But if we make the same mistake in literary criticism, if we make the egregious assumption that we can paraphrase the text of a writer such as James Joyce, then we run the inherent risk of reducing literature to a by-line appropriate incident, a captioned picture in a bad daily newspaper.
The simple fact of the matter is that in order to translate the written word, we must re-write the word, and in essence, re-write the work. The lethal mistake is to attempt a simple, or in more appropriate terms, readable explanation of the work.
We must take into account the fact that literature exists in a state deserving of in-depth analysis, and if we fail to do so, then that which we love and live by--the written word--will atrophy and suffer a pitiful demise.
In approaching a subject like Finnegans Wake, one must always take into account the minions that have been there before, and realize that simple hyperbolic whining will not suffice in bringing new light to an amazing work.