FINNEGAN’S WAKE

by practicalspactical

(1) 

Obviously, we were not always so hermetically sealed off from the brute facts of our existence. I think on the terminal end of my parents, or my lover, or my self, and I see great and unknown horror. 

This is of course in part because I have only been close with one or two people who have died.

Whereas our ancestors lived and breathed many and regular deaths with their daily lives. Animals, siblings, friends, uncles, children, parents, self — it was all part & parcel, all one thing. Death was in life, and life was in death, and I do not think they suffered for it less — the loss to them was as deep and profound as the loss to me — but it was certainly less surprising, less deniable. 

(2) 

Today it is different. Today we are New Victorians, but instead of hiding sex (hide sex? we revel in it, display it everywhere, certainly as a fetish against the dying/dark) we hide Death, we hide Birth, we have placed both ends of Nothing in strange and magical white-halled hospitals, with its own special priesthood, and its own strange lights — 

And placing our Ends off the stage, so to speak, has irrevocably (well, not irrevocably, we could go back to dying in our living rooms, some of us have) changed the nature of our Existence, in some ways made us even closer to our Existence, since our Existence, appearing limitless to itself, cannot experience its own absence, and accordingly, can only conceptualize that absence with great difficulty, angst, and worry. 

Our Existence, our consciousness, has not changed be virtue of the New Obscene, but this source of Worry, of the incomprehensibility of Absence, is made stark and revealed by the fact that we have remade the Outside to perfectly reflect the Angst of the Inside. 

(3) 

One thinks of the sadness of the intoxicated man, joyous in his revels, who, coming back to Earth, remembers he is mortal. 

(4) 

Is our happiness a thin film, a momentary bubble on the surface of a great abyss? Or is our happiness actually a Tardis that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside, going as deep as we will it, and providing us with all the heaven we’ll ever need?

(5) 

The dream of the monomyth is the story of Finnegan’s Wake, the story of the Allfather, the Citybuilder, of the man grown to his full measure. 

Is is a comedy? Or is its schizophrenic wordplay the first ravaging wail of the dying of Meaning, of Man, illusions removed, approaching himself obliquely, raging at his reflection in the mirror? 

The story is this. A man (all men) dreams (dream). In this nonesuch nonsense nonspace, he creates everything. He has a wife with whom all things are produced. These all things produced are his children three: Isabel, Shaun, and Shem. 

Joyce said the dreamer was an old man dying by the river Liffey. The dream of dying? Perhaps. Who knows what dreams may come. 

(6) 

So the story is this. We are estranged from all things ourselves. Every moment a new consciousness appears, and ranging through the space it finds itself in, with memories accessible and a body, it believes itself to be a continuous being that extends in time & space, when in fact, it is merely a passing & momentary awareness. The self is synthetic. 

This awareness names itself the Father of all things. It looks, and sees the world it has built – the Wife, the Warm Other with the Warm Place between her legs — those other memories & wired instincts pull him there — 

but other others too — a beautiful daughter — and two sons — his little identities — but even as they are identical to him, they are not — not identical at all — false mirrors — even as his past & future selves are false mirrors to the Present Awareness that is Here Right Now.

Here comes everybody. Tittering and giggling of people offstage. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Hee hee hee hee hee. Heh heh heh heh. 

These sons are enemies, the daughter a temptation of a future life that cannot be realized; 

is there any love left for this dying dreaming man? is there any hope? 

Yes, the continuing awareness & the arms of ALP, the wife the other, who holds him still, who carries him onward, past past down past down 

riverrun, past eve and adams, from swerve of shore to bend of bay