In his 2013 essay ‘Distraction Theory: How to Read While Thinking of Something Else’, Michael Wood describes a conscientiously ‘attentive’ reading of one word in Finnegans Wake. The novel’s hero ‘will be ultimendly respunchable for the hubbub caused in Edenborough’. ‘Edenborough’ has substantial interpretative possibility. Wood guides us through that word to the Garden of Eden, to Edinburgh, to Dublin’s Eden and Burgh quays, to Burke and Hare and their predilections for body-snatching. He stops there, but he could have gone on. In Finnegans Wake, meanings, locales, and histories multiply almost indefinitely as readers maintain their focus on one word, to such an extent that a ‘full’ reading becomes both practically and intellectually impossible. ‘[T]he richness of the story itself … becomes a...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this article.