Friday, June 21, 2013

This Sunday: Finnegans Wake Illustration Event in Oxford

If there’s anyone out there who’ll be in or near Oxford on Sunday, I’m taking part in a talk and workshop at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

There’ll be a Wake-themed tour of the museum given by Finn Fordham, author of Lots of Fun at Finnegans Wake, followed by an illustration workshop assisted by myself and Clinton Cahill, lecturer at the Manchester School of Art and fellow-Wake drawer. There’ll also be a light lunch with musical entertainment and, for the first fifteen arrivals, a free copy of the Wake! And the whole thing is (*gasp*) FREE!

You can find all the details at the Facebook event page here. I hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Ithys Press publishes “Joyce’s last poetry collection”

A Joyce scholar investigates the Ithys Press archive
Following the publication of Finn’s Hotel, which editor Danis Rose called “almost certainly the last undiscovered title by James Joyce”, Ithys Press has announced the publication of Notes to Self, which editor Danis Rose describes as “almost certainly definitely the last undiscovered title by James Joyce that I’ll publish this year.”

The collection of what Rose calls “little poems” or “poemlets” has divided Joyce scholars, but Rose is quick to counter those who describe the book as “just a bunch of random stuff.”

“It is clear from close investigation,” says Rose, “that these works were conceived as a wholly separate and united body of work. After composition, they were carefully stored together in a large, metal, lidded container alongside a collection of other important Joycean memorabilia, including a most revealing bag of potato peelings and a cache of heavily soiled underwear.”

In the book’s extensive introduction, Rose demonstrates the work’s compositional strength through an analysis of one of the pieces (quoted here in its entirety):
2 pounds tomatoes (tinned?)
“Note how the initial mathematical certainty of the ‘2 pounds’ (with all the implied associations with Aristotelian physics, the world of finance and of British imperialism) is beautifully undermined by the delicious ambiguity of the coda. Genius.”

Notes to Self will be published in a numbered edition of ten, at a price of 10,000€, as well as a luxury edition of two copies, printed on white rhino hide in a cover of solid gold, for 10,000,000€, and a super-deluxe edition, for 10,000,000,000,000€, which can be seen from space.

Says Rose: “And if that doesn’t grab you, I’ll be taking offers on the suit that Joyce was buried in as soon as I’ve finished expurgating the corpse.”

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Merry Bloomsday and a Happy New Bloomsyear!

Happy Bloomsday! As usual, I’m not spending Bloomsday in Dublin, but out of sheer bloody-mindedness, I was there last week. As proof, here’s a picture of my son having the time of his life on the James Joyce Centre’s interactive Ulysses device. I'm pretty sure it's called the Ulyssesotron.
It was the first time I’d been to Dublin since I was a child, long before I had any interest in James Joyce. I didn’t have a lot of time there, sadly, so my indulgent family and I tore through the city in a mad dash, trying to ingest as much historical and architectural information as I could in five hours. I hope one day I’ll find time to take a proper research trip.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Page 18: what curios of signs in this allaphbed!

I’ve finally been forced to revise this old one in the interests of an ULTRA-SECRET PURPOSE. An anonymous tipster informed me that I’d made numerous mistakes in the Arabic of the previous version, and in any case, I’d always intended to do it in something approximating real Arabic calligraphy. I did my best to proofread, but if I’ve made any new mistakes, it might be best not to tell me...