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The Books at the Wake: A Study of Literary Allusions in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake Paperback – October 23, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0809329335 ISBN-10: 0809329336

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press (October 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809329336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809329335
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John McConnell on August 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Atherton's book is "absotively" wonderful. Appreciating the Wake certainly requires this book. Numerous linguistic influences on Joyce from various authors are catalogued. Particularly interesting is the lengthy analysis of Lewis Carroll's literary influence on Joyce:

1. Carroll is presumably the undisputed inventor of the portmanteau word - a word packed with multiple meanings. Carroll was content to have dual meaning but Joyce packed as many meanings as possible into his words.

2. Carroll (like Joyce) worked with successive alterations of one letter in a word - meat, meet, mate, maze, etc. Sections of the Wake which obliquely referenced Carroll would routinely incorporate this technique.

3. Alice served as an alterego for Joyce's heroine ALP, where "Wonderlawn" is code for the Garden of Eden.

In short, Joyce found much in Carroll's work that (in the case of the portmanteau word, to his surprise) neatly "dovetallied" with his own "work in progress". The Books at the Wake is a fascinating and well-written collection of many more such analyses (Shakespeare, Blake, Vico, etc.).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mike@collapsis.com on March 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Atherton's book helped me begin to understand Joyce's "copy/paste" style. His preface provides an excellent philosphical framework within which the Wake can be understood. His chapters that follow explain in great detail how Joyce used the works of Vico, Swift, and the world's sacred books to construct his masterpiece. Atherton goes on to cite and explain hundreds of Joyce's literary references in Finnegans Wake. This is a good book for any James Joyce fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1997
Format: Paperback
I have been checking the first edition of this book out of my library for months, and am delighted to see a paperback edition in print. It's one of the indispensible guides to the Wake, and I'm glad to see it readily available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Mena Cuevas on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It scares me to think how many hours of
combat the author had to handle to bring
Joyce's hermetic book into daylight.

I am very happy to have click in the "Buy button."

Thanks to the author and, as usual, Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By simon loekle on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading begets reading, and this is nowhere more true than when dealing with Finnegans Wake. Wake work has come a long way since 1959, when Atherton first published this, but I think it remains quite useful, and a it is a book that should be on the shelf of every Waker.
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