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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life--Which book was so far over your head you almost didn’t come up? (254 comments)

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  •  Finnegans Wake by Ulysses (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Diana in NoVa, Brecht, barbwires

    My sister, who lived in Ireland, used to cite Finnegan's Wake to me in casual conversations.  About ten years ago, she died suddenly and I thought I should pick up and read the book.  Oh Dear God... I couldn't get passed the first page.  Way over my head.  Here's an excerpt from it:

    riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend    1
    of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to    2
    Howth Castle and Environs.    3
        Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passen-    4
    core rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy    5
    isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor    6
    had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse    7
    to Laurens County's gorgios while they went doublin their mumper    8
    all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to    9
    tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a    10
    kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all's fair in    11
    vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a    12
    peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory    13
    end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.    14
        The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-    15
    ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-    16
    nuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later    17
    on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the    18
    offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan,    19
    erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends    20
    an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes:
    WTF?????   If you would like to read some go here:

    This book is one of those secrets my sister took to her grave.  I will never know about why Finnegans Wake is such a great book.

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