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Finnegans Wake (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

James Joyce , Robbert-Jan Henkes , Erik Bindervoet , Finn Fordham
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Jun 2012 Oxford World's Classics
is both an outrageous epic and a wildly inventive comedy that rewards its readers with never-ending layers of meaning. This edition helps readers get past its reputation for difficulty in order to enjoy its astonishing originality and imaginative achievement.

Frequently Bought Together

Finnegans Wake (Oxford World's Classics) + A Reader's Guide to "Finnegans Wake" (Irish Studies) + A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: Unlocking James Joyce's Masterwork (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (14 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199695156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199695157
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The eldest of ten children, James Joyce was born in Dublin on the 2nd of February 1882. Despite his family being impoverished by his father's failings as a business man, Joyce was educated at the best Jesuit schools and later in 1898 at University College Dublin. His first published work was a review on Ibsen's play When We Awaken in the Fortnightly Review in 1900. Upon graduating, Joyce moved to Paris in pursuit of a medical career. Before long, he gave up attending lectures and devoted himself to literature. He returned to Dublin as a result of the fatal illness of his mother and shortly afterwards, in 1904, Joyce met Nora Barnacle who was later to become his wife. The young couple travelled to the continent and in 1905 settled in Trieste where they were to remain until 1915. Joyce's first book Chamber Music was published in 1907 as a book of poetry and Dubliners followed in 1914.

The Joyces had two children; Giorgio, born 1905 and Lucia in 1907. Lucia was to develop a disturbing mental illness which greatly affected the family and would remain a prominent factor for the rest of Jocye's life. During the First World War Joyce moved to Zurich where he remained until 1919 when he moved to Paris to work on what is widely understood as his greatest and most prodigious work, Ulysses. After being worked on for eight years, Ulysses was published in Paris in 1922 on Joyces Birthday. It could be true to say that in Ulysses, Joyce attempts to 'know' everything and to add to this 'knowledge' by creating his own language. Joyce's highly experimental and revolutionary work positioned him firmly as one of the key figures of modernism.

As spoken to Georges Borach, one of Joyce's students in Zurich, Joyce comments that 'there are indeed hardly more than a dozen themes in world literature. Then there is an enormous number of combinations of these themes.' He goes on to denounce all the thinkers of the last 200 years and to position Aristotle as the 'greatest thinker of all time.' Such statements are testimony to Joyce's determination in his quest for knowledge, to know what knowledge was and to challenge it. Joyce greatly admired authors such as Dante, D'Annunzio and Ibsen.

Joyce was greatly admired by many authors including Italo Svevo, author of Zeno's Conscience who he met in Trieste and, Samuel Beckett who he met in Paris.

Product Description


'And low, stole o'er the stillness the heartbeats of sleep'

In Chapelizod, a suburb of Dublin, an innkeeper and his family are sleeping. Around them and their dreams there swirls a vortex of world history, of ambition and failure, desire and transgression, pride and shame, rivalry and conflict, gossip and mystery. This is a book that reinvents the novel and plays fantastic games with the language to tell the story of one man's fall and resurrection; in the intimate drama of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker and his wife Anna Livia, the character of Ireland itself takes form. Joyce called time and the river and the mountains the real heroes of his book, and its organic structure and extraordinary musicality embody his vision. It is both an outrageous epic and a wildly inventive comedy that rewards its readers with never-ending layers of meaning.

In the introduction to this newly set edition, which faithfully maintains the original page layout, Finn Fordham guides the reader through the novel's complexity, and suggests a range of ways into the book.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

About the Author

The editors have provided a lucid introduction and a chapter-by-chapter outline which gives one at last a vague hold on what's going on, but it's not overburdened with notes, which frees one to stop worrying and just enjoy the surrealism and exuberance of Joyce's language. (Independent on Sunday)

Robbert-Jan Henkes and Eric Bindervoet are writers, translators, and artists based in Amsterdam. They translated

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best edition yet 13 Oct 2013
Joyce's last great work is a 628 page book of comic prose, written in a language that shares some elements with English as we know it, but relies heavily on multilingual puns and other effects that make it seem at first wholly impenetrable. The clues are there, however, and since the book's publication in 1939 a dedicated following of Joyce scholars have set out to elucidate its many difficulties.

This edition, in Oxford World's Classics, is the most helpful that I have found so far. Having tried the Faber (small print, no introduction), the Penguin (good introduction by Seamus Deane, brief chapter summaries) and the Restored (baffling introductory and afterword texts, questionable repagination), I've been enjoying Finn Fordham et al's expert handling of the text in this Oxford edition. The chapter summaries are particularly helpful, and no reader will want to be without them. More succinct than Campbell or Tindall, and inevitably less thorough than McHugh's 'Annotations', the Oxford edition is surely the quickest way into this deeply puzzling text.

As Anthony Burgess said about Jeri Johnson's superb edition of 'Ulysses' in its 1922 text (also in the OWC series), "this is the one to get".
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake Up To Genius 17 Mar 2013
It's a novel, Jim, but not as we know it. There is an attractively modernist cover, printed pages with lots of words (many only vaguely familiar to this reader) and, as customary with an Oxford edition, an introduction that elucidates and entertains. As for the text, the standard Joycean themes stand out in digital high-res from the fog of yer man's invented language. We get: an obsession with the nature and tincture of women's underwear; plenty of drinking (Guinness and Jamesons) and arguing in the pub; Irish mythology by the truckload delivered in a medley of Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster accents; and a whole load of English and continental European culture thrown in for good measure. What's the story? Hard to say, everything really. What does it mean? Whatever its sounds suggest to you (it's worth reading out loud). Is it any good? When is JJ anything other than brilliant? Should you buy it? Ah, go on, go on, go on...
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake 12 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Finnegans Wake, past the book panned left with virtue. Alistair spoke, "Yes this does get my goat." though with simple genuflection the ward did come down with the force of nine. The language, the language, forth with night. "Oh dear my young ones". Like Bite Fight Mite Sight, Right? Universal. Fall. Wake. Rise. And then after thomas and James traversed, winter with fun and night, a long time with no love. At least his fall was frightful, all year round with thomas and James. You never know until you try, previous historically completely and utterly wrong. Zippy zump pump thrump. "oh"

A pleasant read.
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