Toby

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Image:Toby.Logo2.jpg


Toby is an interactive realization of Joyce's draft material for Ulysses, created in Microsoft PowerPoint 2008. The first draft due to be Tobied, in keeping with the porcine theme, will be one of two copybooks for episode fifteen "Circe." This document, Spielberg catalogue V.A.19, is part of the La Hune material in the Poetry Collection and contains the earliest draft of the episode known to be extant.


Contents

Porkoganda

Toby is the work of Ronan Crowley, a graduate student in the Department of English.


How to Toby

Toby prioritizes the concrete materiality of Ulysses in progress. Joyce wrote each of the eighteen chapters of the novel in series of children's copybooks or on sets of loose sheets (and usually employed a combination of the two methods). Toby reconstructs individual copybooks in a human-readable format, preserving the layout and material arrangement of the physical document. Draft copybooks are represented in sets of "screen grabs," each comprising a facing verso and recto. A reader can leaf through the pages of the virtual document by using the keypad.

Before he started work on a draft of any particular episode, Joyce assembled a great number of notes for it. He scribbled short phrases on little writing blocks or on menus, on bus tickets and in the margins of newspapers. He made jottings on stray bits of paper or the backs of advertisements. On one occasion he even made a note on the cuff of his shirtsleeve. Loose sheets of paper, commonly termed "notesheets," survive for the last seven episodes of Ulysses, covered with lists of words and phrases. These repositories collect together the original off-the-cuff notes. Rarely plot indicators or aides mémoires, the phrases were worked directly into the text of the novel. As such the notesheets provided the raw material for the drafts of an episode.

When a reader looks at a copybook in Toby, by clicking on the image of a friendly porker, the notesheet constituents of that particular two-page spread of the document are indicated.

Launch date

Toby for Buffalo MS V.A.19 is scheduled for the North American James Joyce Conference 2009, which will be held in Buffalo, June 12-16.


Future plans

  • Turning the Pages Toby.
  • Toby for the next draft in the compositional sequence of "Circe"--National Library of Ireland MS 36,639/12. Users will be able to switch between the two adjacent draft levels.


The original Toby

Toby owes its name to the nineteenth century Toby the Sapient Pig, The Greatest Production of Nature as this advertisement testifies. Among other feats, the performing Toby could spell, play cards, tell the time and read minds.

Some more vintage Toby, this time from Wikipedia.

The image of this little piggy was swiped from the University of South Florida's Clipart ETC site. Source: Howard and Katharine Pyle. The Wonder Clock. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1915.
The image of this little piggy was swiped from the University of South Florida's Clipart ETC site. Source: Howard and Katharine Pyle. The Wonder Clock. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1915.
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