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Finnegans Wake

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dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Jul 26, 2020 @ 11:18:31
No one actually reads Finnegans Wake. It remains for me the best book I've never read.

By James Joyce, it took him about 18 years to write and kept him up late into the night. His long suffering wife Nora Barnacle would be kept awake, hearing Joyce chuckling to himself. Occasionally she would cry out to him, begging him to write something that others just might understand - obviously she had her eye on the possibility of royalties, which were always in short supply given Joyce's usual style of output. Joyce was a bit of a cadger himself.

Anyway, it IS Finnegans Wake, not Finnegan's Wake. Which already begins to suggest the wordplay that Joyce indulged in. Finnegans......wake up! Or something like that.

Joyce, as far as I can determine, was a bit of a Dogenist. Living during the time of Freud and Jung, he exclaimed:- "Mystery of the unconscious? Bah, what about the mystery of consciousness?"

Anyway, maybe more later, but just wondered if anyone here had actually read the book.
Jennifer1984 On about 4 hours ago
Returner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#2New Post! Jul 26, 2020 @ 12:14:59
I had to work hard to get through Ulysses but it was worth it. Finnegan's Wake is Joyce's second best known novel. I might get around to it one day.
dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#5New Post! Jul 26, 2020 @ 16:34:01
@Jennifer1984 Said

Inventing his own words to make up for the lack of variety in the English language..?


Now you have my attention.

There is a guy called Bill Cole Cliet who has written a few books about Finnegans Wake. One of them is a kind of Bluffers Guide, "Finnegans Wake in 15 Minutes." He is also the one who wrote the Lexicon. Some of the entries are vastly entertaining, at least I think so.

baallad , is a song, for example "Mary Had A Little Lamb.

analist, we shall leave aside, this being a Family Forum

agleement, a merry, joyous, or gleeful mutual understanding or agreement. A lovely word.

absintheminded, becoming forgetful because of over consumption of alcohol.

As you can see, I'm just dipping into the early pages.

Dipping into the back of book, there is:- zeroine, which possibly you will not like, being the most important female character or heroine in a fictional work whose role is still pretty much of no importance or a zero.

All good fun.
dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#6New Post! Jul 26, 2020 @ 16:41:10
Getting back to quotes, one from Gertrude Stein on James Joyce:- “People like him because he is incomprehensible and anybody can understand him.”

Quite profound really!

Or as Joyce himself says in the Wake.......“Well, you know or don’t you kennet or haven’t I told you every telling has a taling and that’s the he and the she of it.”
dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#7New Post! Jul 26, 2020 @ 16:53:51
Astonishingly, I have just looked it up and found that the very first translation of Finnegans Wake has been made.......into Chinese! I don't think this is a gag, or fake news.

From the translator:- "Finnegans Wake is a book of freedom," she says. "I do not only mean political freedom. Joyce will create new words to transcend social restraints. So the making of a new word shows Joyce's disobedience."

dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#8New Post! Jul 30, 2020 @ 08:29:56
Just browsing through a Joseph Campbell book on James Joyce (prior to hoovering, so I'm putting off the evil moment) and read part of Mr Campbell's speech delivered upon James Joyces death. It refers to Finnegans Wake....

James Joyce, who, as a young man, went heroically forth from his native Dublin to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race, and toiled then thirty-seven years to effect a divinely comical transmutation of the entire spectacle of modern life; of the God with Two Arms, not alone in the rock of Peter’s church but in every stone in the street, not alone in the Sacrifice of the Altar but in every utterance of man, beast, fowl, or fish—in every sound whatsoever, from the music of the supernal spheres to the splash of a sewer or the crack of a stick; James Joyce, who in one continuous present tense integument slowly unfolded all cycle-wheeling history, is dead.

(Apart from "integument" it sure beats listening to Matt "audacious" Handcock, the UK Health Minister, on the TV)
dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#9New Post! Aug 07, 2020 @ 10:20:08
As I was browsing I stumbled across a review I did for Finnegans Wake, on Amazon, after downloading the Penguin edition.

Here it is for anyone interested....

"Well, first, this particular edition. Begins on the very first page by telling us that Joyce was the oldest often (sic) children. Is this a typo, or are Penguin getting into the spirit of the book? Anyway, whatever, this is certainly the best book I have never read. I have managed the first page or two, but the reality is that I enjoy books ABOUT Finnegans Wake rather than actually attempting to wend my way through it. One book about it informed me that each sentence, even each single word, could be seen as a microcosm of the entire text, so in that context why actually read it all. "riverrun" is enough. Then again, the word play is very enjoyable and the ABC of the book, and a Lexicon, offer endless interest and much humour. Apparently Joyce was heard by his wife late into many a night as he laughed aloud at his own jokes, setting his traps for the future literary critics to decipher, writing yet another un-understandable book that the long suffering Nora Barnacle wished was more "understandable" and thus, perhaps, more of a cash cow. But as I grow older I see more clearly that understanding life is a terrible trap - as thoughts, words and beliefs congeal and enclose the mind in circles of self-justification as the inevitable end approaches. But what end? The end of Finnegans Wake (not that I have ever reached it) takes us back to the beginning. As Joyce said about Ulysses as he faced the obscenity trials, "if Ulysses is unfit to read, then life is unfit to live". So life is to be lived rather than "understood". And Molly Bloom, in Ulysses, ends her monologue with a beautiful "Yes". Learning about Finnegans Wake, from various books, does help me to live, hopefully with compassion and not a little gratitude. Not least for the life and writings of James Joyce himself who gave us this last wonderful book with eyes that just might have reduced many others to night, darkness and despair. So buy a copy, if not to read it, then to have it on your bookshelf to impress the neighbours.

Absintheminded? Absent, mind drifting? Forgetful? Drunk? Or just a joke, all things, or nothing. Dig deep or skim the surface."

As a update, I have now reached further into the book and yes, it really does have some good laughs. The wordplay is constantly entertaining.
dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#10New Post! Aug 07, 2020 @ 20:49:35
Ploughing on, there is a good book by the author Anthony Burgess on James Joyce, on how to appreciate his writing. It is called "Here Comes Everybody" (H C E are recurring initials in Finnegans Wake)

An excerpt from the book...

"It is this preoccupation, even obsession, with the ordinary that should endear him to ordinary readers. Nobody in his books is rich or has high connections. There is no dropping of titled names, as there is in the novels of Evelyn Waugh, and we enter no place more exalted than a pub or a public library. Ordinary people, living in an ordinary city, are invested in the riches of the ages, and these riches are enshrined in language, which is available to everybody. Given time, Joyce will flow through the arteries of our ordinary, non-reading, life, for a great writer influences the world whether the world likes it or not, and the blessing of the ordinary must eventually transfigure"

Often we miss the "blessing of the ordinary."
Brett 10 minutes ago

Cape Town, South Africa
#11New Post! about 12 hours ago
With reading a book on computer screen, it gets on your back. Tablets are much better. Books, yes, they will be better than computers. The issue is of course that nobody notices a book with a clashing title and picture, and, alias for the author. That if they do not pick it up, it will never get a chance. If they do you better reel them in. That is with staying true to the impression you generated, being, as if for the first chapter alone to get it sold!

Ching ching. That is the whole point. or you wouldn't be trying to sell it if you were not trying to put prices on it, hey? How else would you describe you arts on display, they are there to be admired, yes? heaven forbid someone be so taken with them that they want to buy them.

As with dance, sketching, music and other forms of art, you simply are lying if you claim that the art is there because it is sentimental to you, do you flaunt your girlfriend in front of David Hasslehoff and the bay watch guys? Seriously now, you need to grow up and understand you need to push to get it, or lose it.
chaski On 28 minutes ago

Tree at Floydgirrl's Window,
#12New Post! about 12 hours ago
I saw the movie.
chaski On 28 minutes ago

Tree at Floydgirrl's Window,
#13New Post! about 12 hours ago
@Jennifer1984 Said

I had to work hard to get through Ulysses...

Did you try "The Iliad"?
dookie On 10 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu

, United Kingdom
#14New Post! about 8 hours ago
@chaski Said

I saw the movie.

Always a good option, you can sleep in the back row and then claim to have seen it.

Just to say I recently downloaded the audible version of "Ulysses" and it really is a revelation. Some of the dialogue, spoken with the true Irish voice brings out the humour in the book....

"Paddy Dingnam dead did I hear?"

"But I saw him walking down the street not five minutes ago!"

"You may have seen him walking down the street, but we buried him this morning"
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