So I thought I'd make my first thread here at XKCD epic; that is, obscure, hilarious, intellectual, and disturbing. Just like the webcomic itself.
I'm reading Finnegans Wake right now, and it is fast becoming one of my favourite books of all time. Those who find the seeming lack of coherence impenetrable, I understand, but this is a book that NEEDS to be read.
For example, in 1.1:
Our cubehouse still rocks as earwitness 14
to the thunder of his arafatas but we hear also through successive 15
ages that shebby choruysh of unkalified muzzlenimiissilehims that 16
would blackguardise the whitestone ever hurtleturtled out of 17
heaven. Stay us wherefore in our search for tighteousness, O Sus- 18
tainer, what time we rise and when we take up to toothmick and 19
before we lump down upown our leatherbed and in the night and 20
at the fading of the stars ! For a nod to the nabir is better than wink 21
to the wabsanti. Otherways wesways like that provost scoffing 22
bedoueen the jebel and the jpysian sea. Cropherb the crunch- 23
bracken shall decide.
This is one of the most thickly word-play and pun-laden paragraphs I've ever read, and one of the most enjoyable to parse. Nearly every word is a play or pun... the one that gets me laughing and in awe most is "unkalified" - a word only an equal of Shakespeare and Goethe could have dreamt up ("arafatas" is a close second!)
I don't know whether it will be obvious to anyone, but this paragraph is about the Muslim Kabba (cubehouse) where a meteor (rock, whitestone) is guarded (blackguardised), the rules and rituals Muslims follow (their "search for tighteousness", the "nod to the nabir", etc).
I get chills thinking about how much effort went into those 10 and a half lines. Give it a shot sometime. Close-reading is a must.