Joyce's Finnegans Wake

Joyce's Finnegans Wake: The Curse of Kabbalah

Book 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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Dec 31, 2010
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Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Religion / Judaism / Kabbalah & Mysticism
Study Aids / Book Notes
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Fresh from the twilight zone of Kafka's The Metamorphosis, this non-academic author treats on a line by line basis two of Kafka's last stories, stories written while he was wheezing with tuberculosis. Not surprisingly, these stories features pipes, just what Kafka was thinking about all the time while he was bed ridden, his sore pipes. Kafka experienced the threat of death at the same time as he experienced the love of his life with Dora Diamant. In these two stories Kafka spot-lights fear and love, the most basic human issues and those that had taken possession of Kafka's life. Fear and love in the lives of a mole-like creature alone in a burrow and mice in a crowded colony. In stories with no humans, Kafka teaches us what is most important in being human.

The Burrow examines fear-based isolation of a mole-like creature living all alone in his underground burrow. The only connection with others is fear-based taking, taking by claws and teeth. You are either the diner or dinner, never a guest or host. You are alone but not independent because fear eats your life possibilities independence could give. You are your own worst enemy.

Josephine the Singer features love-based giving through art, Kafka's last word on the purpose of art. Like a loving parent giving to her child, the artist mouse Josephine attempts to inspire independent individuality in other mice in the colony through the example of her unique and spontaneous singing. This she gives free of charge. Because of fear of survival stoked by the colony leadership, the rest of the mouse collective hears her singing as a mouse but not as an individual. They remain in fear-based group think with reduced life possibilities.

In both stories, the issue is the effect of fear or love on independent individual identity and life possibilities. For Kafka, this was the uber human issue as he prepared to meet his maker.


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.
This eighth in a series continues this ground-breaking word-by-word analysis of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. This volume covers chapter 3.3, a long and difficult chapter in the form of a father's dream. Father HCE dreams of a passive son named "Yawn," a version of Shaun. Made passive by sucking up to customers, the father's primal desires project a passive son potentially subject to father control. And this Yawn is so passive he needs help in releasing his feces. Talk about anal retentive! The dreamer's script loads Yawn's defenseless psyche with aspects of father-troubled sons from the collective past, including Freud's famous client Wolfman, Cain and Oedipus. Father trouble registers as distortions in the son's sexual relationships. Father-fearing Wolfman took his controlled son role to a "hole" new level. After witnessing his parents' sex a tergo [male erect, female on knees, doggy style or "dog ma"] and fearing his father's angry reaction to his witness and celebratory primal turd, he adopted the ultimate passive beta male attitude: he wanted to be his father's wife. Yawn in the role of father-troubled Cain is questioned in the dream by the synoptic gospellers [Matthew, Mark and Luke]. They serve as tools of the father's desire to control his son, as they controlled the historical presentation of god's son Jesus. They try to reduce Yawn's particular take on independence, his Cain-like tendency to pursue his whims, including killing to get all the sisters. Cain's lack of caring gives us the problems of cities, which are splattered all over this chapter. Yawn in the role of father-troubled Oedipus makes the same mistake as Jesus in Gesthemane: he treats his foster father as his real father. Oedipus ends up with his mommy as wife as Yawn is hung up on his. The suggestion is made that the dreamer knows at some level that Shaun was fathered by Father Michael with a blackmailed ALP, not by foster father HCE. Freud's hypothesis plays out through Yawn's porous character: "individual gaps in human truth are filled by prehistoric truths." Yawn bears the puncture wounds of the prehistoric father desires for control. Yawn is defenseless because he lacks individuality. The chapter starts with an anal retentive and dependent son Yawn all alone in the dark, fearful and needing help with an enema. The chapter concludes as the new day dawns and a spontaneous evacuation is made. Gracing these more promising circumstances, the voice of the Holy Ghost [Joyce's version] as the individuality-enhancing father of Jesus boldly breaks into the dream, silences the OT father voice and brands as fraudulent the presentation of Jesus as a servant and eunuch by the three synoptic gospellers. The mystical gospeller John bears witness to the presence of the Holy Ghost by unloading a trinity of turds of shame and the old in order to clear his mind for active and mystical participation in the Holy Ghost. He unloads spontaneously, just as Wolfman did his primal turd. The Quick shed the Dead.
An analysis of Faulkner's novel Light in August based on the death of his daughter, Alabama. BACK COVER: This non-academic author exposes the poltergeist lurking in the cellar of Faulkner's uncanny and haunting novel Light in August as the ghost of Faulkner's first child Alabama. She was born prematurely and died tragically after only nine days, apparently in the clutches of fetal alcohol syndrome. Faulkner couldn't write anything substantial for 7 months and then started this disturbing novel. The author demonstrates how Faulkner's own grief experience shaped the characters and the action and how he grounded part of his personal poltergeist in this novel. The resulting novel is full of tension and alienation. Strangers occupy Faulkner's fictional Jefferson, Mississippi against the background of the culturally reft South post-Civil War. The author shows how Faulkner shrouded his intensely personal grief experience in a conceptual wardrobe borrowed from the philosopher and Nobel Prize winning Henri Bergson. Faulkner borrowed Bergsonian concepts of the life and death currents for the contrast in characters between those free in the present and those prisoners of the past. Lena Grove the young and pregnant country girl walking for weeks to find the father of her child bears the life current and Joe Christmas the orphan turned rapist and murderer the death current. The author demonstrates how Faulkner created the novel's other vivid characters using similar contrasts and how the plot strands tie together in a resonating whole. The author's detailed textual analysis of important passages brings this difficult novel into focus. Like the author's other books on Joyce and Faulkner, use of this analysis either as literary foreplay or afterplay will enhance your reading experience of Faulkner's novel.
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