Finnegans Wake

Finnegans Wake is a book which was written by God himself. Or at least it would have been, if God was as brilliant as James Joyce.

The face of brilliance.

Just The Facts

  1. Finnegans Wake begins with the second half of a sentence, and ends with the first half of that same sentence. This makes for a seamless transition if you want to read it twice in a row.
  2. It took James Joyce seventeen years to write Finnegans Wake.
  3. The book includes at least sixty languages, but it's mostly English. Sort of.

How it began

Have you ever thought to yourself, "You know what I should spend the last two decades of my life doing? Writing a book full of multi-lingual puns, allusions, and words like 'bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoor-denenthurnuk.' And that will just be the first page!"

Of course you have. Everyone's thought that at some point in their lives. But while and you and I followed that thought by visiting half a dozen of the nearest fast food joints so we could make DOB's Toilet-Bombing Heart-Molester and end our lives a bit early, James Joyce followed that thought by actually writing the book. The result is Finnegan's Wake.

Plot Summary

This is where I would summarize the plot of Finnegans Wake, if I had any idea what it was. Seriously, I've got no idea. Even after doing some exhaustive research, like reading the first thirty pages of the book, I couldn't figure it out.

There are, of course, many scholars discussing the plot of Finnegans Wake, but half of these are discussing whether or not a plot exists, and the rest sound like an avid Lost fan predicting how the series ends. Assuming that fan was a Freudian scholar, possibly under the influence of several illicit substances. (In other words; you two months ago.)

Of course, you could always just read the Cliffsnotes version. Oh, nevermind. The Cliffsnotes summary of Finnegans Wake consists of links to their summaries of James Joyce's other three books. Sparknotes summary, on the other hand...also consists solely of links. Basically, no one knows what the Hell this book is about. People who read Finnegans Wake and claim they understand it are sort of like people who read Twilight and claim they understand vampires. But, you know, older and much less annoying.

Why You Should Read Finnegans Wake

Oh, God. Don't do that. That's a horrible idea. If you're going to read something by James Joyce, read Dubliners, like your high school English teacher told you to. Heck, if you really want to destroy your mind with a book, just read Twilight.

Random sentence from Twilight:

Forks was literally my personal hell on Earth.

Random sentence from Finnegans Wake:

It was whol niet godthaab of errol Loritz off his Cape of Good Howthe and his trippertrice loretta lady, a maomette to his monetone, with twy twy twinky her stone hairpins, only not, if not, a queen of Prancess their telling tabled who was for his seeming a casket through the heavenly, nay, heart of the sweet (had he hows would he keep her as niece as a fiddle!) but in the mealtub it was wohl yeas sputsbargain what, rarer of recent, an occasional conformity, he, with Muggleton Muckers, alwagers allalong most certainly allowed, as pilerinnager's grace to petitionists of right, of the three blend cupstoomerries with their customed spirits, the Gill gob, the Burkley bump, the Wallisey wanderlook, having their ceilidhe gailydhe in his shaunty irish.

...any questions?

Also? Eye patch.

Also? Eye patch.