Impossible Joyce: Finnegans Wakes by Patrick O'Neill

By Patrick O'Neill

James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has time and again been declared to be completely untranslatable. still, it's been translated, transposed, or transcreated right into a dazzling number of languages – together with entire renditions in French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, eastern, and Korean, and partial renditions in Italian, Spanish, and quite a few different languages. Impossible Joyce explores the attention-grabbing variety of other methods followed through translators in coming to grips with Joyce’s wonderful literary text.

In this learn, Patrick O’Neill builds on an method first constructed in his ebook Polyglot Joyce, yet deepens his concentration via contemplating Finnegans Wake solely. Venturing from Umberto Eco’s statement that the unconventional is a desktop designed to generate as many meanings as attainable for readers, he offers a sustained exam of the textual results generated via comparative readings of translated excerpts. In doing so, O’Neill makes happen the ways that makes an attempt to translate this awesome textual content have led to a cumulative extension of Finnegans Wake into an excellent extra striking macrotext encompassing and subsuming its collective renderings.

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Extra resources for Impossible Joyce: Finnegans Wakes

Example text

The ‘swerve’ of the shore, however, both defines and is defined by the ‘bend’ of the bay. While the movement from shore to bay is real, in other words, there is no movement from ‘swerve’ to ‘bend,’ for these are merely two names for the same line of demarcation, variably readable as edge of shore or edge of bay. Burgess’s Italian translation echoes this relationship: his ‘giro’ and ‘curva’ are quite neutral in their context, simply ‘turn’ and ‘curve’ respectively, but the phrasing ‘da giro di riva a curva di baia,’ through the 48 Words in Progress linking final syllable of ‘riva’ and ‘curva,’ adroitly hints at identity in difference.

A preliminary version first appeared as ‘Finnegans Wakes: Fictions of Translation’ (2000). 1–3) Adaline Glasheen, some decades ago, characterized the first two paragraphs of Finnegans Wake as ‘a dizzying, incredible tour de force’ (1965, 5). ’ Even on a first reading, however, the basic meaning of the celebrated opening sentence, despite its surface difficulties, appears to be more or less clear: the course of some unnamed river, on its way from land to sea, brings us, by a circular process of some kind, back to a particular named location.

All unbeknownst to us, it thus introduces the circular structure of the narrative itself (if it is indeed a narrative), which we have still to read but whose conclusion and reinception we will turn out to have been already witnessing. That never-ending circular narrative, it will more gradually emerge, is among much else the story (or at any rate presents aspects of the relationship) of an archetypal pair, the eternal hero and eternal heroine conveniently anthropomorphosed in two Dublin landmarks, the Hill of Howth and the river Liffey respectively.

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