transition, Finnegans Wake
an international literary journal begun in Paris in 1927 by Eugene Jolas as a ‘laboratory of the word’. Assisted by his wife Maria, who translated contributions, Jolas remained editor until the last issue in 1938. Manifestos affirming ‘The Revolution of the Word’ and the advent of ‘Vertigralism’, Jolas's quasimystical aesthetic of ‘primitive grammar’, were characteristic of transition's radical tone. James Joyce's ‘Work in Progress’, which culminated in Finnegans Wake (1939), exemplified Jolas's ideas of linguistic innovation; extracts were regularly published in the magazine from its inception onward. Predominantly in English, the magazine also published writing in French and German and contained work by many eminent contributors. The first translations of stories by Franz Kafka appeared in its pages in 1927, and ‘Metamorphosis’ was serialized in 1936. Dylan Thomas, Gertrude Stein, Anaïs Nin, W. C. Williams, and Samuel Beckett also supplied stories, which Jolas termed ‘paramyths’. Contributors of essays included S. M. Eisenstein, Herbert Read, and C. G. Jung, whose theories of the collective unconscious were of great interest to transition. Hart Crane, Laura Riding, Paul Éluard, Randall Jarrell, and Yvor Winters were among the poets whose work was featured. transition was also noted for its coverage of the graphic and plastic arts and was produced with covers designed by Picasso, Miro, and other artists of distinction.
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