Lexicon Volume Ten.
UnEnglish English in
The Last Two Hundred Pages.
Parts Three and Four of Finnegans Wake.
From FW page 403 to FW page 628. 563pp.
edited by C. George Sandulescu.
The present book is Volume Ten in a sequence of specialized dictionaries. This FW Lexicons Series is the first systematic attempt ever to put together, and begin to coordinate the research done over many years on the languages in Finnegans Wake. And when we say ‘languages’, we do include English.
For James Joyce is a very peculiar language user, and had been so from his earliest years. When he speaks of himself as a child, it is clear that he was giving the child Joyce the rare ability to see the magic of words. The child Joyce wonders, wide-eyed, at how magical a single word, standing all alone, can be! That is why, the teen-ager Joyce was reading dictionaries „by the hour”. The mature Joyce takes a huge Gulliver step forward, and proceeds to teach us all — his readers — that the only Magic worth the notice in this wide world of ours is neither the Sun, nor God, nor Einstein. but it is indeed Language. All Language.
In addition, English is different just because it is the only Open Language worth the notice. (Emil Cioran makes the forceful point that Romanian is open too!) The present volume — number Ten in the Series — is a sequel to number Nine. It discusses, spellingswise, the openness of English as a great quality of it. For it is on the strength of that very feature that it has become a world language today. And openness and tolerance go hand in hand.
In our view, FW is untranslatable, for its Forty Languages are the really real characters in the book. And „Wakeshrift” carries Magic — many of the words in the book — very much so, like the stories ofThe Wizard of Oz, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Little Red Riding Hood. Joyce calls that kind of genuine Magic „epiphany”, and the Author himself is the Language Wizard of the Whole of Europe: not of Dublin, or of Trieste, or of Zurich, or of Paris. Or of, lately, the inevitable „Copenhagen”…
In the last analysis, we are here trying to take you with us into a universe of children, though, unfortunately, it has to be treated with all the seriousness of the Vatican Swiss guard. (We do hope to God you do know that Oz means ‘Australia’, and the Pope’s army is all ‘Swiss’.)
Remember that dogmas could never swallow FW: for there is too much fun in it! So, read everything carefully: you are in danger of roaring with laughter… particularly if you attend to the languages there of course!
The slogan under which we are publishing Joyce on the Net is the following: now, that Joyce is out of copyright, let us bring Joyce to the whole world! And do away in this manner with all misconception of difficulty.
Lexicon Volume Ten. UnEnglish English in Finnegans Wake. The Last Two Hundred Pages. Parts Three and Four of Finnegans Wake is a sequel to Volume Nine. It covers the Joyce text from page 403 to page 628, and is edited by C. George Sandulescu. It is formally launched on 7 July 2012. But it is available for consultation and downloading on receipt of this Press Release, at the following internet address: