|A Joyce scholar investigates the Ithys Press archive|
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.”