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Open Hemingway

The title “Open Hemingway” is both a compound noun and the imperative: open editions that want to be read.

The MVP has just launched its first critical editions with the 1923 and 1924 states of Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, released in the nick of time for Papa’s 116th birthday. A third volume is to follow shortly. These are annotated editions intended for classroom use, but the scarcity of the original texts means these editions are the first accessible to many scholars. It is also important to see the development of this portentous book, calling into being as it did a new standard for American literature and a style to be emulated a thousand times over.

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Amanda Visconti Launches Infinite Ulysses

MVP Publishes Dorothy Richardson’s The Tunnel & Pointed Roofs

The MVP is pleased to announce that it has published reading copies of Dorothy Richardson’s The Tunnel (1919) and Pointed Roofs (1915). Stephen Ross writes,

Dorothy Richardson is an absolutely foundational figure of literary modernism in English. Contrary to the heroic model of the “men of 1914” postulated by one of those men himself, Wyndham Lewis, Richardson in fact pioneered some of the experiments in narrative that would become hallmarks of modernism across the board. Only Marcel Proust, whose A la recherche du temps perdu provides a fine parallel to Richardson’s achievement, attempted something similar so early in the century.

We’ve got an exciting year ahead of us…check back soon for even more modernist editions.

Read Eumaeus

Bloom and Stephen take refuge in a cabman’s shelter possibly run by one Fitzharris, or “skin-the-goat,” the driver of the getaway vehicle in the Phoenix Park murders carried out by a band of nationalists known as the Invincibles in 1882. As Bloom tries to sober up Stephen with a stale bun and bad coffee, he also tries to forge a stronger connection with him. He sees in Stephen the young man his dead son might have become, and deplores the severance between Stephen and his own father, Simon. As Bloom works over this new relationship and its possibilities, he and Stephen are regaled with (tall) tales by a returned sailor with the alias W. B. Murphy. When Fitzharris joins in the conversation, and the topic turns to nationalism, Parnell, and infidelity, Bloom decides he and Stephen should leave.

Stylistically, “Eumaeus” returns us to the realms of interior monologue and stream of consciousness, as well as quasi-realism. The interaction between Bloom and Stephen resumes centre stage, and the prose gets correspondingly less opaque though there remain more than enough misdirections, misidentifications, and misunderstandings to keep things interesting.

Read “Eumaeus” now.

Read Circe

Bloom and Stephen, accompanied by Lynch, have made their way to Nighttown, the red-light district of Dublin. The hour is late – approximately midnight – and the whores are plying their trade in full voice. Bloom buys a sheep’s trotter and a crubeen (pig’s foot) from a butcher’s shop and is nearly run over by a tram in the street. The bulk of the chapter is taken up with Bloom’s visions, in which he is repeatedly and alternatingly put on trial for obscene thoughts and deeds, and celebrated as a hero – perhaps even the messiah himself. Bloom’s deepest desires and kinks are explored here, Read more

Read Oxen of the Sun

In the Maternity Hospital, Bloom runs into Dixon, the doctor who had treated him for bee sting a couple of weeks previously. Dixon invites Bloom to join him and some other medical students at a party within. There, Bloom again encounters Stephen, who leads a winding discussion about fertility, contraception, abortion, the rights of the mother versus those of the child, and the Church’s position on all of them. Bloom drinks but little, while the others get very drunk. All the while, Mina Purefoy labours in a room above, her cries and occasional admonishments from the nurses disrupting the party and dampening down its boisterousness. Mulligan appears again, with Haines the Englishman in tow; he will lose Stephen at the tram station en route to Nighttown later in the night, and not appear again. At last Dixon is called for: the baby boy is born, and the partying crowd rush out into the streets on their way to Burke’s pub for last call. “Oxen of the Sun” is divided into nine sections, each corresponding roughly to a month in the gestation of the human embryo. Stylistically, it is even more various, beginning with pre-English Latinate sentences, and proceeding through Anglo-Saxon alliterative lines, a range of medieval, early modern, reformation, eighteenth-century, gothic, sentimental, and realist styles before culminating in the apparent collapse of style altogether into nonsense with the arrival of the twentieth century.

Read “Oxen of the Sun” now.