Thursday, January 14, 2016

Back Jacket Hack-Job #8: FINNEGANS WAKE

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
Well, hey there everybody!  Welcome back to our recurring series Back Jacket Hack Job.  I'm sure you'll pick up what it's all about fairly quickly, but if not you can take a look back at our introductory post.  Oh, and we here at Across the Board are always eager to hear from fresh talent, so if you'd like to write your very own BJHJ and have it featured here on the site, just feel free to reach out to me or one of our other contributors.

Since last time I wrecked up my own novel, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS, I thought this time I would feature something a little more popular.  In fact, I thought I would feature a work that towers over all others, the crowning achievement of history's greatest author.  I refer, of course, to the greatest English-language novel of all time: 

Ah, FINNEGANS WAKE.  Normally when writing the back cover of a novel I would start with the characters.  Except...that there are none.  Or, well, there may be some.  There could either be thousands or there could be a few iterations of the same five or so.  One of whom might go by the initials HCE?  No one's really sure. 

So characters are right out.

But that's all right.  I'll just outline the plot.  Well...except...the thing about that is...there is no plot.  I mean, there may be a plot.  But if there is it has something to do with a family sleeping and the text of the novel being their dreams or possibly their shared dream?  Honestly it's really not that clear. 

So plot is right out.

That's all right, though!  HARRY POTTER would still be just as fascinating if all you knew about was Hogwarts Academy.  So let's just jump right into the setting.  Well...only...the thing about that is...there's no setting.  I mean, there might be a setting.  It's possibly that there's a house that everyone's sleeping in.  Except...even scholars don't really know for sure.

So setting is right out.

Um.  Not a whole lot to work with here.  Oh!  I could explain the title!  Except...well...there's no one named Finnegan.  And they don't have a wake.  And it's probably not even really about the wake of a guy named Finnegan because then the title would be FINNEGAN'S WAKE with an apostrophe and not FINNEGANS WAKE which may or may not be a play on words about a group of people named the Finnegans who wake up.  Except nobody really knows.

So the title is right out.



You know what, when all else fails, you can throw an excerpt on the back cover.  So let's do that.  And I don't want there to be any spoilers, so let's just grab a couple lines from the first page.  And here we go:


Uh...capti...captivating stuff there, Mr. Joyce. 

Jesus Christ.  Maybe there's a diagram that could explain it.  Hang on, let me check online.  Oh shit!  There is.  Check this out:
Oh...kay.  So, uh, there...there you go everybody!  There's your back cover for FINNEGANS WAKE.  That should just about clear everything up.  Enjoy?


Carrie Beckort said...

I'll admit, I didn't know anything about Finnegans Wake. Now, thanks to your Hack, I see that I have known everything about it all along! Thanks :-)

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

It's a bit tricky. :) Thanks for the comment, Carrie!

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