Narrative Design in Finnegans Wake: The Wake Lock Picked

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“The first book in fifty years…that actually presents a central thesis for the entire work.” –Bernard Benstock

“An unusual book, often illuminating, sometimes annoying, often well researched, sometimes mistaken…. Written in a simple and direct style immediately accessible to undergraduates as well as to more practiced readers.” –Clive Hart, University of Essex

Making bold claims for a new literary interpretation, Harry Burrell presents a forceful analytical model for understanding Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. He ...

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Overview

“The first book in fifty years…that actually presents a central thesis for the entire work.” –Bernard Benstock

“An unusual book, often illuminating, sometimes annoying, often well researched, sometimes mistaken…. Written in a simple and direct style immediately accessible to undergraduates as well as to more practiced readers.” –Clive Hart, University of Essex

Making bold claims for a new literary interpretation, Harry Burrell presents a forceful analytical model for understanding Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. He argues that Joyce used the genesis story of Adam and Eve as his underlying narrative and interwove it with themes and images from literature and history, thus rewriting the Bible, abolishing the wicked God of the Old Testament, and replacing Him with a gentle, loving female goddess.

Critics and readers of Finnegans Wake have long yearned for “a thread of English meaning” and “a grand unified theory” for the novel but until now have been unable to penetrate its surface language. Burrell unscrambles the puzzle and reveals the basic underlying scheme that allows the reader to connect its extremely diverse parts into a comprehensible narrative. He explains who all the characters are and how Joyce disguised them while utilizing their identities.

Burrell brings a scientist’s approach to his task of interpretation. This strong, probing reading of Finnegans Wake is bound to stimulate controversy and extensive discussion among Joyce lovers.

Harry Burrell is a retired research chemist and former associate professor of chemistry at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is the author of numerous articles in technical journals as well as several articles for A Wake Newslitter.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813014654
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Series: Florida James Joyce
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Ch. 1 Background 1
Ch. 2 The Bible Rewritten 15
Ch. 3 The Origin 27
Ch. 4 A Generic Synopsis of Finnegans Wake 38
Ch. 5 Multiple Personalities 66
Ch. 6 Generic Paraphrases of Bible Segments 111
Ch. 7 Six Generic Paraphrases 133
Ch. 8 The New Theology 191
Bibliography 221
Index 225
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