by Romy Pein

This podcast discusses the philosophical nuances to the common practice of cryptography, or “code writing”. Using the book Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, I will examine the text as a form of ciphertext and discuss ways of “decoding” it, such as unscrambling anagrams and use of a bilateral cipher. My focus is on the article, “Joyce and Cryptology: Some Speculations” by Hugh B Staples. I will not only question the existence of cryptograms in the book, but the existence of the human need to define patters for everything in nature we encounter.


Staples, Hugh B. “Joyce and Cryptology: Some Speculations.” James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 3, 1965, pp. 167–173.

A skeleton key to Finnegans wake, Campbell, Joseph, 1904-1987 New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1944

Knowles, S. D. G. “Finnegans Wake for Dummies.” James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 46 no. 1, 2008, pp. 97-111. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353

Joyce, James (1939). Finnegans Wake. Faber and Faber, London.


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