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:]
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