Alan O’Riordan on Olwen Fouéré’s Riverrun
There are two ways to read Finnegans Wake: aloud, letting the words wash over you, or with slow methodical parsing, going word-by-word, painstakingly teasing out the implications and associations of Joyce’s polyglot puns and neologisms.
Actually, you could just as easily argue there is only one way to read Finnegans Wake: by combining these two methods. It’s a daunting prospect; and little wonder that, while Ulysses is the work of Joyce’s that many pretend to have read, most are happy to plead ignorance of his final novel.
Luckily for that large cohort, there comes Olwen Fouéré’s Riverrun. Her adaptation and performance follows Anna Livia Plurabelle’s final meditation on life at the closing of the book, a voice that embodies the River Liffey flowing out of time in a death aria that is nonetheless timeless renewal, taking the reader, or in this case the listener, back to the start of the book, via “Howth Castle and environs”. [Read More]
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