For The Millions, Austin Ratner documents the relationship between the “forgotten” Irish writer James Stephens and the famed James Joyce. Despite starting as literary rivals, Joyce wanted Stephens to finish Finnegans Wake if he ever lost his eyesight. In addition, the essay examines Stephens’s influence on other well-known Irish writers, including Seán O’Casey and Eugene O’Neill....more
Posts Tagged: finnegans wake
Some very intelligent scientists recently published a study showing Finnegans Wake—among other novels, from The Waves to 2666—to have a structure comparable to mathematical fractals, in which each fragment (here, the sentence) has a structure resembling the whole. Jury’s out on whether or not this makes Finnegans Wake make more sense....more
Over at Hazlitt, Sarah Galo and Elon Green have cornered a handful of authors, from Renata Adler to Celeste Ng, into admitting their literary gaps, from Finnegans Wake to To Kill a Mockingbird. Something we should keep in mind is that there is more work produced every day than a single person can get to in their lifetime; it’s harder now than it was for Milton—let that soothe you when you feel a pang for having never got to Don Quixote....more
The book was, we can now see, crying out for the invention of the web, which would enable the holding of multiple domains of knowledge in the mind at one time that a proper reading requires.
At the Guardian, Billy Mills looks at the love match that is the Internet and Finnegans Wake and has good tidings: hypertext may make the formerly unreadable novel readable....more
The first of three parts of a Chinese translation of Finnegans Wake consumed eight years of translator Dai Congrong’s life. The almost unreadable book proves even more difficult to translate because of the many puns and layered meanings, explains MobyLives:
The novel has been deemed “untranslatable” and the translations that are successful tend to be consuming: the Polish version took ten years to finish, the French version thirty years, and the Japanese version took three separate translators after the first disappeared and the second went mad.