Monthly Archives: December 2008

Roaratorio, Anna Livia’s Fireheaded Son

Holiday music:  John Cage‘s Roaratorio, Writing For The Second Time Through Finnegans Wake and Laughtears.

Conor Cruise O’Brien dead at 91 (Irish Times &  NYT).
Acquired:  Roland McHugh’s Annotations, Anthony Burgess’s Re Joyce, Dettmar’s The Illicit Joyce.
Happy holidays!

This was Joyce’s favorite Irish whisky [sic]: he explained why to Gilbert Seldes: ‘All Irish whiskies use the water of the Liffey; all but one filter it, but John Jameson’s uses it mud and all. That gives it its special quality.’ And the next day, which happened to be Easter, a bottle of John Jameson’s arrived with a card inscribed, ‘James Joyce presents Anna Livia’s fireheaded son.’  (Ellman 604)


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tarabom, tarabom

Reading FW aloud makes such a difference, as Joyce noted. I’m listening to Patrick Healy’s unabridged audiobook (thanks to D) while reading.


Yeats’s Vision.

I’ve painted the following wheel as a mural in three apartments I’ve lived in. Now it’s wonderfully relevant:


B’s reading Italo Svevo.

Finished the Anderson pictorial biography. Interesting:

Paul Léon, who for many years acted as Joyce’s secretary, pointed out that ‘Mr Joyce trusts one person alone, and this person is Lucia.’ … Their psyches were strangely alike, even in some of their deviations from the ‘normal,’ at the same time as they were radically different. As Jung put it, they were both going to the bottom of a river, but Lucia was falling and Joyce was diving. What might seem to many to be ‘mental abnormality’ in Joyce’s writings, Jung said in 1932, ‘may also be a kind of mental health which is inconceivable to the average understanding.’

And from Tindall’s intro in A Reader’s Guide to FW:

Besides Webster’s dictionary the books that, writing my book, I found most useful were Clive Hart’s Concordance, which locates almost every word, David Hayman’s A First-Draft Version, which shows what the Wake was like before Joyce complicated it, and Dounia Christiani’s Scandinavian Elements.

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