JOYCE, James. Typescript carbon page from the 'Circe' episode of Ulysses, WITH HOLOGRAPH ADDITIONS IN JOYCE'S HAND comprising 39 words. [Paris: ca. 1921].
One page, 2° (269 x 208 mm). Stamped foliation '115' at top right-hand corner, further early pencilled foliation '113' at lower left-hand corner. Carbon typescript on thin, tan typing paper (perforations in left margin where sheets were once fastened together, small chips from lower and upper edges, uniformly browned, remains of small mount stub to verso). Modern blue buckram chemise and clamshell case. Provenance: Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) -- William Lebov, gift to -- anonymous owner, sold by his son at Christie's New York, 14 December 2000, lot 231.
JOYCE AT WORK ON THE 'CIRCE' EPISODE. This heavily amended leaf from the climactic episode of Ulysses is almost certainly from the final typescript used by Beach's printer to set type for the first proofs of Ulysses, of which all but a very few leaves are now in the Joyce Collection of the State University of New York at Buffalo (P. Spielberg James Joyce's Manuscripts and Letters at the University of Buffalo: A Catalogue (Buffalo: 1962) p.66-67). This leaf shows a remarkable number of salient changes by Joyce, while most leaves in the Buffalo typescript rarely bear more than a word or two added by Joyce. The 'Circe' episode, to which this leaf relates, is particularly important: 'the scheme of value of Ulysses comes closer to explicit expression in the 'Circe' episode than it does anywhere else'; 'Bloom's common-sense joins Stephen's acute intelligence; Stephen Daedalus, the Greek-Christian-Irishman, joins Bloom's Ulysses, the Greek-Jewish-Irishman; the cultures seem to unite against horsepower and brutality in favour of brainpower and decency' (R. Ellmann, James Joyce (Oxford: 1983) p. 372).
This was one of the most difficult episodes for Joyce to write, and its sed to do the work upon seeing the manuscript, and the outraged husband of a substitute typist, a member of the British Embassy staff in Paris, burnt one of the final secene. In the passage, which takes the form of a dream, Bloom, who has been reduced to a fawning servant in his own home, conducts Boylan (Molly Bloom's lover) up to Madame Tweedy (Molly Bloom), who luxuriates in her bath. She urges Boylan to let Bloom watch their coupling; Boylan agrees to let him peep through the keyhole 'and play with yourself' (Joyce's ink addition). Bloom thanks him, humbly, asking 'May I bring two men chums to take a snapshot?' (Joyce's addition). Bloom is taunted by whores Mina and Lydia. The latter exclaims 'O, he's carrying her round the room doing it. Ride a cock horse' (Joyce's addition), then adds that their lovemaking could be heard in Paris and New York: 'like mouthfuls of strawberries and cream.' The themes of cuckoldry, sexual love and jealousy are some of the most important in Joyce's life, and are central to his work.
From the almost identical dimensions, perforations in the left margin, and double numbering, this page conforms to Spielberg's description of the Buffalo manuscript V.B.13h., and may have originally been part of it. According to Spielberg this was 'the final typescript from which the printer set the type for the first proofs', later returned to Sylvia Beach. The present page is one of a few which Sylvia Beach is known to have occasionally given away to soldiers and others who assisted her in various ways during and after the second World War.