2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Finnegans Wake: James Joyce and His Public
Nathan J. Sandbothe
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Widely regarded as one of the most difficult books in the English language, Finnegans Wake (1939) is written in a highly experimental style, meant to imitate the language of a dream, constructed out of a polyglot mixture of puns, portmanteaus, and neologisms. A lack of critical consensus marks the interpretation of the text. This lack of consensus is integral to Joyce's purposes; namely, that Finnegans Wake is about how meaning gets created in a text, and thus his project depends on the misunderstandings of his readers. The serialization of the novel in a Parisian periodical allowed Joyce to see what his readers, both critics and supporters, were thinking. Drawing parallels between Joyce's life and the narrative action of Finnegans Wake, my paper examines the extent to which Joyce's work was affected by the talk of his critics and supporters.

Keywords: James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 309-3
Location: VH 1232
Time: 1:30

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