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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