Finnegans Wake

If you’ve read Ulysses you will know that it is full of Irish vernacular, fusions of literary styles and a fog of general confusion that makes it very difficult to follow what is going on.

Or so I thought, until I read Finnegans Wake. It turns out that Ulysses was really more of a warm-up for James Joyce. I now yearn for the comparatively clear plot of Ulysses in which, for some stretches, I could follow what was going on, without the aid of Wikipedia.

I have now finished reading Finnegans Wake and I have literally no idea what happened in it. The language seems even more esoteric, the plot even more muddled. I think there was some stuff about a butcher, who used to be a baker, but is now just a butcher, and sells liver as a special. Also one of the characters was called Anna Livia. The rest is a blur.

Even Wikipedia does not know what it is about. I went to see if I could follow by reading the plot description alongside the book and here is what the article said:

Despite the obstacles, readers and commentators have reached a broad consensus about the book’s central cast of characters and, to a lesser degree, its plot. However, a number of key details remain elusive.

Thanks for that. I don’t recommend reading it. You will probably be able to make more sense of it than I did, but maybe not that much.




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This entry was posted on Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 10:42 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.