Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Is 'Finnegans Wake' a Novel?

- Which was said by whem to whom?

- It wham. But whim I can't whumember.

- Fantasy! funtasy on fantasy, amnaes fintasies! And there is nihil nuder under the clothing moon. When Ota, weewahrwificle of Torquells, bumpsed her dumpsydiddle down in her woolsark she mode our heuteyleutey girlery of peerlesses to set up in all bombossities of feudal fiertey, fanned, flounced and frangipenned, while the massstab whereby Ephialtes has exceeded is the measure, simplex mendaciis, by which our Outis cuts his truth. Arkaway now!

- Yerds and nudes say ayes and noes. Vide! Vide!

- Let Eivin bemember for Gates of Gold for their fadeless suns berayed her. Irise, Osirises! By thy mouth given unto thee! For why do you lack a link ...

More according the link later. :)

The passage above you'd find on page 493 when - as I did - randomly opening the Faber edition from 1975, which I typed to give those amongst you who would not read Finnegans Wake once a week a glimpse of what it's about.

Now being a Joyce expert, what's your answer to the question which is heading this post?

Careful, though.
Of course, for those contemporaries delectating themselves with mocking that poor Joyce would have written like Flann O'Brien had he not been completely ding-dong, the answer is easy.
However, is it? What will be the likely criteria to say or even enthusiastically shout 'Yes, it is!' or after a demonstrative yawn to groan in agony: 'No!' ?

Whatever the answer will be, it is a matter of taste. An excellent taste, of course. :)

And either one says 'Yes' or 'No', (s)he will claim to be in possession of the most exquisite taste.

Now, this could create one of those brainteasing and riddling conundrums, the more as ... what did Oscar say? About taste you can't argue; either you have it, or you have it not.

Who is right, then?

End of the beforegoing.

Let me rather create the above mentioned link.

Chris, philosopher and poet at Godfree-Morals has posted a - to my taste :) - remarkable essay. Indeed, it's an essay that I
could not have written, not even if I did not happen to be ding-dong.

n the hope to create a vivid exchange of ideas, both a suggestion and a request: The discussion should take place at Chris' site, so that one can read it in one piece.

PS: For those
finding this subject as interesting as the breaking news that there has been a cucumber glass detonation in Caracas: Do as if you had never read this post.
After all, it's a matter of taste, isn't it. :)

All others: Enjoy.


  1. Do as if I had never read which post?

    C'est si court la vie...

  2. Ha ha, obviously I do have an extraordinary talent for producing misunderstandable sentences, these days.
    Allors, mine, of course.

  3. Mais non, c'est moi! Often I do not read well.

    Yet Dafydd ap Gwilym reached my soul instantly. Merci!

  4. Your question as I see it is a moot one belonging to the realm of relativism for even within those that are of one accord comes still the "yes, buts". Being the unique individuals that we are it stands to reason there is no one right answer to this or many other questions one asks. Having downloaded Finnegans Wake some time ago I'm having a tough time slogging through it but have not given up hope nor can I partake in a vivid exchange of ides since I am not into it very far :)

  5. Have you been to Chris Morrell's lately? :)

  6. Madame,
    in the name of the bard, thank you.

    a lovely impulse to start the next discussion: What is an expert? Does one necessarily has to be an expert to discuss any subject? :)
    I say no! Not necessarily.

    Ah, it seems there has to be written an explaining update, ha ha ha.

    rhetorical question, or is it possible you did not read the post? :)

  7. Sean,
    may I remind you of what for decades I have been trying to teach you? Write simple!

    Title: Attention!*
    Text: There's an essay to be found at God-Free-Morals. Read it, and dare you not to have your say.

    * to attract more attention and obedience from English readers with historical background, 'Achtung!' might be even more effective.

    And now. Do it.

  8. Tetrapilotomos,
    how does it come that I do feel I am under surveillance?
    Anyway, I'll take your advice, and try.
    However, don't you think the title should at least read: 'Achtung, please!' ?