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"'For his Diligence Majesty our long distance laird that likes creation': the Finnegans Wake creative."

Professor Len Platt, Professor of Modern Literatures, Goldsmiths University of London

Lecture held on Wednesday 5th March 2014 at St Mary's University, Twickenham


Joyce’s last great work is not comprised of many borrowed styles, like Ulysses, but, rather, formulated as one dense, tongue-twisting soundscape. The language of the Wake is based on English vocabulary and syntax but, at the same time, self-consciously designed to function as a machine with an astonishing capacity for resisting singularity of meaning. It also wrecks almost all our standard ways of thinking about what being creative in literary culture means. This talk will consider what kind of creative practice went into the formation of this text and how the Wake shifts our understanding of the aesthetics of creativity.

About the Speaker

Author of Joyce and the Anglo Irish (1998) and Joyce, Race and Finnegans Wake (2007), Prof. Platt is currently working on Scottish neo-nationalism and formations of national identity in contemporary Scottish literature. His interest in literature and place, especially marginalised place, is currently focused on how literatures of various kinds have represented the lsle of Sheppey, located fifty miles from London on the Thames estuary, from the seventeenth century to the present day. His work on musical theatre and cultural exchange between London and Berlin (1890-1940) is being published by Cambridge University Press next year.

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Image credit:
Joyce Images by Bob Cato and Greg Vitiello, W.W. Norton & Co., NY (1994).