<i>Finnegans Wake</i>

Herschel Farbman

in The Other Night

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228652
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235780 | DOI:
Finnegans Wake

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This chapter examines Finnegans Wake, a work of comic fiction by Irish author James Joyce. It argues that writing has never thrown questions back at its questioners with as much energy as Finnegans Wake. Full of exclamations, historical presents, onomatopoeia, and the most extreme exuberances of free indirect discourse, the text presents an uncanny enargeia that suggests a living presence. Faced with a new kind of literary enigma, the first critics of Finnegans Wake developed the interpretive scheme through which the book is still most often seen. According to this scheme, the elusive subject of the Wake is, in one way or another, “a dream”. The word “wake” names many things at once in the title of Finnegans Wake: Irish waking of the corpse; staying awake in the night; following in the wake of a fallen giant; and waking up from sleep.

Keywords: Finnegans Wake; James Joyce; enargeia; exclamations; dreams; onomatopoeia; indirect discourse; wake

Chapter.  8076 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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