Anthony Burgess on the semantic and sonorous creativity of James Joyce (Joysprick: An Introduction to the Language of James Joyce) and its limitations (as poetry)
A mark of Joyce’s genius was to recognise the smallness of his poetic talent and to see how a fine ear and a weak lyrical impulse could revolutionise the prose of a whole era.
We will resist here the attraction of search grinding to find mentions of “lyrical impulse” and will instead offer this description from the introduction to Post-structuralist Readings of English Poetry edited by Richard Machin and Christopher Norris.
Just as we can never write exactly what we intend, so we can never write and intend nothing at all. Language has its own inbuilt intention to mean, which we can at best only attempt to harness in a way that seems to suit our present needs.
Neither glak nor gluk nor gleek appear in Finnegans Wake. Check the online concordance and find the instances of “intend” which in one occurence the glossers relate to the Italian “intendere” to undertand which I fail to understand because the form “intend” matches none of the conjugated forms of the Italian verb. It takes a very fine ear… or a fine again eye.
And so for day 1302