Thursday 31 January 2013

rivverrun past Eve and Adam's...

Here's a surprising story from far Cathay - they're lapping up a Chinese translation of Finnegans Wake (can it really be translated?). Not everyone is impressed though, a state-approved professor declaring that 'Joyce must have been mentally ill to create such a novel', while author Li Jie says sales of Finnegans Wake are being 'pushed by a current of unprecedented vanity'. He may well be right; FW might be a book for having on your shelves rather than reading, or attempting to read.
  I blush to recall that when I attended my admission interview at an august seat of learning, I boldly lied that I had read Finnegans Wake all through. I had in fact read parts of Anthony Burgess's short version, and reasoned that there was no way I could be cross-questioned on this, as plainly my interviewers hadn't read it either. This was not the only farcical element of an interview in which at one point I found myself arguing in favour of armed revolution (I felt like Miranda in one of those moments when she turns to the camera in helpless bewilderment, unable to believe what is coming out of her mouth). Instead of picking me up by the scruff of my neck and the seat of my trousers and chucking me out, the fools let me in.


  1. You bastard, I really had read Finnegans Wake - well, in a manner of speaking. I'd forgotten your revolutionary past

  2. Stark insensibility again.

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