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Richard Ellmann: JAMES JOYCE The First Revision of the 1959 Classic

      “In the midst of writing ULYSSES he (Joyce) confided in Ezra Pound, ‘I have little or no inspiration or imagination and work very laboriously, exhausting myself with trifles.’  Later he (Joyce) said to Jacques Mercanton, “Why regret my talent?  I haven’t any.  I write so painfully, so slowly.  Chance furnishes me with what I need.  I’m like a man who stumbles: my foot strikes something, I look down, and there is exactly what I’m in need of.’  On the other hand, he often agreed with Vico that ‘Imagination is nothing but the working over of what is remembered,’ and said to Frank Budger, ‘Imagination is memory.'”

         Footnote pp. 661 JAMES JOYCE The First Revision of the 1959 Classic by Richard Ellmann Oxford University Press Copyright 1959

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Richard Ellmann-from JAMES JOYCE: on a technique that has become commonplace

      James Joyce “cradles here (his epiphanies) the technique which has beome a commonplace of modern fiction.  Arrogant yet humble too, it claims importance by claiming nothing; it seeks a presentation so sharp that the comment by the author would be an interference.  It leaves off the veneer of gracious intimacy with the reader, of concern that he should be taken into the author’s confidence, and instead makes the reader feel uneasy and culpable if he misses the intended but always unstated meaning, as if he were being arraigned rather than entertained.  The artist abandons himself and his reader to the material.”

      “The more eloquent epiphanies are sometimes splenetic, but often portray the accession of a sudden joy.”

Page 84   JAMES JOYCE THE FIRST REVISION OF THE 1959 CLASSIC by Richard Ellmann  Published by Oxford University Press

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