Finnegans Wake

A   P R O S P E C T U S   F O R

F I N N E G A N S  W A K E

J A M E S   J O Y C E

E D I T E D  BY  D A N I S  R O S E  &  J O H N  O ’ H A N L O N

Published in a limited edition by the H O U Y H N H N M   P R E S S

by arrangement with Penguin Books Ltd.

Designed by Martino Mardersteig and printed in Verona by Stamperia Valdonega.

This new, critically emended edition of Finnegans Wake, welcomed by Seamus Deane as ‘astonishing and pleasing beyond measure’, is now delivered to its reading public seventy years after the novel’s first publication by Faber & Faber on the 4th of May 1939.

Finnegans Wake is the most bookish of all books. John Bishop has described it as ‘the single most intentionally crafted literary artefact that our culture has produced’. In its original format, however, the book has been beset by numerous imperfections occasioned by the confusion of its seventeen-year composition. Only today, by restoring to our view the author’s intentions in a physical book designed, printed and bound to the highest standards of the printers’ art, can the editors reveal in true detail James Joyce’s fourth, and last, masterwork.

This edition is the summation of thirty years’ intense engagement by textual scholars Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon verifying, codifying, collating and clarifying the 20,000 pages of notes, drafts, typescripts and proofs comprising James Joyce’s ‘litters from aloft, like a waast wizzard all of whirlwords’ (fw2, 14.16-17). The new reading text of Finnegans Wake, typographically re-set for the first time in its publishing history, incorporates some 9000 minor yet crucial corrections and amendments, covering punctuation marks, font choice, spacing, misspellings, misplaced phrases and ruptured syntax. Although individually minor, these changes are nonetheless crucial in that they facilitate a smooth reading of the book’s allusive density and essential fabric.

T H E   E D I T O R S

D A N I S  R O S E is principal editor of the forthcoming critical edition and electronic hypertext of Finnegans Wake. His publications include The James Joyce Archive: Volumes 28-63 (New York, 1977-78; with David Hayman and John O’Hanlon); The Index Manuscript (Colchester, 1978); Understanding Finnegans Wake (New York, 1982, with John O’Hanlon); The Lost Notebook (Edinburgh, 1989; with John O’Hanlon); The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (Dublin, 1995); and Ulysses: A New Reader’s Edition (Mousehole, 2004). He was born in Dublin, where he now lives.

J O H N   O ’ H A N L O N  has collaborated with Danis Rose in most of the Joyce-related projects undertaken by him, in particular in the preparation of the extensive electronic hypertext of Finnegans Wake. His expertise is in mathematics and logic, and he has been primarily responsible for the origin (or adaptation) and coherence of the programs and protocols essential to Rose’s hypertext constructions.

H O U Y H N H N M  presents a boxed set of two complementary volumes: a booklet gathering of introductory matter by Seamus Deane, Hans Walter Gabler, David Greetham and the editors; and, bound apart, the full text of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

Both volumes have been printed and bound by Stamperia Valdonega under the supervision of Martino Mardersteig, who is perhaps Europe’s finest private-press printer.

T H E   B O O K


M A I N   V O L U M E

504pp in extent, 200 x 285mm in size

Offset in 16-page sheets in exclusive proprietary fonts (Dante)

All signatures smythe-sewn

Off-white, uncoated 120 grams acid-free paper stock

Pulp-coloured endleaves, Nettuno light 140 grams. Hardbound in paper over board 800 copies


Paper covers with French flaps. 64pp, 200 x 285mm 800 copies

Two volumes in light-grey cardboard slipcase.


M A I N   V O L U M E

504pp in extent, 205 x 290mm in size

Offset in 16-page sheets in exclusive proprietary fonts (Dante)

All signatures smythe-sewn and trimmed only on top

Off-white, mould-made, deckle-edged 130 gram paper (30% rag)

Front edge and foot untrimmed, adding 5mm to width and height

Pulp-coloured endleaves, Nettuno light 140 grams

Full leather binding in black calfskin

Rounded and backed with stamping on spine and front panel, head- and tailbands

Signed and numbered 1-150, lettered a-z, hors commerce 24


Printed on mould-made paper and hardbound with stiff grey paper over boards. 64pp, 205 x 290mm 200 copies

Two volumes in full cloth slipcase with leather top and bottom.


Pages from Danis Rose’s personal copy of Finnegans Wake, annotated to indicate, inter alia, sources of words and phrases in Joyce’s notebooks.


Opening page of the new Houyhnhnm edition of Finnegans Wake.

The most iconic and original text in English literature has found its final expression and embodiment in this beautiful Houyhnhnm Press edition.

‘Ireland is Joyce’s microcosm … In Finnegans Wake a universe of discourse, seemingly unlimited in space and time, is spanned by associations of thought and play upon words … synthesis is Joyce’s final intention. His deeper affinities are with Dante, with the medieval iconographers, with the symbolic structures that art once built upon faith … Joyce renews our apprehension of reality, strengthens our sympathy with our fellow creatures, and leaves us in awe before the mystery of created things.’

(Harry Levin, The Atlantic Monthly, December 1946).