One sentence of Sirens featured in Gabler's edition, "Bob Cowley's outstretched talons griped the black deepsounding chords," appears to contain a nonsensical verb, and indeed most editions from the 1930s onward substituted the word "gripped." But "griped" appeared in all of Joyce's early texts, and close reading reveals that he knew what he was doing. As a transitive verb, "gripe" can mean "to grasp, seize."

John Hunt 2023

Joyce's handwritten version of the word in question. Source: Rosenbach MS.

  Gisèle Freund 's 1938 photograph of Joyce playing the black keys as his son Giorgio looks on. Source: Freund and Carleton, James Joyce in Paris.