The Mooske and the Gripes is James Joyce's peculiar and hilarious re-telling of Aesop's ancient fable of `The Fox and the Grapes', as presented in Finnegans Wake (1939). This book consists of forty-six colour illustrations by Irish artist Thomas McNally that run alongside Joyce's text. Each illustration is based on a line from the fable; taken together, they help to interpret and illuminate the work. Almost eighty years on from the original publication, this illustrated edition of Joyce's fable offers to readers a comedic, much needed entry-point into Finnegans Wake, and to its appreciation.
Although Joyce's novel is often described as one of the most impenetrable literary works ever written, there are great riches and humour beyond its difficult surface that everyone can enjoy. Reading through Joyce's fable alongside the illustrations, readers will be offered an immediate introduction to Finnegans Wake and to its sense of the fantastical that is so intrinsic a feature of Joyce's highly imaginative use of language.
The book also contains an essay by McNally, providing further guidance to readers in their exploration of Joyce's masterwork.
Thomas McNally is an Irish artist, writer, and philosopher. His philosophical publications include Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Language (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and his articles have appeared in journals such as Philosophical Investigations, The British Journal of the History of Philosophy, and The Nordic Wittgenstein Review. In 2014, the Lilliput Press also published his illustrated edition of Joyce's fable of The Ondt and the Gracehoper.