A Genetic Study of Late Manuscripts by Joyce, Proust, and Mann
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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...
Abbreviations and Transcription Conventions
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
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...
2. Textual Criticism and Scholarly Editing
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...
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...
4. Interactions: Textual Nominalism and Editorial Realism
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
5. Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu
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...
6. James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
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...
7. Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus
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
8. Comparative Genetics: “a world of differents”
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...
9. Conclusion: “Allspace in a Notshall”
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...