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James Joyce's Finnegans Wake

ENGL 358.301
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

In this seminar we'll read all of Joyce's final work, his literary
"collideorscape," his book of the night. We'll become acquainted with various
scholarly approaches to the book as well as with different ways of wrestling
with it in the scene of reading. In addition, we’ll be looking at a handful of
texts that are detectably rocking in the wake of the _Wake_—texts that respond
to Joyce’s in some way, whether by rejecting it, imitating it, modifying it,
riffing on it, wishing it hadn’t happened while riding in its backdraft. We’ll
read these works mostly for what they offer on their own, making sure to ask
more than “how is this like or unlike the _Wake_?” But we will also try to see
how Joyce's book is by turns germinal and terminal—both culturally generative
and, as George Steiner thought, a beautiful corpse, an engrossingly dead end.