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The Other NightDreaming, Writing, and Restlessness in Twentieth-Century Literature$
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Herschel Farbman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228652

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228652.001.0001

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Finnegans Wake

Finnegans Wake

(p.89) Four Finnegans Wake
The Other Night

Herschel Farbman

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines Finnegans Wake, a work of comic fiction by Irish author James Joyce. It argues that writing has never thrown questions back at its questioners with as much energy as Finnegans Wake. Full of exclamations, historical presents, onomatopoeia, and the most extreme exuberances of free indirect discourse, the text presents an uncanny enargeia that suggests a living presence. Faced with a new kind of literary enigma, the first critics of Finnegans Wake developed the interpretive scheme through which the book is still most often seen. According to this scheme, the elusive subject of the Wake is, in one way or another, “a dream”. The word “wake” names many things at once in the title of Finnegans Wake: Irish waking of the corpse; staying awake in the night; following in the wake of a fallen giant; and waking up from sleep.

Keywords:   Finnegans Wake, James Joyce, enargeia, exclamations, dreams, onomatopoeia, indirect discourse, wake

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