London, South Kensington
30 November 2005
JOYCE, James (1882-1941). Anna Livia Plurabelle, with a preface by Padraic Colum. New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928. 8° (173 x 113mm). Publisher's brown cloth gilt (small mark to upper cover). FIRST EDITION, NO 759 OF 800 COPIES SIGNED BY JAMES JOYCE.
THE FIRST PUBLICATION IN BOOK FORM OF THE CENTRAL SECTION OF JOYCE'S FINAL MASTERPIECE, FINNEGANS WAKE. Joyce began work on the book immediately after completing Ulysses, writing the first pages on 11 March 1923. In this infinitely complex work, Joyce mixed the mythological and the mundane, the universal and the parochial, as never before. 'Anna Livia Plurabelle' is typical: 'a chattering dialogue' between two washerwoman across Dublin's River Liffey ('Anna Liffey' in the book), which incorporates -- as Padraic Colum writes in the introduction to this edition -- 'the things that make a people's inheritance: landscape, myth and history'. It had previously appeared in the October 1925 issue of the Paris journal, Navire d'Argent. The only separately published sections of Work in Progress to precede the Crosby Gaige edition of Anna Livia Plurabelle were two small editions printed for copyright purposes in 1928 and not made available for sale. Slocum & Cahoon A32.
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