Textual Awareness analyzes the writing process in Finnegan's Wake, Remembrance of Things Past, and Doctor Faustus (works in which time itself appeared as a theme) and relates these to Anglo-American, French, and German editorial theories. After a theoretical examination of the relationship between genetic and textual criticism, Dirk Van Hulle uses the three case studies to show how and why the texts proceeded the way they did-when, at each stage in the writing process, they had the potential to become something entirely different.
Dirk Van Hulle is Assistant Professor of English and German Literature, University of Antwerp.
"This relatively small book has an amazingly rich content...More than a collection of juxtaposed essays, however, it presents itself as a discursive continuum (revolving around the question of textual instability), and Dirk Van Hulle, with a characteristic elegance of demonstration, draws fresh links between these diverse topics...Van Hulle makes a compelling case for comparative genetics: it is indeed necessary that we should be able to compare the working procedures of different creative artists; otherwise, we will be liable to mistake common tendencies for idiosyncrasies or, on the contrary, to miss what is truly exceptional about the genesis of a work. Nobody is more qualified than he as a practitioner of that demanding discipline. Textual Awareness is a tantalizing installment of what we can expect in this field from his amazing erudition and theoretical acuteness."
—James Joyce Quarterly
Copyright © 2004, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted September 2004 and April 2005.
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