a friend reminded me; I always forget. Listen to the 1929 sole(?) recording of Joyce’s voice at Ubu reading Anna Livia Plurabelle (‘the lady of the river’ in Finnagans Wake, speculated by one Joyce scholar to be closely related to Joyce’s mentally unstable, Beckett-infatuated daughter Lucia). The recording was made in collaboration with Sylvia Beach, the publisher of Ulysses. Sylvia Beach also mentions a recording of the Aeolus eposide from Ulysses, wonder where that is..?
Sylvia Beach (from Ubu):
Joyce had chosen the speech in the Aeolus episode, the only passage that could be lifted out of Ulysses, he said, and the only one that was “declamatory” and therefore suitable for recital. He had made up his mind, he told me, that this would be his only reading from Ulysses.
I have an idea that it was not for declamatory reasons alone that he chose this passage from Aeolus. I believe that it expressed something he wanted said and preserved in his own voice. As it rings out-“he lifted his voice above it boldly”-it is more, one feels, than mere oratory…
How beautiful the “Anna Livia” recording is, and how amusing Joyce’s rendering of an Irish washerwoman’s brogue! This is a treasure we owe to C. K. Ogden and Basic English. Joyce, with his famous memory, must have known “Anna Livia” by heart. Nevertheless, he faltered at one place and, as in the Ulysses recording, they had to begin again.