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Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Finnegans Wake (1939)

by James Joyce

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,436401,568 (3.88)1 / 317
  1. 00
    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (one-horse.library)
  2. 00
    Dublinés by Alfonso Zapico (drasvola)
    drasvola: This book is a graphic narration of Joyce's life. It's in Spanish. Very well done and informative about Joyce's troubled relation with society, his work and family relationships.

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Confessional: I was doomed right from the start. I have been calling this book Finnegan's Wake. That should tell you something...when I can't even get the title right. I have read a lot of reviews of Finnegans Wake. Lots of advice on how to even read the thing. When you have more reviews suggesting how to read a book rather than what the book was actually about, that should tell you something. In all honesty, I have no clue what it was about. But, I'm not alone. Tons of other people have been scratching their heads, too. But, that's not to say they aren't without advice: I tried reading it aloud, as many suggested. I tried not taking it seriously, as others promised would help. I tried drinking with each chapter and even that didn't make the going any easier. It's much like the lyrics to Phish. I don't understand a jiboo so I don't care for the song. End of story.
  SeriousGrace | Jan 29, 2015 |
A book to swim in and to read aloud in the bath. There are some good jokes; a fair bit of bawdy. It comes out of the mud of sleep. If you read it in the hope of setting down the meaning of it in a box in your skull you may as well not begin. ( )
  Duncan_Jones | Jun 26, 2014 |
Introduced by David Greetham
Illustrated by John Vernon Lord
  narbgr01 | Feb 11, 2014 |
This should really be in my Abandoned collection. It's the only book in the Modern Library 100 Best list I didn't finish. No book should need a roadmap to read. I can understand having to research parts of a book (e.g. Dom Casmurro, where I wasn't familiar with the culture and consequently missed a lot on my first reading). But this book is unintelligible. ( )
  skavlanj | Nov 26, 2013 |
I'd love to say it's unreadable, but that would only mean that I couldn't read it. I'd like to say it's worthless, but that would only mean that I find no worth in it. There are many who have found it very worthwhile, who have painstakingly read and devoured its many secrets, following each clue, reading each scholarly commentary on each line, and experienced the joy of unraveling a tiny piece of the great puzzle Joyce left behind.

I am not one of those people, and have come to realize that I never will be.

Most authors enter into a contract of sorts with their readers, unspoken yet nearly always there. "I will meet you halfway," says the author. "I will spend effort to communicate to you, and you will spend effort to understand that which I have communicated." Because after all, it is the arrogance of authorship to assume that anyone will ever want to expend that effort simply to understand what you have to impart. (And yes, I'm fully aware that this applies equally well to this review!) When the message is of high value, or the language that communicates it of surpassing beauty, the author can require more of the reader, because the reader will want to expend more effort.

And therein lies my dislike of Finnegan's Wake. Of Joyce in generally, actually, but most sharply of Finnegan's Wake. So far from expending effort to communicate, Joyce has expended hideous force to cloak his meaning, to bury it under layers of twisted, tortured prose. If I thought that what lay within were important, or that the journey itself was an attractive one, perhaps I would supply the effort to dig it up. But I don't. To me, it stands for everything that is wrong with literary fiction--or rather, it is an unwelcome stain on literary fiction that ought to be removed.

But that's just me. Your mileage may vary. ( )
1 vote shabacus | May 22, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Joyceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abin, CésarCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bindervoet, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henkes, Robbert-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssen, JacquesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
John, Augustus EdwinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
.. riverrun
Cry not yet! There's many a smile to Nondum, with sytty maids per man, sir, and the park's so dark by kindlelight. But look what you have in your handself!
Then, pious Eneas, conformant to the fulminant firman which enjoins on the tremylose terrian that, when the call comes, he shall produce nichthemerically from his unheavenly body a no uncertain quantity of obscene matter not protected by copriright in the United States of Ourania or bedeed and bedood and bedang and bedung to him, with his double dye, brought to blood heat, gallic acid on iron ore, through the bowels of his misery, flashly, nastily, appropriately, this Esuan Menschavik and the first till last alshemist wrote over every square inch of the only foolscap available, his own body, till by its corrosive sublimation one continuous present tense integumented slowly unfolded in all marryvoising moodmoulded cyclewheeling history ...
Prettimaid tints may try their taunts: apple, bacchante, custard, dove, eskimo, feldgrau, hematite, isingglass, jet, kipper, lucile, mimosa, nut, oysterette, prune, quasimodo, royal, sago, tango, umber, vanilla, wisteria, xray, yesplease, zaza, philomel, theerose. What are they all by? Shee.
But tellusit allasif wellasits end.
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"Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself even greater challenges for his next book - the night. "A nocturnal state...That is what I wanted to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." The work, which would exhaust two decades of his life and the odd resources of some sixty languages, culminated in the 1939 publication of Joyce's final and most revolutionary masterpiece, Finnegans Wake."--BOOK JACKET. "A story with no real beginning or end (it ends in the middle of a sentence and begins in the middle of the same sentence), this "book of Doublends Jined" is as remarkable for its prose as for its circular structure. Written in a fantastic dream-language, forged from polyglot puns and portmanteau words, the Wake features some of Joyce's most brilliantly inventive work. Sixty years after its original publication, it remains, in Anthony Burgess's words, "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly ever page.""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Legacy Library: James Joyce

James Joyce has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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