Saturday, March 30, 2019

New catalogue of illustrated Finnegans Wake pages "The echo is where" by Peter O'Brien

Artist and author Peter O'Brien has been engaged in an effort of illustrating every page of Finnegans Wake, LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE, that expansively brings the surface of the text to life with resplendent collages of annotations and illustrative doodlings. I first got to see an exhibit of his work in Toronto in 2017 where he had the Anna Livia Plurabelle chapter on display. Here's a glimpse of those pages:

Peter O'Brien's "Lots of Fun with Finnegans Wake" exhibit at Victoria University, Toronto (2017).  

To mark the 80th birthday of Finnegans Wake, O'Brien has brought forth a catalog called The echo is where, collecting 43 pages of his illuminated manuscripts alongside 43 commentaries from artists, scholars, authors, including a number of notable Joyce scholars (Margot Norris, Finn Fordham, Tim Conley, Michael Groden, among others) and also, I'm honored to say, a contribution from yours truly on pg. 76.

Here's some info on the new project from O'Brien's "LOTS OF FUN WITH FINNEGANS WAKE" webpage where you can find the links to The echo is where:

I am currently glossing / illustrating / disrupting the 628 pages of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. I consider the book to be the most unstable, protean, multi-voiced, and fertile artwork that we have. This project allows me to yoke together my twinning interests of the illustrative and the intellectual, the palate and the palette, the visual and the verbal.  
In honour and celebration of the 80th anniversary of the publication of Finnegans Wake on 5 May 1939, I have produced a catalogue, “The echo is where,” which includes 43 pages from the project, together with 43 contributions by Joyceans and non-Joyceans from 14 different countries, and ranging in age from 22 to 105.  
There is a high-res PDF of the catalogue here (which will take about 30 seconds to download):  
The echo is where Peter O’Brien 2019  
And a low-res flip-book of the catalogue is here:  
Flip-Book: The echo is where

And here are some details from The echo is where:

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Carvings in the Claybook: A Reading of Finnegans Wake pgs. 18-19

From Id-Grids and Ego-Graphs: A Confabulation with Finnegans Wake by Jacob Drachler.

After cycling from the last chapter back to the beginning, our Austin Finnegans Wake Reading Group recently finished reading chapter 1. As often happens with this astonishingly rich book, there's been one section of the text that I've been stuck on, pondering for months. It's the part beginning on page 18 immediately after the discordant dialogue between two cartoonish Neanderthals named Mutt and Jute. The passage seems like a direct address to the reader instructing us how to approach the very text we are reading. The more I look at this section, the more I get out of it. In some ways it feels like a mission statement of Finnegans Wake, a convoluted self-commentary outlining the book's archeological treasures.

The entirety of pages 18 and 19 is what interests me but for the purposes of trying to keep this post as neat and focused as I can, let's focus especially on one notable paragraph spanning these pages.

Here's the paragraph, from pages 18-19: