Listen: you are an earwitness.

My lover’s discourse

- Mike Zizis

April 13, 2021

{some of us read for the joy, sensuality, laughter, perversions and power of language — and not to discover what the wretched author ‘meant’.}

This book seems unreadable and opaque to so many. Joyce explored the unconscious thru its own language; puns. Explaining humour is seldom funny, but it can be in this case — astonishing.

WIKIPEDIA: Anthony Burgess has lauded Finnegans Wake as “a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page”.


Finn was an ancient Irish hero who was killed and then was reborn; so he was Finn and Finn again.

Fin is French for — finish -The End; the end and the end again {as the infinite cycles of death and rebirth}.

For most of the history of the English language — the letters “F” and “S” were transposable; so the title can also be read Sin and Sin again.


A wake is the Irish celebration at a funeral.
A wake is also what a sailing ship makes as it plows at the surface of the oceans — in this case the waters of the unconscious.
A wake is also awake — as in waking up.



“ The universal human experience that Joyce identifies [in Finnegans Wake] are essentially cyclical, that is, patterned and recurrent; in particular, the experiences of birth, guilt, judgment, sexuality, family, social ritual and death recur throughout the Wake. He frames the rise and fall and rise again, sleeping and waking, death and resurrection, sin and redemption, conflict and appeasement, and, above all, time itself are the matter of Joyce’s essay on us.”

- Fargnoli and Gillespie

“I can’t understand some of my critics, like Pound or Miss Weaver, for instance. They say it’s obscure. They compare it, of course, with Ulysses. But the action of Ulysses was chiefly during the daytime, and the action of my new work takes place chiefly at night. It’s natural things should not be so clear at night, isn’t it now?

Really it is not I who am writing this crazy book. It is you, and you, and you, and that man over there, and that girl at the next table.”

James Joyce ~ Aquarius

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnegans_Wake#A_reconstruction_of_nocturnal_life



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store