James Joyce Reads ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle’ from Finnegans Wake


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James Joyce was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882, and wrote in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”

This is an August 1929 recording of Joyce reading a melodious passage from the “Anna Livia Plurabelle” chapter of his Work in Progress, which would be published ten years later as Finnegans Wake. The recording was made in Cambridge, England, at the arrangement of Joyce’s friend and publisher Sylvia Beach. “How beautiful the ‘Anna Livia’ recording is,” wrote Beach in her memoir, Shakespeare and Company, “and how amusing Joyce’s rendering of an Irish washerwoman’s brogue!”

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Deich bPunt – The Irish Ten-Pound note, first issued in 1993. Both sides are depicted, the front with Joyce’s portrait, and the back a tribute to Anna Livia Plurabelle. (This note almost did not make it back to the States – by our last day in Ireland, it quickly became, let us say, emergency funds; and was nearly traded for a bottle of duty-free on the way out of the country….) http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/joyce_images.html

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