Monday, December 03, 2007

XX. "Finnegan's Wake" - James Joyce

Dear husband calls me during the middle of my writing group's meeting. "I picked up a book from the library for you," he says. "Tell me what this means..." He proceeded to speak in tongues. I think he's been tippling in the port a bit early. "Nevermind," he says. "I know if I wanted to read this book, I'd have to listen to Brad Pitt in Trainspotting first."

The book is Finnegan's Wake. I think my husband has gone crazy. It is, after all, just a book.

Yes. A maddening, infuriating novel of hellish proportions that has forced me to resign my MENSA membership. I flipped through chapters, looking for some desperate clue to unlock its anagrams. Nuttin' honey.

Perhaps I need my literature spoon fed, at least in English. It is a sad day for this book lover.

9 comments:

sarah said...

I got through about a page and half and my brain started oozing out my ears. Haven't opened it since. Joyce makes my head hurt.

Jeane said...

Joyce and Faulkner are in the same category for me- books that I can't make any sense of but feel I ought to, since they're famous literature.

Stephen Rowntree said...

I was once told, by whom I forget, that Joyce's Wake should be heard, not read, and preferably read out loud by someone with a heavy Irish brogue. River runs....River runs.

I devoted much of an MA thesis to Ulysses, as seen, or read, from a Schopenhaurian, Freudian eye; so, yes, I too am tuckered out.

Stephen

Arukiyomi said...

Brad Pitt... do you mean Ewan McGregor?

I can't see Brad Pitt doing an Edinburgh accent myself...

but have you read Trainspotting yet?

Bibliolatrist said...

You're not alone. Reading Joyce makes me want to stab myself. Too painful for my tastes.

Jason said...

I've read (and enjoyed) Dubliners, but have yet to try to tackle one of his novels.

I'll give it a shot when I feel more ambitious.

Is this one more or less intimidating than Ulysses? I find myself intimidated equally by the two.

Kristin Dodge said...

Wrong flick... not Trainspotting. WTH was it? Brad Pitt speaks a thick accent, boxes... argh, I've lost my ability to remember things. A good reason why I keep the blog or I'd read the same books over and over, thinking the words sounded familiar.

I tried Ulysses, too, and couldn't do it. I think I made it to page 3.

Now if someone with a heavy Irish brogue wants to read me to sleep, he is more than welcome to come stay at the Effin' Ranch. My DH may not appreciate the literary benefits...

Jason said...

You're thinking of Snatch.

the o'connors said...

Indeed, audio-book+text will work better, it's a very musical and academic book, wonderful piece, the ultimate challenge for a reader.