The Coach With the Six Insides

James Joyce's novel FINNEGANS WAKE is notorious for its undecipherability. But somehow Jean Erdman, wife of mythologist Joseph Campbell (himself a Joyce expert) decided the book could be transformed into a dance.

See video after snapshot.

     Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 06, 2023
     Category: Literature | Music | Unsolved Mysteries | 1960s | Dance

No challenge. Finnegans Wake is the easiest possible book to make into dance / live drama. You simply do anything that comes to mind (or doesn't – even better). No matter what it is, you can say it's following the novel.

I was in a seminar of James Joyce's work; mostly we spent the term on Ulysses, which is an astonishing work of art. For our last meeting, we spent the entire day reading the first PAGE of Finnegans Wake. It's so far out there, it's only of use to cryptographers-in-training, IMO. Fancy a sample? Here ya go:

"What clashes here of wills gen wonts, oystrygods gaggin fishy-gods! Brékkek Kékkek Kékkek Kékkek! Kóax Kóax Kóax! Ualu Ualu Ualu! Quao uauh! Where the Baddelaries partisans are stillout to mathmaster Malachus Micgranes and the Verdons cata-pelting the camibalistics out of the Whoyteboyce of Hoodie Head. Assiegates and boomeringstroms. Sod's brood, be me fear!"
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 09/06/23 at 09:06 AM
Didn't I hear Malachus Micgranes and the Verdons in 1979?
Posted by Dr. Fian on 09/06/23 at 09:53 AM
Starting with the song itself is a cheap trick.

@Virtual: I half agree with you about Ulysses. I think it's a book very much worth reading, but very much not worth re-reading. I'm not sure whether it's astonishing or a work of art, but it's one of the two - and definitely not the combination.
Also, I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes.
Posted by Richard Bos on 09/09/23 at 05:30 AM
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