I have started the project to completely copy Finnegans Wake from James Joyce by hand in 1994.|
Onto the four primed and shellac-covered tables of a wooden paravent all 628 pages of the book should be transcribed in form of Dublin bay. On behalf of that I have grinded a landscape out of the coat of lacquer. Writing into the prime of chalk obstructs my ink pencil (isograph, 0,13 mm tube) after some words.
Stripping off the chalk particles creates scribble papers. They will be published after finish or failiure of work as a book.
I can´t read Finnegans Wake, I can only copy it.
At the end it is possible to see the book at one glance" and your liber as they sea" (FW 234.30) - the form of it´s transcription lets the book show itself. The relation between book, table and landscape within the copy is layed down [geometric term for functions like f(x)=y] in advance, but the picture of this function [diagram of this setting] cannot be foreseen.
Short Plan of Copy
Copy - Topography
- "Here, weir, reach, island, bridge" (Finnegans Wake, page 626, line 07 = FW 626.07),Singing out [end song] of river Liffey as beginning of transcription (on my blueprinted landscape starting at Island Bridge next to Dublin).
- Port of Dublin and mouth of Liffey as basin for writing and as motif of the book.
- Idealised stream of water in the haven (Karman´s streaklines in the wake behind a circular cylindar as ground form in streaming physics) as form for writing within the harbor area.
Streak lines in the wake behind a circular cylinder
in a stream of oil.
(From Homann 1936a)
- Self representation of the text depending on topography and streaklines: after each paragraph (which is written as one line) the next line starts left at the coastline or tableborder. Each line of writing is closely layed against the preceding line-wave.
Copy - table
- 628 pages should fit completely and faultless onto the given plain of the paravent-tables.
- for that aim the lettersize swelling off and on to fill the space (an own tide of fearing failiure and high spirits) ("and wait till the tide stops" FW 170.06)
- table-borders instead of coast-lines as start of lines in lower part of the paravent.
- playing around the three gaps and four hinge-openings within writing area.
Copy - Content
- Finnegans Wake is a project of copy by James Joyce, his secretaries and type setters, whose mistakes are consciously part of the work ("calling unnecessary attention to errors, omissions, repetitions and misalignments" FW 120.15).
- text as picture ("word painter" FW 87.13) / text as musical staff and image prepared by Joyce.
- Book of Kells (8th century irish manuscript with miniatures) directly quoted in Finnegans wake (e.g. FW 119f). Style of original FW manuscript (colourfullness and entangledness)similar to old irish manuscripts, their content and form are motifs of FW.
- Book as body - copied in 9 months.
- Liffeysong in Liffeyform: Flow of text as stream of letters as stream of unconsciousness. The shore remains: "Amnis Limina Permanent" (FW 153.02).
- 4 tables ("in four tubbloids" FW 219.17) / 4 chapters / 4 ages of Vico ("vicus of recirculation" FW 03.13; 241)
Other relations with regard to the contents are open, left aside in this description or not yet visible.
1 This copy was lead out in 9 months
2 It is faultless, not a jota is lost.