Finnegans Wake

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Finnegans Wake is the third and last novel written by James Joyce. It is famously more difficult to read than Joyce's magnum opus Ulysses, being entirely written in a stream of consciousness style with eccentric punctuation, numerous arcane neologisms, disjointed subject matter and long passages of apparent nonsense. Some critics have suggested that it is not even written in English; it is true that it contains words taken from other languages, although most of the text is recognisably based in the spoken form of English native to the Dublin of Joyce's youth. One notable innovative feature is that the novel is circular: it begins with the second half of a sentence that is left unfinished at the end of the last chapter.[1]

Despite the difficulties involved in understanding it, Finnegans Wake is not without its admirers, and is hailed by some as a classic work of literature. Even detractors applaud Joyce's daring, and his achievement in fully realising his ideas about experimental writing into a full-length novel.


  1. Literary Encyclopedia: Finnegans Wake