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Friday, 9 March 2007

Jeri Johnson, an Oxford University academic, gave a talk this afternoon in the Wooley Building at Sydney Uni, 'In Conversation: Editing Joyce, Woolf, Freud'. It is part of a series of free seminars held by the Department of English in semester one.

As the editor of the Oxford World's Classics edition of Ulysses (which has sold over a million copies), she talked about various aspects of the editing process. She admitted to being a 'Joycean'.

The decision as to which version of the novel to use for the text was a fraught one, as Joyce apparently revised the text at every opportunity, as when he received a set of page proofs to check. These interlineations could add up to 30 per cent to the volume.

She outlined the history of the publication of Ulysses. She also discussed the problems associated with Joyce's grandson, Steven. He causes Joyce scholars endless problems, it seems. He resents any examination of his grandfather's life and voices his dislike in no uncertain terms.

With wine included in the program, it was an enjoyable two hours.

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