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Literature & Criticism / Irish Studies


How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake
A Chapter-by-Chapter Genetic Guide
Edited by Luca Crispi and Sam Slote

Irish Studies in Literature and Culture
Michael Gillespie, Series Editor

“An important contribution to genetic textual scholarship, the study of the process of a writer’s production. . . . To enable us to grasp [Joyce’s] process in its very becoming, as this book does, is a huge achievement.”—Terence Killeen, The Irish Times

n this landmark study of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Luca Crispi and Sam Slote have brought together leading Joyce experts to explore the genesis of one of the twentieth century’s most intriguing works of fiction. Each essay approaches Finnegans Wake through novel perspectives afforded by Joyce’s preparatory manuscripts. By investigating a work through its earlier drafts, genetic criticism grounds speculative interpretations in a historical, material context and opens up a broader horizon for critical and textual interpretation.

The introduction by Luca Crispi, Sam Slote, and Dirk Van Hulle offers a chronology of the composition of Finnegans Wake, an archival survey of the manuscripts, and an introduction to genetic criticism. Then, the volume provides a chapter-by-chapter interpretation of the Wake, probing the book as a work in progress. This book is the essential starting point for all future studies of Joyce’s most complex and fascinating work.

Luca Crispi is lecturer in Joyce and modernism at the Research Centre for James Joyce Studies, School of English and Drama, University College, Dublin. He has prepared material bibliographies, catalogs, and exhibitions at the University at Buffalo, the National Library of Ireland, and elsewhere. Sam Slote is lecturer in James Joyce studies and critical theory at Trinity College, Dublin and is the author of The Silence in Progress of Dante, Mallarmé, and Joyce.

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Of Related Interest
Joyce’s Book of the Dark
Finnegans Wake
John Bishop

The Years of Bloom
James Joyce in Trieste, 1904–1920
John McCourt

Joyce’s Critics
Transitions in Reading and Culture
Joseph Brooker

Cover of book is black and white with a photo of a woman looking in a book with a magnifying glass.

March 2008
LC: 2006008621 PR
544 p
p.   6 x 9
3 b/w illus.

Cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-21860-7, is out of print.

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Paper $39.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-21864-5
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Bill Cadbury, Luca Crispi, Jed Deppman, Daniel Ferrer, Finn Fordham, Mikio Fuse, David Hayman, Ingeborg Landuyt, Geert Lernout, Patrick A. McCarthy, Jean-Michel Rabaté, R.J. Schork, Sam Slote, Dirk Van Hulle, and Wim Van Mierlo.

“Insightful and relevant. . . . It is the first comprehensive genetic discussion of Finnegans Wake chapter by chapter, and anyone seriously interested in Joyce and the Wake will benefit from reading it.”
—A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Molloy College

“A major step forward in the critical history of the book that is Joyce’s most challenging work and one of the twentieth century’s most significant artistic productions.”
—Derek Attridge, University of York

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Updated January 13, 2013

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