James Joyce & Esperanto:
Selected Bilingual Bibliography / Elektita Dulingva Bibliografio

Compiled by / Kompilis Ralph Dumain

BLOOM: I stand for the reform of municipal morals and the plain ten commandments. New worlds for old. Union of all, jew, moslem and gentile. Three acres and a cow for all children of nature. Saloon motor hearses. Compulsory manual labour for all. All parks open to the public day and night. Electric dishscrubbers. Tuberculosis, lunacy, war and mendicancy must now cease. General amnesty, weekly carnival, with masked licence, bonuses for all, esperanto the universal brotherhood. No more patriotism of barspongers and dropsical impostors. Free money, free love and a free lay church in a free lay state.

— James Joyce, Ulysses, Circe

Will you please come over and let us mooremoore murgessly to each’s other down below our vices. I am underheerd by old billfaust. Wilsh is full of curks. The coolskittle is philip deblinite. Mr Wist is thereover beyeind the wantnot. Wilsh and wist are as thick of thins udder as faust on the deblinite. Sgunoshooto estas preter la tapizo malgranda. Lilegas al si en sia chambro. Kelkefoje funcktas, kelkefoje srumpas Shultroj. Houdian Kiel vi fartas, mia nigra sinjoro? And from the poignt of fun where I am crying to arrive you at they are on allfore as foibleminded as you can feel they are fablebodied.

— James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Tradukoj el Joyce en Esperanto / Esperanto translations of Joyce

La mortintoj” (The dead), trad. Alec Venture, en Angla Antologio II: 1800-1960, red. Albert Goodheir (London: Esperanto Association of Britain, 1987), p. 370-409.

Giacomo Joyce” (English: Giacomo Joyce), trad. Kris Long, Literatura Foiro, n-ro 102, jaro 18a, marto 1987, p. 17-22.

Giacomo Joyce” (2017.06.16 — Bloomsday / Blumtago), laŭtlegas (kun eraroj) R. Dumain (Soundcloud: sonregistraĵo, 25:30 min.).

El: Uliso (From: Ulysses), trad. Kris Long, La Kancerkliniko, n-ro 26, aprilo-junio 1983, p. 14-15.

Evelino” (“Eveline,” from Dubliners), trad. Russ Williams, La Ondo de Esperanto, 2008, n-ro 6 (164). Ankaŭ ĉi tie. Laŭreato de Liro-2007 en la branĉo Traduka prozo.

Radio Esperanto 11 (06.07.08): 6. James Joyce: “Evelino” (sonregistraĵo, 15a-28a minuto) [sound file: 15-28 minute mark].

Eveline [el Dublinanoj] far James Joyce, trad. Jack Wilson. 2009.

Araby” [el Dublinanoj] de James Joyce, trad. Jack Wilson. 2009.

Pri Joyce en Esperanto / On Joyce in Esperanto

Boulton, Marjorie. “Enkonduko: Resuma skizo pri la angla literaturo post 1800,” en Angla Antologio 2, red. Albert Goodheir (London: Esperanto Association of Britain, 1987), p. 15.

“James Joyce (1882-1941), alia, kiun cenzuristoj ĝenis kaj filistroj ne volis kompreni, komencis verki kiel sentema novelisto uzanta kutimajn rimedojn, sed en vasta romano (pri unu tago) Uliso provis grandan eksperimenton, kun parodioj, fantazioj, pensofluaj monologoj kaj multaj avangardaj metodoj; kaj en Finnegans Wake (proks. La Antaŭenteriga Festo de Finegan) forlasis eĉ normalajn lingvajn rimedojn kaj kreis ian hibride politglotan, vortludantan, aludoriĉan lingvaĵon kiun oni ne povas legi kiel normalan fikcion; liaj verkoj estas sinceraj, dum Jaroj pripensitaj, artverkoj, sed postulas de legantoj pli ol la plimulto povas doni.”

James Joyce en Literatura Mondo (with additional commentary in English):

Brun, Louis. Ulysses de James Joyce (Observo), marto 1931, p. 47-8.

_________.  James Joyce kaj lia “Dubliners” (Observo), juli-aŭgusto 1932, p. 139.

X. James Joyce (Observo), majo 1933, p. 80.

Silfer, Giorgio. Enkonduko al Literatura Kritiko, 2-a eldono (Ĝenevo; Milano: Kooperativo de Literatura Foiro, 1983), Ĉapitro VIII—Ĉefaj demandoj por la Esperanta literaturhistorio; 2. La problemo de la malfruoj; p. 44-45.

__________. “La facila planlingvo en la plej malfacila romano,” Literatura Foiro, n-ro 275, junio 2015, p. 118-121, & kovrilo.

__________. “Du homoj kun ecoj... kaj homaj kunecoj?”, Literatura Foiro, n-ro 275, junio 2015, p. 122-123.

Komparo inter Joyce kaj Robert Musil. Ili renkontiĝis unu fojon.

Wibberley, Ian. “Kiel James Joyce lernis Esperanton,” Brita Esperantisto, 79 (854), September-October 1983, p. 264.

James Joyce - Vikipedio.

Dubliners - Vikipedio.

Uliso - Vikipedio.

Leopold Bloom - Vikipedio

James Joyce @ Ĝirafo (miabloge / on my blog, in Esperanto or English).

Pál Békés - Vikipedio

Pál Békés verkis kelkajn fikciaĵojn pri Joyce kaj/aŭ Leopold Bloom. Nur unu anglalingva traduko haveblas: “Leciono pri Aspiro,” en kiu Joyce instruas la anglan lingvon al la faŝista ŝtatestro Horthy. / Pál Békés wrote a few pieces of fiction about Joyce and/or Leopold Bloom. Only “A Lesson in Aspiration” is available in English.

On Joyce, Esperanto, & constructed languages in English / Anglalingve pri Joyce, Esperanto, & artefaritaj lingvoj

Blish, James. Spock Must Die! New York: Bantam, 1970.

Novel uses “Eurish,” the language allegedly invented by Joyce in Finnegans Wake.

‘Endlessly Exciting in its Impenetrability’: 1939 James Joyce review (Irish Times)

(From the archive: On June 3rd, 1939, some poor soul had to review James Joyce’s newest novel, Finnegans Wake. On the 75th anniversary of his death, we celebrate his cruel joke on reviewers everywhere. Jan. 13, 2016)

“The author appears to be doing something which has no relation to the reader of a work of fiction; nothing coherent comes out of all these words; it is a game which only Mr. Joyce can play, for he alone knows the rules, if there are any. He will take a word and twist and turn it, and chase it up and down through every language that he knows—English, French, German, Gaelic, Latin, Greek, Dutch, Sanscrit, Esperanto. The sounds of words in infinite variety fascinate him.

Finnegans Wake @ ekstelu! (in English & Esperanto), 2019-2020.

Hemmingson, Michael. Star Trek: A Post-Structural Critique of the Original Series. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 2009.

On fan usage of Joyce’s ‘artificial language’ in Finnegans Wake.

Nico Israel, Professor, City University of New York Graduate Center and Hunter College.

Israel, Nico. Esperantic Modernism: Joyce, Universal Language, and Political Gesture,” M/m, volume 2, cycle 1, Feb. 21, 2017.

Israel, Nico. “‘Militopucos’: James Joyce and Universal Language,” lecture, October 13, 2017, 4:00pm-6:00pm, The Graduate Center, CUNY, Room 9207; session 5: Soros Lectures in New York, NY, December 2016 - Fall 2017.

Israel, Nico. Spirals: the Whirled Image in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

Chapter 4: L’Habite en Spirale: Duchamp, Joyce, and the Ineluctable Visibility of Entropy, pp. 111-160.
              Ulysses and the Charybdic Dialectic, 139-147
              “Courser, Recourser, Changechild”: Recirculation as History in the Wake, 147-156
              Point Carried!, 156-160

Accordingly, attending to the appearance of spirals in Finnegans Wake, a novel that not only is about spirals but is a kind of spiral (or set of spirals) itself, helps to account for this impertinently outrageous entropic process—a process with implications for imagining both world history in the broadest sense and the more specific geopolitics of the 1920s and 1930s. [102]
[p. 148]

Esperanto: 118, 158, passim; extensive footnote 128, p. 259.

In both Duchamp and Joyce, entropic spirals, in addition to calling into question the relation between the seen and the unseen, connect sexual desire to proclivities within language, proclivities that themselves expose aspects of the polis. In Duchamp, the whirling, obscene, transatlantic pun is structured like a tendentious Freudian joke that operates against the gender and class dynamics it seems to propound, while in Joyce, the near-Esperantic pun ineluctably flows toward the whirlpools of (homo)eroticism and colonial power relations. [p. 118]

Just as Duchamp’s obscenely spiraling joke-work, in limning the infra-thin difference between direct phrase and insinuated meanings, critiques the persistence of national boundaries in the wake of the First World War, so Joyce’s nose-thumbing deployment of language, rather like a better, more difficult Esperanto,[128] gestures, in the swirling geopolitical whirlpool leading up to the Second World War, toward a zone of feeling, of understanding, beyond a nation-state but short of a “universal” political entity.[129]
[pp. 158-9]

128. I intend to develop elsewhere this connection between Joyce’s language and the international constructed language Esperanto. For now, it should simply be noted that the question of “universal language” is broached at the beginning of the “Circe” episode in Stephen’s conversation with his university friend Lynch, and is parodied later in the same episode both during Bloom’s “New Bloomusalem speech” (“. . . bonuses for all, esperanto the universal language with universal brotherhood . . .”) and when Bloom mistakes a doorman’s request for a password, in Irish, for Esperanto (“Haha. Merci. Esperanto. Slan leath”) ( Joyce, Ulysses, 15:1691–1692 [399], 15:220 [356]). Joyce also includes several Esperanto and mock-Esperanto phrases in Finnegans Wake, among them a sequence in III.4 in which the central protagonists, Mr. and Mrs. Porter, stand-ins for or reiterations of HCE and ALP, speak of their son Kevin’s troubled sleep, which has caused him to speak a childlike babble:

—Li ne dormis? [Didn’t he sleep?]
—S! Malbone dormas. [Shh!, he slept badly]
—Kia li krias nikte? [What does he cry he at night?] [In correct Esperanto, “in notko” would be used to signify “at night.” Perhaps Joyce had in mind the modern Greek τη νύχτα (in nichta)]
—Parolas infanetes. S! [Infant words, Shh!] (565)

One page later, Porter/HCE is admonished by his wife, with whom he wants to have sex, to cover his loins, since his children can see his nakedness: “Vidu, porkego! Ili vi rigardas. Returnu, porkego. Maldelikato! [Watch out, you big lug, they see you. Turn it over, you oaf, you’re being rude!]” (556). Whereas “infant words” in the previous passage invoked Babel and the profusion of unintelligible languages, Mrs. Porter’s admonishment points to the primal scene of Ham’s curse (by Noah), spilling out (as Porter’s genitals do) into a scenario with geopolitical dimensions in that Ham in the biblical narrative is inheritor of land that medieval theologians assumed was Africa, and hence justified the slave trade.
[p. 259]

Mecsnóber, Tekla. Rewriting Joyce’s Europe: the Politics of Language and Visual Design. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2021. (The Florida James Joyce Series)

O’Neill, Patrick. Impossible Joyce: Finnegans Wakes. University of Toronto Press, 2013. 

Finnegans Wake is a literary machine designed to generate as many meanings as possible for as many readers as possible. Impossible Joyce: Finnegans Wakes, the present exercise in the long and widening wake of the Wake, focuses on the extended capabilities of that machine in the course of a sustained examination of transtextual effects (a concept to which we shall return) generated by comparative readings, across a range of languages, of translated excerpts from a work that has repeatedly been declared entirely untranslatable. [p. 3]

28 translations of the opening sentence are compared, including a machine translation into Esperanto (p. 28: riverrun = riverkuro).

Finally, remembering that Arland Ussher once called the language of Finnegans Wake a ‘Joysick Esperanto’ (1957, 125), it is fitting that we now also have an Esperanto version of the opening sentence, translated in this case not by a human being but by a machine translator (Anon. 2010)." [p. 37]

Ussher, Arland. 1957. Three Great Irishmen: Shaw, Yeats, Joyce. 1952. New York: Mentor.

An Esperanto version, finally, produced by the machine translator GramTrans, offers ‘riverkuro,’ which not only manages to conflate the nouns rivero (‘river’) and kuro (‘run’) but also self-reflexively hints at both the literary work (verko) we are reading and the activity needed to produce it (verki, ‘to write’), invokes the Japanese river Kuro as a Far Eastern avatar of Anna Livia, and leaves readers to discover for themselves the fact that the Japanese adjective kuro (‘black’) shares its meaning with the Irish adjective dubh, an element retained in the name of the city of Dublin, home to Anna Livia’s riverrun. Translingual serendipity is clearly not restricted to the products of human translators. [40-41]

The machine-produced Esperanto version, finally, after a brilliant start with the opening word, quickly comes to grief with ‘pasinta Eva kaj tiu de Adamo,’ a version that, by confusing the adjectival and prepositional meanings of the English ‘past,’ produces a meaningless ‘former (pasinta) Eve and former Adam’s.’ [44]

The machine-produced Esperanto version, ‘de turno de marbordo fleksi da golfo,’ successfully navigates the ‘turn’ (turno) of the ‘coast’ (marbordo), but comes to grief once again in misreading ‘to bend’ as an infinitive (fleksi, ‘to bend’), thus preventing it from ever reaching the ‘bay’ (golfo). [49]

The phrase ‘brings us’ is the least ambiguous one in the English text, but again the translations allow for some interesting semantic develop­ments. All versions use terms that indeed mean ‘bring,’ but ten of them suggest in addition being ‘carried’ or ‘borne,’ as on a river – thus Butor’s ‘nous reporte,’ the earlier Schenoni’s ‘ci porta,’ Wilcock’s ‘ci riporta,’ Pozanco’s ‘nos trae,’ Elizondo’s ‘trayéndonos,’ Victoria’s ‘nos trae,’ Aixŕs’s ‘ens duu’ (Catalan dur, ‘to carry, bear’), Lourenço’s ‘traz-nos,’ Pagán’s ‘trai-nos,’ and the Esperanto ‘alportas nin.’ Five versions sug­gest being ‘led’ or ‘conducted’ instead of carried – thus Burgess (‘ci ri­conduci’), the later Schenoni (‘ci conduce’), Schüler (‘reconduz-nos’), and both Rathjen and Stündel (‘führt uns’). Campos, with ‘devolve-nos,’ has us ‘returned.’ [51]

[5] by a commodius vicus of recirculation
Anon. (Esperanto, 2010): de kommodiusvikus de recirkulado
[6] back to Howth Castle and Environs
Anon. (Esperanto, 2010): reen al Howth Castle kaj Ĉirkaŭas [52ff]

Several other versions simply abandon the struggle to retain HCE’s initials. None of the four versions in eastern European languages, for example, makes any effort to do so – unless one can assume that the intended result is the very unlikely ZHO (Russian), ZHO or HZO (Polish), or HHO (Czech). The Esperanto version, ‘Howth Castle kaj Ĉirkaŭas,’ producing the initials HCĈ, similarly ignores the matter.  [57]

Quigley, Megan. Modernist Fiction and Vagueness: Philosophy, Form, and Language. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

See esp. section 3: “A Dream of International Precision: James Joyce, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and C. K. Ogden”; 5: Blasphemy and Nonsense: Finnegans Wake in Basic.

Simon, Sherry. Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2012. See Chapter 3: Habsburg Trieste: anxiety at the border; Esperanto, p. 60.

Sturmer, K. R. C. Esperanto Literature: Notes and Impressions. London: The Esperanto Publishing Co., Ltd., 1930. Passing reference to Joyce on p. 11, but not about Joyce.

Wadlinger, Ronald. “My heeders will recoil with a great leisure” [Finnegans Wake, 160.25-162.21], One Year in the Wake (Blog), September 8. 2014.

More on Esperanto in Finnegans Wake

No doubt readers will find puns and allusions that either their predecessors missed or that Joyce never intended. Take this passage:

“[...] who was asked by free boardschool shirkers in drenched coats overawall, Will, Conn and Otto, to tell them overagait, Vol, Pov and Dev, that fishabed ghoatstory of the haardly creditable edventyres of the Haberdasher, the two Curchies and the three Enkelchums in their Bearskin ghoats!” [p. 51]

The Finnegans Wake Extensible Elucidation Treasury (Fweet) yields:

French vouloir, pouvoir et devoir: will, can and ought to (infinitives)

... which piggybacks off the English puns preceding. But Vol, Pov and Dev are also Esperanto roots, which have the same meaning as the French.  See also The Autodidact in Finnegans Wake.

O’Neill (see above), finds that additional meanings can accrue to Finnegans Wake via translation into other languages, among them Esperanto. I have not tried this, but translating the opening words, I give you, which at least sounds good:

Laŭ la tuta vojo de riverkuro ...

The Cyclical Night: Irony in James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges
by L. A. Murrilo

Theodor W. Adorno on modernism, Georg Lukács, James Joyce (1)

Theodor W. Adorno on modernism, Georg Lukács, James Joyce (2)

James Joyce & Hungary: Selected Bibliography

James Joyce, Politics, & the Jews: Select Bibliography

James Joyce & Technology, Vitalism, Robots, Artificial Intelligence,
Cyberculture & Combinatorics:
A Bibliographic Pathway

James Joyce, History, Politics, & Marxism: A Bibliography

James Joyce: Special Topics: Bibliography, Links, Quotes

Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide / Retgvidilo pri Esperanto & Interlingvistiko


One Year in the Wake (blog)

Hear All of Finnegans Wake Read Aloud: A 35 Hour Reading

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Uploaded 4 June 2017
Last update 9 April 2022
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1st update 16 June 2017 (Bloomsday)
Final section on Finnegans Wake added 5 Feb 2022

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