This page has compiled information on newspapers in Ulysses.
Majority of these notes are based on James Joyce: The Lost Notebook. That book covers the first of a series of notebooks that Joyce used to keep notes while writing Ulysses.
While writing Ulysses, Joyce was living in Zürich, but was still able to recreate 1904 Dublin in its most intricate details. This was not done from memory, but by using a copy he had obtained of Thom's Dublin Directory for 1904.
To determine what regular Dubliners would have done on 16 June 1904 - what they were conversing about, what was going on in the city, what the weather was like - the newspaper is the place to go.
Better find out in the paper.
- Calpyso 543
In Zürich, in the midst of a world war, the backlog of Irish newspapers were sparse. Joyce used the more widely disseminated London Times, reading 1904 issues and making notes from them.
(Side note: many major and minor themes which permeate the very Irish Ulysses come from the very English Times.)
Theme of newspapers is originally introduced in Ulysses/Lotus Eaters - Bloom has a copy of the Freeman's Journal in his side pocket.
Bloom peruses page 1 to:
- ascertain the time time of Patrick Dignam's funeral, between Ulysses/Calypso and Ulysses/Lotus Eaters
- "idly" read the Plumtree's Potted Meat advertisement, in Ulysses/Lotus Eaters 144-147
- scan the list of recently deceased (Ulysses/Hades 157-163)
Bloom does not peruse the paper any further. Coincidentally, Bloom is a canvasser for advertisements for that newspaper, so it seems odd that it should make no further appearances. However, the reason is likely that Joyce did not have a copy of said newspaper:
- The deceased were all fictional
- The potted meat advertisement did not appear
- Bantam Lyons, who greedily scanned the sports page, actually "got" the information he had (meaning, Joyce got the information) from the London Times from the following day
...with one exception, no material taken directly from Irish newspapers appeared in the text in progress of Ulysses prior to June 1919, when Joyce started work on the Cyclops episode.
By June 1919, Joyce somehow contrived to get hold of the 16th and 17th June 1904 issues of The Irish Independent. Clusters of notes taken directly from these newspapers appear on Cyclops notesheets 3, 4, and 7 (Herring 1972). The argumentative "Cyclops" episode, oddy enough, is the most newspaper-like episode in Ulysses in that huge tracts of it were taken directly from real newspapers: not only from The Irish Independent but, to an even greater extent, from The Times. The Citizen's cynical asides about The Times are therefore somewhat ironic, as his fictive existence is at least partly due to excerpts from it.
The last of the newspapers - the pink edition - is The Evening Telegraph spoting extra. Earliest recorded apperance in the text-in-progress of Ulysses was in 1920 in Ulysses/Eumaeus. In the episode, both Bloom and Stephen read it, and the contents are accurate, suggesting Joyce had a copy of it.
The report on the funeral of Patrick Dignam was not in the real issue of The Evening Telegraph, but the funeral was based on the 13 July 1904 funeral of Mr. Mat Kane, attended (according to The Evening Telegraph report) by Alfred Hunter, John Joyce, James Joyce, Joyn Wyse Power, J. H. Menton, Alfred Bergin, Adam Findlater, Daneil O'Connell, Geo. Washington, and -- Crokakley. (The Croakely name is a pseudonymous name, like the --M'Intosh of Ulysses/Hades.)
The account of the Gold Cup race read out in Ulysses/Eumaeus 1276-1289, which Bloom reads, is from page 3 of the Telegraph. There are several elements from the account, however, that come from the more dramatic Times account.
A short list of the many items from The Times utilized in Ulysses would include:
- The Ascot Gold Cup and related horse races (a major theme)
- The Gordon-Bennett motorcar race (reference to the same race as "After the Race")
- Cricket (minor)
- The General Slocum disaster
- In Ulysses/Cyclops: the lively adventures of Alake of Abeokuta, the matter of the Royal Hungarian Lottery, the scandal of Corporal Punishment in the Royal Navy, etc.
- The Reverend John Alexander Dowie
- The visit of the Lord Lieutenant to open the Mirus Bazaar in aid of Mercer's Hospital
- Diverse small facts sprinkled throughout the text
Joyce must have had his copy of the June 17, 1904 Irish Independent to hand by, at the latest, not June, but rather February 1919, at which time he was completing (by dictation to Frank Budgen) the (Rosenbach) faircopy of "Wandering Rocks."
Scholarly and sensitive readers of that estimable episode will be pleased to learn that the description there of the onset of the now imfamous bicycle race is a rendering, hardly altered (apart from Mr. Budgen's idiosyncratic orthography), of the account of the conclusion of the same as it appeared in the said newspaper and no other. The Irish Times omitted J. B. Jones; the Evening Telegraph omitted W. C. Huggard but included a J. J. Comyn, and so on...
...It may be a coincidence but, on the (microfilmed) copy in the National Library of Ireland that we consulted, there is a mark (bitched type?) just above the "n" of Jones which makes it appear to the casual or, perhaps, weak eye as "Joffes", which, spoken aloud, may have occasioned Mr. Budgen's "Joffs", later altered by Joyce to "Jeffs".
- Danis Rose, John O'Hanlon / July 4, 1989
Ulyssesby James Joyce
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