London, South Kensington
6 June 2006
JOYCE, James (1882-1941). Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber, 1939. 8° (240 x 155mm) (partially unopened, endpapers spotted, browning to first blank and final page of text). Publisher's gilt-stamped red cloth, red and yellow dustjacket (jacket chipped and torn with loss to lower upper cover and spine). FIRST REGULAR ENGLISH EDITION.
THE ORIGINAL PRINTING OF THE COMPLETED TEXT OF JOYCE'S FINAL MASTERPIECE. The full text of Finnegans Wake was issued simultaneously in London and New York on 4th May 1939, the American edition -- published by Viking Press -- being offset from reproduction proofs supplied by Faber. Finnegans Wake is a work of such staggering complexity that even seasoned critics like Edmund Wilson and Cyril Connolly were initially wary of it, although Wilson neatly summarised it as an 'attempt to render the dream fantasies and the half-conscious sensations experienced by a single person in the course of a night's sleep' (The Wound and the Bow, p243). 'Joyce insisted that each word, each sentence had several meanings and that the 'idéal lecteur' should devote his life-time to it, like the Koran.' (Connolly: The Modern Movement 87) Slocum & Cahoon A47.
With the same author's The Mime of Mick Nick and the Maggies (The Hague, 1934, FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 100 COPIES). (2)
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