Analysis and Discussion - Book One Chapter One of Finnegans Wake.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Welcome to the Wake, everyone. The next few weeks are going to be fun!

Off the bat, let me tell you what my professor told the class about this book. Your head will explode at some point. Just work through it.

You have all probably read the introduction to the text by this point and have probably paged through it a bit so I suspect you have some idea what you are in for. I will spare you the speech about "this is going to be X Y Z" etc.

Instead, I am gonna say this. Chapter One isn't the easiest part of this text and it isn't where my class started. But it is where we are going to start. It is the history of the world, more or less. It starts out before the Fall of Adam in the garden and then basically traces Adam's fall with parallels to various bits of history (waterloo), geography (eden is/isnt phoenix park in Dublin/Dyoublon?), and, believe it or not, some bit of plot.

In this chapter, we meet our protagonist, HCE. That is all I will really say for now, for this first chapter I just want you to dig in and give it a go. It's 27 pages and goes from rivverrun to trouble in edenburrough. Short, sweet, hard as hell and really interesting.

What can you come up with?


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