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I would put them in the vestibule if their actions were totally inconsequential.

That is unsettling.

While working on a translation of Finnegan's Wake into Italian with Nino Frank and Ettore Settanni shortly before the outbreak of World War II, it became clear that James Joyce was setting about to do the reverse of Dante: while the latter strived to construct natural language, linking meaning and speech, Joyce was about to do the opposite.

The Irish maestro picked an odd, telling line from the Inferno to explain his goal. Settani reminisces about a moment that I think is unsettling:

Suddenly, I met Joyce's whirlpool lenses (I could only stare back fixedly) and he asked me: 'What do you think of this? A vederlo guitar in quell sue guaina, come Salomon roe e Saboletta, le sue dune rhurlavan di foia satolle. Bayorka bueh. Boyana bueh …
I replied: 'I give in, Maestro, you've got the better of me.' Joyce smiled, took a book from off the shelf, came over and showed me the wordplay from Dante: 'Papa Satan Pape Satan aleppe.'
'May Father Dante forgive me, but I've taken up this technique of deformation to achieve a harmony that subdues our intelligence like music …'

-- Ettore Settani, quoted in Jacqueline Risset, Comparative Criticism, vol. 6 (Cambridge University Press, 1984)

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