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Sunday 17 December 2017

Rare recording to have Joyceans swooning at literary auction

Signed Limited Edition, James Joyce reading Anna Livia Plurabelle
Signed Limited Edition, James Joyce reading Anna Livia Plurabelle
James Joyce
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

AUTHOR James Joyce's spirited impression of an Irish washerwoman's thick brogue accent is expected to send Joycean enthusiasts into a swoon.

The rare signed limited edition recording of Joyce reading aloud from the celebrated 'Anna Livia Plurabelle' passage from 'Finnegans Wake' is expected to fetch up to €2,500 when it goes under the hammer tomorrow.

It is understood that Joyce, whose eyesight was waning, read from sheets with huge typeface on it when the recording was made in 1929 by CK Odgen in Cambridge.

George Mealy, from Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers in Co Kilkenny, said there were plenty of "eclectic" pieces to entice bibliophiles at the auction at the Clyde Court Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Among the 900 lots is a first edition of Samuel Beckett's 'Whoroscope' dated 1930, with only 100 copies in existence. Beckett had penned a dedication to his Trinity College Dublin friend and golfing partner, Billy Cunningham, and posed alongside him and their two caddies for a snapshot on a golf links.

The work from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is expected to fetch up to €5,000.

Mr Mealy said rare books continued to hold their value extremely well.

"You can leaf through them, enjoy it and talk about it," he said.

"And with a very rare book a true collector can boast he only has that copy. It is something that you can appreciate, and from a monetary point of view it can appreciate as well."

He said there had been plenty of interest from abroad in items, such as the 60 notebooks and diaries kept by relations of famed author and satirist Jonathan Swift, as they tell how the elite of society survived the Great Famine and two World Wars.

Some books the late poet Seamus Heaney donated to the Linen Hall Library in Belfast before his death go under the hammer to raise funds for the renowned collection of literature and politics.

Irish Independent

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