Drawing the Wake: Reading ‘Finnegans Wake’ through drawing at MMU Special Collections

Creative Tourist
Clinton Cahill

Drawing the Wake: Reading ‘Finnegans Wake’ through drawing at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, Manchester 3 January — 17 March 2017 Entrance is free

Finnegans Wake took James Joyce 17 years to write. Published in 1939, it was his last and most extraordinary prose work. Despite influencing diverse creative fields, it remains more referred to than actually read; its experimental language discourages many from discovering the book’s lyricism, depth and outrageous humour. Often regarded as the preserve of scholars, it has a reputation for requiring guides, annotations and other interpretive aids to understand it. So what happens if we read it simply for itself, as a novel?

Drawing the Wake presents practice-based research by Clinton Cahill, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Manchester School of Art, using notational drawing to capture interior visual impressions in the moment of reading. The exhibition includes items from the International Anthony Burgess Foundation archives and original drawings for images posted in the Illuminating The Wake blog for the James Joyce Centre, Dublin. The exhibition is an outcome of a PhD research project funded by Manchester School of Art through MIRIAD.

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