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The Textual Diaries of James Joyce

By: Danis Rose

Publication Date: January 1995


The Textual Diaries of James Joyce by Danis Rose

This important new study of James Joyce’s working practices relates the true history and origin of English literature’s towering masterwork, Finnegans Wake (1939), and lays the ground for an intellectual biography of the last eighteen years of its author’s life. At the heart of this book Rose presents an original ordering of, and commentary upon, the virtually unknown collection of notebooks compiled by Joyce during this period and now immured in American university archives. In so doing, he opens a window onto a new world of textual exploration while enabling both specialist and non-specialist alike to understand how Joyce came to construct and write his ‘unreadable’ book. It will be an invaluable tool for teachers and research students, and a source of delight to all concerned with the hermeneutics of intellectual investigation.

‘The Textual Diaries of James Joyce, read and readable, at a sitting, has left me breathless with excitement. In establishing the order and recognizing the nature and function of Joyce’s ‘notebooks’, this study offers a key to the emergence of Finnegans Wake. With ease and lucidity it fuses the author’s and the book’s biographies. Its poise and seeming simplicity, akin to the beauty of a mathematician’s formula, are such as only years of immersion in the linguistic and literary cosmos of Finnegans Wake could have achieved. Capping-stone to the eagerly awaited Finnegans Wake edition, The Textual Diaries of James Joyce is sure to provide a launching-pad for fresh and yet deeper genetic explorations of the text of James Joyce’s oeuvre.’Hans Walter Gabler

‘The importance of this new chronology cannot be underestimated. The new chronology of the notebooks and the two appendices in themselves make this book indispensable to everybody interested in the genesis of Finnegans Wake. But the book has a wider significance; what Rose has to say about the actual genesis of Joyce’s last book is of interest to all Joyceans. His history of Finnegans Wake is the clearest and most detailed we have to date.’Geert Lernout, James Joyce Literary Supplement

‘Danis Rose’s extraordinary knowledge of the Finnegans Wake avant-texte and his non-conformist views make each of his books an important event.The Textual Diaries of James Joyce is a great contribution to Finnegans Wake studies.’Daniel Ferrer, James Joyce Broadsheet

‘This is a concise work discussing the genetic evolution of ‘Finnegans Wake’.’ Customer review


DANIS ROSE is editor of the Dublin edition of Ulysses (Lilliput, 1997). He is author of The Index Manuscript (1978), The Lost Notebook (1989), and the forthcoming Ulysses in Genesis. With David Hayman he edited Volumes 28-63 of The James Joyce Archive (1977-78).



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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 145 × 225 mm
Publication Date

January 1995


Hardback, 210pp