Wednesday, 31 December 3000

This site provides:

(1) Access to the “alphybetty”

The alphybetty is a collection of Joyce’s alphabet-letters as they were found in his correspondence and manuscripts. It is meant as a reference tool to provide images of how any particular letter may look when Joyce writes it.

To access the alphybetty go to:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6EFm7E5vpx8TzZhbGtxQzZnd1E

*   *   *

Explanatory note: The alphybetty is an ongoing project and entries are still being made. This is how it is organized:

Set up by letter: There is one file per letter of the alphabet. Each letter features in initial, mid-word and end-of-word position and as capital (a- / -a- / -a / A; b- / -b- / b- / B etc.). The files can be browsed by doing a word-search, too.

Arranged degeneratively: The letters within one unit start with the neater characters and progress to more and more illegible ones.

Certainty: In compiling the alphybetty we are careful to include only instances of which there is no doubt as to what letter it is.

The various colours: The images come in various colours. This is due to the condition of the letters and the reproductions, i.e. the paper on which Joyce writing, the ink he was using, the quality of the scan, photograph or microfilm we could obtain.


Used as a tool the alphybetty may facilitate the deciphering of Joyce's hand. It cannot prove or disprove any particular reading but it may support, or discard, likelihood.





(2) Illegible samples of Joyce's handwriting

Below: scroll to find passages that transcribers of Joyce's letters and manuscripts are finding hard to read. Suggestions welcome.

If you would like to offer a suggestion for a transcription: go to the particular entry and find the button underneath saying “comments” in blue. Click to post your suggestion.

If you have samples of your own of Joyce's handwriting which you would like to put up here for suggestions, send an image and the relevant information directly to this site's host: sabrina.alonso@bluewin.ch

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Transcribe: that ….. is the short name for

Word to decipher:
Surrounding text:

I do not know how much English she knows but on looking at one of her pages by chance I found that she does not know that ….. is the short name for “Guillaume”. To find an equivalent for this you must imagine an English writer who does not know that “Billy” is the short for “William”.
Item: letter
Recipient: Harriet Shaw Weaver
Date: 1.3.1921

Transcribe: thank you for ….. in (…) which is …..

Words to decipher:

Surrounding text:

Dear John: This is to thank you for the ….. in Hughes's book. Praise from a published penny poet would be ridiculous but your drawing is clearly the one thing in the volume which is ….. .
Item: letter
Recipient: Augustus John
Date: 1.3.1933

Transcribe: that her ….. may be successful

Word to decipher:
Surrounding text:

… I have much pleasure in giving Miss Rauh of Provincetown Players through you permission to produce Exiles on the terms proposed and hope sincerely that her ….. may be successful.
Item: letter
Recipient: E. Scott
Date: 14.2.1912

Transcribe: this ….. ….. edition

Words to transcribe:
Surrounding text:

Dear Miss Beach: Please give your sister this ….. ….. edition de luxe and ask her to send 12 prospectuses at once to:
          Mr Gardner Sinclair

Item: calling card
Recipient: Cyprian Beach
Date: n. d. (1921)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Transcribe: the technique here is a ...

Word to transcribe:
Surrounding text:

the technique here is a ….. on a schoolboy's (and schoolgirl's) old classbook complete with marginalia
Item: letter
Recipient: Frank Budgen
Date: end July 1939

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Transcribe: is very …..ful

Word to decipher:

Surrounding text:

Your picture of English politics a few decades after Cromwell's death is very …..
Item: letter
Recipient: John Drinkwater
Date: July 1929

Transcribe: so strong as to ….. the ….. of

Words to decipher:



Surrounding text:

… He says the iritis has now subsided but his point of view is that in the next attack the cohesion consequent on exudation will be so strong as to ….. the ….. of atropine altogether and endanger the sight.
Item: letter
Recipient: Ezra Pound
Date: 13.4.1917

Transcribe: my several …..

Word to decipher:

Surrounding text: 

Dear Mr. Lewis: I am greatly surprised not to have had any reply to my several [?] and therefore send this registered. 

Item: letter
Recipient: Wyndham Lewis
Date: n.d., probably late Sept. 1926

Transcribe: with ….. wishes

Word to decipher:
Item: calling card
Recipient: Sylvia Beach
Date: 1929

Transcribe: Greetings from this …..

Word to decipher:
Surrounding text:

Greetings from this …..

Item: postcard
Recipient: Stuart Gilbert
Date: 29.3.1928
Front shows: Cathedral in Rouen

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Transcribe: Yes, they give ….. anyhow.

Word to decipher:

Surrounding text:

… Salzburg must be easily the finest city for its size (35,000) in Europe or the world for that matter. It's too warm to be accurate. Yes, they give ….. ….. anyhow. Lucia goes to the Schloss tomorrow. It is really quite cheap…

Item: postcard

Recipient: Stuart Gilbert
Date: 28.7.1928
Front shows: a view of Salzburg with the caption reading “Salzburg von der Humbolterrasse”