Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Unicode for James Joyce NEEDED!

[Taking suggestions for a Unicode character set for Joyceans, starting with the Finnegans Wake sigla]

Finnegans Wake is written as a dream, with archetypal characters whose names are never the same twice. In his notes, and occasionally in the published text as well, he used 'sigla' that had deep resonances for him that are still mostly unexplained.

Joyce scholars have used various tricks to represent them. [fweet-font] [FW Circular-$ASCII]

On page 299, footnote 5, Joyce summarises the seven basic FW sigla, clearly handwritten, as "The Doodles family". The new edition redraws them with straighter, thinner lines but fails to capture their relative sizes and angles.

FW1 vs FW2
FW Circular: $E, $A, $I.1, $X, $[], $/\, $[.

The triangle recurs inline at 119.19, the 'caret' at 124.09. There are rotations of 'E' at 006.32, 036.17, 119.17.

Rotations of 'F' occur at 018.36, 121.03, 121.07, and 266.22.

The notebooks have many other variants, especially a sort of "Æ" without the horizontal midstrokes (combining a caret and a bracket), a "Circled Plus", a "Large Circle".

Unicode offers a "Latin Capital Letter Reversed E" (and "There Exists") but lacks other rotated versions.  (The Joycefont should probably specify that the middle stroke of the E be shorter, though this is debatable.)

There's a "Turned Capital F" and a "Latin Epigraphic Letter Reversed F" but other rotations are needed.

There's no rotations of "T" per se, but there's Left, Right, Up, and Down "Tack"s.

There's a "Latin Capital Letter Turned V" and a "Logical And". There's a "Left Square Bracket" and a "Square Image Of".

There's a "White Up Pointing Triangle", a "White Medium Square, a "Multiplication X" and a "Heavy Multiplication X"

$/[ $I.2 $I.3 $I.29 $O
$P for Patrick
$T as an earlier alternate for Tristan
$S for the serpent, or Sigurdsen/Sackerson
$K for Kate, the old gummy granny (or for Kevin)

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