beginning at the head of the first page with "thick lips" (from Act I, scene I, lines 69-70, Roderigo: "What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe/ If he can carry't thus!"), continuing with
"an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe" [lines 94-95, Iago]
"your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs" [lines 121-122, Iago]
"She swore in faith, `twas strange, `twas passing strange,
`twas pitiful, `twas wondrous pitiful" [Act I, Scene III, lines 178-179, Othello]
"She loved me for the dangers I had passed:
and I loved her that she did pity them" [lines, 185-186, Othello]
and a further fourteen quotations from the play from various scenes, including Iago's celebrated injunction to Othello
"O beware, my lord , of jealousy:
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on..." [Act III, scene III, lines 191-193]
a remarkable manuscript linking joyce and shakespeare, and joyce's own experience of jealousy and potential cuckoldry with that of othello.
From the size and type of paper used by Joyce for this manuscript (apparently a form of legal stationery) it would appear that it dates from after his arrival in Zurich on 30 June 1915, just before the great "exfoliation" of Joyce's creative powers.
This accords with Joyce's own personal concerns in the years leading up to the move to Zurich, which fed directly into his play Exiles and novel Ulysses. The action of Othello of course centres around Othello's consuming jealousy from his mistaken belief, urged on him by the villain Iago, that his wife Desdemona had betrayed him with Cassio. Similarly, Joyce in 1909 had been inflamed by jealousy from his conviction that his former friend Vincent Cosgrave had had carnal relations with Nora during the time of their courtship in 1904. This was a claim made by Cosgrave himself to Joyce in Dublin during that year. "The chances are high that there was some truth in the tale Cosgrave poured into Joyce's ear--words full of innuendo spoken softly at lunchtime...and that Joyce fashioned them into the story that he craved to hear..." (Brenda Maddox, Nora, p.127). Whether true or not, Cosgrave was probably partly motivated by reading chapters of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which Joyce had allowed to circulate in Dublin in 1909. Cosgrave, whose attempts to woo Nora had ultimately failed, was parodied by Joyce as Lynch (who plays the role of Judas) in Ulysses. Nora maintained an almost total silence about Joyce's accusations, but after reassurances from his old friend John Francis Byrne and his brother Stanislaus that Cosgrave was inventing the story, Joyce asked Nora for forgiveness, and the agony of jealousy immediately gave way to overpowering re-charged sexual desire for Nora and a huge burst of artistic activity, finally leading to the creation of Ulysses.
But the themes of betrayal and jealousy first found their way into Exiles, which Joyce was working on in this period and which was published in May 1918. The model for Robert Hand in Exiles was Joyce's Triestine friend Roberto Prezioso, editor of Piccolo della Sera. At some point in 1911 or 1912 he made significant advances to Nora, attempting to become her lover rather than her admirer. Unlike Leopold Bloom Joyce "did not submit tamely to the possibility of adultery" (Ellmann, James Joyce, p.316) and a confrontation took place in the Piazza Dante during which tears ran down "Prezioso's humiliated face" (op.cit.). This incident gave Joyce a considerable portion of the later plot of Exiles, where Prezioso's overtures (as Robert Hand) form a large part of the action. A number of biographers and commentators (including Ellmann and O'Brien) agree that in some real sense Joyce precipitated or even part-created Prezioso's conduct, out of a deep-burning desire to be betrayed, or to face the prospect of betrayal. If so, he was to get "his fill of it" (O'Brien). In 1909 his "crazed jealousy...reignited his passionate love for Nora and once again her body became `strange, musical and perfumed'. The fact that she neither confirmed nor denied the trysts with Cosgrave inflamed his desire as he tasted in his imagination the nectar of the voyeur. Whether it was true or no, it would become true for literature" (O'Brien, James Joyce, p.68). In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom maintains an ambiguous attitude towards Molly's affair with Blazes Boylan, and even to the humilations he suffers in the Nightown chapter (the brothel episode). Like his creator, there is an element of masochism in his nature, and almost a delight in the dark prospect of sexual betrayal.
From the correlation between several of the quotations in the current manuscript and their appearance--or use--in the novel (see below) it is quite possible that this lot comprises working notes or a summary of notes actually used during the writing of "ulysses".
There are upwards of three hundred overt or oblique references to Shakespeare's works in Ulysses alone; more to Hamlet than to any other play, but there are at least fourteen to Othello. These include, for instance, "Put but money in thy purse" (Nestor: 2.239, a direct quotation, actually included in the present manuscript), "Green eyes, I see you, Fang. I feel" (Proteus: 3.238, a reference to Iago's speech on the "green-eyed monster", also included in the present manuscript), "Or the other story, beast with two backs?" (Aeolus, 7.751-72, Iago's words in the first scene in the play, also present in this lot), "But he that filches...my good name" (Scylla and Charybdis: 9.882-922, from Iago's speech to Othello in III.iii.155-61), "the greeneyed monster" (Circe: 15.1995, another reference to Iago's speech in III.iii), "The beast that has two backs" (Circe: 15.3631-32, see before), and "*Iagogo! How my Old-fellow chokit his Thursdaymornum" (Circe l: 15.3828-29, referring to how Iago's machinations lead Othello to smother Desdemona in a fit of jealous suspicion).
"...how much we need the other's desire, even if this desire is not addressed to us" (Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse)
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