The amazing printing history of James Joyce's Ulysses and its editorial disasters. Novelist Arnold (Running to Paradise, 1983, etc.) does a fine job of setting before us the horrors of getting a true version of Ulysses into print—which apparently hasn't happened yet. Though much of Arnold's material repeats itself, the repetition is all part of the disaster bred by Joyce himself and recently complicated by the three-volume Hans Walter Gabler critical edition (1984) and Gabler's one-volume Ulysses: The Corrected Text (1986), both of which caused a mudfest among Joyceans. While writing the novel in Paris (1914-21), Joyce sold individual chapters to American collectors. Those chapters also acted as the texts for first publication in The Little Review. The chapters, which bore Joyce's corrections, were never returned to him, while his own carbons had not been corrected. When The Egoist Press printed Ulysses, Joyce made entirely new corrections inconsistent with the already published chapters, which he could not get hold of, and meanwhile added nearly a third to the novel's bulk on his galley proofs. Joyce, who was going blind, was a poor editor and even embroidered imaginatively on his Paris printer's errors, thus establishing a first edition not only aswim with errors and gaga sentences but also wildly inconsistent with his own manuscripts. Moreover, when Joyce began Finnegan's Wake, he lost interest in correcting Ulysses. Joyce did help in the French translation of Ulysses, which sometimes helps to make sense of his English. When Gabler came along to establish a corrected text, however, he threw out the first edition, assembled only manuscripts, corrupt magazine versions, etc., and intuitively put together a still newer Ulysses that has incensed Joyceans. But the problems are infinitely more complicated than this. Essential.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)