"SEASHELL EBB MUSIC WAYRIVER SHE FLOWS": ANNA LIVIA PLURABELLE, SIGNED BY JOYCE
JOYCE, James. Anna Livia Plurabelle. With a Preface by Padraic Colum. New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928. 12mo, original gilt-stamped brown cloth, top edge gilt, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5200.
First separate publication of the centerpiece and most beautiful segment of Finnegans Wake, number 244 of only 800 copies signed by Joyce, a lovely copy in original gilt-stamped cloth.
Responding to critics who accused him of writing off the cuff, Joyce claimed to have spent 1200 hours composing this integral part of his Work in Progress, later published as Finnegans Wake. He incorporated nearly 350 river names into the text and wrought perhaps the most lyrical of his published works. "He was prepared, he said, 'to stake everything' on this section of his book…" (Ellman, 598). Without scarce original glassine. Slocum & Cahoon 32. Evidence of bookplate removal.
A few faint stains to interior, front inner paper hinge split but holding, tiny spot to front board, gilt bright. A lovely near-fine copy.