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The Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake


 Although many explications of Joyce’s book have been written since the book was first published, none displays the lyrical enthusiasm or passion that Campbell and Robinson brought to their deciphering. “Finnegans Wake is above all an essay in permanence,” they wrote in their foreword. “From its perspective, the hopeful or fearful may learn to behold with a vast sympathy the prodigious upsurging and dissolution of forms, the continual transvaluation of values, the inevitable ambiguities, which are the stuff of life and history. Through notes that finally become tuneable to our ears, we hear James Joyce uttering this resilient, all-enjoying, all-animating “Yes”, the Yes of things yet to come, a Yes from beyond every zone of disillusionment, such as few have had the heart to utter.”

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