With the new PorterGirl adventure currently in development and the finishing touches to the next book being carefully applied, I have been somewhat absent from the blogosphere just lately. To keep myself out of mischief I have been reading – or, at the very least, attempting to read – James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
Often described as one of the hardest books in the English language, it is not so much a stream-of-consciousness work as a great matrix of spirals of consciousness written in a language that is close to English, but also seems to incorporate a bastardisation of various other languages too.
It is hard going, I’ll grant you, but is entertaining me considerably nonetheless. I have been sharing my observations of this great literary work in casual passing with the fabulous Fiction Fan, through the comments on her blog. She has found these musings sufficiently amusing to encourage (by which I mean nag) me to document the experience here on my blog.
That’s right, dear reader – I read Finnegans Wake so you don’t have to!
I am not an academic, nor even particularly well-read, so don’t be expecting any great revelations or illuminating insights into this much-discussed tome. So far I can barely make sense of any of it, but there are brief moments of clarity here and there and, coupled with some creative thinking on my part, I am able to piece together an idiot’s interpretation of Joyce’s most elusive work.
It is a somewhat disjointed and vague interpretation, it must be said, but still less hassle than actually reading the bloody thing oneself. So please do grab a beverage of choice (alcohol is strongly recommended) and join me next week, where I will begin the first part of my chapter-by-chapter review of Finnegans Wake.
It’s just words on a page. How hard can it be, right?