Finnegans Wake

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Finnegans Wake

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1ateolf
Ene 6, 2008, 1:20pm

obviously, not a Dalkey book, but as they publish much in the way of experimental fiction, i was wondering what others here think of this most notorious experimental work...i just finished reading it the other day, and i did not like it at all so i'm curious what things other people have to say...i'll probably put in my own thoughts at a later date, but i just wrote a somewhat long review on here so i don't feel like rehashing the details right now...of course you're free to look it up if you're curious now...so anyways: like it? dislike it? what (if anything) did you get out of it?

2lriley
Ene 7, 2008, 8:35am

Ateolf--when you have (as I did) to buy another book just to get an idea of what you're reading it's not good. Beyond the fact that Joyce was an absolutely brilliant writer--he tortured a lot of his readers with this one. Having started it--I felt I had to finish it--I did but I don't ever plan on picking it up again. Did I like it? No.

3ateolf
Ene 7, 2008, 8:37pm

i didn't even bother with using another book or getting and idea of what i was reading...i know i wouldn't've enjoyed it any more had i known what was "going on"...i figure part of its point is not knowing what's going on...maybe...either way, i didn't think it was good...

4lriley
Ene 8, 2008, 2:18am

The other book Finnegan's Wake: A plot summary I purchased after wading in about 80 pages I I remember rightly. I had a few ideas by that time but as it turned out they were all wrong. As I say I finished. Even if I don't like a book--if I start I get to the end somehow.

5ateolf
Ene 8, 2008, 8:36pm

same here, for finishing books...after i managed to finish Atlas Shrugged, it'd just look bad not finishing anything else after i read all of THAT...

6lriley
Ene 9, 2008, 2:16am

Atlas shrugged--now there's a book that I find truly detestable. In between the rants on economics and on general aspects of society is a laughable storyline. The ending is about as hokey as it gets. Why some think it's a great work of literature is beyond me. I'm not a fan either.

7RickHarsch
Feb 11, 2011, 9:16am

I wrote elsewhere that an Antunes book became toiletreading, which was marvelous.
Strangely, that's where I used to keep Finnegan's Wake, which I could pick up anywhere and soon find myself laughing. Some day I will buy a good companion, but until then the man was just lyrical and hilarious.
He plays on words from Slovene--and I live here in Slovenia--so of course he wasn't writing for many readers, but he was writing to the end (using an endless book). Besides, he got the title from a funny drinking song.

8kswolff
Sep 27, 2011, 12:39pm

5: I imagine Finnegans Wake is less painful to read ... and probably makes more sense. I say this having read and eviscerated Ms. Rand's most overrated manifesto of egotistical arrogance. I preferred the original version, written in a German prison cell by another "artist" who had delusions of grandeur and wrote admiringly of muscular blonde males.

9Inquisitor
Sep 27, 2011, 4:39pm

I came to this topic hoping to find something worthwhile, or at least interesting, perhaps something relevant to the book that I hadn't found before. But most of what I found was nothing about the book at all. Please could any future entries stick to the point.

10slickdpdx
Sep 27, 2011, 5:25pm

You don't sound very inquisitive to me!

11kswolff
Editado: Sep 28, 2011, 12:31pm

9: Considering the book is Finnegans Wake, an Everybook that's a dreamlike amalgamation of all Western culture, language, etc., written in a hallucinatory digressive manner, how can one really "stick to the point"? FW isn't even linear, it's written in a cycle, the last sentence finihsing the first. We'll get to the point eventually. Perhaps less digressive discussions should be focused on more rudimentary works of fiction like that of Danielle Steele and Sir Dan Brown, CBE.

12RickHarsch
Sep 28, 2011, 4:43pm

Fascinating. It took from February 11 until yesterday to go from post 7 to 8, and immediately the Inquisition picks up that we've been playing Beckett all along, not Joyce. How very insightful.

13kswolff
May 9, 2012, 5:11pm

Dalkey hasn't put out Finnegans Wake, but they did publish William Gass's dense monstrous masterpiece The Tunnel

14RickHarsch
May 10, 2012, 11:02am

wouldn't that be called a Gassterpiece?

15kswolff
May 10, 2012, 1:49pm

14: Gass, the champions of puns and wordplay, might even admire that take on his novel, although a more apt metaphor would be something more, er, fecal. The book takes logorrhea to an entirely new and disturbing level.

16RickHarsch
May 10, 2012, 3:41pm

Well, the good thing about your latest post is that it got me to look into and then order The Tunnel, as well as Gaddis' The Recognitions, McElroy's Smuggler's Bible (woman and men is unavailable, oddly), and Toucans in the Arctic, a poetry book by Scott Coffel, a veritable genius very much affected by Joyce.

17kswolff
May 10, 2012, 4:06pm

16: You should throw on Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino for good measure.

I'm eventually going to read The Tunnel as part of a loathsome foursome which includes the following: Europe Central by William Vollmann; Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman; and The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell. I'm currently reading Littell's disturbing magnum opus about a SS lawyer with a deviant personal lifestyle.

18RickHarsch
May 29, 2012, 10:54am

I just reviewed The Kindly Ones, if you're interested. I consider Europe Central a better novel

19kswolff
Jun 5, 2012, 11:26pm

18: That's why I'm reading all four, since each of them has different baggage associated with it. The problematic nature of The Kindly Ones makes it a fascinating read in and of itself.