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James Joyce crayon marked manuscripts for Ulysses and Finnegans Wake

by | 26th, June 2018

ulysses-manuscript joyce crayon

James Joyce crayon marks on his manuscript for ulysses

 

James Joyce wrote Finnegans Wake “lying on his stomach in bed, with a large blue pencil, clad in a white coat, and composed most of Finnegans Wake with crayon pieces on cardboard,” says Maria Popova. “The large crayons… helped him see what he was writing, and the white coat helped reflect more light onto the page at night.”

His obituary in the NYTimes noted:

While living in Zurich Joyce began to suffer from severe ocular illness and eventually underwent at least ten operations on his eyes. For years he was almost totally blind and much of his later writing was done with red crayon on huge white sheets of paper.

 

joyce_ulysses crayon

 

crayon james_joyce

 

“Joyce used a different colored crayon each time he went through a notebook incorporating notes into his draft,” adds Derek Attridge in a review of The Finnegans Wake Notebooks at BuffaloThe crayons were “a scrupulousness which has never been satisfactorily explained”.

And steeped in deep meaning, of course, Unlkess the witer was a great meketeer. As he said: “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant – and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.”

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Posted: 26th, June 2018 | In: Books Comment | TrackBack | Permalink