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Finnegans Wake jamboree at Bluecoat

Complete gibberish or literary masterpiece: discuss

Published on January 30th 2015.

Finnegans Wake jamboree at Bluecoat

FINNEGANS Wake is considered to be among the most challenging works of the English literary canon - or complete gibberish depending on your point of view.

It was James Joyce’s parting literary shot, based on sleep and dreams. But rather than be a big zzzzzzz, its fans insist it has many "accessible elements", especially when read aloud.

Indeed, Anthony Burgess praised the book as "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page”.  Unlike his own A Clockwork Orange.

So out loud it will be read this Sunday afternoon. The Bluecoat is staging a Finnegans Wake jamboree to coincide with Joyce’s birthday on 2 February.

Dr. Frank Shovlin, senior lecturer of Irish Literature in English at the University of Liverpool,  will consider Joyce's motivations in writing the 1924 book and will examine the ways in which it irked so many readers and lost Joyce several old friends and allies.

LOLs on every page, said Anthony BurgessLOLs on every page,
according to Anthony Burgess
Actor Stephanie Greer will read three passages from Books One and Two of Finnegans Wake. Her performance will frame a discussion about the night-time themes of the book.    

By the time you get to the grand finale, titled The Launderers Omissions, it’ll be ABC, easy as 123.

Nathan Jones presents a circular re-reading of the final and first chapters, working with the book's status as a Mobius Strip with neither beginning nor end,” it says here.

“Using methods such as spell-check and autotranslate to glitch-redact this most fluid of texts, Nathan discovers a highly personal and modern lyric in its eddies. The work engages with previous avant-garde textual operations on Finnegans Wake, such as John Cage's 'mesostics', but in response to today’s convergence culture, uses the occasion of the re-reading to plug the book into a networked contemporary pulp literature and auto-fiction.”


Lispn!  James Joyce: Finnegans Wake, Sunday February 1, 2015 2pm, The Bluecoat, School Lane, L1. Free.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Pretentious moiJanuary 30th 2015.

"Using methods such as spell-check and autotranslate to glitch-redact this most fluid of texts, Nathan discovers a highly personal and modern lyric in its eddies." Is this what my council tax is paying for?

6 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 30th 2015.

I fancy going along and making a David Attenborough style film about this rare gathering of Homo Twaticus.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

Oscar Wilde rides again.

Desmond MorrisFebruary 2nd 2015.

Bradley is one of those arrogant, wilfully ignorant professional scousers who dismisses 98% of reality because it is beyond his feeble comprehension. He ought to be confined to a penile colony.

John BradleyFebruary 2nd 2015.

Professional Scouser that a new one. I'm not dismissing 98% of reality but 98% of ill informed pretentious opinions about it, proffered by those who's only interest is to fain culture using obfuscation. youtu.be/qmK5S39Gng4…

Ramsey CampbellFebruary 2nd 2015.

I can't claim to have read this novel, but I think Joyce's ULYSSES is hugely entertaining and - yes - very funny, among other things. It was my beach reading in Greece a couple of years back (not the first time I'd read it).

ErisFebruary 3rd 2015.

Didn't Ulysses work in the Iliad, the budget supermarket in ancient Troy?

Tim FinneganJanuary 31st 2015.

The final text is maddeningly opaque, but the early drafts clearly show him adding complications very deliberately: fwakeorigins.blogspot.com/…

AnonymousFebruary 3rd 2015.

Oh Eris ! Actually Uliesees was a co creator of the greek takeover crew and trashed Troy. UN fair fight . Then he wandered off the regular sea lanes, lost at sea, taking the long way home says Homer . 20 years later And now...?

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