On this day…19 January

On 19 January 1905 Joyce sends the story ‘Hallow Eve’ to his brother.

‘Hallow Eve’ was the fourth story Joyce had written. It had started as a story ‘Christmas Eve’ that Joyce was working on in the middle of October 1904, but by the end of October he had still only written part of it. With about half the story written, Joyce asked his brother Stanislaus in mid-November to find out if the Irish Homestead would be interested in buying it.

The Irish Homestead had already published three stories by Joyce: ‘The Sisters’ in August 1904; ‘Eveline’ in September 1904; and ‘After the Race’ in December 1904. The Homestead was the magazine of the farmers’ movement and Joyce was rather disparaging about it: he calls it ‘the Pig’s Paper’ in Ulysses. When George Russell invited Joyce to submit stories to the Homestead, he also suggested that Joyce could use a pseudonym, and so the three stories had appeared not under Joyce’s name, but under the name ‘Stephen Daedalus.’

Apparently, Joyce was then asked by Harry Norman, editor of the Homestead, not to submit any more stories because of the number of complaints they had received about the first three. This may have been behind Joyce’s comment in his letter to Stanislaus on 19 January that the editors of the Homestead were annoyed with him and that they wouldn’t honour him by publishing any more of his work.

In November 1904, Joyce had left off work on his novel, Stephen Hero, to work on ‘Christmas Eve,’ and on what he referred to as his ‘Esthetic Philosophy.’ Perhaps he had been hoping the ‘Christmas Eve’ story might be ready for the Christmas number of the Homestead, but sometime between mid-November 1904 and January 1905, he recast the story, changing the title to ‘Hallow Eve,’ and it was this story that he sent to Stanislaus on 19 January 1905.

Joyce was hopeful enough that the story would be accepted as he enclosed a receipt for Stanislaus to use for the payment. This, apparently, had to do with some feeling of embarrassment over his address. Joyce at the time was living in Pola, having failed to find employment first of all in Zurich and then in Trieste. Pola was a naval town where Berlitz had opened a school to provide English lessons for the officers of the Austro-Hungarian navy.

In the letter to Stanislaus, Joyce insists that Stanislaus not tell anyone his address without his permission. He tells him that Nora liked Paris and Zurich but that Pola is a queer old place. In the end, there was no money to receive. The Homestead editors took their time deciding about ‘Hallow Eve’ and in June 1905 Joyce ordered Stanislaus to go to the Homestead and either get the manuscript back or get the money for it. By July, he had submitted the story to Literary World but by September 1905, it had become ‘Clay,’ the title under which it appears in Dubliners.



Ellmann, Richard: James Joyce – New and Revised Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

James Joyce: Letters of James Joyce, vols. II & III, edited by Richard Ellmann, London: Faber & Faber, 1966.