Wednesday, March 22, 2023

How I “deeped my ear on the movietone” in a passage from James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” (1939)

While we were looking at our passage from James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" (1939) in our reading group this evening, we came across a parenthetical phrase: "(if you are looking for the bilder deep your ear on the movietone!)" (FW 62.8-9). "Bilder" is the German word for "pictures", and I "deeped my ear" into the recesses of my brain and heard that "Movietone" was the brand of newsreels shown in old movie houses, which we confirmed. It can take reference books, dictionaries, and the minds of several people to "deep your ear on" "Finnegans Wake", but sometimes someone turns out to know something, even, as in this case, to my own surprise. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 22 March 2023)

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