A Joycean Jem [Yes I


A Joycean Jem

[Yes I know it is "misspelled." See Finnegan's Wake for an explanation.]

Thanks to Dylan for this link to Joyce's works online. Joyce nearly became for me the subject of the Ph.D. dissertation. And I would have taken the Wake as my subject of choice--one of the most arcane, self-involved, difficult, fascinating, disturbing, wonderful works of literature. I don't know how good it actually is, but it is completely intriguing and full of all sorts of fascinations and intricacies.

Much of the Wake was written during the time when Joyce was fuctionally blind. He dictated the work to Samuel Beckett. There is an anecdote that relates that they were involved in one of these dictation sessions and someone knocked on the door. Joyce had them enter and a brief conversation ensued. Beckett transcribed all of this and when he read it back, Joyce retained it in the work. Fascinating.

Also Ulysses, while there may be some debate about it being the "best" book of the twentieth century, there can be no doubt that it is among the most influential--affecting modern prose (and creating Modernist prose) down to its very marrow. There are remarkably few great writers post-Joyce who do not in one way or another reflect the influence of this major work--another of my favorite works despite its very negative portrayal of the Catholic Church.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 16, 2003 8:51 AM.

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