Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses, James Joyce
set himself even greater challenges for his next book the night.
"A nocturnal state...That is
what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." The work,
which would exhaust two decades of his life and the odd resources of some sixty
languages, culminated in the 1939 publication of Joyce's final and most revolutionary
masterpiece, Finnegans Wake.
A story with no real beginning or
end (it ends in the middle of a sentence and begins in the middle of the same
sentence), this "book of Doublends Jined" is as remarkable for its
prose as for its circular structure. Written in a fantantic dream language,
forged from polyglot puns and portmanteau words, the Wake features some of Joyce's
most brilliant inventive work. Sixty years after its original publication, it
remains, in Anthony Burgess's words, "a great comic vision, one of the
few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page."
For more than seventy years, Penguin
has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking
world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf
of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers
trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and
notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date
translations by award-winning translators.