Today is the birthday of James Joyce, who was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882, and wrote in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
To celebrate his life, we present an August 1929 recording of Joyce reading a melodious passage from the “Anna Livia Plurabelle” chapter of his Work in Progress, which would be published ten years later as Finnegans Wake. The recording was made in Cambridge, England, at the arrangement of Joyce’s friend and publisher Sylvia Beach. “How beautiful the ‘Anna Livia’ recording is,” wrote Beach in her memoir, Shakespeare and Company, “and how amusing Joyce’s rendering of an Irish washerwoman’s brogue!”
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