Wakeipedia: Experimenting with Finnegans Wake Data

Who knew that Finnegans Wake would one day be reduced to cells in a spreadsheet?

For a long time, I wanted to do experiments with Finnegans Wake and data visualizations. A recent assignment gave me this chance, so I quickly got to work. The first thing I had to do was figure out my dataset. Obviously Finnegans Wake is fiction and relies heavily on an idioglossia of Joyce’s design so it might be tough to pinpoint distinct data points for the book. This meant that I had to take a step back and look at the book from a very removed perspective to start -what better a dataset for this book than its own lexicon and frequencies? Studying the Wake in the past led me to remember a couple of different online tools like Fweet, which is a search engine for the book, and Finwake which is an online annotated version. However, the most useful gathered data would have to be from Eric Rosenbloom’s Concordance of Finnegans Wake which he compiled apparently in the late 1990s. Throughout this project, there will definitely be certain data constraints considering the fact that no major datasets have really been constructed for the Wake.
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Returning to MTurk: It’s Still Impossible to Make Money

In the past I used MTurk because my brother found it to be a decent money maker back when he was in high school in 2008. I was curious after doing class readings to revisit Amazon Mechanical Turk and see what’s new on the platform. When I first logged on, I noticed that my hit history was available: 17 hits submitted for a grand total of $12.20. It probably took me at least a couple of hours to make it that far. During our reading, we learned about the harsh realities of MTurk where 52% of users make less than 5 dollars an hour.

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My Time as an Editor for DHNow

Housekeeping

As an editor-at-large for DHNow, your job is to nominate content that will eventually be pushed by the system’s feeds. The system they use is extremely similar to dh+lib where PressForward allows the editors to both view and nominate the content that gets picked up by their submissions and subscribed feeds. First I want to give a thanks to Jenna for providing a detailed guide on the entire PressForward system featured on both DHNow and Dhlib – that guide can be found here. To amend a small detail to that guide: one of the best features about it is the fact that you can keep track of which articles you have read already by ticking a small “Mark as Read” button on the upper-right hand corner of the article.
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Wakeipedia: An Extended Reading of Page 1 of Finnegans Wake

It’s time to use technology to rid ourselves of our inherent fear of Finnegans Wake. The first time you pick up Finnegans Wake, a fierce mix of feelings flow through your veins even as you read the first fragment starting with the word “riverrun.” Wait, fragment? How could a book possibly start with a fragment? Who allowed this! At this point, it doesn’t matter. Finnegans Wake exists whether or not your traditional self can handle it, and I’ve provided a couple of modern ways that could help you understand this modernist text. I’m in no way trying to impose a type of interpretation, but rather leaving you, the reader, to your own devices to try to figure out what’s going on here. The point is, anyone can pick up Finnegans Wake and with the right tools, understand it. Don’t worry, I’m as stumped as you are.

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Hypertextuality in Finnegans Wake

Hypertextuality in Finnegans Wake

 

There is no apex of study for Finnegans Wake. Readers should be looking towards hypertextual references, or imagined connections based off of previous elucidations to further study the Wake. Reading the Wake should consist of searching for more answers to further understand the text. To start, all instances of reading comprising of just an aesthetic purpose, or a reading trying to find authorial intention notion compromise hitting the pith of what the Wake aims to relay to readers. The former option is too removed, and the latter is too engaged. What needs to be met is a level removed from both, to find a middle ground: one that accepts that the author’s intention to be ever-expanding even posthumously and a text that always seems to be morphing with every individual reader’s experience. An acceptance of the resources that exist to expound the text should be utilized to the fullest extent. Meanings should continue to be tacked onto the work through hypertextual references, and the accessibility of the elucidations should only add to the scholarship.

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