Finnegans Wake

comic fiction by James Joyce

Finnegans Wake is the last book written by the Irish writer James Joyce. It was published in 1939.

He started to work on this book in 1924 and published parts of it under the titles "A New Unnamed Work" and "Work in Progress". He did not complete until seventeen years later, in 1939. During this time he faced many hardships, such as having no money, eye problems and family problems.

Finnegans Wake is a very hard book to read, even for people who read a lot of literature,[1] because Joyce uses several languages and creates new words that come from combinations of old and new English and other languages as well.

It can be understood as the story of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker and his family. But it is an experiment more than a story.

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  1. John Bishop opened his introduction to Finnegans Wake in 1999 with these words: "There is no agreement as to what Finnegans Wake is about, whether or not it is 'about' anything, or even whether it is, in any ordinary sense of the word, 'readable'." (John Bishop's "Introduction" to the 1999 Penguin Books edition of Finnegans Wake, p. vii)