Joyce's Finnegans Wake: The Curse of Kabbalah, Volume 3

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This third in a series continues this non-academic author's ground-breaking word by word analysis of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Joyce's last blessing on mankind. This volume covers chapters 1.5 and 1.6 with the intent to explore them as art objects, to examine how they work as art. By contrast with previous reduction-based chapters, Chapter 1.5 features expansion, One becoming Many. The spirit of the female principle registered in ALP's letter or "mamafesta" hatches the expansion. This chapter honors creativity in literature along with the human female instinct for giving birth to new human potential. An academically-oriented Professor explores but misses the meaning of the letter. Aristotle's concept of the infinite and the legend of Krishna injecting independence in Gopi milk women frame the chapter. Chapter 1.6 brings back the forces of reduction, Many becoming One. Instead of the female hatching the new, here the male spirit smothers new possibilities in favor of control. Shaun hijacks questions put by Shem to others and reduces their potentially different answers to his answer. The charming fable of Mookse and Gripes modeled on Aesop's "sour grapes" explores the schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches; while arguing, both fail to notice the potential presence of the Holy Spirit. These two chapters feature two very different processes, the maternal process and the excremental process, the mother's womb in chapter 1.5 and the colon in chapter 1.6. The mother releases the new child and the colon the same old waste. Distorted spirit in the colon-inspired chapter sponsors Shaun sodomizing his sister. Joyce's masterful synergism of style and content continues. For example: Chapter 1.6 includes a second fable about Burrus [and Caseous], the name suggesting butter. The language used by Joyce takes on the characteristics of butter; like dependent humans, the words change shape and spread easily.
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Published on
Dec 31, 2010
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Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Religion / Judaism / Kabbalah & Mysticism
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Michael Laitman
John P. Anderson
This non-academic author presents his key to opening James Joyce s infamously difficult and endlessly playful novel Finnegans Wake. The key was fashioned in Kabbalah, an ancient Jewish mystical tradition that as interpreted by Joyce champions independent individualism as the path to the highest spirituality. Kabbalah images a universe excreted by the ultimate god, a universe that is necessarily finite and limited that came with its own secondary god that is finite and limited, the god presented in Genesis that issues blessing and curses designed to make mankind fearful and dependent- the curse of Kabbalah. Joyce laid this curse in his dream-like "Book of the Night" in the elastic way that the latent or hidden content of a dream distorts the presentation of dream materials. Acting like a black hole, this curse pressures the main character Harold Chimpden Earwicker to "fall," to become fearful and dependent just like everyone else, that is reduced to the mere initials HCE for "Here Comes Everybody." Joyce traces this curse from the myths in Genesis to the primal horde, the first social organization of humans, to the Oedipal Complex and to nation state warfare such as the Battle of Waterloo. In a groundbreaking presentation, Anderson deciphers word by word the first two chapters and part of the last chapter to show how this key opens the lock. He shows, for example, how the joined ending and beginning of Joyce s wisdom book form the Hebrew word for curse and the ending shows confrontation rather than repression of fear of death as the key to life, to your own wake.
John P. Anderson
This is a reader's guide to Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness as art, not as a page-turner but as art. As he has done with other works of Conrad, Anderson traces Conrad's art in a line-by-line analysis of most of this short novel. Anderson traces the unifying theme of the novel to Nietzsche's ideas in The Birth of Tragedy. Nietzsche interpreted ancient Greek tragedy as a reflection of Dionysian and Apollinian life experiencesof the Greek audience. Apollo was a Greek god of the higher orders of civilization and the civilized restraint and control that is necessary for getting along with others. Dionysus, on the other hand, was agod of nature and fertility and is associated with unrestrained, orgiastic worship. This author shows how Conrad used the contrast between the Apollinian and Dionysian to structure the form and content of the novel: how the contrast holds together the important artistic decisions made by Conrad; how Conrad midwived the rebirth of ancient Greek tragedy as the Congo tragedy-the rape of the Congo by Europeans in the late 19th century; and how this could have happened-how the psyches of the Europeans unraveled in the Congo jungle. In Conrad's rendition, the unrestrained competitive and hostile Dionysian life forces at the heart of nature not only power the teeming jungle but also lurk in the inherited instincts of mankind. The European search for ivory in the Congo brought these primitive instincts to the surface, out of their holes like serpents with venom of a mixture of desire and hate. The high ground of the novel is an irony-in the Congo clothes do not make the man. The European exploiters dressed in the very proper tropical whites are savage in behavior while naked man-eaters are restrained in behavior. As with Nietzsche before him, Conrad's approach anticipated central doctrines of Freud and Jung. Conrad's use of Nietzschean elements gives many modern readers a sense of dread or uneasiness, suggesting that the Nietzschean elements jostle important structures in our unconscious.
John P. Anderson
Fresh from the magic kingdom of Joyce's Finnegans Wake, this non-academic author ushers us line-by-line into the shadows of Kafka's spectral bug theater. He walks the bug back along hints left by Kafka as to what happened the night before, why that night was different from all other nights. In this reading, father Samsa betrayed his first-born and needy son Gregor by declaring him unwelcome at home, even though Gregor was paying the rent. Stimulated by this betrayal of blood by blood, the twilight zone opened momentarily allowing father's brutality to transform the son into a giant bug. Three months later, the combined protective forces of Easter and Passover are necessary to finally put the creature to rest: Easter for his spirit and Passover for his bug body. Using then-current formulas from psychoanalysis as to hysterical conversion and from psychodynamics as to the human energy system, this explanation locates in a story often found mysterious a coherent path to the lack of memory by Gregor of these events and the reason for his hard back and soft underbelly. As the author sees it, irony fuels the title because the metamorphosis changed Gregor's exterior but not his inner nature, his "indestructible" love for family, while just the opposite happened to his convenience-loving family. And irony fuels the results because father Samsa got just the lazy and dependent son he criticized Gregor for being in wanting to stay at home. The author traces how Kafka uses verb tense and aspect, psycho-narration, as well as changes in the narrator's voice to make meaning in this drama theater. In the last act and after Gregor is disposed of by a Mary Magdalene-suggesting charwoman, the parents prepare their last child, their daughter, for departure, which will leave them in complete convenience. For her they have saved a nest egg that will help supply a nest for her family eggs, a family nest denied to their first-born.
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