Bewitching eyes beneath a well-drawn eyebrow line

U 13.111 (and 640): It was Madame Vera Verity [...] who had first advised her to try eyebrowleine which gave that haunting expression to the eyes, so becoming in leaders of fashion.

Lloyd's Weekly News (1916) 29 October, p. 11

Gerty MacDowell turns out to be a satisfied customer of the product that provides her with "eyes of witchery" (13.107). Joyce obviously found the text "'EYEBROWLIN' produces that fascinating expression [...]" in the advertisement, rendering it as "eyebrowleine, produce that fascinating expression of eyes" in the notesheets (Herring, p. 153, 24). He also noticed that it was "used by leaders of fashion". One might speculate that Joyce preferred the more refined, Frenchified, touch of -leine to -lin, but Joyce's handwriting in the Rosenbach manuscript in both occurrences makes it actually seem more likely that he intended -line rather than -leine. We can't be sure though if he changed his mind as the Rosenbach manuscript was not the typist's copy text for this episode.

The brand is of course modelled on "eyebrow line", a term frequently employed by artists and fashion writers. The advert had been around since 1916, and Joyce copied it into the Nausicaa notes between September 1919 and February 1920.

Harald Beck

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