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.
Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.