'one joke' and finnegans wake

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ch: yes I am but if you have something to say and haven't read it I'd be glad to hear it too. it's quite possible that you've read more of it than me, ha.

brg: uh, kind of. I'm too tired to look up the names, but he discussed in detail ulysses with someone, and shared a bit about the wake and intended to share much more (more on a par with how much he revealed about ulysses), but died before he could do so.

Josh (Josh), Thursday, 7 November 2002 02:29 (13 years ago) Permalink

I read about half of it in high school* and would eventually like to read it (once I have mastered all recorded human knowledge).

I enjoyed it in fragments. Some of it can be quite funny ("unhemmed as it is uneven", but it's tough going much of the time.

*I used to read sit in back of class reading it during Geometry class, after it had already become clear I was going to flunk it. Mind you, I would have been better off applying myself to Geometry.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 7 November 2002 02:39 (13 years ago) Permalink

I take it out periodically and find a bunch of funny words and phrases that delight me, and then a while later I find it hard to find them for some reason, probably because I'm trying too hard to read (or SKIM oh geez) analytically.

Josh (Josh), Thursday, 7 November 2002 03:07 (13 years ago) Permalink

Frank Budgen I believe is the mystery man yall mean.

Leee (Leee), Thursday, 7 November 2002 03:49 (13 years ago) Permalink

1. Nabokov despised FW because "I dislike all novels written in dialect of any kind."
2. It's not a one joke book. Every SENTENCE in the book contains jokes-within-jokes! If we could actually read it, it'd be the funniest book ever written.
3. Anthony Burgess edited a shorter version of FW that might be a good introduction. (I'm sure he left out some good bits but who's going to know?)
4. Joyce himself couldn't remember what parts of FW 'meant' so I think the rest of us are pretty well screwed.
5. "Why don't you write sensible books that people can understand?" - Nora Joyce

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 7 November 2002 06:15 (13 years ago) Permalink

For what it's worth, Joyce seems to be one of Joseph Campbell's favourite authors, and he talks lots about the Wake and Ulysses towards the end of Creative Mythology, vol.4 of The Masks of God. Draws interesting parallels between Joyce and Mann, and gives insight into the mythological themes present in Joyce.

Tudor, Thursday, 7 November 2002 06:42 (13 years ago) Permalink

I've read 5/3 of it.

Budgen died in 1971. He certainly wasn't some kind of sole recipient of the one true secret about either book. JJ did feed information to various people, but I don't think it's true to say that there's a fact that he kept from us that, if we had it, would clarify everything. We ('we'?) already know a great deal about both books, though FW does remain darker than U.

Josh: I think your question could also be approached in terms of 'style'. Ulysses is obviously not a one-trick pony - partly because it's such a many-styled book, and different things are at stake and different pleasures available in each case. FW, on the other hand, can look from a distance rather uniform in style. If it felt less uniform I'd like it more warmly than I do. But those Wakeans who love it so much would probably maintain that its style was far from uniform -- which suggests to me that this is indeed a key aspect of the question you're trying to raise.

Possibly the most clear-yet-rigorous accounts of 'what the gimmick is [gimmicks are]' are those offered by Derek Attridge, eg. in Peculiar Language (1988) and Joyce Effects (2000).

the pinefox, Thursday, 7 November 2002 16:48 (13 years ago) Permalink

yes, the pf, that is an eminently more helpful way to phrase my question.

Josh (Josh), Thursday, 7 November 2002 21:26 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
To josh, whereever he may be: if you're inquiring about "puns and reedles", it's a play on "pins and needles", which is the sensation you get when a limb without sufficient circulation (a dead leg) starts coming back to life.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 14:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

(the actual allegorical nature of its usage wasn't in mind while I wrote that sentence, it was only when I went back to put in (a dead leg) that a loud click was heard upstairs)

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 10 February 2004 14:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

6 years pass...

Never read much on the Wake, so this is a start:

The LRB should give this guy some space, from here:

"Finnegans Wake is based on the structure of the zodiac, the zodiac signs being derived from the nature of numbers and a corresponding geometric sequence."

xyzzzz__, Friday, 10 December 2010 18:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

why on earth do i need to shell out $410 for a hardcover copy of this

talk talk talk (diamonddave85), Monday, 31 January 2011 18:25 (5 years ago) Permalink

you don't.

jed_, Monday, 31 January 2011 18:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

If you find $410 burning a hole in your pocket, there may be worse things to fling it away upon. Otherwise, what jed said.

Aimless, Monday, 31 January 2011 18:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

because art is dead

^probably more bullshit self-aggrandizement and non-essential info^ (Edward III), Monday, 31 January 2011 18:56 (5 years ago) Permalink


Never Make Your Moog Too Soon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 31 January 2011 19:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

what a fantastic piece of work this is.

red is hungry green is jawless (Noodle Vague), Friday, 23 March 2012 10:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

i was thinking of reading this over spring break

thomp, Friday, 23 March 2012 13:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

also the cantos

thomp, Friday, 23 March 2012 13:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

nv, thanks for ruining any kind of productivity i had planned for this afternoon! looks great, thx

thomasintrouble, Friday, 23 March 2012 13:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

nice. making me want to finish the fcker.

woof, Friday, 23 March 2012 14:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

i want a counterpart to those two to read, ideally something like 'pilgrimage' w/o my actually having to read 'pilgrimage'

thomp, Friday, 23 March 2012 14:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

the site looks good but a lot of its 'glosses' appear to be straight definitions of well-known words that were already appearing in FW in unaltered, Standard English form.

the pinefox, Saturday, 24 March 2012 11:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

yes some of the glosses feel unnecessary, am not sure whether the annotator feels those words are archaic or peculiar to British usage

red is hungry green is jawless (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 24 March 2012 11:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

Haha, the pinefox otm

Radio Boradman (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 24 March 2012 16:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 years pass...


^Shortly after finding the twitter I found a really lovely looking paperbk on Viking Press just yesterday (although it has a 'embodying all author's corrections' which did make me laugh) so now I have a copy.

Funny how that twitter account makes the wake an everyday thing.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 30 March 2015 10:55 (10 months ago) Permalink

I have at least _looked_ at every page of Ulysses, and more than half of the pages in FW. But I don't think any of Joyce is just one joke, and even when Joyce is joking I doubt he's ever "just" joking.

I suspect the Joycean impulse is more like: This be the jokeyjoke that hath occurred to me whan I found meself besat on this ineluctable shore-rock whilst thinkin this ineluctable series of thoughts. Begob and videlicet, yr man can't be expected to be shiftin out which bits are important from which bits arrrent.

This is one strain of high modernism: The jokes stay, and the Latin stays, as stay the dhrinkin and the fookin. If anything is omitted, so is the magic, which is contained in the weft of the thoughts recorded in the text. Perhaps Twitter is as good as any a way to read that kind of collage.

Nabokov is a different creature. Not so sloppy, but also not so warm. There's plenty of fun in Pale Fire, but all of it was put there intentionally, as a chisel-mark by a meticulous sculptor.

Ye Mad Puffin, Monday, 30 March 2015 15:06 (10 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...


☂ (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 9 May 2015 13:33 (8 months ago) Permalink

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