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Contemporary Literature Press
Press Release
Bucharest, 7 March 2012

Online Publication

Contemporary Literature Press,
under The University of Bucharest, in conjunction with The British Council, and The Romanian Cultural Institute,

Announces the publication of

A Lexicon of "Small" Languages in
 Finnegans Wake 

edited by C. George Sandulescu.

(ISBN 978-606-8366-11-1)

This is the first systematic attempt ever to put together and begin to coordinate the research done over many years on the languages in  Finnegans Wake.

The idea behind the whole series of Lexicons is based on the possible concept of a Dictionary in the Head for a number of languages, parallelling N. Chomsky's Linguistic Intuition.

After the volumes devoted to Romanian, German, and Scandinavian languages, the present volume brackets together a bunch of more than twenty languages, ranging from French to all the Slavonic ones. The Introduction gives a few clues about how to read a book which is written in more than one single language. Finnegans Wake is suited to such an approach, as it evinces many similarities with Tristan Tzara's kind of  collage. In addition, Joyce was as obsessive in his literary preoccupations as Brancusi himself was with his relatively few images. The main feature of this book, and of the volumes in the same series, is that it brings increased Precision to literary studies, particularly when they focus on the texts of great difficulty. There is also far greater attention paid to the rhetorical implications which inevitably arise from the simultaneous use of a multiplicity of languages.

This Volume Five in the series thus becomes its very centrepiece and, as such, it is dedicated to James Joyce's grandson, Stephen, whose 80th birthday we have just celebrated in mid-February. Everybody knows these days how attached the author James Joyce was to his whole family, circumstantial proof thereof being the two short fairy-tales exclusively written for his grandson. The series is not yet complete: there are other volumes that will follow, not only about the Romance languages, but also about English itself.

The volumes issued so far have been collectively reviewed by Sorin Ivan in his article on Joyce Lexicography as a series of Contemporary Literature Press, which was initially published in the Romanian language in Tribuna Învățământului, Bucharest, 20-26 February 2012, and taken over by other cultural websites, such as

The volume A Lexicon of "Small" Languages in Finnegans Wake edited by C. George Sandulescu will be officially launched on 7 March 2012, but it is available for consultation and downloading on receipt of this Press Release, at the following internet address:

You are kindly invited to visit the Contemporary Literature Press Website at For comments or suggestions, please contact the publisher

Lidia Vianu


Contemporary Literature Press, online Publishing House of the University of Bucharest,

brings Romanian research into the limelight 
when a children's story by James Joyce is published for the first time ever.

World literature welcomes an exceptionally important event: an Irish publishing house published in January 2012 The Cats of Copenhagen, a short fairy-tale which Joyce wrote for his grandson Stephen in 1936.

The author of Modernism, Joyce explored inner life using language as a fabulous tool.

To Romanian culture, Joyce is particularly meaningful, on account of his friendship with Brancusi, the man who fathered Modernist art. This friendship influenced Finnegans Wake undoubtedly: proof is the extensive use of Romanian words in it.

It is remarkable, but natural in many ways, that two Romanian specialists in English Studies should have paved the way, I should say, to this publication that revived interest in the work of the inexhaustible James Joyce. Both of them are academics, connected to the University of Bucharest. C. George Sandulescu is a reputed Joycean scholar: he has written The Joycean Monologue and The Language of the Devil. Now he is the Executive advisor of the Online Literature Publishing House of the University of Bucharest, which he has founded together with Lidia Vianu. Contemporary Literature Press is also supported by The Romanian Cultural Institute and the British Council.

The two academics have already published four Lexicons in the series entitled Joyce Lexicography: A Lexicon of Romanian in Finnegans Wake, A Lexicon of the German in Finnegans Wake, A Lexicon of Common Scandinavian in Finnegans Wake, and A Lexicon of Allusions and Motifs in Finnegans Wake. The preoccupation of the two shcolars and publishers with the work of a writer who has never ceased to amaze his readers is now at the core of European Joyce Studies. The recent publication of The Cats of Copenhagen brings Romanian academic research to the front once again.

Sorin IVAN

Initially published in the Romanian Language in

Tribuna Învățământului, Bucharest, 20-26 February 2012


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