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Joyce, James / A first-draft version of Finnegans wake

Introduction,   pp. 3-43 PDF (3.5 MB)

Page 43

I have included words, phrases, and marks relating to the growth of the first
draft either within the reproduced text or in the margins; but such mechanical
marks as nonsequential signs or letters used to help the author locate his
additions are not included. I have not indicated alterations in the author's
hand or the colored-pencil strike-outs which reminded the author that he
had recopied text or additions. It has likewise proved impractical, with
few exceptions, to attempt to indicate the order in which Joyce made specific
clusters of additions; that is, to indicate the extent of the various revisions,
often to the number seven, to which a specific draft was subjected. However,
when Joyce revised systematically, lettering his changes in sequence, I have
included his letters in the text and indicated the extent of the separate
revisions in my footnotes. In most cases I have limited myself to marking
by means of italics, bold face type, strike-outs, and brackets the steps
in the elaboration of additions and changes. Doubtful words are starred.
(See the Reader's Key.) Though the reader may at first be confused by the
proliferation of strike-outs, brackets, stars, and typefaces, a little practice
will permit him to discover the virtues of this method which has enabled
me to avoid the excessive use of footnotes. 
 When approaching these transcriptions for the first time the reader would
do well to ascertain the nature of Joyce's most primitive version, that is,
the material in roman type plus the first element in any series of crossed-out
words. He should then read the most sophisticated version, paying little
attention to the variations in type but omitting crossed-out words. If he
so desires, he may subsequently concentrate with much profit upon the intermediate
stages indicated by typographical means. 

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