Anyone with any interest in Finnegans Wake will welcome the appearance of the website Fweet (which claims to stand for Finnegans Wake Extensible Elucidation Treasury and to be pronounced “thweet,” but you can ignore both those pieces of possible misinformation). The Prologue explains how the compiler, Raphael Slepon, began by putting annotations to the book on his computer for easier access and how he “came up with the idea of setting up a website, allowing others to browse and search the collection.” But you can ignore that too; all you really need is the search engine and the tutorial and you’re good to go. Don’t ignore the tutorial, though; the tour guide gets quite testy and you may end up with blood-stained fingers and a torn vest. Right, then, off you go. This way to the museyroom. Mind your hats goan in!
(A deep bow in pf’s direction for the link.)


  1. I wish the text were there, too, with the annotations hyperlinked or tooltipped to the words and phrases they apply to. I have long thought that Finnegan’s wake would be most profitably read read (studied, really) in a fully annotated / footnoted version, similar to various Shakespeare editions and Bibles, rather than going back and forth to the Skeleton Key and other explications. A group collaborative reading would be a great way to do this, like the Pepys Diary blog (www.pepysdiary.com). Nonetheless, with 71,000 notes from various sources, this site should be a good navigation tool.

  2. Martin, I’m a cut-rate genie, so I can only grant one wish: The Finnegans Wake reading list – you can subscribe from the email address on this page is such a group collaborative reading – one page a week (they’re currently on page 482), plenty of glosses and intelligent discussion – in fact, that’s where I got the link to fweet.
    As for the fully annotated/footnoted version, you can make that yourself. You take your copy of McHugh, unbind it, take your copy of the wake, unbind it and xerox it at twice size (so the page size matches McHugh), and rebind it interleaved, so each McHugh page faces the page it annotates. Then you have space left on each page or its annotating face to put in your own notes, from conversation or discussion, your own research, or you can go straight through Hart or Senn and simply add whatever bits strike your fancy to your own version.

  3. Thanks PF, I’ll check that out.
    Until hyperlinking came along, the low-tech interleaving solution is kind of what I had always thought would be my approach, should I ever get the time to launch it. But Joyce, and FW in particular, does seem uniquely suited to a fully electronic annotated version.

  4. Martin, I am even less of a genie than PF is, but I have the added (dubious) benefit of being the maintainer of the Fweet website. This note is just to let you know that, following your comment, I have added a feature to Fweet, enabling the display of Finnegans Wake text alongside the elucidations (just use the “Show FW Text” option on the search engine page (it is not on by default)). As for hyperlinks or tooltips, I don’t like the idea of having to move my wrist all the time, just to see the elucidations for one more word or line; I prefer to just move my eyeballs. I also don’t like the idea of the website contents not being easily printable, so don’t expect much along that way. One last tip about genies and wishes. At least as far as it concerns Fweet, you have a much higher chance of having your wishes fulfilled if you post your comments through Fweet’s Comment on Me! page… ;^)
    Ta, Raphael

  5. Raphael, you’re such a comment whore!

  6. No comment…
    (P.S. thanks for the link to my site, by far the most active yet)

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