Finnegans Wake FAQ number zero: Isn’t the book a joke?

No, it’s not a joke, not in the way you mean. Joyce spent roughly the
last 17 years of his life writing it. During much of this time he was
practically blind, and had to find new ways to work, such as in crayon
(really), and with the help of sighted friends such as Samuel Beckett.
Joyce filled at least 55 notebooks with detailed notes for the Wake,
returning to the text over and over to add new layers of meaning.

Finnegans Wake is a funny book, but it’s not a joke.


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