FINNEGANS WAKE.

catalog

Well-known member
i got the call of love this morning from the library, to let me know that it's arrived. I'm delaying going to get it, partly cos I've another on order (Great God Pan by Arthur Machen) so will wait til that's arrived too. Plus, I've still got over 100 pages of Molloy to go.

But the main reason is that I'm a bit scared.
 

polystyle

Well-known member
i got the call of love this morning from the library, to let me know that it's arrived. I'm delaying going to get it, partly cos I've another on order (Great God Pan by Arthur Machen) so will wait til that's arrived too. Plus, I've still got over 100 pages of Molloy to go.

But the main reason is that I'm a bit scared.
you may enjoy this ? - Mark Samuels

 

catalog

Well-known member
"The crimson fog" does sound pretty good and up my street. The only Machen I've read previously is this


Cos it's considered a sort of proto-psychogeography classic.

I had to read it in the reference library cos it was a historical edition. I sag down, imagining I might flick through it, bug ended up reading the whole thing in one 2 hour sitting. He's got a lovely flowing writing style, like someone talking to you. Lots of good pauses, cadences, natural feeling tangents.

Highly recommended.

Then I forgot about him and recently re-remembered him, thought I'd go fof what's considered a classic.

So that will come after the wake now, possibly after mumbo jumbo by Reed.
 

version

Well-known member
Finnegans Wake has been described as a history of the world but Joyce’s version of that history is not, unsurprisingly, chronological. Sometimes it feels as though the river of time is running backwards or is outside of time altogether. Towards the end of the book Joyce mentions a flash from the future and around the middle he refers to a pang that would split an atam and then the abnihilization of the etym. Midway through he is consistently blown to Adams which appears only two pages from it had a mushroom on it….nogeysokey. This is from a book that was published six years prior to the first dropping of the atomic bomb.
 

catalog

Well-known member
i'm 20 pages in, it's like being in water. it's all "felt" and about rhythm. Some of the rhymes and word concatenations / misspellings are really good:

"He lump down uptown"

Cool bit in the "museyroom" (museum?) where things are getting pointed out - this is this, that is that.

"Sexcaliber Hrosspower" :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

"The was the first joke of Wellingdone" (1st Duke of Wellington?)

"This is lipsyg dooley krieging from the Hinnessy"

"This is Hindoo waxing ranjymad for a bombshoob" :love::love::love:

"Blow the whole of the half of the hat
Off the top of the tail on his back
Of his big white harse"

"Did ye save any tin?
Says He.
Did I what?
With a grin says she."

This next one felt like it was delivered in the voice of Neil from The Young Ones:

f46accd5ef83e3da3fead83594b2bf7c.gif


"The world, mind, is, was and will be writing it's own wrunes for ever, man."
 

version

Well-known member
I cracked up at some of the quotes in that article,

Ouhr Former who erred in having . . . gibbous disdag our darling breed... haloed be her eve, her singtime sung, her rill be run, unhemmed as it is uneven!

In the name of the former and the latter and the holocaust. Allmen.

paradox lust

in deep humidity

let us pry

langwedge
 

version

Well-known member
"As if I already had some inkling of my own future fate, I was most moved by those of the people here who had no homeland, or even worse, had not just one but two or three, and privately still did not feel sure where they belonged. There was one young man with a small brown beard, whose keen, dark eyes were hidden behind glasses with noticeably thick lenses, and who usually sat alone in a corner of the Cafe Odeon. I was told that he was a very talented English writer. When I was introduced to James Joyce a few days later, he firmly denied any connection with England. He was Irish, he said. He did write in the English language, but his thinking was not English, nor did he want it to be. "I would like," he told me, "a language above other languages, a language serving them all. I can't express myself entirely in English without making myself a part of a certain tradition." I didn't quite understand this. I did not know that he was already writing Ulysses at the time. He had lent me his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the only copy he possessed, and his little play Exiles. I thought at the time that I would like to help him by translating it. The better I came to know him, the more his fantastic knowledge of languages amazed me. All the words of every idiom seemed to be stored behind that curving almost chiselled brow, which shone as smoothly as porcelain in electric light, and he played in those words brilliantly. One day, when he asked me how I would render a difficult sentence from the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in German, we tried to work it out together in both German and Italian. He had four or five alternatives in each language for every word, including some dialect words, and understood every nuance of their meaning and weight. There was always a certain bitterness about him, but I think this irritability was in fact what gave him the strength to be so vigorous and creative. His resentment of Dublin, England, and certain people had taken the form of dynamic energy that was set free only in his writing. However, he appeared to be happy enough with his own dour disposition; I never saw him laugh, or look really cheerful. He always seemed like some dark concentrated force, and when I met him in the street, with his narrow lips pressed firmly together, always walking fast and as if towards some particular destination, I sensed the defensive isolation of his nature even more strongly than in conversation. I was not at all surprised when, later, he wrote that extremely original book [Ulysses], entirely of its own kind. It fell into our times like a meteor."

-- Stefan Zweig on meeting James Joyce (from his autobiography, The World of Yesterday)
 

william_kent

Well-known member

Anthony Burgess - Lots of Fun at Finnegans Wake ( 1973 )

I thought I'd give the editor of "A Shorter Finnegans Wake" a watch this afternoon. This is the sort of TV that just doesn't get made nowadays - it's worth watching just to figure out what on earth is going on on top of his head.. if that's the best the wardrobe department can come up with then I hate to think what the "before" was... I've no idea if what he is saying is "correct" but he does give me some idea of what I should be looking out for if I ever get around to reading it.. definitely more of a clue than Robert Anton Wilson's "it's everything..umm..quantum physics.."
 

sufi

lala
"As if I already had some inkling of my own future fate, I was most moved by those of the people here who had no homeland, or even worse, had not just one but two or three, and privately still did not feel sure where they belonged. There was one young man with a small brown beard, whose keen, dark eyes were hidden behind glasses with noticeably thick lenses, and who usually sat alone in a corner of the Cafe Odeon. I was told that he was a very talented English writer. When I was introduced to James Joyce a few days later, he firmly denied any connection with England. He was Irish, he said. He did write in the English language, but his thinking was not English, nor did he want it to be. "I would like," he told me, "a language above other languages, a language serving them all. I can't express myself entirely in English without making myself a part of a certain tradition." I didn't quite understand this. I did not know that he was already writing Ulysses at the time. He had lent me his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the only copy he possessed, and his little play Exiles. I thought at the time that I would like to help him by translating it. The better I came to know him, the more his fantastic knowledge of languages amazed me. All the words of every idiom seemed to be stored behind that curving almost chiselled brow, which shone as smoothly as porcelain in electric light, and he played in those words brilliantly. One day, when he asked me how I would render a difficult sentence from the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in German, we tried to work it out together in both German and Italian. He had four or five alternatives in each language for every word, including some dialect words, and understood every nuance of their meaning and weight. There was always a certain bitterness about him, but I think this irritability was in fact what gave him the strength to be so vigorous and creative. His resentment of Dublin, England, and certain people had taken the form of dynamic energy that was set free only in his writing. However, he appeared to be happy enough with his own dour disposition; I never saw him laugh, or look really cheerful. He always seemed like some dark concentrated force, and when I met him in the street, with his narrow lips pressed firmly together, always walking fast and as if towards some particular destination, I sensed the defensive isolation of his nature even more strongly than in conversation. I was not at all surprised when, later, he wrote that extremely original book [Ulysses], entirely of its own kind. It fell into our times like a meteor."

-- Stefan Zweig on meeting James Joyce (from his autobiography, The World of Yesterday)
i actually read that whole biography earlier this year
I've rarely if ever read a review as harsh as this one: https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v32/n02/michael-hofmann/vermicular-dither (even with the wonderful Anthea Bell translating)
 

woops

is not like other people
yeah blimey that's a real hatchet job, can't say i think the reviewer comes out of that looking very good
 

catalog

Well-known member
I'm about 150 pages in now and it's becoming more and more understandable. This particular section is in fact very similar in style and tone to ulysses.

It's very strong, like two or three pages of nonstop free association, which is cool to read. I think I might need to start reading in bigger chunks though, like 50 pages at a time or something, cos it takes time to get into the rhythm of it.

A strange thing is also happening, which I almost expected after reading ulysses, it's the same thing in a way.

What is happening is that every day, when I read a bit of it, there's a word or phrase which directly connects with something else I'm doing of saying IRL.

So, for example, I'm talking about websites and CMSs with someone, we mention WordPress, drupal etc and then I read the wake and he mentions "WordPress".

Then I've got this Oculus quest headset and there's a phase in Latin with "oculus" in it.

Then I'm talking about fugue states and "skelterfugue" comes up.

I mean, obviously completely coincidental on one level, but on another...

It's really good though, I feel like it's gonna be better than ulysses. It's like he's removed all scaffolding and is just putting lots of bright colours on, live mixing. Very difficult to get a sense of anything overall, but you can just enjoy the free expression.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Shout out @woops for the tip about reading aloud, this is very helpful and I was actually thinking of recording my reading of a couple pages, it's really good.
 

version

Well-known member
I got that paperback in the post the other day, one with Joyce's corrections. It's got notes in the margins and stuff.
 

catalog

Well-known member
I'm about halfway through now. i still don't "understand" much, but it's enjoyable in the way noise music can be enjoyable. I find myself drifting off in a pleasant way while reading it, and there's enough variety to maintain interest.

and i'm now on the really weird chapter where there are annotations on both the left and the right and also footnotes which don't make sense.

It's got "groupname for grapejuice" as a footnote to "Ainsoph" and also "znore" appears a few pages later:

1isgksC.jpeg


Few bits I've written down recently:

"Dayety Sooty" = dirty city? really liked that one cos of the smog association.

"To put it all the more plumbsily. The speechform is a mere sorrogate." Seems to sum up what he's trying to do really.

"Shem was a sham and a low sham and his lowness creeped out first via foodstuffs." Shem is a recurring character.

"He lifts the lifewand and the dumb speak."

"Show them how to shake their benders."

"Lord help you, Maria full of grease, the load is with me." Maria full of grease, that's a classic.

Also on page 225: "Woeblots" !!

Nice to see this as well

"Till tree from tree, tree among trees, tree over tree become stone to stone, stone between stones, stone under stone for ever."

I think I'm gonna start a project on stones and how they are alive soon. Cos of this book about Aboriginal thought by tyson yunkaporta I'm reading concurrently: "in our law we know that rocks are sentient and contain spirit."

"Flame at his fumbles but freeze on his fist" and the footnote from the end of the line leads to "Improper frictions is maledictions and mens urinations makes me mad."

The thing I mentioned above about words I've seen or said recently turning up is still happening as well, I've started keeping a list.
 

version

Well-known member
Which edition do you have? I was flipping through that paperback I got and it had those annotations too. I'd assumed they were Joyce's corrections, but maybe they're just part of the text.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Penguin, 2000 reprint from the 1939 edition. It's got an intro by Seamus Deane. The textal note says "The text is that of the first edition of Finnegan's Wake published by Faber and Faber, London, and The Viking Press, New York, 4 May 1939.

This is the only bit so far with these annotations I think - does yours have others?
 

version

Well-known member
I guess that's just the book then and the corrections aren't highlighted. I thought it might have been Joyce being Joyce with even the corrections.
 
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