Beatrice Harraden guiding the thread and Clarence E. Mulford shanghaied: Nausicaa notesheets 4 and 8

Joyce’s attention may have been drawn to the English writer Beatrice Harraden (1864–1936) and her most recent novel The Guiding Thread (1916) by a passage in a review of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man published in La Semaine Littéraire in 1917:

Joyce est un écrivain de demain: il a répudié les vieilles formes du roman anglais, les problèmes sentimentaux de Béatrice Harraden, les méandres policiers de Conan Doyle, les niaiseries de Marie Corelli, les recherches philosophiques et sociales de Humphrey Ward, pour se lancer sur un terrain nouveau.

La Semaine Littéraire (1917), vol. 25 p. 418

He might have found the story of a country girl moulded into a Renaissance scholar of sorts by her intellectually domineering husband, but eventually breaking away from him of more than passing interest. He obviously ploughed through Harraden’s Guiding Thread and copied the following phrases from it into his notes for Nausicaa:1

Herring Notesheets2 140.58: joyous little laugh which had in it all the freshness of a May morning

Harraden Guiding Thread 49: Joan who had now come out of her rapture, laughed a joyous little laugh which had in it all the freshness of a May morning.

Ulysses 13.125-6: The pretty lips pouted awhile but then she glanced up and broke out into a joyous little laugh which had in it all the freshness of a young May morning.

Herring Notesheets 141.62: and then he left her

Harraden Guiding Thread 22: And then he left her.

Herring Notesheets 141.63: that his face was strangely drawn

Harraden Guiding Thread 21: He was holding the lantern, and she saw that his face was strangely drawn and tired.

Ulysses 13.368-70: … and the face that met her gaze there in the twilight, wan and strangely drawn, seemed to her the saddest she had ever seen.

Herring Notesheets 141.65: his & his only

Harraden Guiding Thread 24: After all, she was his little Joan, his, and his only.

Ulysses 13.215 (?): With all the heart of her she longs to be his only …

Herring Notesheets 141.65: coarse man

Harraden Guiding Thread 52: A man of a type both coarse and garish jumped out and gave the chauffeur instructions to wait.

Ulysses 13.633 … coarse men with no respect for a girl's honour

Herring Notesheets 141.66: rouse the devil in him

Harraden Guiding Thread 58: … and Horace was again relegated to that unimportant remoteness, sense of which had roused the devil in him.

Ulysses 13.517-8: Her woman’s instinct told her that she had raised the devil in him …

Herring Notesheets 141.67: I hate you

Harraden Guiding Thread 272:And I hate you.” Rachel Thorne woke up saying the words: “I hate you.”

Herring Notesheets 141, 67: bored to tears

Harraden Guiding Thread 130 “Why, I was feeling bored to tears …”

Herring Notesheets 141, 67: dear old Seth

Harraden Guiding Thread 281: side by side with Mrs Gifford, Liz, Seth - dear old Seth – and the rest of them.

Ulysses 13.3-4 (?): … the proud promontory of dear old Howth

Once again we can see that Joyce was always alert for the mot or phrase juste, and cared little for the contexts of his finds in their sources. And three phrases Joyce found in a short story by Clarence E. Mulford (1883-1956) of “Hopalong Cassidy” fame (originally published in the Outing Magazine - volume 54 - for 1909 and turned into a chapter of a novel Bar-20 Days two years later) can confirm this:3

Herring Notesheets 160.125: light broke in upon him

Mulford 192: A light broke in on him then and he wondered how soon it would be his turn to pay tribute to Neptune.

Ulysses 13.690-1: She looked at him a moment, meeting his glance, and a light broke in upon her.

Herring Notesheets 160.126: towering rage

Mulford 192: “Ahoy, men!” roared the captain in a towering rage …

Ulysses 13.599-600: Gerty could see by her looking as black as thunder that she was simply in a towering rage …

Herring Notesheets 161.127: for keeps

Mulford 192: “You yap like that again an’ I’ll plug you for keeps!” he snapped.

Ulysses 15.1315: For Zoe? For keeps?

Harald Beck


1 James Joyce Archive Ulysses: Notes etc. (JJA 12) (Garland Publishing, New York: 1978), p. 17.

2 Herring’s readings were checked against the facsimiles in the James Joyce Archive, but his edition of the notesheets has been used for reference as it is more widely accessible.

3 James Joyce Archive Ulysses: Notes etc. (JJA 12) (Garland Publishing, New York: 1978), p. 21.

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