On Beckett – Krapp and Databases

Relational databases have been rationalized and implemented since the 1970s as the successor to traditional navigational based databases that computers originally used. Relational systems initially depended on content within the database rather than standard links. Within these relational systems would exist a key, or rather a piece of content that would exist across all tables within the database to string tables together. These relations would loop together when information is to be queried by a database navigator. This loop functions much like the tapes that Krapp uses to tap into his memories, rendering his collection a database, and his querying of information a search through tables or sound bytes to relay desired information.


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Book Review: Strange Gourmets: Sophistication, Theory and the Novel


Joseph Litvak’s Strange Gourmets: Sophistication, Theory and the Novel looks to relay the true value of sophistication, and reconstruct the bridge between the class distinctions of sophistication and sexual politics. The definition of sophistication has changed throughout the years with the constant metamorphosis of cultural structures.  Sophistication is taken out of its current context of engendering “worldliness,” and re-framed to show how it originally was taken: as a sort of perversion. Throughout the book, Litvak provides a close reading of two of Jane Austen’s novels, Vanity Fair, In Search of Lost Time, and both Adorno and Barthes in relation to Litvak’s conception of this new (and old) definition of sophistication. The problem with this book is that it gets caught in defining its own criticism throughout the pages. If his angle of argument was more properly defined in the introduction (or his passage on the cultural critics was placed earlier), it would have allowed the reader to better focus on and understand his critique of the content.

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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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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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