Sanrock Reviews

looking at things from a literary viewpoint

Finnegans Wake Review


Now that I got that out of my system, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, all. What better way to celebrate this day that the Irish hate because Americans destroyed it than by reading Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. The problem with reading a book of this caliber is that 95% of this book is nonsensical.

Yes, I said it, nonsensical. Many people have tried to figure out what the hell Joyce was trying to say. Hell, I tried to figure it out with terrible results.

The first time I heard about this book was my second year in college. I decided, “hey, why don’t I give the book a shot just to see if I can read it.” I got up to page 15 and then quit. That’s saying a lot since many people only read the first paragraph and quit. That’s sad when you consider that this is considered to be one of the greatest books ever written in the English language.

OK, pop quiz for those who love this book: What’s it about? Some will say say it’s about nothing because it’s a stream on conscious. Stream of conscious is just a nice way of saying “randomly rambling about nothing in particular.” If you look at it like that, then you’ll need to be in the right frame of mind. An entire bottle of whiskey will help. Hell, two bottles would be better.

These same fans will say something like “you just have to enjoy the language. That’s the point of the book.” You call “brekkek brekkek” and “Rot a peck of pa’s malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight” beautiful? Again, what do they mean? That’s what I’ve been saying for years about this book, what does it mean? There have been a ton of papers trying to make sense of what Finnegans Wake is about and what it’s saying. I have a friend who says “Joyce wrote Finnegans Wake as a way to piss off a bunch off graduate English majors for the next 300 years.”

I agree with him. I also say that the book is nothing more than the random, drunken ramblings of Joyce after he got shitfaced over his whiskey. And he did this for 17 years. And he got PAID to do this. And he developed a huge fanbase by doing this.

I have another theory about Finnegans Wake: Joyce was an excellent troll. You see, he wrote this at a time when people were accepting of books written in experimental ways. To the Lighthouse is a great example of an experimental book that’s actually great and you can understand it. As is As I Lay Dying. This book is nothing more than a troll whose main goal was to piss off as many people as possible and even get a bunch of literature academics accept it. And he succeeded.

Anyway, I hate this book. It is a drunken troll’s ramblings written down and loved by people who don’t know better. Well, what can be expected from a guy whose idea of a love letter is “you had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole.” Read Dubliners instead. It’s his best book.

Categories: Novels

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2 replies

  1. Don’t like “Finnegans Wake”? Horrors! Perhaps you should have started with the second chapte; much more “fun,” as it were; and not as dense as the first chapter.

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