Antedating of James Joyce quote

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 16 14:59:12 UTC 2010

Even if they started at birth, why did they give up at age thirteen?

But perhaps Joyce was simply employing the figure of speech we scholars term
"exaggeration," and expected only that readers would devote the *remainder*
of their lives to reading (n.b., not "understanding") his works.

Unless all members of the group expired on its final day (a consummation
DTBW), I would say, regrettably, that they had failed their master.

(Disclaimer: Satire.  Joyce, once an exceptional writer, eventually became
a great  eccentric and finally a massive literary figure  - sometimes
related but not hardly

On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 12:07 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Antedating of James Joyce quote
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 1/15/2010 10:08 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >Yale quotes this famous dictum at third hand from Lucas, 1936.
> >
> >1931 Max Eastman in _Harper's Magazine_ (Oct.): [Joyce said to me] "The
> >demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to
> >reading my works."
> Some have.  Aloud, in groups.  One just finished in Boston:
> or
> Thirteen years ... but they met only once a week "to read a page or
> so".  I assume they were devoting the rest of their lives to
> research, exegesis, and rehearsal.  But having started at the Thirsty
> Scholar in Cambridge and finished at the Corrib in Brighton, I expect
> they spent some time in contemplation of their cups (cf. illustration).
> Joel
> >He smiled as he said that - smiled and then repeated it.
> >And my answer was, "You absolutely insist on giving them all that
> pleasure!"
> >
> >Gaak.
> >
> >JL
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