Reading James Joyce’s Ulysses is no walk in the park. Why else would so many people falsely claim to have read it. (See our post from last week, 20 Books People Pretend to Read.) But Finnegans Wake is a whole ‘nother deal. Joyce’s final work is considered one of the most difficult works of fiction ever written, and contrary to Ulysses, the novel “has some claim to be the least read major work of Western literature,” according to Joyce scholar Lee Spink. Put simply, people don’t even bother reading … or pretending to read … Finnegans Wake (unless, of course, they live in China, where the novel reached the #2 position on a Shanghai bestseller list earlier this year.)
But I digress: why don’t readers even give Finnegans Wake a shot? The illustration above perhaps says it all. The web site stammpunct.com has created a visual showing what happens when you run a page of the novel through a spell checker. It yields a lot of red, and then some more red. A framable print of this visual can be purchased at stammpunct for $35.
Copies of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake can be downloaded from our collection of Free eBooks. And you can hear James Joyce reading ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle’ from Finnegans Wake here. It was recorded in 1929.
via The Paris Review