I was a bit apprehensive as December 21 approached. I had only a few pages to go & I’d be half way through Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. I love the book, but sometimes I only get a few lines in & then it takes me somewhere else. Then the next time I’ll read 15 or twenty pages before being swept away. But it’s been slow going. I’ve been at it for years. Always makes me laugh. & it’s just so damn hilariously Irish when I read it aloud, which is my favorite way to enjoy it, if not the usually most convenient. You can only imagine the strange looks I get from folks when they hear something like, “That a head in thighs under a bush at the sunface would bait a serpent to a millrace through the heather. Arm bird colour defdum ethnic fort perharps?”.
Luckily for me, the world didn’t change Friday, so I got to read on in FW & finally made it to the middle of the cycle. As rewarding as starting in the middle of the final sentence, knowing it all goes round & round, & how everything thereafter has been, the reward at the center of this masterpiece is nothing short of stellar, as great literature goes (it’s even got one of the 100 letter words). This is what I just read…
‘Thus as count the costs of liquid courage, a bullyon gauger, stowed stivers pengapung in bulk in hold (fight great finnence! brayvoh, little bratton!) keen his kenning, the queriest of the crew, with that fellow fearing for his own misshapes, should he be himpself namesakely a foully fallen dissentant from the peripulator, sued towerds Meade-Reid & Lynn-Duff, rubbing the hodden son of a pookal, leaden be light, lather be dry & it be drownd on all the ealsth beside, how a camel & where the deiffel or when the finicking or why the funicking, who caused the scaffolding to be first removed you give orders, babeling, were their reidey meade answer when on the cutey (the corespondent) in conflict of evidence drew a kick at witness but (missed) & for whom in the dyfflun’s kiddy removed the planks they were wanted, boob.
---Did do a dive, aped one.
---Propellopalombarouter, based two.
---Rutsch is for rutterman ramping his roe, seed three. Where the muddies scrim ball. Bimbim bimbim. & the maidies scream all. Himhim himhim.’
If those aren’t the most sumptuous words yeev eve her eard, thin eye doe nutkno Watt ewe mite buy trinking.