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7 Revisiting the “Cyclops” Manuscripts, Part 2 The National Library of Ireland Draft and Its Contexts Revisiting the “Cyclops” manuscripts in the light of new theories and models , wandering in them and setting them in motion, is one thing. But, as I’ve suggested several times in this book, revisiting the manuscripts acquired a new urgency and excitement in 2002 when the National Library of Ireland announced its acquisition of previously unavailable documents, including an early draft of part of “Cyclops” as well as several new gatherings of notes for the episode. How, I wondered, would the picture I presented in “Ulysses” in Progress change based on not only new theoretical models and methods of procedure but also new documents? My initial exploration of the new “Cyclops ” materials at the National Library not only filled in more parts of the picture of Joyce’s early writing of the episode than had been possible before but also led me to ask some questions that I hadn’t thought of until then. Before the National Library acquired its manuscripts, notes for Ulysses were extant mainly in the notesheets at the British Library and in two notebooks at Buffalo, as well as in a few other documents. To these gatherings can be added four more notebooks.1 The first of these is earlier than the other three. Joyce labeled its pages by topic—Simon, Leopold, Stephen, Jesus, Theosophy , Irish, Jews, Weininger, Words, and others—rather than by Ulysses episode, as was his practice in the other three and also the British Library notesheets and a Buffalo notebook from late in his work on Ulysses. As with the previously extant collections, Joyce seems to have used the National Library notes more for revisions and additions to existing drafts than for new writing or for general conceptualizing. (This statement, however , needs to be made with some hesitation, because he rarely discussed Revisiting the “Cyclops” Manuscripts, Part 2 121 his general thinking about Ulysses, and, as is also the case with the Buffalo “Cyclops” draft, it can be unclear whether a surviving document is a first inscription or one copied from previous writing.) In the British Library notesheets there are some general notes for “Cyclops,” such as a cluster on “Cyclops” notesheet 5 that includes “Cycl. Exaggeration of things previously given: Superlatives,” “Style. Longwinded simile,” “Technique: Sudden vituperation follows depression,” and a note that reprises phrases from “Nestor”: “It seems history is to blame, nightmare, God noise in street, never let jews in.”2 In one of the National Library notebooks, a page of notes, in German and taken from Otto Weininger’s Über die letzten Dinge (On Last Things), includes some ideas that might have fed into “Cyclops,” such as (in translation) “people who are in a space together always form a community against newcomers .”3 It is hard to know how much weight to put on these general notes. If Rodney Wilson Owen is correct, Joyce had settled on a core element of what became “Cyclops”—a cuckolded Jewish man facing a group of hostile men in a pub after he claims that he is Irish—when he thought of a “Ulysses” story for Dubliners in 1907, and the general notes might have served primarily to reinforce or extend ideas he already had.4 (Owen’s suggestion might seem like a wild conjecture, but the National Library documents have borne out several of the guesses and speculations Owen made in the early 1980s on the basis of scanty available evidence.) Significantly, the notes also point to the books, articles, and newspapers that Joyce read and found useful as he worked on Ulysses. We are on more solid ground when we look at Joyce’s notes in relation to his additions and revisions. In one reassuring way, the new notes follow and reconfirm the pattern regarding the dramatic color clusters on the notesheets and notebook and copybook pages that manuscript scholars recognized many years ago: the colors—red, blue, and green—represent Joyce’s runs through the notes and nothing more elaborate or arcane than that.5 In “Ulysses” in Progress I list twelve phrases Joyce added to the long “last farewell ” passage in “Cyclops” that recounts the execution of an Irish revolutionary as if it were a society event (U 12:525–678) after it appeared in The Little Review in November 1919 and before he submitted the typescript for the book printing in late summer 1921. There were no notes in the British...


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