restricted access A Report on the Dublin James Joyce Summer School, 4-10 July 2010
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A Report on the Dublin James Joyce Summer School, 4-10 July 2010

In his seminar on Finnegans Wake, Terence Killeen told us that a particular full stop in the recent Danis Rose and John O'Hanlon edition had seemed out of place to him and that, on consulting the manuscripts in the National Library, he realized it was originally the dot of an i from the line below.1 His account of this stray mark indicates the expertise and engagement of the teachers at the Dublin James Joyce Summer School. Killeen invited another independent scholar to his seminar, Vincent Deane, the eminent co-editor of the Wake Notebooks at Buffalo, to continue a discussion of the Rose and O'Hanlon edition that began during a workshop Deane gave at the National Library. Some in attendance were shocked to hear that Rose and O'Hanlon have corrected Joyce himself, reversing his "misreading" of his own handwriting as he moved from notes to drafts. Deviations of spelling in the Prankquean episode, to give another example, are seen by Rose and O'Hanlon as misreadings by the typist of a manuscript in which the spellings are consistent, which they assume Joyce failed to notice. The highly engaging debates in both the workshop and the seminar exposed the cruxes of creating new editions: the limits of editorial agency, the question of passive authorization of "mistakes," the reduction or increase of meaning by a correction, the importance of a standard text for scholars, the question of the boundaries of a book, and the onus upon editors to produce an apparatus to account [End Page 20] for their decisions.

The National Library's massive collection of notes, drafts, manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs, as well as more general historical documents, allows the Dublin James Joyce Summer School to stage highly effective workshops on different modes of scholarship. In a workshop on genetic criticism, Luca Crispi drew on the collection to present images from the different stages of composition of Ulysses—from the earliest existing draft to the final, reassuringly familiar printed text (the Library holds Harriet Shaw Weaver's iconic first copy). In one particularly surprising fragment, Joyce strikes through the tag "he thought," transforming narration into stream of consciousness. Crispi raised questions about the status of these pieces of writing: for example, are we to understand the fragments of the "Proteus/Sirens" manuscript as a storehouse for future drafts or as a new prose aesthetic? In a workshop on social and cultural documents, Anne Fogarty referred to the use of the Library's holdings in current scholarly work: for instance, Luke Gibbons recently discovered in an 1887 issue of The Celtic Times the enigmatic "U.P. UP" serving as the headline of an article on the demise of the pan-Celtic Caledonian Games Society headed by Michael Cusack, the original "Citizen."

Use of archives also enlivened the Summer School lectures. To an audience gathered in the beautiful Old Physics Theatre of Newman House, where Joyce studied for his B.A. degree, Damien Keane played recordings of Joyce reading "Anna Livia Plurabelle." He argued, though, that while the recordings provide access to the authentic voice of the author and to the sense of the work, the surface noise and the challenges of listening to the Wake result in an experience of abstracted sound. Keane showed images of the two four-and-a-half minute shellac prints (held in the Buffalo archive) that are spliced together to make the "ALP" reading and played two versions of the second half to illustrate Joyce's experimentation with a "jig rhythm" and a more elegiac tone. The voice of the recording, with its synthetic rural accent, was born in the recording studio.

This sense of Joyce as a work in progress also emerged when Bruce Bradley complicated our understanding of what Joyce's Jesuit education at Clongowes and Belvedere might have been. By Joyce's time, the Jesuits had set aside their traditional curriculum, the "ratio studiorum" that focused on oral, written, and spoken skills, for the national content-based curriculum. Bradley told us that Joyce was taught the normal catechism rather than theology, which he learned alone...