[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wake_9279.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:280:A more accurate title, many will find]]

->''Despite these obstacles, readers and commentators have reached a broad consensus about the book's central cast of characters and, to a lesser degree, [[NoPlotNoProblem its plot]].''
-->-- TheOtherWiki on ''Finnegans Wake''

''Finnegans Wake''[[note]]The lack of apostophe is deliberate. If you want rigidly accurate grammar and spelling, this is definitely not the book for you.[[/note]] is a 1939 novel written by Creator/JamesJoyce. It took him 17 years to write, and may take nearly as long to read, as it is completely written in an idiosyncratic, made-up language that vaguely resembles English spoken with a thick Irish brogue (although it contains elements, usually obscure puns, from over 60 world languages).

Critics and scholars disagree about a lot about this book, but most agree that it portrays a man's dream, and that it's full of complex, layered allusions and jokes. Arguments still rage as to whether it has a plot.

Some people have suggested that reading it out loud is the easiest way to understand it, but if you attempt this feat, TV Tropes [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope disclaims all responsibility]] for any long-term effects on your throat, vocal chords, or sanity.

If you would like to read a description written in the same style as the book, see ''SelfDemonstrating.FinnegansWake''.
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!!''Finnegans Wake'' contains examples of these tropes:

* AllJustADream: A common EpilepticTree, possibly supported by WordOfGod. Not to mention the word "wake" can mean either a funeral ceremony or [[CaptainObvious waking up]].
* ArcNumber: 1132 appears repeatedly, both as a date and in various addresses. [[note]]AD 1132 saw the defilement of a nunnery at Kildare, particularly marked by the rape of the abbess; the man who ordered the attack, Dermot mac Murrough, did so as a move to make the abbess unfit for her office and force her removal in favor of a kinswoman of his own. Mac Murrough's lust for power caused a great deal of internal strife, and it was he who, some thirty-seven years later, offered an allegiance with the Normans which became the second (after the Vikings came in in the 9th century) of many long and humiliating occupations of Ireland. James Joyce, like many, traced Ireland's history of oppression, treachery, and sectarian strife firmly back to the rape of the abbess of Kildare.[[/note]]
* AuthorAvatar: To a certain degree, HCE does represent Joyce; but he also represents many other things as well. Shem the Penman can also be seen as a stand-in for Joyce, and is used frequently by Joyce to view himself critically.
* BilingualBonus: More like ''Nonalingual'' Bonus. As the HurricaneOfPuns entry below states, you'd have to be fairly knowledgeable in nine different languages (not including English) to even understand more than half the jokes.
* BookEnds
* DoingItForTheArt: The man spent 17 years writing a novel that's borderline impossible to read. The man had gone ''partially blind'' by the time he finished it. Parts of it were ''dictated''. Read a paragraph and just imagine having to write and edit it without being able to see what you're writing it on.
* FootnoteFever: Many scholarly editions of the book.
* GenreBusting: To the point where TheOtherWiki, which is usually very good at finagling a book into a particular genre, simply gives its genre as ''sui generis''.[[note]]That's "one of a kind" for those unfamiliar with the expression.[[/note]] Of course, the first sentence of the article identifies it as "a work of [[SurrealHumor comic fiction]]" as well.
* GuideDangIt: [[RunningGag A rare non-video game usage of the trope,]] as the richness of references used in ''Finnegans Wake'' need to be listed and referenced in a separate volume which will typically be about as massive as the text itself.
* HerCodenameWasMarySue: HCE, as noted above; plus a number of the minor characters are based on his acquaintances.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Almost '''''every single word of the book''''' is a wordplay of some sort, or part of a wordplay. And Joyce didn't limit the puns to English, either -- by some official estimates, he crammed words from about '''''sixty separate languages''''' into the book, and you would have to know at least ''nine'' different languages other than English (including Latin, Greek, and especially Gaelic) to get half of the jokes.
* IHaveManyNames: Most everyone, thanks to the shifting dream-like writing.
* LongList: Used frequently.
* MindScrew: No shit, Sherlock.
** TheWalrusWasPaul
* {{Neologism}}
* NoEnding: Take a look at the first and last 'sentence'.
* NoPlotNoProblem
* PatterSong: ''The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly''[[note]] from ''perce-oreille'', French for "earwig" [[/note]] has elements of this and WordSaladLyrics.
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: So full of them that you'll reach the same level of comprehension if you tried to achieve osmotic pressure by holding the book in your hands.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Shaun and Shem, although to a far lesser degree this is true of most of the main characters.
* {{Portmanteau}}: Just as an example, the word listed below under WrittenSoundEffect is made up from the words for "thunder" in ten different languages.
* ResetButton: If you notice the [[spoiler: ''first'' sentence of the novel and compare it to the ''last,'' you can see that the last one can continue the first sentence, this starting the cycle once again.]]
* RuleOfSymbolism: Extensive, if cryptic, references to CelticMythology, the Phoenix Park Murders of 1882, the Egyptian Book of the Dead and EgyptianMythology, among many many others.
* ShadowArchetype: Twins Shaun and Shem are each other's shadows; it's also possible that alternate name pairs like "Jerry and Kevin" indicate a higher order of shadowing.
* ShoutOut: Not in, but from the book, we have two. "Quark" was borrowed from here to name the subatomic particle. JosephCampbell also first saw the word "monomyth" in its pages.
** The title of the book comes from an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl7axmO4A24 Irish ballad]] that can itself be rather hard to understand.
* WordOfDante: See the top quote on this page.
* WordOfGod: And thankfully quite a bit of it; although even this can be [[DeathOfTheAuthor debated among critics]]. One that stands out is Joyce saying he was "[[AllJustADream writing of the night]]".
* WorldOfPun: Every sentence.
* WrittenSoundEffect: The thunderclap on page one.[[note]]Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk![[/note]]
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