Tag Archives: james joyce

The New Finnegans Wake

Don Anderson in The Australian has a review of the “corrected” Finnegans Wake, sporting over 9,000 textual edits, supposedly to bring it more in line with Joyce’s wishes, although I can’t imagine how anyone would know at this point.

I have to say, of all the “difficult” books out there, this is one that I’d probably be the least ambitious to tackle, although it was fun to note Harold Bloom’s reverence for it in The Western Canon.

Though to get back to Anderson’s article, it would have been nice if, for all the noise Anderson makes about people who have erroneously written it “Finnegan’s Wake” over the years, someone (presumably the editor) didn’t make exactly that error in the title of the newspaper article.

Thus, in a river-obsessed text (“Life begins by the Liffey”) where the 1939 version reads “Such a loon waybashwards to row!”, the 2011 version has: “Such a loon werrabackwoods to row!” On p159 the 2011 edition deletes a comma — a “minor but crucial” emendation? Perhaps we might think of this deletion as an act of revenge for the countless number of occasions on which an apostrophe was added between the last two letters of the first word of Joyce’s title.

O’Brien claimed to “know from personal communication that the increasing incidence of that unfortunate apostrophe hastened Mr Joyce’s untimely demise”.

Beckett on Joyce

Be the best by learning from the best.

I was very flattered when Joyce dropped the ‘Mister.’ Everybody was ‘Mister’. There were no Christian names, no first names. The nearest you would get to friendly name was to drop the ‘Mister’. I was never ‘Sam’. I was always Beckett at the best. We’d drink in any old pub or cafe. I don’t remember which.

He was very friendly. He dictated some pages of Finnegan’s Wake to me at one stage. That was later on when he was living in that flat. And during the dictation, someone knocked at the door and I said something. I had to interrupt the dictation. But it had nothing to do with the text. And when I read it back with the phrase ‘Come in’ in it, he said, ‘Let it stand.’

These recollections are taken from this book.


The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2018. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.