Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finnegans Wake--a brief digression

Due to the fact that I've skived off with a cold and postponed our gathering till March 3rd, I thought I'd keep this blog active by mentioning a rather remarkable denizen of Santa Cruz who puts our occasional musings on Finnegan to shame. Max Hoff was interviewed on Santa Cruz's own KUSP on the Poetry Show by Dennis Morton on May 10th. If you scroll down here to said date, you will be able to hear the whole thing.

No, this is not for everyone. But if you've made it this far, I'm pretty sure that it's for you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Finnegans Wake--pages 104-108

Although originally I was thinking of this blog being kind of a one post wonder, after last night's meeting it seemed that it might be fun to post a bit as we go along. Keep it fresh in case anyone drops by. It's kind of like waiting for signs of intelligent life in the rest of the universe, but that's okay.

Our Favorite line:

E'en Tho' I Granny a-be He would Fain Me Cuddle

This comes in the midst of a long list of similar "Titles", all of which, supposedly reveal a discrete facet of the whole book or maybe just of the lost letter or maybe they are one and the same.

So far we have eschewed the internet coming to our aid in the midst of the meeting, so I thought I would post a list of words we found ourselves unsure about:


It's not that we don't have a vague idea, but more that we have a little trouble pinning them down.

Don't worry, though. This will all be fuel for another blog.

As far as we can understand, we have left the male principle, condensed down to the initials HCE, and its history behind for awhile and are now in the hands of the female principle, shortened to ALP, the little woman, also a hen, who gathers up the pieces out of the rubble of history and proceeds to move the whole thing forward in a new cycle.

Yeah, I know. That was kind of a spoiler.

I had two favorite moments of the evening. After I had questioned the point of immersing ourselves in the Joycean mythology of the four cycles of time, I read the line we will begin with next time.

Now, patience; and remember patience is the great thing, and above all things else we must avoid anything like being or becoming out of patience.

I fear I shall be sorely tried.

Oh, I almost forgot the second great moment of the evening. When someone up at the bar asked me what we were reading, the bartendress, actually somewhat proud of having a reading group there, did have to ask, "What? You mean you all are still reading the same book?"