Thursday, April 20, 2006

Finnegans Wiki

This is one of the coolest uses of the internet I've ever seen (link via Chekhov's Mistress).

Finnegans Wake is perhaps the only book I own that I bought fully expecting that I would never read it. I've read Dubliners and The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and I'm looking forward to finally reading Ulysses one of these days. But Finnegans Wake seemed highly unlikely. For one thing, it's surely the apotheosis of the kind of heavily allusive novel that makes me nervous. In theory, I love the allusiveness of fiction, but secretly (and now not so secretly, I guess) I always fear that I won't have read enough to "get" this or that crucial allusion--even as I know full well that no one can read everything and the key is to be as alive as possible to the text. And to re-read as much as I can. Anyway, I found a used hardcover of Wake for $5, figured it was worth it, decided that one day I would sit down with dictionary, internet, and other resources to hand, and try to read like two pages of it and have fun with it. This wiki is a hilariously awesome resource. It makes me think of the possibilities for other, ever so slightly more readable novels.

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