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  • Preface

The 2018 Joyce Studies Annual begins on a retrospective note with Hans Walter Gabler's detailed account of the seven-year production of Ulysses: A Critical and Synoptic Edition, published by Garland Press in 1984, and of the turbulent decade of controversy and misunderstanding that followed. In an essay originally delivered at the International Joyce Symposium in Antwerp, Gabler recounts his team's innovative "harnessing of the computer" in the late 1970s, using early digital technology to transcribe, store, and collate Joyce's heavily amended page proofs and the 1922 Shakespeare and Company edition in order to trace "all revisional change and accretion" between "the printer's copy and the final proofs of the first-edition book." Gabler stresses that, from the start, the editorial project had a twofold aim: first, to produce a more reliable "reading text" of Ulysses, but, more important, to provide a synopsis of the "text's development in and across its documents," from fair copy to its initial publication. The edition's "true core" was the presentation of Joyce's "progressive writing" through the "genetically stratified" unfolding of successive pre-publication documents, a diachronic evolution illustrated in the left-hand pages of the Garland edition. Gabler laments that his team's genetic approach to the text as a dynamic process rather than product—a methodology developed in Germany and France—was lost on those governed by the Anglo-American axiom of producing a single, monolithic edition that would fulfill the "author's intention." This view of texts as "effectively synchronous and so essentially closed," Gabler suggests, caused consternation first among the Joyce Estate's triumvirate of advisors and later within the Joyce community itself. After the "initial euphoria" that greeted the Critical and Synoptic Edition, some scholars were troubled by its departures from the familiar Random House version (including the inclusion of "love" as the "word known to all men" in a passage missing [End Page ix] in the first edition due to a printer's "eyeskip"), but still more by its emphasis on the novel's constant revision and augmentation, the "archeology of the writing process." The "Joyce wars" that ensued, Gabler explains, were fueled by the "publicity-seeking attacks" of John Kidd, but exacerbated by the misleading advertisement of his edition as "the definitive text." A "critical edition," he notes, "cannot, by definition, be definitive." Further, by addressing only "co-professionals" in his original Afterword, Gabler acknowledges his own failure to "set out in plain language" how and why the three-volume Garland edition differed from the earlier reading text of Ulysses. Noting that the medium of print struggled in 1984 to synopsize Ulysses in its full temporal flowering, he looks forward happily to the "fresh realization" of his work in a Digital Critical and Synoptic Edition.

Robert Seidman's essay, "A Life Long Odyssey," is also a work of recollection, a colorful account of his work with Don Gifford on an indispensable companion volume to Joyce's epic, Ulysses Annotated, originally published in 1974 and reissued in a revised and expanded edition in 1988. Recalling his research, compiled on hundreds of index cards, Seidman describes consulting with the slang specialist Eric Partridge on the novel's "linguistic esoterica" and his correspondence with Iona and Peter Opie in tracking down Joyce's references to arcane "rhymes and ditties." Among Seidman's all-time favorite annotations are allusions to saints whose names and legends demonstrate that everything in Ulysses holds "potential meaning" and that the novel rewards attention "to even the smallest details." St. Foutinus, for example, mentioned in a catalogue in "Oxen of the Sun," offers a subtle clue to the episode's tropes of sexuality and childbirth: the second century saint's virtues became popularly entangled with attributes of a priapic pre-Christian god. Seidman concludes his account of meticulous and exhausting labors under Gifford's direction with anecdotes about figures whom he met on his Joycean adventures: the Jewish painter Hilaire Hiler, who sketched Joyce in profile at a time when the novelist could "barely make out" the image of his own face, and the filmmaker Joseph Strick, who had hoped to make a 24-hour long, "realtime version" of...


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pp. ix-xv
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