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5 The James Joyce Archive and Hans Walter Gabler’s Edition of Ulysses A Personal History Was any other novel’s introduction into the reading world quite like that of Ulysses? The February 1921 New York court decision that declared the book obscene while Joyce was still writing it led to its publication in France as a collector’s item, a cult object. Joyce wanted Ulysses published in Englishspeaking countries, both as a recognition of its respectability and as a response to the pirated editions that appeared in the United States in the late 1920s, and one of his ways of aiding the process was to encourage friends and interested critics to write extended, learned studies of it. By the time Judge John M. Woolsey nullified the ban in late 1933 and Ulysses appeared legally in the United States the next year, several articles and at least three books had been written about it. Just two weeks after Random House published Ulysses, it ran a two-page ad in the Saturday Review of Literature headed “How to Enjoy James Joyce’s Great Novel Ulysses,” urging potential readers to ignore the mass of criticism that had already built up around the book. A few months later, Vanity Fair published a parody—not of the book itself but of Ulysses criticism.1 For better or worse, Ulysses has never been available in English-speaking countries without an accompanying factory of critics, a labor force eventually dubbed the “Joyce industry.” The first Ph.D. dissertation to focus exclusively on Joyce, according to Tetsumaro Hayashi’s census, appeared only three years after Joyce’s death: Joseph Prescott’s “James Joyce’s Ulysses as Work in Progress,” completed at Harvard University in 1944 and based largely on the proofs for Ulysses that Harvard had acquired in the 1930s.2 In the same year the first posthumous 82 Ulysses in Focus publication of any Joyce work appeared, Theodore Spencer’s edition of the abandoned and fragmentary early version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man that Joyce called Stephen Hero (a manuscript also at Harvard). Spencer and Prescott probably spent a great deal of time in close proximity in Harvard’s library in 1942 and 1943, and they must have conferred with Harvard professor Harry Levin, whose book James Joyce: A Critical Introduction , published in the year of Joyce’s death, was the first major book-length study of Joyce’s works to be written by someone outside his circle of acquaintances . Aside from this temporary location of Harvard as the Joyce industry headquarters in the first few years after the author’s death, it is noteworthy that two of these three books were old-fashioned projects involving editing and manuscripts. (Thirty years later, Levin, too, became associated with Joyce’s manuscripts when he wrote an introduction to the facsimile edition of the Rosenbach Manuscript.) If, as Peter Shillingsburg claims, the process of scholarly editing produces texts that “preserve or rescue a work of artistic, social, intellectual, or historical importance as an artifact,” then by the time Joyce died, his novels had already entered the canon of works seen as worth such efforts.3 In a way, it didn’t even take Joyce’s death for Ulysses to achieve this status. Morris Ernst and Alexander Lindey, who argued the case for Joyce’s novel before Judge Woolsey in 1933 and wanted it to be judged according to the special criteria reserved for classic works, proclaimed Ulysses—“in essence, an eleven-year-old text, never published in a trade edition,” Kevin Dettmar reminds us as he quotes Ernst and Lindey—a “modern classic” or even simply a “classic” that had “stood the test of time.”4 Manuscript study thus constituted a major aspect of Joyce scholarship from the start. There are several obvious reasons for this. For one thing, many of the manuscripts became available for scholarly research quite quickly . Also, scholars gravitated toward any approach that might make Ulysses or Finnegans Wake more comprehensible, and manuscript study seemed like a promising possibility. And tantalizing glimpses of them came from some of Joyce’s acquaintances who had seen his papers, most prominently Frank Budgen , who described Joyce pulling out “little writing blocks especially made for the waistcoat pocket” and jotting down “a word or two . . . at lightning speed as ear or memory served his turn.” Budgen noted that this “method of making a multitude of criss-cross notes in pencil was a strange one...


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