Sunday, December 5, 2010

Joyce on the final form of the text

But this prying into the family life of a great man, Russell began impatiently.

Art thou there, truepenny?

Interesting only to the parish clerk.  I mean, we have the plays.  I mean when we read the poetry of King Lear what is it to us how the poet lived?  As for living our servants can do that for us, Villiers de l'Isle has said.  Peeping and prying into greenroom gossip of the day, the poet's drinking, the poet's debts.  We have King Lear:  and it is immortal.

James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 9 (Ulysses:  the corrected text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler with Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior (New York, NY:  Random House, 1986), 155, ll. 181-188).

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