Finnegans Wake (Audio: Lecture III.1.5)
This talk, the fifth in Volume 1,“The Mythic Novels of James Joyce” is entitled “Finnegans Wake.” It was recorded at the Esalen Institute on November 27, 1983.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell and author Henry Morton Robinson provided an in-depth analysis of this James Joyce masterpiece. Since the book (Joyce’s final one) was dismissed by many as unintelligible, Campbell and Robinson offered their explanations via their critique of Thornton Wilders’ “The Skin of Our Teeth”. The Campbell/Robinson collaboration is entitled “A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake” which in turn was based on an article they wrote entitled “The Skin of Whose Teeth”. In this audio lecture, Campbell walks you through the book with mythical insight, humor and wisdom.
“Well, ‘nathandjoe,’ turn that around and you get ‘Jonathan.’ Jonathan Swift was in Dublin, sort of an important misanthropic writer, and humorous writer, who, in his old age, fell in love with two girls, Stella and Vanessa, and the writings of old Jonathan to these two girls are well known. So, ‘sosie sesthers,’ two young girls, ‘wroth with twone nathandjoe,’ but Susanna and the elders, is the name that’s in there, the young girl in the bible and the old men spying on her.”