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Thread: FINNEGANS WAKE.

  1. #31

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    if i take up reading this fucking book and am, constantly going back and forth between it, wiktionary, and an anagram scrambler, to make sense of what the fuck he's saying
    am i going to lose my mind?

  2. #32

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    listened to mckenna's take on it finally... getting very tempting...
    worried that this is going to do my head in more than trying to grapple with the Tanakh, but at least it seems rippingly funny.

  3. #33
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    If you try and cross reference every word then I don't think you'll go mad but I do expect you'll burn out fairly quickly. I rarely look anything up. I'm happy to miss most of its meanings provided I get the broader sweep of the thing.

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  5. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    If you try and cross reference every word then I don't think you'll go mad but I do expect you'll burn out fairly quickly. I rarely look anything up. I'm happy to miss most of its meanings provided I get the broader sweep of the thing.
    was feeling this way about it. it's supposed to be a 'night book'/dream, after all?
    still gonna read some introductory stuff + ulysses (just watched the 1967 film last night/this morning... molly's soliloquoy made me cry). burgess's 'joysprick', 'alchemy and finnegan's wake', 'lots of fun at finnegan's wake: unravelling universals', 'wake rites: the ancient irish rites of finnegan's wake', and 'the books at the wake'. particularly psyched for the alchemy and irish ritual ones

  6. #35
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    Me too or I'd never get it done. I'm sure other life reads way quicker than me but the idea of reading 6 books about reading the wake before reading the wake still seems a bit bonkers to me! Books about the wake are always good though.

  7. #36

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    This was also exactly T S Eliot’s (and Pound’s) advice about reading “difficult” literature. Although Pound’s claim that all the tools for reading the Cantos were there on the pages themselves was pushing it a bit.

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  9. #37
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    I feel like all the tools might have been there for people they could have expected to be reading them in the early 20th century - namely, people with classical education who had grown up in a religious society.

    I've noticed lately that books from that era often slip in and out of French as if anybody reading it should be able to translate with ease. It makes me feel like an uncultured yob for not knowing anything beyond oui and ennui.

    Then again, I read an Eliot essay on Dante recently in which he advises to read it first without hoping to understand all the allegorical meanings and much less the arcane historical references. I guess if something isn't good enough to stand without its allusions it isn't good enough at all.

    T. S. Eliot, Dante (2nd edn., London, 1965)

    In my own experience of the appreciation of poetry I have always found that the less I knew about the poet and his work, before I began to read it, the better. … At least, it is better to be spurred to acquire scholarship because you enjoy the poetry, than to suppose that you enjoy the poetry because you have acquired the scholarship.

    What is surprising about the poetry of Dante is that it is, in one sense, extremely easy to read. It is a test (a positive test, I do not assert that it is always valid negatively), that genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 16-01-2019 at 09:26 AM.

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  11. #38
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    Ulysses is just one of many huge books I've always put off reading, though less for it's length than the suspicion that most of it will go over my head.

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  13. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Then again, I read an Eliot essay on Dante recently in which he advises to read it first without hoping to understand all the allegorical meanings and much less the arcane historical references. I guess if something isn't good enough to stand without its allusions it isn't good enough at all.
    Seems spot-on to me. Every communication a human being ever has, they're always struggling to understand things that aren't made explicit by their interlocutor, trying with difficulty to piece together links so that they might understand the whole and enter the world of the other (if of course they are interested in bothering with such close listening) - so art that laboriously tries to make everything transparent and understandable, is unreflective of the complexity of the human experience.

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  15. #40
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  16. #41
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    Is that Littlefinger?
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  17. #42
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    A tedious man called Kenneth Goldsmith

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by other_life View Post
    listened to mckenna's take on it finally... getting very tempting...
    worried that this is going to do my head in more than trying to grapple with the Tanakh, but at least it seems rippingly funny.
    do you have a link for that? i was thinking of reading 'ulysses' in june.

  19. #44
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    It's on YouTube but Robert Anton Wilson has an infinitely better grip on it. I love Terry McKenna but his Wake riff is not his best.

  20. #45
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    i think i might have listened to both before, but have forgotten it all. they both are influenced by mcluhan's views as well right?

    i'll try and find them and listen again

    (i am interested again in RAW and mckenna after a bit of a gap cos i read the tao lin book 'trip' recently. it's quite good - the non-fiction sections at the start are a bit hit and miss but the best bit is where he writes himself as the third person in a longish final chapter, a sort of novella i suppose, and describes going on a trip to SF to take part in a 'plant drawing' workshop with kathleen harrison (= mckennas ex-wife) where people basically draw plants/leaves under magnifiers to get a sense of the fractal nature of things. so it becomes less about drugs per se and more about perspectives in general... sorry wandering off topic a bit here)

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