Friday, April 27, 2012

Literary gossip

At last this blog lives up to its billing. Only two items, but it’s a start.

1. There is another ruckus over James Joyce. Denis O’Hanlon of Strawberry Beds, Dublin is suing two other Joyce scholars and the Belgian publisher Brepols, claiming that their four-volume set James Joyce: The Finnegans Wake Notebooks used his exegesis of the 50-odd surviving notebooks in which Joyce wrote random-seeming words while working on Finnegans Wake.

Mr HC Earwicker was unavailable for comment, but I found this amazing website which attempts to explain all the strange words  in Finnegans Wake. That famous first sentence:
riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
has 10 explanatory notes.  Also this, the Finnegans Wake Extensible Elucidation Treasury. Mad, but in a good way.

2. Here is a sneaky preview of David Bowie’s new book, Bowie: Object. It may not survive long online – theft, copyright, lawyers, that sort of thing – so read it while you can. Money quote:
My fading memories of those sessions are dominated by images of Eno hunched over the keyboard turning dials by imperceptible fractions, as amazed and delighted by the sonic textures he was producing as were Tony V[isconti] and myself.
“Do you know it has a logarithmic one volt-per-octave pitch control and a separate pulse-triggering signal?” said Eno, breathlessly.
I said, “Brian, if you hum it, I’ll sing it.”

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