– History as her is harped.   1 comment


This morning I started reading Adriana Cavarero’s beautiful monograph, Relating Narrative: Storytelling and selfhood. I began with the chapter, “The Paradox of Ulysees”. Given Joyce’s progression from a novel named after this Epic hero, who cries when his story is recounted, to the Wake – where proper names slide around and phantasmagoric seances ensue, Cavarero’s discussion about naming made my eyes prick.

“The name announces the uniqueness, in its inaugural appearing to the world, even before someone can know who the newborn is; or, who he or she will turn out to be in the course of their life. A unique being is without any quality at its beginning, and yet it already has a name. The newborn does not choose this name, but is given it by another, just as every human being does not choose how to be. The uniqueness which pertains to the proper is always a given, a gift.” (19).

In the Wake, there is no gift of the proper. No History of (person X) , harped, or sung by the bard. Rather, a series of adoptions: mutating personae (x-X-XX), implicating the terrifying abandonment of others.

One response to “– History as her is harped.

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  1. Pingback: History as She is Harped… « McLuhan Sandbox

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