We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Textual Awareness

A Genetic Study of Late Manuscripts by Joyce, Proust, and Mann

Dirk Van Hulle

Publication Year: 2011

Aware of the act of writing as a temporal process, many modernist authors preserved numerous manuscripts of their works, which themselves thematized time. Textual Awareness analyzes the writing processes in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, and Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus and relates these to Anglo-American, French, and German theories of text. By relating theory to practice, this comparative study reveals the links between literary and textual criticism. A key issue in both textual criticism and the so-called crisis of the novel is the tension between the finished and the unfinished. After a theoretical examination of the relationship between genetic and textual criticism, Dirk Van Hulle uses the three case studies to show how?at each stage in the writing process?the text still had the potential of becoming something entirely different; how and why these geneses proceeded the way they did; how Joyce, Proust, and Mann allowed contingencies to shape their work; how these authors recycled the words of their critics in order to inoculate their works against them; how they shaped an intertextual dimension through the processing of source texts and reading notes; and how text continually generated more text. Van Hulle's exploration of process sheds new light on the remarkable fact that so many modernist authors protected their manuscripts, implying both the authors' urge to grasp everything and their awareness of the dangers of their encyclopedic projects. Textual Awareness offers new insights into the artificiality of the artifact?the novel?that are relevant to the study of literary modernism in general and the study of James Joyce, Marcel Proust, and Thomas Mann in particular. Dirk Van Hulle is Assistant Professor of English and German Literature, University of Antwerp.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. v

It is difficult to imagine what this book would have looked like without the eloquent intermezzi and mornings of excellence with Sam Slote, the helpful suggestions of Luca Crispi and Stacey Herbert, the refreshing talks with Bert Bultinck and Geert Buelens, the encyclopedic gravities shared with Luc Herman, the computational and other support from Edward Vanhoutte, the opportunities to present the results of these investigations...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-viii

Abbreviations and Transcription Conventions

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-xi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-12

Zeno’s paradoxes of movement have been refuted several times, yet it seems as if each of the refuters is like the Achilles who tries to catch up with the turtle. In order to do so he has to reach the place the turtle has just left, so that the latter always continues to have a lead. The same paradox applies to writing processes. A text’s publication suggests that at some point its...

PART I. Traditions

read more

1. Editionswissenschaft

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 15-20

Since Goethe is more or less to German Editionswissenschaft (editorial science) what Shakespeare is to Anglo-American scholarly editing, the publication of the monumental “Sophien-Ausgabe” of Goethe’s oeuvre (1887–1919) has had a considerable impact on German scholarly editing. As Bodo Plachta elucidates (“German Literature”), this edition reflected the then prevailing view that considered the last version revised by the...

read more

2. Textual Criticism and Scholarly Editing

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 21-28

The prominent role of the notion of “version” in German scholarly editing evidently does not make it an exclusively German point of interest. Several American scholarly editors have suggested a textual representation of more than one version of a work in a scholarly edition. In his edition of W. M. Thackeray’s The Newcomes, for instance, Peter Shillingsburg has...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 29-36

As the preceding chapter concluded, the division between European and American editorial traditions is commonly drawn too starkly. There is, in fact, no such thing as a uniform European tradition. As chapter 4 elaborates, the controversies may be compared to the medieval debates concerning universals. The most consistent nominalists are probably the French...

read more

4. Interactions: Textual Nominalism and Editorial Realism

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 37-47

A work of literature is more than its final version, but is it more than the superposition of the preceding versions? In his essay “Proust palimpseste” (1966) Gérard Genette dreamed of an edition containing all versions and preparatory notes of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (Figures I 64). Some thirty years later the metaphor of the palimpsest appeared as the title of an important collection of essays on editorial theory in the humanities...

PART II. Transmissions

read more

5. Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 51-75

In 1899, Marcel Proust (1871–1922) abandoned Jean Santeuil. Several passages and themes from this novel in spe, such as the magic lantern, the scene of the good-night kiss, the holiday in Illiers, the “petite phrase” of the sonata, are echoed in what would later become À la recherche du temps perdu. The fact that so many passages found their way into the Recherche...

read more

6. James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 77-113

When Marcel Proust died on November 18, 1922, James Joyce attended his funeral (Ellmann 509). Although two years earlier Joyce claimed he could not see any special talent in Proust,1 he apparently did read more than a few pages of the Recherche while he was still working on corrections for the third edition of Ulysses. In a letter to Sylvia Beach Joyce wrote that he...

read more

7. Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 115-143

In the year of Joyce’s death, Harry Levin wrote a critical introduction to his works that was published as part of a series devoted to “The Makers of Modern Literature.” Thomas Mann read the essay in February 1942 and called it “an excellent book” when he finished it early in March. The reason for this appraisal, however, may have had to do with Levin’s comments...

PART III. Transitions

read more

8. Comparative Genetics: “a world of differents”

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 147-154

By referring to the thirst for knowledge, Thomas Mann’s Leverkühn goes to the heart of the matter. In order to articulate this core of the Faust theme, Mann discovered a perfectly matching form in the encyclopedic novel, for which he found inspiration in the Faust tradition itself, more speci‹cally the Volksbuch. This tradition puts into perspective the artificial...

read more

9. Conclusion: “Allspace in a Notshall”

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 155-158

If genetic criticism may be regarded as a pursuit of the past, Proust’s Recherche is a reminder that the way we tend to link together the textual fragments through memory is a trick by means of which we fool ourselves, one of the “constructs we create to make sense of our lives and give them the inner logic and form they would otherwise lack” (Bernstein 116). The...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 159-180


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 181-211


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 213-219

E-ISBN-13: 9780472024957
E-ISBN-10: 0472024957
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472113415
Print-ISBN-10: 0472113410

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 750183136
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Textual Awareness

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Liberalism.
  • Politics and literature.
  • Conspiracies.
  • Capitalism.
  • Benjamin, Walter, -- 1892-1940 -- Political and social views.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access