But sometimes you get the real thing, as with James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Like Chinese Democracy and Vineland, Finnegans Wake took 17 years, as everybody wondered how Joyce could follow a masterpiece like Ulysses. The Wake inspired a book of critical essays before it even came out, based on the “Work in Progress” fragments he published in lit mags. But when the Wake arrived, the long wait was forgotten, because it turned out to be another masterpiece that gave everyone more interesting problems. And now MBV is the new My Bloody Valentine masterpiece, ever since it arrived on February 2nd, which happens to be the same date Joyce published Ulysses in 1922, on his birthday. He was hoping to release Finnegans Wake on February 2nd as well, but it took him a few more months. (Joyce and Shields are Irish guys. Ever wait for an Irish guy to show up on time? Don’t.)
Go read Rob Sheffield’s thoughts on the new My Bloody Valentine record.