Listen to James Joyce read from FINNEGANS WAKE!

joyce1.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object).

Recording of Joyce reading from “Anna Livia Plurabelle” in Finnegans Wake. Soak up the weirdness.

You are listening to: Book I, Chapter 8, pages 213.11-215.11. [I’ll try to find the slightly longer version of this recording that goes up to 216.5, the end of both Chapter 8 and Book I — “Dark hawks hear us. Night! Night! My ho head halls. I feel as heavy as yonder stone. Tell me of John or Shaun? Who were Shem and Shaun the living sons or daughters of? Night now! Tell me, tell me, tell me, elm! Night night! Telmetale of stern or stone. Beside the rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of. Night!” — The end of the chapter is my favorite part, especially how he reads it!]

[N.B. – “213.11” denotes page 213, line 11 in the Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition (with an Introduction by John Bishop).]

“The text is that of the first edition of Finnegans Wake published by Faber and Faber, London, and The Viking Press, New York, 4 May 1939″ (FW xxix).

Surrender the need to be master of everything! I find Bishop’s Introduction incredibly reassuring:

“. . . any reader can enter Finnegans Wake and find something to absorb him – as long as he or she doesn’t expect to find it all in one place or, complementarily, understand everything else that appears around it. It is even possible to argue, with this same logic, that Finnegans Wake may be more accessible to the common reader than Ulysses – or, for that matter, War and Peace or Remembrance of Things Past – since one doesn’t need to comprehend it as a totality to profit from it or enjoy it. Students of literature in particular, accustomed as they are to understanding most words in every sentence of every prose work they read, are apt to experience frustration in reading a text constructed along these lines, where it can sometimes seem that one is doing extremely well if one makes sense of only a sentence or two on a single page. If however, one surrenders the need to be master of everything – or even most things – in this strange and magnificent book, it will pour forth lots of rewards.”
(FW ix)

[Read the actual Finnegans Wake/”Anna Livia Plurabelle” text BELOW:]

[11] Well, you know or don’t you kennet or haven’t I told you
every telling has a taling and that’s the he and the she of it. Look,
look, the dusk is growing. My branches lofty are taking root.
And my cold cher’s gone Ashley. Fieluhr? Filou! What age is at?
[15] It saon is late. ‘Tis endless now senne eye or erewone last saw
Waterhouse’s clogh. They took it asunder, I hurd thum sigh.
When will they reassemble it? O, my back, my back, my bach!
I’d want to go to Aches-les-Pains. Pingpong! There’s the Belle
for Sexaloitez! And Concepta de Send-us-pray! Pang! Wring out
[20] the clothes! Wring in the dew! Godaveri, vert the showers! And
grant thaya grace! Aman. Will we spread them here now? Ay,
we will. Flip! Spread on your bank and I’ll spread mine on mine.
Flep! It’s what I’m doing. Spread! It’s churning chill. Der went is
rising. I’ll lay a few stones on the hostel sheets. A man and his bride
[25] embraced between them. Else I’d have sprinkled and folded them
only. And I’ll tie the butcher’s apron here. It’s suety yet. The
strollers will pass it by. Six shifts, ten kerchiefs, nine to hold to
the fire and this for the code, the convent napkins twelve, one
baby’s shawl. Good mother Jossiph knows, she said. Whose
[30] head? Mutter snores? Deataceas! Wharnow are alle her childer,
say? In kingdome gone or power to come or gloria be to them
farther? Allalivial, allaluvial! Some here, more no more, more
again lost alla stranger. I’ve heard tell that same brooch of the
Shannons was married into a family in Spain. And all the Dun-
[35] ders de Dunnes in Markland’s Vineland beyond Brendan’s herring
pool takes number nine in yangsee’s hats. And one of Biddy’s [End of 213]

beads went bobbing till she rounded up lost histereve with a
marigold and cobbler’s candle in a side strain of a main drain
of a manzinahurries off Bachelor’s Walk. But all that’s left to the
last of the Meagers in the loup of the years prefixed and between
[5] is one kneebuckle and two hooks in the front. Do you tell me
that now? I do in troth. Orara por Orbe and poor Las Animas!
Ussa, Ulla, we’re umbas all! Mezha, didn’t you hear it a deluge of
times, ufer and ufer, respund to spond? You deed, you deed! I
need, I need! It’s that irrawaddyng I’ve stoke in my aars. It all
[10] but husheth the lithest zswound. Oronoko! What’s your trouble?
Is that the great Finnleader himself in his joakimono on his statue
riding the high horse there forehengist? Father of Otters, it is
himself! Yonne there! Isset that? On Fallareen Common? You’re
thinking of Astley’s Amphitheayter where the bobby restrained
[15] you making sugarstuck pouts to the ghostwhite horse of the
Peppers. Throw the cobwebs from your eyes, woman, and spread
your washing proper. It’s well I know your sort of slop. Flap!
Ireland sober is Ireland stiff. Lord help you, Maria, full of grease,
the load is with me! Your prayers. I sonht zo! Madammangut!
[20] Were you lifting your elbow, tell us, glazy cheeks, in Conway’s
Carrigacurra canteen? Was I what, hobbledyhips? Flop! Your
rere gait’s creakorheuman bitts your butts disagrees. Amn’t I
up since the damp of dawn, marthared mary allacook, with Corri-
gan’s pulse and varicoarse veins, my pramaxle smashed, Alice
[25] Jane in decline and my oneeyed mongrel twice run over, soaking
and bleaching boiler rags, and sweating cold, a widow like me,
for to deck my tennis champion son, the laundryman with the
lavandier flannels? You won your Limpopo limp fron the husky
hussars when Collars and Cuffs was heir to the town and your
[30] slur gave the stink to Carlow. Holy Scamander, I sar it again!
Near the golden falls. Icis on us! Seints of light! Zezere! Subdue
your noise, you hamble creature! What is it but a blackburry
growth or the dwyergray ass them four old codgers owns. Are
You meanam Tarpey and Lyons and Gregory? I meyne now,
[35] thank all, the four of them, and the roar of them, that draves
that stray in the mist and old Johnny MacDougal along with [End of 214]

them. Is that the Poolbeg flasher beyant, pharphar, or a fireboat
coasting nyar the Kishtna or a glow I behold within a hedge or
my Garry come back from the Indies? Wait till the honeying of
the lune, love! Die eve, little eve, die! We see that wonder in
[5] your eye. We’ll meet again, we’ll part once more. The spot I’ll
seek if the hour you’ll find. My chart shines high where the blue
milk’s upset. Forgivemequick, I’m going! Bubye! And you,
pluck your watch, forgetmenot. Your evenlode. So save to
jurna’s end! My sights are swimming thicker on me by the sha-
[10] dows to this place. I sow home slowly now by own way, moy-
valley way. Towy I too, rathmine.

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