Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

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marymary
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Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by marymary »

After some very lightweight novels, I thought it was time I tried a bit of a more challenging read. Joyce wrote his most odd and difficult novel over the course of many years. It’s an odd concoction of no grammar, misspelling, foreign vocabulary and portmanteau words which allegedly is meant to convey the dream-like state of characters In Ireland. If read aloud using the spelling to guide you, you sound Irish and poetical and I am sure that the academics who have spent their lives trying to decipher meaning from this cacophony feel their lives have been well spent.

I, on the other hand, have been listening to it read aloud by an actor in snatches of a few minutes while reading along with a PDF of the book. I give every book a hundred pages before chucking away to give it a chance. So far I have tortured myself with 68 pages but think it’s the biggest load of tosh ever misrepresented as a classic. In my opinion, the emperor has no clothes.

This is page one. You will note that it begins in the middle of a sentence. This is because the whole novel ends with the sentence to convey the idea that everything is cyclical. This is another example of clever-dicky ideas which have enthralled those who like it.

It’s like trying to solve Quordle in one go.

:head:
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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by SRD »

It seems a very brave move to go from lightweight novels to one of the most difficult pieces of writing of the 20th century.
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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by marymary »

Just returning to the sort of books I read from time to time so not brave but probably not for me. Currently at around p70 so 30 pages to go, probably.

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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by Little John »

Now try "Barefoot in the head" by Brian Aldis
Yes this is the real "Little John" (or it could be "colin whose birthday is the day after mine)

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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by SRD »

From what I have read I understand that Finnegan's Wake needs to be read with a reference library to hand and a deep knowledge of Irish culture as well as an understanding of the psychiatry of dreams. Always too much of an ask for me who only ever read as a pastime.
An ex of mine, having toured their student drama production of 'Under Milk Wood' to the States, did it as a group read. She said it came more to life with different voices reading aloud.
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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by marymary »

I think that’s a good point Simon. The audio version I am using has one actor reading the whole thing lickety-split and if I weren’t reading along with it I would be quite- even more- confused.

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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by Little John »

Ulysses surprised me by its degree of modernity and isn't this an enlargement of the funeral bit with Bloom and Co?

I suppose its only 100 years old so perhaps not everything has changed so dramatically in that time
Yes this is the real "Little John" (or it could be "colin whose birthday is the day after mine)

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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by marymary »

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3h2vFV ... Lnsagl12lw

From about 2 minutes in after he pours his wine.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07dkv3p

People who like it.

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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by Little John »

"I say "read" but my eyes have just glanced over the words"
But he does read it nicely
Yes this is the real "Little John" (or it could be "colin whose birthday is the day after mine)

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Re: Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

Post by marymary »

Little John wrote:
August 3rd, 2022, 1:16 pm
"I say "read" but my eyes have just glanced over the words"
But he does read it nicely
He has a lovely voice!

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