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The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake

Overview

James Joyce's use of ten one hundred-letter words in Finnegans Wake has always been an intriguing feature of that novel. Eric McLuhan takes a new by placing the Wake in the tradition of Menippean satire, where language is used to shock and provoke. Seen in this light, Joyce's peculiar language and style become part of this Menippean tradition through his use of the linguistic 'thunderclap'.

The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake is the first book to examine this strangest and ...

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Overview

James Joyce's use of ten one hundred-letter words in Finnegans Wake has always been an intriguing feature of that novel. Eric McLuhan takes a new by placing the Wake in the tradition of Menippean satire, where language is used to shock and provoke. Seen in this light, Joyce's peculiar language and style become part of this Menippean tradition through his use of the linguistic 'thunderclap'.

The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake is the first book to examine this strangest and most prominent aspect of the language of the Wake, and explain its use in the context of classical Greek literature. Each thunderclap is a resonating logos that represents a transformation of human culture. McLuhan presents the thunders as encoding Joyce's study of ten major communications revolutions, ranging from neolithic technologies such as speech and fire, through cities, the railroad, and print, to radio, movies, and television. Seen in this fashion, Finnegans Wake is both an encyclopedia of the effects of technology in reshaping human culture and society, and a complete training course for detecting the changes in sensibility occasioned by new media.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
McLuhan editor, "McLuhan Studies", worked closely with Joyce scholar and technoculture theorist Marshall McLuhan, and many of the insights in the present volume were foreshadowed in Marshall McLuhan's writings and observations about culture and technology. The author places Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" in the tradition of Menippean satire, where language is used to shock and provoke, and examines his use of the linguistic "thunderclap" in the form of ten one hundred- letter words that represent transformations of human culture and major communications revolutions. Includes extensive notes and appendices. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802009234
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric McLuhan is an author, editor, and teacher. He has worked closely with Marshall McLuhan, with whom he studied Finnegans Wake. He now lectures and writes on media and society, and edits the journal McLuhan Studies.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Cynic Satire 3
Finnegans Wake as Cynic Satire: An Ancient Attack on Modern Culture 14
The First Thunderclap: The First Technologies 41
The Second Thunderclap: The Prankquean: She (Stoops) to Conjure - Courtship by Piracy 56
The Third Thunderclap: HCE, The 'New Womanly Man' 75
The Fourth Thunderclap: The Fall of the Garden Itself 93
The Fifth Thunderclap: Belinda the Hen 110
The Sixth Thunderclap: The Phoenix Playhouse 133
The Seventh Thunderclap: Radio 152
The Eighth Thunderclap: Sound Film: The Royal Wedding 172
The Ninth Thunderclap: The Reciprocating Engine 192
The Tenth Thunderclap: Television: The Charge of the Light Brigade 213
Conclusion 235
Afterword 240
App. 1 On the Composition of the Thunders 243
App. 2 Outline of the Menippean Tradition 254
App. 3 The Rhetorical Structure of Finnegans Wake 257
Notes 267
Bibliography 325
Index 335
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