Finnegans Wake

Front Cover
Penguin, 1939 - Fiction - 628 pages
243 Reviews

Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses, James Joyce set himself even greater challenges for his next book — the night.

"A nocturnal state...That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." The work, which would exhaust two decades of his life and the odd resources of some sixty languages, culminated in the 1939 publication of Joyce's final and most revolutionary masterpiece, Finnegans Wake.

A story with no real beginning or end (it ends in the middle of a sentence and begins in the middle of the same sentence), this "book of Doublends Jined" is as remarkable for its prose as for its circular structure. Written in a fantantic dream language, forged from polyglot puns and portmanteau words, the Wake features some of Joyce's most brilliant inventive work. Sixty years after its original publication, it remains, in Anthony Burgess's words, "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page."

  

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3 stars
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An immense prose poem. - Goodreads
I couldn't really decipher any fine plot points. - Goodreads
My advice: just enjoy the ride. - Goodreads
I actually really loved the writing in it. - Goodreads
... it's a never-ending, beautiful mystery. - Goodreads

Review: Finnegans Wake

User Review  - Melting Uncle - Goodreads

OMG I can't believe I read the whole thing!!! It took me a year. There were times when I wanted to give up ("Nightlessons" chapter). But I persevered and in the end it was worth it. My mind will never ... Read full review

Review: Finnegans Wake

User Review  - Henry - Goodreads

Horribly confusing, eccentric, and lovable - I can't ask any more from this piece of literary genius. Read full review

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Contents

I
vii
II
xxix
III
1
IV
217
V
401
VI
591
Copyright

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About the author (1939)

James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882, in Dublin, Ireland, into a large Catholic family. Joyce was a very good pupil, studying poetics, languages, and philosophy at Clongowes Wood College, Belvedere College, and the Royal University in Dublin. Joyce taught school in Dalkey, Ireland, before marrying in 1904. Joyce lived in Zurich and Triest, teaching languages at Berlitz schools, and then settled in Paris in 1920 where he figured prominently in the Parisian literary scene, as witnessed by Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Joyce's collection of fine short stories, Dubliners, was published in 1914, to critical acclaim. Joyce's major works include A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and Stephen Hero. Ulysses, published in 1922, is considered one of the greatest English novels of the 20th century. The book simply chronicles one day in the fictional life of Leopold Bloom, but it introduces stream of consciousness as a literary method and broaches many subjects controversial to its day. As avant-garde as Ulysses was, Finnegans Wake is even more challenging to the reader as an important modernist work. Joyce died just two years after its publication, in 1941.

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