Author(s): James Joyce
"Finnegans Wake" is the most bookish of all books. John Bishop has described it as 'the single most intentionally crafted literary artefact that our culture has produced'. In its original format, however, the book has been beset by numerous imperfections occasioned by the confusion of its seventeen-year composition. Only today, by restoring to our view the author's intentions in a physical book designed, printed and bound to the highest standards of the printers' art, can the editors reveal in true detail James Joyce's fourth, and last, masterwork. This edition is the summation of thirty years' intense engagement by textual scholars Danis Rose and John O'Hanlon verifying, codifying, collating and clarifying the 20,000 pages of notes, drafts, typescripts and proofs comprising James Joyce's 'litters from aloft, like a waast wizzard all of whirlwords' (fw2, 14.16-17). The new reading text of "Finnegans Wake", typographically re-set for the first time in its publishing history, incorporates some 9000 minor yet crucial corrections and amendments, covering punctuation marks, font choice, spacing, misspellings, misplaced phrases and ruptured syntax. Although individually minor, these changes are nonetheless crucial in that they facilitate a smooth reading of the book's allusive density and essential fabric.
Danis Rose is principal editor of the forthcoming critical edition and electronic hypertext of Finnegans Wake. His publications include The James Joyce Archive: Volumes 28-63 (New York, 1977-78; with David Hayman and John O'Hanlon); The Index Manuscript (Colchester, 1978); Understanding Finnegans Wake (New York, 1982, with John O'Hanlon); The Lost Notebook (Edinburgh, 1989; with John O'Hanlon); The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (Dublin, 1995); and Ulysses: A New Reader's Edition (Mousehole, 2004). He was born in Dublin, where he now lives. John O'Hanlon has collaborated with Danis Rose in most of the Joyce-related projects undertaken by him, in particular in the preparation of the extensive electronic hypertext of Finnegans Wake. His expertise is in mathematics and logic, and he has been primarily responsible for the origin (or adaptation) and coherence of the programs and protocols essential to Rose's hypertext constructions.