Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It Was a Perfectly Baton Rouge Bloomsday

in that no one, including myself, remembered to bring a copy of Ulysses with us. It was for the best. We engaged in the grand Irish tradition of drinking and talking shit on a Monday laced with literary pretension.

I don't know why I'm so into this whole thing right now. I went through a Joyce phase about 10 years ago. Maybe I'm now figuring out what I can do with this stuff.

I land on a couple things as I dragged through Finnegans Wake the other day. That book is less a novel than it is an oracle, little bits of genius linked together into a web that catches everything.

for instance, here are some of the speculative leaps one is tempted to make:

The diasporation of all pirates and quinconcentrum of a fake like
Basilius O'Cormacan MacArty? (Part:3 Episode:13)

Did a young upstart writer named Charles McCarthy change his name to Cormac when he came across this passage in Finnegans Wake? The Cormac McArthy Society says this:

Originally named Charles (after his father), he renamed himself Cormac after the Irish King (another source says that McCarthy's family was responsible for legally changing his name to the Gaelic equivalent of "son of Charles").

Considering much of his work involves the spreading out of thieves and the unravellings of many layers of a man to reveal his falsehood, I say maybe so.

Semperexcommunicambiambisumers (Part:1 Episode:6)

Roughly: those who are always excluding, walking and walking, and using things up. That would be us.

-- My dear sir! In this wireless age any owl rooster can peck up bostoons. But whoewaxed he so anquished? Was he vector victored of victim vexed? (Part:3 Episode:14)

I snapped a picture of this sentence on my cell phone and uploaded it because I thought it sounded like a heavy pronouncement about my obsession with this new device, which makes me feel like the world can now be easily captured and filtered through me, titrated for meaning, and of course , in doing this very thing I became one of any owl rooster (night or day) that can do that very thing, immediately vexed and victim of the vectors over which I proposed to be the victor. And the anguish of that realization being what I am waxing about at this very moment.

Finnegans Wake is supposedly one night of the whole world spiriling down into one mind. I have heard it said that if you take all the locations in FW, half are in Europe, half of those in the British Isles, half of those in Ireland, half of those in Dublin, half of those in the neighborhood in which he lived, etc etc etc. If that is true, then the book becomes a telescoping parabolic drain with the world's experiences, or, even better, a black hole (justified and popularized by Einstein in 1916, FW was started in 1922) pulling everything, bending light (language) to its gravitational will, the center, the narrator, until its combines and and reduces and becomes The Singularity.

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