Joyce’s Works: A Chronology of Composition & Publication

Ulysses (1922) “Work in Progress”

Early plans: ‘My book of songs will be published in the spring of 1907. My first comedy about five years later. My “Esthetic” about five years later again. (This must interest you!) Yeats (who is impressionable) said he knew me ony a little time and in that time I had roared laughing at the mention of Balzac, Swinburne &c. I have more than oce upset a whole French café by laughing ...’ (Letter to his mother from Paris of 20 March 1903; in Letters, Vol. 2, [1957] 1966, p.38.)

Dubliners (1914)
Dubliners was accepted by Grant Richards of London in 1905 and turned down by him in 1906 in consequence of objections from his printer. It was accepted by Maunsel & Co. of Dublin in 1909, and printed up in galleys during 1910 but destroyed in 1912 - though Joyce apparently secured one copy of the galleys or, proof-sheets, ‘by a ruse’. It was finally published by Richards in London on 15 June 1914, using the former proof sheets as copy text. Huebsch of New York then used Richards’ sheets to issue the first American edition in the following year.
Final order
Composition Revision
“The Sisters”
1st to be written; publ. in The Irish Homestead, 13 Aug. 1904; uniquely signed “Stephen D.edalus” [sic]
Rewritten May-June 1906.
“An Encounter”
9th to be written; completed 18 Sept. 1905; retales an experience of Stanislaus Joyce in 1895.

Revised by 18 Sept. 1905.

11th to be written; begun 18 Oct. 1905; completed Oct. 1905.
2nd to be written; publ. in The Irish Homestead, 10 Sept. 1904; relates family event of 1894.
Revised Oct. 1905
“After the Race”:
3rd to be written; publ. in The Irish Homestead, 17 Dec. 1904; based on interview conducted by Joyce (The Irish Times, 7 [March] 1903).
Never revised.
“Two Gallants”*
13th to be written; completed Feb. 1906.
“The Boarding House”
5th to be written; completed 1 July 1905 [date on MS].
Revised by 13 July 1905.
“A Little Cloud”*
14th to be written; completed mid-1906.
6th to be written [after BH]; completed mid-July 1905.
Revised by 15 July 1905.
4th to be written; begun as “Christmas Eve”,† late Oct. 1904; completed in Jan. 1905; offered to Irish Homestead, and unpubl.;
Rewritten spring 1905; lightly revised 1906.
“A Painful Case”
7th to be written, orig. as “A Painful Incident”, completed [revised] by 8 May 1905‡;
Repeatedly retouched in 1906
“Ivy Day in the Committee Room”
8th to be written; fair copy dated 29 Aug 1905;
Virtually unchanged.
“A Mother”
10th to be written; finished in Sept. 1905;
Revised Oct. 1905.
12th to be written; composed Oct.-Dec. 1905; an early version was finished on 27 Nov. 1905.
“The Dead”*
written in 1907;

Add bibl. Unwritten stories mentioned in correspondence are: “Ulysses” (“The Last Supper”, “The Street”, “Vengeance”, “At Bay” and “Catharsis”) which he ‘could write if circumstances were favourable’ (all cited in etter to Stanislaus from Rome, 6 Jan. 1907, in Letters, Vol. II, ed. Richard Ellmann, Viking Press p.209; Selected Letters, 1975, p.145).

[ see the above listing in order of composition - attached.]

Source: Don Gifford, Joyce Annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man [rev. edn.] (California UP 1982), corrected with reference to Micheal Groden, ed., James Joyce, “Dubliners”: A Facsimile of Proofs for the 1910 Edition (NY: Garland 1977) - Preface.


*Supplied to Grant Richards after Dec. 1905 and before Richards raised objections to the language (i.e., ‘bloody’ in “Two Gallants”, &c.) - all the others having been supplied at that date.
†See “Christmas Eve” [an abandoned story], in James Joyce Miscellany, ed. Marvin Malaganer, 1962, pp.3-7.
‡July 1905, acc. Gifford [hence 7th].

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Stephen Hero [1904-07] (pub. 1944)

Stephen Hero began as an autobiographical essay and thinly-veiled manifesto heralding the artistic self in a symbolist narrative with elements of literary theory and messianic prophecy under the title “A Portrait of the Artist”, composed on one day, 7 January 1904, and submitted for publication in the new magazine Dana, edited by John Eglinton [Magee] and Fred Ryan. When the editors rejected it - either on account of the sexual references or simply as incomprehensible, as Magee claimed - Joyce embarked on what his brother described as a ‘lying and raking autobiography’ upon which they bestowed the name Stephen Hero.

 The novel, which was mapped out in 63 chapters before Joyce left Dublin in Oct. 1904 [LII, 83], was actually commenced on 2 Feb. 1904 according to the Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce - though this is now thought to be unreliable as regards the supposed contemporaneity of the entries and the events described. (In other words, either forgery or adulterations made by Stanislaus in long retrospect are now suspected.)

 Composition went on rapidly in Dublin and continued apace in Pola and Trieste. Already by 29 March 1904, according to Stanislaus, Joyce had completed 11 [eleven] chapters - but this seems improbably high for barely two months work. Chapter XII was completed by 31 October - actually in Zurich (Oct. 11-12th) en route to Trieste, by his own epistolary account [Letters, II, 69]. Chapter XXIV was complete by 5 June 1905. In March 1906, Joyce wrote to Grant Richards speaking of a manuscript of twenty-five [25] chapters comprising an estimated 150,000 words and over 914 pages. Presumably Chapter XXV was complete by this date, though probably finished earlier if written directly after Chapter XXIV. Confusion is added by the erroneous division of Chapter XXIV by Theodore Spencer, resulting in Chapter XXV appearing as Chapter XXVI in his 1944 and subsequent editions.

 In February 1905 Joyce professed himself ‘not quite happy’ Stephen Hero as the title and considered ‘restoring the original title of the article A Portrait of the Artist’. The draft-autobiography was abandoned in 1906 and recommenced in a much shorter form of which Joyce spoke to Stanislaus in September 1907. Presumably this writing went on in 1908. Possibly the greater part of the condensed version later issued as A Portrait [... &c.] (1916) was written at this time. It appears that the resultant MS was thrown in the fire but saved by ‘a family fire brigade’ in 1911 or 1912 [Letters, I, 136.]

 After a time, according to his own account [idem.], Joyce resumed writing by piecing the pages thus rescued together - at least, he later chose to give Miss Weaver the impression that this is how the final manuscript was produced. There is no evidence to suggest when this resumption took place but the completion of the novel in time for serial publication in The Egoist during Feb. 1914-Sept. 1915 suggests that it must have ante-dated the letter from Ezra Pound of Dec. 1913 which led to the publication of the text.

The dates “Dublin 1904 / Trieste 1914” given on the last page of the book when it appeared in 1916 establish Joyce’s conception of the composition of Stephen Hero and A Portrait as a continuous process, perhaps originating with the essay of 1904 which shares a title with the final production.

[ Dates given below correspond to those in letters to his brother Stanislaus where Joyce speaks of his progress. See also the summary account made by Hugh Kenner on the basis of information in Herbert Gorman’s James Joyce (1939, &c.) - infra.
Chap. XII
completed by 31 Oct. 1904 (Letters, II, p.69 - viz., ‘I have finished (in Zurich) chap. XII’). [JAJ arrives in Pola, 20 Oct.];
Chap. XIII
completed by 12 Dec. 1904 (Letters, II, p.74 - viz., the Mullingar episode acc. Ellmann’s note, idem.];
Chap. XVI
completed (Letter of 7 Feb. 1905,in Letters, II, 81 - viz., ‘now at Chap. XVII’);
considers reverting to the title A Portrait of the Artist (Letter of 28 Feb. 1905, in Letters, II, p.83 - viz., ‘not quite satisfied with the title Stephen Hero’);
Chap. XVII
completed by 15 March 1905 (Letters, II, p.86 - ‘finished Chapters XV, XVI. XVII. XVII and will send them if you like’);

[Note: at this point the chapter numbers depart from those in Joyce's correspondence since Theodore Spencer erroneously introduced a new chapter division into Chapter XVIII in his edition of 1944 which was perpetuated in the revised edition pf 1965. The corrected chapter numbers are given in square-brackets. [For rationale, see under Hans Walter Gabler - infra.]

Chap. XVIII no data; begin after March 1905 [includes theory of genre: lyric, epic, drama]
Chap. XX
[corr. XIX]*
completed by 4 April 1905 (Letters, II, p.87 - ‘am now on Chap. XXI’);

Chap. XXI
[corr. XX]*

completed by 2 or 3 May 1905 (Letters, II, p.88 - ‘I am now at Chap. XXII’);
Chap. XXIII*
corr. no. XXII]
in progress May 1905;

Chap. XXIV*
[corr. XXIII]

no data;
Chap. XXV*
[corr. XXIV]
completed by 7 June 1905 (Letter [dated by post-mark], in Letters, II, p.91 - viz., ‘Have now finished Chapter XXIV’);
[corr. XXV]
prob. completed in early 1906. (See letter to Grant Richards, 13 March 1906, Letters, II, pp.131-32 - as infra.).
Stephen Hero discontinued ...
‘The other day I was thinking about my novel. Is there any point continuing it?’ (Letter of 10 Jan. 1907);
Resumed as A Portrait [... &c.] (1916)
‘He [JAJ] told me he would omit all the first chapters and begin with Stephen, whom he will call Daly, going to school and that he would write the book in five chapters - long chapters.’ (Stanislaus Joyce’s diary for 8 Sept. 1907; quoted in Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965, p.274; 1982 Edn., p.264.)  
‘If only my book is published then I will plunge into my novel and finish it. ’ (22 Aug. 1912; Letters, II, p.310.)
‘The “original” original I tore up and threw in to the stove about eight years ago [viz., 1911/12] in a fit or rage on account of the trouble over Dubliners.’ (6 Jan. 1920; Letters, I, p.136.)

See Joyce’s letter to Grant Richards of 13 March 1906: ‘You suggest that I should write a novel in some sense autobiographical [131]. I have already written nearly a thousand pages of such a novel, as I think I told you, 914 pages to be accurate. I calculate that these twenty-five chapters, about half the book, run to 150,000 words. It is quite impossible for me in present circumstances to think the rest of the book, much less to write it. This novel also has the defect of being about Ireland.’ (Letters, II, pp.131-32.)


Note: Hans Walter Gabler [Hans Walter Gabler, Preface, A Portrait [ ... &c.], in James Joyce Archive, Vol. 8] corrected the chapter divisions which Theodore Spencer erroneously imposed on the printed edition Stephen Hero (Cape 1944, &c.) [See further under Notes, supra.] On this basis, Chaps. XX-XXIV in Spenser’s edition become Chaps. XIX-XXIII while Joyce’s chapter-numbers, as above, can be taken as authentic.

Note that Joyce tells his brother in a letter of 12 July 1905: ‘the incident in Chapter XXIII where Stephen makes “love” to Emma Clery I consider a remarkable piece of writing.’ (Letters, II, 1966, p.96.) To this, Ellmann adds a footnote: ‘Actually Chapter XXIV of Stephen Hero’ - following Spencer’s chapter-division and thereby implying that Joyce has made an error (idem.). However, Gabler’s realignment of chapter-numbers makes it clear that Joyce made no error and Ellmann was simply misled by Spencer’s edition.

How many chapters?

See letter to Stanislaus of 28 Feb. 1905: ‘It would be easy for me to do short novels if I chose but what I want to wear away in this novel cannot be worn away except my constant dropping. Gogarty used to pipe “63” in treble when I told him the number of the chapters. I am not quite satisfied with the title “Stephen Hero” and am thinking of restoring the original title of the article “A Portrait of the Artist” or perhaps better “Chapters in the Life of a Young Man”. [...]’ (Selected Letters, 1975, p.56; Letters, Vol. 2, p.83.)

Fate of the manuscript

See letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver of 6 Jan. 1920: ‘The “original” original I tore up and threw in to the stove about eight years ago [viz., 1912] in a fit or rage on account of the trouble over Dubliners. The charred remains of the MS were rescued by a family fire brigade and tied up in an old sheet where they remained for some time. I then sorted them out and pieced them together as best I could and the present MS is the result.’ (Selected Letters, 1975, p.247; also [in part], Letters, I, p.136.)

Probable interpretation ...

See Hugh Kenner, Dublin’s Joyce (London: Chatto & Windus) - who renders the compositional history of A Portrait thus: ‘A thousand-page first draft was written around 1904-1906, about the same time as the bulk of Dubliners. This was scrapped and a more compressed version undertaken in 1908; the third and final text was being composed in 1911, and was finished early in 1914.’ A footnote cites Gorman (James Joyce [q.d.]) V-iii, VII-i, VII-vi, and adds: ‘See also Theodore Spencer’s introduction to Stephen Hero’. (Dublin’s Joyce, p.109.)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, serialised in The Egoist, Vol 1, No. 3 (2 Feb. 1914) to Vol. II, No. 9 (1 Sept. 1915) with a hiatus after Chap. 3.

Ulysses (1922)
The following chart is based on that printed in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1959; rev. edn. 1965, p.456), with additions from A. Walton Litz, The Art of James Joyce (1964, pp.142ff). For reasons of space, volume numbers definite articles in the titles of journals have been omitted.
Episode Composition Publication & Venue
“Telemachus” Sent to Claud Sykes Nov. 1917 Little Review (March 1918), pp.3-22.
“Nestor” Sent to Sykes, Dec. 1917 Little Review (April 1918), pp.32-45; Egoist (Jan.-Feb. 1919), pp.11-14.
“Proteus” Sent to Sykes, Dec. 1917 Little Review (May 1918), pp.31-45; Egoist (March-April 1919), pp.26-30.
“Calypso” Sent to Ezra Pound, March 1918 Little Review (June 1918), pp.39-52
“Lotus-Eaters” ?April 1918 Little Review (July 1918), pp.37-49.
“Hades” Sent to Pound, May 1918 Little Review (Sept 1918), pp.15-37; The Egoist (July 1919), pp.42-46; Do. (Sept. 1919), pp.56-60.
“Aeolus” Sent to Pound, Aug. 1918 Little Review (Oct. 1918), pp.26-51.
“Lestrygonians” Sent to Pound 25 Oct. 1918 Little Review (Jan. 1919), pp.27-50; Do. (Feb.-March 1919), pp.58-62.
“Scylla & Charybdis” Oct. 1918-Feb. 1919 Little Review (April 1919), pp.30-43; Do. (May 1919), pp.17-35.
“Wandering Rocks” Sent to Pound Feb. 1919 Little Review (June 1919), pp.34-45; Do. (July 1919), pp.28-47; Egoist (Dec. 1919), pp.74-78 [part only].
“Sirens” Completed June 1919 Little Review (Aug. 1919), pp.41-64; Do. (Sept. 1919), pp.46-55.
“Cyclops” Completed Sept. 1919 Little Review (Jan. 1920), pp.38-54; Do. (Dec. 1919), pp.50-60; Do. (Jan. 1920), pp.53-61); Do. (March 1920), pp.54-60.
“Nausicaa” Sent to Budgen Feb./March 1920 Little Review (April 1920), pp.43-50; Do. (May -June 1920), pp.61-71; Do. (July-August 1920), pp.42-58.
“Oxen of the Sun” Sent to Pound Oct. 1919; rewritten May 18, 1920 Little Review (Sept.-Dec. 1920), p.81-92 [part only].
“Circe” Composed June-Dec. 1920; sent to Pound April 1921;  
“Eumaeus” Completed by Feb. 1921  
“Penelope” Jan./Feb.-Oct. 1921 [before Ithaca]  
“Ithaca” Completed 29 Oct. 1921  

Ulysses [1st Edn.] (Paris: Shakespeare & Company), published 2 Feb. 1922; for later & variant editions, see under Works [supra].

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“Work in Progress” [Finnegans Wake, 1939]
Dates of Serial Publication
Source: The following chart is based on that printed in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1959; reiss. 1965, p.801-03), with additions from A. Walton Litz, The Art of James Joyce (1964, pp.142ff.). Ellmann’s chart is based on the posgraduate undertaken by Litz and soon afterwards published by him in the title named (1964). The title of serialised extracts in issues of transition May 1927 are not given in either source.
  Composition   Publication
March 10: “King Roderick O’Conor” [Bk IV; pp.380-82] - so-called First Fragment*
July-Aug.: drafts “Tristam & Iseult” [II.iv, pp.384-86]; “St. Kevin” [IV, pp.604-05]; “Balkelly & St. Patrick” [IV, pp.611-12]
to Sept.: “Mamalujo” [II.iv, pp.383-99].
All episodes of Bk. I in early draft except I.i & [I, pp.30-125 & 169-216]. I.e., “The Ballad” [I.ii; pp.30-47]; “Goat” [I.iii; pp.48-74]; “Lion” [I.iv; pp.75-103]; “Hen” [I.v; pp.104-25]; “Shem” [169-95]; “Anna Livia Plurabelle” [I.viii; pp.196-216];

Jan.-March: working on I.v [pp.104-25]; I.vii [pp.169-25], & I.viii [pp.196-210]

‘From “Work in Progress”’, in Transatlantic Review, I (April 1924), pp.215-23 [FW II.iv].
March: begins “Shaun the Post” - III.i, III.ii, III.iii, III.iv [pp.403-590].
‘From “Work in Progress”’, in Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers (Paris [May] 1925), pp.133-36 [FW I.i, pp.30-34];
Rev. Bk. I; cont. “Shaun the Post” [Book III].
Cont. “Shaun the Post” [Bk. III]; rev. Bk. I.
“From Work in Progress”, in Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers (Paris: May 1925) [FW I.ii; pp.30-34]
Correcting and Proofing for Criterion and Contact
“Fragment of an Unpublished Work”, in Criterion, III (July 1925), pp.498-95 [FW I.v; pp.104-25].
Aug.: “Shaun the Post”, III.iv [pp.555-90]; Nov.: do., nearly completed draft
“From Work in Progress”, in Navire d’Argent, I (Oct. 1925), pp.59-74 [FW I. viii; pp.196-216];
“Extract from Work in Progress”, in This Quarter, I (Autumn-Winter 1925-26), pp.108-23 [FW I.vii; pp.169-95].
April: concludes “Shaun the Post” [Bk. III; pp.555-90]
Summer: “The Triangle” [i.e., “The Muddest Thick That Was Ever Heard Dump” [II.ii; pp.282-304]
“The Wake” [ I.i; pp.3-29]
Rev. Bk. I for [pp.3-216] transition
“Opening Pages of a Work in Progress”, in transition, I (April 1927), pp.9-30 [FW I.i].
Summer: “Questions & Answers” [; pp.126-68]
“Continuation of a Work in Progress”, in transition, 2 (May 1927), pp.94-107 [FW I.ii].
Rev. “Shaun the Post” [III.i, ii, iii; pp.403-554]
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 3 (June 1927), pp.32-50 [FW I.iii].
Rev. “Anna Livia Plurabelle” for publ. by Crosby Gaige [NY]
“Continuation of a Work in Progress”, in transition, 4 (July 1927), pp.46-65 [FW I.iv];
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 5 (August 1927), pp.15-31 [FW 1.v].
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 6 (September 1927), pp.87-106f. [FW 1. vi].
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 7 (October 1927), pp.34-56 [FW I.vii].
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 8 (November 1927), pp.17-35 [FW 1.viii].
Rev. ‘fables’: “The Mookse and the Gripes” [, pp.152-59 - in “Questions & Answers”]; “The Muddest Thick ...” [II.ii, pp.282-304 - in “Nightlessons”]; “The Ondt and the Gracehoper” [III.i, pp.414-19 - in “First Watch of Shaun”

[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 11 (February 1928), pp.7-18 [FW II.ii, pp.282-304 - “Muddest Thick ...” ].

[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 12 (March 1928), pp.7-27 [FW I.viii; pp.196-216 - “ALP”].
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 13 (Summer 1928), pp.5-32 [FW III.ii; pp.426-73 - “Second Watch of Shaun”].
Anna Livia Plurabelle (NY: Crosby Gaige [October] 1928) [FW 1.viii].
Cont. to revise ‘fables’ [see 1928, supra]
[ “Work in Progress”] , transition, 15 (February 1929), pp.195-238 [FW III.iii].
Tales Told of Shem and Shaun (Paris: The Black Sun Press [August] 1929) [FW, pp.152-59, 282-304, 414-19].
[“Work in Progress”, in] transition, 18 (November 1929), pp.211-36 [FW III.iv].
Haveth Childers Everywhere (Paris & NY: [Babou & Kahane, June] 1929) [FW 532-54].
Anna Livia Plurabelle (London: Faber & Faber [June] 1929) [FW I.viii].
Begins “The Mime of Mick, Nick and the Maggies” [ II.i; pp.219-259]
Haveth Childers Everywhere (London: Faber & Faber [May] 1931) [FW 132-54]. Pamphlet.
Completes “The Mime of Mick, Nick and the Maggies” [I.i; pp.219-259] §
Two Tales of Shem and Shaun (London: Faber & Faber [December] 1932) [FW, pp.152-59 & 414-19]. Pamphlet.
Working on II.ii & iii - “Mime” and “Night Lessons”
[“Work in Progress”], transition, 22 (February 1933), pp.49-76 [FW 219-59].
Working on II.ii & iii - “Mime” and “Night Lessons”
The Mime of Mick Nick and the Maggies (The Hague: The Servire Press [June] 1934) [FW 219-59]. Pamphlet.
Working on II.ii & iii - “Mime” and “Night Lessons”
[“Work in Progress”, in] transition, 23 (July 1935), pp.109-29 [FW 260-75 & 304-08].
Working on II.ii & iii - “Mime” and “Night Lessons”; submits Bk.I to Faber & Faber
Working on II.ii & iii - “Mime” and “Night Lessons”; galley sheets for Bk I [from 12 March 1937].
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 26 (February 1937), pp. 35-52 [FW 309-31].
Storiella As She Is Syung (London: Corvinus Press [October] 1937) [FW 260-75 & 304-08].
rev. of Bk II & III ends mid-Nov.; p.623 written last; corrections and alterations to Jan. 1939
[“Work in Progress”], in transition, 27 (April-May 1938), pp.59-78 [FW 338-55].
Late corrections and alterations [to Jan.]
Finnegans Wake (London: Faber & Faber; NY: Viking Press [May 4th] 1939).

* Superseded by new MSS finds, 2002.
§ Ellmann’s chart ends here [James Joyce, 1965, p.803].
† Printed title of extracts from “Work in Progress” not given in either source from May 1927.

For information on editions, see Works; for remarks on dating, see “Notes & Queries”.

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