Neal Kosaly-Meyer: Finnegans Wake

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, Part II, Chapter 2, performed from memory, and with acute attention to musical detail, by Neal Kosaly-Meyer. Performed in darkness. Duration is approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Since 2014 Neal Kosaly-Meyer has been performing the chapters of James Joyce’s final novel, Finnegans Wake, from memory and with close attention to the music Joyce himself claimed to be the most important characteristic of his book. The chapters of Part II are especially noted as being the most difficult and obscure things Joyce ever wrote, with Chapter 2 by common consensus the most formidable. The chapter is presented as a textbook, complete with footnotes, and also right and left hand marginal notes. There is substantial agreement (with important confirmation from the author himself), that the footnotes and marginal notes should be understood as the voices of the three children of the pub-keeper HCE, locked in their room with their textbook to do their homework. In performance the rather forbidding page transforms to a comic quartet acted out between the staid over-serious schoolbook on one hand, and the constantly mocking and interrupting students on the other.