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28-Year Journey Culminates: California Book Club Conquers Procrastination to Complete Epic Tome

28-Year Journey Culminates: California Book Club Conquers Procrastination to Complete Epic Tome

The completion of the 28-year-long reading of “Finnegans Wake” by a procrastinating book club in California highlights the perseverance and dedication of its members, as well as the enduring allure of challenging literature.

In a remarkable feat of determination, a book club in California has finally completed their reading of James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” after 28 years. The novel, known for its experimental style and complex language, is widely regarded as one of the most difficult works of fiction in Western literature. The book club members, who began their journey in 1995, would read just one page of the novel before spending hours discussing its intricacies and interpretations.

The group’s monthly meetings, held at the Venice branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, provided a supportive and collaborative environment for tackling the challenging text. Even when faced with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the book club adapted and continued their discussions through virtual Zoom calls. Their dedication and commitment to the book ultimately paid off, as they reached the final page of “Finnegans Wake” on October 3, 2023.

The completion of this monumental reading endeavor not only showcases the perseverance and resilience of the book club members but also highlights the enduring appeal of difficult literature. Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” has long been recognized as a masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of language and narrative conventions. Its dreamlike and fragmented style challenges readers to engage with the text in unique ways, often requiring the assistance and support of reading groups.

The book club’s organizer, Gerry Fialka, a filmmaker, expressed his humble approach to the lengthy reading project, stating, “I don’t know if I tried to foresee anything. I guess I don’t think, ‘This is going to last long.’ I just do it.” Fialka’s dedication to the group and their shared reading experience exemplifies the power of literature to bring people together and foster a sense of community.

As we celebrate the accomplishment of this California-based procrastination book club, we are reminded of the importance of perseverance, collaboration, and the enduring value of challenging literature. The completion of “Finnegans Wake” after nearly three decades is a testament to the power of literature to inspire and engage readers, even in the face of daunting obstacles.

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