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Finnegans Wake

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anyone with a suggestion to help in reading this book?

 

i am going to start it shortly. it's been taunting me on my TBD shelf for too long (20 months). it has to be read

 

any suggestions

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For anyone else interested in Joyce, I recently discovered that Audible have the complete unabridged Ulysses. Wish I had known that before I bought it from Amazon. Good luck with Finnigan's Wake, not sure I ready for it myself yet,

would love to hear you comments.

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Buy the audiobook and don't try to understand it. Just listen to the flow of words.

 

i started it yesterday and i found it helpful reading it out loud as that helps with the flow of the words

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All I can say is good luck! I have almost finished Ulysses and have found it brilliant and confounding in equal measure! I know that I will have to revisit Ulysses over the course of many years to get a true appreciation of it.

 

I have heard that Finnegans Wake is another step up again (and is generally considered the most difficult novel written in the English Language). If it is any help, I found with Ulysses that it is best to concentrate on the current scene, rather than try to view the novel as a whole (or in terms of any narrative structure traditionally associated with novels (none of which Joyce conformed to anyway!)). There is also more than enough to keep you engaged in any given paragraph, rather than trying to think about plot and structure.

 

I hope you find it a great experience...

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If you're not getting anything from it then stop reading it. Reading is supposed to be fun.

 

I enjoyed Ulysses very much, but I thought it did have a narrative structure and was quite orderly in its chronology. It helped enormously that I knew a bit about Irish legends - hence got some of the cultural references - and have lived as an outsider in Ireland myself so understood some of the key themes.

 

Finnegan's Wake has not particularly tempted me, particularly as I found Anna Livia Plurabelle unreadable and that's supposed to be the best bit of Wake, parcelled out as a work in its own right.

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I am enjoying it. it's enjoyable. even more so when i understand it at times :D. it's just talking longer to read pages then with other books.

 

it's just not a book i'm able to take in big gulps

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A recent TLS tells of Sebastian D.G.Knowles, an American professor and Joyce specialist, who initially struggled with Finnegans Wake.

Eventually, Knowles succeeded in reading the Wake. His method? "To start in the middle and work your way out." Now he instructs his students to begin at page 104, read to 216, then skip to 555. Upon reaching the end, return to Chapter 1.

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Studying Joyce at London University, we were told to read at least one page of the Wake. I'm sure it deserves more. I enjoyed the BBC series of readings from it some years ago. 'The novel as music" - now there's a topic for some tyro fresh out of the blocks!

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Personally, although Joyce wrote so-called experimental literature, his books seem rather dated to me, where other books of that time have lasted well. I suppose that's the nature of the beast.

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A recent TLS tells of Sebastian D.G.Knowles, an American professor and Joyce specialist, who initially struggled with Finnegans Wake.

 

of course the work works cyclically so in theory you could just keep going and going and going with it

 

anyway, i will not be doing that but i did finish it and here's my thoughts

 

I give it 3/5 though maybe the 3 is for the mentions of my town

 

but anyway, what the heck was Joyce thinking in the 18 years it took him to write this. If his publisher knew what it was about at all, maybe he'd have sent Joyce to do more work on it before publishing

 

it lacks the normal things books should i.e. a plot and characther construction but with the flow of the launguage of the book, it's thoroughly worthwhile

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