Editions of Ulysses

"...in the late 1970s a German critic and scholar named Hans Walter Gabler began the task of preparing a 'corrected text'. This was finally published in 1984, and greeted with, first, acclaim, then doubts, and finally outrage. From a deep split in English and German textual theory, the status of the all-important 'copy-text' (either the 1922 edition or Joyce's chaotic and imperfect manuscript) became the subject of a fierce scholarly debate between Gabler and his nemesis, John Kidd. The climax of this crisis occurred in June 1988 with Kidd's article in the New York Review of Books, entitled 'The Scandal of Ulysses'.

"Since then, the row has gradually subsided, with a loose consensus forming in support of Gabler's 'synoptic' text, while nevertheless acknowledging that it, too, contains some rank inconsistencies. Today, the first 1922 edition, a text of huge historical consequence, stands as the shortest route to the author's intentions, despite numerous Joycean 'misses in print'."

-- Source

"...it should be said that the errors in even the poorest edition, the pirated copying of the ninth Shakespeare printing, afford negligible obstacles to the reading of Ulysses."
-- Spoerri, James F. "The Odyssey Press Edition of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'". Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. 50.2 (1956): 195-8

Keeping track of editions of Ulysses is a quagmire, a situation that will only get more complicated now that it is in the public domain. Gabler's breakdown1 seems as good a place as any to start:

Regardless of one's opinion of Gabler's methods and conclusions, it must be admitted he has made an important contribution to Ulysses studies:

The following critical editions feature historically important texts and extensive annotations:

Danis Rose's "Reader's Edition"

And, last but not least:


1"Bibliography: 2. Editions". Ulysses: A Critical and Synoptic Edition. Gabler, Hans Walter && Steppe, Wolfhard && Melchior, Claus:eds. 3 vols. Rev. ppbk. edn. Garland, . Vol. 3, pp. 1855-1856.