October 12th, 2010 / 8:10 pm

Strangely enough, Mr. Joyce has almost universally been denied the right to do on a larger scale what any Yankee foreman employing foreign laborers does habitually on a smaller scale, namely, to work out a more elastic and a richer vocabulary which will serve purposes unserved by schoolroom English… Those who cannot transcend Aristotle need make no attempt to read this fascinating epic. The ideas do not march single file, nor at a uniform speed.

Elliot Paul on Finnegans Wake

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  1. Guest


      not sure if i will ever “transcend aristotle”


  2. Ken Baumann

      Two more from the same link: “Common speech holds within it relics of tongues spoken it may be millions of years before symbols were invented. It is impossible therefore for us not to respond to words, all words and all forms of words, but writing and speech are so denatured that it is important, if we are not forever to be deprived of part of our emotional inheritance, that these primitive forms be returned to us. Joyce is doing this for us; the result is an intense and basic revitalizing of words and our attitude to them. Posterity is immensely indebted to him.” –John Rodker

      “One of the beauties of Work in Progress is its mystery and its inexhaustible promise of new revelations. Like the great books of all times, it will always have different meanings for different readers. To some its grandeur will be in its mixture of legend, fact and myth, for others its chief interest will be a technical one, others will find delight in its verbal and rhythmic qualities, others will be moved by its cosmic comedy and tragedy, and for still others its attraction will lie in its boundless humor.” –Robert Sage

  3. arrqué

      i love this

  4. deadgod

      A heretical qualification: Finnegans Wake is worth the effort for as long as it’s a pleasure to play its games. If the game oppresses, in the case of this book, I’d advise that it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

  5. arrqué

      the game can’t oppress if you play by its rules

  6. deadgod

      Not sure what you mean. I think Seeger means that the “rules” are rigged in favor of ‘oppressors’ and need to be changed directly by the ‘oppressed’.

      What I mean is that the crossword-puzzle game of Finnegans Wake, for me, never turned/s from a trivial pursuit of facts and connections between facts into a narrative, certainly not into a narrative where what happens fictively matters really to me. One can get other books that explain the story of the story: HCE, ALP, Finnegan/Finn MacCool, etc. etc. etc. But nothing like the friendship tissue that grows between Bloom and Stephen ever happened/s in my imagination while reading Finnegans Wake.