Ooh there seems to be a fair amount of "signposting" to do today. Again, I should have mentioned this earlier but, y'know, I was probably drunk. Anyway, Waggish has just read Joyce's Finnegans Wake (nice post on Sunday on The Books on the (Finnegans) Wake) which is the one Joyce book, like many other folks, that I've not read. And, for now, despite Waggish's enthusiasm ("What did I get from it? Among other things, a sense of limitless possibility. Was it worth it? Yes. But I have only invested a couple months, not the decades that others have.") I can't see myself jumping in. It is the limpid, yet depthless, writing of a Beckett or an Appelfeld that most attracts me at the moment. Joyce's difficulty seems like a perverse game. And I don't want to play.

Readers Comments

  1. "Limpid" is one of those funny words I have to watch out for.

    For me — for some strange reason — the beginning of the word totally overrides its actual meaning. Limpid, limp... (Thankfully I never have to think about the deeply Freudian "limp id".)

    Hmm, nothing to add about the Wake.

  2. "Joyce's difficulty seems like a perverse game. And I don't want to play." Shame dude.

  3. It's not a game. I have as little patience as anyone for virtuosic show-offs like Cortazar, and I don't particularly appreciate the gamesmanship of Perec or Sorrentino (RIP) or even Calvino at his worst. But with Joyce, it's all for so much more. It's the basic stuff of existence in all its permutations, and it's a nightmare to read, but it offers things no other book can, which I would not say of the above.

    I'll be writing more on the thing, both to attempt to win more converts and to get more posting mileage out of the reading effort.

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