Last week, I read that James Joyce is one of the best novelists of all time, so I went to the library yesterday to get one of his books and I picked out Finnegans Wake.
It's 628 pages long and without exaggerating one iota, every single seperate lone sole individual sentence is pure gibberish and incoherent. I gave up after less than a page (and it took me two or three tries to make it as far as I did). They'd lock me up in the funny farm if I read much more. It reminds me of Dr. Sues and this guy they called forgerbot who used to forge my email address and post posts using it with hundreds of words rearranged randomly to deliberately be uninterpretable.What is all of this gobbledygook? Is this the way people in Ireland spoke around the 1890s and early 1900s? If not, then what was his purpose in writing whatever the hell it is? It would drive me batty to read one page even!! I went back to the book about four times, only to flip through it randomely to try to figure out what the deal is and so I kept wondering if it was translated into a foreign language because that's how much it doesn't resemble any English I've ever had to deal with.

It's almost as if it's one giant Guiness-Book-of-World-Records-style poem. Which begs a new question? Is he really one of the best novelists in history and if so, this begs the question How come up until yesteday, I would not have been able to name any of his books (and that most people
couldn't either) and how come they weren't made into movies, and if they were, how come they aren't well known and profitable?

I'm just gonna open the book at any random page and type up the first paragraph I see to post in here in the hopes that someone can explain.

Page 392, the 2nd paragraph (which is continued onto the next page)

And where do you leave Matt Emeritus? The laychief of Abotabishop? And echullard of ffrench and gherman. Achoch! They were all so sorgy for poorboir Matt in his salwater hat, with the Aran crown, or she grew that out of, too big for him, of or Mnepos and his overalls, all falling over in folds sure he hadn't the heart in her to pull them up poor Matt, the old perishgrime matriarch, and a queenly man, (the porple blussing upon them!) sitting there, the sole of the settlement, below ground, for an expiatory rite, in postulation of his cause, (who shall say?) in her beaver bonnet, the king of the Caucuses, a family all to himself, under geasa, Themisletocles, on his multilingual tombstone, like Navellicky
Kamen, and she due to kid my sweatpea time, with her face to the wall in view of the poorhouse, and taking his rust in the oxsight of Iren, under all the auspices, amid the rattle of hailstorms, kalospintheochromatokreening, with her ivyclad hood, and gripping and old pair of curling tongs, belonging to Mrs. Duna O'Cannel, to blow his brains with, till the heights of Newhigherland heard the Bristolhut, with his can of tea and a purse of alfred cakes from Anne Lynch and two cuts of Shackleton's brown loaf and dilisk, waiting for the end to come. Gordon Heighland, when you think of it! The merthe dirther! Ah ho! It was too bad entirely! All devoured by active parlourmen, laudabiliter, of woman squelch
and all on account of the smell of Shakeletin and scratchman and his mouth watering, acid and alkolic; signs on the salt, and so now pass the loaf for Christ sake. Amen. And so. And all.
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Last week, I read that James Joyce is one of the best novelists of all time, so I went to the library yesterday to get one of his books and I picked out Finnegans Wake.

I hope you didn't really type out that clip 'cause you can get the whole thing, with an explanation, here http://www.trentu.ca/jjoyce/fw.htm

Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses. He was a one-hit-wonder but the ht was very big.

Finnegans Wake is based on puns in different languages.
Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses.

A Portrait of the Artist was interesting, at least, which makes it much better than Ulysses, AFAIC, because I've read it many times from cover to cover but could never get past page 60 of Ulysses no matter how many times i tried.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Last week, I read that James Joyce is one of ... one of his books and I picked out Finnegans Wake.

I hope you didn't really type out that clip

I did. :-( And I'm sad to say, on a Saturday night.

'cause you can get the whole
thing, with an explanation, here http://www.trentu.ca/jjoyce/fw.htm

Thanks.
Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses. He was a one-hit-wonder but the ht was very big.

Thanks, I want to give another go at seeing what he's all about, so I'll borrow that one.
Finnegans Wake is based on puns in different languages.

So then it's not a novel. Thank God for that.
Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses.

A Portrait of the Artist was interesting, at least, which makes it much better than Ulysses, AFAIC, because I've read it many times from cover to cover but could never get past page 60 of Ulysses no matter how many times i tried.

"Ulysses" is very funny. Tell me the following isn't LOL in at least several places. It's also rather illuminating to the history of humanity:
#begin quoteMild fire of wine kindled his veins. I wanted that badly. Felt so off colour. His eyes unhungrily saw shelves of tins, sardines, gaudy lobsters' claws. All the odd things people pick up for food. Out of shells, periwinkles with a pin, off trees, snails out of the ground the French eat, out of the sea with bait on a hook. Silly fish learn nothing in a thousand years. If you didn't know risky putting anything into your mouth. Poisonous berries. Johnny Magories.

Roundness you think good. Gaudy colour warns you off. One fellow told another and so on. Try it on the dog first. Led on by the smell or the look. Tempting fruit. Ice cones. Cream. Instinct. Orangegroves for instance. Need artificial irrigation. Bleibtreustrasse. Yes but what about oysters? Unsightly like a clot of phlegm. Filthy shells. Devil to open them too. Who found them out? Garbage, sewage they feed on. Fizz and Red bank oysters. Effect on the sexual.

Aphrodis. He was in the Red bank this morning. Was he oyster old fish at table. Perhaps he young flesh in bed. No. June has no ar no oysters. But there are people like tainted game. Jugged hare. First catch your hare. Chinese eating eggs fifty years old, blue and green again. Dinner of thirty courses. Each dish harmless might mix inside. Idea for a poison mystery. That archduke Leopold was it? No. Yes, or was it Otto one of those Habsburgs? Or who was it used to eat the scruff off his own head? Cheapest lunch in town.
#end quote
Idea for a poison mystery. Ha!
Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses.

A Portrait of the Artist was interesting, at least, which makes it much better than Ulysses, AFAIC, because I've read it many times from cover to cover but could never get past page 60 of Ulysses no matter how many times i tried.

Try starting on page 61 next time, Franke. Using this method I managed to leapfrog my way through about 300 pages of The Brothers Karamazov over a five-year period.

Bob Lieblich
Blame me, not Dostoevsky
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Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses.

A Portrait of the Artist was interesting, at least, which makes it much better than Ulysses, AFAIC, because I've read it many times from cover to cover but could never get past page 60 of Ulysses no matter how many times i tried.

I had the same problem; in fact I found the Stephen parts a bit boring so I skipped the first three chapters and started reading from where Bloom appears - Bloomsday was 3 days ago, oddly enough - and things were a lot easier. Or just read the Cyclops chapter first - one of the funniest; that's the one that begins "I was just going down the road when that damn sweep nearly put my eye out with his broom..."
Last week, I read that James Joyce is one of the best novelists of all time, so I went to the library yesterday to get one of his books and I picked out Finnegans Wake.

You got to be trolling. Out of all he's written, you pick his over the Niagara in a leaky barrel experimental stuff. Why not "Dubliners"? Why not "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"? Even "Ulysses" is relatively approachable. No, you got to have "Finnegans Wake" right out of the box.
Which begs a new question? Is he really one of the best novelists in history and if so, this begs the question How come up until yesteday, I would not have been able to name any of his books

You don't know what "begs the question" means?
(and that most people couldn't either) and how come they weren't made into movies, and if they were, how come they aren't well known and profitable?

It is very difficult to take a great work of literature and distil it into a movie. They tried with "Ulysses". I think they could try a hundred times and not even touch the essence because the essence is the language itself. Reading "Ulysses" is a gestalt experience, like eating ketchup.
I'm just gonna open the book at any random page and type up the first paragraph I see to post ... explain. Page 392, the 2nd paragraph (which is continued onto the next page) And where do you leave Matt Emeritus?

On the front stoep of the old folks home?
The laychief of Abotabishop? And echullard of ffrench and gherman. Achoch! They were all so sorgy for poorboir Matt in ... in her to pull them up poor Matt, the old perishgrime matriarch, and a queenly man, (the porple blussing upon them!)

I think he's calling Matt a poof.
sitting there, the sole of the settlement, below ground, for an expiatory rite, in postulation of his cause, (who shall ... of tea and a purse of alfred cakes from Anne Lynch and two cuts of Shackleton's brown loaf and dilisk,

"dilisk" is eatable seaweed. A brown loaf would be bread but a "loaf" is also slang for someone's head. Notice the Christ reference further on down.
waiting for the end to come.

Shackleton was the leader of an ill fated expedition to the South Pole which got stuck in the ice and he managed to save every one by going beyond the limits of human endurance only to have at least two of them sent off to die in the trenches of WWI.
Gordon Heighland, when you think of it! The merthe dirther! Ah ho! It was too bad entirely! All devoured by ... and alkolic; signs on the salt, and so now pass the loaf for Christ sake. Amen. And so. And all.

You mix an acid and a base and you get a salt. You spill the salt for Christ sake, sounds like you are Judas. We could go through the book and decode or attempt to decode material literally for many years. One interesting fact is that you can start this book anywhere you like because it literally returns from whence it came: "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs." starts the novel and "A way a lone a last a loved a long the" ends it.

"What do you value in your bulldogs? Gripping, is it not? It's their nature? It's why you breed them? It's so with men. I will not give in because I oppose it. Not my pride, not my spleen, nor any other of my appetites, but *I* do. Is there in the midst of all this muscle no single sinew that serves no appetite of Norfolk's but is just Norfolk? Give that some exercise. Because, as you stand, you'll go before your Maker ill-conditioned. He'll think that somewhere along your pedigree, a *** got over the wall."
-, "A Man For All Seasons"
I hope you didn't really type out that clip

I did. :-( And I'm sad to say, on a Saturday night.

A few of the words are spelt differently from those in the online version I looked at. Proof reading Joyce could be a chore since many spelling "errors" were on purpose or the correct spelling in another language or needed for a pun.
'cause you can get the whole

thing, with an explanation, here http://www.trentu.ca/jjoyce/fw.htm

Thanks.

I'm surprised there is an explanation.
Joyce was a very good writer but he only really produced one good book: Ulysses. He was a one-hit-wonder but the ht was very big.

Thanks, I want to give another go at seeing what he's all about, so I'll borrow that one.

I really would start at "Dubliners". That's pretty straight ahead short story stuff.
Finnegans Wake is based on puns in different languages.

So then it's not a novel. Thank God for that.

What's a "novel"? If someone mixes in other languages, made up languages, other nonsense, why can't that be novel?

"What do you value in your bulldogs? Gripping, is it not? It's their nature? It's why you breed them? It's so with men. I will not give in because I oppose it. Not my pride, not my spleen, nor any other of my appetites, but *I* do. Is there in the midst of all this muscle no single sinew that serves no appetite of Norfolk's but is just Norfolk? Give that some exercise. Because, as you stand, you'll go before your Maker ill-conditioned. He'll think that somewhere along your pedigree, a *** got over the wall."
-, "A Man For All Seasons"
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