Books: Funagain

A SHORTER FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce, edited by Anthony Burgess. 256 pages. Viking. $6.

Even the Irish, with their taste for enjoying their troubles, admit that a wake can go on too long for everybody but the corpse. And Finnegans Wake is the longest wake in history. It is also the most conjested wake in history: hundreds of fictional and historical characters dance attendance on poor Finnegan as he is laid out over 628 pages.

These and other things have not helped its readers in the 28 years since James Joyce's labyrinthine masterpiece was...

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