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Finnegans Wake by Irish writer James Joyce was first published in 1939. Considered one of the most difficult works in the English language, the book employs a stream of consciousness style of writing, with hidden jokes and linguistic experiments. The book is so complex that eighty years after its publication, there is still no real consensus on what the plot is, or indeed, if there even is a plot. The same goes for characters, with critics still not entirely sure if there are main characters or not.
The initial response to Finnegans Wake was almost completely negative, even by those close to the author, some believing the book to be a joke, some merely saying it was incomprehensible. H. G. Wells wrote to Joyce asking - 'who the hell is this Joyce who demands so many waking hours of the few thousands I have still to live for a proper appreciation of his quirks and fancies and flashes of rendering?'
However, it's unusual style led it to be studied and analysed - something it seems Joyce had planned on. He once made a comment that only by making it obscure, and therefore neccessary to study, could he be sure it would be around for a long time.
This book has 219,068 words, 342 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1939.
Production notes: This ebook of Finnegans Wake was published by Global Grey on the 18th October 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Apple Tree' by Gustav Klimt.
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