From the Guardian....
I've finally got round to Finnegans Wake. Here's how you read Finnegans Wake: you get a good guide book. You don't expect to read it like an ordinary novel any more than you would complain that Picasso's Weeping Woman
hasn't got her face on right. You take it slow, keep a sense of fun and
don't care about not understanding everything. Read aloud. Listen to
its rhythms because it's music as well as prose. Linger over sentences
that are like holograms. Find yourself mentally using Wake words such as "teetotalitarianism" and "chaosmos". Like Shakespeare and the Bible, the Wake
will begin to throw up the right words for everything. At last
something exquisite and strange begins to happen. You feel you've
wandered into the collective unconscious. Chiming themes emerge, running
through all history and experience, and underneath it all, a family
lives out a small tragicomic drama that is the same human drama that has
been acted and re-enacted since time began.
invokes death and the dying of the light with some of the most sublime
poetry in the English language. It is almost unbelievable, a madly
audacious and impossible work, and I can understand why some people hate
it. But for me it's like falling in love with reading all over again.
Carol Birch will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday 24 August.