Archive for the ‘Derrida’ Category

I’m not taking apple sauce eithou.   1 comment

(3.2.452.6 – 3.2.464.3)

Jaun and Issy – Issy’s love-letter to Jaun – Jaun introduces Dave

In the opening lines of this reading, Jaun talks of listening in, of “picking up airs from th’other over th’ether”. My ears pricked up at the word “ether”, as I made this recording just after I’d got home from a guided visit round the Bodmer Foundation‘s current exhibition: Early Medicine, from the Body to the Stars. So, as Jaun’s reverie – addressed to his “Sis-sibis”-  veered off towards the “efferfreshpainted livy”  and “pharoph”, I was all ready with my references (452.8; 452.19; 452.20).

You see, the first exhibits in the Early Medicine exhibition are Hor’s Book of the Dead and a “Rhomboid cosmetic palatte” (Early Medicine from the Body to the Stars, 145). In the exhibition catalogue Irmtraut Munro writes how in ancient Egyptian cosmology, “the deceased having professed his innocence, appears before the judge of the deceased, Osiris, to give an account of his life.” (141). Clearly, there are many potential candidates for this deceased speaker in Finnegans Wake including, Finn Mc’Cool; H.C.E; the two headed Shem-Shaun; and shadowed behind these characters, Joyce himself. Alan Roughly notes how the conflation of Issy and Shem’s family home at Chapelizod plus Howth, where H.C.E.’s head is buried; gives rise to the place “Hothelizod” (Reading Derrida reading Joyce, 30). Hothelizod is where Jaun wishes to be continued like “thauthor”: Celtic heads laid to rest up-river from Dublin city.

Following in the tradition of the Book of the Dead, Joyce’s incantations in FW “draw on a vast magical, mythical, hymnic and ritual repertoire” that reflects contemporary Irish culture  (Youri Volokhine, Early Medicine, 530) . As Shem riley comments, “I’m beginning to get sunsick. I’m not half Norawain* for nothing” (3.2.452.35-36). Despite its dizzying effect, Egypt’s sun illuminates the cultural mix of FW. Alan Roughly flags the allusion to Isis in “Sissibis” (8), Jaun’s endearing address to his sister Issy (Reading Derrida reading Joyce, 30). Casting Jaun/Shaun as Osiris, Isis’s brother and husband. Also, Vico’s round and round road, recalls “the cyclical renewal through participation in the daily crossings of the heavens in the solar barge of the God Re” (Munro, 141).

Therefore “to be continued like thauthor” is not a gifting of immortality through the technology of the printing press, as in Shakespeare’s, “My love shall in my verse ever live young” (Sonnet 19, line 14). In FW love and verse are inherently palimpsests. “The Vico road goes round and round to meet where terms begin… Before there was patch at all on Ireland there lived a lord at Lucan.” (3.2.452.20-29).

Another palimpsest:

* Nora Wain. Norwegian and Nora, Joyce’s wife.

Of Grammatology   Leave a comment

I’ve been reading OG this morning. Well, the extracts (pp. 6-26 &  pp. 302-316) from Spivak’s translation that are reproduced in Rivkin and Ryan’s Literary Theory: An Anthology.

Derrida’s assertions that “the supplement is always a supplement of a supplement” and that “one must recognize that there is a supplement at the source” (320), leads me to recall how two of my friends, who work as a World Health Organization economist and  as a CERN machine physicist respectively, have grapheme (number)-colour synesethsia.  I find this interior-doubling image helpful in understanding something of Derrida’s supplement, “neither presence nor absence” (329).

The OG quote that I will keep turning over and over with regard to Finnegans Wake is: “As always, death, which is neither a present to come nor a present past, shapes the interior of speech, as its trace, its reserve, its interior and exterior difference: as its supplement…. the supplement is especially not more a signifier than a signified, a representer than a presence, a writing than a speech” (329).

Posted December 16, 2010 by R.H.H. Nisbet in deconstruction, Derrida, Literary Theory

p 113 I am a worker, a tombstone mason…   Leave a comment

Write, carve, mark, inscribe. What you’re willed. This section reads to the end of chapter V.

I started to hear Derrida on p 115 of the Wake – “The interpretation of the letter” section: “So  why, pray, sign anything as long as every word, letter, penstroke, paperspace is a perfect signature of its own?”

For example: “Mon objet, ma chose, ce qui va prescrire une rhétorique propre à cet événement, s’il a lieu, ce serait Francis Ponge.” (Signéponge 25).

“My object, my thing that which is going to proscribe a rhetoric proper to this event, if it takes place, would be Francis Ponge (Richard Rand, transl.).