Here comes Clay Shirky

I’m reading one of the better Web 2.0 books around instructively and amusingly called Here comes everybody which Peter Gallagher told me today came from Finnigan’s Wake. I thought I was terribly clever when I discovered this book on the net within a day or so of it having been published and had it shipped here by Amazon. And then I saw the paperback sitting smiling back at me at the ‘new bestsellers’ part of Readings Bookshop.  So no brownie points for me. Anyway I recommend the book and the purpose of this post is to tell you that Clay is recorded in conversation with Will Wilkinson on Blogging Heads.  I’ve not yet listened to the podcast (why would anyone sit in front of their monitor and watch it?) but If you’d like to do so yourself the link is here.

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15 years ago

Whoa, hold up. You mean to say that people have actually read Finnegans Wake? Or do you mean Finnegan’s Wake, the song?

15 years ago

“..people have actually read Finnegans Wake?”

I have. And once I finished it I wanted at least 50% of that time back. The problem was I couldn’t work out which 50%.

“The answer was parts of it.”

Sooner or later, some smart young editor at Penguin is going to come up with a volume called “The Curate’s Egg”, a collection of the most readable bits from novels you could never could finish. Chuck in a good introductory guilt-absolving essay from some Hip Brit Lit Crit and voila, the Smartly Upmarket Tongue In Cheek Dummies Guide to Great Books You’ll Never Finish.

Actually now I think about it,it’s probably been done. But ya gotta admit, “The Curate’s Egg” is a great title for a compilation of the best bits of the worse unreadable great novels.

They could start with Moby Fucking Dick and The Magic Bloody Mountain.

Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
15 years ago

I’d definitely read Tolstoy’s War.

15 years ago

Nabs, what you said. I found Finnegan’s Wake is kind of OK if you read it quickly and don’t attempt to go back and reread passages for meaning – just let it wash over you like trance music, and whatever gets into your brain, gets in.

I quite enjoyed the Magic Mountain, but then I used to be a terrible hypochondriac ;-)