Finnegan’s Wake

A few notes from John Bishop taken from the introduction of Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce:

“It is, perhaps, the single most intentionally crafted literary artifact that our culture has produced.”

“it…grew more and more strange and obscure as Joyce made decisions to write it in a language of ‘punns and reedles’ “

“…to adopt an incessantly allusive style…”

“Its admirers see in it a comprehensive summa of twentieth-century culture and letters; its detractors, an arrogant compilation of arcane materials eccentrically patched together for the amusement of the literary elite.”

“one doesn’t need to comprehend it as a totality to profit from it or enjoy it.”

“it can sometimes seem that one is doing extremely well if one makes sense of only a sentence or two on a single page. “

“the book serves as something of a Rorschach test…”

(and so on.)

I flipped through the book; I’m sort of intrigued. It might be fun to buy a copy and just write all in in, point out the strange references, share it with a couple people and have them do the same thing. Fill it up with sticky notes, take it a page at a time, not necessarily in order. It’s got sort of a beautiful rhythm to it:

“Here she is, Amnisty Ann! Call her calamity electrifies man.” (page 207)

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~ by kiranapoleon on October 12, 2007.

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