so I’m catching up on Kerouac and I read he was a Joyce fan so I grabbed Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake and I’m glad the introduction writer stated with a clear sympathy that the reader should not feel stupid for not being able to understand or follow anything in Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.
Didn’t take long to see what the introduction writer meant. Got my wife to read some of it and she began to read some of it aloud while I fixed tea in the kitchen and I can say that had I not known what was going on or if someone would speak that way, say, in a restaurant, like sitting by themselves, yeah, one might hypothesize a few screws loosened and jiggled free while on a hotair balloon ride over the ocean or an ocean. I too wasn’t sure what to make of it. Left it alone for a few nights.
But just a bit ago I reached for it and pulled it close to me and slipped a thumb in and got ‘er open and fell on a random passage and this time really got into it.
My feeling about Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake so far: that it is thick, really thick, and you can easily see what begins never quits, and you can see really quick if it’s something you’ll want to or not spend much time with. But if you start getting into it, you’ll feel great gladness the thing is as thick as it is, and you can play with one page or one of those long and puzzling paragraphs for a long time.
At the risk of sounding too highbrow, I will say the most honest thing I can remember saying, and that is that I would love to make something like that. Wouldn’t dare expect to do it at that level, but in the way of being able to open up to any random page or paragraph and sort of drink a few lines or slip a few words out like they are crystal mosaic pieces and carry them with you in your pocket all day and just stick your hand in your pocket and rub those crystalline mosaic pieces and they’d just feel good that way.
I know that’s dreaming at this point. But a guy can dream. Right? A guy can dream.