I want Finnegans Wake to be the last book I ever read. Searching on the internet, I just came across this famous line from Joyce's book of night:
We expect you are, honest Shaun, we agreed, but from franking machines,
limricked that in the end it may well turn out, we hear to be you, our belated,
who will bear these open letter. Speak to us of Emailia.
I then remembered the image of a franked package that graced the cover of Evergreen Review #14. This issue of Evergreen was published in Sept./Oct. 1960 and D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover was on everybody's dirty mind. Lawrence's classic was in the process of being cleared in the UK and the US courts in 1959/1960. Ulysses and Judge Woolsey's decision of 1933 provided the test case. The passage in Finnegans Wake comments on the censorship of frank literature by Customs and the Post Office and the franking of books and magazines as obscene. The passage also makes me think of Big Brother rifling through the mail and tampering with letters. Then there are the obvious connections for these themes to digital media, email, viruses, and spyware, which Joyce seems to predict. It is mind-blowing.
It will take me an eternity to unlock the mysteries of Finnegans Wake to say nothing of this small passage. Here's to decades of health and well-being to prepare for the experience.