July 16, 2004

Read around in Emer Nolan's James Joyce and Nationalism for this article I'm working on. I skipped some of the chapters on The Dead and only read some of the ones on Ulysses. I was reading it for what it had to say on Finnegans Wake mainly. She has an interesting take on the book. Seems to argue that the book is clearly anti-colonial (she uses post-colonial). And that it couldn't have been written out of any situation except colonialism. But also wonders what it means that the critics can so consistently explain this away. Doesn't really go into all that much the way that modernist language politics, or what reads to us still as moments of language difficulty, have so consistently been read as apolitical and what that tells us about us right now and not about modernism. Instead she sees postmodern as clearly being read as postcolonial, which might be somewhat true and also somewhat not, but lets "us" be on the good side. I keep wondering if this question of critical misreading matters or not. Does it discredit the Wake, or the project of the Wake, if the critics keep reading it wrongly (it isn't even like there are that many critics of Finnegans Wake; it might be least read canonical book of all time; perhaps Stein's Making of the Americans gets second prize)? I like how she takes on the critics though. 
Anyway still trying to muck my way through the Finnegans Wake part of this article. I fell off the paper writing wagon. I was trying to jump from article writing wagon to prose writing wagon. And then I fell in the middle. Now trying to get back on article writing wagon and attempt transition again. July sucks I think.

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