Things James Joyce’s Editor Presumably Said About The First Draft Of Ulysses

Chapter 1

Could you include more obscure references to catholic theology? I don’t think you have quite covered that.

Now this “Buck” you keep referring to… There are just so many Buck’s in this novel I think you will need to help your reader keep things clear. It is vital that you refer to him as “Buck Mulligan” every single time. 

But…what is Stephen Dedalus thinking? Could you give us more of a window into his literal, in the moment thoughts? It could be called a “stream of thoughts” or something like that.

Could there be more Latin? I think there isn’t quite enough Latin. It’s the sort of thing that if I were to wander around Dublin attending to various tasks I would definitely quote lengthy bits of Latin to myself. We must appeal to the everyman, James. None of this highfalutin myth stuff.


The work needs some really obvious cross references. Perhaps you could bring back that potato you mentioned a few hundred pages ago?

But exactly what sort of modality of the void are we talking about here? Precision, James.

By the way, have I told you my theory about Shakespeare’s wife? It’s a doozy.

I’m completely lost by most of this, you know. And by that, I mean geographically lost. Which street is he on, and when? What if someone wanted to follow his path around the city for themselves? They’ll need details. 

Leopold Bloom is a great character, but I think we could have more of Stephen. He was so popular in your last book. Could you maybe whack in a few chapters for the fans? Maybe right at the start, so that we think this novel is about him, and then, wham, surprise us all. What a twist!

What did I think of this book? I think it’s mostly great. Would I be willing to publish it? I think so. Do I love the variety of literary styles you have incorporated into it? Very much.