My Favorite Quotes From Finnegans Wake

James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has been one of my favorite books that I have read so far this year. Part of what makes this books so fun is the clever play on words that James Joyce uses to tell his story. Here are my favorite quotes from this remarkable (and remarkably difficult) book.

(My full review can be read here.)

  • In the ignorance that implies impression that knits knowledge that finds the nameform that whets the wits that convey contacts that sweeten sensation that drives desire that adheres to attachment that dogs death that bitches birth that entails the ensuance of existentiality (pg. 18)
  • For that (the rapt one warns) is what papyr is meed of, made of, hides and hints and misses in prints (pg. 20)
  • Life, he himself once said..  is a wake, livit or krikit, and on the bunk of our bread-winning lies the cropse of our seedfather, a phrase which the establisher of the world by law might pretinately write across the chestfront of all manorwombanborn. (pg. 55)
  • Thus the unfacts, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude… (pg. 57)
  • For dear old grumpapar, he’s gone on the razzledar, through gazing and crazing and blazing at the stars. (pg. 65)
  • Words weight no no more to him than raindrips to Rethfernhim. Which we all like. Rain. When we sleep. Drops. But wait until our sleeping. Drain. Sdops. (pg. 74)
  • Let us leave theories there and return to here’s here. (pg. 76)
  • For we, we have taken our sheet upon her stones where we have hanged our hearts in her trees; and we list, as she bibs us by the waters of babalong. (pg. 103)
  • We who live under heaven, we of the clovery kindgom, we middlesins people have often watched the sky overreaching the land. (pg. 110)
  • Sleep, where in the waste is the wisdom?  (pg.114)
  • Bite my laughters, drink my tears. Pore into me, volumes, spell me stark and spill me swooning, I just don’t care what my thwarters think. (pg. 145)
  • But every honest to goodness man in the land of the space of today knows that his back life will not stand being written about in black and white. (pg. 169)
  • And remember that golden silence gives consent, Mr. Anklegazer! Cease to be civil, learn to say nay! (pg. 193)
  • Loud, heap miseries upon us yet entwine our arts with laughters low! (pg. 259)
  • There’s no Sabbath for nomads… (pg. 410)
  • Never back a woman you defend, never get quit of a friend on whom you depend, never make face to a foe till he’s rife and never get stuck to another man’s pfife. (pg. 411)
  • And one of these fine days, man dear, when the mood is on me, that I may willhap cut my throat with my tongue (pg. 425)
  • Never slip the silver key through your gate of golden age. (pg. 433)
  • We may come, touch and go, from atoms and ifs but we’re presurely destined to be odd’s without ends. (pg. 455)
  • And you’ll miss me more as the narrowing weeks wing by. Someday duly, oneday truly, twosday newly, till whensday. (pg. 457)
  • A dream of favours, a favourable dream. They know how they believe that they believe that they know. Wherefore they wail. (pg. 470)
  • He is cured by faith who is sick of fate. (pg. 482)
  • O foetal sleep! Ah, fatal slip! the one loved, the other left, the bride of pride leased to the stranger. (pg. 563)
  • Others are as tired of themselves as you are. Let each one learn to bore himself. (pg. 585)
  • A flash from a future of maybe mahamayability through the windr of a wondr in a wildr is a weltr as a wirbl of a warbl is a world. (pg. 597)
  • Into the wikeawades warld from sleep we are passing. (pg. 608)
  • Begin to forget it. It will remember itself from every sides, with all gestures in each our word. Today’s truth, tomorrow’s trend. (pg. 614)
  • First we feel. Then we fall. (pg. 627)
  • For all their faults. I am passing out. O bitter ending! I’ll slip away before they’re up. They’ll never see. Nor know. Nor miss me. (pg. 627)



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