Saturday, March 18, 2023

James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” (1939) and Christoph Irniger’s Pilgrim at the Bird’s Eye in Basel

While reading James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" (1939), I arrived at a thunder word: "Lukkedoerendunandurraskewdylooshoofermoyportertooryzooysphalnabortansporthaokansakroidverjkapakkapuk" (FW 257.27-28). Just then I heard clapping from the audience; Christoph Irniger and his band Pilgrim were just going on stage at the Bird's Eye in Basel last night. The next word caught my eye: "Byfall" (FW 257.29), an English spelling of the German for "applause" ("Beifall"). And I saw the next word: "Upploud" (FW 257.30). The "upplause" at the end of the first set was indeed loud; the last tune was "Back in the Game", which the next sentence in "Finnegans Wake" also seemed to comment on: "The play thou schouwburgst, Game, here endeth" (FW 257.31). (Andrew Shields, #111words, 18 March 2023)

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