Ximena Perez-Grobet, “Finnegans Wake”


Published title FINNEGANS WAKE, by Faber and Faber, 1965.


Same title altered by the artist, and rebound in its original hard cover.


Double page of book altered by cutting the printed pages and knitting them all together


Texture of the knitted page


Image of the altered book closed with all the knitted pages


Artist: Ximena Perez-Grobet (Barcelona, Spain)

Title: Finnegans Wake (2013)

Medium/technique(s): Altered book: published title knitted by the artist and rebound

Edition size: unique

Number of pages: 450 pages knitted in four volumes

Dimensions, open: 22 x 31 x 3.5 cm

Dimensions, closed: 14 x 22 cm


Artist statement:

Finnegans Wake is a novel written by James Joyce in 1939, which is considered one of the most complicated books to read in English literature and very famous for its experimental style of writing.

The idea of this book, was to show visually, the complexity of the writing for which this novel is known. For that purpose, I bought a published edition by Faber and Faber of 1965, and worked with it as described:

-First the book was unbinded in order to have all the pages separately.
-The pages were all cut in stripes in order to be able to make threads with them.
-Every page is knitted with needles with the same order as the pages had in the book.
– Once all the threads of 450 published text were knitted, the book was rebinded in its original hard cover,  keeping the original title page.
-The altered and knitted pages were thicker than the originals, so for that purpose, the one original volume came out as four new altered volumes with the whole text knitted and bound in them.

This way, the altered and new book gives a new way to see how difficult it still is to read this novel, giving a new look were visual complexity gives you an interesting texture and relates once again to the same complexity of with which it was written.

It is a way to show formally, the complexity of which the author worked with the text to write this novel but in an aesthetical way.