With an Introduction and Notes by Professor Len Platt, Professor of Modern Literatures and Head of Goldsmiths Learning Enhancement Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Finnegans Wake is the book of Here Comes Everybody and Anna Livia Plurabelle and their family – their book, but in a curious way the book of us all as well as all our books. Joyce’s last great work, it is not comprised of many borrowed styles, like Ulysses, but, rather, formulated as one dense, tongue-twisting soundscape.
This ‘language’ is based on English vocabulary and syntax but, at the same time, self-consciously designed to function as a pun machine with an astonishing capacity for resisting singularity of meaning. Announcing a ‘revolution of the word’, this astonishing book amounts to a powerfully resonant cultural critique – a unique kind of miscommunication which, far from stabilizing the world in meaning, constructs a universe radically unfixed by a wild diversity of possibilities and potentials. It also remains the most hilarious, ‘obscene’, book of innuendos ever to be imagined.