Finnegan's Wake

Anonymous
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Finnegan's Wake

I have tried to read this James Joyce novel but it is impossible!!!  Maybe even irrational that is why I am posting about it here.  Has anyone tried to get through this jibberish? 


KSMB
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This is all the Finnegan's

This is all the Finnegan's wake I need:

Dropkick Murphys - Finnegans Wake, off the Do or Die album and a live favorite.


MrRage
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Let me guess. Is it Ulysses?

Let me guess. Is it Ulysses?


ShaunPhilly
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Hmmm,  thought we were

Hmmm,  thought we were talking about the rather well-patronized bar/restaurant here in Philly.

Then of course i remember not everyone here is from Philly.  

No, never read any Joyce.

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


Roly1976
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Yes, gave it 10 minutes then

Yes, gave it 10 minutes then turned on the TV.  I thought Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was a bit rubbish too...


riverrun
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Joyce and atheism

Hi guys, Great site and concept!

I noticed the comments regarding Joyce and thought I would put together a few brief ideas as I am very familiar with his works. As a fellow atheist I think Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man should reign high in any canon of atheistic texts. Joyce himself was fingered for the priesthood by his Jesuit teachers whilst still at school in Ireland. The books central chapters offer a riveting account of the sheer terror-inducing lunacy of the priests in Ireland at the time, and their grip over young minds. The artist (Joyce) finds himself caught between the doctrinal structures of catholicism on one hand and a naturalist form of aesthetics on the other,: He studies Aristotle's and Thomas Aquinas' ideas on aesthetics before finding a much more important sense of beauty: a beautiful young women in a park, through her he reaches an 'epiphany', which can be summarised in his choice to become a "Priest" of art rather than a priest of religion. He develops an asthetic based on a materialist conception of the world and leaves the world of religion firmly behind with 3 tools (in his words): Silence, Exile and cunning. 

 

I would also mention the last story in Dubliners. It is called The Dead (made into a fantastic film by John Huston). In this work Joyce pays attention to how the dead effect the living more than the living, often. Ring any bells? 

I could go on all day about Ulysses and Finnegans Wake (I love Ulysses much more than FW. He spent 17 yrs on his last work. I wish he had used that time more constuctively.)

 Cheers,

Tim. 


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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I am happy to hear this

I am happy to hear this riverrun.  I first heard of Joyce by reading Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins.  The main character in that always carries a copy of FW with him and reads excerpts from it.  I was very curious to understand Finnegan's Wake.  But, as it turned out it was like trying to learn a new language and one that wasn't rooted in anything familiar.  I am pretty sure there is other books written that translate FW.  Next time I go to the library though I am going to check out the one you recommend (Portrait...).  Thanks for the help.

 


riverrun
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On FW

Glad the info was useful Laughing

With Finnegans wake there are a couple of different guides. Anthony Burgess' Here Comes Everybody: An Introduction to James Joyce for the Ordinary Reader is good (he wrote A Clockwork Orange). A quick way into the book is to remember that Joyce saw history as cyclical. This idea came from an Italian Philosopher called Vico (Vicus in first paragraph of the text is a reference to him). Joyce stylised this notion by making the book never-ending... the last word is 'the'.. the last sentence links up with the first to make "[along the...] riverrun past eve and adams from swerve of shore to bend of bay.." Joyce used over 60 languages in the book.. and now you know where my tag on here (and in other places) comes from...

On a simpler (but more psychological level).. Joyce wanted immortality, like many artists. He gave 'birth' to a work which, in his own words. would take professors hundreds of years to unravel. I have actually been to FW reading groups.. I dont recommend them, and to be honest, I dont think FW is worth the effort. It's (again in Joyce's words) "the ideal book for the ideal insomniac"

The title itself has multiple levels of meaning (polyvalence). Notice that Finnegan (a name) in Finnegans Wake has no apostrophe. I mentioned earlier that the book has cycles at its core. Well Fin = End (in french), and Egan is a play on 'again'.. ie: 'end again'. Also Finnegan is waking (awake) but Finnegan has died (hence the 'wake', usually a pretty drunken affair traditionally in Ireland).. It's a crazy multi-level cryptic 'circumambient peripherisation'.. Joyce would surely find it very amusing to see what has happened to Joyce scholarship... sitting (as I did for a few months) with scholars desperately searching the etymology of various words is very entertaining, but ultimately not very rewarding.

Tim.