“transluding from the Otherman”: Translation and the Language of Finnegans Wake

  • Steven G. Yao


More than sixty years after its publication in 1939, Finnegans Wake remains a towering mystery, casting its enormous and obscuring shadow over our collective understanding of the Modernist period. The considerable and still growing mass of commentary that has accumulated over the even longer time since it began appearing piecemeal in 1924 under the provisional title Work in Progress, some of it instigated by Joyce himself, has done much to illuminate its purposefully murky interior. Yet the book persists as a blank spot, a nebulous zone of imposing and inchoate darkness, on virtually every map of Modernism. Indeed, for some, it has come to represent a crucial test for any account of Modernist literature. So, Terry Eagleton has asserted that any theory of Modernism, or indeed of literature in general, must at some point come to grips with, or else come to grief over, Finnegans Wake.2


Foreign Language Mother Tongue Literary Production Conceptual Impetus British Colonial 
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© Steven G. Yao 2002

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  • Steven G. Yao

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