McHugh, Roland / The sigla of Finnegans wake
Introduction, pp. 1-4
2 Introduction discoveries in three fields. They were A Gensus of 'Finnegans Wake',3 The Books at the Wake4 and Song in the Works of James Joyce.5 But many of the glosses appropriate to particular FW words are neither personal, literary nor musical, and the essential vehicle for publishing scattered minutiae did not materialize until 1962. At this point Clive Hart and Fritz Senn founded A Wake Newslitter,6 as a forum for discussing approaches to FW as well as a receptacle for untreated data. Apart from Mr Hart's Goncordance to 'Finnegans Wake'7 and the second edition of the Gensus, the most important products of the 196os were language lists. The Newslitter published studies of various minor languages, and three extended linguistic analyses also appeared, Scandinavian Elements of 'Finnegans Wake',8 A Gaelic Lexicon for 'Finnegans Wake',9 and A Lexicon of the German in 'Finnegans Wake'.1ø Unfortunately, much published exegesis exhibits a depressing indifference to context and continuity, which results from the disproportionate acquaintance with the text possessed by most exegetes. Chapters I. i and 1.8, for example, are more familiar to most of us than, say, the book II chapters. The cohesion of parts will be appreciated only when the reader has formulated canons for distinguishing them. I propose here to try to assist him. Ideally, we should try to remain conscious of the dual function of every word. There is a linear function, a contribution to the syntactic complex in which the word stands. We must be able to account for the position of any unit in FW as a transition between the units on either side of it. Secondly there is a systemic function, a contribution to the tone of the section. Very common words are chiefly linear in function; names such as the thousand or so rivers mentioned in 1.8 are chiefly systemic, in this case enhancing the watery quality of that chapter. But every word must be allowed its contribution to texture. Just as the eighteen chapters of Ulysses 'By Adaline Glasheen (1956; second edition, A Second Gensus of 'Finnegans Wake', Evanston, Northwestern University Press 1963). ~ J. S. Atherton (London, Faber and Faber 1959). 'Matthew J. C. Hodgart and Mabel P. Worthington (New York, Columbia University Press 1959). 'published by the Department of Literature, University of Essex. (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press 1963). 'Dounia Bunis Christiani (Evanston, Northwestern University Press 1965). ~ 0 Hehir (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press 1967). 'øBy Helmut Bonheim (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press 1967).
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