of Random House, and his attorney, Morris Ernst won the case, overturning the ban. Meanwhile, Samuel Roth had twice challenged Joyce’s American copyright. Between July 1926 and October 1927 Roth published unauthorised episodes of Ulysses in his Two Worlds Monthly magazine. Then, when Roth issued the title in book form, pirating the 1929 Shakespeare and Company edition, he effectively issued the first American edition of Ulysses. The Roth edition mimicked the Shakespeare and Company edition though its text was corrupt.
In a strange twist of fate about three years later, the copy of Ulysses supplied to Random House to set the text for their 1934 edition was a pirated Roth edition, not the last printing of the Shakespeare and Company edition, as Joyce had specified in his negotiations with potential publishers. Many errors in the Random House edition demonstrate its regrettable patrimony. Molly Bloom’s diminutive for her husband is less dear in the Random House and Roth editions when Leopold is “Poddy” not “Poldy” (p. 62, line 14); and sustenance in both editions is ironically transposed into its opposite when “aliment” becomes “ailment” (p. 412, line 39). The text of this 1934 edition was seriously flawed and it was only in 1940 that Random House readers proofed it against the Odyssey Press edition for their Modern Library imprint.
The Bodley Head, London, 1960
In 1937, The Bodley Head of London published a trade version of their 1936 edition, reduced in size and incorporating corrections made by Joyce. They issued nine more nicely compact reader’s volumes by 1958. In 1960 The Bodley Head published an entirely-revised, new edition of Ulysses designed by John Ryder. Ryder’s new design for the text included revising the first edition’s formatting of the theatrical episode, “Circe”: in Ryder’s design, the characters’ speech was now introduced by their names at the left, not above and centred as Joyce had preferred.
This edition was bound in green cloth over boards, and issued in a dark green dust-jacket, printed with the title, author and Eric Gill’s Homeric bow in black
The Bodley Head 1936 edition’s claim to be “Final and definitive” was short-lived. Paul Léon, Joyce’s friend and aide wrote to Harriet Weaver on 23 October 1936 expressing Joyce’s displeasure at the “incomprehensible amount of errors” in that first edition. Joyce began compiling corrections to the edition but planned to “leave things until an inexpensive edition is to be brought out.” The following year, The Bodley Head did bring out the first, compact, affordable trade edition for the English market. This 1937 printing incorporated Joyce’s corrections to their first edition and was reissued several times. Then, in 1960 The Bodley Head published this entirely-revised, new edition of Ulysses.
The textual line of decent for Joyce’s Ulysses even within a single publishing house is often not straight-forward, and The Bodley Head printings are a case in point. In 1937, The Bodley Head printed a reduced format edition from the same plates used for their 1936, full-size edition employing the technique of photo-offset. This second printing incorporated Joyce’s corrections to their 1936 edition. The 1937 printing was reprinted six times (in 1937, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1954). But for the 1955 reprint, the printers accidentally reverted to the 1936 plates (which lacked the revisions Joyce had made to the 1937 printing).
To rectify the problem, they issued an errata list with those copies of the book. However, even their errata list did not include all of Joyce’s revisions. Though The Bodley Head corrected the plates of the 1955 printing before using them for the 1958 printing, they again did not catch all the revisions. In 1960, The Bodley Head published an entirely-revised, new edition of Ulysses. Though accepted as the most accurate text of its time, this second edition was based on their 1958 printing. Nonetheless, the 1960 edition remained the most thorough revision of Joyce’s text until 1984 when Garland published the critical and synoptic edition edited by Hans Walter Gabler.
Random House, New York, 1961
In 1961 Random House issued a new edition of Ulysses, this one entirely reset and based on the standard corrected text of the day, the Bodley Head 1960 edition. Since Random House could now be unashamed of their edition, they boasted about its “scrupulously corrected” text on the dust jacket. Like all previous Random House printings, this 1961, new edition included Woolsey’s “Opinion A. 110-59”; a letter from Joyce to Cerf on the history of Ulysses’ battles with the censors; and an editorial “Foreword” by Morris Ernst, the publisher’s lawyer who had argued the case.
This edition was bound in light blue cloth over boards and printed in black with the author’s initials, in lower case, on the front cover. The volumes were issued in a black, blue, grey and yellow dust-jacket.
When Judge John M. Woolsey lifted the ban on Ulysses in 1933, Bennett Cerf’s Random House published the first authorised American edition of the work just fifty days later, on 25 January 1934. Joyce had directed Cerf to set the Random House text from the 1930, last printing of the Shakespeare and Company edition. Most unfortunately, Random House actually used a copy of the corrupt Roth edition as its setting text. The first authorised American edition was thus ironically based upon exactly what it had strived to eliminate. The text of the 1934 first Random House edition was seriously flawed and it was only in 1940 that the publishing house proofed it against the Odyssey Press edition for their Modern Library imprint.
But that was not the last of the uncorrected 1934 text: in a few of the numerous printings of the edition between 1940 and 1960, Random House mistakenly reprinted the text of their first edition. Finally, in 1961 Random House issued a new edition of Ulysses, this one entirely reset and based on the standard corrected text of the day, the Bodley Head 1960 Ulysses. The text of the 1961 edition is unrelated to any previous edition published by Random House.
Discarding all previous printings issued from its own printing house, Random House based its 1961, new edition of Ulysses on the text of the thoroughly revised Bodley Head second edition. With even greater fidelity to Joyce’s text, the Random House edition restored Joyce’s preferred formatting for the Circe episode, centring the speakers’ names above their speech. The Bodley Head 1960 edition, in addition to correcting the text, had also been redesigned effecting new line breaks and hyphenating some of Joyce’s compound words. The new Random House edition instituted yet another order of line breaks, and so unwittingly inherited from the Bodley Head text hyphenated versions of Joyce’s originally compound words. In spite of their efforts, errors that inevitably creep into any printing process still haunted the edition. For example, in the 1961 edition, the phrase “the paper the bread was wrapped in” appears as “the paper the beard was wrapped in”.
Garland, New York, 1984
This is a “critical and synoptic” edition of Ulysses. The “synoptic” rendering of the text is printed on the left-hand pages (versos): these pages present diacritically the editor’s collation of Joyce’s revisions to all draft levels from fair copies to the first edition. The “critical” text is printed on the right-hand pages (rectos): these pages present the critically edited, reading text for the same portion of Ulysses.
This edition is a three-volume set of 1,920 pages.
This edition was electronically typeset by pagina GmbH, Tübingen and printed in the United States on cream-white, acid-free, 250-year-life paper for publication in 1984 and sold for $200.
Each volume is case-bound in blue and green cloth with green and yellow head and tail bands, gilt stamped on the front covers with the Eric Gill bow and the author, title, editor, volume number and publisher on spine.
Since its first publication in serial form in 1918, Joyce’s Ulysses has been plagued with textual errors. Over the years, corrected editions of Ulysses have fallen into three categories. In the first are editions that seek to correct errors introduced during the printing process. In the second are editions that seek to correct these printers’ errors as well as errors introduced at earlier stages of the text’s production, including errors on manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs by the author, typists, proof-readers and printers. To varying degrees, the Shakespeare and Company and Egoist Press printings, and the Odyssey Press editions fall into this second category. In the third, are “scholarly editions” that go back to the original documents to reconstruct a text critically, then provide alongside the critical, reading text, the material evidence for all editorial decisions. Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses falls into this third category. The reading text of the edition is widely accepted as the most accurate yet.
Nonetheless, Gabler’s critical edition, like all before it, met with some criticism. Bibliographer and textual editor Philip Gaskell along with Joyce scholar Clive Hart aired their concerns in a book length study published in 1989. Gaskell and Hart took issue with three aspects of Gabler’s method: its preference for Joyce’s documented first-thoughts or intentions over his later revisions; its correction of Joyce’s misspellings and oddities in expression; and its inclusion of manuscript sources that had fallen outside the direct line of descent of the final text. Danis Rose responded with his own “Reader’s Edition” of Ulysses. Gabler’s three-volume edition was re-issued by Garland in 1984, incorporating a few corrections. The critical text (the right-hand pages) of the second (1986) impression was published as a single volume in 1986 by The Bodley Head, Vintage Books, and Penguin and was reprinted in 1993 and 2001.
Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses is an edited text based upon analysis of a “continuous manuscript text”, an editorial reconstruction of the work’s compositional evolution beginning with the early “Rosenbach manuscript”. Gabler’s critical edition is the result of seven years of research on Joyce’s holograph drafts and fair copies and on Joyce’s corrections and revisions to the typescripts and proofs of the Shakespeare and Company, 1922 first edition. Gabler and his editorial team, Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior, produced both a compositional history of Ulysses and established a text of Ulysses that is widely accepted as the most accurate yet. In those instances where a reader may question an editorial choice, the edition provides the critical and synoptic text (the left hand pages) presenting readers with the evidence to determine an alternate reading, independent of the critically edited, reading text (on the right-hand pages).
By returning to Joyce’s manuscript revisions, Gabler was able to restore some of Joyce’s original text that was incorrectly printed in all previous editions. For example, in “Telemachus” (1), Joyce represents the ringing in his ears of Haines calling out his name with a string of ‘e’s. The 1922 first, and the 1926 second Shakespeare and Company editions print this with 12 ‘e’s and a full stop: “Steeeeeeeeeeeephen.” But in the 1932 Odyssey Press and the 1961 Random House editions, Stephen looses two ‘e’s: “Steeeeeeeeeephen.” By collating the text of the fair copy (Rosenbach manuscript) with the first printings, Gabler was able to re-instate both the dozen ‘e’s (present in the fair copy and the Egoist printing) and the exclamation mark (present in the Little Review and the Egoist printings).
Lilliput Press and Picador, Dublin and London, 1997, State A
The first edition of Danis Rose’s “Reader’s Edition” of Ulysses was a critically edited text packaged for the collector. Limited to 1026 copies, the edition was issued in a tripartite series with a foreword by John Banville.
Mackays of Chatham Place, Kent printed this edition on acid-free, white paper in Sabon type for publication in 1997.
Copies 1–100 were double-signed and bound in quarter, blue Chieftain goatskin and blue cloth, gilt stamped on the spine and gilt at the head; copies 101–1000 were bound in light-blue cloth over boards; an additional 26 lettered copies were bound in blue full leather. The volumes were issued in slipcases.
Copies 1–100 were sold for IR£400; copies 101–1000 were sold for IR£75.
Corrected editions of Ulysses typically fall into three categories. In the first are editions that merely seek to correct errors introduced during the printing process. In the second are editions that seek to correct these printers’ errors as well as errors introduced at earlier stages of the text’s production, including errors made on manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs by the author, typists, proof-readers and printers. In the third are “scholarly editions” that return to the original documents to rebuild a text critically from scratch, then provide alongside the critical, reading text, the material evidence for all editorial decisions. Danis Rose’s edition is a mix of the second and third types: in preparation of his reading text, Rose went back to original manuscripts (even pre-dating those documented by Gabler), but did not provide the material evidence for his editorial decisions.
Rose took issue with the idea that a definitive text of Ulysses (or any text, in principle) could be established. He argued that the production of the text was a collective effort that involved the author, of course, but also the typists, proof-readers and printers, each of whom affected the text in legitimate ways. Following that principle, Rose maintained that in the production of a new, edited text, “the editor should replace the original production crew when copyreading, and the edition’s publishers, typographers and designers should replace their original counterparts. Only in this way can one produce an edition that is of its own time and that can, intellectually and aesthetically, stand on its own two feet.” Just as Joyce’s text was a product of its historical circumstances, so then is the Lilliput text. The Rose edition was not well received.
Beginning with Joyce’s early manuscript drafts (pre-Rosenbach) the editor of the edition, Danis Rose, assembled his “isotext”, an editorial reconstruction of the work’s compositional history, similar to Gabler’s “continuous manuscript text”. Rose then edited the isotext, correcting what he called “textual faults” identifiable by a break in “the logic of the narrative”. In order to “maximize the pleasure of the reader”, Rose modernised Joyce’s spelling, standardised punctuation and orthography, and corrected factual errors. The effect of these “corrections” is most obvious in “Penelope” (18), where by inserting punctuation and apostrophes to Molly Bloom’s monologue, Rose restricted her famously fluid and even non-grammatical recollections. The result was a text that might well have been more easily readable in the traditional sense, but, in the estimation of many experts and lay-readers, was no longer Joyce’s text, per se.
Aesthetic and legal complaints were quick to follow. Fritz Senn complained that: “Rose’s aim seems to be to eliminate Joyce’s disruptive elements, the shifts of perspective, of register, of syntactic glides, and so forth, and to iron out flaws and mistakes…. The Ulysses that I have come to like is one that displays a flawed world, characterised by fallibility, where characters misremember, misquote, where Bloom flounders – in other words, a funnier book.” The Estate of James Joyce went so far as to press charges, suing the Reader’s Edition for copyright infringement and “passing off” (or, so altering the text of Ulysses that it could no longer be called Joyce’s Ulysses). The Estate won the first charge, on account of Rose’s reliance upon manuscripts under the Estate’s copyright, but not the second.