Friday, December 5, 2008

Finnegans Wake is like a linguistic drug

RAW warned me about how awesome this book by James Joyce was. He even wrote a book about it: "Coincidance - a Head Test". Can't wait to check that out once I finish the original.

My local library has a screwy search function in their computer database and I didn't find the English version books of him on the puter, but only the dutch. I hate reading classics translated, they are poor man's versions. Especially the translated Finnegans Wake, while skimming through it, it seemed to me like some Joyce-lover's fetish to translate an unreadable book and making it even more incomprehensible while draining the fun out of it. I mean this book made less sense to me in "my native language" than in "English", ha! But then I went oldschool and just looked in the English novel section shelves and simply found it. Here's to technology!

Joyce's language is amazing, he spent most of his adult life in many parts of Europe and I certainly recognize a lot of influences from other languages and dialects including occasional dutch/flemish, and this must be the best book a player-with-language like me could ever hope to find, oh universe why did ye wait so long to share this with me. And the universe replyeth: "all ye had to do was go to the English novel section, oh and fuck computers, teehee."

From the introduction, first line:
The first thing to say about Finnegans wake is that it is, in an important sense, unreadable. In order to pay it the attention it so impertinently and endlessly demands, the reader must forego most of the conventions about reading and about the language that constitute him/her as a reader. The advantage to be gained from doing so is considerable; the conventions survive but they are less likely thereafter to dwindle into assumptions about what reading or writing is.
(and this is followed by 43 pages of much less interesting mental masturbation, which I gladly ignore cause I don't need someone to tell me how to fucking interpret something, the book begins:)

The linguistic drugging in excerpts:
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
Sir Tristam, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to LaurensCounty's gorgios while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though vennisoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all's fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface. (comics version!)

sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes What bidimetoloves sinduced by what tegotetabsolvers!

Arms apeal with larms, appaling. Killykillkilly: a toll, a toll.

But waz iz! Iseut! Ere were sewers!

Phall if you but will, rise you must: and none so soon either shall the pharce for the nunce coem to a setdown secular phoenish.

before joshuan judges had given us numbers or Helviticus committed deuteronomy

a waalworth of a skyerscape of most eyeful hoyth entowerly, erigenating from next to nothing and celescalating the himals and all, hierarchitectitiptitoploftical, with a burning bush abob off its baubletop and with larrons o'toolers clittering up and tombles a'buckets clottering down.

Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnagain! Comeday morm and, O, you're vine! Sendday's eve and, ah, you're vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again!

What then agentlike brought about that tragoady thundersday this municipal sin business? Our cubehouse still rocks as earwitness to the thunder of his arafatas but we hear also through successive ages that shebby choruysh of ankalified muzzlenimiissilehims that would blackguardise the whitestone ever hurtleturtled out of heaven. Stay us wherefore in our search for tighteousness

Heed! Heed. It may half been a missfired brick, as some say, or it mought have been due to a collupsus of his back promises, as others looked at it. (There extand by now one thousand and one stories, all told, of the same).

But so sore did abe ite ivvy's holired abbles, (what with the wallhall's horrors of rollsrights, carhacks, stonengens, kisstvanes, tramtrees, fargobawlers, autokinotons, hippohobbilies, streetfleets, tournintaxes, megaphoggs, circuses and wardsmoats and basilikerks and aeropagods and the hoyse and the jollybrool and the peeler in the coat and the mecklenburk bitch bite at his ear and the merlinburrow burrocks and his fore old porecourts, the bore the more, and his blightblack workingstacks...

His howd feeled heavy, his hoddit did shake. (There was a wall of course in erection) Dimb! He stottered from the latter. Damb! he was dud. Dumb! Mastabatoom, mastabadtomm, when a mon merries his lute is all long. For the whole world to see.
Shize? I should shee! Macool, Macool, orra whyi deed ye diie? of a trying thirstay mournin?

Finiche! Only a fadograph of a yestern scene.

So that meal's dead off for summan, schlook, schlice and goodridhirring.

This is the way to the museyroom. Mind your hats goan in!

If you saw any typos, let me know :p


Auberon Barnable said...

I have tried on several occasions to get into Finnegan's but I guess I'm just not yet read and this annoys me to no end. I recognize its potential to "change my mind" in ways similar to Cortazar's "Hopscotch" or Marquez' "One Hundred Years of Solitude". I hear "A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: Unlocking James Joyce's Masterwork" by Joseph Campbell is a great companion but I still haven't had any luck finding it locally.

Dedroidify said...

I suspected this too when I first only knew the Dutch version. Yet I was surprised at the fun I had reading the English. I don't try to understand it, and just read it like I'm on a journey of hilarious discovery of sorts.

I'd love to read that Campbell book too (any campbell book ;p), but only after finishing the Wake.

Have not heard about those other works you mentioned, will them out thanks!

Btw ready/read typo (I assume you meant ready), cool sync ;p hehe.


aferrismoon said...

FW = a book that one has to read aloud, it actually changes your accent then, as well as clearing away a lot of the 'rational' dailybabble of prerehearesed and copied , tired , relentless 'sentences' , the final word used by grammarians and Criminal courts.

All Swell dat hens well

Dedroidify said...

Oh thanks aferrismoon! I noticed in my internal dialogue that I started throwing a lot of Irish accent in there hehe

of a trying thirstay mournin

I shall start over while it's still fresh, as reading the excerpts aloud was great fun.

The cool thing about internal dialogue is you can use all kinds of voices, Jean-Luc Picard and many others have read to me hehe.

Auberon Barnable said...

Yeah it was a typo that worked out in the end..heh.

I'll try reading it aloud or at least changing my internal voice accent. Thanks for the advice aferrismoon!

Yeah the Campbell book is designed to be read along with Finnegan's. I have a habit of trying to understand completely everything I read. I think I just need to treat this as poetry er prosetry and plow through it.

aferrismoon said...

Come to think of it, this is the intro to my first post -Intaroduction
Well come
After watching Jake Kotzke's 9/11 Starg8 productions I willed to comment and necessarily had to open this blog.
My first comment was on the apparent to me synchs in pages 4 - 5 of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.
This hasn't been published so I thiught it wise to use it as the initial posting on this blog.

The quotes follow:
' Phall if you but will, rise if you must'

and a few more quotes

Cheers for the reminder

Dedroidify said...

Cheers for the hint to check out more of your blog. That post was awesome!

aferrismoon said...

Cheers , but please excuse [m]any mistakes

Auberon Barnable said...

Oh I forgot to mention, similar to finding FW at your library, I was searching for another one of Julio Cortazar's great novels called "62 a Model Kit". The computer said it was in but I could never find it until I finally looked for it under the non-fiction section. It was under Arts & Crafts lol.