Tag Archives: james joyce

We Are the Walrus


As you may have heard by now, the I Write Like widget is serious business: copy and paste some text into the box, and it’ll tell you which (for the most part white, male) author you write like. With 100% accuracy, of course! We started with some of our staff members (Anna = Vladimir Nabokov; Geo = Charles Dickens; Grant = James Joyce; Jon Stich = Kurt Vonnegut; Margaret = Ian Fleming; and Alison, Cheryl, John Evans, Kim and Thomas all = H.P. Lovecraft—wow we’re a morbid bunch). But then we got creative:

Did you know…?


*Pablo Neruda = Raymond Chandler!
*Michael Moore = Dan Brown
*President Obama’s inaugural speech = H.P. Lovecraft (that guy! so versatile)
*Darth Vader = Anne Rice
*Lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey = Ursula K. Le Guin
*Unabomber Manifesto = Stephen King
*Lyrics to “A Whole New World” in Aladdin = Mark Twain
*Jack Kerouac = David Foster Wallace = James Joyce = Grant. Duh.

Gosh, we’re thinking about the relationships between these writers in whole new ways! (Huh. That sounds like a line from Mark Twain…) We feel like we’ve learned something. Don’t you?

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Stepping Out of the Page…

Our sadness in not finding this sooner is surpassed only by our joy in having discovered it now: Flavorwire’s Mixtape of Songs Inspired by Modernist Literature. Not just literature in general—that would be too easy!—but specifically Modernism, including tunes based on the works of T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, and of course, James Joyce:

Okay, and we know it’s not Modernist, but we can’t resist showing you Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights video, too:

If you ever see us dancing at a party, do not doubt that we will be using those moves.

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Poetry Video Competition

We know what you’re thinking: Yeah, so those Diesel chumps have posted a poetry video every day for the month of April. So what? What have those videos really done for ME…aside from move me and inspire me and awe me down to my very soul? Sure, that’s nice and all, but where’s the tangible benefit, dudes?

Good, if slightly rude, question, entirely made up reader! And here’s the answer: if you review (or check out for the first time) all our videos and vote for your favorite, you could win a fun and exciting prize! That’s right: comment here (or email Anna at anna@dieselbookstore.com) with your pick for the best poetry video of the month—and even better, the reason why you liked it—and you’ll be entered into the drawing to win. We’ll unveil the winner—and the winning video—here on the blog in May. How’s that for poetic justice?

Hmm, we wonder if today’s selection could be the one? It’s Geo in Brentwood reading Jorge Luis Borges‘ “James Joyce“:

So check out the full archive of videos and comment with your vote!


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Calling Dedalus to Land?

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Geo in Brentwood reports:

Houyhnhnm Press, in conjunction with Penguin, is publishing a new version of James Joyce‘s Finnegans Wake, amended with “9,000 minor corrections and alterations…to punctuation marks, fonts, spacing, misspellings, misplaced phrases, and ruptured syntax.” I find this more confusing than Joyce’s novel.

When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. Perhaps it was a joke? After checking my sources and finding out that this was indeed happening, I wondered why no one else was outraged. Where have all the Joyceans gone (besides the two who spent 30 years on this new edition)? How would Joyce feel about this? During his life, he’d bombard brave-yet-naive translators with instructions on what absolutely must not change.

But Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon have, in a way, considered the source. Every change in the new edition came from “30,000 pages of manuscripts, notes, drafts, typescripts, and proofs used by Joyce.” Though I personally wish the text to remain as it is, I doubt whatever changes Rose and O’Hanlon make will take away from the novel’s overall aura.

Perhaps I’m getting all worked up over nothing. Maybe there’s not much difference between amending Finnegans Wake and abridging The Canterbury Tales or anything by Shakespeare. Perhaps it will encourage more readers to tackle Joyce’s novel. I spent a mind-bending period of time leaning over the novel, Joseph Campbell‘s A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake by my side. I could’ve done something else during that time, like go to the gym or learn to drive stick-shift, but I chose to do this instead. Not everyone would make the same choice. After all, stick-shift cars are more affordable.

Read the Wakesian version of this post over at The Urchin Movement!


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