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Other titles in the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series:
A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: James Joyce's Masterwork Revealed - Study Notesby Joseph Campbell
Synopses & Reviews
Since its publication in 1939, countless would-be readers of Finnegans Wake — James Joyce's masterwork that consumed a third of his life — have given up after a few pages and dismissed it as a "perverse triumph of the unintelligible." In 1944, a young professor of mythology and literature named Joseph Campbell, working with Henry Morton Robinson, wrote the first "key" or guide to entering the fascinating, disturbing, marvelously rich world of Finnegans Wake. The authors break down Joyce's "unintelligible" book page by page, stripping the text of much of its obscurity and serving up thoughtful interpretations via footnotes and bracketed commentary. A Skeleton Key was Campbell's first book, published five years before he wrote his breakthrough Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Book News Annotation:
An earlier edition is cited in Books for College Libraries, 3d ed. Before he became a famous mythographer, American academic Campbell (1904-87) and novelist and poet Robinson outlined Joyce's 1939 work page by page and chapter by chapter, simplified and clarified the complex images and allusions, and provided a continuous narrative from which readers can venture out on their own. It was published in 1944. The re-issue is part of an effort to make available Campbell's unpublished and out-of-print work.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Perhaps most responsible for bringing mythology to a mass audience, Joseph Campbells works rank among the classics in mythology and literature: Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume The Masks of God, The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, and many others. Among his many awards, Campbell received the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contribution to Creative Literature and the 1985 Medal of Honor for Literature from the National Arts Club. A past president of the American Society for the Study of Religion, Campbell was professor emeritus at Sarah Lawrence College in New York until his death in 1987.
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