Finnegans Wake & Sorrentino

Idea that some of the attitudes expressed in this Sorrentino interview are fairly descriptive of what is going on in Finnegans Wake, thinking particularly of where he says: “Yeah, I think Imaginative Qualities is a novel in which I first began to see the possibilities of… Well, to simplify it: of doing anything I damn well pleased. Literally, of doing anything I damn well pleased.”

The idea is that Joyce couldn’t very well say back then that he was “doing anything he damn well pleased” with FW since there was still this idea that writing mean something and be about things, so he made up this stuff about it being a dream or what have you (although that is a legitimate point of entry into the work.)

Also descriptive of FW is where Sorrentino says, in Imaginative Qualities, “The reader will see how the images of this book persist and reappear. That is because these things themselves are the plot. They carry all the meaning. Isolate flecks.” (“Isolate flecks” is from W.C. Williams:

It is only in isolate flecks that
is given off).

An example of such persistent imagery in FW is the dialogues that recur: Mut & Jute, Mookse and Gripes, Gracehoper and the Ondt, etc.

%d bloggers like this: