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10 Things I Hate about "Finnegans Wake"

May 25, 2010

I am about a page and a half away from giving up on this book, folks. I thought I might share some of the reasons why, and those of you literary purists out there who will say that I didn’t read ALL of the Wake and therefore can’t have read the entire ML list will need to get over it. 🙂

10) When I stop reading it, and come back to it, I have absolutely no idea where I left off. I have probably re-read page 94 five times.

9) The actual main characters (if there are any) are never mentioned. Or if they are, he’s given them twelve different names.

8)No plot whatsoever. I know, I know….that was a cop-out. Yet it’s a LEGITIMATE cop-out.

7) All of the made-up words. If Dr Seuss didn’t get his inspiration for all of his books from Joyce, I have no idea what a better source would have been.

6)The fact that I could probably open up the book and start reading at any point, and be able to understand what’s going on just as well as if I started on page one.

5) I could also read every other chapter, or the book in reverse, and get the same result.

4) Six hundred pages of sentences like “Augs and ohrs with Rhian O’kehley to put it tertianly, we wrong?” It’s enough to make you drink.

3) The embarrassment of carrying this book around for the last month and having people ask me what it’s about, and I have to blither like an idiot about the fact that I have no idea.

2) When cleaning the catbox, going for a run, or dealing with the craziness at Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon seems like a better deal than reading this book, that’s not okay.

1) It has taken me almost one month to read 100 pages. At this rate, I’ll finish the book somewhere around my golden wedding anniversary.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 9:45 pm

    The fact that I could probably open up the book and start reading at any point, and be able to understand what’s going on just as well as if I started on page one.

    As programmers say, this is a feature, not a bug. Joyce intended for this to be a “sleep” book. He envisioned someone reading it continuously just before going to sleep for the rest of one’s life. This is why there’s no beginning or ending, per se (the last sentence ends on the first page, and the book continues). What you experienced, then, was intended by the author. You can still hate it, of course, but I contend it’s not as bad as, say, Beckett’s The Unnamable.

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