A daring work of experimental, Modernist genius, James Joyce's Finnegans Wake is one of the greatest literary achievements of the twentieth century, and the crowning glory of Joyce's life. The Penguin Modern Classics edition of includes an introduction by Seamus Deane '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' Joyce's final work, Finnegan's Wake is his masterpiece of the night as Ulysses is of the day. Supreme ...
A daring work of experimental, Modernist genius, James Joyce's Finnegans Wake is one of the greatest literary achievements of the twentieth century, and the crowning glory of Joyce's life. The Penguin Modern Classics edition of includes an introduction by Seamus Deane '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' Joyce's final work, Finnegan's Wake is his masterpiece of the night as Ulysses is of the day. Supreme linguistic virtuosity conjures up the dark underground worlds of sexuality and dream. Joyce undermines traditional storytelling and all official forms of English and confronts the different kinds of betrayal - cultural, political and sexual - that he saw at the heart of Irish history. Dazzlingly inventive, with passages of great lyrical beauty and humour, Finnegans Wake remains one of the most remarkable works of the twentieth century. James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness. If you enjoyed Finnegans Wake, you might like Virginia Woolf's The Waves, also available in Penguin Classics. 'An extraordinary performance, a transcription into a miniaturized form of the whole western literary tradition' Seamus Deane
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"The most unintelligible [writing] that anyone can understand," is a "wake-up call" to anyone interested in western culture, and/or entertained by deeply resounding wordplay, let alone pleased and astounded, reassured and frightened by the epiphanies and puzzles that arise out of dream fragments. FW is psychedelics out of a book - keep the bottle on your shelf. An alternate title might have been "My, My, My, What a Wonderful Fall." It helps to read the narrative aloud, as phrases tumble into rhythms that conjure meaning on the second or third bounce, not unlike nursery rhymes that even with the words changed are still recognizable for their cadence. Beyond the sounds and stories you will endure, there is history, speculation, editorial comment, and alternate takes, intermingled in a kaleidoscopic tumbling that leaves the reader literally breathless. Excerpt any passage, I challenge you, and perform it along with a light show, a soundscape, a chance choreography, and the collage will meld together better than the sum of its parts. FW is a handbook for the study of the brain as art. Thank you, Sean the Penman.
Oct 21, 2007
Difficult, but Worth the Effort
Have you ever had a dream where you can remember the main idea, but you just can't remember the details? This novel is exactly like that. It's darn tough to read, but if you can get over the circular structure, foreign languages, Joyce-isms, and apparent indecipherability, you'll like it. If you need to understand every single thing in a book, don't read this; only James Joyce fully knows what every single detail signifies. The main idea: a dream, or a representation of nighttime.
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