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Finnegans Wake is a unique book written by author James Joyce (note the JJ in the center of the graphic above). One of its most fascinating characteristics is that the book begins with the fragmented end of sentence and ends, thousands of words later, with the beginning of that same sentence. The book is a loop (LOOPER?), amongst many other things.

Wikipedia says this of Finnegans Wake:

Significant for its experimental style….
the entire book is written in a largely idiosyncratic language,

consisting of a mixture of standard English lexical items
and neologistic multilingual puns and portmanteau words,
which many critics believe attempts to recreate the experience of sleep and dreams. 

Compare this to what Filomena Caldeira says of Coriolis:

with Coriolis containing his most radical experimentations with language (Fn5, p214)

Straka did make more frequent use of dream sequences in Coriolis
and in this book than in his earlier works. (Fn12, p274)

And what Edsel B. Grimshaw says of Coriolis:

the bloated and incoherent Coriolis…
was either a disastrous literary experiment
or a monument to muddle-brained narcism

Now compare what Jen says in the margins (p161)…

Straka was obsessive enough to do it —
there’s that anagram binge he goes on near the end of Coriolis.

…to this one-sentence-anagram-binge from Finnegans Wake (there are hundreds more)

All the vital-mines is beginning to sozzle in chewn
and the hormonies to clingleclangle, fudgem,
kates and eaps and naboc and erics and oinnos on kingclud.

Finnegans Wake is so difficult to read that few have, and even fewer understand it. One of those who claims to have unlocked its hidden meaning is Joseph Campbell,  a noted influence of J.J. Abrams. He wrote a book entitled The Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake to explain it.

The book is full of musical references, as we know that S.” is as well.

Ron Hale-Evans, author of Mindhacker, says his three most influential books are…

  1. Gödel, Escher, Bach,
  2. The Glass Bead Game
  3. Finnegans Wake

As we have shown previously, both Gödel, Escher, Bach and The Glass Bead Game have strong influence on “S.” 

Finnegans Wake is similar to the other two works in that the book itself is a loop (or braid) and everything seems to relate together. See the graphic above, created by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in 1946, which reminds me of how everything connects in Terra Australis Incognita as well.

Perhaps we now have a bibliographical trifecta to help us better understand “S.” Our library shelf continues to grow.

Retweeted by Doug Dorst

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