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LOUIS ARMAND

technē JAMES JOYCE, HYPERTEXT & TECHNOLOGY


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ACTA UNIVERSITATIS CAROLINAE PHILOLOGICA MONOGRAPHIA CXXXIX


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UNIVERZITA KARLOVA V PRAZE NAKLADATELSTVร KAROLINUM 2003


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Recenzovali: doc. PhDr. Martin Procházka, CSc. Dr. Darren Tofts

Copyright © Louis Armand, Prague 2003 All rights reserved. This book is copyright under International and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the author. Requests to publish work from this book should be directed to the publisher. ISBN 80-246-0391-8 ISSN 0567-8269


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CONTENTS Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Preface: Instigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi DEPARTURES Avant-garde Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Ergonomic Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Machine Aesthetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 ITINERARIES 1. Books of Sand The Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Hyper/text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Archaeology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Possible Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 2. Enframing Prototype . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Cybernetic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Archival Desire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Textual Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 The Specular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 3. Hypergenetics Virtual Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Schematic Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Logistical Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Avant-textes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Inter(ior) Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 4. Textual Engineering Textual Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Mise en Abyme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Ex Machina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Halting Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Vicociclometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Vesica Piscis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Borromean Knots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Chiasm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 5. Articulations Anamorphosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Transversal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Genealogical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Entelechy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Acrostic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Surface Kinetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113


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6. Technogenesis Retro-virus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Mythomorphology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Typogenetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Aletheometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Architectonics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 7. Lapsus Annulus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Babelisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Entropics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Phonex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Strange Attractors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Proteiform Graphs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Ghosts in the Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 8. Disclosures Post-partum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 ร‰criture au Corps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Distanciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 Polynomials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Rebus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 Translation Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 Logomachia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 DESTINATIONS Escape Velocities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Ideogrammatics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Genetic Drift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 Stratified Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 Terminal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218


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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author wishes to acknowledge that parts of this book have previously appeared in reviews or articles in the following journals: ‘Probapossible Prolegomena,’ Introduction to Night Joyce of a Thousand Tiers. Petr Škrabánek: Studies in Finnegans Wake, eds. Louis Armand and Ondřej Pilný (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2002): xxiii–xxxvii; ‘Symptom in the Machine: Joyce, Lacan, Sollers,’ The Symptom 3 (2002); ‘Enzymes, Reverse Transcriptions and the Technogeneses of Finnegans Wake,’ Genetic Joyce Studies 3 (2002); ‘From Retro-Virus to Hypertext. Technogeneses in the Wake,’ Culture Machine 4: Interzone (2002); ‘Strange Attractions: Techno-Poetics in the Vortext,’ Litteraria Pragensis 11.22 (2002): 42–65; ‘Spectres of Sovereignty: (An)notations on the Colonial Subject in Joyce’s Portrait.’ Litteraria Pragensia 10.20 (2001): 18–30; Review of Reading Derrida Reading Joyce, by Alan Roughley. Irish Studies Review 8.2 (2000): 275–6; Review of Memory Trade: A Prehistory of Cyberculture, by Darren Tofts and Murray McKeich. Irish Studies Review 8.1 (2000): 134–136; ‘Some Notes on Joycean Hypertext: Machine— Tra(ns)versal—Acrostic.’ Litteraria Pragensia 9.17 (1999): 59–89; Review of Beyond the Word: Reconstructing Sense in the Joyce Era of Technology, Culture and Communication and James Joyce’s Techno-Poetics, by Donald F. Theall. JJQ 35.2/3 (1998): 539–543; ‘“Hearasay in/Paradox Lust”: Dissemination, Desire and Joyce’s (Hyper)textual Apparatus.’ Litteraria Pragensia 6.11 (1996): 91–100; ‘Hi Tech Hypertituitary: Joyce on the Net.’ JJLS 9.1 (1995): 4; ‘Phoenix ex Machina: Joyce’s Solicitation of Hypertext.’ Hypermedia Joyce Studies 1.1 (1995). Various parts of this book have also been presented as papers at the following conferences: ‘Spatial Oddities: Joycean Hypertexts and the (neo-)avant-garde.’ IASIL (International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures) Annual Conference, July 30-August 3, 2001, Dublin City University, Ireland; ‘Joyce’s Hypertextual Programmatics,’ IASIL Annual Conference, July 26–30, 2000, Bath Spa University College, UK; ‘Joycean Hypertext: Technology and the Word in Finnegans Wake,’ XVIIth International James Joyce Symposium, June 23–30, 2000, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK; ‘Post-colonising Joyce: Naming and Ownership in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,’ IASIL Annual Conference, July 26–30, 1999, University of Barcelona, Spain; ‘Joycean Hypertexts: Finnegans Wake and the Question Concerning Technology,’ XVIth International James Joyce Symposium, June 14–19, 1998, University of Rome, Italy; ‘Joyce’s Solicitation of Hypertext: Wakean Genetics and the Question of Technology,’ Workshop on Sense(s) and Modernities, November 21–25, 1996, University of Konstanz, Germany; ‘Theorising Knowledge in/of the Joycean Text: Encyclopaedic, Intertextual, Genetic, Hypertextual,’ MLA (Modern Language Association of America), Annual Convention, December 16–23, 1995, Chicago, USA; ‘“Hearasay in/paradox lust”: Dissemination, Desire and Joyce’s (Hyper)textual Apparatus,’ Joyce and Modern Culture, June 12–16, 1995, Brown University, USA; ‘Articulating Fiction in a Philosophical Mode: Joyce’s European Intertexts,’ XIVth International James Joyce Symposium, June 12–18, 1994, University of Seville, Spain.

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The research for this book was assisted by the Keith and Dorothy Mackay Travelling Scholarship fund (1994–1997), and by an International James Joyce Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship (1998). The author wishes to thank Clare Wallace, Martin Procházka, Darren Tofts, Donald Theall, Margot Norris, Brandon Kershner, Bonnie Kime Scott, Sheldon Brivic, Martin Hilský, Zdeněk Střibrný, Daniel Ferrer, Ondřej Pilný, Fritz Senn, Karen Lawrence, Derek Attridge, John Gamble, Julian Croft, Miroslav Petříček, Lucie Koutková, Aleš Klégr and Alan Roughley for their support at various stages in the preparation of the text. Thanks are due also to Iva Sokolová, Petr Valo, and the editorial staff of Charles University Press.

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ABBREVIATIONS Finnegans Wake has been cited following the standard form used by Joyce scholars, either by page number and line—viz. (278.13)—or, with reference to the accepted division of the text into four books with chapters, by Roman numeral (book) and Arabic numeral (chapter)—viz. (III.2). The following abbreviations are used throughout the text: D P U FW CW JJA JJI JJII L SL JJQ JJLS

Dubliners, ed. Robert Scholes with Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1967. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The definitive text corrected from the Dublin Holograph by Chester G. Anderson and edited by Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1966. Ulysses. New York: Random House, 1934, reset and corrected 1961. Finnegans Wake. New York: Viking Press, 1958. The Critical Writings of James Joyce, eds. Ellsworth Mason and Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1959. The James Joyce Archive, ed. Michael Groden et al. 63 vols. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1977-79. Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959. Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. Revised edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982. Letters of James Joyce. Vol. 1, ed. Stuart Gilbert. New York: Viking Press, 1957; re-issued with corrections 1966. Vols. 2 and 3, ed. Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1966. Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1975. James Joyce Quarterly James Joyce Literary Supplement

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PREFACE: INSTIGATIONS So This Is Dyoublong? Hush! Caution! Echoland! [FW 13.04-5]

W

hile this study is concerned with the question of technology in its relation to the work of James Joyce and theories of hypertext, it is also, and more specifically, addressed to a concept of technology arising from the language of Finnegans Wake. Drawing upon developments in communication theory and information technology, this study attempts to map a parallel development in Joyce’s uses of language in the Wake, arguing that Joyce’s writing provides a model for re-thinking the relationship between technology and “all forms of cultural production.”1 The purpose of this is not, however, to suggest that Joyce was necessarily in some way cognisant of a future possibility of hypertext, nor is it simply concerned with a retrospective glance at Joyce from the position of current computing technologies. Rather, it is to examine how Joyce’s work is aware of its own position against and within contemporary developments in the sciences and electronic media, and that Joyce incorporated material from these developments into his texts. Consequently, this study is concerned with the ways in which Joyce’s text can be said to solicit hypertext: from constituting a non-sequential writing, to deploying itself as a type of textual apparatus or machine, to motivating a type of hypertextual genetics. The question here centres on the notion of solicitation—the extent to which Joyce’s text can be said to both call for and motivate a hypertextuality irreducible to a stable field, or placement, whereby a text could be defined in relation to a structural epistēmē. At the same time solicitation is shown in Joyce’s text not to be merely an affect or even a strategy of writing, but rather as something inherent to language itself. Amongst textual theorists who have engaged with the notion of solicitation, the one whose conception of language is closest to Joyce’s own is Jacques Derrida, for whom “Joyce’s ghost is always coming on board, even in the most academic pieces of writing.”2 Derrida’s work on and with Joyce has been extensive, beginning in 1962 with his introduction to Husserl’s Origin of Geometry, although most of his work has taken the form of a “haunting” where Joyce appears to stand behind Derrida as a writerly éminence grise. Joyce’s “ghost” may be said to animate a certain deconstruction from both within Derrida’s writing and on the margins of that writing, as what we might call the figure of solicitation (both paradigm and deus ex machina of the Derridean corpus itself).3 In his 1963 essay ‘Force and Signification,’ Derrida relates solicitation to an implicit lability: xi


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Structure is perceived through the incidence of menace, at the moment when imminent danger concentrates our vision on the keystone of an institution, the stone which encapsulates both the possibility and the fragility of its existence. Structure then can be methodically threatened in order to be comprehended more clearly and to reveal not only its supports but also that secret place in which it is neither construction nor ruin but lability. This operation is called (from the Latin) soliciting. In other words, shaking in a way related to the whole (from sollus, in archaic Latin “the whole,” and from citare, “to put in motion”).4

Situating this concept of solicitation within the context of twentieth-century philosophical discourses on technology, it is possible to elaborate a number of implications for hypertext which touch upon our fundamental understanding of language. One of the more significant texts in this regard is Martin Heidegger’s essay, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ which in many ways provided the initial theoretical impetus for this book. Heidegger’s notion of enframing is seminal to the understanding of how hypertext can be thought as operating across the assumed boundaries of the semantic field, as well as all other fields of signifying convention. Among the issues that arise here is how the solicitation of hypertext would mark, as Samuel Weber puts it, a way “in which the ‘technics’ of Heidegger’s quest(ion) entails the destabilisation of such fields,”5 and how this solicitation as a general bringing-forth might be regarded simultaneously as a function of poiēsis and of technics, both “originary” and mechanical production, reproduction or repetition. In other words, how this solicitation would describe what Joyce terms a “paradox lust,” operating somewhere between the concepts of technē and logos. Similarly, in light of the various recent developments in the application of computing science within the field of Joycean scholarship, the question arises as to what it might imply if we were to approach hypertext as a particular technology, as technological—what the word “technology” might signify in the context of Joyce’s writing practice—keeping in mind Heidegger’s assertion that “technē belongs to bringing-forth, to poiēsis; it is something poetic.”6 As this study comprises a more or less transverse exploration of Joycean hypertext, the discussion itself, or rather the various notations assembled here as prefatory to some future discussion, will unfold topically. In this process, certain theoretical approaches will be examined in greater or lesser detail, but the actual study will be shaped along lines consonant with the demands of Joyce’s writing and in accordance with the structural tropology implicit to a basic conceptualisation of hypertext itself. Broadly speaking, however, this study is orientated around three key objectives. Firstly, to trace the historical development of communications technologies in the context of Joyce’s writing—taking into consideration the broad philosophical and sociological impact of technology at the time in which Joyce was composing Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Secondly, to trace some of the effects of communications technologies upon scholarship generally, and upon Joycean scholarship in particular. And thirdly, to investigate the ways in which technology per se is involved in a “communication” with Joyce’s language in Finnegans Wake. Hence the purpose of this study can be elaborated as follows: 1. To outline the historical necessity of considering Joyce’s writing in terms of technological development in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Europe— thereby placing Joyce within the context of such writers as Mallarmé, Apollinaire, xii


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Cendrars, Marinetti and so on. The question here, however, is not simply one of historical contextualisation, but of mapping the development of a particular contemporary poetics which can be shown to be bound up with the evolution of communications technologies and with the impact this evolution has had upon language in general. 2. To investigate ways in which technology has effected aspects of Joyce scholarship. The question here is twofold. Firstly, how such “technologies” as hypertext have provided a means of presenting annotated works, archives, and genetic texts. And secondly, how these means have provided insights into the structural logic of Joyce’s language itself, particularly with regards to Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. 3. To attempt a critique of Heidegger’s formulation linking technology to poiēsis. (The point of departure here being the question of the structure and unity of the Wakean “figures” H.C.E. and A.L.P. These are seen to function alternately as “acrostic grids,” “desiring machines,” “strange attractors,” and so on, which mark out points of intersection or communication between otherwise non-communicating textual elements. This question involves further issues of identity, myth and the technologicalmechanical basis of signification, in terms of what we might also call “genetic strands.” This “genetics,” however, may be seen to disappoint a general hermeneutics, investing the logic of the “genetic master key” with a type of viral flaw.) For this reason it is a question of situating the hypertextual condition of Joyce’s writing as something belonging to, and solicited by, a Joycean poetics, and not as a set of normative procedures imposed from outside. As Heidegger suggests, “not praxis but poiēsis may enable us to confront the essential unfolding of technology.”7

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TECHNî JAMES JOYCE, HYPERTEXT & TECHNOLOGY


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- m edeis Ageometretos eisito.


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DEPARTURES In Joyce, it is the identity of writing which is the victim of an excess of the book (au trop de livre) or of literature.1

AVANT-GARDE MACHINES

M

achine metaphors abound in literature from the earliest times, but have proliferated in European literature since the time of the industrial revolution. Most importantly, however, machine technology has also had a direct and decisive impact not only upon modes of literary production but upon the literary temperament itself. Writers such as Jonathan Swift and William Blake early on responded to the new “mechanistic” view of the universe propounded by Isaac Newton and the Marquis de Laplace, developing a poetic sensibility that was incisive in its ability to critique as well as assimilate the new science and the philosophies born out of it. Blake’s metaphor of an infernal printing house in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell stood not only for a poetic idea, but also for a poetic practice. Blake literally engraved his poems by means of a caustic technique that seemed to fuse the energy of his writing, his revolutionary politics, and the spirit of technological transformation. In a seemingly direct outgrowth of the Blakean, Romantic idea, modern science and the resultant proliferation of applied technologies projected the image of a world in which the old concept of reality as matter was being replaced by the concept of reality as energy. At the same time artists and writers like Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé sought to express this “new” reality in their work—a movement of avant-gardism which reached its peak in the twentieth-century on the eve of the two World Wars and, according to some, achieved its last flowering during the Vietnam conflict.2 But while this movement is often comprised of disparate and seemingly unrelated, even contradictory, attempts at arriving at new means of expression, it is nonetheless possible to establish a general tendency in the arts which can be described as “technological”—from Cubism and Italian Futurism, to the constructivism of Vladimir Tatlin and Aleksandr Rodchenko, the neoplasticism of Piet Mondrian and Théo van Doesburg, the architectural functionalism of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, the minimalism of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and Samuel Beckett, and the seriality of John Cage, Andy Warhol, Fluxus and the Oulipo.3 As art critic John Baur has argued: The machine is as old as the wheel, the wings of Icarus or the Trojan horse. But it is only in our century that it has transcended its utilitarian functions and acquired a variety of meanings, aesthetic and philosophical, which are only distantly related to its practical uses.4

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Developing a theme which dates from the Renaissance and beyond, Filippo Marinetti, in the first ‘Futurist Manifesto’ of 1909, spoke of the “metalisation of the human body.” Marinetti’s technological optimism was based upon the prosthetic functions of modern, mechanised industry and warfare, and proposed a radical machine aesthetic to replace the former antiquarianism of nineteenth-century Italy with functional, technological forms. Similarly, Jacob Epstein’s 1914 Vorticist sculpture ‘Rock Drill’ envisioned a mechanthropomorphic figure with genitalia formed from an enormous drill-bit. In 1916 Hugo Ball performed sound poetry at Zürich’s Cabaret Voltaire, dressed in a Cubist “spacesuit” designed by Marcel Janco. In 1921, the German Dadaist Raoul Hausmann produced a bust of an industrialised head (complete with metallic type, a spring-loaded mechanism, a gauge, a ruler and measuring tape) which he ironically entitled The Sprit of Our Time. More recently, performance-artists like Stelarc have explored the human-machine interface in more radical ways, attending not only to the prosthetic function of machine technologies, but to the signifying function of the (computerised) virtual environment in which the body itself operates, as a “data” environment. At a time when mechanisation has become more often equated with information, technology and language (broadly speaking) have come to be recognised as virtually synonymous. Blake’s poetic genius, the embodiment of creative energy, has become something of an emblematic figure, however sublimated it may seem, of a techno-poetic epoch in which virtual light-speed data processing has reconfigured the concept of the Romantic sublime not as the “mechanisation of spirit,” but through a technological sublimity of endless proliferation which in turn mirrors signifying proliferation: the dispersal of self in a “data stream” which is also the “riverrun” of language. As though in some curious anticipation of this moment of transition, from the Romantic to the technological “sublime,” it was Ada Byron, the mathematician daughter of the poet Lord Byron, who pioneered many of the basic techniques of modern computer programming. In 1833 Byron, otherwise Countess Lovelace, met Charles Babbage with whom she co-operated on the design for an “Analytic Engine” (or difference engine). This innocuous counterpart to the Frankensteinian monstrum of Mary Shelley was in fact a mechanical device capable (at least in theory) of “weaving algebraic patterns” in the form of Bernoulli polynomials and the pertaining “Bernoulli sequence” B’r = r!Br(O) (r=0,1,2,3, ...)—a string of terms based upon an integral of statistical probability and actual outcomes named for the late seventeenth-century Swiss mathematician Jacques Bernoulli. To this end Byron, working with a machine code comprised of binary sequences, developed methods of “branching” and “looping” which remain today standard techniques in programming.5 In 1842, Byron suggested that the Analytic Engine “might act upon other things besides number.” But unlike Shelley’s infant terrible, Byron’s prodigy was kept at a strict distance from ideas of artificial intelligence and autopoiesis: The Analytic Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.6

This strange encounter between the mechanical and aesthetic was itself an outgrowth of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment project, and although its transformation in 18


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the twentieth-century takes it well beyond its initial manifestations, it nevertheless preserves a trace of a “primitive” modernity. There is something of the novelty of a prehistoric child’s toy which persists even in Vladimir Tatlin’s utilitarian manifesto ‘New Way of Life’ (1918–19), with its exhortations towards pure functionalism, or in Fernand Léger’s 1920 painting The Mechanic, or Nikolai Tarbukin’s 1923 From the Easel to the Machine, or in László Moholy-Nagy’s 1923 kinetic sculpture Light-Space Modulator with its echoes of Denis Diderot’s 1751 “stocking machine” and Swift’s 1726 prototypical random text generator (“for improving speculative knowledge by practical and mechanical operations”).7 But while the advent of modern science may have brought to an end the tradition of the Renaissance man (artist, philosopher, scientist, soldier, explorer, politician, and so on), it also gave rise to a new tradition—that of the “avant-garde,” a tradition of critical experimentation within separate, if mutually effected and sometimes mutually antagonistic, disciplines. The result of this change has not only been noticeable in the growth of “specialisation” within individual disciplines, but also in the tendency to focus more and more upon the basic assumptions of each of these disciplines, and upon the means or media in which each discipline pursues its particular activities. The physical sciences have become far more critical of classical discourses on the nature of matter, space and time, and have increasingly focused upon the normativity and ideology of its self-determining models, and the way these models often pre-empt or pre-determine the outcomes of experimental observation. In literature and philosophy there has been a similar focus upon the affective nature of theoretical discourse, and upon the ways in which conventions of representation function in determining the nature of critical and analytical paradigms and so on. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries, writers and philosophers alike began to consider how language, or poetics, might not only describe (let alone account for) the modern “technological condition,” but that language could in fact be seen as contributing to that condition and even as being technological itself—not simply as a metaphor, but as a determinant. Paul Valéry, in ‘La conquète de l’ubiquité,’ argued that this was a necessary and inevitable development, and that it remains implicit to the very idea of “modernity”: Our fine arts were developed, their types and uses were established, in times very different from the present, by men whose power of action upon things was insignificant in comparison with ours. But the amazing growth of our techniques, the adaptability and precision they have attained, the ideas and habits they are creating, make it a certainty that profound changes are impending in as ancient a craft as the Beautiful. In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial. We must expect great innovations to transform the entire technique of the arts, thereby affecting artistic invention itself and perhaps even bring about an amazing change in our very notion of art.8

It was the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, however, who offered perhaps the most succinct statement about the relationship between poetics and technology. In his 19


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1953 essay ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ Heidegger argues that “technē belongs to bringing forth, to poiēsis; it is something poetic,” thereby suggesting the very rootedness of technology in language, and vice versa.9 While Swift had satirised mechanisation as the arbitrary and “soulless” relationship of matter to meaning,10 modern writers began to think of a different type of mechanics— one which described, in fact, the very conditions of meaning. As the naïve ideologies of the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries slipped further into the past, the tendency to perceive mechanisation either in utopian or nihilistic terms diminished. Perhaps the first significant signs of this came with the critical writings of Walter Benjamin, whose influential essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ was framed by a materialist view of contemporary urban culture and by the way in which human experience had adapted to the new social conditions brought about as a result of European colonialism, global trade, mass manufacture, and the First World War. For Benjamin, the apotheosis of mechanical reproduction was film: “For the first time in the process of pictorial reproduction, photography freed the hand of the most important artistic functions which henceforth devolved only upon the eye looking through the lens. Since the eye perceives more swiftly than the hand can draw, the process of pictorial reproduction was accelerated so enormously that it could keep pace with speech.”11 It is not surprising, then, that Arnold Hauser, in his monumental and largely overlooked Social History of Art, seeks to identify machinic elements in the work of James Joyce, in particular Ulysses, with the technology of film. According to Hauser, in Joyce’s text: The Bergsonian concept of time undergoes a new interpretation, an intensification and a deflection. The accent is now on the simultaneity of the contents of consciousness, the immanence of the past in the present, the constant flowing together of the different periods of time, the amorphous fluidity of inner experience, the boundlessness of the stream of time by which the soul is borne along, the relativity of space and time, that is to say, the impossibility of differentiation and defining the media in which the mind moves. In this new conception of time almost all the strands of the texture which form the stuff of modern art converge: the abandonment of plot, the elimination of the hero, the relinquishing of psychology, the “automatic method of writing” and, above all, the montage technique and the intermingling of temporal and spatial forms of the film.12

Contrary to the opinion of Sergei Eisenstein, who insisted upon the filmic limitations of Joyce’s writing,13 Hauser argues that Joyce’s use of montage achieves a level of aesthetic autonomy comparable to that of film, suggesting, as Marshall McLuhan had earlier done, that Joyce’s text represented a convergence of media that translate the “real world” (the “stable fixity of realist writing”) into the “reel world” (FW 064.256).14 In Hauser’s view, however, the “forms of juxtaposition and simultaneity into which the non-simultaneous and the incompatible were pressed, have often been merely the expression of a desire to bring unity and coherence, certainly in a paradoxical way, into a world suspended between two incongruous epochs.”15 This negative hermeneutic tendency in the face of modern technology is a recurrent theme in recent criticism of the various neo-avant-gardes (versus the “counter20


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discursive and anti-institutional function” of the historical avant-garde which Peter Bürger describes),16 and itself marks a reactionary development in the reception of Joyce’s work within the academy. For Jean-François Lyotard, this has had to do with Joyce’s concern, precisely, with the “unpresentable” and the normativity of concepts like “unity” and “coherence,” thus dispensing with the traditional academic pieties. According to Lyotard: Joyce allows the unpresentable to become perceptible in his writing itself, in the signifier. The whole range of available narrative and even stylistic operations is put into play without concern for the unity of the whole. [...] The grammar and vocabulary of literary language are no longer accepted as given; rather they appear as academic forms, as rituals originating in piety (as Nietzsche said) which prevent the unpresentable from being put forward.17

It is not surprising then that references to Joyce appear at a crucial moment in Lyotard’s “report” on knowledge, The Postmodern Condition, in the final section of that book entitled ‘What is Postmodernism?’ Joyce, as an exemplary figure for Lyotard, can also be viewed as exemplary of a certain type of historical avant-gardism. Echoing Bürger, Lyotard states that: A postmodern artist or writer is in the position of a philosopher: the text he writes, the work he produces are not in principle governed by pre-established rules, and they cannot be judged according to a determining judgement, by applying familiar categories to the text or to the work. Those rules and categories are what the work of art itself is looking for. The artist and writer, then, are working without rules in order to formulate the rules of what will have been done. Hence the fact that the work and text have the character of an event; hence also, they always come too late for their author, or, what amounts to the same thing, their being put into work, their realisation (mise en œuvre) always begins too soon. Post modern would have to be understood according to the paradox of the future (post) anterior (modo).18

For Lyotard it is precisely this “unpresentable,” the normative object of an institutional exclusion, which defines a fundamental aspect of the postmodern. This, in large part, repeats the assertions of Bürger’s Theory of the Avant-Garde, suggesting that historical avant-gardism and the postmodern are largely co-terminous with what Jürgen Habermas refers to as the project of “modernity.”19 “The postmodern,” Lyotard argues, “would be that which, in the modern, puts forward the unpresentable in presentation itself; that which denies itself the solace of good forms, the consensus of taste which would make it possible to share collectively the nostalgia for the unattainable; that which searches for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but in order to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable.”20 In this way, “a work can only become modern if it is first post modern. Postmodernism thus understood is not modernism at its end but in the nascent state, and this state is constant.”21

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ERGONOMIC MACHINES The orientation of the modernist project may generally be said to belong to a series of technological moments, inaugurated by the industrial revolution and sustained by the Enlightenment and the subsequent shifts in social consciousness regarding ideas as fundamental as those of rationality, space and time, and of the more tangible consequences of mechanised production: the political and industrial transformation of landscapes and societies, the evolution of mass warfare, economics, trade and transport, the development of new urban and commercial architecture, sanitation, communications, energy and so on. The use of new construction materials like glass and steel gave rise to new conceptions of building and a new architectural aesthetics based upon functionality. The result was previously inconceivable structures like Joseph Paxton’s monumental Crystal Palace (one of the earliest examples of mass pre-fabricated construction), as well as more “functional” architecture, like London’sVictoria and St Pancras Stations, New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, and seemingly impossible buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Galerie des Machines in Paris. Signalling a trend that came to transform the concept of architecture, the Galerie des Machines was designed by a team comprising only one architect, Charles-Louis Ferdinand Dutert, but three engineers, led by Victor Contamin. Comprising enormous steel arches whose supports seemed hardly to be fixed to the ground at all, the Galerie des Machines bore greater resemblance to an enormous engine room than to a traditional building, and was referred to at the time as a “disconcerting industrial cathedral.” Measuring 422 metres in length, 114 in width, and 47 in height, the Galerie enclosed a total of 15 acres of exhibition space, and its most extensive exhibit was fittingly devoted to Thomas Edison’s 493 inventions.22 Public buildings such as the Galerie posed a challenge to artists at the turn of the century, whose priority it became to find a vocabulary capable of creatively engaging with a world of such radically new forms. Artists like Robert Delaunay, and writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars, were amongst the first to grapple with these problems. Likewise the Italian Futurists Filippo Marinetti and Giacomo Balla, and the Russian Constructivists, Suprematists and Rayonists.23 But as art critic Robert Hughes has noted, among all the symbols of the new technological sensibility, none was more ubiquitous than the Eiffel Tower. Unlike the Galerie des Machines which (as with Paxton’s Crystal Palace) was designed as an exhibition space, the Eiffel Tower served as a very different kind of space. Its elevation of 300 metres at the time of completion made it the tallest man-made structure in the world and directed the viewer’s attention towards yet another, future frontier of discovery and exploration. Its vertical design symbolised the technological aspirations of the time, but also a new conception of functional space which no longer needed to be tied to the earth, to horizontality, and thus to a materialist conception which had determined the formal expression of technological production for millennia. To the contrary, the Eiffel Tower’s sheer verticality suggested the limitless possibilities of human aspiration, and in many ways symbolised a type of historico-dialectical overcoming of the legacy of Babel.24 As the poet Guillaume Apollinaire wrote in his poem ‘Zone,’ in Alcools: 22


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At last you are tired of this old word. O shepherd Eiffel Tower, the flock of bridges bleats this morning You are through with living in Greek and Roman antiquity Here, even the automobiles seem to be ancient Only religion has remained brand new, religion Has remained as simple as the aerodrome hangers [...] It’s God who dies Friday and rises again on Sunday It’s Christ who climbs in the sky better than any aviator He holds the world’s altitude record Pupil Christ of the eye Twentieth pupil of the centuries he knows what he’s about, And the century, become a bird, climbs skywards like Jesus.25

In the 1890s “the most spectacular thing about the Eiffel Tower,” Hughes tells us, “was not the view of the Tower from the ground. It was seeing the ground from the Tower.”26 While the photographer Nadar had taken pictures of Paris from a hot air balloon in 1856, the most elevated view of Paris available to most Parisians before the opening of Eiffel’s monument, had been the gargoyle gallery of the Notre Dame cathedral. When the tower opened to the public in 1899 thousands rode in the elevators to take in the panoramic, aerial view, in which the “once invisible roofs and now clear labyrinths of alleys and streets” became suddenly available to the eyes of these new observers, and Paris became, as Hughes says, “a map of itself, a new type of landscape [...] based on frontality and pattern, rather than on perspective recession and depth.”27 Along with the experience of locomotive travel, telecommunications and mass media, this revolutionary architecture of the sky had a major impact upon the way in which ordinary people, as well as artists and philosophers, perceived the world. Not only the objects in the world, but the very manner in which the world was experienced, seemed to undergo radical changes. Commenting on the impact of such changes upon modernist art in general, Arnold Hauser points to a new conception of space and time, “whose basic element is simultaneity and whose nature consists in the spatialising of the temporal element.”28 For writers like Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars, this conception was literal (simultanéisme being a term both claimed in application to their own work and to modern life generally), and from Cubism to Surrealism and beyond the phenomenon of simultaneity permeated the arts.29 Echoing the words of Paul Valéry, the Cubist painter Fernand Léger wrote in 1914: “If pictorial expression has changed, it is because modern life has made this necessary.”30 But this consequentialist argument is not entirely valid. At least since Arthur Rimbaud’s exhortation to be absolument moderne, the avant-garde had pursued a project no less radical than that of industry itself in exploring new possibilities of cultural production. However, the most significant transition in the approach of the avant-garde was signalled by the onset of the First World War and the subsequent shift from the early need to represent a technologically transfigured, outward reality, towards an awareness of the transfiguration of individual experience: the machine within. Consequently, technology changed from being a mere spectacle or utility, to defining a basic experience of reality, both collective and private. The distinction between the 23


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prosthetic function of the machine and a somehow organic function began to be blurred. The Swiss architect Charles-Édouard Jeaneret (otherwise known as Le Corbusier), described dwelling spaces as “machines pour habiter.” The new “International Style” that grew out of Le Corbusier’s ideas focused upon efficiency: the efficiency of the working body translated into the mechanised efficiency of pre-fabricated housing. “Je ferai des maisons,” Le Corbusier had exclaimed, “comme on fait des voitures!”31 Le Corbusier’s interest in structural harmony led him to devise the “Modulor,” a measuring principle which combines harmonious mathematical relationships with the proportions of the human body.32 Judicious use of the Modulor scale would enable an architect to “harmonise” every element in a building with the whole—a type of apparent architectonics that resembles Joyce’s own interest in the relationship of the body to architecture—a theme that is both neo-Platonic (the body as dwelling place of the soul) and Heideggerean (language as dwelling place of man). The “modular,” as a metonym for the scale and dimensions of the human body’s functional topology, has come to resemble a type of “interface” which extends, rather than encloses, the functional body. The modular environment is no longer the mere simulation of a habitat, closed off from a technological exterior, rather it projects the body through a technological matrix, in what might be described as a moment of signifying substitution. As theorists from Julia Kristeva to Paul Virilio have variously noted, this “interface” is also a text.33 And in this sense, just as a new empirical tendency seems to arise as the counter-formulation of a technological metaphysics, it may be possible to identify something like an “ergonomics”—a theory of work (ergon) which is the work of signification itself, between a “total” discursive environment and its “insistent atopics.”34 As Jean-Michel Rabaté has pointed out with regard to the technology of the book: “The metaphor of the machine describes not only the book’s theoretical functioning, but also the labour which has constructed it.”35 Or as Joyce puts it: “ergons irruminate the quantum urge” (FW 167.07).

MACHINE AESTHETICS When the first mass produced personal computers had begun to come off the production line in the 1970s, this hyper-mechanical reinvention of literacy appeared to signal a new and seemingly “ultimate” stage in a process that had begun even before the industrial revolution, with William Caxton and the printing press of Johann Gutenberg in the fifteenth-century. But this metamorphosis was not simply one of mechanisation, rather it was the outcome of an entire poetics which, as Roland Barthes argues, had achieved its first succinctly “modernist” formulation with the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé towards the end of the nineteenth-century, but had grown out of a tradition reaching back through the Symbolists to the late-Romantic poets, and through them to the Renaissance and the Classical world.36 At the same time contemporary developments in applied technology were rendering such a formulation inevitable. By the time of Joyce’s linguistic experiments in Finnegans Wake, the machinic or rather technological 24


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refigurement of the “organic” conception of language had already been accomplished. What remained for Joyce was to radicalise this “refigurement” in terms of an essential condition of language itself. In Beyond the Word: Reconstructing Sense in the Joyce Era of Technology, Culture and Communication, Donald Theall similarly points to Joyce’s writing, and above all Finnegans Wake, as emblematic of techno-poetic transformation. For Theall, Joyce’s work not only encapsulates the sense of a new “era” of technology, culture and communication, but in fact mediates our understanding of this era and of its consequences for contemporary culture. In this way Finnegans Wake can be regarded as a type of matrix. As Geoffrey Bennington has similarly noted in regards to the work of Jacques Derrida: “It is not at all by chance that Derrida talks of Joyce’s book in terms of supercomputers, nor that his thought should communicate in an essential way with certain discourses on so-called artificial intelligence.”37 Theall makes an analogous point: Finnegans Wake signalizes a whole new relationship with language, with audience, and with the everyday world. Joyce anticipated the age of the microcomputer and the micro’s easy relationship with telecommunications, while also dramatizing certain developments which were and would be taking place in poetry and the arts as a result of the dramatic socio-economic, cultural and technological changes which had started in the mid-nineteenth century.38

During roughly the second half of the nineteenth-century technological changes rapidly and dramatically accumulated. Telegraphy, the telephone, photography, the typewriter, the rotary press and electro-magnetic power were all developed. In 1844 Samuel Morse successfully ran a telegraph wire from Baltimore to Washington, while in 1870 a telegraph cable was laid between England and France. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell developed telephony, while in 1878 Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and in 1879 the incandescent lamp with a carbon filament. In 1880 Edison installed the first electric railway and in 1881 the first electric power plant. The advent of serviceable electricity alone signalled an aesthetic transformation which would render the vitalistic distinctions between the organic and the inert increasingly tenuous. Similarly the recording and animation of images, and the implied potential for simulated experience of all kinds, radically altered the perception of spatial and temporal limits, the boundary between human and machine, body and prosthesis, and indeed the very nature of reality itself. The Baudelairean semblable found a new incarnation in Joris-Karl Huysmans’s Là-bas, Louis Boussenard’s Le Secret de Monsieur Synthèse and the cult of simulationism. The classical opposition of physis and technē was further eroded in 1883 when the first synthetic fibre was produced, heralding a future age of modern alchemy in which the great chain of being might be rent at last. Casting off the remnants of mystery and mysticism, science yielded up the previously impossible to the expansive banality of an emerging consumer culture. It performed the deceivingly uncomplicated task of rendering the miraculous as something entirely ordinary, and as it did so became increasingly pervasive and at the 25


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same time increasingly inconspicuous. Amongst the miracles of technology which immediately entered into an everyday language of the “contemporary” was photography. In 1885 coated photographic paper transformed the mechanical reproduction of images into a straightforward and commonplace procedure. By 1887 Eadweard Muybridge had published his photographic study of motion, entitled Animal Locomotion, revealing what later critics like Rosalind Krauss have come to refer to as the “optical unconscious.”39 The omniscience of the camera’s eye seemed to transform the medieval notion of the omniscience of god as the final outcome of Renaissance humanism. But unlike humanism, the mechanical eye defined a “technological unconscious,” and the Cartesian solipsism, like its deistic counterpart, was shown to be merely another form of deus ex machina. For critics like Benjamin, photography abolished the mystical aura of the Romantic cult of “personality,” and redefined presence as the autonomous relation of light and movement, described by the aperture and lens of a camera. This notion changed the idea of seeing itself, from the subjective, or psychological, to the material. Moreover, it tied visuality (as the dominant paradigm of Western knowledge) to all other fields of mechanisation. While machines accelerated the capacity for movement and locomotion, photography provided the analytical means of seeming to capture movement itself in stasis: the first visual medium of the present. It was the animation of the static image, however, which completed the transformation of mystical aura into material attribute. In 1894 the cinematograph and the gramophone disc were successively manufactured, thus transferring to both image and sound something like a technological anima. Within a century the advent of digitalisation would further radicalise this break, reducing the visual (and verbal) medium to bits of coded “information.” When Wilhelm Röntgen discovered x-rays in 1895 and Guglielmo Marconi invented radio telegraphy, technology similarly revealed a capacity to extend verbal and visual media beyond the apparent limits of visibility and audibility, exposing to view the internal organisation of the body and reducing speech to the frequency and amplitude of waves propagated invisibly through unbounded space. By the turn of the twentieth-century the Lumière brothers had begun exploring projected moving pictures (a technique patented by Auguste Lumière in 1895). Before the end of 1903 Marie Curie had discovered radium, Marconi had completed the first transatlantic radio broadcast, and the Wright Brothers had developed powered flight. In 1905 Albert Einstein articulated the theory of relativity and the law of mass-energy equivalence, while Henry Ford initiated a new phase in the history of mass mechanisation by developing the assembly line for the production of modelT automobiles.40 As Robert Hughes has put it: “one need not be a scientist to sense the magnitude of such changes. They amounted to the greatest alteration of man’s view of the universe since Isaac Newton.”41 Or, as the French writer Charles Péguy remarked in 1913: “the world has changed less since the time of Jesus Christ than it has in the last thirty years.”42 By the first decade of the twentieth-century the fact of this change and its impact upon all aspects of Western life was undeniable. In painting and literature these changes were also evident, no longer as points of Luddite resistance or as spectres of doom, but 26


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as the basic condition of the aesthetic apprehension of the world at large. Yet while mechanisation and industrial transformation are phenomena that have preoccupied much of the European artistic community since the end of the sixteenth-century, it remained the advent of automation which continued to have the most radical impact upon a shared experience of a social reality. From Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto to the ironic assemblages of Marcel Duchamp (La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même), electro-mechanical devices became emblematic of a basic condition of existence, and hence of aesthetic production. Marinetti’s hyperbolic prose conveys the radical nature of this impact: We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicoloured, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervour of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung from clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that bestride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that snort the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels stamp upon the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers clamour in the wind like banners and seem to roar like an enthusiastic crowd.43

Joyce himself was fascinated by the seemingly unlimited linguistic possibilities emerging from and alongside these new technologies. For Joyce, machines, machinery and engineering comprised both the material of the world around him and his “instruments of composition.”44 Throughout Ulysses and Finnegans Wake there appear terms and metaphors borrowed from all branches of the pure and applied sciences, as well as from contemporary European and North American popular culture. In 1909 Joyce himself was involved in establishing the first cinematograph in Dublin, the Volta,45 and by 1922, when Joyce began working on Finnegans Wake, mechanisation, electricity and electrification were already central aspects of everyday life.46 (In 1925, the year before Joyce began Finnegans Wake, John Logie Baird invented television, the apotheosis of consumer mass culture. And by 1936, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times had chronicled the post-institutionalisation of Fordism and the cult of mechanical reproduction, in a serio-comic rendering of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 Brave New World. At the same time Chaplin’s film signalled a transformation of cinema and mass visual media from technological spectacle into technological autocritique.) As Theall has pointed out, the broad implications of these changes became the focus of a whole generation of writers, but above all of Joyce. By the eve of the Second World War, just as it had on the eve of the First, a new avant-garde poetics had begun to emerge, signalled by the publication of Finnegans Wake on May 4, 1939.47 Less than thirty years later, in 1963, the Wake’s incisive, indeed formative, influence upon contemporary techno-culture, was appreciably signalled when Nobel physicist Murray Gell-Mann borrowed the term “quark” (FW 383.01) from Joyce’s text to designate the fundamental constituent of the nucleon—an appropriate tribute to Joyce’s own “atomistic” view of language.48

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The technological nature of Finnegans Wake could in itself be ascribed to a particular synthesis of ideas current amongst the European literary and scientific “avant-gardes” at the time Joyce was writing. This synthesis, in effect, was of several dominant oppositional tendencies, from idealism and materialism, to functionalism and expressionism, to lyrical and geometrical abstraction, and so on. Figures such as Paul Cézanne and Adolf Loos, Ferdinand de Saussure, Sigmund Freud and Werner Heisenberg, can all be seen as pioneers of this broadly synthetic approach to language, aesthetics, and the social and physical sciences. But at the time Joyce was composing Finnegans Wake, this approach had come to be most fully embodied in the institution that was known as the Bauhaus. Intended as “a consultation centre for industry and the trades” by its first director, architect Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus (originally located in Weimar, but later, and more famously, at Dessau) exemplified the tensions that existed in European intellectual and artistic circles between the concepts of “applied” and “pure” art. Among its activities the Bauhaus published the writings of artists like Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich, and Gropius attempted to establish, after 1925, a basis for all design in the broad synthesis of the theories of de Stijl and Constructivism. Artists and architects such as Théo van Doesburg, Johannes Itten, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky at one time or another bore direct or indirect influence upon the international emergence of the Bauhaus style, in which an expressionist metaphysics was gradually sublimated within a more austerely rational one, dominated by ideas originating in architecture and industrial design. For Moholy-Nagy, “technology” could thus be defined as “the invention, construction and maintenance of the machine.”49 Or, as van Doesburg insisted: Since it is true that culture in its widest sense means independence of Nature, then we must not wonder that the machine stands in the forefront of our cultural willto-style [...]. Consequently, the spiritual and practical needs of our time are realised in constructive sensibility. The new possibilities of the machine have created an aesthetic expressive of our time, that I once called the Machine Aesthetic.50

But this aesthetic, which can only with difficulty be thought according to the opposition between nature and artifice, physis and technē, the sensible and the intelligible, and so on, poses a challenge to the very conception of the machine. For van Doesburg this may be explained in terms of “constructive sensibility” and “will-to-style.” At the same time, the notion that culture stands for an independence from, or of, nature can also be thought in terms of an exacerbation of physical processes, beyond the purely mechanistic to the technological as such. As Theall notes, Joyce’s own use of the term technē works against any such oppositional tendency, emphasising a “machinic” aspect inherent in nature, not as a prosthesis, as Aristotle suggests, “to produce what nature does not produce,” but as the basis of production itself. Yet if Joyce viewed nature as “machinic,” that is not to say that nature is “technologised,” or that it is subject to technology, nor that technics is “organicised,” which would simply introduce a reversible mimetic element, orientated, once more, by the exteriorisation of one of its terms. According to Theall: 28


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Joyce associates art as technē with the artist as a constructor and, recognizing the classical affinity of the arts and the proto-technology of the crafts, he carries his conception of the artist as engineer forward into the post-Enlightenment eras of mechanization and electrification. But a post-technological assembler is of necessity a comic, satiric parodist. While Joyce is intrigued by tools and machines, by electricity and photochemistry, his satiric critique is directed towards the spirit of technology and the fetishization of organization.51

But while Joyce’s “critique” of the “spirit of technology” may appear to work counter to the principles of what Theall terms “the fetishization of organization,” this is realised as a particular type of “satire,” as an excessive, inflationary solicitation of technology. That is to say, of a hyper-mediated “organization” in the form of an architectonics whose exacerbated consonantia would render a totalisation of structure impossible. It is not surprising, then, that the architectural preoccupation of the Bauhaus has particular analogies in the work of Joyce. There are numerous architectural themes that appear throughout Finnegans Wake, but it is the particularly technological aspect of this “architectonic” approach which is of relevance to Joyce’s project as a writer. According to Gropius’s 1919 ‘Manifesto of the Bauhaus’: “The ultimate aim of all creative activity is building.”52 In one way or another this is true, but it might also be expressed in terms of bringing-forth, of poiēsis. In 1923, Gropius made clear the link between this sense of building and contemporary developments in machine technology, underlining the artist’s duty to assimilate industrial means and materials in the creation of new works. For Gropius, this process of assimilation became the overriding concern. “The Bauhaus,” he insisted, “believes the machine to be our modern medium of design and seeks to come to terms with it.”53 And this too can be taken to describe the impetus of Joyce’s project in Finnegans Wake—of “coming to terms” with technology.

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ITINERARIES 1. BOOKS OF SAND Still speaking in a low voice, the stranger said, “It can’t be, but it is. The number of pages in this book is no more or less than infinite. None is the first page, none the last.”1

THE BOOK

W

hat, until recently, has been called for alternately empirical and mystical reasons the book is entering a distinct epoch in which it will no longer be possible to limit the range of a material body of writing by enclosing it within a published volume, as, for instance, something we could call a definitive or even standard edition. As early as the beginning of the eighteenth-century Jonathan Swift had already conceived of the marriage between the book and machinery, projecting the idea of the Gutenberg invention towards its (techno)logical, evolutionary ends.2 With the advent of hypertext and of the World Wide Web this marriage seems to have been at last consummated, linking together both the means, medium and matter of publication as something like an open, universal “mechanised” text. Moreover, this marriage has linked the traditional domain of the book to the entire field of techno-mechanical production and reproduction, by means of extensive, interconnected computing networks. The historical advent of the World Wide Web in late 1990 opened the possibility that any electronic “text” could, conceivably, be directly linked to any other electronic text. Invented by Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist at the Centre Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire (C.E.R.N.), the World Wide Web was originally conceived and developed for large high-energy physics collaborations which require instantaneous information sharing between physicists working at different universities around the world. Berners-Lee, along with a colleague at C.E.R.N., Robert Cailliau, also established fundamental protocols such as URLs (Universal Resource Locator), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language), which provide the basis for electronic hypertext. Anticipating this development as early as the mid-1940s, the American science administrator Vannevar Bush envisaged a form of electronic, interactive text archive, or prosthetic memory, which he termed the “memex.” According to George P. Landow, Bush’s memex is essentially a “poetic machine,” which works on the basis of analogy and association, describing a cybernetic interface between poetics and technology which echoes the poetic science of Giambattista Vico and anticipates the mind ecologies of Gregory Bateson.3 In the 1960s Bush’s ideas were taken up by computing engineers like Theodor H. Nelson, who coined the term “hypertext” to describe a similar type of interface between technē and poiēsis. In Literary Machines, Nelson defined hypertext as “non-sequential 31


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writing—text that branches and allows choices to the reader, best read at an interactive screen. As popularly conceived, this is a series of text chunks connected by links which offer the reader different pathways.”4 For Nelson, a “hypertext” is not determined by its assumed physical or conceptual boundaries, but by communications between texts, between textual structures and between textual elements (where every apparent “limit” suggests, instead, the possibility of a further linkage). The interlinking possibilities of electronic texts have doubtless had profound effects upon the conditions of reading, particularly in the case of such authors as James Joyce, Geoffrey Chaucer or William Shakespeare, whose works have been subject to prolonged and intense scholarly and genetic analysis. In the case of each of these canonical figures computing technology has been brought to bear upon the received notion of the “definitive text,” underlining the fact that in each case there already exist either variorum and composite texts, or distinctly different versions of texts published independently of one another and read contemporaneously.5 In regards to Chaucer, this has extended to the application of advanced programmes for genome analysis to the eighty one extant versions of the ‘Introduction to the Wife of Bath’s Tale’ in an attempt to map the text’s numerous morphogeneses from the time of its composition in the fourteenthcentury to its present reception. For Shakespeare, this has meant the transferral of existing debates surrounding the various Folio and Quarto editions to the domain of computing technology and hypertextuality, just as with Joyce it has brought about new developments in manuscript and notebook analysis, and in the conception of synoptical rather than “definitive” texts of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.6

HYPER/TEXT According to hypertext theorist Jay David Bolter, tradition has it that the “written text” is a “stable record of thought, and [that] to achieve this stability the text has to be based on a physical medium: clay, papyrus or paper; tablet, scroll or book.” Indeed, certain empirical approaches to the materiality of the “book”7 argue that “not only is the text [...] caught in the materiality of the book, it is also tied to the book’s paper, cardboard, ink, and glue to the historical and economic conditions of its production and distribution.”8 Such an approach considers the advent of electronic texts as representing a crisis and a threat to the integrity and meaning especially of literary texts and of literary genres. J. Hillis Miller, commenting upon the fate of the novel, suggests that electronic texts are given: a strange new historic placement in the cyberspace of today. A date of original publication is indicated, and that is about all. The novel exists not as embodied in material form, or at least not material in the fixed way of a printed book. It exists as a large number of bits of information, zeroes and ones inscribed as magnetic differences on a hard disk or on magnetic tape or as minute scratches on an optical disk or as electronic pulses on the wired and wireless transmissions of the Internet.9

For Hillis Miller, a “text” suspended in cyberspace is thus “detached from its local historical context” and becomes “a text in the context of an enormous and incoherent 32


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abundance of works of all kind—verbal, pictorial, and auditory—on the Internet.” Moreover, “this transformation is occurring even though it is still a primary goal of literary history and literary criticism in the modern languages to understand and interpret the culture of the book.”10 Nostalgia for the “text” as artefact belies a central confusion in much of what continues to pass for “literary criticism,” between what we might call bibliographic and linguistic codes, for example: a confusion that often persists in the synonymous use of terms like “book” and “text.” This can be seen as representative of an empirical tendency still current in some areas of literary scholarship, where “materiality” and historical context remain conceptually fixed outside any discourse, including critical discourse, which would not respect such boundaries or which would challenge the certainties implied by them. Joyce himself parodies this preoccupation with the artefactual value of the book at length in Finnegans Wake in regards to a certain letter, “discovered” by a hen in a dunghill in an advanced state of decomposition. This letter, which is said to “belong” to one A.L.P., is subjected to extensive “genetic” analysis by a grave Bròfessor, and posed as evidence during various “inquisitions,” but nevertheless remains indecipherable (due not only to its decomposition, but to the physical “damage” wrought upon it by the hen, the Bròfessor, and the general process of its exegesis, not to mention the fact that the letter is to start with also a text): Well, almost any photoist worth his chemicots will tip anyone asking him the teaser that if a negative of a horse happens to melt enough while drying, well, what you do get is, well, a positively grotesquely distorted macromass of all sorts of horsehappy values and masses of meltwhile horse. Tip. Well, this freely is what must have occurred to our missive (there’s a good sod of a turb for you! please wisp off the grass!) unfilthed from the boucher by the sagacity of a lookmelittle likemelong hen. Heated residence in the heart of the orangeflavoured mudmound had partly obliterated the negative to start with, causing some features palpably nearer your pecker to be swollen up most grossly while the further back we manage to wiggle the more we need the loan of the lens to see as much as the hen saw. [FW 111.26-112.02]

The desire to decipher “all there may remain to be seen” (FW 113.32-33) from this tea-stained letter, suggests a desire, as Jacques Lacan might say, to gain knowledge about the real, revealing that beneath the desire to address the artefactual value of the book is also hidden a desire to situate the meaning of the text in the material reality that is supposed to frame it. This hermeneutic recovery is shown, however, to be a mirage. As Joyce puts it: “Closer inspection of the bordereau would reveal a multiplicity of personalities inflicted on the documents or document” (FW 107.2326), suggesting that the singular identity of the letter is not only questionable,11 but a product itself of hermeneutic “infliction”: Anyhow, somehow and somewhere, before the bookflood or after her ebb [...] wrote it all, wrote it all down, and there you are, full stop. [...] [B]ut one who deeper thinks will always bear in the baccbuccus of his mind that this downright there you are and there it is only all of his eye. Why?

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Because Soferim Bebel [...] every person, place and thing in the chaosmos of Alle anyway connected with the gobblydumped turkery was moving and changing every part of the time: the travelling inkhorn (possibly pot), the hare and turtle pen and paper, the continually more or less intermisunderstanding minds of the anticollaborators, the as time went on as it will variously inflected, differently pronounced, otherwise spelled, changeably meaning vocable scriptsigns [...] riot of inkblots and blurs and bars and balls and hoops and wriggles and juxtaposed jottings linked by spurts of speed. [FW 118.11-30]

But even if we are to take into account the different possible factors that confer meaning upon the “book” as an artefact, or even upon the printed word as signifying in a way distinct from, say, a word displayed on a computer screen—that would still not mean that the text can be considered simply as the shadow or trace of an idea “already shaped,” as it were, by an historical context within which the “technology of the book” would be imbedded. Even adopting a more or less socio-empirical view of literate cultures, what we would call textual structures can be seen as actively determining so-called “ideas” just as powerfully as the “primal structures” that are considered as shaping language itself (as in McLuhan’s dictum: the medium is the message).12 And this would suggest, quite trivially of course, that what Hillis Miller persists in calling the “culture of the book” and its grounding in certain “historical contexts” is a basic confusion: on the one hand, of textuality with the normative structures that it in fact determines and to which it is made to appear subject, and, on the other hand, of the signifying “materiality” of the text with the artefactual value of the printed book. However, as long as “the text” was seen to be married to physical media, the majority of readers and writers took for granted three crucial attributes: that the text was linear, bounded and fixed. Generations of scholars have internalised these qualities as the rules of thought, and they have had persuasive, and pervasive, social consequences. Nevertheless, these rules of thought have come under increasing scrutiny during the course of the twentieth-century, most recently in the form of post-structural theory and the advent of hypertext. As the critic Richard Lanham has noted: It was establishing the original text that the Renaissance scholars thought their main task, and generations of textual editors since have renewed their labours. The aim of all this was to fix the text forever.13

The continuing controversy over the Hans Walter Gabler edition of Joyce’s Ulysses makes abundantly clear just how intense the desire to “fix the text forever” can be.14 Gabler’s conceptualisation of the editing process may have occurred “independently of his decision to use the computer,”15 but the controversy over his “synoptic” version of Ulysses offers a clear illustration of the way computers can revolutionise our understanding of text, but also how they can become the tools of a form of technological nostalgia. Every word in Gabler’s synoptic text was written by Joyce himself, and yet the final “reading text” is a text no one ever wrote: it had never existed prior to its publication. In this sense Gabler’s Ulysses recalls certain mathematical formulae which produce structures that, while in some cases resembling phenomena in the “real” world, have no counterpart in that world. 34


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ARCHAEOLOGY Gabler’s use of the computer to “restore” Ulysses to the form of its “total conception,” belies a tendency within some areas of textual scholarship to pursue a form of encyclopaedism, constructing upon the assumptions of a possible totality of authorial intention something like a codex, or signatura rerum. The archival desire which underwrites this project also extends to the totality of authorial identity, and to the projection of this encyclopaedism onto the body of artefacts and testimonies which circulate around the proper name of the author. Indeed, since its inception Joyce studies has been effected by issues of legality and ownership. As William Brockman has pointed out, “amongst these should be included the aggressive acquisition by American Universities of library collections during the 1950s, the beneficence of donors, the tastes of private collectors, the sporadic restrictions placed upon access by the Joyce estate, and the intentional destruction of documents”—all of which has strongly influenced the disposition of Joyce studies.16 As Brockman suggests, one result of Joyce’s “lifelong peripatetic style of residence,” and of his abrupt departure from Paris in 1939, was that there remained after his death a legacy of letters and manuscripts scattered throughout Europe.17 In the 1940s Joyce’s papers were distributed amongst a variety of private owners, beyond the knowledge, or at least control, of Joyce’s immediate family, and for the most part unavailable to scholars. Sales in 1924 of most of John Quinn’s library (not including a manuscript copy of the eighth draft of ‘Circe’),18 and in 1935 of manuscripts in the possession of Sylvia Beach, brought a limited number of papers onto the open market. Among the items offered for sale by Beach was: a selection of typescript pages [of Ulysses] with autograph corrections by the Author [...]. These pages may be acquired separately by those who might like to enrich their copy of Ulysses with a little manuscript of Joyce.19

Whilst Harvard had acquired the manuscript of Stephen Hero in 1937, there was no effective institutional collecting of Joyce’s papers until the 1950s. Even after Joyce’s death in 1941, libraries remained ambivalent about collecting Joyceana, despite Judge John M. Woolsey’s decision lifting the United States ban on Ulysses in 1933,20 while the upheavals of the Second World War, combined with issues of propriety and public responsibility, necessarily limited availability. But over the next fifteen years, during the height of collecting by American universities, Joyce’s papers gained sufficient value to subject their acquisition to contention and dispute. It was this market, as Brockman points out, that resulted in their complicated distribution among libraries today.21 In 1979, three scholars—Michael Groden, Danis Rose and David Hayman— completed work on one of the major efforts of publishing in the history of Joyce studies, aimed at resolving at least some of the difficulties caused by the distribution of Joyce’s notebooks and manuscripts. The James Joyce Archive in 63 volumes was, for a time, seen as solving the more immediate problem of accessing the many disparate library collections, although it soon became apparent that the sheer size and cost of the 35


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archive was itself prohibitive. Moreover, the archive did not in fact represent the entire body of Joyce’s extant papers, many of which still remain in private hands. By 1984 the question of accessibility had become of pressing importance, with the publication of Gabler’s three-volume “Critical and Synoptic Edition” of Ulysses by Garland. Gabler, with the assistance of ten researchers at the Institute for English Philology, at the University of Munich, and supported by a grant of US$300,000.00 from the German government, produced what was for a time hailed as the definitive text of Ulysses, with no fewer than five thousand “improvements.” In 1986 Gabler’s Ulysses: The Corrected Text was published in one volume, with all other editions being withdrawn. It was hailed as a massive success, not least by Anthony Burgess, who was confident that it was far superior to the original 1922 edition or to the Bodley Head editions of 1934 and 1961.22 In 1988, however, an otherwise unknown Joyce scholar, John Kidd of Boston University, published an article entitled ‘The Scandal of Ulysses’ which severely criticised Gabler’s methodology.23 One of the principal points of contention between Kidd and Gabler was the efficacy of working from facsimile editions of Joyce’s manuscripts, rather than directly from the originals (a task which poses extreme logistical difficulties). This was a problem that the Joyce Archive proved insufficient in solving due, among other things, to the importance of the many different coloured pencils and crayons which Joyce used to indicate corrections or deletions. There was also the problem of the weakness and often near illegibility of Joyce’s script, and the difficulty in differentiating, in black and white facsimile, between Joyce’s markings or deletions and those of his copyists, typists and proof readers—problems which were even further exacerbated in the case of Finnegans Wake by the fact that much of the text had been dictated, and that it had been composed over a period of seventeen years during which time Joyce changed his methods of working from his notebooks.24 In 1990 the bulk of Joyce’s work temporarily moved out of copyright. But in 1993 Britain and the United States revised their copyright laws in line with broader European standards, retrospectively extending the term of copyright protection from fifty to seventy years from the author’s death. However, during the three years in which Joyce’s work fell out of copyright control, Donald Theall at Trent University established online versions of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, while revised editions of Joyce’s work were produced by several major publishers. Amongst these was the international publishing house Penguin which, following the 1984 controversy over Hans Walter Gabler’s “corrected” text of Ulysses, chose to re-issue instead the 1961 Bodley Head edition. Soon after, Gabler’s major rival, John Kidd of Boston University, himself lost favour with critics, resulting in the indefinite suspension of plans by Norton to publish his three volume “definitive” text of Ulysses, initially scheduled for 1992 release, but first deferred and then later abandoned altogether. The situation soured further in 1994 with new threats by Joyce’s grandson, Stephen Joyce, to issue suits against academics who chose to quote from Joyce’s private correspondence. Already Brenda Maddox’s Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce (awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography in 1988, and subsequently, in 2000, adapted for film by director Pat Murphy) had been withdrawn by its publishers, Random House, and reissued with substantial emendations. On this occasion the Joyce estate 36


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had taken offence at Maddox’s reference to Joyce’s “pornographic” and scatological letters in the last chapter of her book.25 Similarly, at the XVth International James Joyce Symposium, held in Zürich in June 1996, Stephen Joyce vowed that he would “prevent the genetic scholars from ‘mucking up’ Joyce’s texts with new editions ‘just to build reputations.’”26 These concerns aside, there remains the problem of access to the disparate and extensive collections of Joyce’s notebooks and manuscripts. Joyce himself often joked that his books would keep the professors busy for centuries, something which seems at times to be born out by the academic concern for textual minutiae. But after the excesses of the 1980s, Joyce studies has for the time being ceased to be dominated by the Alexandrian project of resurrecting an Ur-text of Ulysses or Finnegans Wake: “Ur greeft on them!” (FW 241.31). On the other hand, the challenges of the James Joyce Archive, and the attention aroused by the Gabler-Kidd scandal, have prompted many Joyce scholars to look more deeply into the significance of manuscript analysis and its impact upon Joyce studies generally.27 In the early 1990s the widespread availability of hypermedia software seemed to provide possible solutions to many of the dilemmas posed by the existing distribution of Joyce’s papers and to the ethical problems that had arisen during the 1980s over editorial practice. It also seemed to offer a possible bridge between traditional manuscript analysis and current trends in textual theory, a way of re-consolidating the Joycean project, and of combining the enthusiasm of commercial investors (particularly in the area of CD-ROM development) with the interests of scholarship. With the rapid growth in virtual technologies, there has also been a renewal and extension of existing theories and practices of “genetic” criticism, particularly at the Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes (I.T.E.M.) in Paris, and among various individual projects internationally.28 Amongst other things, the marriage of textual genetics and hypertext promises a means of tracing the formation of received versions of Joyce’s work and of the “unreceivable” Joycean archive which haunts them, without necessarily resorting to the archaeological precepts of Ur-critics like Gabler and Kidd. But as Jacques Derrida has warned: there is an incessant tension here between the archive and archaeology. They will always be close the one to the other, resembling each other, hardly discernible in their co-implication, and yet radically incompatible, heterogeneous, that is to say, different with regard to the origin, in divorce with regard to the archē.29

This notion of “divorce with regard to the archē” presents a central paradox in this relation—genetics and hypertext—as describing a type of quasi “archaeological” mechanism, sifting through the probable ruins and simulacra of “the Joycean text.” This relation can nevertheless be seen as generative. Not with the aim of derivation or of “restoring” an Ur-text, but of setting the possibilities (and “plurabilities” [FW 104.02]) arising from this co-determination to work simultaneously, as a movement of desire and the impossibility of its realisation: a simulated archaeology, producing and organising simulacrum artefacts of its own interminable process. That is, as a kind of hermeneutic monstrum. According to Derrida:

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one perhaps could say that the movement of any archaeology [...] is an accomplice of [...] reduction [...] and always attempts to conceive of structure on the basis of a full presence which is beyond play.30

At the same time, the co-implication and incompatibility of the archive makes such a reduction impossible—or rather, hypothetical, as the self-interested (solipsistic) perpetuation of two “systems” of mutual determination. Joyce’s machine, as Rabaté points out, is a paradox, which has no other aim “than what it accomplishes itself in running.”31 Similarly, in the genetic process of reduction and recuperation, what have heretofore been considered distinct, if problematic, features of Joyce’s writing (textual deviations, omissions, printer’s “corrections,” manuscript variations, Joyce’s own amendments and possible oversights, etc.), would thus be brought within one another’s sphere of signifying influence, as it were, as “material” parts of a single, if contradictory, hypertextual apparatus. This apparatus, far from introducing a further “meta-level” of complexity into the Joycean text where it wasn’t there before, would instead open itself to those significatory forces operating already between the so-called text and its protoor avant-textes which had previously been elided through, among other things, editorial practice and the availability of appropriate technological resources. Such a generative text of Finnegans Wake has (at least in part) been signalled under the generic title Work in Progress. Work in Progress is, in one sense, the title given to Joyce’s several published pieces between 1924 and 1938 that were either left individually untitled, or else appeared under autonomous titles such as Anna Livia Plurabelle, Haveth Childers Everywhere, or Tales Told of Shem and Shaun. In another sense, “work in progress” defines Joyce’s writerly condition between 1923 and 1939.32 Work in progress in the latter sense, documented as it is from the time of the so-called Finn’s Hotel vignettes in notes, drafts, fair manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs, has posthumously and only recently come to public notice, and it is only still beginning to have an impact on Joyce scholarship. Inroads into a “genetic” understanding of this “contonuation of the word in pregross” (FW 284.21) were first aided by the publication of the James Joyce Archive and began by way of transcriptions and analyses of the Finnegans Wake notebooks. One of the Archive’s compositors, Danis Rose, has, since the mid-1970s, been involved (with John O’Hanlon in Dublin) in the establishment of a genetic and critical edition of Finnegans Wake. The publication of this four-volume edition of Finn’s Hotel/Finnegans Wake, however, has been indefinitely delayed due to legal problems arising out of a conflict with the Joyce estate. In 1995 Rose published a monograph titled The Textual Diaries of James Joyce,33 in which he attempts to outline the chronological arrangement of documents used in the composition of Work in Progress and Finnegans Wake, thereby giving the basic arrangement of his four-part critical edition of the Wake, in an effort “to lift, or try to lift, the cloud of ignorance under which for the most part these matters are being debated.”34 As against the chronological arrangement of Rose’s Diary, however, Joyce’s work in progress is shown to have emerged non-linearly. That is, in relation to the “completed” Finnegans Wake, hence exploding a popular fallacy that Joyce’s writing followed a clear and singular line of development over the seventeen year period of the Wake’s composition.35 38


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For Rose, Joyce’s notebooks are indexes to the textual realm of Work in Progress/Finnegans Wake—an idea first put forward by Rose himself in his The Index Manuscript,36 but which in the Diary he outlines more emphatically, stating that: it is solely through the index connection [of notebooks and Finnegans Wake text] that we can analyse the larger patterns of Joyce’s work in progress.37

Rose’s non-linear view of the genesis of the Wake, and his constructivist approach to how this genesis effects our engagement with Finnegans Wake as a “stable” text, suggests not only a possible hypertextual approach but a solicitation of hypertext. In this sense, the hypertextuality of Joyce’s “work in progress” is not founded upon an empirical logistics, but on a textual condition.

POSSIBLE WORLDS In ‘The Garden of Forking Paths,’ the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges describes a book by a fictional author Ts’ui Pèn which, like a textual Chinese box, suggests a potentially infinite number of simultaneous narratives bound within the material finitude of a single volume: In all fictional works, each time a man is confronted with several alternatives, he chooses one and eliminates the others; in the fiction of Ts’ui Pèn, he chooses— simultaneously—all of them. HE CREATES, in this way, diverse futures, diverse times which themselves also proliferate and fork. Here, then, is the explanation of the novel’s contradiction.38

As with Rose’s Index Manuscript, Borges’s fictional text suggests a type of writing in which an economy of ideogrammatic summarisation and bifurcation operates a structural “apparatus” whose contradictory nature can only be “explained” by something equally as complex and contradictory. The solicitation of this hypertextual apparatus, however, is located in the structure of possibility itself, and not merely within the fiction’s thematic organisation. Moreover, as with Joyce, possibility in this sense stands in advance of narrativity, as a condition of the text “in progress,” hence describing a type of signifying programme which also underwrites the basic mechanisms of textuality. The idea that other unrealised possibilities exist “in worlds of their own” (as it were) can be traced back to pre-Socratic philosophers like the Atomists or Parmenides.39 And the idea that poetic “imitations” are imitations of the possible rather than the actual can be attributed to Aristotle, who insisted in chapter IX of the Poetics that: it is not the function of the poet to relate what has happened, but what may happenwhat is possible either in the way of likelihood or inevitability.40

After the Middle Ages, the notion of “possible worlds” moved away from the poetic, ideal and formal concerns of the Greeks and proceeded more along the lines of 39


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“scientific” positings of the actual plurality of worlds, from the Renaissance on through to the eighteenth-century and Leibniz’s monadology.41 The idea attracted renewed attention during the 1950s, when physicists working both on relativity theory and quantum mechanics began to posit the “existence” of other, “possible” worlds which connect to our own.42 Possible worlds here are considered to be parallel and alternative versions of our own world, where the individuals, temporalities, causalities or outcomes of situations, decisions or actions are, in some respects, different. In relativity theory, other possible worlds are conceived as existing side-by-side with our universe—in quantum theory, as occupying the same space in a ghostly manner. It is this last notion of possible worlds that comes to bear upon the precepts of genetic criticism and which is probably most useful to a consideration of hypertext and Finnegans Wake. Interest in possible worlds also increased in the 1960s and 1970s when attempts were first made to develop computing programmes which could simulate realities (artificial intelligence, strategic systems, meteorological modelling). Many of these programmes owed their conception to the pioneering work of Alan Turing, whose 1936 paper ‘On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem’ provided a blueprint for the developers of the first electronic computers.43 In a way that uncannily “describes” Finnegans Wake, Turing mathematically demonstrated what (in simplified terms) can be understood as the assertion that it is impossible to conceive of a computer more powerful than a “universal Turing machine.” That is to say, the theoretical apparatus called a universal Turing machine is capable of “simulating” all possible Turing machines by means of a programmatics in which computing is linked to a general recursiveness (the Church-Turing thesis).44 As in Cantor’s paradox, the Turing machine evolves from a “built-in obsolescence” to self-simulation along a supplementary metonymic chain of substitutions, recalling also Marshall McLuhan’s comments on the simultaneous obsolescence and virtually infinite extensibility of the “book.” In The Virtual Marshall McLuhan, Donald Theall has pointed out how such a convergence of ideas was bound to have an impact on Joyce’s conception of Finnegans Wake.45 Like Guillaume Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars, Joyce was greatly impressed by the late work of Stéphane Mallarmé, particularly the typographically “concrete” poem Un coup de dés. The simultanéisme and concretion of Apollinaire’s Calligrammes and Cendrars’s Prose du trans-sibérien have both been attributed to the influence of Mallarmé, and similar traits can be found in Joyce’s work. What Theall identifies, however, is that the impact of Mallarmé can be traced through the implications of a poem like Un coup de dés in terms of contemporary mass media and communications technology (as in the ‘Aeolus’ episode of Ulysses).46 For Theall, the simultaneous and paratactic nature of fragmentary media messages reveals a hyper-textual network of otherwise disparate textual elements, an “idioglossary” (FW 423.09) of an encyclopaedic dimension: in the Nichtian glossery which purveys aprioric roots for aposteriorous tongues this is nat language at any sinse of the world. [FW 83.10-12]

Such a glossary or encyclopaedia, as a type of hypothetical Turing machine, would redetermine the technology of the book as a matrix of all “possible worlds,” beyond the 40


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notions of the book of revelation and the book of nature. As Mallarmé writes: “que tout, au monde, existe pour aboutir à un livre.”47 In the second of their two books dealing with capitalism and schizophrenia, A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari describe Joyce’s words as having “multiple roots,” which “shatter the linear unity of the word, even of language, only to posit a cyclic unity of the sentence, text, or knowledge.”48 Subsequently, in Joyce “the world has become chaos, but the book remains the image of the world: radical-chaosmos rather than root-cosmos. A strange mystification: a book all the more total for being fragmented.”49 Recalling those structuralist axioms which attempt to define foundational semantic units, this statement by Deleuze and Guattari mistakenly suggests that Joyce’s language is merely a re-statement of linguistic normativity, even as his “words [...] shatter the linear unity of the word, even of language.” According Deleuze and Guattari, the vast growth in information technology and the electronic media has resulted in the idea that reality only exists through the global interaction of simulated possible worlds (informatics, speculative economies), in the form of abstract machines.50 In place of the apparent “monotheism and the book”51 there are seen to emerge “collective assemblages of enunciation” derived from “principles of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a rhizome can be connected to any other, and must be.”52 This rhizomatic text, rather than exceeding in any way the Joycean “book,” serves to affirm the radical “hypertextual” nature of Joyce’s project, in which the “word” links across the entire field of “language,” whose “cyclic unity” it at once “shatters” and describes in the movement of its transversal. In The Gutenberg Galaxy and The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century, McLuhan similarly described a radical, global convergence of media (as a Joycean “chaosmos of Alle” [FW 118.21]), across the existing boundaries of sense and the senses (synaesthesia), in which language and the “book” are dramatically reconfigured. But while McLuhan is not credited by Deleuze and Guattari, many of the ideas which have since become foundational to the vastly over-categorised jargon of “rhizomatics” are derived, in a more or less direct genealogy, from the writings of McLuhan, and in particular his meditations upon the work of Joyce.53 However this may be, the “Joycean tachyons, particles-holes, and quarks”54 which organise the apparent “cyclic unity” of our hypertextual “radical-chaosmos,” can be seen to bear direct implications for the way in which so-called “collective assemblages of enunciation” are in fact conceived and experienced. As hypertext develops further the use of hypermedia in contemporary life (in which anything that can be retrieved from an electronic archive can function as a text node, including digitised film, audio, complex imaging, generative and analytical functions and so on), the idea that the world is a network (or “web”) of virtual realities is becoming more “concrete.”

PROGRAMME In Cratylus, Plato asks: “Does not the word ‘technē’ denote a possession or state of mind?” This notion of “states of mind” not only requires that consciousness operate 41


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on a level of possibility, but places such recent concepts as “artificial intelligence” within a context of technological artifice, as an operation of a certain programmatics or pro-grammē. That is to say, as an apparatus of possibility defining the structure of thought itself, which we might also consider as a form of text. In this way technē does not imply a prosthesis of mind, but “denotes a possession or state of mind” in which possibility is ubiquitous. Among other things, this technics of “states of mind” raises ever more complex questions about the nature of “reality” and of “possible worlds.” For Maurice Blanchot, these questions are also questions about the culture of the book—a literacy and literality of simultaneous world-states describing a virtually infinite hypertextual “chaosmos.” As Blanchot argues: if the world could be exactly translated and reduplicated in a book, it would cease to have a beginning or an end and would be the spherical, complete, boundless volume which every writer writes and in which he is written—it would cease to be the world but would, or will, be the world perverted into the infinite sum of its possibilities.55

Similarly, Jacques Derrida describes this genesis of “hypertext” in terms of a failure of existing notions of textuality to contain significatory possibilities, suggesting that a text is always already in “interior” communication with what had previously been considered as constituting its “exterior.” According to Derrida’s by now famous dictum, il n’y a pas de hors texte:56 What has happened, if it has happened, is a sort of overrun [débordement] that spoils all these boundaries and divisions and forces us to extend the accredited concept, the dominant notion of a “text,” of what I still call a “text,” for strategic reasons, in part—a “text” that is henceforth no longer a finished corpus of writing [...] enclosed in a book or its margins, but a differential network, a fabric of traces referring endlessly to something other than itself, to other differential traces.57

This overrun can be said to effect the entirety of discourse, including philosophical discourse, in a way that renders traditional modes of inquiry problematic. Not only does this overrun affect the stability of an object of inquiry (even if a text is only nominally an object), as well as the limits of the genre of that object, but it suggests the impossibility of situating an object of inquiry independently of the mode of inquiry itself. Derrida’s formula does not merely relate to the way language operates in and of itself, but to the ways in which language is said to be manipulated (or programmed). In this way we might say that there are, in fact, no textual objects. In various ways this recalls Stanley Fish’s notion of “interpretive communities,” in which texts serve a dual empirical-psychological function (in what appears to agree with a broadly Lacanian definition). A text operates always within the field of “the Other,” as a locus of desire— a situation it shares with the Lacanian subject.58 In this way the “dialectic of desire” described in Lacan’s formulation of the “mirror stage” also functions as a model of interpretation. 42


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Etymologically, the Latin interpretatio includes the meanings “to mediate” and “to translate,” and this is perhaps one of the simplest ways of thinking the congruence of interpretation and textual production.59 Further, it gathers together the various notions of difference between, and within, languages, and between language itself and its socalled exterior. In Derrida’s view: The interpretation or solving of the puzzles of the textual web only adds more filaments to the web. One can never escape the labyrinth because the activity of escaping makes more labyrinth.60

All commentary, having in one way or another language itself as its object, succeeds merely in proliferating a discourse to which it already belongs—and this is perhaps the most direct way in which we can approach the inherently textual nature of “possibility.” Moreover, it answers the more obvious questions of hypertextual cybernetics (in which the production of a hypertext or hypertextual transverse cannot be situated as an independent, decisive act, but rather as an “interpretive” one). In the 1970s and 1980s, modal philosophers such as Saul Kripke, David Lewis and Nicholas Rescher, spent much of their time reworking traditional logic to accommodate the “existence” of other possible worlds, as well as thinking about the nature of possibility itself. For Kripke, possible worlds are stipulated rather than discovered, and, in pursuing Cantor’s “naïve” principle (that from any predicate a set can be formed), developed a semantic interpretation of modal logic.61 Further extending Cantor’s principal, and drawing upon Bertram Russell’s theory of types, David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker have asserted that the idea of a proposition is itself a set of possible worlds. More recently some literary and social theorists have begun to explore media and simulacrum in terms of possible worlds, in particular Umberto Eco, Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio. For Baudrillard, possibility can be thought in terms of simulation, where: “Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation of models of a real without origin: a hyperreal.”62 Something of this idea was already current in the work of Pierre Klossowski and can be traced back, along with Lacan’s “dialectic of identification,” to the seminars of Alexandre Kojève in the 1940s.63 According to Klossowski: “La simulation étant l’attribut de l’être même, elle devient aussi le principe même de la connaissance.”64 For many “possible worlds” theorists, possibility is ubiquitous and not necessarily or even primarily linked to myth, dream or illusion since, as Rescher perceives it, “the rational guidance of human affairs [also] involves a constant recourse to possibilities.”65 There is also a suggestion that modal philosophers were reacting largely to the role of the computer. In Homo Cyberneticus Hans Holstein argues that modal attempts to describe world states were required to permit the mechanical derivation of subsequent world states in problem-solving programs, where the computer was used to assist in human decision making.66 The establishment of world-states and rules of transformation was a preliminary to programmes which could explore the different possible consequences of decisions or the different possible future states devolving from the present world state. This is not to say that possibility is a function of a rational consciousness (or a function of intentionality), but of a certain technē of inscription, 43


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or pro-grammē, which only with difficulty can be thought of as an “artificial intelligence,” or Cartesian Artifex Maximus. The concept of possibility would thus no longer involve a coextensivity between the structuring logics of different “world states,” or of a logos in whose shadow possibility would merely describe a form of “mimetic proliferation” of signs. Similarly, the concept of possibility would not dependent upon the “future possibility” of being realised or made manifest, whether temporally or spatially, as what we might call the reduction of a certain polysemy. At the same time, however, it would be impossible to do without these notions, whose reductional mechanics describe an axis or “horizon of possibility” from which terms such as simultaneity and simulationism obtain their meaning. This is the basis of Stephen Dedalus’s dilemma in Stephen Hero and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, when he poses the Aristotelian question: is anything possible that does not actually take place? This question is partly addressed by Freud (although, as Derrida points out, unwittingly), in his critique of superstition in Studies in Parapsychology, when he raises the issue of chance in regards to the operations of the unconscious and psychoanalytic method.67 There is an interesting admixture of predeterminism and pre-destination in Freud’s discussion, which might be said to programme Derrida’s frequent use of the phrase “calculated and by chance.”68 But this paradox is inherent to the structure of possibility itself, in that something implies the possibility of its being realised at some unspecified time or place, or in some unspecified way as a form of destiny to which it is tied regardless of whether such a possibility will ever be realised or not. In this sense possibility can be considered as operating at a remove from itself, as a constant deferral of itself, orientated by the promise of a future advent.69 At the same time this “forethrow” of possibility operates a mechanism of reversion, a prototypical cybernetic apparatus between psychological “affect” and material “causation,” intentionality and chance, physis and technē, and so on. Moreover, in its deferral of totality in the assumption of a signified event or “realisation,” this apparatus can be seen as operating textually, as so many chains or networks of signifying “substitution,” describing, in fact, what we might therefore call hypertext.

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2. ENFRAMING Neither inside nor outside, it spaces itself without letting itself be framed but it does not stand outside the frame. It works the frame, makes it work, lets it work, gives it work to do [...]. The trait is attracted and retrac(t)ed there by itself, attracts and dispenses with itself there [il s’y attire et s’y passe, de lui-même]. It is situated. It situates between the visible edging and the phantom in the centre, from which we fascinate. [...] Between the outside and the inside, between the external and internal edge-line, the framer and the framed, the figure and the ground, form and content, signifier and signified, and so on for any two-faced opposition. The trait thus divides in this place where it takes place. The emblem of this topos seems undiscoverable.1

PROTOTYPE

T

he theoretical prototype of modern hypertext was first described in an article by Vannevar Bush in 1945, in the Atlantic Monthly.2 Bush envisaged an electronically linked information retrieval machine designed to help scientists and private individuals process, organise and access the increasing amounts of information that new research and communications technologies were making available. Bush described this machine, the memex, as: a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, “memex” will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged supplement to his memory.3

This supplemental memory was envisaged by Bush as performing a function of “associative indexing” linked to a mechanical archive, of which it would form an integral part, “the basic idea of which is a provision whereby any item may be caused at will to select immediately and automatically another. This is the essential feature of the memex.”4 As Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development in America in the mid-1940s, Bush was in a unique position to appreciate the significance of information systems for the future of western technological development. But it wasn’t until the 1960s, when Theodor H. Nelson and Douglas C. Englebart began to design computer systems that could implement some of these notions of linked texts, that the computing possibilities of what Nelson came to term “hypertext” were given formal expression. Consequently today hypertext as a term is taken to refer almost exclusively to computer-based networks of interlinked texts, supported by an array of “mark-up” languages and specialised scripts. This form of “hypertext,” however, only began to be generally available for personal computers in the late 1980s, whilst the ubiquitous World Wide Web did not take form in the popular imagination until the advent of browser software like Mosaic and Netscape in the early 1990s.

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As George P. Landow and Paul Delaney point out in their 1991 anthology, Hypermedia and Literary Studies, electronic library catalogues and search facilities, which have been in wide use since the late 1970s, provide a simplified model of hypertext systems. While these systems can be thought of as supporting a virtual rearrangement and retrieval of information about individual published volumes, they are generally limited to a small number of standardised search categories (author, title, subject) and did not, until fairly recently, tend to operate with textual units smaller than a book or, in some cases, individual articles. But according to Landow and Delaney, online catalogues do not actually qualify as hypertext systems “because they operate on textual classifications rather than on the actual underlying complete texts.” On the contrary, a “true hypertext must be able to define textual units, and link them in various ways, within an overall textbase or, to use another term now gaining currency, ‘docuverse.’”5 Generally speaking, hypertext emerged at a time when textual theories had already reconfigured the way we think about the book and about what it is that constitutes a text. Consequently, it was not so much a question of hypertext’s theoretical value but of its possible use which concerned academics like Landow and Delaney. To a greater or lesser extent hypertext presented a possible means of overcoming the material limitations of the existing reading culture—from the most mundane practice of turning pages and taking printed volumes from shelves, to the more complex requirements of cross referencing and the presentation of simultaneous or variorum texts. This utilitarian function of hypertext, an extension of older information retrieval systems, is still the most common use of the medium—and despite its supposedly radical break with the existing structure of the book it remains, in fact, closely related to such traditional “internal” meta-textual functions as citation, indexing, tables of contents, pagenumbering, chapter divisions and subdivisions, footnotes and endnotes, appendices, glossaries, prefaces and postscripts, critical introductions and afterwords, as well as to such “external” functions as concordances, annotations, curricula vitae, reference guides, biographies, scholarly editions, monographs, reader’s guides, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and so on. By the same token, hypertext can also be seen as eroding precisely those boundaries which determine the relation of text to meta-text, along with such unitarian notions as completion, closure and linearity. For Landow and Delaney, computer hypertexts provided a model for a critical paradigm, along vaguely “deconstructive” lines, by which electronic writing could be thought of as dismantling textual hierarchies “by inserting every text into a web of textual relations.”6 In this sense hypertext defines textuality in terms of “integration” rather than “containment,” by “situating texts in a field of other text,”7 although this too can be seen as merely a restatement of textual relations described in the work of pre-structuralist thinkers like Blanchot and Bataille, and in the work of pioneer “textual theorists” like Sigmund Freud, J.G. Frazer and Ferdinand de Saussure. When it first began to encroach upon the field of textual studies, however, the real challenge of hypertext was that it rendered explicit the particular psychological processes of “synthesis” that have always been a part of the experience of language, but that have nonetheless been subordinated to the interests of formal discourse. 46


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Practically speaking, the advent of hypertext brought with it a number of problems that made it difficult to continue regarding post-Saussurean discourse as purely “speculative.” It seemed that heretofore “theoretical speculations” on the nature of signifying structure would have a “material” realisation in the shape of a functional “technology” that, rather than existing on the margins of the academy or passing in as a kind of literary fashion, was in fact about to entrench itself in the very fabric of popular and official culture globally. In the process, this strange technology has come to further redefine the way in which we conceive the relationship between “information” and textuality. In the context of literary studies, the sudden, and seemingly unlimited capacity to manipulate texts brought with it conceptual problems which, by and large, arose from the purely practical function scholars had considered computers to serve in regards to their research needs (that is, as a reference tool). When it became evident that hypertext was something far more dynamic than simply an information retrieval system—that is, as a medium in its own right (the first verbal medium, after computing languages, to emerge from the computer revolution)—questions again arose as to what constitutes a unit of text, and what are the relevant (or possible) links between textual units? For Landow and Delaney, among traditional (pre-Saussurean) textual units the most recognised “are the word, the sentence and the book”: To think of them as commensurable units on a linear scale of magnitude might appear natural, but it is also misleading. A word is a conceptual unit, a sentence a syntactical one, a book a unit whose identity is largely determined by its status as a physical object.8

Or, following Aristotle, by its symbolic relation to an external, formal unity. However, the integrity of each of these “units” has already been severely tested by writers of the avant-garde, by anthropologists, cognitive psychologists and psychoanalysts, and by philosophers, linguists, and other theorists, and so it has become necessary to arrive at different ways of thinking about textual units as such.9 The American critic Stanley Fish, for example, considers that “formal units are always a function of the interpretive model one brings to bear; they are not ‘in’ the text.”10 In the opinion of Fish, “formal units,” like “intentions,” function nominally: “an intention, like a formal unit, is made when perceptual or interpretive closure is hazarded; it is verified by an interpretive act, and [...] it is not verifiable in any other way.”11 Further, Fish argues that “meanings are not extracted but made and unmade not by encoding forms but by interpretive strategies that call forms into being.”12 For Fish, “intention,” like “formal units,” are a product of a decision, and this decision constructs a type of psychological interface between the reader(s) (the “interpretive community”) and the empirical phenomenon of the words on the page. This interface (“interpretive strategies”) describes a textual relation, and by extension we might consider the virtually unlimited capacity of this interface to evolve differing textual relations to define one of the basic qualities of hypertext.13

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CYBERNETIC That a text is not an object was one of the arguments of Roman Ingarden’s 1931 phenomenological study, The Literary Work of Art,14 and a similar conclusion is to be found in the twelfth chapter of René Wellek’s and Austin Warren’s 1949 Theory of Literature.15 This chapter, written by Wellek and heavily indebted to Ingarden, disputes various accounts of the literary text as any sort of empirical or psychological entity, although it nevertheless suggests that the text may be situated or realised by empirical means.16 In Wellek’s conception, the text is neither an artefact like a piece of sculpture (that is, the physical pages or book), nor the real sounds uttered by someone performing it. Neither is it the psychological experience of someone hearing or reading it, the experience of the author in creating it, nor, finally, is it the totality of readers’experiences or even what all of them have in common (which would be merely a lowest common denominator). Wellek concludes that a text is only a matter of norms which serve as “a potential cause of experiences,”17 which Ingarden views as phenomenological in nature, whereby the term “experience” is substituted for the various ways in which a text can be konkretisiert or realised.18 Nevertheless, the first requirement for a theory of hypertext is that it take into account the medium itself as a kind of mechanical-textual apparatus. That is, not in its utilitarian sense, but in its signifying function. Borrowing a metaphor of interface ecology, we might view this apparatus as contiguous with the de-centred structures inscribed within or between languages and programmed by language. In other words, as an accumulation of processes of transcoding, translation and integration between differing softwares and different operating systems. As Geoffrey Bennington argues, this medium recalls: the “memory” traces of an electronic archive, which can only with difficulty be thought according to the opposition between the sensible and the intelligible, and more easily as differences of force or capacity.19

At the same time, this apparatus remains linked to textuality: “helping us to think writing in a more complicated relation with space and time [...] because of the possibilities of folding a text back on itself, of discontinuous jumps establishing quasiinstantaneous links.”20 In other words, this “medium” would articulate a textual apparatus which would also be technological. In Of Grammatology Derrida suggests that cybernetics, and in particular the cybernetic programme, in fact describes a field of writing. For Derrida: if the theory of cybernetics is by itself to oust all metaphysical concepts—including the concepts of soul, of life, of value, of choice, of memory—which until recently served to separate the machine from man, it must conserve the notion of writing, trace, grammē [written mark], or grapheme, until its own historico-metaphysical character is also exposed.21

This may in fact be one of the most succinct statements about the nature of such metaphors as “hypertext,” situated as it is on the breach of the mechanical and the human, technē and physis, and so on—informing the cybernetic apparatus, from the 48


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most elementary processes of information to structural formulations of semantic systems, as contiguous with a condition of writing. At the same time, this condition itself is seen to undergo modifications, following the various developments of “the practical methods of information retrieval” which extend “the possibilities of the ‘message’vastly, to the point where it is no longer the ‘written’translation of a language, the transporting of a signified which could remain to be spoken in its integrity.”22 For Derrida this development describes a particular defile of the signifier as “phonetic writing,” that is, as the record of the absence of a speaking subject. Thus the “cybernetics” to which Derrida alludes can be thought of as a moment or series of moments in which the pro-grammē is seen to mark a writing “prior” to the sign, that “medium of the great metaphysical, scientific, technical and economic adventure of the West,” which in its turn is “limited in space and time” to a particular historical placement. It is this tentative “priority” of the pro-grammē which provides the deconstructive “element” of Derrida’s cybernetics, as non-linguistic inscription: Even before being determined as human (with all the distinctive characteristics that have always been attributed to man and the entire system of significations that they imply) or nonhuman, the grammē—or the grapheme—would thus name the element. An element without simplicity. An element, whether it is understood as a medium or as the irreducible atom, of the arche-synthesis in general, of what one must forbid oneself to define within the system of oppositions of metaphysics, of what consequently one should not even call experience in general, that is to say, the origin of meaning in general.23

This “nonfortuitous conjunction of cybernetics and the ‘human sciences’”24 could be one way in which we might understand Derrida’s description of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake as a “1000th generation computer” or “hypermnesiac machine.”25

ARCHIVAL DESIRE When Samuel Beckett wrote of Work in Progress, “there form is content, content is form,” he was offering the first insight into this problem of Finnegans Wake as a hypertextual medium.26 Beckett goes on to support his comment by noting: His [Joyce’s] writing is not about something; it is that something itself [...] when the sense is sleep, the words go to sleep [...] when the sense is dancing, the words dance.27

While we should remain cautious of drawing a simple equation between Joyce’s writing and the “something” which is signified in Beckett’s statement, “it is that something itself,” the absence of an “about” suggests one way in which Finnegans Wake disrupts any simple (or quasi-mimetic) relationship between writing and (the) sense(s). This is most evident in the paronomasian function of the Wake’s language, where “sense” might be regarded, through the agency of both visual and verbal puns, as the fabric of the text (although this process obviously works retroactively as well, where “sense” is actually 49


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the “event” by which other texts are seen to “emerge” as in Joyce’s “soundsense” or “sensesound” [FW 121.15]). In this way Joyce poses a challenge to mimetic conceptions of language—a challenge that involves not only a disruption of the binary category sensible-intelligible, but also the empirical conception which would impose a causally linear relation of language to (the) sense(s). In the Wake, this process of “emergence” is described not only in terms of autopoiesis, but in terms of an overall apparatus: the open totality of Joyce’s work-inprogress, including each of its themes of alchemy, duplicity, copyright and historicity in general. Shem the Penman, the plagiarist-heretic figure of Finnegans Wake, stands at the “centre” of the Wake’s thematics of textual production (as the author-counterfeiter of A.L.P.’s “letter”) in a composite function with Shaun the Postman (Shem is Shaun’s Baudelairean “shemblable” [FW 489.27] or “doblinganger” [FW 490.17]), describing a relation of autopoesis and dissemination.28 Towards the end of Book I Shem is depicted as producing: nichthemerically from his unheavenly body a no uncertain quantity of obscene matter not protected by copriright in the United States of Ourania or bedeed and bedood and bedang and bedung to him, with his double dye, brought to blood heat, gallic acid on iron ore, through the bowels of his misery, flashly, nastily, appropriately, this Esuan Menschavik and the first till last alchemist wrote over every square inch of the only foolscap available, his own body, till by its corrosive sublimation one continuous present tense integumented slowly unfolded in all marryvoising moodmoulded cyclewheeling history. [FW 185.29, 186.02]

By writing with his excrement across the entire surface of his own body, Shem symbolically obscures the divisions between tropos and topos in a single act of autopoiesis. Or rather, this solipsistic reversion crosses between a topological space within language and a tropological space within the topos of this relation, whereby we might think of Finnegans Wake (whose metonym this excremental writing is) as emerging from a chiasmus of hypertextual corsi and recorsi. According to Hélène Cixous, Joyce adopted Giambattista Vico’s cyclical theory of history for the purpose of repeating “with a difference” the quasi-archetypal material of the universal cultural archive. As the above passage from the Wake suggests, the “invitation of history proceeds to the disguising of an original event,” and thus to socalled “distortion and degradation.”29 In this way, Cixous argues, “Joyce’s vision of history was bound to coincide sooner or later with parody”: a tragic event if repeated [out of its context] may become comical [...]. The next stage must be that of the imitation of the comical, the comedy burlesquing comedy, the parody parodied.30

In Finnegans Wake Cixous considers that “Joyce is parodying Joyce parodying Homer, Dante, God and mankind, and for this reason history, which was a nightmare for Stephen [in Ulysses], is nothing more than a dream for H.C.E.”31 Joyce’s persistent reference to Vico’s Principi di Scienza Nuova (1744), however, requires that we look more closely at the Viconian concept of history itself, which, as Cixous’s analysis suggests, has come 50


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to acquire the tenor of a dialectical trope. In Vico’s schema history indeed comes to mean an ideal history “whose periods consist not of contingent facts but of forms of the spirit,” as “a moment in the ideal history of the spirit, a form of consciousness.”32 Vico extends this idea in order to explain the relationship of history to poetry. From the time of Plato and Aristotle at least until the Renaissance, this relationship had broadly been defined in terms of those aspects of mimetic representation which belong to the possible and to the probable (verisimile), such that history was conceived typically as the imitation of the particular, and thus poetry as the imitation of the universal.33 Contrary to this, Vico presents an idea of history and poetry (poiēsis) as undifferentiable, at least in form, since for Vico “primitive history was poetry, its plot was narration of fact, and Homer was the first historian.”34 In this way: “Poetry gives an imaginative vision; science or philosophy intelligible truth; history the consciousness of certitude.”35 Vico also describes two principles relating to historical knowledge which are of particular significance to the structure and thematics of Finnegans Wake. In the section outlining the ‘Elements’ of the new science, Vico writes: I 120. Because of the indefinite nature of the human mind, wherever it is lost in ignorance man makes himself the measure of all things. 121. This axiom explains those two common traits, on the one hand that rumour grows in its course (fama crescit eundo), on the other that rumour is deflated by presence [of the thing itself] (minuit praesentia famam). In the long course of rumour run from the beginning of the world, it has been the perennial source of all the exaggerated opinions which have hitherto been held concerning remote antiquities unknown to us [...]. II 122. It is another property of the human mind that whenever men can form no idea of distant or unknown things, they judge them by what is familiar and at hand.36

Not only does Vico’s conception have significant implications for Joyce’s use of historical and factual material, and for his treatment of historical themes, but also for the way in which we might view the relationship between history and mythology in a text such as Finnegans Wake. For Vico, language and poetry are ostensibly the same, which also implies a particular discursive model of history. In Book II of the Scienza Nuova, Vico argues that poetic tropes structure all human discourse, and that empirical language in this sense is inextricably tied up with verisimilitude as the descriptive basis of human experience. One implication of this is that history as such can be regarded as what Benedetto Croce called a “universal system of etymologies,” or what Vico himself referred to as a “dictionary of mental words common to all nations,”37 a descriptive phrase that might equally well apply to Joyce’s linguistic experiment in Finnegans Wake. This movement in Vico’s thought can be seen as lending a certain modernity to his concept of poetic history, which not only denies the univocity of historical narrative (as a function of the possible) but also ties it to a literalised poiēsis as “writing” (Vico’s “dumb gestures”),38 and thus to an aspect 51


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of technē and to technology as a “mechanics” of the imagination. In his 1953 essay ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’Heidegger makes this link explicit, stating that: The essence of modern technology starts man upon the way of that revealing through which the actual everywhere, more or less distinctly, becomes standingreserve. “To start upon a way” means “to send” in our ordinary language. We shall call the sending that gathers [versammelnde Schicken], that first starts man upon a way of revealing, destining [Geschnick]. It is from this destining that the essence of all history [Geschichte] is determined. History is neither simply the object of written chronicle nor merely the process of human activity. That activity first becomes history as something destined. And it is only the destining into objectifying representation that makes the historical accessible.39

Not only is Heidegger’s method here suggestive of the “etymological” condition nominated by Croce, but in both method and argument implies a type of archival aspect of the historical which, as Derrida outlines in Archive Fever, is tied to a certain destining of the call, or rather commandment—what Heidegger here refers to as a “sending,” but also “to start upon one’s way,” to motivate. Such an historical apparatus Joyce refers to in Finnegans Wake as a “vicociclometer” (614.27), in which the historical archive is presented as a recycling, a return, a rescripting—an interminable destination of that which arrives at the moment of starting out (“the destining into objectifying representation that makes the historical accessible”): We drames our dreams tell Bappy returns. And Sein Annews. We will not say it shall not be, this passing of order and order’s coming. [FW 277.17-21]

This historical détournement approximates Freud’s innovation in describing the operations of dreams and the unconscious in terms of iterability in language. Just as in Vico, who described imagination as “dilated memory,” Freud proposed that memory itself is not only subject to but undifferentiable from the technical operations of writing. This is most explicitly systematised in the Traumdeutung, in which Freud anticipates the structuralist linguistics of Roman Jakobson by proposing that dream texts can be read as being structured along the axes of displacement and condensation (virtual synonyms for metaphor and metonymy)—a structure in which the force of linguistic equivocality serves as the key organisational impetus.40 Similarly, Finnegans Wake can be viewed as constructing a “night language of dreams,” in which, as Darren Tofts suggests, the “virtual-reality engine for Joyce’s ‘nightmaze’ is the pun (411).”41 It is in his essay ‘Note on the Mystic Writing Pad,’ however, that Freud first develops a topology of representation through the metaphor of the psyche as a textual apparatus or Wunderblock.42 Suggestive of the accretive form of a palimpsest, the metaphor of the Wunderblock implies “an unlimited receptive capacity and a retention of permanent traces,”43 in which the graphemic function is literalised as the base register of all subsequent reflexive discourse. As a form of universal record in which “history” and “language” define contiguous signifying relations, the Wunderblock would thus also describe a type of archival machine or “MIND FACTORY” (FW 282.R1): “a writing machine of marvellous complexity into which the whole of the psychical apparatus will be projected.”44 Elsewhere Freud proposes that: 52


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If we reflect that the means of representation in dreams are principally visual images [Bilden] and not [spoken] words, we shall see that it is even more appropriate to compare dreams with a system of writing than with a [verbal] language. In fact the interpretation of dreams is completely analogous to the decipherment of an ancient pictorial script such as Egyptian hieroglyphs.45

The relationship between memory and writing in Freud is analysed by Derrida in his essay ‘Feud and the Scene of Writing,’ but it may be fair to say that many of the conclusions drawn there are already prefigured in an earlier work on Husserl, in which Derrida makes his first explicit reference to the work of James Joyce. In his introduction to the Origin of Geometry, Derrida draws upon Joyce as representing an alternative to the phenomenological models of history and language put forward by Husserl.46 For Derrida, Joyce is taken to exemplify (most notably in Finnegans Wake) the ways in which history can be shown to collapse into a synchronic, equivocal form of writing, in contradistinction to Husserl’s constant appeals to the imperative of univocity, or the ideal unity of the sign in the external object-relations of its signifier. In an echo of Vico, Derrida describes Joyce’s project as one that entails repeating and taking responsibility “for all equivocation itself, utilising a language that could equalise the greatest possible synchrony with the greatest potential for buried, accumulated, and interwoven intentions within each linguistic atom, each vocable, each word, each simple proposition, in all worldly cultures and their most ingenious forms.”47 For Joyce, equivocality is not merely an affect of language, but rather the very basis of language. It is by virtue of its equivocality that language is in fact able to sustain itself and to give rise to communications (translation or transference), both between signifiers and within—a generative polysemy which Derrida elsewhere designates by the terms différance and iterability.48 This “process of production” (writing) reveals its “historicity” through a relationship with the ephemera of the universal cultural archive, which also recalls the Viconian notion of epochal recycling and autopoiesis. According to Derrida, who identifies a similar process at work in Ulysses: this writing resolutely settles itself within the labyrinthine field of culture “bound” by its own equivocations, in order to travel through and explore the vastest possible historical distance that is now at all possible.49

Derrida considers Joyce’s project to have “proceeded from a certain anti-historicism” (in Husserlean terms) suggesting that his “equivocal” writing enacts a rupture in the unifying movement of either a linear or cyclical notion of history that purports itself to be a closed totality. Such a writing, “‘bound’ by its own equivocations” to the “labyrinthine field of culture,” and at the same time “anti-historical,” already suggests the “form and content” of a future hypertext.

TEXTUAL OBJECTS Theodor H. Nelson, who was the first to coin the term in the 1960s, defined hypertext simply as “non-sequential writing.”50 A hypertext, in Nelson’s view, rather than obeying 53


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sequential or narrative logics, can be said to develop through a process of “accretion” in a way that mirrors the functioning of the psyche, as described by Freud in his essay ‘Note on the Mystic Writing Pad.’51 According to Freud, memory and the unconscious emerge from a kind of palimpsestic writing, a “synoptic” text which retains the differences between its various layers at the same time as reducing those differences to a spatio-temporal “immediacy.” In ‘The Topic of the Imaginary’ Lacan elaborates upon Freud’s schema, in which the apparatus of memory is also compared to a photographic apparatus (‘The Psychology of the Dream Processes’), and which elsewhere Lacan relates in terms of the linguistic theories of Jakobson and Saussure: That other scene which Freud designated, in relation to dreams, as that of the unconscious, the effects discovered at the level of the materially unstable elements which constitute the chain of language: effects determined by the double play of combination and substitution in the signifier, along the two axes of metaphor and metonymy which generate the signified.52

In ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing,’ Derrida further develops Freud’s notion of the palimpsest which he renders in terms of trace, an idea which bears heavily upon his notion of différance. For Derrida, it is the paradox of this self-identical, differentdiffering trace that gives language its signifying force—what, in common with cybernetics theorists, he terms iterability (the possibility of repetition, which is mechanical, and which allows language to therefore generate associative or differential significations from within its own structure).53 Geoffrey Bennington has described this mechanism as “the model of a ‘hypertext’ program”: the “memory” traces of an electronic archive, which can only with difficulty be thought, according to the opposition between sensible and intelligible, and more easily as differences of force or capacity (although this is already important, helping us to think writing in a more complicated relation with space and time): but also because of the possibilities of folding a text back on itself, of discontinuous jumps establishing quasi-instantaneous links between sentences, words, or marks separated by hundreds of pages.54

Following from Derrida, this cybernetic textual apparatus or recursive network of selfreferentiality and autopoiesis, can be seen as describing a form of generative textuality which would also operate as a kind of signifying matrix, whose permutative functions would thus give rise to innumerable other textual relations. Through like processes of textual evolution, these networks would also interact and influence one another to modify the structure of the “original” matrix itself, thus situating the “essence” of the text in direct relation to the technics of its various genetic and topological mechanisms. In this way also it is possible to speak of a certain technological aspect of language— the “book” as assemblage, as machine. And like Finnegans Wake, the non-sequentiality of this cybernetic “hypertext” also describes a matrix whose structuring co-ordinates are thus constantly in a state of generative flux. Where this idea of text differs from that of literary critics like Wellek is not so much in regards to the question of whether a text can function meaningfully as an object, but 54


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whether or not it can be fixed and determined in regards to a particular objectivity (which was the positivist argument that Wellek was opposing, and yet which he at times falls back upon in order to assert the normative function of the text). Moreover, Wellek was more preoccupied with traditional ontological questions—for instance, the mode of Being of the literary work of art—than with questions of language as such. On the other hand, Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida, writing since the late 1940s and early 1960s respectively, have revealed how the question of language has come to challenge such received notions of ontology and Being, and indeed to describe their very condition. Much of Blanchot’s and Derrida’s thinking on the subject can be traced back to the ideas of the Heidegger and to the nineteenth-century symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé. Mallarmé’s conception of poetic language, like Heideggerean Dichtung or poetising, was defined both by its non-instrumentality and by a quasi-transcendental structure. Similarly, for Blanchot: The poetic word is no longer somebody’s word. In it no one speaks, and what speaks is not anyone. It seems rather that the word alone declares itself.55

In his 1950 essay, ‘The Origin of the Work of Art,’ Heidegger similarly considers poetic language as “not the reproduction of some particular being that happens to be present at hand at any given time—rather it is the representation of the general way in which such being comes-to-presence.”56 Likewise with Blanchot: The work of art reduces itself to being. That is its task: to be, to make present “those very words it is [...]. There lies all the mystery” [Mallarmé, letter to VieleGriffin, 8 August 1891]. But at the same time it cannot be said that the work belongs to being, that it exists. On the contrary, what must be said is that it never exists in the manner of a thing or a being in general.57

Similarly hypertext can be thought in these general terms as not existing “in the manner of a being or a thing” but rather as a rendering “of the general way in which such being” has always seemed to “come-to-presence.” As a function of possibility, hypertext is always in the process of emerging, and while this may give the appearance of a realisation of latent or concealed structures, it is rather the case that hypertext marks itself as this “realisation” in a quasi-phenomenological way. Clearly at this point Wellek’s definition of text as arising from a set of norms that structure an experience of language becomes more problematic, and it is this question of normative experience that underlies what has come to be called “the novelistic fallacy.” In an early essay, Harry Levin described two misconceptions that have threatened to shape our overall impression of Finnegans Wake: The first of these is that, while not differing greatly in kind from the books we are accustomed to read, it happens to have been written in a queer language, and must therefore undergo the process of translation to which all foreign books—including Scandinavian—are regularly subjected [...]. A second, and related, fallacy is that Finnegans Wake is a novel. Herein is the real reason for putting critical emphasis on the “story” and brusquely attempting to extract a quintessential content from the morass of form in which it lies embedded.58

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The persistence and authority of novelistic assumptions in Finnegans Wake criticism has been greater than Levin could have foreseen. It remains common practice for many Joyce scholars to attempt feats of translational and exegetical virtuosity in order to render the Wake in terms of those normative structures that came together in eighteenthcentury subjectivist thought to define the novel.59 This combination of Aristotelian formalism and faith in individual or collective experience, psychological and otherwise, belies a deeper suspicion of language. The problem of situating the limits of normative experience also brings to light the question of ethicality and the relation of sets of normative predicates to something which might be determined as intentionality. The lack of any straightforward relation suggests that the experience of discourse in general is itself in some way prior, or prepredicative, in regards to the assumption of ethical authoring. In this sense, the novelistic fallacy belies a totalising wish whose outward form is that of the commandment, and the allegorising of the command as what may teach us about its true nature and meaning. For many Joyce scholars, the most pressing task at hand is thus the “translation” of Finnegans Wake, in order to restore the text to Joyce’s clandestine intentio—to solve, in a sense, the exegetical riddle of the Wake’s language. Or, as Stephen Heath has put it: “to ‘reduce’ its writing to the simple carrier of a message (a meaning) that it will be the critic’s task to ‘extract from its enigmatic envelope.’”60 This logic has been the basis of much of the investigative energy directed towards the Wake notebooks. For this reason, Finnegans Wake scholarship invites a certain perversion. The sheer enormity of the challenge posed by the Wake’s language to eighteenth and nineteenthcentury novelistic assumptions seems to attract many who wish to resolve this challenge in a way that might affirm the truth and/or limits of normative experience, as proposed by Wellek. On the other hand, Ludwig Wittgenstein, author of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus (1922), posed the problem in directly ethical terms. For Wittgenstein, the underlying normativity of “speech acts” founders upon the logical aporia of Cartesianism: I can well understand what Heidegger means by Sein and Angst. Man has an impulse to run up against the boundaries of speech [...] which Kierkegaard himself already recognised and characterised very similarly (as running up against the paradoxical). This running up against the boundaries of speech is Ethics.61

This idea of ethics bears certain resemblances to Derrida’s and Lacan’s ideas of responsibility (at the boundaries of language: to respond to/for the Other), and it provides a link between the aporetic function of desire and the quasi-transcendental structure of what we might call the hermeneutic will (what Hans Robert Jauss describes in terms of an “horizon of expectations”).62 In this way the “limits of speech” are no longer assumed to act as a unified horizon against which the Cartesian ego continuously projects the signifiers of its will-to-self, as the ergo of a speech-actuated self-presencing, and which at the same time functions for the ego as a mirage in place of what “stands beyond” language and thus threatens the very possibility of presence. Consequently, Wellek’s conception of the text, as the structurality of normative experience, provides us with a simple model for the paradox 56


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of this ethics. Further, the desire to situate “responsibility” at the limits of language on a basis of normative experience can also be seen as paradoxical, not simply because responsibility can no longer be thought in terms of intentionality, but because it marks precisely the point at which formalism and subjectivity both break down. In other words, this ethics signifies a “crisis” in the form and content of the ego cogito—that is, at the moment when the ego confronts itself as something given, and thus assumed, which would need to be distinguished from the prior assumption of facticity or the a priori as such, let alone a grammatical or syntactic convention. According to the phenomenologist Wolfgang Iser, this paradox “is virtually hermeneutic”: The text provokes certain expectations which in turn we project onto the text in such a way that we reduce the polysemantic possibilities to a single interpretation [...] thus extracting an individual, configurative meaning. The polysemantic nature of the text and the illusion-making of the reader are opposing factors. If the illusion were complete, the polysemantic nature would vanish; if the polysemantic nature were all-powerful, the illusion would be totally destroyed. [...] The formation of illusions, therefore, can never be total, but it is this very incompleteness that in fact gives it its productive value.63

In Iser’s view, the relationship of the reader to the text (at the limits of language, as he sees it) is a dialectical one, similar to Lacan’s “mirror stage,” in which the influence of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception is most evident. Where Lacan accounts for the illusion of presence as a function of the individual subject’s “given” desire, Iser falls back upon the notion of readerly competence and the idea that the reader, standing outside the text, creates illusions around a textual latency. For Iser, it remains a question of an ethics of interpretation, and whilst Iser’s phenomenological approach is fraught with psychological and philosophical pitfalls, its value lies in the way it extends upon the role of interpretation in Lacan and the polysemic nature, not only of the text, but of the “incomplete” textual relation.

THE SPECULAR For Lacan, this relationship is rendered more explicitly by linking the question of possibility with that of the nature of desire and signification—viz. the inverted Saussurean algorithm S/s, which defines the signifier’s primary (“desiring”) relation to an imaginary signified as one of continuous substitution or glissage. In his seminal essay ‘The mirror stage as formative of the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience’ (1936), Lacan provides a model for considering the relation of desire and possibility in textual terms.64 In Lacan’s formulation, this stade du miroir marks the individual’s entry into the symbolic order, that is, into the order of meaningful signification. This occurs in two stages: firstly, when the individual recognises its specular image or imago as itself (an exterior representation which is nonetheless thought of as coterminous with the self)—and secondly, when the individual recognises its imago as an object belonging to it but irretrievably cut off from it (an exterior projection of a part of the self recognised as “other”).65 According to Lacan: 57


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The mirror stage is a drama whose internal thrust is precipitated from insufficiency to anticipation—and which manufactures for the subject, caught up in the lure of spatial identification, the succession of fantasies that extends from a fragmented body-image to a form of its totality.66

Following a logic of “citation,” the signification of the “specular image” thus comes about in a twofold way: on the one hand, when the subject, in order to constitute itself, splits off a part of itself which then performs the supplementary task of the specular counterpart (metonymic),67 and on the other hand, when it is given to the subject, from/by the Other, in the form of desire (metaphoric).68 This twofold movement reveals a delusive construct in the structurality of the subject, in which the ego cannot determine whether anything of itself originates from within itself (the sublimated desire of the individual as will or cogito) or beyond itself, in the field of the Other (the desire of the individual as the desire of the Other [désir de l’Autre]).69 This double movement of identification and differentiation allows the so-called subject to think of itself both as object and subject, as the I that is spoken of, and the I that speaks. As a consequence the subject is conceived as being divided in a peculiar way—its desire for recuperation of “self” remaining asymptotic, so that it can “never become one with the assumption of its desire.”70 For Lacan, the subject (as conceived in psychoanalytic experience) no longer bears any relation to the Cartesian subject, except in the form of its desire to formulate itself through the assertion cogito ergo sum which, however, remains a mirage.71 The desiring subject, then, is always venturing, lured or compelled, towards the language of the other (illuminating a further possible meaning of the term “symbolic”). What preoccupies this I is the projective illusion of the other-place, the emplacement of the objet petit a, which it seeks to habilitate, to take possession of in a “primal way,” so that the topology of the subject’s desire seems to anticipate the subject’s own sporadic movements, rearranging the terrain as it goes. By constantly defamiliarising the terrain of the subject, this “mirroring” horizon dissimulates, makes uncanny, estranges the subject from itself at the same time as it posits a relation, which is nevertheless imaginary, which “anaesthetises” it, makes it “fall in love” with itself.72 This narcissistic falling-in-love-with-itself of the subject is simultaneously a falling away from itself into what Heidegger describes in Being and Time (1926) as an “inauthentic” mode of Being—a “falling” which will not be exhausted in regards to an horizon of Being, since both notions are intertwined and require each other. In the analytic of Dasein, this “alienation of falling” describes a basic condition of phenomenalism as a series, or as the seriality of possibility in the forethrow of Being. For Heidegger, the “essence” of Dasein is non-substantial, and Dasein is not something which is at first objectively present and then has some possibilities as mere attributes. Rather: “Dasein is always its possibility,” as a Being in and of its own possibilities.73 At the same time, this movement is described as at once “tempting and tranquillising” so that Dasein is considered as becoming “entangled [verfängt] in itself” in a way that is symptomatic of its dependence upon the “mirroring effect” of discourse.74 Similarly for Lacan the individual subject, through its “dialectical” relation to and 58


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in signification, encounters everywhere and always its own image,75 but this “image,” although similar to the subject “to the point of hallucination,”76 is not the subject’s “own”—it does not “belong” to the subject. The mirrored-mirroring signifier of the subject thus situates the subject as subjection to the rule of the signifier—what Heidegger calls “the word’s own rule���: which means making the passage from the concept-formation, over something we imagine we have control, into placing ourselves within the grant of language.77

Since this signifier is already the other of the subject, the subject in its otherness, then the subject’s subjection to the signifier is sustained, paradoxically, by the delusion of the cogito that already imagines the conscious to be in a position of mastery (what Lacan describes as the linking of the specular I to the social I, a movement which characterises the “whole of human knowledge” as “mediatised through the desire of the other”).78 Through the compulsive manufacture of “rational discourse” the cogito in fact guards its subjection to the signifier and prevents its own overcoming of the “subversive” contingencies that permeate language, beneath the “unthinkable of an absolute subject.”79 This delusion is described by Bataille as the “slumber of reason,”80 which is described by Derrida as “the slumber that engenders monsters and then puts them to sleep“: this slumber must be effectively traversed so that awakening will not be a ruse of dream. That is to say [...] a ruse of reason. The slumber of reason is not, perhaps, reason put to sleep, but slumber in the form of reason.81

The horizon of the subject, then, presents itself in the illusion of the attainable, as the possibility of closure, of a telos or terme against which reason can posit itself as its own-most end.82 This horizon, however, is the very dissimulation of such a positioning—it lures reason on in a tranquillised state, into the labyrinth of “unreason” (a-logos) at the “limits of language.” Such an horizon would be what Hélène Cixous, referring to Joyce’s “discrediting of the subject,” calls “a metonymic chain where the other place always has its other place.”83 An untraversable distance or the path of an impossible travail—what Derrida, paraphrasing Heidegger, terms the “interminable event” of substitution and re-citation. The significance of this for a consideration of Joycean hypertext may well rest upon the question of decision, if not decidability. At each point in the text, one is implicitly required to make certain decisions in order to proceed, a process which psycho-linguists term “encincturing.” That is, the unconscious circling or closing-off of signifying possibility that allows reading to proceed from point to point through a text without being suspended perpetually in a state of undecidability. Likewise Lacan refers to a point de capiton, an arbitrary fixing of meaning through the “reduction” of ambivalence. This operation of decision might also be considered as ethical, as the limit of a certain possibility which is also an opening, a way to, a form of incision which implies a recursive “moment” of alterity in the experience of language. However, this would not be to mistake an operation of “decision” for an action that would set the ethical 59


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determination of its procedures outside or above the text.84 That is, as though it were possible, through an act of will, to disengage the experience of the “limits of language” from the experience of language as such, and thus to regard textuality as a whole from a position of “ethical” detachment.85 In Finnegans Wake such a dis-engagement (ethical, hermeneutic) is precisely what is demonstrated, by virtue of its paradoxical necessity and impossibility, as the basic condition of an horizon of expectations. Not only does this relate to the interminable event of signifying substitution, but also to the premise of causally sufficient conditions in determining the relation of subsequent states in the chain of undecidability. Whether these relations define semantic or grammatical states, in the case of a text like Finnegans Wake, of whether they define possible world states in an extension of modal logic, the fact remains that the operation of decision cannot be delimited according to any normative experience which would not in turn already involve its being implicated in its own procedures, and so on seriatim, becoming “lost” in its own “puling sample jungle of woods” (FW 112.04). At each point in the Wake we are confronted with the question: “Where are we at all? and whenabouts in the name of space?” (FW 558.33). This problem is compounded by the fact that, despite its being printed in the form of the book, Finnegans Wake subverts the idea of a determinate point of entry into the text. As Derrida writes in Of Grammatology: The opening of the question, the departure from the closure of self-evidence, the putting into doubt of a system [...] necessarily have the form of empiricism and errancy. At any rate they cannot be described, as to past norms, except in this form. No other trace is available, and as these errant questions are not absolute beginnings in every way [...] we must begin wherever we are and the thought of the trace [...] has already taught us that it was impossible to justify a point of departure absolutely. Wherever we are: in a text where we already believe ourselves to be.86

While this hermeneutic dis-engagement is not unique to Finnegans Wake, Joyce’s text demonstrates more readily than others the failure of what Iser calls the reduction of the text’s “polysemantic possibilities” to “a single interpretation [...] thus extracting an individual, configurative meaning.”87 Moreover, the paronomasian or equivocal character of the Wake’s language makes reduction to a singular “schematic view” impossible, rather than improbable, at the same time as it renders some form of reduction necessary. As Derrida has elsewhere noted, there is always “the choice and the division between two ways [...] the way of logos and the non-way, the labyrinth, the palintrope in which logos is lost; the way of meaning and the way of non-meaning; of Being and of non-Being.”88 In its perpetual bifurcations, semantic loops, and topical reversions, Finnegans Wake suggests a type of disseminal, polysemic apparatus or hypertext, operating in this breach of reduction and proliferation.

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3. HYPERGENETICS It is now the book, the most deterritorialised of things, that fixes territories and genealogies. The latter are what the book says, the former the place at which the book is said.1

VIRTUAL TEXTS

O

ne of the earliest attempts at a computer presentation of the work of James Joyce was undertaken in 1990 by Fritz Senn and the Zürich Joyce Foundation. This prototype, entitled HyperWake, comprised a computer-based hypermedia “demonstration” of a paragraph from Finnegans Wake. HyperWake was first put on public display at a Joyce exhibition in 1991, titled “Joyce and Cage,” part of the annual Zürich June Festival, and was later exhibited at the XIIIth International James Joyce Symposium in Dublin, in June 1992. The following is a quote from the exhibition’s description: HyperWake is simply a labyrinthine presentation of 6.13-28 (“Shize fuddled, O!”), a sort of extended annotation. You can hear the text (spoken by two different Irish voices), switch to two German and a French or an Italian translation; or follow the text’s growth and genesis in several stages (in facsimile and transcriptions); the main part is a sentence by sentence annotation, with further thematic groupings and cross-references, as well as a marginal fringe of further echoes. And you can listen to the respective songs. This pristine version is entirely didactic and intended for non-Wakeans, to give them some feel of the text’s behaviour. It also puts some of its fun and the intricate nature across. It might become a prototype for insiders and computer experts more skilled than we have been up to now. Of course the main point is that everything will become expandable ad libitum.

HyperWake developed a number of themes and ideas mapped out earlier in composer John Cage’s Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake.2 Cage’s Roaratorio was originally conceived as a radio drama, and was first produced by Klaus Schöning for IRCAM in Paris in 1979, and later performed at the Frankfurt Opera House during the 1984 Joyce Symposium. The title itself derives from a passage in Finnegans Wake: “this longawaited Messiagh of roaratorios” (FW 41.28), as does the content and most of the composition’s formal logic.3 The idea for the Roaratorio began when Cage was invited to provide musical accompaniment to another project based upon Joyce’s text, which he had begun in 1976 as a contribution to an issue of TriQuarterly entitled In the Wake of the Wake, and which evolved into the book Writing for the Second Time through Finnegans Wake. Cage himself already had a long history of involvement with Joyce’s text, beginning with the adaptation of part of Finnegans Wake (556.1-22) in 1942 for the song lyric ‘The 61


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Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs,’ originally composed “for voice and closed piano.” For the later project, however, Cage turned to a combination of mechanical means to select and combine elements of Joyce’s text, initially subjecting the Wake to a series of chance operations determined by a computer programme called Mesolist (based on the I-Ching), which ultimately produced “a 41-page mesostic text, using the string JAMES JOYCE.”4 In Cage’s lexicon, a mesostic is a type of hermetic, “found” acrostic (“croststyx” [FW 206.04]) poem, which emerges in the form of textual fragments agglutinating around the capitalised proper name of the author: A mesostic is like an acrostic; I used the name of JAMES JOYCE. And had I written acrostics the name would have gone down the margin, the left-hand-side. But a mesostic is a road down the middle. So I would look for a word with a J in it that didn’t have an A because the A belongs on the second line for JAMES. And then a word with A that didn’t have an M, and an M that didn’t have an E, and an E that didn’t have an S and in this way I made a path through the entire book [...]. I made the rule of not repeating a syllable that had already been used to express the J of James. So I kept an index, a card index [...] of 41 pages.

Working through Finnegans Wake, Cage uncovered 862 instances in which Joyce had “signed” his text in this way, collecting them in a single volume under the title Writing through Finnegans Wake. But after pressure from his editor at Wesleyan University Press, who claimed that the text was too long and boring, Cage produced another reading, this time entitled Writing for the Second Time through Finnegans Wake,5 the outcome of which is a peculiar yet insightful approach to the possible hypertexts of Finnegans Wake. The idea of mesostics is interesting for a consideration of Joycean hypertext for many reasons, not least because it mimics, to a greater or lesser extent, the structural schema of the Wake’s “central figures,” H.C.E. and A.L.P., as well as being a parody of the idea of revelation through divine logos. The same procedure is at work in Roaratorio: wroth with twoone nathandJoe A M jhEm Shen pftJschute sOlid man that the humptYhillhead of humself is at the knoCk out in thE park6

Cage’s use of mesostics is also revealing of the way in which most schematic readings of the Wake ultimately display a certain arbitrariness in regards to “first principles.” The idea of Joyce’s name as a mock “skeleton key” to Finnegans Wake reveals, among other things, that schematic renderings of Joyce’s text are firstly involved in a process of textual invention and secondly in one of self-definition and examination. 62


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In 1979 the 41-page text of Writing for the Second Time through Finnegans Wake became the foundation for Roaratorio, which was composed as a sixty minute soundscape, directed by references to place-names in Joyce’s text. As Cage recalled: “places mentioned in the Wake are identified in Louis Mink’s book A Finnegans Wake Gazetteer [...]. And so a sound coming from Nagasaki, or from Canberra in Australia, or from a town in Ireland or a street in Dublin—could be identified by page and line and then put into this hour, where it belonged in relation to the page and line of Finnegans Wake.”7 Cage and his assistants then went to many of those places and recorded the sounds they found there, and obtained a number of other recordings by contacting radio stations around the world. Cage then made a recording of himself reading various passages from the Wake. A third set of tapes was made of Irish music. Finally, he made a sound collage from all of these source tapes, divided into four parts, with each part representing a book of the Wake. The result was something not unlike the language of the Wake itself and is to date one of the most interesting attempts to “record” Joyce’s text. Cage’s project, although not founded as a critical inquiry into Joyce’s text, nevertheless demonstrates how readings of Finnegans Wake often give rise to discourses of comparable complexity to the Wake itself. Similar ideas of representational complexity provides the thematic basis for much of the work of Jorge Luis Borges, whose fictions often seem to be preoccupied with the question of parity in representation. A number of Borges’s stories in particular have achieved a certain fame in this respect, with their recurring themes of simultaneity, deterministic repetition, parallel universes, and so on. Like the 64 tracks of Cage’s Roaratorio, there is a dominating sense of hyperreality in the spiralling intricacies of Borges’s prose. Often cited by hypertext theorists, Borges’s story ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ provides one model of hypertextuality as a constantly bifurcating textual labyrinth woven between innumerable possible worlds, similar in conception to the synoptical presentations of Senn’s HyperWake and the paratactic convergences of Cage’s Joycean mesostics. For Borges’s narrator, this labyrinthine textuality is envisaged as “an infinite series of times,” “a growing, dizzying net of divergent times”: This network of times which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time.8

Like Cage, Borges links simultanéisme to themes of chance, repetition of seriality. In one story an unknown symbolist writer produces an originally inspired text which precisely repeats two chapters of Cervantes’s Don Quixote without his ever having read it (‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’); in another a young man, by some freak of nature, is subjected to a dominating and total hypermnēsis (‘Funes the Memorious’); while in a third a cartographer inexplicably attempts to make a 1:1 map of England, and finishes by speculating that the map should also contain an image of the map itself, en abyme (‘Partial Magic in the Quixote’).9 In ‘Literary Infinity: The Aleph,’ Blanchot relates Borges’s preoccupation with simulacra to questions of adæquatio and translation: 63


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this memorable absurdity is no more than what takes place in the case of translation. A translation gives us two works in two languages. In Borges’s story we have two works in the same language and, in this sameness which is not the same, a tantalising mirage of the duplicity of possibilities. However, when perfect reduplication is achieved the original, even the origin, is cancelled out.10

In his essay ‘Simulacra and Simulations,’ Jean Baudrillard similarly explicates these themes, but in terms closer to Guy Debord’s Situationist axiom that “the map precedes the territory.”11 For Baudrillard: the cartographer’s mad project of an ideal coextensivity between the map and the territory, disappears with simulation, whose operation is nuclear and genetic. [...] Genetic miniturization is the dimension of simulation. The real is produced from miniaturized units, from matrices, memory banks and command models—and with these it can reproduce an infinite number of times.12

These questions of the origin, simulacrum, virtuality and genetics, are relevant not only to Finnegans Wake itself (with its “themes” of cartography, autoproduction, duplicity, forgery, and the universal archive), but to some of the central works of Joyce scholarship as well, whose relationship to Joyce’s own texts are rendered particularly complex.13 In 1963, Clive Hart published A Concordance to Finnegans Wake,14 which remained until the publication of the James Joyce Archive in 1984 the largest and most complicated undertaking in the history of Joyce scholarship. Moreover, although it was compiled entirely manually, the Concordance is arguably one of the earliest prototypes of a Joycean hypertext. Undertaken over a period of many years in Newcastle, Australia (funded by the University of Minnesota), and using literally thousands of cataloguing cards, Hart’s project ultimately resulted in an index of almost the same size (if only fractionally as complex) as the Wake itself. The sheer volume of neologisms to be found in the Wake (218,076) meant that Hart’s Concordance had by and large to repeat, almost word for word (51,925 of which occur only once), and in alphabetical order, virtually the entire contents of Joyce’s book (including 141 common words which appear without references or with only partial references). Hart outlined his procedure as follows: 1. The complete text was typed on small cards (3” x 21/2”)—one word (with page/line number) to a card. These cards were filled in order of the words’ occurrence in the text. [...] 2. The cards were then checked for accuracy against the text, using a clean copy of the book. As each word was checked it was marked out on the book with heavy pencil. [...] 3. The cards were hand-sorted into alphabetical orde—a process requiring some weeks of work. It is at this stage that the lack of electronic equipment is most seriously felt. 4. The MS of the Primary Index was then typed out and checked against the cards. 5. The first four processes were repeated for the Syllabifications and Overtones [...]. 6. Several further readings of the text produced a new crop of Syllabifications and Overtones. 7. The word-counts were made with a small hand-tally and twice checked for accuracy.15

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Hart himself was central to establishing the first schematic renderings of Joyce’s texts, many of which remain the basis of a great deal of Joycean scholarship, and continue to influence textual genetics today. His 1962 study Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake represented the first major attempt at investigating Joyce’s work in terms of structural principles. Earlier works, like Joseph Campbell and Henry Robinson’s A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake (1947) had made what Hart called a “very brave attempt [...] to reveal the general architectural design” of the Wake, but Hart’s book was amongst the earliest to address Joyce’s work by analysing it in terms that could be called structuralist.16

SCHEMATIC OBJECTS While the importance of paronomasia in Finnegans Wake was generally acknowledged well before Hart’s study, it was Hart who first insisted upon the “structural” significance of Joyce’s puns: A pun is effective only when its first term is vividly prepared by the context. By using a vocabulary and style packed with well-worn units Joyce is able to play on what the psychologists call the reader’s “readiness” [...]. If Joyce builds [the motifs] up from familiar phrases [...] he is immediately able to make the widest punning excursions while remaining sure of his reader’s powers of recognition [...]. The essential value of the pun [...] in Finnegans Wake lies not in its elusive and suggestive qualities but in its ability to compress much meaning into little space.17

As Darren Tofts has noted: “The pun is [...] the nanotechnology of literacy, a supercharged micro-machine capable of generating ‘counterpoint words’ at the speed of thought itself.”18 But the technology of the pun is also at work at the schematic or cosmological level of text (the “chaosmos of Alle” [FW 118.21])—in what we might call its structural convergence. Hart’s insight into the importance of context and the preparation of the reader in the operation of the pun recalls the structural importance Freud attributed to puns in Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious (1916) and anticipates, in many respects, Umberto Eco’s later analysis of the Wake’s paronomasia in his 1979 book The Role of the Reader.19 Hart’s thinking in this regard also incorporates many of the ideas of the Prague Structuralist and Russian Formalist critics, and further anticipates much of later “reader response” or “reception” theory. His historical-schematic rendering of the Wake and of the Wake’s language brings to mind Roman Ingarden and Wolfgang Iser’s contention that language offers different “schematised views” through which the subject matter of the work can come to light, although the actual bringing to light is an action of Konkretisation.20 As Iser proposes: It is the virtuality of the work that gives rise to its dynamic nature, and this in turn is the precondition for the effects that the work calls forth. As the reader uses the various perspectives offered him by the text in order to relate the patterns and the “schematised views” to one another, he sets the work in motion.21

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Of course Iser’s formulation remains problematic at many levels, and not only in regards to the positing of a reading subject somehow at a critical remove from “the text.” However, it is useful to consider the particular notion of text put in place by Iser, whose definition closely approximates Lacan’s “imaginary.” In this sense Iser’s phenomenological concept of “concretisation” resembles the idea of the Lacanian dialectic of identification (stade du miroir) as something entered into, and in which the “event” of this entering into gives rise to the imaginary relationship of a conscious subject to an externalised “other,” which is nevertheless a mirage. As Daniel Ferrer has pointed out in his essay, ‘Circe, regret and regression’: Think of a mirror: one can never enter it—not because its surface is an impenetrable obstacle, but because one cannot approach it without realizing that one is already in it.22

This emplacement in advance defines the very basis of the Lacanian sense of “recognition.” For Lacan, the way in which the imago appears as a “concretisation” of the subject’s desire for self remains interminable. This imago, as signifier of self, stands at the horizon point of the subject, so that its relation to the subject describes a type of hermeneutic circle of signifying recursion. It would be in this context that we would approach Iser’s conceptualisation of the text as productive in considering a “schematic” approach to hypertext. The idea of schematised views, and its function in the realisation of the text, also suggests certain structural possibilities of hypertext—although rather than requiring “latencies” that might be “concretised,” such schematised views would instead describe differing “inertial frames” within which possible traversals of a textual space could be mapped out. At the same time these schematised views would describe a complex topology as the site of what is still to be signified by the expression “the text,” that is as a network of heterotopias, or so many “possible worlds.” Consequently, the schemata that are defined in this topologiocal relation would also signify and hence constitute a textuality of there own. This is perhaps the most radical point that Hart makes—that the textual schemata not only consist of a semantic content, but comprise that content themselves. Although Hart does not follow this idea through to its possible implications, and while he remains closer to the phenomenological views of Ingarden and Iser, he does pave the way for thinking the “schematic views” of Finnegans Wake as genetic and generative of the Wake’s overall signifying structures. In Structure and Motif, Hart identifies two major patterns of organisation in the structure of Finnegans Wake. The first of these is a three-plus-one pattern which Joyce ostensibly borrowed from Vico’s Principi di Scienza Nuova, of a cyclical model of history comprising three evolutionary stages and a ricorso. The second pattern consists of “Lesser Cycles” which “make up a four-plus-one quasi-Indian” pattern.23 As conceived by Hart, these models sustain the Wake’s overall double, cyclic structure: the “Major Viconian Cycle” describing the four books of the Wake, while within each of the “three Viconian Ages of Books I, II, and III, Joyce allows four four-chapter cycles to develop,” and each of these lesser cycles also sustains an “implicit identification” with one of the four Western “classical elements” of earth, water, fire, and air: 66


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Major Viconian Cycle

Lesser Cycle



1. I. 1-4: Male Book I (Birth) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. ......................... Book II (Marriage). . . . . . . . . . . 3. ......................... Book III (Deth) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. .........................

H.C.E I. 5-8: FEMALE A.L.P. II—Male and Female battles; fire III—Male cycle; Shaun as Earwicker’s spirit; air

Where Hart’s work touches closest on contemporary genetic approaches to Joyce’s text is his idea of schemata functioning as prototypical models of different levels of textual production—although where Hart focuses on how these emerge within Joyce’s text along more traditional lines of character and narrative, genetics tends to focus on how these schemata emerge from different points in the history of the text’s composition. The following analysis of III.1 provides an example of how Hart sees Joyce’s text as putting “cyclic ideas to work” in organising individual chapters: Cycle I Age i (403.18-405.03): Age ii (405.04-407.09):

Age iii (407.10-414.14):

Age iv (414.14-414.18):

Description of Shaun as a “picture primitive”; he does not speak (first Viconian Age). Shaun has become a hero (“Bel of Beaus Walk”); there is an allusion to the heroic slaying of the Jabberwock and an entertaining Rabelaisian description of Shaun’s heroic eating habits. Introduced by “Overture and beginners” this is the beginning of the Human Age, in which the gods can appear only in dramatic representation on stage; Shaun has become a popular representative (“vote of the Irish”); the word “Amen” brings to an end the group of three Ages forming the main part of this first Viconian cycle. A short ricorso brings us back to the theocratic Age with the introduction to the Fable—Thunder (FW 414.19).24

Hart suggests that the overall structure of the Wake—by the three-plus-one pattern and its four-plus-one schematic compliment—can also be understood in terms of the symbol ⊕. This cross within a circle corresponds to the siglum in the Finnegans Wake manuscripts used to designate what Hart refers to as the “highly important ninth question in I.6.9”: if a human being duly fatigued [...] having plenxty off time on his gouty hands [...] were [...] accorded [...] with an earsighted view of old hopinhaven [...] then what would that fargazer seem to seemself to seem seeming of, dimm it all?” [FW 143.4-27]25

The Wake’s answer: “A collideorscope” (FW 143.28), can be seen as one of the many terms with which Joyce’s text describes itself, and Hart contends that Joyce’s use of the  symbol to designate a passage dealing with the structure of Finnegans Wake 67


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“suggests that in one structural sense, the whole book forms a mandala,” which the symbol represents (“a quadripartite with diametrically inverted ornaments”).26 This symbol can also be taken as defining a shift across scale, between trope and schema, describing an implicitly hypertextual relation:

Book III

Book I.1-4 Book IV

Book II

Book I.5-8

According to Hart, the four quadrants of the circle constitute “the Wheel of Fortune, while Book IV lies at the ‘hub.’”27 One interesting corollary to this analysis arises from a consideration of the apparently “circular” structure of the Wake whereby the last line in the book is often considered as turning back upon the first line, so that the book itself becomes literally a circle (a “book of Doublends Jined” [FW 20.15-16]), through the “sentence”: A way a lone a last a loved a long the [|the outside of the book|] riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. [FW 628.15-16, 3.01-13]

But if this sentence belongs to both the first (I.1) and last (IV.1) chapters of the Wake, then there can be no simple divide between the first and last chapters. In his seminar ‘Joyce le symptôme,’ Lacan suggests: déjà son dernier mot ne peut se rejoindre qu’au premier, le the sur lequel il se termine se raccolant au riverrun dont il se débute, ce qui indique le circulaire?28

Lacan goes on to argue that the structure of Finnegans Wake should, in fact, not be described as circular but rather as knotted, comparing the signifying relation of “the” and “riverrun” to the topological metaphor of Borromean knots. Lacan further relates the idea of the knot back to Hart’s mandalic  schematisation of the Wake: Certains d’entre vous savant qu’avec ce cercle et cette croix, je dessine le nœud borroméen.29

Lacan considers that the function of Hart’s schematisation is not so much to render the Wake’s structure as a closed totality, but rather: 68


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à savoir l’ambiguïté du 3 et du 4, à savoir ce à quoi il restait collé, attaché, à l’interrogation de Vico.30

The exploration of the problem of Borromean knots represented Lacan’s attempt at elaborating a topology of the symbolic, imaginary and real,31 whose ambiguous structure, like Finnegans Wake, turns about the seemingly impossible equation 3=4. That is to say, if, according to conventional logics of scale, a sentence cannot be greater than a chapter, then the sentence “A way a lone [...] back to Howth Castle and Environs” belongs to one chapter, and the number of chapters in Finnegans Wake is not seventeen but sixteen, and the number of books is three and not four32—or rather, there are both possibilities at once. In this way Book IV, the Wakean ricorso, the “hub” or “double axis” of the Wake’s mandalic  structure, initiates this structural turn at the same time as this turning effaces it—providing a virtually schematic model of what Blanchot and Derrida describe as a de-centred structure. Following from Hart’s project, Roland McHugh, in 1980, published his Annotations to Finnegans Wake which has formed the basis for a large body of scholarship devoted to annotating Joyce’s texts.33 McHugh’s other important study, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake (1976), furnished the first systematic inquiry into Joyce’s use of sigla in his writing: The Doodles Family,

Hoodle dooodle, fam.? [FW 299.F4]

McHugh’s study is significant to the conceptualisation of hypertext because it engages with the way in which textual elements in Joyce’s writing signify otherwise than linguistically. These sigla either appear in the published version of Finnegans Wake or are alluded to in the Buffalo notebooks, particularly VI.B.8. McHugh records, for example, the appearance of the ⊥ siglum on page 147 of the notebook along with its page and line reference in the Wake (“Miss Horizon, justso all our fannacies dainted her, on the curve of the camber, unsheathing a showlaced limbaloft to the great consternations”): VI.B.8.147: ⊥ girl lying on causeway lacin with one leg heavenward, lacing her shoe34

(340.28-30)

In a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver (24 March 1924), Joyce wrote: “In making notes I used signs for the chief characters,” on the reverse of which the ⊥ siglum appears among a list of other sigla, this time standing for the figure of Isolde, the inverse of Tristan (T).35 Elsewhere, at VI.B.11.105, ⊥ is given as “mirror of mirror.”36 But as McHugh himself has pointed out, any nominal approach to the sigla is liable to ambiguity, despite Joyce’s advertisements.37 As with the notational anagrams of H.C.E. and A.L.P., the sigla appear to stand in place of different characters or characteristics at different times. The  siglum, for example, is thought to stand for Shaun in 69


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Joyce’s letter to Weaver, while in VI.B.15.153 it stands for “taste,” and later for Justius and Kevin (where an apparent relatedness lies in the binary organisation of the fraternal couples Shaun and Shem, Justius and Mercius, Kevin and Jerry, and so on). Studies into the Wake’s paronomasia have long seen Joyce’s phonic and graphic puns and portmanteau words as examples of lexemes or other sublexical units bearing “autonomous” significations beyond simply designating linguistic difference, as Ferdinand de Saussure first contended in his posthumously published Cours de Linguistique Général (1913). This effect of verbal atomism has been compared to the “optical mixing” of post-Impressionist artists like Georges Seurat. According to early Joyce biographer and critic Stuart Gilbert, Finnegans Wake is “pointilliste throughout,”38 and Clive Hart has suggested that the Wake described: “The development of a style which involved the manipulation of ever smaller and more autonomous units.”39 The use of sigla in Joyce’s text, and in particular the typographical effect of individual letters functioning as sigla, further suggests that we need to consider how signification in Finnegans Wake turns about an indefinite “double axis,” between linguistic and non-linguistic operations. That is to say, in a broadly semiotic way whereby a marking on the page may function linguistically on one hand, and nonlinguistically on the other, yet in both instances signifying in a meaningful and interdependent fashion. For example, how the “E” of H.C.E. is seemingly tipped over to signify “a village inn” (FW 119.27), or when the  siglum of A.L.P. is suggested to signify “an upside down bridge” (FW 119.28), the Liffey “delta,” and the equilateral triangle of transcendental mystery.40

LOGISTICAL TEXTS The problems confronting McHugh’s Annotations, however, are similar to the logistical problems involved with Clive Hart’s Concordance. Moreover, as scholarship expands the ground of the Annotations, other problems of how to provide a standard and upto-date database of Finnegans Wake annotations arises. Resolving these problems was, for a long time, considered impractical when it wasn’t considered simply impossible. Part of the difficulty centres upon the Wake itself. Because of the complexity of its language, and because of the difficulty of collating the manuscripts, there has been no published attempt to undertake a revision of the standard text of Finnegans Wake apart from the publication of a list of corrections prepared by Joyce as an appendix to the 1945 Viking edition, and its incorporation into the text of the 1958 edition. But while the printed text itself has neither been corrected nor re-set since 1958,41 in 1990 the complete Finnegans Wake (along with Ulysses) was scanned from the Viking edition and made available in ASCII, and later HTML, format via the World Wide Web as part of an ambitious project undertaken by Donald Theall with Tim Szelinga at Trent University in Canada. Theall’s were the first, and remain the only, electronic texts of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—produced when the copyright laws permitted it. Theall’s work on Joyce goes 70


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back to the McLuhan-Carpenter journal Explorations, where in 1954 he published an article on Joyce and communications,42 and since the early 1990s he has been at the centre of debate over the technological underpinnings of Joyce’s later writings. Moreover, Theall’s electronic versions of Joyce’s texts have greatly assisted in overcoming numerous logistical difficulties associated with Joycean textual scholarship, and provide the basis for establishing online databases incorporating the various existing Annotations (McHugh’s, as well as Gifford’s Ulysses Annotated)43 and the extensive body of genetic scholarship which has accumulated since (such as the internet-based FWAKE-N archive). After Hart’s Concordance, the most ambitious attempt at referencing and collating Joyce’s work (transcripts of almost all extant notebooks, manuscripts and typescripts) was the James Joyce Archive, published in 1978 (documents relating to Finnegans Wake comprise the last thirty one volumes of the Archive) but which has been out of print for some years. One of its editors, Michael Groden, of the University of Western Ontario, has been another central figure in the application of hypermedia technologies in Joyce studies, following the publication of his book Ulysses in Progress in 1977.44 He himself has described Ulysses as “a hypertext novel before its time.”45 Since the early 1990s Groden has been involved in a project to engineer a hypermedia CD-ROM resource for Ulysses. Provisionally entitled Digital Ulysses, Groden’s CDROM is aimed, like Cage’s Roaratorio, at incorporating a large number of extra-textual material. These include: “footnotes from the Gabler edition of Ulysses; highlights from Richard Ellmann’s Joyce biography; scanned images of advertisements and pop-culture ephemera; a minutely detailed map of the streets of Dublin,”46 as well as digitised footage from Joseph Strick’s 1967 film adaptation of Ulysses.47 A prototype of Groden’s project, comprising six pages from the ‘Nausicaa’ episode of Ulysses, was demonstrated at the University of Toronto, during the ‘Hysterical/Historical Joyce’ conference, on June 16, 1996. The project currently involves the co-operation of dozens of Joyce scholars from around the world. For some years now problems with copyright have stood in the way of one of the more advanced hypertext projects concerned with Finnegans Wake. This project, directed by Daniel Ferrer at I.T.E.M. in Paris, is concerned mainly with providing a resource for mapping textual genetics in the Wake. As with many other hypertext projects, Ferrer’s is also interactive, allowing users to develop and expand the hypertext’s database and to create links. Ferrer, well known for his collaboration with Derek Attridge in editing Post-structuralist Joyce (1984), has devoted a great deal of time not only to theorising textual genetics, but also to researching Joyce’s manuscripts. In 1994 he led a panel discussion on the question of avant-textes at the Seville Joyce Symposium (a discussion which was concerned with the structure of the trace in genetic criticism), and in 1995, at the Joyce and Modern Culture Conference at Brown University, he delivered a keynote address on Wakean genetics and hypertext. At the 1996 Zürich Joyce Symposium, Ferrer demonstrated a “genetic hypertext” version of the ‘Sirens’ episode of Ulysses, which allows for a study of the episode using all extant pre-publication drafts and proofs for tracing the evolution of passages and revisions. Much of Ferrer’s work has been informed by Freudian theories of psychoanalysis, 71


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and this is reflected in his development of the notion of avant-texte (an idea also explored by Jacques Aubert, Laurent Milesi and André Topia). Ferrer’s goal has not been to use hypertext as a means of accessing textual annotations or of drawing out various echoes within the Wake, rather his interest has lain in the quasi-empirical way avant-textes (Joyce’s own annotations, notebooks, corrections, letters, and so on) continue to haunt the published text of Finnegans Wake as a type of virtual memory. That is not to say that Ferrer advocates the idea of deciphering Joyce’s text by means of the various avanttextes, or of using these avant-textes to establish an Ur-text (such as Gabler’s and Kidd’s efforts with Ulysses). Rather Ferrer considers that avant-textes come to exercise a certain influence over the text itself, that they somehow “determine” the Wake’s structural and semantic forms in a similar way as the Freudian unconscious and preconscious might be seen to “determine” the structurality of the discourses of consciousness. Ferrer’s concern with this active haunting of the text derives partly from an interest in the effects Joyce’s writing has on the idea of mimēsis or representation.

AVANT-TEXTES In an essay on Ulysses entitled ‘Archéologie du regard dans les avant-textes de «Circé»,’ Ferrer explains the idea of haunting in terms of hallucination, as “not a question of content, but of writing.”48 Ferrer’s understanding of the nature of hallucination draws heavily upon Freud’s Traumdeutung, and is thus defined in terms of a “perception which comes not from the external world, but the internal world.”49 For Ferrer, “hallucinations, like dreams, produce perceptions of a regressive character”: The cathexes from the Ucs (Unconscious) proceed backwards to the sensory end of the psychic apparatus. This topical regression (the transition from a system of the psychic apparatus to an anterior system) results in a predominance of visual images [...] which correspond to the “ideas of things” characteristic of the Ucs system which is the source of the hallucinatory cathexis.50

Ferrer’s contention is that such an unconscious cathexis can also “reactivate [...] ‘verbal ideas’ [...] stored in the Pcs system (Preconscious).” These ideas may “reach the conscious perception, but to do so they must go through the Ucs system by means of a topical regression and conform to the rules of the Ucs system.”51 In Ferrer’s view, this “topical regression” is also a “formal regression,” where, as in Freud’s formulation, the significance of these “verbal ideas” is biased more towards their “morphogenesis” (metonymic condensation and metaphoric displacement) than their apparent semantic content. In his 1985 essay ‘The Freudful Couchmare of Λd: Joyce’s Notes on Freud and the Composition of Chapter XVI of Finnegans Wake,’ Ferrer explores the transpositional economy of Joyce’s use of notebook VI.B.19 (JJA 33). In late 1925, Joyce used this notebook extensively for the composition of chapter XVI (III.4) of Finnegans Wake, and Ferrer locates in it what he describes as a “large number of seemingly unrelated words and phrases which in fact come from the third volume of Freud’s Collected 72


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Papers.”52 At the time of the notebook’s composition, Freud’s Collected Papers, which contained Freud’s five major case studies: ‘Little Hans,’ ‘The Rat Man,’ ‘Judge Schreber,’ ‘The Wolf Man,’ and ‘Dora,’ had just been published by the Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. According to Ferrer, it is possible to identify direct references in the notebook to ‘Little Hans’ and ‘The Wolf Man,’ while ‘Dora’appears in Finnegans Wake as “doraphobia” (FW 478.37) in a passage containing a large number of other Freudian references.53 Ferrer’s research suggests that Joyce read Freud extensively, and his transcriptions of Freudian source texts are seen to account for approximately twenty pages of the VI.B.19 notebook. Ferrer lists a significant number of these entries along with their corresponding sources in Freud’s Collected Papers.54 For example: p. 70 -vice father surrogate

“If in patient’s case the wolf was merely a father surrogate, the question arises whether the hidden content in the fairy tales of the wolf that ate up the little goats and of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ may not simply be infantile fear of the father.”

Although Joyce’s reference (on the left-hand side) appears slight, Ferrer points out that the reference is “the basis of an important aspect of a passage from III.4 [which is] full of references to psychoanalysis and swarming with multitudes of wolves.”55 The words themselves appear in the sentence: “A child’s dread for a dragon vice-father” (FW 480.2526). Ferrer also uses this reference as an example of Joyce’s working method with his notebooks: He notes down a phrase (“father surrogate”), then he adds (immediately or later) something that modifies or enriches it (“vice” has obviously been inserted above “father” with a pun, of course, on the two meanings of vice). In Finnegans Wake, “surrogate” was altogether eliminated, making the reference quite undetectable, but the original psychoanalytic context is retained and proliferates.56

A reference elsewhere by Joyce, this time to Freud’s statement on “the timelessness of the unconscious,”57 leads Ferrer to note that “like Finnegans Wake, the Freudian unconscious is outside the realm of time,”58 hence drawing an analogy between the unconscious as a palimpsest of mnemonic traces and Ferrer’s own synoptic vision of Joyce’s text(s).59 This also offers possible insights into the hypertextual nature of Joyce’s work in terms of the active (structural) deployment of intertextual strategies in the composition and presentation of the Wake—whereby other (“source”) texts could be seen as conspicuously haunting Joyce’s assemblage, to the point that they drastically disrupt the apparent cohesion of the text, without however establishing any strict claim to derivation as the basis for an assumption of meaning in any given context. INTER(IOR) TEXTS In an article dealing with intertextuality in Ulysses, André Topia comments on the nature of analogy, derivation and the evolution of the apparently ancillary character of classical quotation: 73


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Since the early nineteenth-century, the status of quotation has been one of the most crucial and problematic aspects of writing. Indeed the literary text is situated more and more in relation to the multitude of other texts which circulate within it. Having become a moving receptacle, the geometric locus of an hors-texte which traverses and informs it, it ceases to be a block closed by stable boundaries and clear origins of utterance. It then appears as an open configuration, strewn with landmarks and furrowed by networks of references, reminiscences, connotations, echoes, quotations, pseudo-quotations, parallels, reactivations. Linear reading gives way to transversal and correlative reading, where the printed page becomes no more than the point of intersection for strata issuing from myriad horizons.60

The classical definition and theory of quotation reflects the paradoxical nature and practices of citation, which writers turned to their advantage through play and simulation. In the rhetorical formulae of Quintilian and Longinus, the functions of quotation are either illustration or ornament. As an ornament a quotation is something extraneous, something imported to embellish the main discourse.61 The concept of quotation imposes a grade between quoted texts (the ornament) and the quoting text (the main discourse). In this respect, the quoted fragment appears as a mere appendage to the main discourse, something superfluous, but also paradoxically privileged, as it appears as a stylistic exemplum. Yet if citation is used as illustration, as auctoritas, the quoted text is then privileged over the quoting text (what Derrida, in Of Grammatology, describes in terms of supplementarity, and elsewhere in terms of mise en abyme).62 Quotation in this respect is no longer merely an ornament or illustration, or even the result of a juxtaposition of two texts. Quotations are no longer even “collages” applied to the surface of texts that would exist before and after those insertions. On the contrary, these texts can be read only within this inscription, as a form of “grafting.” As Derrida argues: “to write means to graft. It’s the same word”: Every sign, linguistic or nonlinguistic, spoken or written (in the usual sense of this opposition), as a small or large unity, can be cited, put between quotation marks; thereby it can break with any given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion. This does not suppose that the mark is valid outside its context, but on the contrary that there are only contexts without any centre of absolute anchoring.63

In this way Derrida combines quotation with the sense of dissemination, which henceforth denies formalisation and closure, and disrupts the notion of context as origin. For Derrida, the text is always a generative process of metonymic or metaphoric transference, transportation or translation—between and across all levels of signifying structure. From this idea of intertextual “accretion,” and from the disruption it implies of established signifying orders in the hierarchical arrangement of textual “fragments” in relation to the “whole” text, Joyce’s notebook marginalia gain in importance, especially when considered against the typographical effects found in the ‘Triv and Quad’ or ‘Nightlessons’ episode of Finnegans Wake (II.2). Amongst other things, ‘Nightlessons’ develops the typographical significance of such supplemental textual elements as footnotes and marginalia, and brings them into a semantic relation with the so-called principal body of the text. On page 272 of the Wake we encounter the following: 74


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Dark ages clasp the daisy roots, Stop, if you are a sally of the allies, hot of Minnowaurs and naval actiums, picked engagements and banks of rowers. Please stop if you’re a B.C. minding missy, please do. But should you prefer A.D. stepplease. And if you miss with aventure it serves you girly well glad. But holy Janus, I was forgetting the Blitzenkopfs! Here, Hengegst and Horsesauce, take your heads3 out of the taletub!

PANOPTICAL PURVIEW OF POLITICAL PROGRESS AND THE FUTURE PRESENTATION OF THE PAST

That’s the lethemuse but it washes off.

The musical notation in the left margin (depicting the notes A B C and D) provides a typographical “analogy” to the passage containing the letters “B.C.” and “A.D.” in the main body of text. At the same time, the corresponding note on the right-hand-side contains the words: “FUTURE PRE-/SENTATION/OF THE PAST.” The proximity of these three texts, and the seemingly accidental correspondence (or “misadventure”) of signifiers, in the first case, and signified meaning, in the second, gives rise to another type of text—one which places in question the “TELEOLOGICUM” (FW 264.R1) structure of historical time as well as the literal progression of the Latin alphabet. The footnote, while not seeming to be directly related to the principle text, is nevertheless involved in a complex series of associative metaphors around the themes of memory and identity. Thus, for example, “if you’re a B.C.,” but also “Here, Hengegst and Horsesauce” which—amongst its possible references to food and its Anglo-German punning on “stallion” (Hengst) and “horse”—marks a repetition of the letter H as a signifier of the Wakean triad, H.C.E., reconnecting to the musical and historical theme as the Germanic indicator of the natural note of B, and as a reference to the invasion of Britain, led by the Jutish chieftains Hengest and Horsa, in 449 A.D. Between “lethemuse” and “taletub” the footnoted “heads” continues the associative chain of H-words, as the “here” of historical memory and subjective consciousness, which is both “in” the tale, or lethemused “riverrun,” in which nothing is “missed” and everything “washes off.” Elsewhere in ‘Nightlessons’ these elliptical marginalia and footnotes are seen not only to affect the semantic organisation of the text, but to “deconstruct” the typographical hierarchies which have previously defined this relation as supplemental. On page 279 the main body of text is almost entirely displaced by a long footnote through a metonymic “invasion” or what might be described as an “Oedipalised,” typographical warfare, while at the end of the section, on page 305, the main text is entirely supplanted by the “yuledied greedings” of a “NIGHTLETTER,” signed: from jake, jack and little sousoucie (the babes that mean too)

Here the typographical disruption, as well as the uncapitalised proper names that sign the “NIGHTLETTER,” suggest a radicalisation of the mechanisms of typographic ordering which define the classical relationship between formal textual units, whereby 75


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marginalia and footnotes are seen as performing a filial, supplementary or prosthetic function to the main body. By deconstructing the hierarchical organisation of the book’s typographical codes in this way, Joyce also draws attention to material aspects of textuality and to the signifying relations inaugurated by them. These relations likewise describe a network of possible signifying “states,” whose structural translatability underwrites what we might call “the technē of inscription,” as a form of articulated palimpsest.

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4. TEXTUAL ENGINEERING Writing has no sooner begun than it inseminates itself with another reading. The Wake, fin negans, begets only beginnings but invalidates all origins, in a system which can be described as a word-machine, or a complex machination of meanings, probing and programming the seedy sides of meaning.1

TEXTUAL MACHINES

A

nticipating the increased significance of hypertext in James Joyce scholarship, Jacques Derrida, in his 1984 essay on Finnegans Wake, invokes the term “Joyceware,” suggesting that we might approach Joyce’s writing as “a hypermnesiac machine [...] capable of integrating all the variables, all the quantitative and qualitative factors [...] because you can say nothing that is not programmed on this 1000th generation computer—Ulysses or Finnegans Wake.”2 Yet the question remains of what takes place between Joyce’s text and Derrida’s invocation, and again between “Ulysses or Finnegans Wake” and the metaphor of a “1000th generation computer.” The question, in other words, of what it is that here solicits programming—and what it is which thus comprehends ahead of time the “nothing” which still allows itself to be said, to be repeated, to be chanced upon as the possibility of a communication, a presentiment which is also a warning or a interdiction: “you can say nothing that is not programmed on this 1000th generation computer.” Besides Jacques Derrida, the idea of Joyce’s text as a kind of machine has also been treated by Jean-Michel Rabaté.3 In his essay entitled ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ Rabaté examines Finnegans Wake as a “system which can be described as a word machine, or a complex machination of meanings,” a “perverse semic machine” which “has the ability to distort the classical semiological relation between ‘production’ and ‘information,’ by disarticulating the sequence of encoding and decoding.”4 Importantly, this “perversion” does not arise through a process of distortion of meaning, but rather arises at moments of “recurrence” in which similitude, rather than securing the closure of signifying play through a moment of identification, constitutes a “moment of convergence,” what Blanchot calls “l’immédiat qui n’est jamais communiqué.”5 For Rabaté, this recurrence describes an irreducibility or “lapsus” in the totalising movement of the book—here in terms of the Wake’s paronomasia. By disarticulating the received phonic-graphic binary (“What can’t be coded can be decorded, if an ear aye seize what no eye ere grieved for” [FW 482.34]), Joyce’s paronomasian writing requires the reader to attempt to (re-)assemble the semantic horizon of the text with whatever is near at hand.6 Among other things, this dis-articulation reveals that what remains necessary for meaning to arise is not a predetermined system of codes, but rather a network of internal textual (graphic and phonic) differences which participate in an other kind of code breaking. We could say that this process of “breaking” codes gives rise to another text, a text comprised of ruined sign structures and quasi-fragmentations (a decentred text which 77


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is also de-cord-ed). And when Rabaté relates the mechanical labour of the text to the Lévi-Straussian concept of bricolage, he is able to do so precisely because this labour would no longer distinguish writing from interpretatio: translation or mediation. The dis-articulation of sequences of encoding and decoding would thus inaugurate a type of archive, a text whose memory is suspended in the timelessness of its own present, in the absence of any code prior to those from which it is assembled and to which it is ultimately indifferent. As Geoffrey Bennington suggests: Such a machine would suspend reading in an open system, neither finite nor infinite, labyrinth-abyss, and would thus also retain the memory of the traversals tried out [...] by all its readers, these being so many texts to plug back into the general network. Joyceware, Derridaware, Derridabase. But this machine is already in place, it is the “already” itself. We are inscribed in it in advance, promise of the hazardous memory in the monstrous to-come.7

In Anti-Oedipus, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari begin to identify such an apparatus in terms of a “transverse.” They write: the whole itself is a product, produced as nothing more than a part alongside other parts, which it neither unifies nor totalizes, though it has an effect on these other parts simply because it establishes aberrant paths of communication between noncommunicating vessels, transverse unities between elements within their own particular boundaries.8

This sense of “transverse unities” is further elaborated in a reference to Marcel Proust’s À la Recherche du temps perdu which, in ways similar to Einsteinean relativity, describes the points-of-view of a passenger inside a train compartment as the train moves through the countryside—what Ernst Mach called “the experience of physiological space.”9 For Deleuze and Guattari: there is never a totality of what is seen nor a unity of the points of view, except along the traversal that the frantic passenger traces from one window to the other, “in order to draw together, in order to reweave intermittent and opposite fragments.”10

This transversal, by locating the passenger-reader within the encoding and decoding process, while at the same time disarticulating this process and reducing it to a set of orthogonal co-ordinates within a collapsed perspective field, brings about a “rupture” in the classical analytic scene and the objectivist methodology that belongs to it. In this way, analysis itself is opened to the necessary possibility of the radically contingent in the orientation and structure of its gaze. Positing a similar rupture in the relationship of the analytic gaze to the textual object, Derek Attridge proposes that a text’s possible significations are not dependent upon discrete and quantifiable linguistic, phenomenological or psychological events, but “the multiple coincidences of language, both within language and across languages.”11 These coincidences signal a breakdown in the distinctions that we might otherwise wish to draw between intentionality and chance. Reflecting on this breakdown, Attridge suggests: 78


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if Joyce intentionally builds a machine of such complexity that unforeseen connections are bound to arise when it comes into contact with a reader possessing equally complex systems of memory and information, we can’t call them ‘unintentional’ in any straightforward sense of the word. And this means we can’t say that the openness to chance and to the reader [...] is only an accidental effect.12

Moreover, as Derrida points out, such distinctions as unintentional, chance, or accidental effect, would themselves depend, “as they say, on the context—but a context is never determined enough to prohibit all random deviation.”13 In this way, communication, as Bennington argues: “takes place, if at all, in a fundamental and irreducible uncertainty as to the very fact and possibility of communication.”14

MISE EN ABYME If we take Attridge’s remarks about the Joycean machine and the way it appears to be driven by a breakdown in the distinction between intentionality and chance, and set them beside Deleuze and Guattari’s vaguely Fordist notion of desiring machines, it is possible to arrive at yet another sense of Joyce’s use of the term “re-embodying.”15 For Deleuze and Guattari, “desiring machines” function through a process of Joycean “interregnation” (FW 224.14), “flows and interruptions” or “breakthroughs and breakdowns,” somewhat akin to the apparent discontinuities Attridge identifies between the concepts of unintentionality and chance. For Deleuze and Guattari, the desiring-production of “desiring machines” coalesces about what Artaud had called “the body without organs”: a body which “is produced as a whole, but in its own particular place within the process of production, alongside the parts that it neither unifies nor totalizes.”16 Further, when the body without organs “turns back upon” these other parts, it is said to bring about: transverse communications, transfinite summarizations, polyvocal and transcursive inscriptions on its own surface, on which the functional breaks of partial objects are continually intersected by breaks in the signifying chains, and by breaks effected by a subject that uses them as reference points in order to locate itself.17

This sense of “transverse communications,” between the body without organs and its signifiers, suggests a kind of Wakean “grand continuum, overlorded by fate and interlarded with accidence” (FW 472.30-31)—what we might regard also as a form of recursion wherein the concepts of re-embodiment, metempsychosis, chance and intentionality intersect: Signifying [...] that, primeval conditions hav[e] gradually receded but nevertheless [have] persisted through intermittences of [...] providential divining, making possible and even inevitable [...] morphological circumformation. [FW 599.09-17]

Such a mechanism of “circumformation,” described by a system of traces “persisting through intermittences,” recalls what Derrida, in his essay ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ terms 79


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“a hypermnesiac machine.”18 Following Joyce’s writing practice in Finnegans Wake, Derrida is interested in how the idea (eidos) put to work hypermnemically, as an alternative to the intuition or direct experience of phenomenology, is not the signified concept but the elision of meaning brought about in language by the constant realignment of narratives, tropes, themes, genres, but also individual words, letters, graphemes and phonemes. In Dissemination, Derrida suggests that this elision would give rise to a type of hypertextual apparatus which would operate “in two absolutely different places at once, even if these were only separated by a veil,”19 an idea he further elaborates upon in ‘Two Words for Joyce’: Paradoxical logic of this relationship between two texts, two programmes or two literary “softwares”: whatever the difference between them, even if [...] it is immense and incommensurable, the ‘“second” text, the one which, fatally, refers to the other, quotes it, exploits it, parasites it and deciphers it, is no doubt the minute parcel detached from the other, the metonymic dwarf, the jester of the great anterior text [...] and yet it is also another set, quite other, bigger, and more powerful than the all-powerful which it drags off and reinscribes elsewhere in order to defy its ascendancy. Each writing is at once the detached fragment of a software more powerful than the other, a part larger than the whole of which it is a part.20

The topological structure of the relationship described here, between two textual programmes, recalls what Derrida in The Truth in Painting terms mise en abyme, wherein a “totality” “is represented on the model of one of its parts which thus becomes greater than the whole of which it forms a part, which it makes into a part.”21 Elsewhere Derrida describes this process in terms of a supplementary “chain of substitutions,” or as a “decentring,” suggesting analogies to what the mathematician Henri Poincaré termed the “Vicious Circle Principle” and which Russell in 1908 defined as an exclusion of metonymic totality. For Russell: “whatever involves all of a collection must not [itself] be one of the collection.”22 In the ‘Mamafesta’ episode of Finnegans Wake (I.5), this set theoretical principle of metonymic exclusion is posed against the function of A.L.P.’s letter (“Anna’s gramme”) as a “metonymic dwarf” of Joyce’s “nightbook” as a whole, in which the letters A.L.P. simultaneously describe the recurrent “vicious circle” of a Freudian repetition compulsion in which Alp is also the German word for nightmare. As this “epistolear” becomes more and more a part of the textual apparatus that surrounds it, and less distinguishable from its own analysis or exegesis, it begins to take on a mythological aura as the site of endless co-ordinates for an impossible rendezvous with itself. Like the letters A.L.P. and H.C.E., this “nightletter” serves as a kind of topological, or tropological site of a lapsus—a point of “continuity” which at the same time marks out a chain of “dis-continuities,” or the “disarticulation” of a sequence of encoding and decoding. As with Derrida, Rabaté envisages a machine in which production is driven by an internal division (memory or desire) which opens a place of potentially limitless substitutions—a movement which finds itself programmed in advance by the irreducibility of the machine’s own internal paradox. This paradox is pervasive, but it 80


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might be said to be most fully accommodated in the purpose of the machine to supersede itself— a form of “built-in obsolescence,” which is also a form of projective selfsubstitution and auto-production. As Rabaté suggests, this paradox functions as a “lapsus” and points to the way in which a programmatic discourse would “attempt to fill the blank space of desire left hollow by—or in—the machine.”23 The desiring machine, miming the totalising movement of an exegesis, or exegenesis, approaches a topological relation to itself similar to that of the Turing machine, or of Cantor’s continuum problem (the problem of determining whether there is a set with cardinality greater than that of the natural numbers but less than that of the continuum). In 1901, Russell reformulated this problem as arising from a consideration of the set of all sets which are not members of themselves, since this set must be a member of itself if and only if it is not a member of itself.24 Cesare Burali-Forti, an assistant to the mathematician Guiseppi Peano, discovered a similar antinomy in 1897 when he observed that since the set of ordinals is well ordered, it therefore must have an ordinal itself. However, this ordinal must be both an element of the set of ordinals and yet greater than any ordinal in the set. By definition, the paradoxical sets of Forti and Russell deny self-similarity since they must of necessity contain the term that both defines and exceeds them, ad infinitum, as a type of interminable destiny. In the absence of any limiting or stabilising “identity,” the set paradox tends towards unlimited proliferation—a type of desiring machine caught, like the Lacanian subject, in an inflationary movement of self-projection and re-integration. This idea can be broadly applied to genetic processes of coding and decoding in which a programmatic identity takes the place of an originary identity, and in which the genetic code can be viewed as structurally antecedent to itself within a sequence of metonymic substitutions. Derrida links this idea to the principle of viral contamination: It is precisely a principle of contamination, a law of impurity, a parasitic economy. In the code of set theories, if I may use it at least figuratively, I would speak of a sort of participation without belonging—a taking part in without taking part of, without having membership in a set. The trait that marks membership inevitably divides, the boundary of the set comes to form, by invagination, an internal pocket larger than the whole; and the outcome of this division and of this abandoning remain as it is limitless.25

This destining (as a form of installation in advance), suggests another way in which programmatic emplacement operates a type of “paradox lust.” It also suggests a way in which we might consider textual processes as programmed in advance—or as belonging to a program which has always already been installed and which cannot be disintricated from the “hardware” with which it will always have been integrated. In ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ Heidegger likewise argues that the essence of technology (as Ge-stell or enframing): “is an ordering of destining, as is every way of revealing. Bringing-forth, poiēsis, is also a destining in this sense.”26 In their 1979 book Autopoiesis and Cognition, cybernetics theorists Humberto Maturana and Francesco Varela coin the phrase “autopoietic machines” to describe 81


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a similar process of mechanised autoproduction. In cybernetics the term autopoietic refers to machines organised as a network of processes of production, transformation and destruction. This network gives rise to components which, through their interactions and transformations, regenerate and in turn realise the network or processes that produced them. At the same time these components constitute the network as a concrete unity in the space in which they exist by specifying the “topological domain of its realisation.”27 In other words, the components of autopoietic machines generate recursively, by means of their interaction, the same network of processes by which they themselves are produced. We might think of this further in terms of a discursive emplacement, or the transcoding of textual and material difference, and of the “fragment” as an element of metonymic recursion. According to Blanchot: the fragment, as fragments, tends to dissolve the totality which it presupposes and which it carries off towards the dissolution from which it does not [...] form, but to which it exposes itself in order, disappearing—and along with it, all identity— to maintain itself as the energy of disappearing: a repetitive energy, the limit that bears upon limitation.28

This fragmentation, without origin or derivation, would also describe the transversality of the “limit that bears upon limitation” as simultaneously the aporia of what Heidegger calls being placed. As the mark of discursive emplacement, this aporia of limits likewise describes a structural “hesitancy” between the fragmentary resemblance to a system in the process of emerging and to one in the process of dissolution. It suggests a mechanical lability, a technics of the fragmented tending simultaneously towards the infinitesimal and the monstrous through an interminable movement of recursion. In place of the incomplete system it will always have seemed to imply, the fragment disseminates itself, engendering each of its elements as the fragmented-whole of which it is not even the whole-fragmented: mise en abyme.

EX MACHINA Distinguishing between “origin” and “beginning,” Jean-Michel Rabaté, in his essay ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ proposes a reading of the term “Finnegans,” of the Wake’s title, as fin negans. The text, he suggests, “begets only beginnings but invalidates all origins.”29 This, Rabaté suggests, comes about through a strategy of “disarticulating the sequence of encoding and decoding” in the traditional phonic-graphic binary opposition of Western philosophies of language, as exemplified in the following passage from Joyce’s text: The prouts who will invent a writing there ultimately is the poeta, still more learned, who discovered the raiding there originally. That’s the point of eschatology our book of kills reaches for now in soandso many counterpoint words. What can’t be coded can be decorded if an ear aye sieze what no eye ere grieved for. Now, the doctrine obtains, we have occasioning cause causing effects and affects occasionally recausing altereffects. [FW: 482.31-483.01]

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In Rabaté’s opinion, this text is not just “coded” since the writing of the “prouts” (combining Proust and Father Mahony, disguised as “Father Prout“)30 receives meaning from the readings implied in the term poeta: “an agent of creative poiēsis whose gender is ambiguous.”31 Discussing the semiotic process of encoding and decoding, Rabaté explains that: If it [meaning] is not coded, it can be decoded, de-corded, unwoven, line by line, across the polyphonic obliques which intersect in “counterpoint words”; thus the feedback of “altereffects” already scrambles the metonymic chain of cause and effects, since a reading-writing of affects, on the alert, supposes the beginning and the begetting of the “eareye,” constantly lured by the text into believing that it has only to beg the question of sense. Thus, too, can the quest of sense go on: the fact that the hearing glance implied by this paradoxical reading functions as a lapsus gives a hint and points to the way one could attempt to fill the blank space of desire left hollow by—or in—the machine.32

Rabaté’s objective here is to reply to the question of what a text “really cause[s]” when a lapsus recurs.33 To this end he investigates the various “codes” of Joyce’s writing machine and their relation to “seriality.” Rabaté himself borrows this metaphor of the machine from Joyce, who, in a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver, wrote: I am glad you liked my punctuality as an engine driver. I have taken this up because I am really one of the greatest engineers, if not the greatest, in the world besides being a musicmaker, philosophist, and heaps of other things. All the engineers I know are wrong. Simplicity. I am making an engine with only one wheel. No spokes of course. The wheel is a perfect square.34

Joyce’s paradoxical description of his text as a square wheel requires, in Rabaté’s view, no resolution: his machine is a circle and a square; he does not reduce either figure to the other, their incompatibility is a driving motor in the progress of the text.35

In this way Rabaté employs the metaphor of the machine to describe not only the book’s theoretical functioning, but also the labour with which it constructs itself, and with which it goes on constructing itself.36 Similarly, Joyce himself often spoke of his work in progress as if it were an engineering project: In the meantime I am preparing for it [...] by pulling down more earthwork. The gangs are now hammering on all sides. It is a bewildering business. I want to do as much as I can before the execution. Complications to right of me, complications to left of me, complex on the page before me, perplex in the pen beside me, duplex in the meandering eyes of me. And from time to time I lie back and listen to my hair growing white.37

According to Donald Theall, the concept of “poetic engineer” was part of the artistic sensibility from at least 1905 until the end of the Second World War.38 Joyce and his contemporaries were acutely attuned to the importance of science, technology and 83


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human invention which, under the satirical influence of Dada, tended towards the LéviStraussean concept of bricolage—replacing the idea of a originary, “created” entity with one of contingent assemblage as a kind of deus ex machina.39 Similarly, when asked by August Suter about the book he was working on, Joyce (adopting a speleological metaphor suggestive of the labyrinthine tunnelling of a hypertext) replied: “I don’t know. It is like a mountain that I tunnel into from every direction, but I don’t know what I will find.”40 Joyce further insisted that the structure of Finnegans Wake was to be mathematical, and he made mathematics one the Wake’s principal themes. Among the opening pages, for example, we find a discussion of “caligulating by multiplicables the alltitude and malltitude” (FW 4.32). In the ‘Triv and Quad’ or ‘Nightlessons’ episode, the three “children” of the Wake’s “mythametical tripods” (FW 286.23-4), A.L.P. and H.C.E., are given homework in geometry, astronomy, music and arithmetic—activities which, as Theall points out, are equally tied to rhetoric and the other arts of the trivium (the entire episode typographically laid out like a school textbook, with footnotes and marginalia surrounding a central column of text). At times Joyce seems to approach language itself as a mathematical structure and as an engineering problem (“circling the square” [FW 186.12]): A Tullagrove pole to the Height of County Fearmanagh has a septain inclinaison and the graphplot for all the functions in Lower County Monachan, whereat samething is rivisible by nighttime, may be involted into the zeroic couplet, palls pell, in his heventh like noughty times ∞ find, if you are not literally coefficient, how minney combinaisies and permutandies can be played on the international surd! [FW 284.05]

Elsewhere Joyce describes H.C.E. as an “harmonic condenser enginium” (FW 310.01). In the same continuum, Rabaté, using the Wake’s description of itself as a “wholemole millwheeling vicociclometer” (FW 614.27), compares the internal operations of the text with those of a combustion engine: This “vicociclometer” is an internal combustion engine which uses the decompositions and recombinations of elements of the past; everything returns and leaves in the anastomosis (systole and diastole) of a notched wheel which distributes male and female roles: to man, catastrophes, and to women, the transmission of the tradition.41

“The letters (‘letter from litter’),” as Rabaté says, “always ultimately reveal ‘the sameold gamebold adomic structure of our Finnius the old One, as highly charged with electrons as hophazards can effective it’ (FW 615.06-08).”42

HALTING MACHINES As with the relativity of inertial frames described during a train journey in Proust’s À la Recherche du temps perdu, the “genealogical” movement of the Wake’s signifiers 84


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reveals the Cartesian organisation of temporal and spatial difference as simply one possible (chance) outcome, among many, of a “communication” between shifting contextual limits. In the ‘Nightlessons’ section this relativity of outcomes is demonstrated as an unsecuring of historical filiation (“Primanouriture / and Ultimo- / geniture” [FW 300.L1]) by differing alignments of the letters A B C and D: Please stop if you’re a B.C. minding missy, please do. But if you prefer A.D. stepplease. [FW 272.09-14]

The distinction here is not one of historical (dis)continuity—between the so-called Christian and pre-Christian epochs—but rather one of identity and determination (“Please stop if you’re a B.C.“) opening onto contingency (“But if you prefer A.D. stepplease”). The acrostic function of these signifiers is made more evident if we cast back to an earlier permutation of the passage cited above: (Stoop) of you are abcedminded, to this claybook, what curios of signs (please stoop), in this allaphbed! Can you rede (since We and Thou had it out already) its world? [FW 18.17-19]

Recalling Jacob Böhme’s Signatura Rerum, this passage makes use of an invocation (“can you rede [...] its world?”) to suggest a type of apocryphal text whose meaning can be discerned if we learn to decipher, like the Renaissance alchemist, the significance embedded in the limus profundis (the hidden “Key Signature” [FW 302.L2] of the divine author). With its further suggestions of the origin of man (Adam, “red clay”), and of Genesis (the Fall metamorphosed into a “stoop,” whereby the ideality of “signs” are reduced to base matter, after the neo-Platonist fashion), this “abcedminded” logic puns on the notion of historical meaning belonging, not to eidos, nor to divine reason, but rather to a species of “absent-mindedness.” In this way we might consider the alphabetical “acrostic” as a product of chance operations (or at least its possibility in language), as well as indicating the absence of a structuring reason to which history would defer for its meaning (or essence, as Zeitgeist animating the historical corpus). The relation of the alphabetical acrostic to the organisation of semantic structures is also linked, through the material, typographical nature of the “book,” to the technological concept of moveable type, echoing Plato’s identification of the alphabet itself as a form of technē in Phaedrus. As McLuhan and others have pointed out, the invention of moveable type made Gutenberg’s press one of the first Western machines of mass production.43 The limited set of variables required for the press (twenty six Latin characters, plus blank spaces, punctuation marks and diacriticals) provides a basic conception of a typographical matrix or grid, within which a virtually infinite number of permutations and combinations are possible—depending upon assumed conventions of grammar, syntax and orthography used to determine any particular typographical sequence. As Alan Turing has noted, however: If we were to allow an infinity of symbols, then there would be symbols differing to an arbitrarily small extent. The effect of this restriction of the number of symbols

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is not very serious. It is always possible to use sequences of symbols in the place of single symbols. [...] Similarly in any European language words are treated as single symbols.44

The Turing “grid” provides a secondary means of organising language as a whole in terms of material combination and recombination, by assigning single values to entire terms, or to any lexical, tropic or schematic unit whatsoever. In this way the cyclical notions of Vico or Nietzsche, or the structural repetitions of Homer’s Odyssey and the Bible, can equally be thought of in acrostic terms. One of the questions raised by Joyce’s writing, however, is how to account for the possibility of this acrostic grid exceeding its own rules. In other words, how to account for the assigning of multiple values to individual terms, or to the multiplication of terms within the same grid-space? Moreover, the apparently mechanical nature of the acrostic grid poses questions similar to those raised by Noam Chomsky about the relatedness of such things as grammar and syntax to semantic coherence. This question is partly answered by the contingency of contextuality, or the way in which the acrostic grid motivates a multi-dimensional connectivity between each of its elements. Each connection provides a trajectory of possible interpretation, such that we can say each term is in place within its particular context(s). A simple example of this is the referential function of an index or concordance, in which a basic system of co-ordinates employing two sets of variables (word or phrase and numerical page reference) provides a type of basic hypertextual site map or primitive cybernetic apparatus. In most cases, the first term remains constant for a variable number of second terms. “Plotted” against two-axes on a Cartesian plane, any set of co-ordinates sharing the first term will describe a straight line. The indexical value of the first term thus appears strictly linear. The difficulty arises with a classic Wittgensteinian problem of determining the relative value of the first term, which without appearing to differ, also does not remain constant across all of the contexts in which it appears (which is not its indexical value). Plotting the set of co-ordinates as a point-to-point vector across the body of the text, however, will produce a very different diagram—a transversal passing through a topological, “acrostic” space, whose values are not linear in any straightforward sense of that term. Other means of plotting these co-ordinates can also be determined to produce different hypertextual configurations, evolving the acrostic possibilities of the textual co-ordinates in increasingly elaborate ways. As Joyce himself suggests: The proteiform graph itself is a polyhedron of scripture. There was a time when naif alphabetters would have written it down the tracing of a purely deliquescent recidivist, possibly ambidextorous, snubnosed probably and presenting a strangely profound rainbow in his (or her) occiput. [FW 107.08-12]

But while such acrostic possibilities are conceivably infinite, they do pose questions of formal significance which ask whether or not an apparently random constellation of texts whose resemblance is always fractional can exert mutual simultaneous influence at a level which is not merely trivial or at best a fabulation (“a strangely profound rainbow”).45 86


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Returning to the passage “please stop if you’re a B.C.,” cited above (FW 272.0914), our attention is drawn to the corresponding left-hand marginalia in which the letters B C A and D appear to have been transposed into musical notation (FW 272.L2)46:



   

The possible substitution here of musical notation for the historical signifiers A.D. and B.C. raises, among other things, the question of analogous structuration between linguistic and nonlinguistic “codes.” But more immediately, it draws attention, through the physical disposition of the notes on the stave, to the significance of the transposition itself. For instance, the relative positioning on the stave of the notes B C and A D is such that the range A—D immediately encloses that of B—C, so that if we were to extrapolate the signifiers of the two historical epochs, B.C. and A.D., through the corresponding positions of the notes B C A and D according to the stave, we would arrive at an arrangement of historical signification which is no longer linear, but rather what Joyce, in a corresponding marginal note, calls a: PANOPTICAL PURVIEW OF POLITICAL PROGRESS AND THE FUTURE PRESENTATION OF THE PAST. [FW 272.R1]

In other words, a later epoch (A.D.) is shown, not to proceed from an earlier epoch (B.C.), but in a sense to precede it, and also to encompass it in an apparent movement of “concentricity”—suggesting a conception of time which is recursive and bifurcating: a mise en abyme according to which what is commonly understood to be past would in fact be emplaced within what comes after. Or, as Joyce writes elsewhere, that “there is a future in every past that is present” (FW 496.35-36). Similarly, the marginal note “FUTURE PRE- / SENTATION / OF THE PAST” suggests a communication between differing aspects of time (synchronic/diachronic). The prefix “PRE-” suggests a double articulation of “FUTURE” and the genitive “OF” in “OF THE PAST,” marking also a division (hyphenation) in the “PRESENT” of “PRE-SENTATION,” which is henceforth reduced to a type of presentiment. However, what is of particular interest is the way in which the force and form of the signifiers A.D. and B.C. belongs to a mechanistic convention that orientates and articulates history in terms of a zero-point—the year “O” (the point at which B.C. “stop[s]” but A.D. “step[s],” suggesting the halting function of an historical Turing 87


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machine). This is brought into clearer focus elsewhere in Finnegans Wake, in the analogy of the “grave Brofèsor” (FW 124.09). This story traces the “genetic” history of A.L.P.’s letter, which is discovered in a midden heap by a hen and then “pierced,” or parsed “by numerous stabs and foliated gashes made by a pronged instrument” (being the fork of “Brotfressor Prenderguest” [FW 124.15], with which he has eaten his breakfast): These paper wounds, four in type, were gradually and correctly understood to mean stop, please stop, do please stop, and O do please stop respectively. [FW 124.01-05]

This passage appears at a point on the page just before Joyce’s text itself “breaks down” into a series of quasi-phonetic renderings (“in type”) of words interspersed with apparently random diacritical markings. The passage recounts the process by which the grave Brofèsor unwittingly stabs the manuscript with his fork, and suggests that the “purpose” of these marks was: to=introdùce a notion of time [ùpon à plane (?) sù’’fàç’e’] by pùnct! ingh oles (sic) in iSpace?! [FW 124.12]

The spatial notion, or notation, of time as a series of unaspirated punct-ure marks or “oles” (“O do please stop”) recalls the passage “Please stop if you’re a B.C.” in which time is again punctuated and annotated by an alignment of marks on the page (the four puncts of A.D. and B.C., and the four notes A B C D). We could say that these puncture marks serve to articulate a notion of time, in a two-fold manner, whereby the mark (or “O”) introduces a hypertextual dimension—one that opens the “plane (?) sù’’fàç’e” of the page (but also the Cartesian plane) onto non-fixed, non-linear modes of signification. In terms of the historical signifiers A.D. and B.C., the zero-point, the point “O” on the Christian time-line, thus not only functions as a point of articulation, in the literal sense, between two epochs, but also articulates these epochs.

VICOCICLOMETRY This Janus-like (FW 272.16) point of double articulation describes a place of unsecuring in the Wake’s hypertextual re-alignment of the letters A D B and C—so that the former “zero-point” of historical memory (“Annanmesis” [FW 452.34]) comes to indicate another sense of recursive emplacement, as “Old Vico Roundpoint” (FW 260.14-15). The zero point also marks an infinity (“noughty times ∞” [FW 284.11]), while in the same continuum O also suggests ( ), a mise en abyme of parenthetical substitution.47 But this opening is also a “Gyre O” (FW 275.23), the hermeneutic circle or entropic spiral, the Viconian siglum  or “the O of woman” (FW 270.25-26)-the re-birthing passage of a “cyclewheeling history” (FW 186.02), or a “languo of flows” (FW 621.22), that continually “returns us by a commodius vicus of recirculation” to the “riverrun” of language and time. 88


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Clive Hart has suggested that we read A.L.P., in this context, as a signifier of a river(r)ing flow (the river Liffey), and as “Mother Zero,”48 “wefting stinks from Alpyssinia, wooving nihils from Memoland and wolving the ulvertones of the voice” (FW 318.33). Elsewhere in Finnegans Wake this relationship is made more explicit in the formula: A..........! ?..........O [FW 94.21]

This possible rendering of biblical eschatology (historical closure as the revelation of divine ontology, “Alpha and Omega”) provides one way in which we might view A.L.P. as the locus of a particular temporal schema. This rendering is structured tropically, with two sequences of ten periods dividing the A from and exclamation mark and the O from a question mark (“decembs within the ephemerids of profane history” [FW 87.07]). Again Joyce’s typographical arrangement bears possible significance. Read vertically, the text renders A as a question (of identity, of origin) adumbrating the number 10 (!O), or an emphatic zero (“absolute zero or the babbling pumpt of platinism” [FW 164.10-11]), whose numerological implications are worth considering in this respect. But we may also read this passage phonetically as a question in the vernacular (“eh?”), followed by a hushed response (“..........”), followed then by an exclamation (“oh!”)—the whole sequence suggesting two or more people exchanging pieces of gossip (like the washerwomen at the opening of the ‘Anna Livia’ section (“O / tell me all about / Anna Livia! I want to hear all / about Anna Livia. Well, you know Anna Livia? Yes, of course, / we all know Anna Livia. Tell me. Tell me now. You’ll die when you hear” [FW 196.1-5]) which in turn describes a “Bibelous hics / tory and Barbar / assa harestary” (FW 280.L1). The historical motif is further linked to the “figure” of A.L.P. in an imperative statement which involves an anagram of the name “Plato”: “Approach to lead our passage!” (FW 262.02), which is accompanied in the right-hand margin by the formulation: PROBAPOSSIBLE PROLEGOMENA TO IDEAREAL HISTORY. [FW 262.R1]

Two pages earlier we find: Wheel, to where [...] by New Livius Lane till where we whiled while we withered. Old Vico Roundpoint. Be fahr, be fear. And natural, simple, slavish, filial. [FW 260.09-16]

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Like an acrostic grid, this Viconian street map presents an idea of intersection which is both punctual and recurrent, rather than teleological: The Vico road goes round and round to meet where terms begin. Still onappealed to by cycles and unapalled by the recoursers. [FW 452.21-23]

In Joyce’s punning text, the cycle is both the passage of history and the vehicle of history, its terminus and commencement—a doubly articulated mechanism in which we might detect the solicitation of a particular “technology” of engenderment, represented in terms of the following schematic:

[FW 293]

In Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake, Clive Hart constructs a schematic model of the Wake which bears certain resemblances to this “vicociclometer.” Describing a chiasmatic double movement between the four books of the Wake he argues that: Around a central section, Book II, Joyce builds two opposing cycles consisting of Books I and III. In these two Books there is established a pattern of correspondences of the major events of each, those in Book III occurring in reverse order and having inverse characteristics. Whereas Book I begins with a rather obvious birth (28-9) and ends with a symbolic death (215-6), Book III begins with a death (403) and ends with a birth (590); “roads” and the meeting with the King (I.2) reappear in III.4, the trial of I.3-4 in III.3, the Letter of I.5 in III.1, and the fables of I.6 earlier in III.1. In his correspondence Joyce implicitly referred to this pattern.49

Such a Viconian “duplex” (FW 292.24) is also suggested in the above diagram (located approximately mid-way through book II) as describing a transversal along the coordinates A, L, P(), between a Trinitarian eschatology and an “Hystorical” (FW 567.31) cyclic re-birth, in the triangulated form of the vesica piscis: “between shift and shift ere the death he has lived through and the life he is to die into” (FW 293.003-05), becoming: Uteralterance or the Interplay of Bones in the Womb. [FW 293.L1]50

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In De monade, Giordano Bruno describes a similar figure of two intersecting circles, the Diadis figura. The plane of intersection, the monas, according to Bruno: “contains its opposite” (Immo bonum atque malum prima est ab origine fusum).51 Amongst other things, this diagram suggests a mechanism operating on the basis of a type of “paradox lust” whose structural locus (schematic or tropic) is not self-identical but a chiasmatic regeneration—an acrostic convergence of “anaglyptics” (FW 419.10), where: “A is for Anna like L is for Liv. Aha hahah, Ante Ann you’re apt to ape aunty annalive! Dawn gives rise. Lo, lo, lives love! Eve takes fall. La, la, laugh leaves alass! Aiaiaiai, Antiann, we’re last to the lost, Loulou! Tis perfect.” (FW 293.18-23).

VESICA PISCIS As Roland McHugh, in The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, reminds us, the construction of an equilateral triangle is the first proposition in Euclid’s Elements of Geometry (“The aliments of jumeantry” [FW 286.L4]). It is also the mystical figure par excellence, derived through esoteric Christian symbolism from the more geometrico of the neoPlatonist and Pythagorean cults. The equilateral triangle and its inverted double, moreover, combines the geometry of transcendence and the trinity with the generative principle symbolised by the female. As McHugh further remarks: “the sexual interpretation of this figure has a precedent in the associations of the Vesica Piscis, or fish’s bladder, which is the central ovoid portion, where the circles overlap.”52 It is know to both freemasons and architects that the mystical figure called the Vesica Piscis, so popular in the middle ages, and generally placed as the first proposition of Euclid, was a symbol applied by the masons in planning their temples [...] the Vesica was also regarded as a baneful object under the name of the “Evil Eye,” and the charm most employed to avert the dread effects of its fascination was the Phallus [...]. In the East the Vesica was used as a symbol of the womb [...]. To every Christian the Vesica is familiar from its constant use in early art, for not only was it an attribute of the Virgin and the feminine aspect of the Saviour as symbolised by the wound in his side, but it commonly surrounds the figure of Christ, as his throne when seated in glory.53

Elsewhere in the Wake the vesica is described as a “kind of a thinglike all traylogged then pubably it resymbles a pelvic or some kvind then props an acutebacked quadrangle” (FW 608.22-4). Joyce’s diagrammatic combination of Viconian and Platonic idealities (“Plutonic loveliaks twinnt Platonic yearlings—you must, how, in undivided reawlity draw the line somewhere” [FW 292.30-32]) can be seen as describing a broader schematic function. But this primitive, cyclical apparatus can also be seen as being structured as a symptom—a schematic of recursive aphanisis. In The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Lacan adopts a similar diagram in the presentation of his theory of alienation.54 For Lacan, the vel, or space bounded by both circles (the vesica), describes the condition between Being and Meaning, which is that of non-meaning:

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Being (the subject)

←→

Meaning (the Other)

nonmeaning

For Lacan, there is “no subject without, somewhere, aphanisis of the subject, and it is in this alienation, in this fundamental division, that the dialectic of the subject is established.”55 Thus the sign of the lack, the “evil eye” (which is, again, the feminine, castrative eye of the Freudian Medusa), also becomes the emblem of what veils meaning: what elsewhere Lacan calls the mask of the Other, the concealment of the gaze, the mirror-illusion of the subject which conceals a “non-meaning.” Nevertheless: because of the vel, the sensitive point of balance, there is an emergence of the subject at the level of meaning [...] from its aphanisis in the Other locus, which is that of the unconscious.56

Borrowing from Niels Bohr’s “complementary sets,” Lacan describes the vel of alienation as “defined by the choice whose properties depend on this, that there is, in the joining, one element that, whatever the choice operating may be, has as its consequences a neither one, nor the other”: If we choose being, the subject disappears, it eludes us, it falls into non-meaning. If we choose meaning, the meaning survives only deprived of that part of nonmeaning that is, strictly speaking, that which constitutes in the realisation of the subject, the unconscious. In other words, it is of the nature of this meaning, as it emerges from the field of the Other, to be in a large part of its field, eclipsed by the disappearance of being, induced by the very function of the signifier.57

This state of signification, of equivocity (“both and yet neither”), is given a more complex formulation in Lacan’s three major seminars on Finnegans Wake. In ‘Joyce le symptôme’ I and II, and ‘Le sinthome, Séminaire du 18 novembre 1975,’ Lacan suggests that Finnegans Wake can be understood as a type of symptom which it is impossible to analyse. Following from its etymology (Gk. sumptôma: occurrence, phenomenon; from sumpiptein, to fall together, fall upon, happen), Lacan links the Freudian notion of “symptom” as a condition of the unconscious (of the Oedipal entanglement), to the notion of the unconscious as structured like a language, to the (incestuous) reversion of Joyce’s language and ultimately to Joyce himself (as “Shemptôme”), in whom all of these figures intersect as a kind of Borromean knot or “Borumoter” (FW 331.27).58 92


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BORROMEAN KNOTS A topological curiosity, the Borromean knot is in fact a set of three rings arranged in a symmetrical pattern, none of which are actually connected but which are intertwined so that they cannot be pulled apart, although with the condition that if any one of them is removed, then all three separate.59

For Lacan, the Borromean knot describes the relationship between symptom and a certain perversion, which he relates to the Freudian drama of triangulated desire defined in the Oedipus complex. As Lacan argues: The Oedipal complex is such a symptom. It is in this sense that the Name-of-theFather is also the Father of the name.60

This chiasmatic turn describes a perversion in the relation to the father-scriptor “in as much as perversion has the meaning of a translation or transference directed at the Father [version vers le père], and that in sum the Father is a symptom, or a sinthome.”61 This relation has to do with the stratification of the individual as subject according to the relation of the symbolic, imaginary and real in which the genealogy of the subject describes a topological formulation. What the topological metaphor of the Borromean knot suggests, then, is the synthetic nature of the psychoanalytic subject, which, as subject, is the unique “solution” to the problem of the incomensurability of what is named by these three terms. Moreover, it is only by virtue of this synthesis that the subject can be said to exist qua subject. In this way, Lacan argues: “It is not the division of the imaginary, symbolic and real which defines perversion, but rather that they are already distinct.”62 Recalling the Joycean “vicociclometer,” Lacan’s formulation of the Borromean knot hinges upon the figure described by the vesica, or vel, although in this case the vesica itself is roughly bisected, so that the points at which the three rings initially overlap also describe a triangle, which may tentatively be posed as a figure of the Lacanian symptom (as the “perversion” between le Nom-du-Père and le Père du nom). As a consequence, it is necessary to posit the Borromean knot in a doubly fourfold manner: as the symptomatic topos of the encounter of the imaginary, symbolic and real, and as 93


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their tropological linkage. It is this tropological counterpart of the symptom that Lacan refers to as le sinthome: If you find a place [...] which schematises the relationship between the imaginary, symbolic, and the real (as long as they remain separated from one another) you have already—in my preceding drawings, in which this relationship has been clearly set down—the possibility of linking them, but by what? By the sinthome. It is necessary for you to see this: it is the re-folding of the capitalised S—that is, of what affirms itself in the consistency of the symbolic.63

The existence of the symptom is implicated by the position of this “enigmatic link” of the imaginary, symbolic and real, which Lacan describes in the following diagrams:

For Lacan, when we attempt to untie the knot of the imaginary (I), the symbolic (S), the real (R), and le sinthome (), and thus divide it into four separate parts, the following figure is invariably formed:

The topological entanglement of these four elements is consequently regarded as describing (by a process of metonymy) the basic condition of Joyce’s language in Finnegans Wake. In this way, the chiasmatic perversion of symptom and sinthome also marks a form of transversal, across which each of the relations described above is expressly interchangeable. Mirroring the subjective determinacy of the “dialectic of identification,” the movement from position 1 to position 2 can be reversed, as 2 to 1, while 3 to 4 can be reversed, as 4 to 3—just as the imaginary identification of the mirror stage operates a reversal mechanism across the Other-locus in the emergence of the signifier as marking the subject’s “entrance” into the symbolic order. In other words, both the symbol and the symptom present themselves in such a fashion that either of 94


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the two terms [ or S] takes them in their entirety, “so that the other passes over the one which is above and under the one which is below.” According to Lacan, this doubled chiasmus: “is the figure we regularly obtain when we attempt to separate the Borromean knot into its four parts.”64 In Lacan’s view, the “figure” of Joyce is inextricably linked to this topological/tropological antinomy (both as symptom and as sinthome, synthomme if not “Saint Homme”: “Joyce n’est pas un Saint”).65 Moreover, what Lacan situates as the perversion of Joyce’s writing in A Portrait and Ulysses, with respect to the Nameof-the-Father (Dedalus, artificer), serves to aver in the language of Finnegans Wake a certain Joyce as Father of the name. The translational play between Joyce and Freud also implies, as a subtext to Lacan’s seminar, a further transferential play between the name of Lacan and the lac against which this “literalising” discourse is projected. In the chapter of her biography of Lacan entitled ‘Mathemes and Borromean Knots,’ Elizabeth Roudinesco describes how in his later years Lacan was known to be quite passionately concerned with Borromean knots, and discusses his interest in topological puzzles in collaboration with Pierre Soury, René Thom and several other French mathematicians. What she relates bears a peculiar resemblance to certain key aspects of Finnegans Wake: Soury’s teaching, both in private and in public, aimed at constructing a mathematical mould that would facilitate the study of Lacan’s logical and topological preoccupations: “What was our point of departure? There was the transition from knot to braid in the special case of the Borromean knot.” [...] The solving of the great casse-tète took the form of a long correspondence between Lacan and the inhabitants of the planet Borromeo: first with Soury and Thome alone, and then with Christian Léger, who joined them in 1977. There were fifty letters from Lacan, a hundred and fifty from his colleagues: a veritable epic made up of suffering and melancholy, in which everyone involved exhausted themselves in the attempt to solve the riddle of the unconscious by means of telegrams, pneumatiques, and ordinary letters. [...] When they all got together for a discussion, it turned on the possibility of making a knot consisting of four clover leaves, or trefoils, and the transition from the knot to the braid.66

In this curious epistolary drama, in which Lacan ties himself in knots attempting to unravel the mysteries of the Borromean puzzle, we can perhaps see a return of the spectre of Joyce-le-symptôme: “the Shemptôme and the Shaun,” or Shem the penman and Shaun (“Joyce Shaunise”) the postman, inscribing here anew, in the vel of this “circular” relation, the open mystery of yet another “purloined letter.”67

CHIASM The problem of Borromean knots also recalls Lacan’s notion of the set of a “betweentwo-subjects” which orientates the structure of signification in broadly topological or set-theoretical terms, describing the subject-relation as a series of complex co-ordinates, co-implicated without being co-terminous. These co-ordinates would stand not so much for a possible rendez-vous, as a centring of discourse—but as points of convergence 95


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of the metaphoric and metonymic axes (of unconscious displacement and condensation in Freud) which also form that particular “grid” within which the subject qua subject receives its signifying configuration: “the very place in which the transparency of the classical subject is divided and passes through the effects of ‘fading’ that specify the Freudian subject by its occultation.”68 It is a question, Lacan insists: “of recentring the subject as speaking in the very lacunae of that which, at first sight, it presents itself as speaking.”69 For Lacan, this verbal topology disrupts any attempt to reduce signification to the epiphenomenal determination of an “inside” or “outside” of language—that is, by posing it against a presumed ideality of the sign. It is largely on similar grounds (what is later brought within the signification of différance) that Derrida critiques the Husserlean notion of signifying ideality, revealing that the structure of the sign itself is already “deconstructed” from within. The sign, according to Derrida, “is from its origin and to the core of its sense” marked by a paradoxical “will to derivation and effacement,”70 so that every “significatory event is a substitute (for the signified as well as the ideal form of the signifier).”71 Similarly, what takes place for Lacan is that the supposed “outside” of discourse (its object) is always already “inside” that discourse (as subject),72 in a manner elsewhere described by Derrida, borrowed from heraldry, as mise en abyme.73 In Work in Progress and Finnegans Wake this effect of mise en abyme is also obtained through a type of reflexivity which recalls the Renaissance dramatic device of the piècedans-une-pièce. Genetic scholars have long made use of the fact that Joyce himself frequently sourced his own texts for material, as well as borrowing from other sources, describing a type of internal citation structuring the “complete” body of Joyce’s writing as an elaborate play-within-a-play. In Finnegans Wake instances of such internal citation and paracitation recur throughout the text, continuing the transcriptional economy of the notebooks, both at a structural and thematic level. One example of this can be found in the figure of Saint Kevin, beginning with one of the fragments referred to as Vignette 3, or the Saint Kevin vignette, dictated by Joyce on April 15, 1923: St Kevin born on the Island of Ireland goes to lough glendalough to live on an Island in the lake and as there is a pond on the island and a little island in the pond he builds this hut on the islet and then scoops out the floor to a depth of one foot after which he goes to the brink of the pond and fills his tub with water which he empties time after time into a cavity of his hut thereby forming a pond having done which he half fills the tub sets it in the middle of the pool, pulls up his frock and seats himself in the tub and meditates with burning zeal the sacrament of baptism or regeneration by water.

This fragment, reconstructed from Joyce’s notebook VI.B.3.42-45 (JJA 29) and VI.A ‘Scribbledehobble’ (JJA 28), reappears in Finnegans Wake from 604.27: “Of Kevin, of increate God the servant,” and forms the basis of the text which appears on page 605 and the first half of 606, in which the internally regressive nature of the fragment is rendered more and more intricate, as the “concentric centre of the translated water” (606.3-4) in which “most blessed Kevin” finds himself enthroned in a series of numerical progressions and substitutions, again recalling Russell’s set-theory paradox. This passage in the Wake is preceded, by some four hundred pages, by a reference to 96


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a second Saint Kevin vignette, appearing at 210.14. The vignette itself functions as a type of antecedent metonym, almost entirely subsumed in the text of the Wake in the diminutive “Kevineen”: As an infant Kevineen delighted himself by playing with the sponge on tubbing night. As a growing boy he grew more and more pious and abstracted like the time God knows he sat down on the plate of mutton broth. He simply had no time for girls and often used to say that his dearest mother and his dear sisters were good enough for him. At the age of six he wrote a prize essay on kindness to fishes.

While the vignettes parody the medieval fashion for invented “lives of the saints,” projecting an infant Kevineen in which the adult Saint Kevin is clearly delineated in the “concentric centres” of his hydrophilia, they also provide thematic and structural comments upon the nature of satire, and the pièce-dans-une-pièce as mise en abyme or what Derrida calls “satire of the abyss.”74 Similarly, the progress from play to playwithin-a-play takes on the form of an infinite reversion and recursion—an excess and insufficiency of textual limits—arising at points of tension between what is termed a play and that which inscribes it and is inscribed by it (the dramatic or textual sense of a mise en abyme or a “between two mirrors”). That is to say, the conditions of excess and insufficiency which accompany such notions as containment and closure, and which inhabit the problematic of the epistēmē and finite knowledge. In this way Joyce’s text of “concentric centres” provides a decentring substitutability—a transversal or metonymic chain of concentricity like so many Russian dolls or matriošky, in which, following from Poincaré’s “Vicious Circle Principle,” the centre is nevertheless always elsewhere.

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5. ARTICULATIONS In this ideal text, the networks are many and interact, without any one of them being able to surpass the rest; this text is a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of signifieds; it has no beginning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the main one; the codes it mobilizes extend as far as the eye can reach, they are indeterminable; the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural text, but their number is never closed, based as it is on the infinity of language.1

ANAMORPHOSIS

I

n The Major Ordeals of the Mind, Henri Michaux describes a form of compulsive assemblage, or “schizophrenic table,” in terms of a “process of production which is that of desire.”2 For Michaux, this “process” is conceived in terms of a certain “perversion,” giving rise to transverse structures which remain unassimilable within formal systems of meaning or use. The element of the unassimilable here marks the point at which the “infernal machinery” of the so-called schizophrenic apparatus achieves an “unintended” complexity which could not be given formal expression unless by something equally complex and unassimilable3: Once noticed, it continued to occupy one’s mind. It even persisted, as it were, in going about its own business [...]. The striking thing was that it was neither simple nor really complex, initially or intentionally complex, or constructed according to a complicated plan. Instead, it had been desimplified in the course of its carpentring [...]. As it stood, it was a table of additions, much like certain schizophrenics’ drawings, described as “overstuffed,” and if finished it was only in so far as there was no way of adding anything more to it, the table having become more and more an accumulation, less and less a table [...]. Its top surface, the useful part of the table, having been gradually reduced, was disappearing.4

As with Michaux’s schizophrenic table, a transversal is also an apparatus which, having marked a division, divides itself, gradually effacing itself in a way that forces it to be continually approached and interrogated from multiple planes of reference as a form of anomaly. This heavily mediated text describes a kind of anamorphosis without derivation,5 a transverse-apparatus which assembles itself as so many series of desimplifications (genetic mutations), so that the desire to situate it in regards to a single plane of reference is continually obstructed. Like the schizophrenic table, the transversal will have “lent itself to no function, self-protective, denying itself to service and communication alike.”6 Non-communicating while making communication possible, it cancels-conceals itself in an apparent purposelessness of its “superexuberabundency” (FW 612.05). One can never be sure if this schizophrenic apparatus is a table that has been debased, or simply a freak of chaotic assemblage that has taken on the appearance of something which may once have been a table, or may yet become one. In either case, any hope of derivation or archaeology is spoiled by this indeterminacy.7 99


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In his introduction to Post-structuralist Joyce, Derek Attridge refers to “the infinite productivity of interpretive activity,” relating it to an “impossibility of closing off the process of signification, the incessant shifting and opening-out of meaning in the act of reading and re-reading.”8 For Attridge, the process of textual archaeology, like the accumulative monstrum of Michaux’s schizophrenic table, marks out an interminable transversality, whose structural logic is ultimately indifferent to the motivating impulse of the archaeological project. This indifference renders any “dream of final and total explication” as “a prospect of interminable accumulation—which can be experienced as a Borgesian nightmare of inescapable repetition or a Rabelaisian vision of infinite and comic fecundity.”9 The Wake’s author-plagiarist figure, Shem-the-Penman, is similarly rendered in terms of a “desimplified” inventory of questionable effects, falsifications, unstable surfaces, disguises, second-hand or reversible clothing, dysfunctional appliances, and elements of what Bataille terms “l’informe” (ejaculate, ink, spit)10 which link “archaeology” to a kind of scatology: The warped flooring of the lair and soundconducting walls thereof, to say nothing of the uprights and imposts, were persianly literatured with burst loveletters, telltale stories, stickyback snaps, doubtful eggshells, bouchers, flints, borers, puffers, amygdaloid almonds, rindless raisins, alphybettyformed verbage, vivlical viasses, ompiter dictas, visus umbique, ahems and ahahs, imeffible tries at speech unsyllabled, you owe mes, eyoldhyms, fluefoul smut, fallen lucifers, vestas which had served, showered ornaments, borrowed brogues, reversibles jackets, blackeye lenses, family jars, falsehair shirts, Godforsaken scapulars, neverworn breeches, cutthroat ties, counterfeit franks, best intentions, curried notes, upset latten tintacks, unused mill and stumpling stones, twisted quills, painful digests, magnifying wineglasses, solid objects cast at goblins, once current puns, quashed quotations, messes of mottage, unquestionable issue papers, seedy ejaculations, limerick damns, crocodile tears, spilt ink, blasphematory spits [...]. [FW 183.08-24]

In La pensée sauvage Lévi-Strauss refers to this process of “archaeological” assemblage as bricolage: “an imaginative individual recreation of cosmogonic parameters.”11 For Lévi-Strauss, bricolage is mythomorphic, and thus constitutes an expression of mythical thought: Now, the characteristic feature of mythical thought, as of “bricolage” on the practical plane, is that it builds up structured sets, not directly with other structured sets but by using the remains and debris of events: in French “des bribes et des morceaux,” or odds and ends in English, fossilised evidence of the history of an individual or society.12

As a bricoleur figure, Shem is ultimately parasitical. Moreover, his own substance is equally as “inauthentic” as the texts he produces and from which he becomes indistinguishable, just as essence and proprium become indistinguishable in the figure he defines. This suggesting not merely an unlocatable “centre,” but rather a radical “dishemination”13 such that the text cannot be traced back to anything other than its own accumulation and layering of dissimulative affects: “horrors from Hades, globules 100


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of mercury, undeleted glete, glass eye for an eye, gloss teeth for a tooth” (FW 183. 345). This dissemination also describes a transversal, the “form” of which parodies the assumptions of a structural thematics through the construction of ruses, forgeries and plays which motivate what Derrida has called an “archival desire,”14 directing us towards a sham “archaeology” (a disruption of “identity” and archē through the confusing of signifiers for “sham” and the proper name “Shem”).15 Confusion might also be said to “originate” in the relationship between Shem’s name and its Hebrew meaning (“name”), while the further relation of this name to the confusion issuing out of the “commandment” of the destruction of the Tower of Babel marks a particular transversality in the structure of the Wake’s language. This sense of “sham” (FW 170.25), however, would not refer to the contamination of some prior pristine condition, but rather to an “essential” condition of the real itself, in that what language “names” does not constitute a transcendental signified, but rather its own clothing, so to speak, its own folds and enfolding. This is one possible way in which we might understand the significance of capitalising the “s” of “sham” in the riddle: “when is a man not a man? [...] when he is [...] Sham” (FW 170.05-24), or the substitution of the verb “to shun” for the name of Shem in the imperative statement: “Shun the Punman!” (FW 93.13). This grouping of signifiers around the proper name Shem provides one example of the way a transversal marks out a network of discontinuities—metaphor and metonymy—as it relates, not to a particular context, but to what opens a context at its frontiers to an alterior discourse. Yet, in so far as we can assign to this set of other terms the name Shem, we need to keep in mind that this signifier itself is part of another set, to which would belong all the so-called proper names in Finnegans Wake and their various manifestations as common nouns, portmanteaux, word-fragments, and in further disparate lexical and sublexical forms. Moreover, we need to keep in mind the way Finnegans Wake spoils any attempt to privilege the set of proper names in regards to other signifiers, as a species apart. Indeed, any effort to establish a distinction between signifiers in the Wake on the basis of such a genetics is constantly disrupted by what we might call a hetero-genetics, whereby signification is structured discursively and not according to axes of external filiation, in a similar way to what, in Mandelbrot’s fractal theories, are called polynômes—a mathematical expression in which each term is determined by application of a formula to the preceding terms. By an analogous movement of Wakean recursion, this movement can be seen as giving rise to “fables, communic suctions and vellicar frictions” (FW 385.11-12) whose conception can be said to be hypertextual. The antonomasian function of the proper name Shem, and the algorithmic complexity of the Wake’s hetero-genetics, thus suggest one way in which signification remains open to an alterior communication within.

TRANSVERSAL A transversal might also be thought of as a particular kind of punctuation or puncturing (divisions, splits, ruptures, discontinuities), suggestive of the “numerous stabs and 101


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foliated gashes” or “paper wounds” (FW 124.02) that comprise the texture of Joyce’s “book of Morses” (FW 123.35). This punctuated fabric in a sense produces itself and its variants within, and as, a grouping of what Marc Augé calls “non-places”16 and what Hélène Cixous refers to as “a metonymic chain where the other place always has its other place”17—a liminal zone or punctum between what has previously been thought as the “inside” and “outside” of language. In Of Grammatology, Derrida adopts a notation of erasure in order to present this concept graphically, in terms of the inequation: The Outside is the Inside18

As with hypertextual linkage, such a non-place would describe a kind of mechanical copula between different signifiers and aspects of the same signifier. And this nonplace of the copula, the “allness eversides” (FW 568.26) of the is placed under erasure (between the “inside” and the “outside“), allows a transversal to take place without, as it were, taking place—resembling what Chaos theories describe as a “virtual.”19 We might further envisage hypertextual transversality in terms of a kind of palimpsestic illusion—the way in which a textual surface appears to preserve a record of otherwise concealed strata of differing, and apparently discrete, textual “events” which are in fact inextricably linked to one another and hence effectively contiguous. This stands in contrast to the conception of “topographical writing” put forward by Jay Bolter in his essay ‘The Hypertexts of James Joyce.’20 Bolter’s concern with topographies involves the possibility of re-establishing an underlying linear unity of the “palimpsestic” text, as the signal horizon of an otherwise over-complicated terrain. For Bolter, a hypertext is always open to decipherment, and insofar as he borrows the metaphor of the palimpsest, it is only to suggest the possibility of extrapolating from it discreet “layers” of text that can then be approached by conventional analytic means.21 Envisaging a hypertextual topology which belies the reductiveness of Bolter’s model, Georges Bataille has suggested that we should instead consider language as structured like a labyrinth, not simply as being involved in its own “dazecrazemazed” (FW 389.27) convolution of signifiers, but in a more profound way. For Bataille, what is essential is that language distributes or disseminates its signifying force by means, precisely, of copulas: each phrase connects one thing to another by means of copulas; and it would be all visibly connected if one could discover in a single glance the line, in all its entirety, left by Ariadne’s thread, leading thought through its own labyrinth.22

As Paul Davies, in The Cosmic Blueprint,23 suggests, topological space is structured by means of prepositions, which act as fundamental connectors. But as with the Nietzschean concept of eternal recurrence (ewige Wiederkunft) to which the passage from Bataille alludes, the transversal marked out by means of this network of copulas cannot be reduced to a narrative thread or linearity (regardless of how “multiple” that linearity may be), just as it cannot be reduced to a determination of presence, or of the 102


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visible as something revealed. Or as Joyce writes: “if we look at it verbally there is no true noun in active nature where every bally being [...] is becoming in its owntown eyeballs” (FW 523.10-12). Following from Bataille, the copulative function of the verb to be is seen to be caught up in a system which retrospectively imposes a semantic value upon it, so that the verbal form which will have opened the possibility of meaning at its “origin,” and which could have been described as non-substantive, becomes substantive in turn, and “Being” becomes the horizon of meaning (a “verbivocovisual presentment” [FW 341.18]). As Derrida has pointed out: Although it has always been disturbed and tormented from within [...] the fusion of the grammatical and lexical functions of to be has, no doubt, an essential relationship with the history of metaphysics and with all of its co-ordinates in the west.24

It is never simply the case that a transversal marks the active transgression of formal semantic systems, since any such system could only arise on the basis of what is already “essential” to a transversal. Similarly, to suggest that the hypertextual transverse is nothing more than a relativistic network of copulas would be misleading, since a transversal could not be what it is without the prior occurrence, and recurrence, of a “split” between the non-substantive and substantive aspect of the verb to be. This split at the beginning of “being” thus opens the possibility of a transverse(d) text, one which would also comprise an apparatus of mechanical repetition or re-partition of its own significatory horizon, and whose structure would no longer defer to a unifying principle beyond the copulative function itself. For Derrida, this split is the mark of a fundamental “iterability” or “trace”: All oppositions based on the distinction between original and derived, the simple and the repeated, the first and the second, etc., lose their pertinence from the moment everything “begins” by following a vestige. I.e. a certain repetition or text.25

At the same time the trace itself only ever refers to traces, to “traces of the Other”: Since the trace can only imprint itself by referring to the other, to another trace (“the trace of its reflection”) [...] its force of production stands in necessary relation to the energy of its erasure.26

If we think of textuality as arising in terms of trace, rather than as existing in an autonomous relation to a prior set of causally sufficient conditions or plenitude of meaning, then we can also begin to comprehend the way in which any concept of priority, or of a beginning, is already itself a product of transversality: some incision, some violent arbitrary cut [...] it is of course a beginning that is forever fictional, and the scission, far from being an inaugural act, is dictated by the absence [...] of any de-cisive beginning, any pure event that would not divide and repeat itself and already refer back to some other “beginning.”27

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In Finnegans Wake this sense of beginning with an incision is one of the possible significations evoked by the following passage: There’s a split in their infinitive from to have to have been to will be. As they warred in their big innings ease now we never shall know. [FW 271.21-24]

The words “big” and “innings” might be seen literally as referring to the score in a game of cricket—that is, to a kind of cumulative statistical narrative or history or another type of selbstgeschaffene game. Yet “big innings” might also be seen as signifying something quite different. The word “split,” for instance, could also refer to the “yoking apart” (FW 270.03) of a word which is not present in Joyce’s text (i.e. beginnings) in order to render two different words that are (i.e. “big” and “innings”), while the implied substitution of “big” for “beg” also suggests a pun on the Irish word for “small” (beag). Equally, this “split” might refer to an irreducible remainder if we were to attempt to reduce the words “big” and “innings” to a signification of beginnings. Or, allegorically, if we were to attempt to reduce an otherwise arbitrary numerical system of keeping score (chronology for example) to some transcendental or universal meaning. But such a meaning is posed as precisely what “we never shall know,” dialectically or otherwise, because we will only ever encounter there a “split” substituting itself to infinity. In Blanchot’s view, this paronomasian effect of language describes a “moment”: caught in white virtuality—immobile; sometimes [...] it is animated by extreme temporal discontinuity, delivered up to temporal shifts: accelerations, slow downs, “fragmentary arrests”—the sign of a wholly new essence of movement in which it is as if another time announces itself, as alien to eternal permanence as quotidian time itself: here coming before, there coming after, the future, the past, underneath a false appearance of the present.28

In this way the beginning itself is never a beginning as such, since it always already constitutes a scission: “as they warred [both were and war] in their big innings.”29 Hence, according to the “genealogical” distinction made by Jean-Michel Rabaté, the Wake “begets only beginnings but invalidates all origins.”30 This beginning without origin is always a beginning-already and a beginning-not-yet: “a jolting series of prearranged disappointments, down the long lane of [...] generations, more generations, and still more generations” (FW 107.32-36). This is perhaps nowhere more in evidence than in the opening lines of Finnegans Wake: riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

At the very “beginning” of Joyce’s text there appears a scission which, despite all efforts, cannot be assimilated within a system, whether dialectical or grammatical, on the basis of which it might be substituted for by a signifier of sense. That is to say, also, that the apparent absence of a formal grammatical logic in the text’s opening passage cannot simply be supplied by joining the first and last lines of Finnegans Wake together, as has often been alleged by those who espouse the notion that the Wake is merely “circular.” 104


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The elision of the ultimate line of Finnegans Wake, precisely at that point towards which the definite article will have directed its signifying force, suggests that it is not simply a matter of regarding Joyce’s text as a “book of Doublends Jined” (FW 20.16) in any straightforward sense, since the articulating joint itself (the outside of the book) also exceeds the gesture of affirming definite articulation, causing the desire for closure to spend itself in the process (what we might call the interruption and excess of “riverrun”).31 This incision or dis-articulation would mark what, according to Derrida, “can never be mediated, mastered, sublated, or dialectised through any Erinnerung or Aufhebung.”32 The Wake, with the possible signification of its “first term” (riverrun), as Erinnerung (remembrance as internalisation), and its apparent haunting by the “ultimate term” (the), thus enacts at its “beginning” a discontinuous memory of itself, which also marks its own effacement in the lapsus between “the” and “riverrun.”

GENEALOGICAL In his essay ‘riverrun,’ Jacques Aubert offers an analysis of the opening lines, indeed the opening term, of Finnegans Wake that suggests how certain linguistic approaches to textual genetics might shed light on questions of genealogy in Joyce’s text, commencing with its “readability”: If “riverrun” remains unreadable, it is because it remains undifferentiated. Reading is obstructed by a lack of difference [that] would consist of: either a + (the article, or the subject, or the mark which would transform “r” into “R”), or a - (a silence), or indeed a + (“R”) followed by a - (the separation of “river” and “run”) followed by a + (a comma).33

By analysing Joyce’s text in this way, Aubert identifies one means by which resistance to the text’s heterogeneity might manifest itself as a movement to restore the opening term “riverrun” to a more traditional grammatical form—by capitalising it and rendering it as a noun or a verb (i.e. “The,” or “A,” “river run,” or simply “River run”): that is, in order to “restore” a certain level of “readability.” For Derrida, however, “unreadability” of this sort defines a necessary pre-condition for reading to commence, if “reading means making accessible a meaning that can be transmitted as such, in its own unequivocal, translatable identity.”34 Such a “reading” is a mirage (as Aubert later explains), but this mirage describes the path taken by a reader in expectation of a meaning. As Derrida argues: unreadability does not arrest reading, does not leave it paralysed in the face of an opaque surface: rather, it starts reading and writing and translation moving again. The unreadable is not the opposite of the readable, but rather the ridge [arête] that also gives its momentum, movement, sets it in motion.

Similarly Aubert suggests approaching Joyce’s “unreadable” text by reading “the sentence [in which ‘riverrun’ occurs] quickly [...] without stopping.”35 For Aubert, reading the word “riverrun” in this context gives the impression that the “motor has 105


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started to run,” implying the manifestation of “something resembling a system” or at least something which invites identification with a system: “riverrun” figures as the subject of “brings,” it functions as a noun, more specifically as a subject. This places a more familiar system before us, a grammatical one, whose rules are provisionally accepted.36

Aubert’s parsing “engine” is directed by the ways in which the “mechanism” of articulation—of “something resembling a system“—allows “what comes ‘after’ [...] to define what went ‘before.’” Hence, in the first line of Finnegans Wake, the term “brings” seems to allow “riverrun” to be read as a noun, “more specifically as a subject.”37 If this initial “reversibility mechanism” offers one possible (grammatical) state of “riverrun,” a “final state” is provided by the Wake’s closing words of the text. Aubert suggests that one of the reader’s tasks is to discover a possible connection between these two states, a connection which seems to be framed by “a degree of complementarity: an article was missing, and the book ends with an article.”38 Consequently: this closing fragment provides us not only with a definite article and several indefinite articles, but also reveals how indefinite articulation comes about and what motivates its connection with definite articulation.39

Aubert suggests that by this manner of reading we bear witness to “the actualisation of the noun as it emerges from an echo, by means of the dismemberment and differential analysis of a set of adverbs and of prepositions”: It is all the more remarkable to note that in the case of Joyce, the article and the shade of the noun emerge from adverbs and prepositions, and so stand as particular instances of the well attested phenomenon of second-degree formalisation [...] by virtue of which “values originally assigned to a word through inflexion become values designated by a separate word.” To sum up, we could say that the two-way process described above reveals the true genealogy of the noun.40

To render this haunting of the word “riverrun” in terms of what Aubert calls “the actualisation of a noun [...] as it emerges from an echo,” without first distinguishing this “echo” from a signifier of a prior plenitude or past presence (of meaning, even of a grammatical system), would be to lose sight of the “originary” nature of this partition which, as Aubert suggests, is also the partition of the subject. This is especially the case if we consider the occulted articulation of the Wake as belonging to what Joyce calls “lethemuse” (FW 272.F3), as the speculative double of “riverrun.” This allusion to the mythical river Lethe not only provides a possible link between riverrun and lethemuse, but also hints at the way in which the text’s origin, or beginning, belongs to an underworld of originary mythification, recalling the Virgilian epigraph to Freud’s Traumdeutung: “Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo” (the dissimulation of that which cannot go above in the daylight: the underworld or unconscious itself). The question of genealogy similarly succumbs to the challenge posed by psychoanalytic theory to classical notions of inference and derivation. In so 106


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far as we can speak of any “true genealogy of the noun,” as Aubert suggests, it would have to be a genealogy “described,” not by the inference of signifying chains, but by the re-occurrence of a rupture or dissimulating event, a “split” which would a priori spoil every possible tense “from to have to have been to will be” to which traditional genealogy could lay claim as the basis of its science. But despite the problematic notion of a “true genealogy of the noun,” Aubert’s analysis does provide important insights into the ways in which a systemic reading of Joyce’s text requires increasingly complex notions of grammar and syntax. Moreover, Aubert argues that the possible signifying functions of the noun, which become more important in regards to questions of meaning and identity in Finnegans Wake, can be seen as “emerging” from a breakdown in a grammatical system as much as a breakthrough in a generative one. Notably, Aubert’s “genealogy” is defined more or less in terms of a certain resistance of Joyce’s text to the rules of conventional orthography, syntax and grammar: those aspects, precisely, of the systemic marks of an abstract authority or power (in the Foucauldian sense) over language41—what Joyce referred to in a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver as “wideawake language, cutanddry grammar and goahead plot.”42 But while such a writing may nonetheless call back to some indecipherable genealogy, it cannot be reconstituted according to the traditional requirements of a genealogy as what Foucault calls “the pursuit of the origin.”43 In this sense there is no noun. Or as Joyce implies, there is only “nonoun” (FW 104.16).

ENTELECHY One of the further difficulties, Aubert suggests, in dealing with the word “riverrun,” is the way in which it can function simultaneously as both a noun and a verb. In Aubert’s assessment, this is but one of the means by which the Wake “constantly calls representation into question,” that is by inventing significatory “categories” in a way that “runs counter to the mechanisms of language and of myth while also obtaining from them a prodigiously high output.” However, while Joyce’s writing calls into question existing systems of representation (“linguistic, mechanical, cybernetic and so on”) Aubert insists that “we still must define as rigorously as possible the interconnections between the various systems it uses [...] and the modes of articulation of one with another,”44 even if, as he seems to suggest, such a project of defining could not, in the final analysis, articulate itself independently of its object. Such a desire for preservation and genealogy, while at the same time recognising the impossibility of both, marks another way in which we can view hypertextual transversality in terms of what Jean-Michel Rabaté has called dis-articulation. For example, there could be no genealogy at work upon the Wake which would not already be compelled by the Wake to disengage itself from its own system, but which would nevertheless continue to haunt it, involving it in a type of “solipsism” that Jean Baudrillard (meditating on the work of Marshall McLuhan) terms “the narcissistic mirage of technique.”45 The genealogical project, in its attempt to recuperate this aspect of technics as 107


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a means towards a foundation, reveals a deep-rooted anxiety at its “origin.” As Joyce suggests, the reader “clings to it [uncertainty] as with drowning hands, hoping against all hope all the while that, by the light of philophosy [...] things will begin to clear up a bit one way or another within the next quarrel of an hour” (FW 119.03-06). A similar anxiety also seems to arise in Aubert’s encounter with the word “riverrun” and its apparent haunting by the definite article “the” and by the notion of Erinnerung, suggesting that we might view Aubert’s genealogical paradox in terms of a kind of “double-articulation” of memory (as Erinnerung) which is continually made to run up against Gedächtnis (or thinking memory), revealing the dependence of genealogy and its various “infrastructures” upon a “technical and mechanical hypermnesis.”46 In ‘The Image of Proust,’ Walter Benjamin cites Theodor Reik as saying that, in Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle: The function of remembrance [Gedächtnis] is the protection of impressions; memory [Erinnerung] aims at their disintegration: Remembrance is essentially conservative, memory is destructive.47

While Benjamin himself fails, by his own admission, to recognise the significance of this distinction, he nevertheless draws an interesting parallel with Proust’s notion of mémoire volontaire and mémoire involontaire. Proust coined the phrase mémoire involontaire (in contradistinction to Henri Bergson’s mémoire pure) to describe the inventory of experiences that represent to the individual a past event from which he is otherwise isolated and to which he does not have access by means of a purely voluntary memory. For Proust, involuntary memory is triggered by experiences in the present that are manifestly unrelated to the experience remembered, but nevertheless provoke a recollection. This is most famously exemplified in the first pages of À la Recherche du temps perdu where Proust describes how one afternoon the taste of a madeleine transported him back to the time when he was a child visiting the town of Combray (which, as he notes in the same context, he had previously remembered poorly). By contrast, mémoire volontaire is characterised by the fact that the information it provides about a particular experience “retains no trace of it.”48 In this way Proust relates mémoire volontaire to techno-mechanical reproduction (in particular photography). Benjamin elaborates upon this by suggesting that photography acts as a means of staking out a claim for ephemeral things and providing an historical placement for them in the form of a universal archive—that is, as a “volitional, discursive memory” structured according to “the technique of mechanical reproduction.”49 Benjamin suggests a further relationship between memory and reproduction, this time in the form of consciousness itself. Although he does not explore the paradox that this presents for Proust’s distinction between voluntary and involuntary memory, he does quote Freud’s argument that: it would be the special characteristic of consciousness that, unlike what happens in other psychical systems, the excitatory process expires, as it were, in the phenomenon of becoming conscious [...]. Becoming conscious and leaving behind

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a memory trace are processes incompatible with each other within one and the same system.50

For Freud, memory fragments are “often most powerful and most enduring when the incident which left them behind was one that never entered into consciousness.”51 In this way Freud preserves Franz Brentano’s basic contention in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (1874) that perceptions come into the mind through “intention,” although perception itself is assigned to the unconscious.52 As in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, this also suggests a fundamental relationship between repetition and “primal repression” in the complementary function of memory as a play between Erinnerung and Gedächtnis. For Heidegger, however, what comes to light in Erinnerung is the persistence of a “primal” beginning in its withdrawal from all that follows: The beginning is the strangest and mightiest. What comes afterwards is not a development but the flattening that results from mere spreading out; it is the inability to retain the beginning.53

This “spectrality” of the beginning is disclosed in the experience of the “essence” of modern technology in which, as Heidegger supposes, it seems as though man everywhere and always encounters only himself. For Heidegger, this encounter takes the form of a proliferation of discourse, which bears certain resemblances to what Hegel, in the Phenomenology of Spirit (1806), describes as “pure self-recognition in absolute otherness.”54 Moreover, discourse itself is defined as “that forgetting of the self, that exteriorisation, the contrary of the interiorising memory, of the Erinnerung that opens the history of spirit,” since discourse, and in particular “writing,” is at once “the mnemotechnique and the power of forgetting”55—what Theodor Nelson radicalises in hypertextual terms as a machine that forgets by remembering everything.56 In Heidegger’s thinking, however, this self-reflection is not a perfection but “the final delusion,” since it is ignorant of technology as a challenge addressed to humanity.57 This challenge resides in a breakdown in the way that, for Hegel, Weltgeist becomes self-conscious spirit. We can identify this breakdown elsewhere in Heidegger as the relationship between Dasein and the language of idle talk (Gerede), and the way everyday signification introduces a scission which separates Dasein from the possibility of self-knowing. This alienating “existentiality” of language is regarded by Denis Hollier as what “makes man into a relationship to, an opening to,” since “it prohibits his withdrawing into utopian self-presence, cut off from his retreat towards closure. It dispossesses him of his origins.”58 In the ‘Scylla and Charybdis’ episode of Ulysses Stephen Dedalus poses a question along similar lines, this time addressed to a “genealogy” of the pronoun: But I, entelechy, form of forms, am I by memory because under ever changing forms. [U 189]

Referring to Aristotle’s system of forms (entelechy, actuality), Stephen asks whether identity is not in fact a technical function of memory since the assumed formal unity 109


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of the self (“I”) is seen to be shifting and unstable, or at least concealed beneath a shifting exterior. In Aristotle’s De Anima the “mind” (nous) is considered “the form of forms,” and in the Metaphysics Aristotle argues that the prime mover is thought thinking itself.59 In the ‘Proteus’ episode, Stephen considers the notion that “thought is the [...] form of forms,” musing upon the figure of Proteus, while Joyce’s language simultaneously enacts a metamorphosis of “exterior forms” through Stephen’s interior “stream of consciousness” (U 26). In ‘Circe’ Stephen identifies this synchrony in terms of gesture: So that gesture [...] would be a universal language, the gift of tongues rendered visible not the lay sense but the first entelechy, the structural rhythm. [U 432]

Joyce thus raises the question of internalised presence (alētheia) and thought (dianoia) which underlies the problem of identity as constituting a structural and gestural play between thinking memory (as an external technic of representation) and the internalising memory or presencing of the “I” (the ideal horizon of formal unity).60 This structural play, as a type of metamorphosis, suggests a network of synchronic, “rhythmic” linkages that would also describe identity as so many sets of different coordinates within the field of language—which is also to say, as something like a hypertext.

ACROSTIC In ‘Art as Technique’ (1917), Victor Shklovsky discusses a phenomenon of “habitualisation” in everyday experience as a phenomenon of language. In paradigmatic terms closely resembling those proposed by Freud in the Traumdeutung, Shklovsky defines a mechanism of redundancy, in which linguistic displacement and condensation (metaphor and metonymy) organise the semantic content of a particular word or sentence. In Shklovsky’s view: “In this process, ideally realised in algebra, things are replaced by symbols.”61 Alexander Pogodin provides the basis of this observation in an anecdote about a boy considering the sentence “Les montaignes de la Suisse sont belles” in the form of an acrostic: L m d l S s b .62 Separated from the context of the initial sentence, these letters enter into different relations, with one another and with other possible combinations of words or phrases, as a matrix of signification in which the materiality of the letters’ “symbolic” function reveals a semantic complexion. According to Shklovsky: This characteristic of thought not only suggests the method of algebra, but even prompts the choice of symbols (letters, especially initial letters). By this “algebraic” method of thought we apprehend objects only as shapes with imprecise extensions; we do not see them in their entirety but rather recognise them by their main characteristics. We see the object as though it were enveloped in a sack. We know what it is by its configuration, but we see only its silhouette. The object, perceived thus in the manner of prose perception, fades and does not leave even a first impression.63

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Similarly, “the process of ‘algebrisation,’the over-automaticisation of an object, permits the greatest economy of perceptive effort. Either objects are assigned only one proper feature—a number, for example—or else they function as though by formula and do not even appear in cognition.”64 This is what Shklovsky means by the “unconsciously automatic,” which beyond an empirical formulation can be read as describing a condition of language which is ostensibly, and without being primarily linked to perception, “technological.” The technics of algebraic or acrostic convergence points beyond the specificity of Pogodin’s example to a generality across the entirety of discourse. One of the implications of this is not simply that the “object” supposedly designated by particular terms “fades,” but that the conditional nature of the object’s relation “to” language, as constitutive of an “ontological condition,” itself expires in this “automaticisation.” Similarly in Finnegans Wake, textual automation based upon signifying materiality can be seen as underwriting the entire discursive infrastructure, from grammar and syntax, to apparent semantic content and so on. Whilst aspects of materiality and automation in the Wake have been dealt with by Clive Hart, David Hayman and Umberto Echo, in both pre-structuralist and semiotic terms, the radical nature of Joyce’s acrostic mechanism as discursive technē has not been addressed. Amongst the prominent features of the Wake’s technics is the problem of formal articulation in the structuring of identity posed by the “figures” A.L.P. and H.C.E. (nominally “Anna Livia Plurabelle” and “Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker”): Now [...] concerning the genesis of Harold or Humphrey Chimpden’s occupational agnomen (we are back in the presurnames prodromarith period, of course just when enos chalked halltraps) [...]. Hag Chivychas Eve, in prefall paradise. [FW 30.01-15]

The relation of naming to history (“the presurnames prodromarith period”), and their common orientation about a point of mythical discontinuity (“prefall”), points to an antecedence or prodromos in speculative pre-history: Eat early earthapple. Coax Cobra to chatters. Hail, Heva, we hear! [FW 271.22-26]

In this reversal and threefold multiplication of the acrostic pattern H.C.E., “identity” becomes linked to a concept of symptomatology (prodrome) and to the thematics of the fall (Eden, Babel). The words “Hail, Heva, we hear!” also serve to recall the Catholic angelical salutation, an anagram on the formula: “Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum,” which reads: “Virgo serena, pia, munda et immaculata.” Elsewhere Joyce links the anagrammatical and acrostic articulation of identity to the Viconian notion of ricorsi storici and epical recycling: Hail him heathen, heal him holystone! Courser, Recorser, Changechild ................? Eld as endall, earth ................? [FW 481.1-3]

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With generation and dispersal, naming no longer refers to an origin in unity, but rather to an origin described as the object of a “paradox lust” (FW 263.L4)-a hermeneutic mirage whose nature is structural rather than metaphysical or phenomenal. Identity is conceived not in terms of an autonomous singularity, nor even as a moment of transition, but rather as a matrix or acrostic, contingent upon the relations between all of its parts. Such a concept suggests a type of genetics in which formal and semantic functions operate on communicating planes of significance, its elemental possibilities suggested, for example, in the quasi-molecular compound H2CE3 (FW 95.12). In this way the “identity” of H.C.E. is signified by the dissemination of these “tristurned initials” (FW 100.28) throughout the text of Finnegans Wake, rather than by a motif or figure as such, even though the pattern of this dispersal—H.C.E.—is itself characterised by virtually infinite permutations and combinations which gain increasing complexity, tending ultimately towards dissipation as the underlying logic of pattern recognition approaches randomness and identity becomes a matter of pure normativity: The great fact emerges that [...] all holographs so far exhumed initialled by Haromphery bear the sigla H.C.E. [...] which gave him as sense of those normative letters the nickname Here Comes Everybody. [FW 32. 12-18]

As with the idea of a genetic blue-print, these “holographs,” initialled by their dead author, enter into a process of dissociation and dissimulation, not merely through the normative function of the sigla (which interchangeably signify both author and holograph, and which are automatically interchangeable from one holograph to another), but also through the process of interpretation (archaeology, exhumation) and metamorphosis (the substitution of a nickname which is universally inclusive, “Here Comes Everybody”): a round thousind whirligig glorioles, prefaced by (alas!) now illegible airy plumeflights, all tiberiously ambiembellishing the initials majuscule of Earwicker. [FW 119.15-17]

Recalling the figure of Adam in the book of Genesis, the eponymous “Haromphery” could be seen as engendering a species of signifiers in whose genetic code he is ultimately subsumed and for which he exists as a “mythological” inference, or at least as the trace of a prior possibility of substitution (or metonymic filiation)—a cybernetic programme whose schematic signature would be, in this case, the “normative letters” H.C.E. In the section of La pensée sauvage entitled ‘The Individual as a Species,’ LéviStrauss argues that proper names “always exist on the margin of classification”: In every system, therefore, proper names represent the quanta of signification below which one no longer does anything but point.65

The gesture of pointing, or “pointopointing” (FW 181.24) as degree zero of signification, below the level of the proper name, requires an element of normativity which may be said to be undecidable in Finnegans Wake. Nevertheless, Lévi-Strauss 112


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makes a valid argument against the assumptions of Bertram Russell and Charles Peirce in defining proper names as “indices” modelled upon demonstrative pronouns. In doing so Lévi-Strauss distinguishes signification from pointing, which would henceforth be considered as indicative, transferring the signifying function to the proximate relation of the “thing in itself.“66 Underlying this concept of proper nouns is a particular nominalism in the distinction between signifying function and materiality, on the one hand, and between the specific and generic, on the other. These ostensibly metaphoric and metonymic relations operate a type of structural grid against which the “normative letters” H.C.E. can be thought as describing an indexical discontinuity. As such the signifying “value” of each term is multiplied across an identical denominational space, within which differing vectors can be brought to communicate simultaneously. This in turn suggests what we might call a “hypertextual edifice,” in which each letter or combination of letters in this “grouptriad” (FW 167.04) would be capable of virtually infinite subscriptions across the entire field of language without any one subscription assuming the unique role of an indexical value. Joyce, well before Derrida, locates this aspect of signifying materiality within the materiality of language itself: “But the world, mind, is, was and will be writing its wrunes for ever, man, on all matters that fall under the ban of our infrarational sense” (FW 19.35-20.01).

SURFACE KINETICS Other than Giambattista Vico, Joyce’s interest in narrative recursion was most likely affected by George Polti’s The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations.67 Whilst living in Trieste, Joyce is known to have owned a copy of this text, which presents one of many prestructuralist models of a finite number of dramatic “situations” as the basis for all narrative discourse. Like an elaborate fugue form, such models suggest a matrix of possibility within textual constraints, based upon an otherwise arbitrary number of archē-forms, or codes. Fugue form, matrix, programme, game board, grid: each of these terms, equally applicable, implies a structural template and rules of translation or transposition. What Joyce does with this idea is to radicalise it, by projecting Polti’s schematic view through a complex of different mathematical and rhetorical ideas and rendering it in terms of a linguistic atomism. Similarly, by applying a schematic model to the “tropic” function of sublexical particles, it is possible to arrive at a model of hypertextuality, whose “form” would thus be situated between acrostics and geometrical figuration. Mirroring the diagrammatical rendering of A.L.P. (FW 293), such a schematic view might thus reveal: that the median, hce che ech, intersecting at royde angles and parilegs of a given obtuse one biscuits both the arcs that are in curvechord behind. [FW 283.32-284.04]

The repetition of these co-ordinate figures, H.C.E. or A.L.P., bring about transverse communications between otherwise non-communicating textual elements, causing 113


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them to intersect (with varying probabilities) in a broadly topological schematic. The acrostic organisation of these co-ordinates likewise suggests a form of semantic apparatus, directed at the level of individual lexemes or sublexical grid-points (Polti’s Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations suggests, among other things, the combinatorial possibilities of a six-by-six Greco-Latin bi-square). Similarly the variable sites of these grid-points would denote a co-ordinate function of mechanical linkage or copula. Broadly speaking, this copulative function would follow at least two trajectories— between terms and their various contexts (historical, literary, lexicological, and so on), and within a term (between sublexical units capable of resonating with significations of their own), so that any term can also be understood as remaining open to an alterior discourse within. Moreover, trajectories (inside/outside) would thus appear contiguous rather than dualistic or oppositional. Similarly, we might think of this contiguous function in terms of what the Hungarian artist and theorist Victor Vasarély called surface kinetics, whereby two-dimensional surfaces are set into an apparently multi-dimensional pulsation, in which the stability of the visual field is destabilised through a type of kinetosis. In his 1955 Yellow Manifesto, Vasarély defines surface kinetics as “a single plastic sensibility in different spaces,” or “plastique cinétique,” in which “myriad formal manipulations [are] relentlessly permutated through the plane.”68 Elsewhere Vasarély describes the effect of surface kinetics in terms of two-dimensional “periodic structures” in which: simultaneously graduated values connote a smooth, cinematic progression along the surface, while sharply contrasted complementaries appear to jump, leaving the eye not only startled but also tantalised by after-images. But the ultimate effect of this pulsating, syncopated matrix could be likened to a plane geometer’s vision of the heavens.69

A particularly compelling example of this is the famous illusionism of the Fraser Spiral—which, as E.H. Gombrich points out, “is not a spiral at all but really a series of concentric circles. Only a tracing pencil will convince us that we are not confronted with a spiral moving towards the infinite.”70

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But while the Fraser Spiral is not an actual spiral, nor is it, as Gombrich contests, a series of concentric circles. Rather there is the appearance of concentric braids, whose two-dimensional form mirrors the three-dimensional dynamics of the whole, which seems to twist in upon itself, drawing the eye down into an open, grid-patterned vortex.71 The hypertextual mechanisms of the Wake could thus, by analogy, be viewed as the textual apparition of a visual effect, a “strange exotic serpentine” which: seems to uncoil spirally and swell lacertinelazily before our eyes under the writer’s hand. [FW 121.20-25]

This movement from the circle to the spiral, and from the spiral to the grid, can be thought of as describing a verbal-visual architecture or architectonics of the vortex, in which apparently two-dimensional, textual edifices are set into a conceptual multidimensional flux, within a whole which is thus de-totalised. This whole (or hole) is the vel around which the entire tropic structure is organised but which itself is seen to be empty and opened out, as a place or topos of perpetual substitution (metonymy or tromp-l’œil): a “sinister cyclops after trigamies and spirals’ wobbles” (FW 300.26-7). The desiring horizon of signification, projected through this trou or non-place, sets the entire signifying field into a pulsation which is also a type of pulsion or drive—its vectoral trajectories shifting between a seemingly unlimited number of discursive coordinates simultaneously. The compulsive movement of structuration towards a totality of the whole, or hole, provides the organisational impetus of the hypertextual apparatus, at the same time as it determines its radical decentredness. The illusionistic nature of this double-structure describes a further manifestation of the Lacanian dialectic, by which the visual discursus of the mirroring horizon of the subject is matched to the architectonic discursus of the hypertextual transverse. The implications of this movement also point towards the way in which, for instance, hypertextual linkage, or the copulative function, occupies a between-place which cannot be situated according to a straightforward Cartesian logic—as the transitional state of a forethrow of metonymic substitution (desire towards the topos of the non-place). The hypertextual vortex, or vortext, situates a geometry of incompletion and undecidability, fluctuating between competing or conflicting signifying fields. But where visual representation has long been seen as tied in one way or another to the limitations and necessary incompleteness of all two-dimensional representations (as a set of marks on a Cartesian plane), this has rarely been seen as the basis for a generative, “architectural” model of signification. As Gombrich argues, however, despite the apparent literality of the two-dimensional plane (or rather because of it), “some part of the motif will always remain hidden from us, and there will always be some overlap.”72 This metonymic self-concealment in the “topical regression” of the two-dimensional plane, cuts across the metaphoric axis along which the motif is substituted for the entire textual structure that gives rise to it, and which sustains it in its signifying “illusion.” But in Finnegans Wake this movement assumes another form of illusionism, in that its verisimilitude stands in regard to language itself. Here, too, we may find analogy to 115


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those visual puzzles which Giorgio Vasari described as “hovering between the seen and the unseen,” as in Pliny’s account of the “imaginary painting” of Parrhasios.73

Like the architectural riddles of Maurits Escher and Giovanni Piranesi, the apparently two-dimensional textual plane constantly defies us to account for these effects of incompletion, inconsistency and undecidability. This is similarly the case with certain developments in mathematics from Immanuel Kant to Georg Cantor, Kurt Gödel, Alan Turing and Alonzo Church.74 Or equally with the combinatorial experiments of the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (Oulipo) in the 1960s and 1970s, in particular Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de poèmes and Exercices de Style and Georges Perec’s Vie mode d’emploi. Yet where these tend towards the prolific and inflationary, the problems of “generative constraint” are shown to be contiguous with over-reduction, minimalism, and base morphology. The transversal marked out by means of this contiguity (between or across schematic and tropic and typographical or material aspects of textual “design”) could be thought of as the architectural principle par excellence. At the same time, this transversality is affected not as a silent unifying principle, as such, but as a form of topical organisation along tropological lines. The various ways in which the seemingly closed structures of arithmetic, architectural design, perspective, and lexicology seem to break down—that is, in being revealed at certain crucial moments as incomplete, inconsistent and undecidable—suggest that transversality is implicit to structure, that it defines structure itself. The effects of generative constraint, the architectural “illusionism” of possible worlds (as in Escher’s 1947 woodcut, Autre Monde), the “fissures and fracture lines” (FW 386.32) of lexical contiguity and narrative or grammatical discontinuity in Finnegans Wake, the topological metamorphoses of the Cartesian plane, and so on, all affirm this. However, as with the typogenetics which comprises the textual edifice of Finnegans Wake, we are never able to situate these “fissure and fracture lines” which keep transversality in a continual genesis. In this sense the textual edifice itself is always in medias res, a work in progress between morphological emplacement, on the one hand, and an interminable anamorphosis on the other. 116


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6. TECHNOGENESIS There is no genetics without „genetic drift.” The modern theory of mutations has clearly demonstrated that a code, which necessarily relates to a population, has an essential margin of decoding: not only does every code have supplements capable of free variation, but a single segment may be copied twice, the second copy left free for variation. In addition, fragments of code may be transferred from the cells of one species to another.1

RETRO-VIRUS

T

extual genetics, with its focus on the structural significance of avant-textes, has brought to light ways of treating Joyce’s notebooks and manuscripts that do not necessarily posit an originary, authorising idea concealed within, or even outside Ulysses or Finnegans Wake (as an Ur-text or skeleton key), but rather views these avanttextes—along with the other elements that form Joyce’s “works in progress” —in terms of a genetic hypertextuality. For many genetic theorists, Finnegans Wake is nothing less than the open totality of all the texts that can be grouped together around that name. Whilst this idea approximates the structural possibilities of hypertext, it is nevertheless important for us to look more deeply into what might be implied in the term “genetic.” But while most theorists have been careful to avoid reductive ways of viewing the objects of textual genetics, others have tended simply to adopt the term “genetics” for the purpose of modernising the Alexandrian project of correcting and codifying Joyce’s texts. Although it is not the intention, here, to evaluate the respective “genetic” theories, it remains necessary to investigate how this term can, in itself, be rendered in such a way as to disrupt such a project. This would involve considering more closely the structure and implications of the genetic metaphor, to see how it carries within itself the germ of an idea that would prohibit a reduction to first principles and so discredit from the beginning any project of establishing a Joycean Ur-text on the basis of a genetic code, or what the Wake refers to as the “greeter glossary of code” (FW 324.21). Molecular biology provides a descriptive formula which brings together these seemingly unrelated ideas from the textual and biological fields of genetics—that is, the “enzyme reverse transcriptase.”2 The enzyme reverse transcriptase is that attribute of RNA which makes a retro-virus possible—what, within the basic genetic fabric, programmes the retro-virus and causes it to function and propagate in a quasi-genetic way, giving rise to what might be called “viral DNA.” When the RNA of a retro-virus enters a “host cell” it essentially receives the same treatment as the host’s own genetic material. According to computer scientist Douglas Hofstadter: “This would mean getting transcribed and translated” so that the seemingly innocuous genetic code by which the virus entered the cell would be “decoded” into a different, viral code which would then be programmed into the cell’s infrastructure and in order to be replicated by it.3 117


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Technically speaking, the reverse transcriptase catalyses the formation of doublestranded DNA using the single strand of its viral genome as a template. This allows the viral genome firstly to be inserted into the host’s DNA and then to be replicated by the host. The reverse transcriptase is thus the reverse of the usual process of transcription in cells. That is, the process in which the genetic information of DNA is transferred to a molecule of messenger RNA, as the first step to protein synthesis.4 The reversibility of the transcription process provides, at the indifferent stage of translation, interesting corollaries to the Heideggerean concept of “emplacement.”5 This process of transcription and translation can also be seen to describe what Hofstadter calls a “morphological pathway,”6 or what Brian Massumi has described as “a mise en abyme of homologous organic structures” organised according to the “polymorphous connective potential” of a perverse, genetic apparatus.7 The problem remains, however, in determining so-called “authentic” genetic codes from encoded viral messages, which ostensibly take the same form. It is not simply a question of affecting the simulation or substitution of the original genetic structure, but of an activation of what is inherent to the genetic programme itself, and which reveals a lapsus in place of what would be determined as the originary code. As Walter Benjamin points out: “The presence of the original is the prerequisite for authenticity.”8 And like Benjamin’s notion of mechanical reproduction, it is the non-presence of the original which makes reproduction, translation and transcription, possible in the first place. This has an important relation to the question of binary determinations generally. In ‘Plato’s Pharmacy,’9 Derrida has similarly remarked: In order for these contrary values (good/evil, true/false, essence/appearance, inside/outside, etc.) to be in opposition, each of the terms must be simply external to the other, which means that one of these oppositions (the opposition between inside and outside) must already be accredited as the matrix of all possible opposition. And one of the elements of the system (or of the series) must also stand as the very possibility of systematicity or seriality in general.10

For Derrida, this seeming paradox describes the condition of a certain pharmakon (poison/cure) of writing. Relating the myth of writing’s origin as a prosthesis of memory, Derrida traces a movement of debilitation within the system of oppositions which determines this “prosthetic function” as a perversion, in the tendency of the written mark towards the redundancy of the word, and hence a type of forgetfulness. This debilitation, rather than acting externally upon this system of oppositions, is located within its very expression, as the “equivocation” of the genitive. As Derrida argues, this pharmakon: “far from being governed by these oppositions, opens up their very possibility without letting itself be comprehended by them.” Moreover, writing as a pharmakon: cannot simply be assigned a site within what it situates, cannot be subsumed under concepts whose contours it draws, leaves only its ghost to a logic that can only seek to govern it insofar as logic arises from it [...]. All the more so if what we have just imprudently called a ghost can no longer be distinguished, with the same assurance, from truth, reality, living flesh, etc. One must accept the fact that here, for once, to leave a ghost behind will in a sense be to salvage nothing.11

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Equally, the “morphological pathway” described by series of genetic translation and transcription, cannot be situated in terms of an inside/outside of a formal system of coding and decoding, in which the translated or transcribed term would be considered as the ghost or simulacrum of either of two terms in opposition (“viral” DNA or “authentic,” non-viral DNA). This genetic babelisation, its “origin” in translation, likewise describes the absence of any determinate “originary” code, such that the series of coding and de-coding implicit to any morphological reduction must necessarily continue to virtually infinite levels of complexity. And as with the mechanisms of translation and transcription themselves, the system thus affected would amount to something like an apparatus of “interruptions and isolations, extensions and accelerations, enlargements and reductions.”12 As Derrida points out, the mechanism of translation functions, and continues to function, irrespective of the absence or presence of an originary code or intention. It is enough that the code is structurally contiguous with the possibility of its repetition, as either translation or transcription, and that the “tekhnē of writing” implicit to it can be seen as bearing the mark of dependency (the programmatics of prosthesis).13 Consequently, the “viral” code will be precisely the one to represent the authoring genetic scriptor, even if (or indeed because) its antithetical origins are forgotten, and even if there is nothing other than its own inscription to continue authorising it. By virtue of a type of inflationary paradox, this proxy or metonymic representative thus lays claim to an authority and authenticity greater than that for which it is the substitute. Moreover, the substitutability of viral RNA can be said to situate it in a “technological” relation to autopoiesis and cyclical recursion. The complex relation between viral and non-viral RNA and DNA, as a form of recursive “paracitation,” suggests analogous complexions of significance, beyond what we might strictly speaking call textual genetics, in the organisation of textual structures generally. By the same token, such complexions invite consideration of otherwise syntactic or semantic “codes” as somehow genetic, as indicative of an “originary code” which is at the same time viral, parasitic, dissimulating: what of genetics that is structurally necessary and yet threatens the normativity of what we call genetic structure from within and from its origins. The concept of viral emplacement raises questions not only about technological aspects of reproduction, but about the “emplacements” of technology itself and of the “genetic scene.” This also leads us to ask questions about what it means when we approach the genetic programme as a particular technology. That is, as a form of recursive solicitation, between Heideggerean technē and logos: “and the carollas he so has saved gainst the virus he has thus injected!” (FW 321.05-6). In other words, it raises the question of, how the “vicious circle” of retro-viral emplacement (translation and transcription) at once calls for and motivates a kind of hypertextual apparatus irreducible to a stable field, or placement, whereby a text could be defined in relation to a structural epistēmē (or “genetic code”). Following Samuel Weber, this solicitation would consequently imply a way “in which the ‘technics’ of Heidegger’s quest(ion) entails the destabilisation of such fields.”14 Hence the question can be also be posed in terms of how this solicitation as a general 119


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bringing-forth might be regarded simultaneously as a function of poiēsis and of technics, both “originary” and mechanical production, reproduction or repetition, in a form of a graphological “viral” propagation. As Derrida asks: “is not the emergence of the grapheme [...] the very origin and possibility of logos itself.”15 If we look at it textually, in terms of what Hofstadter calls “typographical enzymes,”16 we can begin to envisage a textual genetics, or “typogenetics,”17 that can be recognised in Finnegans Wake in terms of the structural triads H.C.E. and A.L.P. The phrase “enzyme reverse transcriptase” might, in this sense, be just as well taken to describe the “morphological pathways” marked out by these two textual “RNA strands” as it would to describe biological RNA. And just as the “morphological pathways” of molecular biology also describes a genetic history, or genetic memory of themselves, so would those “transversals” intersecting in the triads H.C.E. and A.L.P. describe a genetic memory of the Wake. This suggests the further significance to textual genetics and genealogy of what has been called iterability and trace, and the relation of the genetic code (and of the genealogical will) to a particular play of memory.

MYTHOMORPHOLOGY As Derrida has pointed out, it is impossible to conceive of an unorganised structure. But although the genetic code, like the philosophico-historical epistēmē, will always have functioned as “an organising principle which would limit what we might call the play of structure”18—even if this limit were to be marked as a kind of probability quotient or evolutionary chain—this does not mean to say that there cannot be an “organising principle” which would not, at least in an analogous sense, limit the “play of structure.” Such an “organising principle” would pose a challenge to the authority of the “code,” or of the epistēmē, over the general field of discourse. Among the basic tenets of hermeneutics is the contention that the epistēmē is that which “absolutely requires, which is the absolute requirement that we go back to the source, to the centre, to the founding basis, to the principle.”19 Epistemic discourse might thus be regarded as necessarily genealogical, labouring beneath the spectre of memory as Erinnerung. However, according to this “absolute requirement” that we “go back,” there arises a certain aporia in the paradoxical will to derivation and truth. Michel Foucault defines this in terms of genealogy: Genealogy, as an analysis of descent, is thus situated within the articulation of the body and history. It’s task is to expose a body totally imprinted by history and the process of history’s destruction of the body [...]. The historical sense gives rise to three uses that oppose and correspond to the three Platonic modalities of history. The first is parodic, directed against reality, and opposes the theme of history as reminiscence or recognition; the second is dissociative, directed against identity, and opposes history given as a continuity or representative of a tradition; the third is sacrificial, directed against truth, and opposes history as knowledge.20

This genealogical movement is paradoxical precisely because it will have been inscribed, a priori, in the discourse over which it has always assumed a certain mastery, 120


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and because it will have posited from within (and upon the basis of) this discourse an epistēmē which is forever “exterior” to it. Nietzsche makes a similar point in Beyond Good and Evil, when he asks: Who is it that here questions us? What really is it that wants “the truth”? [...] Which of us here is Oedipus? Which of us sphinx?21

In other words, the genealogical will remains entangled in, and dependent upon, the very (technological) structures that it requires to be reduced, and in this sense the movement of epistemic discourse always takes the form of a quest, detour or “riverrun.” This is not to say, however, that epistemic discourse is opposed to some other discourse (say, “mythological discourse” ) but that from its origin epistemic discourse is, in and of itself, mythomorphic—a “cataleptic mithyphallic” (FW 481.04).22 In the section of L’Origine des manières de table entitled ‘Du mythe au roman,’ Claude Lévi-Strauss describes a “process of degradation” in myths which takes place over the course of their transformations as social narratives and ritual re-tellings and meta-narratives.23 According to Stephen Heath: This degradation, in which the cyclical periodicity of a myth is lost in a diversity of episodes relating to ever shorter periods of time, may be characterized as a loss of structure.24

In other words, “its structural content is dissipated”25 as what Heath calls a “fall into seriality.”26 This “fall into seriality” has been discussed at length by Margot Norris, in her 1974 structuralist analysis The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake.27 One of the things that Norris suggests is that the reception of “unmistakable similarities,” in the way the “event” of H.C.E.’s supposed fall is retold, marks precisely what gives mythologising its possibility—a type of “hearasay in / paradox lust” (FW 263.L4).28 Similarly, the recursive fall of the tropic figure H.C.E., as “Hocus Crocus, Esquilocus” (FW 254.20), suggests that the equi-locus of the Wakean “concentric centre” is tied to the solipsism of self-identity or Freudian repetition compulsion—what Joyce refers to as: cycloannalism, from space to space, time after time, in various phases of scripture as in various poses of sepulture [FW 254.26-8]

As Lévi-Strauss suggests: “The function of repetition is to render the structure of myth apparent.”29 But rather than assuming that similarity in repetition points towards either a prior truth or to a mythification which has already taken place, we might say that they belong to a myth-in-process: a type of repetition compulsion whereby memory, mediated through a “return of the repressed,” no longer belongs to a remembrance of an originary event, but to a form of paracitation, as the trace of “what follows, obsequences, remains after killing what it gave birth to.”30 Similarly, we would not properly be able to speak of something “experienced as a fiction or myth at the moment of its occurrence,” unless that “moment of occurrence” 121


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were itself already mythomorphic. In this way discourse would be organised around a certain aporia of destination—the epistēmē as the mythic “event” par excellence and epistemic discourse as a discourse that is mythomorphic precisely because it constitutes itself as the (future) recurrence of “its own” event (/advent). Further, we could say that the ambivalence of this recurrence fulfils, in a sense, what (of myth) marks “the essence of technics” as “the destiny of being placed.”31

TYPOGENETICS It remains a common-place assumption that A.L.P. and H.C.E. function as archetypal parental figures who somehow engender all of the Wake’s various narratological forms, providing Joyce’s text with a kind of architectonics: “The meandertale, aloss and again, of our old Heidenburgh in the days when Head-in-Clouds walked the earth” (FW 18.2122). What is of particular interest is how this speculative project derives from a certain complacency regarding the respective identities of these triads, H.C.E. and A.L.P., and our ability to structure around them familiar historical narratives and Oedipalised genealogies of “this old world epistola of their weatherings and their marryings” (FW 117.27-8). Consequently these figures are often taken to describe a polymorphous, or “genetic” network of possible identities (fictional, historical, autobiographical), which, however fragmented or divergent they may at first appear, can nevertheless be reduced to a set of normative predicates (novelistic structure, “Scene and property plot” [FW 558.356], etc.): what Roland Barthes calls a “narrative ([...] unveiling of truth)” which “is a staging of the (absent, hidden, or hypostatised) father” (Joyce, H.C.E.?), and which “would explain the solidarity of [the text’s] narrative forms” and of its “familial structures.”32 They are then regarded as acting like a genetic “master key” whose permutations and combinations are supposed to follow underlyingly coherent, if superficially obscured, evolutionary patterns, and which, despite appearing to mark an “aleatory scattering of semes,”33 nevertheless remain gathered about a central meaning or originary code which through a rigorous genealogical project might be fixed and interrogated. But while this genealogical impulse may provide a “motivation” for a particular reading of the text, it remains that this impulse describes a structural outcome that its own process renders illusory. We might say, in fact, that this “motivation” remains the condition of such a reading throughout, without there being any possibility of a final decoding of the genealogical or genetic sequence, no matter how much information is accumulated, or how much data is uncovered. Reading in this sense would always remain in an “initial” state—a motivation or machination of the textual programme. This notion of a reading suspended in an “initial state,” or of a genealogy in utero, points towards another aspect of the textual pro-gramme: its literal or etymological sense of before the word, or before writing, which would also suggest one of the ways in which Finnegans Wake “calls for” reading, as something which Derrida describes as being precisely what we have not yet begun to read (“between the closure of the 122


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grammē and the trace of difference”).34 In this sense we might say that Finnegans Wake “solicits” reading—that it motives or machinates reading in the form of a textual apparatus, situated at the limits of a type of autoproduction, or re-production, which would also take the form of a cybernetic or hypertextual machine: writing thithaways end to end and turning, turning and end to end hitherways and with lines of litters slittering up and louds of latters slattering down, the old semetomyplace. [FW 114.16-20]

Such an apparatus would remain in a constant discursive state, manufacturing by turns both resemblances and differences that appear to hint, regardless of how chaotic the process of articulation or manufacture may appear on the surface, at some determinate organising principle beyond: what Joyce here calls “the old semetomyplace.” Resonating with the possible significations of “see-me,” “seem,” “seam” and “seme,” combined with the preposition “to” and the genitive “my place,” this line suggests that what motivates this cybernetic apparatus is, again, a “paradox lust”: an interminable passage, or detour, between the assumption of a present and the appearance of representation, or between the “place” of identification and textual production. Similarly, we might say that H.C.E. and A.L.P., rather than standing in place of a signified concept that would structure this grid from outside, describe instead transverse communications within the Wakean grid between differing moments of a desire for signifying structure. Each movement towards a signified concept is then put to work as yet one more series of co-ordinates in the Wakean “grand continuum” (FW 472.30), marking out a chain of dis-placement and substitution whose “genealogy” in fact describes the genetic mediation of the H.C.E. and A.L.P. triads. This does not mean that H.C.E. and A.L.P. will have taken the place of a genealogy or of an identity as such.35 Nor that they should not be thought of as being affected in terms of a prior code—in the sense of a concealed meaning or Platonic alētheia. But rather that they affect what Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok describe as the “lexical contiguity of various meanings of the same word.”36 Such a contiguity would be regarded as “antisemantic or a-semantic” because of the way in which a “word” becomes the site of a “contamination,” where signifiers “agglutinate homonymically.”37 Similarly, we might regard the Wake’s acrostics and portmanteaux as affecting a kind of viral typogenetics, simulating all the properties of a genetic code or a genetic “memory” at the same time as reorganising that code’s archē- or teleo-logical imprint. Such a “contiguity” between a viral typogenetics (A.L.P. and H.C.E.) and schematic structure, or between retro-viral DNA and its host, would be one way that we might view the dynamics of Finnegans Wake as a “communication” motivated by the recurrence of chance operations in the alignment and re-alignment of sublexical graphic and phonic elements in Joyce’s textual apparatus. What is important is how the triads H.C.E. and A.L.P., as the traditionally privileged sites of this communication, demonstrate one way in which a process of genetic poiēsis “marks the necessity of a contamination of any essence by a generalised technology.”38 As Derrida writes, responding to Heidegger’s assertion “the essence of technology is nothing technological”: 123


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Contamination [...] of the thought of essence by technology, and so contamination by technology of the unthinkable essence of technology—and even of a question of technology by technology.39

What is also important is how this techno-genetic metaphor derives not from a particular thematics, or from the numerous possible references to biological and technological phenomena to be found in the Wake, but from those geno-technic functions that emerge from and within the Wake’s language itself. As Aubert has argued, the lexicography of Finnegans Wake implies a movement towards a totalisation of the word, under the tenor of otherwise latent formal syntactic and grammatical structures, and thus a possible semantic system. For Aubert, such an approach is both deductive and inductive, but it nevertheless requires the assumption that, in order to be “readable,” a text must first be constituted in relation to an horizon of expectations, and to the necessity of a prior translational or transcriptive code (even if this code is characterised by the lack of a system). In the view of Abraham and Torok, however, the mechanism which in fact initiates the translation-transcription process is not affected in terms of a prior code but rather by the “lexical contiguity of various meanings of the same word,” or of the same compound.40 In Joyce’s paronomasian text, this contiguity operates not only on the lexical scale, but also on a tropic and schematic scale—a structural shift orientated, as we have already seen, by such “co-ordinates” as H.C.E. and A.L.P. These co-ordinates would also be seen as describing transverse relations across all of these scales, and so bringing about transverse communications. Through its various enzymatic processes of meaning formation and de-formation, this communication seems to bring-forth virtually infinite series of other texts, causing them to intersect according to the allegorico-metonymic figures of H.C.E. and A.L.P. At best, however, these figures would indicate “a certain schematic idea of one another and of the place where contact could be made,”41 as the promise of some future “advent.” A.L.P. and H.C.E. might then come to describe “indexical” terms in what Derrida has called an “interminable list of all the so called undecidable quasi-concepts that [are] so many aporetic places or dislocations.”42 Such an “interminable list” would traverse another kind of narrative space, something like a simulacrum index rerum cutting across the totality of Joyce’s “encyclopaedic” text at the same time as invalidating any architectonics or formal element which might be offered as relating all the parts to the whole. That is to say, these indices would remain irreducible beyond a certain genesis, a “paradox lust” or Paradise Lost which would also repeat the on-going site of the “fall” as an allegorical rendering of the aporia of the genealogical will—what Joyce calls “eldorado or ultimate thole” (Ultima Thule) (FW 134.01-02). Moreover we should understand that this “fall” is not “the ‘fall’ from an originary, purer, more elevated state” (the decline of Erinnerung, for example). Rather it marks “a certain [...] internal difference of the so called ultimate event,”43 whereby the memory of/at the origin is already contaminated by the divisibility of the trace.

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ALETHEOMETRY The re-inscription of indexical value within the space of the technologico-viral matrix (A.L.P. and H.C.E.), nevertheless supposes what Weber, in his 1990 essay on Heidegger entitled ‘The Vaulted Eye,’ calls “a place of reckoning: a place from which to take stock and take a stand.”44 That is, against the ambivalent or unsecured being placed by which we might say that Joyce’s hypertextual poiēsis “belongs” to technics. By posing emplacement against a place of reckoning, this aporia of genealogy threatens to reestablish precisely the oppositional foundation of inside/outside, physis/technē and so on, which viral propagation will have supposedly deconstructed. As Heidegger points out: What looks like disunity and an unsure, “haphazard” [Zufall] way of “trying things out,” is really an elemental restlessness, the goal of which is to understand “life” philosophically and to secure for this understanding a hermeneutical foundation.45

The paradigmatic treatment of the Wake’s “genetic” strands, A.L.P. and H.C.E., may itself be viewed as symptomatic of such an “elemental restlessness” and the desire to situate the text in regards to first principles (as the decipherable code of a hermeneutic reduction). In this sense, the Zufall organisation of the Wake’s typogenetic codes would be posed as a form of discursus, a universalised theorein of speculative knowledge, whose procedures are probabilistic, in terms of a ratio of assumed outcomes (concealment/revelation). In other words, the hermeneutic reductionism which this Zufall movement conceals, is directed by a desire for signifying “equation,” or adæquatio—a movement of revealing which, in the goal of securing a hermeneutic ground, establishes a self-contradiction: For a surview over all the factionables see Iris in the Evenine’s World. Binomeans to be comprehendered. In excessible as thy by god ways. The aximones. And their prostalutes. For his neuralgiabrown. Equal to=aosch. P.t.l.o.a.t.o. HEPTAGRAMMATON. So, bagdad, after those initials falls and HYPOTHESES that primary taincture, as I know and you OF COMMONEST know yourself EXPERIENCES BEFORE APOTHEOSIS OF THE LUSTRAL [FW 285.26-286.06] PRINCIPIUM.

For Joyce, what is “by no means to be comprehended” is not only inaccessible, but in excess of the system of postulates and axioms which would seek to establish knowledge (or self-knowledge) by means of reduction or adæquatio. Whilst the right-hand marginalia points towards the apotheosis or “theosis” of the lustral principle as a function of grammatology, the term “HEPTAGRAMMATON” simultaneously points to the words “equal to” and the letters “P.t.l.o.a.t.o.” in the central column of text. While 125


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the seven letters “P.t.l.o.a.t.o.” suggest a coding of “equal to,” they also suggests another sense of equation (or inequation) in the relation of the words “equal to” and the meaning of the equals sign (=). As a type of rebus, the = siglum invites a particular deciphering of the double sense of the words “equals to” and the letters “P.t.l.o.a.t.o.” by way of “aosch” (or “chaos”), as a transitional “hypothesis” of a binomial textual derivation of what is “in exessible.” Approached otherwise, the letters “P.t.l.o.a.t.o.” can also be read as suggestive of an acronym, whose capitalised first term also invites identification with a proper noun. Among various other possibilities is the name “Plato” (“after those initials falls”), whose Socratic dialogues likewise mark out a path of derivation through a dialectics of knowledge and self-knowledge. Earlier in the same chapter, Plato’s name is similarly involved in an anagrammatical entanglement with the letters H C E A L and P in the line: “Easy, calm your haste! Approach to lead our passage!” (FW 262.01-2). Here, too, a hermeneutic movement is suggested under the guise of an elemental restlessness (“Easy, calm you haste!”), in the invocation of A.L.P. to “Approach to lead our passage!” The “defilement” of the proper name Plato, and its anagrammatical entanglement with A.L.P., belies the thematics of hermeneutic reduction and of the proper itself (as purely “nominal”), in a way that re-introduces to the signifying equation a fundamental element of “chaos” (its “in excessible” meaning). Further allusions to Plato and Platonism appear throughout ‘Nightlessons,’ and the Wake as a whole. One reference to A.L.P. as “eternal geomater” (FW 296.31-297.01), provides a possible link in Joyce’s text between geometry (as the classical science of pure forms) and Platonic alētheia (as the presencing of logos) in the word “Aletheometry” (FW 370.13), which elsewhere is linked signifiers of originary dissimulation, as “lethemuse” (FW 272.F3).46 At the same time, A.L.P. is related to the mythical underworld figure Persephone (perce oreille), just as the name Plato is related to that of Pluto (“plutonically pursuant” [FW 267.09-10]). As the signifier of a maternal origin of geometry and of Platonic logos (“eternal geomater”), A.L.P. can be seen as describing what amounts to a “contamination” of the “essence of truth” from within, echoing the internal defilement of Plato by Pluto (in which the relation of Acheron to the ‘Analogy of the Cave’ in Plato’s Republic suggests an occultation of alētheia as a “bringing to the light”). According to Heidegger, the Greek word alētheia (truth, unconcealment, adæquatio) can also be read as a-lētheia—so that the privative alpha is taken to indicate that concealment (lēthē) always accompanies unconcealment.47 In Heidegger’s interpretation, “self-concealing, concealment,” belongs to a-lētheia, not just as an addition, not as “the shadow of light,” but rather as the heart of a(lēthe)ia.48 Hence Platonic alētheia, as a type of Erinnerung (or “riverrun”: “lethemuse”), is shown to belong to that which persists within it, as lēthē, and which gives rise to it through a movement of selfnegation—a movement which nevertheless both preserves and affirms the word’s “originary” sense of concealing-forgetfulness. In an important corollary, Heidegger links this two-fold movement of concealing forgetfulness with technology, which likewise suggests a further sense of “emplacement” and adæquatio in terms of typogenetic defilement. For Heidegger: 126


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Technology comes to presence in the realm where revealing and unconcealment take place, where alētheia, truth, happens.49

This technology of alētheia, as a mnemotechnic, resides in the topical reversion of memory as “writing.” In this sense it is the graphic placement of the term lēthē within alētheia which allows it to be read as a-lētheia, just as the typogenetics of the Wake allows for the reading of the proper name Plato and the figure of A.L.P. as congruent in the line “Approach to lead our passage!” While possible reference to Greek mythology link the analogy of Plato’s cave to the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as a “passage” of alētheia, it also points to a counter movement of cyclical recursion in the figures of both Eurydice and Persephone, in which alētheia is “negated” in the reversioning of the name Plato as Pluto. The typographical “marrying” of Plato and A.L.P. similarly suggests the seasonal re-marrying of Pluto and Persephone, as the parallel reversion of lēthē in alētheia, and the Virgilian epigraph: “Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.” Joyce’s allusion to the river Lethe, in the word “lethemuse,” likewise places a question-mark over received notions of both mimēsis and mnēmosynē, or creative memory (the source of language, according to Hegel). As with the figure of Mnemosyne in Keats’s Hyperion fragment, which is inextricably linked to a notion of “fall” and topical reversion (Apollo-Hyperion), the mnemotechnic of a-lētheia marks a certain defilement of Erinnerung (as “riverrun” ) in a way that would characterise memory as the recurrent affirmation of concealing-forgetfulness,50 but also as a kind of recursive apparatus—what Heidegger terms Ge-stell, or enframing, as a technological form of disclosure or “revealing.”51 What lēthē gives of its effacement in a-lētheia is the possibility of a being-placed, by which a-lētheia re-marks itself in the affirmation of its own interminable passage toward the aporia of self-presence. We could say, then, that a-lētheia always takes the form of a detour and a repetition (the emplacements of lēthē in alētheia describing a passage twice through Lethe in the forgetting of its origin in forgetfulness), suggesting another way in which the riverrun of Finnegans Wake might enact a retroversion of Platonic logos to what Joyce calls the “babbling pumpt of platinism” (FW 164.11). This aporia of reduction likewise describes what Derrida calls the “differentiation within language,” between reproducing and supplanting.52 For Derrida, this takes the form of something like a viral, typogenetic emplacement, by which logos (as emplaced techno-logy) is effectively spirited away from itself (“lethelulled” [FW 78.04]): it is this life of the memory that the pharmakon of writing would come to hypnotise: fascinating it, taking it out of itself by putting it to sleep in a monument. Confident of the permanence and independence of its types (tupoi), memory will fall asleep, will not keep itself up, will no longer keep to keeping itself alert, present, as close as possible to the truth of what is [...] it will sink down into lēthē, overcome by non-knowledge and forgetfulness.53

And yet: Memory and truth cannot be separated. The movement of alētheia is a deployment of mnēmē through and through. [...] The power of lēthē simultaneously increases

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the domains of death, of nontruth, of nonknowledge. This is why writing, at least insofar as it sows “forgetfulness in the soul,” turns us towards the inanimate and towards nonknowledge. But it cannot be said that its essence simply and presently confounds it with death or nontruth. For writing has no essence or value of its own, whether positive or negative. It plays within the simulacrum. It is in its type the mime of memory, of knowledge, of truth, etc.54

What emerges from this play between lēthē and a-lētheia, then, is a particular notion of “originary difference” or différance which marks an aporia of hermeneutic reduction at the same time as it signals its on-going “solicitation.” As the “mime” of memory, writing or the written trait affects a typogenetics of counter-reductive “reversion” (lēthēmnēmē as aporia of origins), in which the babelisation of language (“lethurgies” [FW 334.01]) no longer describes a form of concealment of meaning, but rather the “essence” of unconcealment as technē.

ARCHITECTONICS While we might say that Wakean “typogenetics” frustrates the desire to secure a place or stable field wherein Finnegans Wake could be defined in regard to a structural epistēmē, it is not then a matter of privileging this geno-technics in place, for example, of logocentric discourse. As Weber suggests: “Technics [...] even and especially as emplacement, remains a movement of unsecuring.”55 It is in this sense that we can regard the “genetics” of the Wake as motivating a “paradox lust” between technē on the one hand and logos on the other (even as these two terms come to imply one another under the tenor and concept of technology).56 And inasmuch as we might call certain typographical effects, such as H.C.E. and A.L.P., resemblant of a genetic infrastructure, this would have more to do with the concept of a retro-virus (and with the way viral emplacement programs the fundamental logic of genetic structure), than with anything that might simulate genetics. It is precisely because of this engagement with genetic, or geno-technic emplacement that we need to take into account the various influences affected by this word’s etymology within the field of received philosophical concepts. The geno-technics of the retrovirus can be thought of as infecting from within, and through a type of perverse etymological filiation, the entire discursive field of genealogy, genre, gender, genus and genesis. Extending, through the function of the genitive, to all of our concepts of belonging, ownership, capital, identity and of the proper name. And subsequently, via the Greek geno- and the Latin gens and discursus, to the entire history of Western metaphysical notions of conception, understanding and knowledge. The “genetics” of the Wakean triads H.C.E. and A.L.P. would thus entail what Deleuze and Guattari have described as “propagation by epidemic, by contagion” which no longer “has anything to do with filiation by heredity [...] even if the two themes intermingle and require each other.”57 As conceived by Deleuze and Guattari, this movement of unsecuring of/at the origin informs a structural decentring which operates the metaphor of “desiring machines.” The desiring machine, counter to any system of closure or simulated organic unity, 128


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functions by means of a process of “flows and interruptions” or “breakthroughs and breakdowns.” For Deleuze and Guattari, the desiring-production of desiring machines takes the form of a type of hypertextuality, which, like the “riverrun” of Finnegans Wake “turns back upon” itself in a way that brings about: transverse communications, transfinite inscriptions, polyvocal and transcursive inscriptions on its own surface, in which [...] functional breaks and flows [...] are continually intersected by breaks in the signifying chains, and by breaks effected by a subject that uses them in order to locate itself.58

This movement of “transverse communications” also recalls Jean-Michel Rabaté’s suggestion that we read Finnegans Wake as a type of “word machine, or a complex machination of meanings,” a “perverse semic machine” which “has the ability to distort the classical semiological relation between ‘production’ and ‘information’ by disarticulating the sequence of encoding and decoding.”59 Among other things, this disarticulation serves to affirm the Saussurean view that what remains necessary for “meaning” to arise is not a predetermined system of codes, but rather a network of internal textual difference. Similarly, in the case of the Wakean figures, H.C.E. and A.L.P., it is not the logic of genetic filiation that gives rise to something resembling identity (even virtual identity), but rather the particular differential functions that each of these figures describes, as a kind of matrix or difference engine— a “polyhedron of all scripture” or “proteiform graph” (FW 107.08) motivated by recurrences in the alignment and re-alignment of sublexical graphic and phonic units— what Tofts has described as a technological event which “produces, potentially, infinite networks of meanings.”60 The letters H C E A L and P—far from indicating a kind of indexical code that would affirm, at another level, an architectonics of Finnegans Wake—indicate instead the various shifting co-ordinates, or lattice points, of a traversal across the entire discursive field of linguistic substitutability, whose outer limits necessarily exceed the structure of the book itself and not simply the formal structures allegedly contained by it. What it is that motivates this “hypertextual” apparatus might then be simply expressed as a statement defining a communication between the assumptions of genetics and genetic structure, on the one hand, and a general movement of viral emplacement, on the other. The space of this communication would be said to arise in an “originary” fashion—that is, as a movement of unsecuring of/at the origin. In this way what we would call genetic memory, or Erinnerung, will always already have been divided from itself, mediated from within by this space of différance, and paradoxically affirmed in a retrogressive tendency to repetition and self-dissemination. At the beginning of Finnegans Wake the play between the Hegelian term Erinnerung (remembrance or memory as interiorisation) and the Joycean term “riverrun” (as indicative of a recursive babelisation of language) opens what we might call a space of hetero-genetic memory: the ghost of Erinnerung contained in “riverrun,” whose sense, we might say, henceforth derives from this interior communication. In the larger context of the question concerning “memory” and “writing” in Joyce’s text, this babelisation, mediated by the Wake’s various lexical and mythical designs, describes 129


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one way in which Erinnerung is substituted by Gedächtnis, which would also suggest a type of mechanical or technical hypermnēsis.61 Being hetero-genetic, this “hypermnesiac machine” would thus situate writing as the form and horizon of a projective re-memoration, marking the substitution of trace, or what Derrida calls archē-trace, for the concept of a mnemotechnics arises from a direct re-experiencing of a past (presence) that returns (in the present). In this way “writing” would also come to define what is understood by “thought.” Paul de Man suggests that this movement of substitution is already present in Hegel, as a type of deconstructive imminence (viral emplacement) within dialectics: Hegel [...] in a crucial passage from the Encyclopaedia [...] defines thought (Denken) as the substitution of Gedächtnis [...] for Erinnerung.62

Similarly Derrida, in ‘Ousia and Grammē,’ points out that: In a transitional remark between the chapter devoted to memory and the chapter devoted to thought, Hegel recalls that “German language has etymologically assigned memory (Gedächtnis), of which it becomes a foregone conclusion to speak contemptuously, the high position of direct kindred with thought (Gedanke)” (Encyclopaedia, §464, 223).63

Likewise in Being and Time, Heidegger approaches Erinnerung as a form of “commemorative” thinking (andenkendes Denken). For Heidegger, however, the substitution of “commemoration” for “manipulative” thinking, is not a determination of thought itself. The change from formative or “manipulative” thinking cannot itself be manipulated—it is a change subject to no “instrumentality,” but to a certain discursus which must be endured: It takes place as the entry into the word’s own rule, which means making the passage from the concept-formation, over something which we imagine we have control, into placing ourselves within the grant of language.64

This endurance of the word becomes for Heidegger the remembrance of “words for Being.” These words are heard at the end of philosophy, since it as the end of philosophy which allows us to hear “anew” (FW 594.15) through a constant dialogue with the thinking that precedes it. In Book IV of Finnegans Wake, this “anew” is the dawn, the Viconian ricorso, the age of anarchia, of technology as the proliferation of signifiers. That is, in this “anew” the word’s own rule is realised as a form of both discursive emplacement and cyclical “annulus.” It is in this sense that the Wake might be said to articulate an end of philosophy—what is fundamental to the end of philosophy, not as a place of reckoning, but of what Heidegger describes in Was Heißt Denken as the possibility of thought.65 It is this strange “commemoration” at the end of history in which the word comes into its own—the “its own” of Joyce’s “word, letter, paperspace” as a “perfect signature” (FW 115.06-08). But despite this imposition of the genitive, there remains no privileged standpoint at the “end of philosophy,” and while Heidegger considers there to be a “unity” to metaphysics at the end, this unity shows itself as 130


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a series of different signatures for Being, arising from the persistence of the “beginning” in Erinnerung (“riverrun”) and unrecognised as such until the “end.” Heidegger considers this series to be free, as taking place as a recursive series of lapsus, inaugurated by what Derrida characterises as: the moment when language invaded the universal problematic, the moment when, in the absence of a centre or origin, everything became discourse [...] a system in which the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of difference. The absence of the transcendental signified extends the domain of the play of signification infinitely.66

Similarly, the recursive mechanism which gives rise to concepts of identity in Finnegans Wake is not the proximity of its signifiers to some prior code, but rather a technics of signifying memory, a hetero-genetic memory that would remain unfixed and whose apparent limits would describe “aberrant paths of communication between noncommunicating vessels” and “transverse unities between elements within their own particular boundaries.”67 And if these triads appear at first to function together as a “genetic key” that might unlock the Wake’s hypertextual labyrinth, it would only be in the sense that they assume the coherence of a structure which, as Derrida says, they nevertheless “in advance, deconstruct from within.”68

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7. LAPSUS Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence as it is, without meaning or aim, yet recurring inevitably without any finale of nothingness: “the eternal recurrence.”1

ANNULUS

T

he zero, the annulus, the circle, the cycle, the spiral and the ring, are all borne together in the double-economy of cyclical recurrence in the Wake’s epical, and epochal structures. But while critics have tended to focus upon Vico’s historical corsi and recorsi as the model for Joyce’s structural schematics (“The seim anew. Ordovico or viricordo” [FW 215.23]), much less attention has been given to the various formulations of Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence or “sinistrogyric return” (FW 120.27), that “most extreme form of nihilism, the nothingness (the ‘meaningless’), eternally!”2 In a passage omitted from The Antichrist by the original editor, Nietzsche describes this recurrence in terms of falling: Plunging down—negating life—that, too, was supposed to be experienced as a kind of sunrise transfiguration, deification.3

This fall-resurrection defines a pattern of recursion which Georges Bataille links to the image of the christianised solar deity, in which the sense of “annulus” is seen to combine in the Latin homonyms annularis (ring) and annullare (to annul) as a verbal metaphor for the “nihilism” of Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence.4 Joyce, too, suggests a comedic deification of a figure of annulment in Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra, recycled as: “Also Spuke / Zerothruster” (FW 281.L3).5 In his book-length study on Nietzsche, Nietzsche and Philosophy, Gilles Deleuze suggests that eternal recurrence describes what, as a type of destining, avows chance: it is the recurrence of the fortuitous event as affirmation under the names of “becoming, multiplicity and chance.”6 For Nietzsche, this affirmation is also a sacrifice, a fall which is simultaneously a raising up, or anima.7 Chance is thus conceived as the expression of a sacrifice, in the form of a recurrence or affirmation which is neither totalising nor final, and may thus be thought of as being structured like a language or as the possibility of language. Nietzsche elsewhere adopts a “cybernetic” metaphor to describe eternal recurrence in terms of the technics of the Dedalian labyrinth and of Ariadne’s thread.8 In this way Nietzsche provides another means of approaching the technics of sacrifice as a movement of recursion or transversality, following from Ovid’s allegorical treatment of technics as a series of metamorphic apparatus.9 Joyce, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, quotes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses 133


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for the book’s epigraph: “Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes,”10 and assumes the name of Ovid’s artificer for the book’s central figure, Stephen Dedalus. The imputation of anima in artes recalls the techno-poiēsis of Nietzsche’s cybernetic metaphor and links, once again, the concept of the fall to one of recurrence (Icarus, Dedalus). In Finnegans Wake, Joyce combines these various notions of topical and tropic recursion in the figure of the mythical Phoenix, whose cyclical progress of fall and self-engendered resurrection takes on epical proportions and is ultimately linked to a mode of “secularity” : Phall if you but will, rise you must: and none so soon either shall the pharse for the nunce come to a setdown secular phoenish. [FW 4.15-17]

The sense of a secular (“circular”) phoenish (“finish,” “Phoenix”), suggests one way in which the eternal return does not come to rest upon an historical terminus or eschaton, but rather arises perpetually out of its finitude like the Phoenix rising from its ashes, while providing a possible allusion to Milton’s “secular bird” in Samson Agonistes. In Glas (1984) Derrida similarly draws out the implicit connection between the metaphor of fire, anima or spiritus, and the sacrificial nature of the annulus: This has the signification of a sacrifice, of an offer by which the all-burning annuls itself, opens the annulus, contracts the annulus into the anniversary of the solar revolution in sacrificing itself as the all-burning, therefore in guarding itself. The sacrifice, the offer, or the gift do not destroy the all-burning that destroys itself in them; they make it reach the for-(it)self, they monumentalise it.11

For the Phoenix to be what it is it must cease to be what it is, it must efface itself, consume itself in its flames, while guarding itself against a “past” that might be anything but the perpetual affirmation of its own becoming: The phoenix, his pyre is still flaming away with truprattight spirit. [FW 265.08-10]

For Bataille, such an affirmation-as-self-consumption takes the form of an “expenditure without reserve,” what, in Glas and Feu la cendre, Derrida relates to the literal meaning of the word “holocaust” (holos-kaustos, all-burning), and which Apollinaire describes as: “The Phoenix flame-devoured flame-revived.”12 And insofar as it describes a structure of hypertextual transversality, the Phoenix also symbolises a labyrinthine monumentality of falling which is also a type of monstrosity, analogous to Michaux’s schizophrenic apparatus. This Phoenix would also describe one way in which a transverse arises from what Rabaté calls a series of lapsus, or what Bataille relates to the labyrinthine reversions of the annulus and Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence. While for Heidegger, this Nietzschean affirmation of falling is expressed in the concept of Verfallen as the “fall” of spirit (Geist). In Being and Time Heidegger argues that the sense of Verfallen which belongs to Dasein is that of spirit as temporalisation, since Dasein is said to be “spiritual” (geistig). In contrast, Hegel considered the individual (Dasein) to be the result of spirit, as 134


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inheriting a past which is not external to him. It is in this context that Er-Innerung is seen not as a making inward or a taking possession of, but as marking a realisation of what in fact already belongs to us.13 For Hegel, this occurs through a process of actualisation of Bildung (what takes place in Bildung and at the same lies beyond the understanding of Bildung) and so provides the basis for an understanding of “Being” as something implicitly comprehended or pre-comprehended. Whereas for Heidegger such “pre-comprehension” is rendered in terms of a-lētheia, where what is “comprehended” is not what “already belongs to us,” but is rather the concealed, concealing nature of Being’s disclosedness in Dasein. According to Heidegger this disclosedness is part of the temporal dimension of Being. Spirit does not fall into time but exists as originary temporalisation of temporality.14 In other words, Verfallen is not from spirit into time, but from time into time (“time one livid final flame” [U 24]), a sense of recurrence and deferral of the same that recalls Derrida’s notion of différance and describes what we might think of as a technological gesture.15 For Heidegger, this marks an “originary falling” which is not from spirit or the spiritual, but which belongs to spirit (in a similar way as we might consider technē as belonging to poiēsis, as self-generative repetition of/at the origin). As Joyce writes: “In the beginning was the gest” (FW 468.05), suggesting a form of “gesture” as articulation before the logos, but also “jest” or “geste.”16 Elsewhere Joyce calls our attention to an aspect of this “gest” which might be described by “emplacement,” or gestellen, signalled by the preposition “in” in the phrase: “As they warred in their big innings” (FW 271.22-26). We can see how spirit (Geist), as one possible reading of “gest,” draws the signification of “split” closer to that of “big innings” : the mark of an “originary différance” that would also characterise Geist as the haunting of language by a certain technology—the iterability of trace or non-verbal gesture as what continuously “falls” to language, articulating logos as the allegory or geste of this “falling.” The question here, too, is one of presence, of the so-called presencing of logos, and its “division” through the spectrality of Geist as a signifier of an originary fall. This fall of Heideggerean spirit is thus characterised as a fall from time into time: “from to have to have been to will be.” The substitution of “to have” for “to be” suggests here another way in which we might think this “gest” as what “belongs to Being,” and yet which simultaneously describes “a split in their infinitive” (to have, to be), gathering around the event of its “fall” what “we never shall know,” signalled elsewhere in the Wake as “the geist that stays forenenst” (FW 299.14-15). This pluralised rending of the possible sense of “beginnings” suggests one of the means by which, as Derrida has remarked: “Spirit seems to designate, beyond a (Destruktion), the very source for any (Destruktion).”17 Moreover, the passage cited above suggests how “the fall,” allegorised in the book of Genesis as the fall of Eve (“Heva”) and Adam (“der Fall Adam’s” [FW 70.5])18 and the destruction of the “turrace of Babbel” (FW 199.31), is something “within” or “belonging” to logos, as the mark of an originary technē. This investment of logos by technē also suggests a way in which we might distinguish between a dialectical fall (affirming logos through its resurrection of a signified idea, describing a model of language as mimetic re-presentation), and 135


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the notion of falling that arises out of originary différance (inscribing this dialectic as an aporia whose structure always takes on the form of a mechanical deferral of meaning, whereby logos is never more than the ghost of an idea which is already its own projection or fore-throw). In this way we might understand the Heideggerean fall of spirit as designating a certain sense of emplacement which would situate the “external limit” of a falling-from or falling-to as an aporia whose structure is rhetorical. Further, by comprehending spirit in relation to technē, we may frame the notion of falling in terms of an originary and generative lapsus which is also the mark of technology. To a certain degree, this recalls the Lacanian formulation of the “rule of the signifier,” which suggests that language is characterised by a constant need to supply a lack (in the signifying relation to a signified). This compulsion to supply a lack imposes itself also in the figure of the subject, as subjection to the rule of the signifier. What is important here is the implication of a genealogy of signification extending back towards the place of the signified, the horizon of the subject, whose aporetic function structures the entire hermeneutics of this system. The reconstitution of subjective genealogy in the absence of a determinate signified echoes Heidegger’s statements regarding “authenticity” and his use of metaphors such as the fall and falling to account for the Being-in-the-world of Dasein and the relation of this Being to idle-talk. It is possible to view Heidegger’s metaphorics as describing an implicit critique of the conservative mimeticism of Plato and the doctrinal view of the world as a fall from pure idea (or spirit) into matter, and of all subsequent “falls” that are described in terms of such dualisms as eidos/logos, or physis/technē, and whose native tendency to resolution always takes the form of an Aufhebung or negative synthesis. In Finnegans Wake, the various concepts of the fall are not posed in a dialectical relation to transcendence, but as what inscribes transcendence as its own specular limit. As a “condition” of language, falling would also describe the way in which this speculative limit “becomes” what always already belongs to language. For instance, to speculate on whatever stands outside or beyond language is to frame the notion of “beyond” or “outside” already within the limits of language itself. This would not, however, reduce language to a kind of absolute subjectivity. Nor does it deny the function of referentiality. Rather it is a matter of tempering our notions of subject and referent with an understanding that the way in which the logic of transcendence links them to one another is itself aporetic.19

BABELISATION In ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ Derrida traces various thematic interconnections of the fall of the Tower of Babel (“ruin of space, shattered glass and toppling masonry” [U 583:0405]) with the apparent confusion of language in the Wake. Focusing upon key passages in the text of Genesis 11:1-9, Derrida draws attention to the way in which the fall of Babel and the confusion of tongues is the consequence of a certain speech act, wherein the Hebrew god YAHWE or YHWH enunciates one of his hitherto concealed names, 136


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“babel or Bavel,” each a confused signifier of “confusion.”20 Derrida elsewhere refers to this as “the double bind of YHWH when, with the name of his choice, with his name one could say, Babel, he gives to translate and not to translate.”21 For Derrida, this double bind ties the “babelisation of language” to a certain scheme of destination in Heidegger’s concept of Verfallen as an experience of “idle talk” (Gerede). Referring this concept to the question of critical or analytic discourse, Derrida argues in his 1985 essay ‘Des Tours de Babel’ that “one should never pass over in silence the question of the tongue in which the question of the tongue is raised and into which a discourse on translation is translated.”22 This question of a discourse on language is posed more explicitly in what follows: in what tongue was the tower of Babel constructed and deconstructed? In a tongue within which the proper name of Babel could also, by confusion, be translated by “confusion.” The proper name Babel, as a proper name, should remain untranslatable, but, by a kind of associative confusion that a unique tongue rendered possible, one could think to translate in that very tongue, by a common noun signifying what we translate as confusion.23

With a certain amount of irony Derrida relates the aspirations of the Shem in constructing the tower of Babel to a desire “to make a name for themselves” : to give themselves a name (“that we not be scattered”), as in the unity of place which is at once a tongue and a tower, the one as well as the other, the one as the other.24

For Derrida, it is the assuming of the name, the self-giving of the name of the name (“Shem”), for which the Shem suffer, precisely, their being scattered or disseminated. YHWH “punishes them for having thus wanting to assure themselves, by themselves, a unique and universal genealogy,” and in doing so “scatters the genealogical filiation. He breaks the lineage. He at the same time imposes and forbids translation.”25 Translation thus describes a condition which is at once necessary and impossible, “like the effect of a struggle for the appropriation of the name, necessary and forbidden in the interval between two proper names.”26 The “border of translation,” as Derrida suggests, “separates translation from itself, it separates translatability within one and the same language” and not simply across languages: Babelisation does not therefore wait for the multiplicity of languages. The identity of a language can only affirm itself as identity to itself by opening itself to [...] a difference from itself or a difference with itself.27

Between the simultaneous requirement and impossibility of translation, this différance inaugurates a “place” of transverse communications: an originary place of alterior discourse within language and languages which is also a non-place, an aporia which is “programmed,” to an infinite level of chance, to “comprehend” everything. Derrida further relates this alterior discourse to “the multiplication of languages and codes that, while they are engaged in intense translational activity, overlap at every instant.”28 In 137


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this sense Babel itself is emblematic of a necessary condition of language: “it exhibits an incompletion, the impossibility of finishing, of totalising.”29 This also provides the basis of Derrida’s reading of the words “he war” in Finnegans Wake, through which an implied genealogy evolves, tracing a path through: “this whole story from the side of Shem and Shaun” to the quest(ion) of identity in the “proper name” of the god-father H.C.E. (“Nemo in Patria” [FW 229.13]). According to Derrida the tertragrammaton, YHWH, can thus be read as an encrypted message in the letters HE WAR. For Derrida, the textual instance of “he war,” “does not only [...] tie together an incalculable number of phonic and semantic threads, in the immediate context and throughout this Babelian book,” it also “renders itself untranslatable in its very performance, at least in that fact that it is enunciated in more than one language at a time.”30 In the ‘Inquisition of Yawn’ (YHWH?), the attempt to reconstruct events as a demonstrative “enunciation” of the thing in question, turns upon the necessity and impossibility of translation or “correspondence,” as the structural axes of compulsive repetition. The fall of H.C.E. is tied to all other falls (of man, of Babel), and to the fall of language itself: The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrova rrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) [FW 3.15-17] who caused the scaffolding to be removed you gave the orders, babeling, were their reidy meade answer when on the cutey (the correspondent) in conflict of evidence drew a kick at witness but (missed) and for whom in the dyffun’s kiddy remove the planks they were wanted, boob. Bump! Bothallchoracterschumminaroundgansumuminarumdrumstrumtruminahumpt adumpwaultopoofoolooderamaunsturnup! [FW 314.01-09]

The reference to the nursery rhyme figure Humpty Dumpty (echoed throughout the Wake) in this hundred letter word for the fall, suggests also the nursery rhyme’s own implicit reference to the impossibility of a restorative textual genetics (“All the King’s horses and all the King’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”). The fall of language is not a fall into languages from which the singularity of a meaning can be extracted. Humpty remains a fragment or a figment, erected and broken into pieces during countless retellings of a child’s rhyme. Elsewhere the figure of Humpty is substituted by the image of the wall itself, in a re-versioning of ‘Rockaby Baby’ which becomes: “Rockaby, babel, / flatten a wall” (FW 278.L4). Humpty also suggests one of the names of the publican Humphrey Chimpdon Earwicker (H.C.E.), “the humphriad of that fall and rise” (FW 53.09), who becomes, in “The Ballad of Persse O’Reilly” (perce-oreille, earwig): “He’ll Cheat E’erawan,” “our heavyweight heathen Humpharey” (46.01; 46.36): Have you heard of one Humpty Dumpty How he fell with a roll and a rumble And curled up like Lord Olofa Crumple

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By the butt of the Magazine Wall, (Chorus) Of the Magazine Wall, Hump, helmet and all? [FW 45.01-06]

Following the paronomastic transference of identities, from Earwicker, to earwig, to E’erwan or Erin, Errin, the fall of H.C.E. is also linked, through a further complex genealogy, to the very title of Joyce’s book. As “Howth Castle and Environs,” H.C.E. is related to the “pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that humptyhillhead of humself” [FW 3.19-20], “man of hod, cement and edifices” (FW 4.26-27), “his roundhead staple of other days [...] in undress maisonry upstandid (joygrantit!), a waalworth of a skyerscrape of most eyeful hoyth entowerly” (FW 4.34-6). This literalising of Howth Head as the head of the fallen giant, Finnegan or Fionn MacCumhaill, and the horizontal body as a form of textual and architectural “sprawl,” links together the various aspects of H.C.E.’s fall as both metamorphic (the fall of language) and metonymic displacement (the fall of language). The fall of the textual figure and of the textual edifice combine in the cyclical reassembling of fragments through which the fall itself is given its form in the retelling of an untold event. Like the fort/da ritual of Freud’s grandson, this repetitive, serio-comic re-telling and popular balladising is also a discursive mechanism, an apparatus of myth, a “postchased” (FW 405.01) game of “gossiping and passing the word along.”31 The “publican” figure H.C. Earwicker, and the public possession of the (rumoured) story of his “fall,” serves also to conceal, in a sense, the private, “idiomatic” figure of the fall, which becomes a figure of fun: Hohoho, Mister Finn, you’re going to be Mister Finnagain! Comeday morm and, O, you’re vine! Sendday’s eve and, ah, you’re vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you’re going to be fined again! [FW 5.09-12]

This comedic reversion of wine to vinegar suggests other forms of allegorical recycling which combine a parodic and periodic sense of the fall as both communion and carnivalesque mockery. As a Barabbas figure, Finnegan is also a “Festy King” (FW 85.23),32 presiding over a feast of misrule which is also a wake, and the Wake, whose sense is thus a form of “travesty” : As hollyday in his house so was he priest and king to that: ulvy came, envy saw, ivy conquered. Lou! Lou! They have waved his green boughs o’er him as they have torn him limb from lamb. For his muertifications and uxpirations and dumnation and annuhulation. [FW 58.05-9]

In this way the confusion of Babel can be seen as a type of “gossipaceous” subversion and inversion of the rule of divine logos. It marks the annulment of the proper which, in the assertion of its rule, enunciates its own fall and forethrow into babelisation. We might say the allegory of the tower of Babel stands for an instance of heliocentric desire while symbolising the permanent elision of that desire. Paradoxically, this elision, and its accompanying “dishemination” through language, is precisely what sustains the original desire of the Shem, by translating the desire for linguistic uniformity into 139


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a desire, precisely, for translation and hence for the normalisation of meaning across linguistic boundaries: The dispersion of the tribes and languages on earth will condemn them to confusion, and therefore to the need to translate each other without ever managing to achieve the perfect translations, which would come back down to the imposition of a single language. In this milieu of relative confusion, the result of a confused translation of the name of God, we are condemned not to total incomprehension, but to a work of translation which will never be accomplished. An absolute confusion is unthinkable, just as is absolute understanding, the text is by definition “situated” in this milieu, and this very text calls for a translation which will never be finished.33

As with the Phoenix Park incident and the monumentality of the Wake’s “gossipaceous” language, the “turrace of Babbel” (FW 199.31) exemplifies—through an appropriate simulacrum etymology and simulacrum etymon—a type of monstrous architecture which is also archē-textual. The idea of a dissimulative “archetypt” (FW 263.30) of universal textual production, however, is especially evident in Heidegger’s conception of “hearsay,” which is implicitly linked to a “technology” of disclosure. For Heidegger, the phenomena of hearsay, curiosity and ambiguity which underlies the dissimulative rule of logos, brings into view a particular movement in the Verfallen of Dasein. Verfallen can be regarded as a way in which Dasein is able to be-in-theworld by “disowning” itself, and by its own fore-throw of possibilities, understanding or reason, constantly daring itself to stray until if finally becomes estranged from itself:34 Dasein plunges out of itself into itself, into the groundless nullity of inauthentic everydayness. But this plunge remains hidden from Dasein by the way in which things have been publicly interpreted, so much so, indeed, that it gets interpreted as a way of “ascending” and “living concretely.”35

The disclosure of Dasein’s Being-in-the-world through idle talk (Gerede) is consequently marked by a “tranquillising” and “groundless floating,”36 a type of slumber or dream state recalling the fallen, drunk, sleeping or dead figure of the eponymous Finnegan, who is also a figure of “gossipaceous” speculation. For Heidegger, public language similarly becomes a slumber in the guise of “living concretely,” or rather Dasein misrecognises in language proof of its own concretion (as a dis-owning of the proper name, as property). The fallen Dasein is thus situated as “everywhere and nowhere”37 in a kind of “Memoland” (FW 318.33) which is also a Nemo-land. Heidegger writes: if Dasein, in idle talk and in the way things have been publicly interpreted, presents to itself the possibility of losing itself [...] and falling into groundlessness, this tells us that Dasein prepares for itself a constant temptation towards falling.38

Moreover, “the alienation of falling—at once tempting and tranquillising—leads by its own movement to Dasein’s getting entangled with itself.”39 This sense of entanglement, 140


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of discursive emplacement, finds an interesting analogy in a short marginal note from the ‘Nightlessons’episode of Finnegans Wake: “Hearasay in / paradox lust” (FW 263.L4). Hinged upon the prepositional term “in,” this note combines possible significations of “hearsay” and “heresy,” which in turn suggest, among other things, the theme of “heresy” and Arianism as it pertains to the consubstantial nature of the trinity; the “paradoxical” nature of H.C.E.’s, “fallenness” (as an affirmation of Being); “lust” or desire as the indeterminate force behind the disseminating movement of hearsay and idle talk (as the serpent’s seduction of Eve); the fall of “Eve and Adam’s” in Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost, as an allegorical rendering of the sublation of desire as “will to knowledge” (“Phall if you but will” [FW 4.15]), and as another textual site of mythification; and the elusive “Phoenix Park” incident. The genealogy of signifiers here—from hearsay and idle talk, to the Verfallen of Dasein and the fall of spirit (Geist, anima), to the concept of metempsychosis, to the fall and resurrection of the Phoenix as its own ghost, to the dissimulation of the Phoenix Park incident (“circumveiloped by obscuritads” [FW 244.15])—involves us in an intricate process whereby what Hegel wanted to regard as self-conscious spirit, coming to itself as absolute knowledge, is rendered rather in terms of sham knowledge and solipsistic duplicity: “Las Animas! [...] we’re umbras all” (FW 214.07-08). From its etymology, the Latin word umbra can signify “shadow,” “phantom,” “semblance,” “ghost” or “spirit,” thus locating the “essence” of the Phoenix, Dasein, and of (telepathic) communion and communication, within a framework—according to Platonism and the rule of logos—of falsehood, negativity, and inauthenticity: The logos of somewhome to that base anything, when most characteristically mantissa minus, comes to nullum in the endth. [FW 298.19-20]

However, what becomes evident in Finnegans Wake, as it does in Nietzsche’s concept of the eternal recurrence, is that this apparent “negativity” masks an “affirmation,” and that this affirmation comes “before” logos, inscribing it within, and according to, the limits of its own discourse, as a kind of “lexinction” (lexicon, extinction) of the word (FW 083.25). In Heidegger’s view, we “will never be able to decide what has been drawn from primordial sources with a struggle and how much is just gossip.”40 Similarly in Finnegans Wake, Biblical testimony no longer stands as proof of authenticity or originality of a genesis descended directly from the word of God. It is just as likely as not that Genesis is derived from the events in Phoenix Park. But the notion of derivation is precisely what it at stake. For Heidegger, idle talk guards itself against the possibility of the proper name gaining ascendancy or bringing it within a totalising system: Idle talk is something which anyone can rake up; it not only releases one from the task of genuinely understanding, but develops an undifferentiated kind of intelligibility, for which nothing is closed off any longer.41

As a necessary possibility of discourse, idle talk thus marks what is “prior” to any ground to which reason, or “genuine understanding,” could lay claim, either now or at any point in the future, reducing it to a type of epistemological entropy. 141


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ENTROPICS An adjunct to the second law of thermodynamics describes the tendency of energy in a closed system, including that of the universe itself, to become less available to do work with the passing of time. This tendency, defined in 1850 by the German physicist Rudolph Clausius as entropy, is also understood as the measure of the apparent randomness, disorder or chaos in a system. One paradox of this idea, however, is the way in which the “entropic spiral” or “spiration” (FW 157.29) can itself be seen as generative of other, “topologically perverse” patterns, recalling the Borromean knots of Lacan and the self-entangled spiral vortices of the Viconian view of historical corsi and recorsi (“vicous circles” [FW 134.16]) and the Wakean image of the Phoenix. In thermodynamics, entropy is the measure of turbulence in a system. Turbulence, like white noise, static, or interference patterns whose variability defies reduction, is characterised by infinite permutations of a small number of variables within a finite area, which are non-repeating (an extension of the implications of the Turing grid). As James Gleick, in his book Chaos, points out: “a well known characteristic of turbulence is that the whole broad spectrum of possible cycles is present at once.”42 Similarly, Stephen Heath, in his essay ‘Ambiviolences,’maps a shift in the cyclicality of Finnegans Wake from the circular to the spiral, a shift whose visual analogy could be seen in the Fraser Spiral as a kind of “topological wrapping” of a grid-like surface structure, suggesting also an analogous movement within the model of a hypertextual matrix, from acrostic grid, to acrostic spiral, and so on. For Heath, “the Joycean spiral” marks “a return across earlier writings [...] in order to open a distance, the circle not closing but disengaging a new activity of writing”: The spiral is then the realization of the urge to totality in Ulysses [...] its absolute is not, however, the theological stasis of a fixed Absolute but the absolute of possibilities, the incessant movement of forms, the spiral of returns and recommencements in which meaning is always “later.”43

In Finnegans Wake this cyclicality can be seen as consisting of sequences of schematic recurrence in which the complexity of the text is an outcome of what might be described as “positive feedback loops.” That is to say, the tendency to increase deviation from “stability” in a system, including linguistic and semantic systems. In a formal expression of the principles underlying Heath’s analysis of Ulysses, the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann defined complexity as the proportion of a system’s possible “complexions” (or microstates) correlated with each of its distinguishable macrostates. In this way Boltzmann also defines entropy as a measure of ambiguity in a system.44 David Ruelle, amongst other Chaos theorists, points to the way in which complex systems display “sensitive dependence upon initial conditions.”45 The topological effect is thus of a logarithmic compression across microlevels which, in analogous terms, would produce schematic amplifications on the macrolevel of the “text.” In mathematics this is referred to as a “hypersphere,” a schematisation of infinite dimensions which would also be one way in which we might formally express the structural relations of hypertext.46 “Another way would be in terms of what Chaos theorists refer to as “strange attractors.” 142


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In 1963 Edward Lorenz, working as a meteorologist, evolved a model for describing the various states of a system during the onset of turbulence. This “strange attractor” maps the dynamics of a system across a non-integer dimension plotted in twodimensional phase-space. The simplified pattern which defines the strange attractor has the appearance of an infinity symbol and suggests a cyclical oscillation about an axis of ambivalence. Like the topological dilemma of Borromean knots, however, the cyclical patterns described by the strange attractor do not intersect—their vectors are non-repeating.47 In Finnegans Wake we find analogous models of textual and spatio-temporal discontinuities or turbulence, recorded in the distribution of unassimilable elements across the entire field of textual signification—from the sublexical “perversions” of Joyce’s portmanteaux, to the cyclical turbulence of the Wake’s structural schemata (“circumcentric megacycles” [FW 310.07]). Similarly, the vectors or transversals determined by the relation across this signifying field by the movement of systemic instability are described by Heath as intertextual scansions. According to Heath: The history of Joyce’s writing is not that produced by a context but that grasped in its realisation of the intertext as scansion of fictions. It is in this sense that Joyce’s writing is an interrogation of “origins,” of the “reality” “before” history as the very possibility of its foundation, of, in fact, the “time” of language with which [...] history begins and which [...] is perpetually present in every act of language, the horizon of its intelligibility. The spiral of Joyce’s writing, finally, is the process of this interrogation.48

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In the graphic representation of this “strange attraction,” between a spiral movement of derivation and a cyclical metamorphosis, there emerges the recurring image of something like the mythological Phoenix, whose apparently infinite powers of regeneration are bounded by the finitude of its cyclical process, and of its genealogical discontinuities. In Finnegans Wake, the topological and tropological “figure” of the Phoenix (which is made to stand for an entire thematics of self-engenderment and autopoiesis) is also given a topographical formulation in the prominent Dublin landmark, Phoenix Park. References to this “locality” recur throughout Joyce’s text as the site of an elusive transgression (or “fall”), linked to the Wakean co-ordinates H.C.E., and about which the Wake is alternately an inquisition, a history, a legend, a fabrication, a testimony, and a malicious piece of gossip. In this way Finnegans Wake might itself be considered as being inscribed within a theoretical “Phoenix Park,” its textual fabric woven “from spark to phoenish” (FW 322.20) by the “onanymous letters” (FW 435.31) which circulate, Phoenix-like, around an indeterminate event, a fall, in a sense, situated in an-other “Phoenix Park,” whose limits are henceforth inflated to the nth degree through a libidinal economy of selfengendered dissemination. Phoenix Park, as the elusive site of an “originary” incest, structures the mise en abyme of Joyce’s text along a series of transversals which not only trace this process of self-engenderment, but participate in its economy. This inflationary movement describes the vector of a transversal whose infrastructural organisation describes a network of links between divergent events, myths, etymologies and so on. The transversal creates structural simulacra which are no less “real” than the events it brings into a “communicating” relation. Moreover, the “narrative thread” brought about by the transversal is such that it is no longer possible to isolate the initial conditions which “gave rise” to it: “Or whatever it was that they thread to make out he thried to two in the Fiendish park” (FW 196.09-11). It would not, in fact, be possible to speak of events preceding the transversal, since the experience of these events can in no way be closed off from the inventions of the transversal in the first place. Thus we can say that the transversal marks, in a sense, the contingent relatedness of structural events, keeping in mind that every “event” is already “its own” simulacrum. As Margot Norris has pointed out with regard to the Phoenix Park incident: At no point does the account of the Phoenix Park incident qualify as the real or factual event, the “true” account of what happened that day. Instead we merely receive different versions with unmistakable similarities [...]. The lack of an authentic source, of a “true” version, suggests that [...] the original trauma, was itself experienced as a fiction or myth at the moment of its occurrence.49

What we are confronted with is a textual effect wherein the desire for truth is itself anticipated, assimilated, and set to work as a structural device. We are placed in the situation where it is no longer possible even to assert that: “At no point does the account of the Phoenix Park incident qualify as the real or factual event,” because it is only through a movement of topical reversion that we configure an horizon of “truth.” The significance of Norris’s point here should not be overlooked. On the one hand, she suggests, the “original trauma” of the Phoenix Park incident can be considered as 144


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already belonging to myth, even, or rather precisely, at the moment of its occurrence. In other words, the so-called event of the Phoenix Park incident would necessarily be a mythical event “in advance” of itself. On the other hand she indicates that at no point does the account of the Phoenix Park incident qualify as “real” or “factual.” That is to say, the account would also, in a sense, constitute a mythical event in and of itself. What is important here is the way “account” and “event” have come to overlap. Each account, while referring to, or repeating, a prior event would also inaugurate that event, since what would be repeated would not be anything, as such, other than the process of mythification itself. Hence the “incident(s)” of Phoenix Park could rather be said to take place between the assumption of a “‘true’account” and the “unmistakable similarities” of the Wake’s “gossipaceous” (FW 194.04) narrative fragments, in the same way as the “moments of convergence” described by Rabaté, wherein similitude is seen to repeat an “originary” lapsus. This lapsus thus also marks a site of originary mythification—the lacunary site of a recurrent fall whose monumentality belies the self-engenderment of textual production as the inflationary mechanism of a “universal” textual apparatus, oscillating, Phoenix-like, between similitude on the one hand and dis-simulation on the other. This Phoenix-like nature of the mythical “event” is already suggested in Norris’s text through an invocation to Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle and what he terms “the repetition compulsion.” Freud writes: The patient cannot recall all of what lies repressed [...] not even the essential part of it, and so gains no conviction that the conclusion presented to him is correct. He is obliged rather to repeat as a current experience what is repressed, instead of [...] recollecting it as a fragment of the past.50

The failure of genealogy, against the recurrence of a “repressed” as the contradictorily coherent signifier of “origins” or of an originary “factual event,” gives rise to another kind of intelligibility. According to Heidegger, the groundlessness of idle talk provides “the possibility of understanding everything without previously making the thing one’s own.”51 The entire metaphorics of a “repressed” can thus be seen to emerge as a function of this mythologising “repetition.” Hence we might say that Phoenix Park functions as a textual site of a “paradox lust”: a contradictory will to derivation and truth through self-engendered dissimulation and dissemination.

PHONEX Referring to Derrida’s text Glas (which describes itself as “a sort of wake”),52 Gregory Ulmer coins the neologism “phonex” to designate certain operations of solicitation in Derrida’s writing.53 For Ulmer, the term “phonex” indicates a form of “generative grid” motivated by the recurrence of chance in the alignment and re-alignment of sublexical graphic and phonic units in the organisation of possible semantic systems. In this sense “phonex” also describes a counter-structural movement in which these linguistic units can be said to effect, as well as affect, the entire schematic arrangement of the text 145


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within which they are otherwise contained.54 Following Ulmer, this “generative grid” could also be seen as loosely engaging “the image of the Phoenix and the idea of metempsychosis” as metaphors of a “pyromaniac dissemination.”55 For Derrida, the “re-embodiments” of the Phoenix are related, not to a dialectical unveiling of historical narrative, but rather to something more like a transverse— something which cuts across dialectics in the form, perhaps, of a Nietzschean eternal recurrence. Beginning with its internal resonances of Phoenix and phoneme, and its suggestion of a kind of linguistic-semantic codex, matrix or memex,56 the term “phonex” might be thought of a describing an elision or lapsus in the narrative of intentionality through the recurrence of chance operations. Derrida elsewhere terms this “the debility or failure that organises the telos or the eschaton”57—what Hegel in Reason in History calls: “The relief of inadequation,” and which Derrida links to the phenomenon, symbolised by the image of the Phoenix, of destiny’s “suicide.”58 As Joyce similarly writes: “That’s the point of eschatology our book of kills reaches for now in soandso counterpoint words” (FW 482.33-34). But according to Derrida, the recurrence of the chance event is characterised as ostensibly mechanical repetition and “marks the necessity of a contamination of any essence by a generalised ‘technology.’”59 This contamination derives from a kind of technology which occupies the position of a programmatic “prehistory,” inscribing itself ahead of any teleological system or historical narrative in which the Phoenix myth functions as allegory, and insofar as it appears to describe a dialectical movement, it does so within this system, without annulling the technological impetus that could be said to have given rise to it. Posing the question of the “fundamental” nature of such a technological impetus (as a model of all allegorical unveiling of narrative), Derrida writes: “the current technology of our computers and our micro-computerified archives and our translating machines remains a bricolage of a prehistoric child’s toys.”60 Elsewhere he is more specific: The game, of which the repetition of repetition consists, is a selbstgeschaffene game, that the child has produced or has permitted to be produced by itself, spontaneously, and it is the first of its type. But none of all this (spontaneity, autoproduction, the originality of the first time) contributes any descriptive content that does not amount to the self-engendering of the repetition of itself. Heterotautology (definition of the Hegelian speculative) of repeated repetition, of selfrepetition.61

This selbstgeschaffene game recalls an incident describe in Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Watching his grandson playing in his pram one day, Freud observed him throwing a toy out of the pram and exclaiming fort! (away), then hauling it back in by means of a leash to the cry of da! (here).62 The mechanical repetition of this game opens up a space which is not contained within the narrative sequence but which describes a space of repetition itself. This space, however overly determined, allows for possible contingencies to arise (for instance, the chance of the object not being returned). Without this possibility the game itself could have no force, although it is important to keep in mind that such an “outcome,” which would mark the 146


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game’s termination, necessarily stands outside the “system” described (in the form of a detour) by the fort/da game. In a sense, this possibility marks the dissymmetry between the closed system (of a dialectics, of identification, desire, etc.) and what Lacan termed “the field of the Other” (within which the system is inscribed but which cannot be totalised or brought within that system, let alone be comprehended by it). Hence the “possibility” of a terminus functions as the locus of the fort/da ritual as well as of the Phoenix myth—as the terminus of possibility itself. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, this fort/da game is interpreted as depicting the child’s symbolic mastery over the mother’s absence, and is accordingly taken to provide the basis of all future narratives of loss and recovery. We could also say that this serial repetition (of repetition itself) gives rise to a form of “telepathy” whereby the subject is put into communication with the Other (or rather, by which the child is communicated as subject of its signifying attachment to an imaginary (m)other). Importantly, Freud describes this movement by the German verb fortgehen, “to go away,” which necessarily leaves open the possibility of return and remains ambiguous in this sense (as in fort, to continue)—as opposed, for instance, to weggehen, to go away or leave, which suggests a definitive absence. This possibility of return (of “revealing”), which poses itself as an imminence (the impossibility of which, beyond substitution, poses a threat which is concealed precisely through repetition), describes a destining that, in ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ Heidegger identifies with a certain technological movement. This is elaborated in a passage dealing with two words from Goethe which echo, in an intriguing way, the earlier text of Freud: The way in which technology unfolds lets itself be seen only on the basis of that permanent enduring in which enframing [Gestell] propriates as a destining of revealing. Goethe once uses the mysterious word fortgewähren [to grant continuously] in place of fortwähren [to endure continuously]. He hears währen [to endure] and gewähren [to grant] here in one unarticulated accord. And if we now ponder [...] what it is that properly endures and perhaps alone endures, we may venture to say: Only what is granted endures. What endures primally out of the earliest beginning is what grants.63

Like the symbol of the telephone in Ulysses, which Derrida engages in his essay ‘Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce,’ the fort/da game reveals the importance of the “leash” as what binds the subject to the destining call (of the Other), to what “grants” and to what (of the Other), in granting, “endures.”64 For Derrida, this call is also connected to Heidegger’s concepts of Verfallen and “thrownness.” The chanced “throw” (of the child’s toy, da-sein)65 doubles “the endless plunge” which “throws you back onto the river-bank, on the brink of another possible immersion, ad infinitum.”66 A repetition of a child’s game of repetition which can also be seen as programming Derrida’s text as an “endless plunge” into the “riverrun” of the Wake, marking the correspondence of this forethrow to a technics of repetition as a calling-over to the other-place, to a place of the other and of other texts. It is this sense of re-embodiment as repetition of repetition that provides the ritual basis of the Phoenix myth and the symbolic force of the Wakean “phonex.” Beginning with the elision of desire upon which this proto-technological game is founded, the machine ritual marks 147


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a schematisation of the so-called chance event which is “disguised” in the form(s) of structural determinacy.67

STRANGE ATTRACTORS The “mechanism” of Freud’s fort/da might also be thought of as a type of “strange attractor,” in its manner of operating as a hinge between chance and sublimated desire. The illusion of the either/or repetitiveness of the game is belied in the nature of the absence which prefigures it, and determines its dynamic as a play towards loss, to an always prior loss, or which it is the graphic expression. In other words, the fort/da “repetition” is in fact a repetition only in the sense that it presents a figure of an entropic forethrow towards the “there” or da which is never “here,” and to which the psychoanalytic subject is tied by a kind of metonymic leash. What is more, the movement of this forethrow is such that the subject is “subverted” —a “turning under” which defines a tropic spiral in the dialectic of desire, a vectoral clinamen which Lacan locates in the paradoxical structure of the Freudian drives.

This paradox (between aim and goal) rests in what Lacan terms a “fundamental reversion,” which at the level of each of the drives “is the movement outwards and back in which it is structured.”68 Moreover, this paradox is irreducible and is in fact the structural motivation of the drive, just as the unassimilable repetition of the “there” stands as the point of motivation in the compulsive fort/da ritual. The reduction of the subject to a moment of repetition, or locus in the cyclical reversion of the drives, defines a fundamental redundancy in which the subject is lost through a series of metonymic substitutions whose site it is (as a type of hole or void which must be filled). At the same time, it is the nature of the unassimilable object which prevents the structural subject from vanishing entirely, and instead sustains it (as a figure of lack) within an apparently limitless play of signifying substitutions which, while defining a movement of entropy, can nevertheless be regarded as generative.

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Analogous to Lacan’s linguistic model of subjectivity are certain concepts derived from information theory which in turn involve a theory of “redundancy.” For Claude Shannon, the inventor of modern information theory: ordinary language contains greater than fifty percent redundancy in the form of sounds or letters that are not strictly necessary to convey a message.69

Redundancy in this sense can be understood as a “predictable departure from the random.”70 Part of the redundancy of ordinary language lies in its formal structure, by which successive terms can be deduced by virtue of the semantic, syntactic, or grammatical structures from which they are missing (as in Jacques Aubert’s analysis of “riverrun”). Other kinds of redundancy, however, lend themselves more directly to numerical or statistical measures, such as the frequency of repetitions of particular letters or combinations of letters in any particular language (the letter “e” in French, for example, which is the most common letter and which Georges Perec excluded in the writing of his novel La disparition—a model of exacerbated redundancy which forms the basis of the Oulipian procedure known as a lipogramme).71 For Shannon: a stream of data in ordinary language is less than random; each new bit is partly constrained by the bits that went before; thus each new bit carries less than a bit’s worth of real information.72

The seeming paradox here is that the more “chaos” in a data stream the more information that is conveyed by each new bit. Similarly, in Finnegans Wake the elaborate models generated by means of the acrostic co-ordinates, H.C.E. and A.L.P., suggest models evolved in recent Chaos theories involving turbulence and non-laminar flows in thermodynamic systems. Like these, the Wake’s language appears to function as a kind of “system” which moves from predictable behaviour to unpredictable behaviour, by virtue of the inherence within the system of an element of indeterminacy, or conversely the withdrawal of the possibility of straightforward or statistical “redundancy.” We might think of the minimal element of “redundancy” in the Wake’s portmanteaux as precisely what renders semantic reduction impossible, and in fact serves to generate more and more “perverse” information, which in turn gives rise to spontaneous patterns of relation that are no longer the recognisable patterns of a stable system of “meaning.” In this way, lexical elements in Finnegans Wake can be thought of as prototypical “strange attractors” of a deceptively simple appearance. For Chaos theorists like Robert Shaw, strange attractors are “engines of information,” which conflate order and disorder, giving rise to unpredictability and thus creating information where none existed before.73 Information in this sense takes the form of a forethrow of possibilities, which in linguistic terms devolves within both lexical and sublexical structures, and across the entire structural edifice of the text: “MAJOR AND / MINOR / MODES COA- / LESCING / PROLIFER- / ATE” (FW 278.R2-279.R1). This can be thought of as defining a formal relation between microscales and macroscales, trope and schema, across which “information” is generated in the form, precisely, of a hypertextual transverse. As David Ruelle has pointed out:

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the message can be compressed if it is redundant, but the information is not compressible.74

In Finnegans Wake, the highly unpredictable and heterogeneous nature of this relation means that the transversal generated across differing scales of textual relations is never stabilised into a system, whose information stream could be linearised or reduced, in effect, to a “laminar flow.” Instead it gives rise to a form of structural turbulence, whose signifying patterns are constantly shifting and therefore a source of potentially infinite amounts of new information. For Shaw, “just as turbulence transmits energy from large scales downward through chains of vortices to the dissipating small scales of viscosity, so information is transmitted back from the small scales to the large.”75 This secondary transmission of information is what Shaw locates as the “strange attractor,” which serves to magnify the initial randomness of microscales to macroscale effects, just as in Joyce the lexical contiguity described by Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok translates the a-semantic effects of apparently random sublexical relations to the macroscales of cyclical schemata across the Wake as a whole.

PROTEIFORM GRAPHS Instances of “strange attraction” abound in Finnegans Wake, but are perhaps most straightforwardly exemplified in the form of portmanteau words like “Hearasay” in the phrase “Hearasay in / paradox lust” (FW 263.L4), which we have briefly discussed above. Amongst other things, this passage can be seen as a virtual metonym for the textual process by which Finnegans Wake as whole appears to emerge from, or as, a sequence of inflationary accounts of the Phoenix Park incident, recalling again the image of the Phoenix as a figure of self-engendered textual production. The term “hearasay,” with its seemingly redundant “a” and reduced consonantal infrastructure “HRSY,” provides a type of grid into which different vowel combinations can be introduced, both verbally and visually (hearsay, heresy), suggesting a continuity between Heideggerean Verfallen and the entropic process of semantic degradation in the production of textual “information.” On the one hand, orientated by a desire to uncover the origins of the Phoenix Park incident, this process appears to be hermeneutic. On the other hand, caught up in a movement of compulsive autopoiesis, it appears solipsistic—production situated as the virtual object of its own process. Phoenix Park, as the metaphorical topos of these contradictory modes of production, will henceforth come to signify a type of hypertextual locus or location, while the image of the Phoenix will provide a certain tropic or technological metaphor according to which we might think hypertext as a form of mechanistic destiny. Similarly, the “facticity” of the Phoenix Park incident can be seen as inextricably linked to the very fall which stands as the object of its apparent disclosures. This fall, among other things, suggests that any attempt at establishing what Margot Norris calls a “‘true’ account” upon the basis of induction would be compromised ahead of time, since every potential “‘true’ account” would already be involved in the metaphorics of 150


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an originary lapsus. Further, these metaphorics will have opened “Phoenix Park,” before its ever having been a context to speak of, to a potentially unlimited play of intertexts and to the irresolvable problem of derivation and limits. We might consider, then, how the phrase “Hearasay in / paradox lust” also combines a notion of “groundless discourse” with one of ordering or doctrinal orthodoxy. As Hélène Cixous argues in her monumental 1972 study The Exile of James Joyce, Joyce practices a certain heresy in regards to language: “to refuse to represent the world in the traditional terms which are already dictated by the Divine Tyrant (as Artaud would say).” For Cixous: “Realism,” from this point of view, is nothing but art obeying the orders of the Creator, reciting or quoting from the work of the Other who holds all the copyrights.76

At the same time, the recurrence in Joyce’s writing of references to Arianism provides us with a larger context within which to view these notions of “groundlessness” and “truth” as somehow consubstantial despite the claims of any “realism,” not only by analogy but in a way that directly mirrors the textual effect of Joyce’s language of “hearasay.” By linking the concept of heresy to one of hearsay Joyce emphasises the normativity of received truths, since these truths are in fact the products of the mechanisms of an institutional polemos (such as the Council of Nicaea and the Nicene creed). Further, the truth from which heresy is excluded, or from which it has lapsed, is actually defined by the prior possibility of this exclusion or lapsus. A decreed “truth” would cease to be what it is without an “originary” concept of heresy against which to situate itself— so that we might say that this truth is something which belongs to heresy: O felicitous culpability, sweet bad cess to you for an archetypt! [FW 263.29-30]

In such a way does heresy double the signification of hearsay as a discourse divided from truth at the same time as it remains the locus of that truth, in a sense determining it, and therefore situating itself, intentionally or otherwise, as its own true end. As a metonym of the “original” topos of man’s fall, of what the Wake refers to as the “Garden of Idem” (FW 263.21), the Phoenix Park incident is also linked to the tropological “fall” implied in the words “paradox lust,” whose inward “attraction” is likewise centred upon the word “in” in the phrase “Hearasay in / paradox lust.” That is, as both a fall from and of truth encoded in the “in” of “Hearsay,” whose discursive emplacement thus describes the interminability of this “paradox lust.” Amongst other things, this line suggests the title of Milton’s epic Paradise Lost and the fall of “Eve and Adam’s” as an allegorical rendering of the sublation of desire (or “lust” ) as “will to truth.” As a site of this allegorical fall, Paradise Lost, like Phoenix Park, also provides a context for thinking “knowledge” and “truth” as centred upon a certain coincidence of “hearasay” determined within a discourse of ignorance and falsehood (keeping in mind Blake’s contention regarding Milton’s “programme” in Paradise Lost). In Milton’s text, knowledge, through the imposition of a taboo, will already have signified the prior possibility of the fall and of a certain dissimulative “literality,” so 151


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that by a seemingly contradictory logic the “solarsystemised” (FW 263.24) or heliocentric will to knowledge (“Eat early earthapple” [FW 271.24]) would also signify a fallacy, a will to non-knowledge: the “original sun” (FW 263.27), or original sin, of “Eve and Adam’s” willful abandonment of the word and law of God (heliotropism as entropic spiral). Hence we can say that the fall will already have been in place, not only as the unacknowledged motivation of the serpent’s “heretical” discourse, but as its very possibility. Moreover, the lapsus described by this fall, and which will have been repeated at every moment thereafter (as the history of the fallen human condition), will also have provided the basis of all future textual production (from Genesis onwards). As Joyce suggests, the trajectory of this resurrected-fall “in paradox lust” would also describe a Phoenix-like “proteiform graph” as the transverse “polyhedron of all scripture” (FW 107.08).

GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE Developing ideas that he had earlier explored in his 1966 essay, ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing,’ Derrida, in Dissemination, projects a model based upon Freud’s metaphorics of the written trace77 for what he has called a “textual apparatus.”78 The structural dynamics of this textual apparatus are shown to mark a breach in the “classical representational scene,”79 comprising “supplementary divisions” that would “extend toward a vanishing point between two forms of the mimetic.”80 Adopting a metaphor from Philippe Sollers’s novel Numbers, Derrida frames this apparatus in terms of spectacle and specularity, as a type of theatrical stage whose forth wall or fons scænæ is “replaced” with a type of double mirror, reminiscent of Lacan’s stade du miroir: this mirror will have been turned toward the back of the stage [...] offering us only the site of its tain. Which would (not) be anything if the tain were not transparent, or rather transformative of what it lets through. The tain of this mirror thus reflects— imperfectly—what comes to it—imperfectly—from the other three sides and lets through—precisely—the ghost of what it reflects.81

What the mirror gives, what it transmits by means of the imaginary fourth wall of the stage, its tain, is a “deformation irreducible to any form,”82 what Joyce refers to as “a mirage in a merror” (FW 310.24). This mirror-effect, or error-effect, of the stade du miroir underwrites of type of “ghosting” (FW 501.32) which Derrida elsewhere calls a “gift without the least memory of itself,”83 that nevertheless marks an “impossible past” of something that has never been present, has never been, what is not a beingthere: “over ‘there,’ in a distant past, a lost memory of what is no longer here. Was it ever?”84 According to Lacan, the stade du miroir or “mirror stage” describes a moment in the inauguration of the subject into language. For Lacan, this relation links subjectivity to a certain type of subjection, which is characterised as a “subjection to the signifier.”85 Paradoxically, the advent of the subjecthood occurs only in as much as its 152


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signifier emerges from the field of the Other.86 As such, the Other can also be considered as what inaugurates signification, and hence of a linguistic ontology. This implies a subjection to the Other, to the speculative other as imago or “ghostmark” (FW 473.09), in the mirroring drama of Oedipal domination played out at the “incestuous” level of the self. Moreover, it places signification at the level of a “given,” which Lacan thus characterises in terms of a potlach or “symbolic debt,”87 by which language is said to refer or respond to the Other.88 Elsewhere Lacan links this notion of indebtedness to the Freudian repetition compulsion, situating it as the horizon of (inflationary) textual production.89 In terms of the quasi-dialectical model put forth in Lacan’s essay ‘The Mirror Stage,’ this movement of “symbolic debt” opens the signifier (of self) to a moment of “alterity” which situates it as what Lacan calls the “lack” of its own signifying desire, as Derrida says: “to cross over to the other, to the other side of the mirror [...] to move beyond the specularity that it constitutes itself.”90 In the same continuum Geoffrey Bennington argues: there is always alterity before (any) self [...]. Other “in” the same, calling it up by contaminating it [...]. We can sense that this alterity cannot simply be stated in the form of a theses, that it is not really thematisable, not a phenomenon, that it does not exist.91

In this context Lacan’s “dialectic of identification” (and its later reformulation as a “dialectic of desire”) takes the form of a travail, a responsibility set out in this work of distance, or working of distance, between the symbolic and imaginary functions of the signifier—or between the structural whole of the imaginary and the symbolic, and the element of what Deleuze and Guattari call the “machinic” (machinique), which constitutes desiring-production.92 This machinic element describes a structural matrix, an apparatus of “scriptsigns” (FW 118.28), in which the ghosting of the signifier in the illusion of a signified marks a schema of destination: an horizon effect of the mirror which gives the subject’s desire back to it under the guise of the translated image of its own truth (as specular double): tipped to console with her at her mirrorable gracewindowed hut1 1

O hce! O hce! [FW 291.09, 291.F1]

This signifying mirage is also a “desiring machine,” operated by what Joyce calls the “solicitous business” of “looking into mirrors” (FW 618.18-19), a “spectrescope” (FW 230.01) in which signification becomes “fatally fascinated” (FW 220.10) with itself, describing a circuit of autopoiesis: With nightly redistribution of parts and players by the puppetry producer and daily dubbing of ghosters, with benediction of the Holy Genesius Archimimus. [FW 216.06-9]

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As a product of autopoiesis, this mirroring effect gives the impression of a dumbshow masked by a type of projectionism, or rather a template of desiring affectation as the horizon of subjective self-knowledge. The theatrical metaphor thus provides for unlimited substitutability in the staging of this specular relation, underwritten by a form of deus ex machina, or “Archimimus.” This “ghost in the machine,” as a confusion of archē and mimēsis, suggests a form of signifying dissimulation at the “origin” of textual production. At the same time this originary dissimulation can be said to make signification possible in the “first place,” while nevertheless circumventing closure in the form of mimēsis or adæquatio. As such, this machine functions upon a principle of “duplicity,” which would not be reducible beyond a deus ex machina as an apparatus in the service of an ideality or “ideal text,” and whose form and operations it would simply “mimic” through a type of mirror-play or speculative dialectics. Such a machine would instead operate as a schemato-tropic transposition of signifying elements mirroring the Wakean shift from the 3 to the 4 (from the “trivial” to the “quadrivial” ) in its model of structuring recursion. Similarly, Sollers relates this to a technics of theatrical representation: the construction is presented thus: three visible sides, three walls if you like, on which the sequences are in reality inscribed—transitions, articulations, intervals, words—, and one absence of side or wall defined by the three others but enabling one to observe them from their point of view.

This forth surface is in a sense carved out of the air: it enables speeches to make themselves heard, bodies to let themselves be seen: consequently, it is easily forgotten, and that is doubtless where illusion and error lie.93

Recalling Lacan’s mirror stage, Sollers’s model points towards an entire thematics of apprehension in the production of signs. But whilst Lacan adopts a dialectical model of identification as the basis for his mirror metaphor, Sollers implies a mirroring relation external to dialectics in a movement which “sublates” the 3 within the (parenthetical) fourth term. Like the Viconian ricorso, this fourth term stands in an open relation to the other three and may in fact be said to inscribe them as a movement of signifying recursion. For Sollers, this 3+1 relation defines a “mirror stage” whose mechanics of revelation, apocalyptō or Aufhebung, disclose a hypothetical present or presence-to-self (“a slip of a time between a date and a ghostmark” [FW 473.08-9]) which is in fact a mere surface effect: “Whence the impression of witnessing a projection, whereas it is ultimately a matter of the very product of the surface.” This surface effect is itself likened, by a process of metonymic substitutions, to the technics of mechanical 154


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reproduction and of the “camera,” as a “darkroom transformed into a surface.”94 This darkroom or camera obscura provides a metaphor for a type of “hidden stage” upon which “theoretical” demons perform the mechanical tasks of “processing” textual images, as a type of mnemotechnics or “ghostwriting”: Indeed, what is thus too easily taken to be the opening of a stage is nonetheless a panel that distorts, an invisible, impalpable, opaque veil that plays towards the other three sides the role of a mirror or reflector, and towards the outside [...] the role of a negative developer on which the inscriptions simultaneously produced on the other planes appear inverted, righted, fixed. As if the hypothetical actors came and traced or pronounced their text backwards, in front of you, without your being aware of it.95

This structural matrix or textual apparatus likewise describes a “polyhedron of all scripture,” its supposed fourth “surface” opening onto a representational space of indefinite dimension. This fourth surface marks an internal difference with itself which effectively organises the apparatus which it at once screens, mediates, translates, interprets and metaphorises, as an apparatus of disclosure.

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8. DISCLOSURES Who is writing? To whom? And to send, to destine, to dispatch what? To what address? Without any desire to surprise, and thereby to grab attention by means of obscurity, I owe it to whatever remains of my honesty to say finally that I do not know. Above all I would not have had the slightest interest in this correspondence and this cross-section, I mean in their publication, if some certainty on this matter had satisfied me.1

POST-PARTUM

I

n Being and Time Heidegger poses language as fundamentally contiguous with ontology as constitutive of a condition of “disclosedness.”2 At the same time, the language of disclosure remains open to the necessary possibility of its becoming idle talk, as a function of discourse’s “groundlessness.” This groundlessness is defined through a technics of iterability, in which the possibility of signifying repetition in the absence of a “transcendental signified” (to adopt Saussure’s terminology) situates disclosedness in relation to a purely speculative ontology. In becoming idle talk, then, disclosure loses what Heidegger terms its “primary relationship-of-Being towards the entity talked about,” and communicates in such a manner as in fact to prevent the entity being apprehended in a “primal way.” Instead, idle talk opens a circuitous “route of gossiping and passing the word along.”3 Similarly in Finnegans Wake the various disclosures of H.C.E. can be seen as marking the disseminal limit of speculative knowledge, or of what we might call textual genealogy: a dud letter, a sing a song sylble; a byword, a sentence with surcease. [FW 129. 07-8]

Consequently, H.C.E. is “disclosed” only at the level of disseminating chatter and the sort of “gossiple” (FW 38.23) that a “cad’s bit of strife” (FW 38.09) delivers in the “epistolear” of a “particular reverend” (FW 38.18) or “riverrun”: And so everybody heard their plaint and all listened to their plause. The letter! The litter! And the soother the bitther! Of eyebrow pencilled, by lipstipple penned. Borrowing a word and begging the question and stealing tinder and slipping like soap. [FW 93.23-26]

Throughout Finnegans Wake, this glissant movement of “gossiping and passing the word along” is conceived on one level in terms of a postal and epistolary metaphor, for which the automated circulation of “letters” links together notions of dissemination and dissimulation with ones of signifying structure, verbal correspondence and literality: “type by tope, letter from litter, word at ward, with sendence of sundance” (FW 615.01-2). In this sense the question of disclosure is rendered as a question of linguistic normativity, and of an aporia of translation verbum pro verbo: 157


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the curt witty wotty dashes never quite just right at the trime trite truth letter; the sudden spluttered petulence of some capItalIsed mIddle; a word as cunningly hidden in its maze of confused drapery. [FW 120. 02-6]

The disclosure of H.C.E., as a type of pronominal encryption (the “trite” or threefold “truth letter” [“his threestar monothong”]), is likewise an affect of literality as the “subject” of A.L.P.’s or “anemone’s letter” (FW 563.17): the strangewrote anaglyptics of those shemletters patent for His Christian’s Em? [FW 419.18-19]

At the same time, the question of “verbal” correspondence is linked to the question of mimēsis, and to the theme of writing, originality, truth and forgery: Every dimmed letter in it is a copy and not a few of the silbils and wholly words I can show you in my Kingdom of Heaven. The lowquacity of him! With his threestar monothong! Thaw! The last word in stolentelling! [FW 424.32-35]

In a transitional note in A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari suggest that the “circularity” of Joyce’s postal metaphor works between the assumptions of closure and disclosure, and the “open totality” of signifying dissipation or entropy (“stolentelling”). The “circle” of reductional discursus remains open at a “point of exchange,” the inflationary mark of a potlach which is itself a form of entropic spiral. For Deleuze and Guattari, disclosure is thus: segmented in a circular fashion, in ever larger circles, ever wider disks or coronas, like Joyce’s “letter.”4

This movement of inflationary dissipation works against the closed circularity of signifying totality, and reiterates, in a negative movement, the shift from circle to spiral in the figure of textual recursion. Qualifying this sense of “circular” segmentation as counter-reductive, Deleuze and Guattari also suggest that: “there is no sign-to-sign circularity.”5 This apparent contradiction in the elaboration of “circularity” can similarly be taken to describe the valencies of a recursive movement in Joyce’s text from the epistemic to the epistolary, as much as from l’être to lettre, in which concepts of Being and knowledge are confused in the text’s disclosure of itself as a disjoined circulatory “system” of correspondences. Hence the transmissional moment, too, is always post factum. In a more literal sense, the Wake’s postal metaphor evolves from the seemingly endless circulation of letters throughout, and as, the body of Joyce’s text. “Divested of pretexts,” this anagrammatical postal network produces texts, as a type of generative post-script, or “post-effect,” of writing after the programme (pro-grammē). This supplemental parade or parody of a system of language through the fragments of so many transmissional or transitional documents is alternatively addressed by Derrida in terms of what he calls “destinerrance”:

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The destinerrance of the envois (sendings, missives, so to speak) is connected with a structure in which randomness and incalculability are essential. I am not speaking of the margin of indeterminacy that is still homogenous to the order of the decidable and the calculable [...]. It is a question here of an aleatory element that appears in a heterogeneous relation to every possible decision [...]. The destinerrance of sendings is precisely what both divides and repeats the first time and the last time alike.6

The postal and epistolary reference in Finnegans Wake (or resonance of a communication from a distance) further provides us with a means of thinking the Wake’s discursive structure in terms of what Hanjo Berresem calls “an endlessly disseminating textual machine.”7 Such a machine can be thought of as weaving “algebraic patterns” between addresser and addressee (signifier and signified), address and destination, and within the entire network of re-distribution and dissemination, marking out the letter’s itinerary as “endlessly deferred” as it “circulates through symbolic space”:8 Pattern of our unschoold, pageantmaster, deliverer of softmissives, round the world in forty mails [...] a wise and letters play of all you can ceive. [FW 237.13-19]

The postal metaphor further elaborates the concept of “circulation” as a form of autopoiesis, a lettristic machine in which “onanymous letters” (FW 435.31) inwardly multiply into a “languo of flows.”9 The endlessly deferred assumption, or “HeCitEncy” (FW 421.23), of an “ultimate” addressee likewise describes a “rotary processus” (FW 304.L3) in the recursiveness of the Wake’s signifying chains or chain letters (A.L.P. and H.C.E.): Hencetalking tides we haply return, trumpeted by prawns and ensigned with seakale, to befinding ourselves when old is said in one and maker mates with made (O my!). [FW 261.05-08]

The multiplication and disseminal flow of letters in Finnegans Wake has equally been described in terms of incestuous and solipsistic reversion, or what Jean-Michel Rabaté refers to as “figures of incestitude.”10 In Margot Norris’s view, the deferral of addressee and the reversion of filiation in the Wake raise questions about the function of individual terms in the signifying relation. Referring to Lévi-Strauss’s writings on kinship and social organisation, Norris draws structural analogies to the operations of Joyce’s language and its tendency to propose systems of meaning which it simultaneously deconstructs. In this way the motif of incest is taken as paradigmatic in regarding the textual condition of individual signifiers, and not merely as a thematically descriptive term. For Norris: Incest obliterates those distinctions that create a system of relationships in which every individual has a function and an identity.11

In consequence, polysemia, dissemination, and the annulus of “introspective” desire, come together to communicate a recursive model of disclosure (“ringsend as 159


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prevenient” [FW 584.09]). This is also suggestive of the Nietzschean concept of eternal recurrence, which is both cyclical and generative, “incest” situated as autopoiesis: the vectorious readyeyes of evertwo circumflickrent searclhers never film in the elipsities of their gyribouts those fickers which are returnally reproductive of themselves. [FW 298.13-18]

As Nietzsche suggests: “For the creator himself to be the child new-born he must also be willing to be the mother and endure the mother’s pain.”12 In the Wake this sense of incestuous reversion, filiation, transgenderment, and disclosure, is implied in the literality of the signifying relation of A.L.P. and H.C.E., the defilements of the “proper” in the anagrammatical play of identity, and in the normativity of the pronominal subject: with well the widest circulation round the whole universe. Echolo choree choroh choree chorico! How me O my youhou my I youtou to I O? [FW 584.03-5] O mine! Only, no, now it’s me who’s got to give. As duv herself div. Inn this linn. And can it be it’s nnow fforvell? Illas! I wisht I had better glances to peer to you through this baylight’s growing. But you’re changing, acoolsha, you’re changing from me, I can feel. Or is it me is? Brightening up and tightening down. Yes, you’re changing, sonhusband, and you’re turning, I can feel you, for a daughterwife from the hills again. [FW 626.35-627.03]

While individual functions and identities are thus obscured, this does not imply an homogeneity of signification under the concept of tenor of a transcendental signified (ego-sublime), but rather a spiral of exacerbated perversion in the Wake’s typogenetics. As Derrida has pointed out with regard to the structure of the linguistic sign: The concept of the sign, in each of its aspects, has been determined by this opposition [between the sensible and intelligible] throughout the totality of its history. It has lived only on this opposition and its system. But we cannot do without the concept of the sign, for we cannot give up this metaphysical complicity without also giving up the critique we are directing against this complicity, or without the risk of erasing difference in the self-identity of a signified reducing its signifier into itself or, amounting to the same thing, simply expelling its signifier outside itself.13

As with the Lorenzian “strange attractor,” the mechanism of incest accelerates the production of formal anomalies, whose incommensurability with a system of types or classes can thus be considered counter-reductive, or counter-redundant, in what presents the seeming paradox of an increased tendency to literality: as in the hyperchemical economantarchy the tantum ergons irruminate the quantum urge so that eggs is to whey as whay is to zeed. [FW 167. 06-7]

This tendency, as the radicalisation of a polysemy “productive of signs,” underwrites the Wake’s postal metaphorics (parenthetically, the “post effect” of a lapsus in-cestus or in-cessarē): 160


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(and may this hundred thousand welcome stewed letters, relayed wand postchased, multiply, ay faith, and plultiply!) [FW 404.36-405.01]

This notion, as an inflationary economy of the sign, is one of the possible meanings suggested, among numerous other examples, in the line “denary, danery, donnery, domm” (FW 261.16-17). Simulating the declension of a Latin noun, this line also suggests a thematics of the proper and of property, linking economy as oikonomia to the closed economy of symbolic incest in a perversion of the four “homely codes” (FW 614.32). But while the sense of the individual terms “denary, danery, donnery, domm” appears unrelated to a thematics of incest, it is the typogenetics described in the filiation of the four terms together which suggests an incest-mechanism at the base level of signifying relation. At the same time, this mechanism is reproduced at the thematic level in the numerous possible references to one form or another of economic “disclosure.” The term “denary” (tenfold) suggests both deanery (a clerical living) and the ancient Romanic currency or denarius. The following declension of “danery, donnery, domm” might then suggest the incremental evolution of a household or general economy, beginning perhaps with a nominal expenditure, tax, levy, tariff, or stamp-duty (a postal charge measured, for instance, in denarii), increasing over time as a bribe, tax or tribute (Danegeld), a benefice (donative), a gift (don or donation), a household mortgage (oikos, dom), or the revenues of a dominion, all of which would be recorded in a ledger of assets or book of accounts (a Domesday Book). That such a “book of accounts” could also be a metonym of Finnegans Wake is suggested, not only in the way Joyce’s encyclopaedic text emerges from a sequence of interwoven and inflationary accounts of, for example, H.C.E.’s fall, but in the way this interweaving itself is a form of inflationary mechanism.14 H.C.E., as a matrix of textual production, thus also stands as a figure of autopoiesis: Honour commercio’s energy yet aid the linkless proud, the plurable with everybody and ech with pal. [FW 264.01-03]

The acrostic convergence of H.C.E. and A.L.P. describes not only a principle of “commerce” but a radical literality in the programmatics of signifying substitution and dissemination. As with the line “denary, danery, donnery, domm,” the incremental shift in the signifying function of the Wake’s various “accounts” is determined not in terms of reference, but of grammatology and the differential mark of the graphic trait. Hence in the above “D” series, the term “denary” is doubled as an anagram of “danery,” whilst “donnery” follows by vowel substitution (A-O), with “domm” following by consonantal substitution (N-M) and termination of the suffix (all of which suggests a form of doubling or “doublin” [FW 3.08]). While this succession of textual variations describes “the usual XYZ type” (FW 443.24) of “algebrist” (FW 443.19) to be found throughout the Wake, it also points to a common schematic element of “literality” in the postal and epistolary metaphor. While this suggests similarities to the Sausurrean notion of structural difference described at the level of individual phonemes, it also points to broader schematic and semantic concerns. 161


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This is made more explicit in the above quotation, in which the figures H.C.E. and A.L.P. not only describes an acrostic convergence (“Honour commercio’s energy”/“aid the linkless proud,” “[Hear Comes] Everybody” / “[Anna Livia] plurable”), but also an anagrammatical convergence which literally invites us to combine the letters ech with pal. The resulting combination may then be read as an anagram of the word “chapel,” which also appears in the Wake as a reference to the Dublin location Chapelizod, linking Phoenix Park and the Liffey as a signifier for H.C.E. and A.L.P.’s “daughter,” Issy or Isolde, “the belle of Chapelizod” (Chapelldiseut [FW 236.20]): Izolde, her chaplet gardens, an litlee plads af liefest pose, arride the winnerful wonders off, the winnerful wonnerful wanders off,3 with hedges of ivy and hollywood and bower of mistletoe, are, tho if it theem tho and yeth if you pleathes,4 for the blithehaired daughter of Angoisse. All out of two barreny old perishers, Tytonyhands and Vlossyhair, a kilolitre in metrmyriams. Presepeprosapia, the parent bole. 3 4

H’ dk’ fs’ h’p’y. Googla pluplu.

[FW 265. 14-24]15

The reference to A.L.P. (“af liefest pose”) is also echoed in the footnoted text “pluplu,” suggesting both “Plurabelle” and the French plus, or “more.” The line “googla pluplu” might further suggest “googol” or 10100 times “more” (and more again), thus linking A.L.P. as Anna Liffey to a figure of both excessive abundance and exacerbated inflation, which would also describe by means of onomatopoeia the babelising flow of language through the Wake’s interminable “riverrun.” In this way the movement of signification adds something, which results in the fact that there is “always more.” But this “liefest” prose is also a type of prosopopoeia (“Presepeprosapia”), a movement of what Derrida terms supplementarity “permitted by the absence of a centre or origin.”16 The literal discursus of A.L.P.’s cyclical letter describes a lapsus or series of lapsus in whose wake “Sein Annews” (as the filial “is is” of Issy, “the belle of Chapelizod”) through the cyclical “return” of all the different parts of speech of the Wake’s language of dis-closure.

ÉCRITURE AU CORPS Elaborating upon Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence, Derrida, in his book The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, adopts from Joyce the structural metaphor of the postal system. For Derrida, the disseminal circulation of letters suggests a “topology of desire” expressed through a literalisation of signifying substitution. In The Ear of the Other Derrida, responding to Lacan, suggests that this postal metaphor describes a signifying relation in which “there is no difference, or no possible distinction” between the letter that one addresses to somebody else, and the letter that one addresses to oneself, since the addressee is always dealt with at a distance, as an other: 162


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When [Nietzsche] writes himself to himself, he writes himself to the other who is infinitely far away and who is supposed to send his signature back to him. [...] From this point of view there is no difference, or no possible distinction if you will, between the letter I write to someone else and the letter I send to myself. The structure is the same.17

Similarly, Derrida points to the way in which this is exemplified, in French, by the construction je t’écris, which combines the sense of writing to the other and writing of the other as a type of mirroring production or autopoiesis: “That letter selfpenned to one’s other” (FW 489.33-4). For Lacan, this prepositional chiasmus itself forms a signifying “fold” which elsewhere Derrida links to a concept of “double invagination” and the “turn of writing.”18 In his poetic essay Feu la cendre (1987), Derrida describes this chiasmatic turn in terms of an “écriture au corps.”19 This phrase is taken to designate both a body of writing and, more literally, a writing to or with the body, in which the apparent “desire of the text” takes the form of a particular envoi, or letter. In a rhetorical departure from the conclusions of Lacan’s 1955 seminar on Edgar Alan Poe’s ‘The Purloined Letter,’ Derrida argues that: The remaining structure of the letter is that—contrary to what the Seminar says in its last words (“what the ‘purloined letter,’ that is, what the undelivered letter means is that a letter always arrives at its destination [...]”) a letter can always not arrive at its destination.20

In either case, this “destination” describes a non-place (a “faux trou”), a lapsus or series of lapsus which situates destination as destinerrance, organised by the substitution of prepositional statements containing the words of, at and to. For Lacan, the projective “errancy” of destination is precisely what marks the “subjection of the subject to the signifier” and inscribes the “circular” trajectory of the subject’s desire through the locus of the Other: “for lack of being able to end on anything other than its own scansion, in other words, for lack of an act in which it would find its certainty.”21 The destining of the signifier, as Derrida has said elsewhere, bears: no relation to [itself] that is not forced to defer itself through the other in the form, precisely, of the eternal return.22

This reflexive writing of, or to, the textual body is played out in Finnegans Wake both in the “body” of Anna Livia’s letter (in its various circulations through the text, and as a metonym of the text) and in the literal dissemination of the letters A.L.P. and H.C.E.: “Hers before his even, posted ere penned” (FW 232.16-17).23 Thematically, as the fallen giant Finn MacCool (Fionn MacCumhaill), or as the dead folk hero Tim Finnegan, H.C.E. offers another way of thinking this textual body (or corpse, corpus), “heaviest corpsus exemption” (FW 362.17), called upon to “rise up” by the mourning figure of Anna Livia.24 At the same time this call or address is linked to the problem of identity, or correspondence, which underlies the Wake’s “defiling” of textual genetics, and situates 163


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speculative dialectics as the aporetic horizon of the letter’s endless deferral or “postproneauntisquattor” (FW 019.27). Similarly, the history, content and authorship of “A.L.P.’s” letter(s) remain uncertain. The question of authorial identity appears in a possible reference to Hegelian historiography: “who in hallhagal wrote the durn thing anyhow?” (FW 107.36-108.01). At the same time, identity is linked to the question of textual filiation, in the metonymic substitution of scripture for scriptor: Her untitled mamafesta memorialising the Mosthighest has gone by many names at disjointed times. [FW 104.04-05]

According to its “description” in the Wake, A.L.P.’s “mamafesta” has “acquired accretions of terricious matter whilst loitering in the past. The teatimestained terminal” (FW 114.28-30). This “terminal” might refer to it’s end, or address, and to the “terminal” obliteration of its meaning through an accumulation of disfigurations, as well as the “germinal” transformations of the cyclical maternal “memorialising”: In the name of Annah the Allmazeful, the Everliving, the Bringer of Plurabilities, haloed be her eve, her singtime sung, her rill be run, unhemmed as it is uneven. [FW 104.01-03]

What is “in the name” is the letter itself, the letters “memorialising” the “many names” of the “mazeful” A.L.P., whose “mamafesta” has taken the place of the author-god of Judeo-Christian mythology, echoed in the satirical “Lord’s prayer.” A.L.P.’s “mamafesta,” moreover, works against the monotheistic principle of the book as holy scripture attesting to the oneness of divine logos. The time of the letter is disjointed, its memory dispersed in untold genealogy. Elsewhere this is linked to the cyclical recursions of the text’s “riverrun” language, which is literalised in the gist or gest of a type of “pantomime”: the old man of the sea and the old woman in the sky if they don’t say nothings about it don’t tell us lie, the gist of the pantomime, from cannibal king to property horse, being, slumply and slopely, to remind us how, in this drury world of ours, Father Times and Mother Spacies boil their kettle with their crunch. [FW 599.36-600.03]

The constant feeding of the one into the other (time/space, sea/sky, theatre/world, etc.), mirrors the “mute” consummation of speech and gest, signifier and signified, addresser and addressee, within the body of writing whose recursive figuration it nevertheless describes. Hence we might speak of Finnegans Wake as a self-generative textual body, engendering itself in the form a cyclical replenishing or rivering flow of language, birth and re-birth. A flow of ink, of blood, of semen in the metaphorics of this disseminal writing. Similarly, the literal dissemination of the letters A.L.P. and H.C.E. throughout the text of Finnegans Wake raises important questions about the nature of this “textual body” and its relation to identity (addresser/addressee) as the post-pronoun anti-sequitur of “postproneauntisquattor.” Julia Kristeva, investigating the idea of writing as polylogue, suggests that we should think of this body in terms of textual heterogeneity: 164


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This heterogeneous object is of course a body that invites me to identify with it [...] and immediately forbids any identification; it is not me, it is a non-me in me, beside me, outside of me, where the me becomes lost. This heterogeneous object is a body, because it is a text.25

Amongst other things, this suggests analogies in the relationship of Being and language in Finnegans Wake, for instance, by enabling us to read A.L.P. as “Anna Livia Plurabelle,” not only as a simulacrum of a proper (feminine) name, but also as the critic Alan Roughley has termed “a condensed recitation which appropriates and holds the history of language.”26 In this sense A.L.P. can also be approached as a matrix of historical recursion: For Anna was at the beginning lives yet and will return after great deap sleap rerising. [FW 277.12-14]

While it is necessary to read “Anna Livia Plurabelle” as articulation a particular textual relation in the letters A.L.P., we can also read it more generally as a series of terms deriving from Greek, Latin and French. As Roughley has pointed out: the classical Greek preposition, ana has semantic values in the genitive, dative, and accusative cases that help to sustain the Wake’s riveraine and nautical metaphors, and, as the contraction of anastēthi, it signifies the call of “up” and “Arise” that is uttered at the beginning of the Wake’s final monologue (FW 568.25). “Livia” is the feminine declension of the Latin name, Livius—but it also re-marks the passage along, or via, A.L.P.’s “livvy,” “livvly,” “livvylong” language. “Plurabelle” fuses the French forms plu, belle, elle and le, with the Latin combining form Plura. As the Liffey and other rivers which constitute the subjacent metonymical chain supporting the metaphor of language as river, A(nna) L(ivia) P(lurabelle) “belongs” to the earth. As Anna, the “wife” of H.C.E. and “mother” of Shem, Shaun, and Issy, A.L.P. signifies a mortal dweller upon the earth. As the double genitive, begetter and possessor of being(s), A.L.P. articulates, and is articulated in, the double “Is is” (FW 601.05) that puns on the name of the Egyptian goddess Isis. And in the circular “riverrun” movement of stream, river, sea, cloud, rain, earth and stream again, A.L.P. is involved in the cyclical pattern between the earth and sky.27

But as Kristeva’s notion of a heterogeneity suggests, the question remains of how this body can be situated as an “object” that both “invites” and “immediately forbids” identification beyond a certain matrical function (as an equation between the letters A.L.P. and the “body” of all other texts which can be associated with them). As a restatement of the Lacanian proposition of the stade du miroir, Kristeva’s textual body also suggests a type of “schematic object” which defines its own metonymic (or metronymic) projection and substitution, at the same time as it puts the nature of this definition in doubt. The “nature” of the question, however, is similarly dependent upon the opposition of an organic conception of body to a textual one (physis/technē), while nevertheless placing this opposition within the context of a “dispute” over the meaning of such terms. But this dispute itself is inevitably tied to the terms in question, and by implication to two opposed conceptions of language. In On the Way to Language, Heidegger suggests that this remains a problem of address: 165


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How are we to put questions to language when our relation to it is muddled, in any case undefined? How can we inquire about its nature, when it may immediately become a matter of dispute as to what nature means?28

Moreover, it is a question of how this sense of “address” remains tied to a prosthetic conception of the textual body as “supplement,” writing as mnemotechnic, the otherness of language as defining an objecthood to be addressed, analysed, revealed or understood, and so on. This is what Lacan refers to as: “The body [...] which language corpsified,”29 an écriture au corps in which the apparent externalisation of such terms as artifice or technē, as “oppositional” to nature, stand in a relation to language which is that of an internalised distanciation. This “turn of language,” as the prepositional double of an écriture au corps, “locates” what Derrida describes as “the inadequation of one language to itself and to another, of one place in the encyclopaedia to another, of language to itself and to meaning and so forth.”30 It marks an emplacement of the tropic “body,” between “nature” and “artifice,” along the contour of writing.

DISTANCIATION In Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences, Paul Ricœur coins the expression “distanciation” to express the distance and relation between subject and object in the orientation of the hermeneutic quest.31 For Ricœur, distanciation is a type of mediation of intentionality, which is also a division in the organisation of the ego and which reflects the division of signifier-signified identity or co-extensivity in the Saussurean interpretation of the linguistic sign.32 But whilst Ricœur envisages distanciation in essentialist or transcendental terms, the underlying structure of this division nevertheless recalls the Derridean notion of originary différance, and what Heidegger refers to as Ereignis, or the discursive event of Being’s disclosedness. In Feu la cendre Derrida considers this relationship, between signified identity and what takes place as textual “event,” in terms of the idiomatic expression il y a (“there is”), which he relates to the German expression es gibt in Heidegger’s phrase es gibt Sein (literally, “it gives Being”)33: the phrase withdrew from itself. The phrase carried distance within itself, within herself. Despite its venue and despite all appearances, it did not permit itself, did not permit herself, to sign; it no longer belonged; somewhat as if, signifying nothing that was intelligible, the phrase came from very far away to meet its supposed signatory.34

Elaborating upon the phrase il y a là cendre, Derrida attempts to chart a certain internalisation of “distance” between signification and signing, as conveyed here in the paronomastic fold between the adverbial, nominal and interjectory là and the feminine pronoun la: Là written with an accent grave: là, there, cinder there is, there is, there, cinder. But the accent, although readable to the eye, is not heard: il y a là cendre. To the

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ear the definite article, la, risks effacing the place, and any mention or memory of the place, the adverb là [...]. But read silently, it is the reverse: là effaces la, la effaces itself, herself, twice rather than once.35

For Derrida, the pronominal distanciation of la/là involves a concept of “permission” (permettre) which is also a “sending,” an address, a destining which ties itself, through a simulacrum etymology, to a concept of placement (mettre), of being-there (là).36 At the same time, permission is withdrawn, and la, like Nietzsche’s concept of gendered dissimulation, is seen merely as a seduction from across an impossible distance, as the aporia of any hermeneutics of disclosure. This la “will not be pinned down” and yet “it is impossible to resist looking for her”37: Distance—woman—averts truth—the philosopher. She bestows the idea. And the idea withdraws, becomes transcendent, inaccessible, seductive. It beckons from afar. Its veils float in the distance.38

In Finnegans Wake the notion of gendered dissimulation is mirrored in the figure of “gossipaceous Anna Livia” and her filial composite Isolde, Issy, Isis, “la belle! Icy-labelle” (FW 246. 20), in whom the sense of distanciation combines with the copulative mechanism of the verb to be, in the ambiguity of ici-là, la-elle, and is is. Between the figure of A.L.P. and Derrida’s la/là the topological relation of a beingthere is rendered as a form of gendered materiality which, despite its placement as an horizon of signifiability, is nevertheless unlocatable. This is perhaps what is meant by Mallarmé’s phrase: “Too much hymen desired by the one who seeks the la.”39 That is, the overdetermination of the subjective horizon which also marks a rupture in the operations of definite articulation. Hence “she” is taken to represent the primal object of desire (“La Belle Sauvage” [FW 106.16]) as well as the movement of its clandestination in discourse, recalling ‘Circe’ in Ulysses and A.L.P. in Finnegans Wake, writing herself, itself.40 It is with a certain irony that Derrida (following Rousseau) points out the way in which the accentuated “silence” of the graphic difference between là and la can function, of course, only within a system of “phonetic” writing, while at the same time exhibiting that “there is no phonetic writing”: It is a mistake to think that accent marks can make up for [suppléer] oral intonation [l’accent]. One invents accent signs [accens] only when intonation [l’accent] has already been lost.41

The accent grave in là signifies the unpronounceability of the “correspondence” between the text and what is referred to as its “interior voice.”42 It marks a “grammatical sign” specific to writing, as an “accent” that cannot be heard: If the homophony withholds the singular name within the common noun, it was surely “there,” là; someone vanished but something preserved her trace and at the same time lost it.43

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Indeed, the accent grave—which usually represents a tonal inflection in speech— indicates, instead, a linguistic topos in which “phonetic” difference is at once inscribed and erased, suggesting a kind of lack.44 Such a lack could be thought of as describing the text’s active inscription of its own “disappearance,” marking “the signature of an unceasing omission,”45 since “one will never be able to decide if white signifies something, or signifies only, or in addition to, the space of writing itself.”46 As Joyce suggests: why, pray, sign anything as long as every word, letter, penstroke, paperspace is a perfect signature of its own? [FW 115.07]

Echoing a phrase from Mallarmé’s Crise de Vers, Hélène Cixous argues that in Finnegans Wake Joyce “makes up the lack of languages,” by using the autonomous icon-values of phonological oppositions.47 This ambivalence of the written mark towards a phonetic function recalls what Derrida terms différance, in the sense of both temporalisation and spacing, which is itself exemplified in the homophonic play between Derrida’s neologism and the French word différence: this marked difference between two apparently vocal notations [...] remains purely graphic; it is read, or it is written, but it cannot be heard. It cannot be apprehended in speech, and [...] it also bypasses the order of apprehension. It is offered by a mute mark, a tacit monument. [...] The a of différance, thus, is not heard; it remains silent, secret, and discreet as a tomb: oikêsis.48

For Derrida, the word différence (with an e): can never refer to either différer as temporalisation or to différends as polemos. Thus the word différance (with an a) is to compensate—economically—this loss of meaning, for différance can refer simultaneously to the entire configuration of its meanings. It is immediately and irreducibly polysemic.49

Further, in its polysemia this term, “like any meaning, must defer to the discourse in which it occurs, its interpretive context; but in a way it defers itself.”50 The topos of an interpretation suggested here is complicated by a seeming contradiction into which we are drawn through this relation of différance to polysemy and its dependence upon a notion of the “sign” which différance implacably delimits.51 Derrida addresses this problem more explicitly elsewhere, in regards to what he terms “dissemination” and “seminal différance,”52 relating différance to a “disseminating” or “generative” polysemy, a “polysemy which continues to make a sign.”53 Significantly, this polysemic différance “compensates” for a “loss of meaning”: it intervenes in the structure of the sign by way of this signification of loss, substituting itself “without end” and “at its origin.” In this way the “distanciation” of différance marks precisely what will not (in Ricœur’s theory) succumb to the “reduction” of polysemy. As Derrida argues: in a certain place, a place of well-determined form, no series of semantic valencies can any longer be closed or reassembled. Not that it opens onto an inexhaustible wealth of meaning or the transcendence of a semantic excess. By means of this

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angle, this fold, this double fold of an undecidable, a mark marks both the marked and the mark, the re-marked site of the mark. The writing which, at this moment, re-marks itself (something completely other than a representation of itself) can no longer be counted on the list of themes [...]; it must be subtracted from (hollow) and added to (relief) the list. The hollow is the relief, but the lack and the surplus can never be stabilised in the plenitude of a form or an equation, in the stationary correspondence of a symmetry or an homology.54

This would also refer to the “lack” and “surplus” involved in the substituting possibility of a generative polysemy or polysemic différance, which would hence continue to “make a sign” at the same time as delimiting the semantic horizon. In this sense the place of a substitution, the generative topos inscribed between this “lack” and this “surplus,” also indicates a certain mechanism of emplacement, a topology of internal difference that occludes the signifier’s relation to itself, as well as to a signified, at the same time as it poses that relation as “something completely other than a representation of itself.” This incommensurable distance, between topos and “emplacement” implies a particular tropology which, like the a of différance and the accent grave separating la from là, might also be described by an algorithm of grammatological substitution: something taking the form, perhaps, of +R.

POLYNOMIALS Like Deleuze and Guattari’s “desiring machines” which “make a habit of feeding on the contradictions they give rise to,” the more the signification of identity breaks down, “the better it works.”55 This inflationary movement, like that of the Wake’s postal genesis, derives force from a paradoxical will to derivation and truth, expanding and spreading out like an algebraic equation in which every term is a possible variable, without ever offering up a solution that is not always plugged back into the same or another equation as so many “shadows shadows multiplicating [...] totients quotients, the tackle their quarrel” (FW 181.18). This play between signifying equation and adæquatio figures consistently in Joyce’s writing: Across the page the symbols moved in grave morrice, in the mummery of their letters. [U 28] nought time ∞, find, if you are literally coefficient, how minney combinaises and permutandies can be played on the international surd! pthwndxrclzp!, hids cubid rute being extructed, taking anan illitterettes, ififif at a tom. Answers (for teasers only).3 Ten, twent, thirt, see, ex and three icky totchty ones. From solation to solution, Imagine the twelve deaferended dumbbawls of the whowl abovebeugled to be the contonuation of the word in pregross. [FW 284.11-22] The equation on the page [...] began to spread out a widening tail, eyed and starred like a peacock’s; and, when the eyes and stars of its indices had been eliminated, began slowly to fold itself together again. The indices appearing and disappearing were eyes opening and closing were stars being born and being quenched. The vast cycle of starry life bore his weary mind outward to its verge and inward to

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its centre, a distant music accompanying him outward and inward. What music? The music came nearer and he recalled the words, the words of Shelley’s fragment upon the moon wandering companionless, pale for weariness. The stars began to crumble and a cloud of fine stardust fell through space. [P 102-103]

In Ulysses the adæquatio of the genealogical will-to-derivation is parodied by Stephen Dedalus’s theory of consubstantiality in Hamlet. In ‘Telemachus,’ Buck Mulligan exclaims satirically that: He proves by algebra that Hamlet’s grandson is Shakespeare’s grandfather and that he himself is the ghost of his own father. [U 18]

Which reappears, ten pages later in ‘Nestor,’ as: He proves by algebra that Shakespeare’s ghost is Hamlet’s grandfather. [U 28]

This double filiation mirrors the effect of paternal spectrality in Shakespeare’s play, that at the “origin” there is only a spectre, a signifier of a guilty conscience masked by the son’s apparent mourning after the absence of the dead father. In this sense the son, Hamlet, as the literal embodiment of the Lacanian nom du père, is also a figure of mourning, the commemoration of a certain absence of lack which Hélène Cixous refers to as a figure of “castration.” The nom du fils signifies the paternal lack, a discontinuity in the filiation of the word, at the same time as it marks its metonymic substitution, as ghost or spectre, which defines the son not only as the ghost of the father but as fathersubstitute (“the contonuation of the word in pregross”). In this sense spectrality defines a lapsus or series of lapsus which organises the movement of signifying substitution to fill the gap left hollow in or by this speculative apparatus.56 The filial relationship is complicated in Ulysses by the way Stephen himself is haunted by the spectacle of his mother’s death. Stephen’s ironic, or “heretical” detachment, loosely veils the symbolic importance of the maternal spectre in the circuit of filiation: “Amor matris: subjective and objective genitive” (U 26). The fort/da game that Stephen plays with his mother’s ghost, and the quasi-Freudian tableau played out in Bella Cohen’s brothel in the ‘Circe’episode, re-enforce the notion of a lack or division interposing, as in the myth of Dedalus and elsewhere throughout the Metamorphoses, between the signified father and signifying son. In the ‘Scylla and Charybdis’ episode of Ulysses, the tropic nature of this filiation is further elaborated around the undifferentiated repetition of “Hamlet,” which Stephen points to in the question: “What is the ghost? [...] Who is the ghost from limbo patrum, returning to the world that has forgotten him? Who is King Hamlet?” (U 185). For Stephen, the ghost is part of a game, a role-play, a spectacle of embodiment and reembodiment organised around the signifying functions of the name Hamlet: —The play begins. A player comes on under the shadow, made up in the castoff mail of a court buck, a wellset man with a bass voice. It is the ghost, the king, a king and no king, and the player is Shakespeare who has studied Hamlet all the years of his life which were not vanity in order to play the part of the spectre. He

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speaks the words to Burbage, the young player who stands before him beyond the rack of cerecloth, calling him by a name: Hamlet, I am thy father’s spirit. [U 185]

Stephen’s pronominal jest on Hamlet, as the name of Shakespeare’s character and of his play, revolves around the concept of paternity and authorship, and the spectre of what Roland Barthes refers to as the “death of the author.”57 Stephen continues: —It is possible that the player Shakespeare, a ghost by absence, and in the vesture of buried Denmark, a ghost by death, speaking his own words to his own son’s name (had Hamnet Shakespeare lived he would have been prince Hamlet’s twin) is it possible, I want to know, or probable that he did not draw or foresee the logical conclusion of those premises: you are the dispossessed son: I am the murdered father [...]. [U 185-6]

While Stephen goes on to point the finger of blame at the figure of Hamlet/Hamnet’s mother, Gertrude/Ann Hathaway, the axial relation of “dispossessed son: murdered father” seems rather to be orientated by a “law of the father” as the “negative limit of paternity.”58 Margot Norris, finds in this a parallel to the Hegelian dynamic of the father-son conflict which typifies the master-slave dialectic,59 and which subsequently underwrites the Freudian Oedipus complex. Following from Freud, Norris links this axial or mirroring relation of “dispossessed son: murdered father” to the theme of incest, and the patricide-filicide equation implied by it. As with Hamlet, Sophocles’s Oedipus Tyranos centres upon a lapsus in filiation and paternal law: Laius’s attempted infanticide robs the child Oedipus of his true identity and casts him among strangers. At the fatal crossroads father and son meet as strangers, an alienation consequent to Laius’s disturbance of kinship laws.60

Like Oedipus, Stephen is attributed a staff (or “ashplant”) which plays a conspicuous role in the symbolic passage of filiation. Where Oedipus raises his staff to his father, however, Stephen raises it to the image of his mother’s ghost. The subsequent loss of Stephen’s ashplant, corresponds to another instance in Sophocles’s drama which is often overlooked. As with ‘Circe,’ the critical moment for Oedipus is not his patricide as such, but the encounter with the Sphinx, in which Oedipus is invited to identify the figure of man and consequently his own passage to manhood in the annulment of the father. The Sphinx’s riddle, however, belies a lapsus in the moment of filial substitution, as it is precisely Oedipus’s staff which situates him outside the definition of man as going on two legs at midday. Like Shem in Finnegans Wake, Oedipus is a figure of sham, just as Stephen is the sham artificer in the shadow of the “sovereignty” (P 168) of the paternal name: Now at the name of the fabulous artificer, he seemed to hear the noise of dim waves and to see a winged form flying above the waves and slowly climbing the air. What did it mean? Was it a quaint device opening a page of some medieval book of prophesies and symbols, a hawklike man flying sunward above the sea,

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a prophesy of the end he had been born and had been following through the mists of childhood, a symbol of the artist forging anew in his workshop out of the sluggish matter of the earth a new soaring impalpable imperishable being. [P 168]

The apparent nobility of these sentiments is belied in the alchemical metaphor, and the sham artificer’s usurpation of the creative act as a form of destiny which is in fact a theft perpetrated under the guise of servitude. As a form of assumptive demiurge, Stephen’s invocations recall the episode in Hamlet of the play-within-a-play (‘The Mousetrap’), following the interuption of which Hamlet exclaims after Claudius: “What, frighted by false fire?”61 Stephen, like Hamlet, is thus seen as a “creator” of false fire, just as the play-within-a-play is presented as a “dumbshow.” The demiurgic figure of Stephen, like Milton’s Satan (Lucifer) and Marlowe’s Faustus, envisages a triumphal “fall,” which is nevertheless pursued beneath a veil of duplicity and bad conscience: to serve and yet not to serve, to fulfil and yet to overcome a destiny which binds him to the paternal ghost. The seductions of a destiny and the nightmarish hauntings of a “history from which [he is] trying to escape,” are the poles that limit Stephen’s conception of the artist as prodigal or parodic, servile or sovereign, and so on. Like Hamlet, Stephen suggests the figure of a paradox between the assumption and impossible denial of filiation.62 This relationship, however, can also be read within the closer confines of a notion of paternity and paternalism—describing, perhaps, a moment in the Hegelian dialectic of self-knowing coming to the figure of the father through the “sacrifice” of the son de jure patrio (but also through a concurrent “desacralising” of the father). This is echoed in the figure of the priest/pseudo-father in two texts from Dubliners, ‘Araby’ and ‘The Sisters,’ and the parallel theme of the absent, hidden, or hypostatised paternal-father. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man this is expanded in a constellation of related ideas, from the figure of British colonialism and the Jesuit order, to questions of Irish nationality and language, to the role of the artist and nature of aesthetic apprehension, to the role of the proper name—in particular the ghostly name of the father (Dedalus)— and to the subject of duty, service, and ethical or moral responsibility. In ‘Time and the Other,’ Emmanuel Levinas poses the relation of ethics to a concept of paternity more explicitly: Paternity is the relationship with a stranger who, entirely while being Other, is myself, the relationship of the ego with a myself who is none the less a stranger to me. The son, in effect, is not simply my work, like a poem or an artefact, neither is he my property. Neither the categories of power nor those of having can indicate the relationship with the child [...]. Then again, the son is not any event whatsoever that happens to me—for example, my sadness, my ordeal, my suffering. The son is an ego, a person. Lastly, the alterity of the son is not that of an alter ego. Paternity is not a sympathy through which I can put myself in my son’s place. It is through my being, not through sympathy, that I am my son. The return of the ego to itself that begins with hypostasis is thus not without remission, thanks to the perspective of the future opened by eros. Instead of obtaining this remission through the impossible dissolution of hypostasis, one accomplishes it through the son.63

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a kind of spectrality, a haunting of the paternal will exercised in absentia, or in effegie, as in the theme of Hamlet in Ulysses and the figure of Dedalus in A Portrait. In both cases, paternity is defined by a commandment or compulsion against which the son is judged: “Paternity being, as Freud noted, always inferred from a sentence, from a declaration in the form of a judgement.”64 Significantly, Levinas’s reading of paternity assumes the position of the father in order to imagine and project the ethical undermining and enlargement of the “paternal self.” But as Luce Irigaray has pointed out, such a preoccupation with paternity is always vulnerable to the accusation that it may be a means for the masculine ego of restituting itself, to itself, via the mediatory figure of the maternal—reduced to a tropic interval in the reversion of paternalistic egoism. According to Irigaray: The aspect of fecundity that is only witnessed in the son obliterates the secret of difference. As the lover’s means of return to himself outside himself, the son closes the circle. The path of a solitary ethics that will have encountered for its own need, without nuptial fulfilment, the irresponsible woman, the loved one.65

Similarly, in her essay ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ Cixous draws attention to the problem of the relation of Joyce’s writing to a “mother” tongue. In Cixous’s opinion, English for Joyce was “too much a ‘mother’ tongue, too alienating, a captive language which must be made to stumble.”66 At the same time Cixous draws our attention to the role of a “paternal” tongue, the tongue of the priest “playing dead” in ‘The Sisters,’ the paralytic tongue and the dead language of the catechism posed against the jingling language of the marketplace in ‘Araby,’ with its further echoes in A Portrait: every mean shop legend bound his mind like the words of a spell and his soul shrivelled up sighing with age as he walked on in a lane among heaps of dead language. [P 178]

In Ulysses, Stephen refuses to pray beside his mother’s deathbed and is haunted thereafter by the spectre of her decaying body. In ‘The Sisters’ the protagonist dreams of the disembodied head of the dead priest, palsied, desiring to confess: The grey face still followed me. It murmured; and I understood that it wanted to confess something. I felt my soul receding into some pleasant and vicious region; and there again I found it waiting for me. It began to confess to me in a murmuring voice and I wondered when it smiled continually and why the lips were so moist with spittle. [D 11]

For Cixous, the palsied tongue and moistened lips of the priest-father symbolise a form of “castration.” The imminence of this threat, as posed in the boy’s dream, is interpreted as belying the “phallogocentric” authority of the priest as custodian of knowledge and of the divine mysteries, at the same time as it marks a perversion of the law of the father. As Cixous elsewhere points out, at the moment of correspondence or consummation of the father-son dialectic, the figure of “castration” interposes as lacuna, lapsus or lack. Cixous describes this lapsus as a form of “literalised” castration. That is, as a failure of identity or ideality in the transubstantiation of the word: 173


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Between Daedalus and Icarus: Ulysses. And: “My will: his will that fronts me. Seas between” (U 217). From father unto son, via the mother, always, begun again. This delayed birth constitutes the movement of a work which playfully undermines gestation, the play inscribing itself in the various falls, losses, repeated and unexpected exiles, which are all the more astounding in that the goal seems accessible, is named, puts itself forward, fascinates, is not hidden but rather pointed out (I, the Artist, the Word), is not forbidden but rather promised, and in that the subject, held in suspense, pursues it with [...] the weapons of the self (silence, exile, cunning), marking out its passage with theories, incorporated hypotheses of formalisation: one or two ideas of Aristotle, a pinch of St. Thomas; a chapter on poetics and literary history; several chapters on the problems of autobiography; and, in a pre-Freudian context, an implicit theory of the authorial unconscious, and of the textual unconscious, in a blasphemous analogy with the Arian heresy, showing in the Trinity the three-sided, divinely ordered production that allows the Father to see through the Son’s eyes, where the Holy Spirit would be like that chain linking the Name of the Father to the Name of the Son, the scriptor to writing: the breath of the unconscious on the text.67

One of the things that Cixous suggests in her reading of Joyce’s text is that this movement of sublimation and abstraction marks one of the ways in which the filiation of logos is cut-off from derivation. Cixous compares this failure of derivation to Stephen’s riddle in the ‘Nestor’ episode of Ulysses: —This is the riddle, Stephen said. The cock crew The sky was blue: The bells in heaven Were striking eleven. Tis time for this poor soul To go to heaven. [U 26]

For Cixous, this “riddle” bears no logical connection to the apparent solution that Stephen offers his dismayed listeners: The fox burying his grandmother under a hollybush. [U 27]

According to Cixous, Stephen’s answer reveals: “not a positive knowledge, but the gap in knowledge, the knowledge of non-knowledge [...] experienced as the subterfuge of castration.”68 The riddle itself poses a spectral form of discourse, in which the form and appearance of derivation never exceeds the purely speculative in relation to a “truth” whose disclosure is thus rendered specious.

REBUS In his discussion of understanding and interpreting in Being and Time, Heidegger describes idle talk as a “positive phenomenon” which nevertheless affects “a perverting 174


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of the act of disclosing (Erschliessen) into an act of closing-off (Verschliessen),” through the subterfuge of a form of non-knowledge, thus bringing “what is understood to a sham clarity.”69 In Finnegans Wake this perverted disclosure of primal self-knowledge is echoed, “at the very dawn of protohistory” (FW 169.21), in Shem’s “first riddle of the universe” (FW 170.04): asking when is a man not a man?: telling them to take their time, yungfries, and wait till the tide stops (for from the first his day was a fortnight) and offering the prize of a bittersweet crab, a little present from the past, for their copper age was yet unminted, to the winner. One said when the heavens are quakers, a second said when Bohemeand lips, a third said when he, no, when hold hard a jiffy, when he is a gnawstick and detarmined to, the next one said when the angel of death kicks the bucket of life, still another said when the wine’s at witsends, and still another when lovely woman stoops to conk him, one of the littlest said to me, me, Sem, when pappa papered the harbour, one of the wittiest said, when he yeat ye abblokooken and he zmear hezelf zo zhooken, still one said when you are old I’m grey fall full wi sleep, and still another when wee deader walkner, and another when he is just having been semisized, another when yea, he hath no mananas, and one when dose pigs they begin now that they will flies up intil the looft. All were wrong, so Shem himself, the doctator, took the cake, the correct solution being—all give it up?—; when he is a—yours till the rending of the rocks,—Sham. [FW 170.05-24]

Shem’s riddle can also be seen as exemplifying what Cixous refers to as “(r)used writing, writing governed by ruse.”70 As with the vicissitudes of Heideggerean idle talk, ruse describes a sham economy of disclosure, which operates between an “effect of mastery” on one hand, and “incongruity” on the other, in which “metaphors that never end, hypnotic and unanswerable riddles” combine with a “proliferation of false signs” and what Ezra Pound referred to as “circumambient peripherization”71 in order to affect what Cixous calls a “delirious code.” For Cixous, this delirium is a product of solicitation, of a shaking up of interpretive procedures: “an incessant questioning of the codes which appear to function normally but which are sometimes suddenly rendered invalid, and then the next moment are revalidated.”72 Elsewhere in Finnegans Wake, the mechanism of ruse is linked to procedures of interpretation, exegesis, hermeneutics and translation, ultimately investing the entire field of epistemic discourse. In ‘Tales Told of Shem and Shaun,’ this is further played out in terms of false witness and perjury, and the “failure” of any mimēsis to guarantee the truth-value of its various disclosures. As a figure of sham, “Shem the Penman” (FW 125.23) is possessed of qualities inherent to language itself, in which ethical indifference combines with originary différance in a movement of compulsive autopoiesis, described by Derrida as a movement between dissemination and dissimulation (“dishemination”). At one point, Shem’s “deposition” regarding A.L.P.’s letter takes the form of: unsolicited testimony on behalf of the absent, as glib as eaveswater to those present (who meanwhile, with increasing lack of interest in semantics, allowed various subconscious smickers to drivel slowly across their fitchers), unconsciously explaining, for inkstands, with a meticulosity bordering on the insane, the various

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meanings of all the different foreign parts of speech he misused and cuttle fishing every lie unshrinkable about all the other people in the story, leaving out, of course, foreconsciously, the simple worf and plague and poison they had cornered him about until there was not a snoozer among them but was utterly undeceived in the heel of the reel by the recital of the rigmarol. [FW 173.29-174.04]

Similarly, for Heidegger, the antagonism between disclosing (Erschliessen) and closing-off (Verschliessen) means that “Dasein is equiprimordially both in truth and in untruth.”73 In this sense, the relation of Shem’s “first riddle of the universe” to Stephen Dedalus’s riddle in Ulysses, is one of complementarity, in a manner that Cixous describes as: the sign of a willed imposture which crosses and double-crosses the whole of Joyce’s work, making that betrayal the very breath (the breathlessness) of the subject. Nothing will have been signified save the riddle, referral of a referral beneath a letter which, besides, is not beyond the pretence of having spirit.74

Elsewhere Heidegger proposes that this “primordial” relation between Being and language is one of dwelling. In his ‘Letter on Humanism’ (1946), Heidegger defines language as “the house of being [...] in its home man dwells.”75 And in ‘The Way to Language,’ he develops the idea of language as dwelling place and as the “keeper of the present.” Language’s “saying,” its Sagen, resides, according to Heidegger, not in reference, but in the “appropriating, holding, [and] self-retaining” that is the “relation of all relations.”76 In Finnegans Wake, this “dwelling” of language is again tied to dissemination and dissimulation, through the forger-plagiarist figure Shem, whose “house” is referred to in I.7 as “The Haunted Inkbottle.” Shem, as the filial ghost or “legatee” of H.C.E.77 and as a figure of “sham,” is elsewhere described as being so much squid-produced ink: (thereby [...] reflecting from his own individual person life unlivable, trans accidented through the slow fires of consciousness into a dividual chaos, perilous, potent, common to allflesh, human only, mortal) but with each word that would not pass away the squidself which he had squirtscreened from the crystalline world waned chagreenold and doriangrayer in its dudhud. This exists that isits after having been said we know. [FW 186.03-9]

The rhetorical concealments of Shem’s “squidself” belie the movement of disclosure as one of duplicity and deviation. As Margot Norris has pointed out, Shem is also described as an eavesdropper (earwigger) and wordstealer: “treasuring with condign satisfaction each and every crumb of trektalk, covetous of his neighbour’s word” (FW 172.29); a forger: “to copy all their various styles of signature so as one day to utter an epical forged cheque on the public for his own private profit” (FW 181.15); and a plagiarist: Who can say how many pseudostylic shamiana, how few or how many of the most venerated public impostures, how very many piously forged palimpsests slipped in the first place by this morbid process from his pelagiarist pen? [FW 181.36]78

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Authenticity in this sense is tied to self-authorship, in which disclosure is posed against the discourse of the Heideggerean “they”—not as a more authentic discourse, but as a form of screen, mask, camouflage or Batesonian mimicry. The metapoiesis described by this internal mime obscures the author-text filiation, as an aporia of mimēsis, in the defilement of what C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards termed “the meaning of meaning” or “Multimimetica, the maymeaminning of maimoomeining” (FW 267.02-3). Similarly H.C.E., as the Wake’s disseminal father figure and archetypal figure of incest, is regarded as a type of everyman and no man: “an imposing everybody he always indeed looked, constantly the same as and equal to himself and magnificently well worthy of any and all such universalisation” (FW 32.19). Following from this Norris argues that: Insofar as personal pronouns are linguistic shifters, denoting senders, receivers, and topics of the message, H.C.E. occupies all positions simultaneously, and is “I,” “you,” and “he” all at once.79

Relating H.C.E. to a “freudened” (FW 115.23) figure of dream analysis, Norris makes the analogous point that: “The dreamer, of course, is author, actor, and audience of his dream; he frequently, however, does not recognise himself there on the stage, and refuses to admit that he wrote the script.”80 Moreover: “The great problem [...] is that the reader is trapped inside the dream in Finnegans Wake. A dream can’t be analysed from the inside, because the dream is precisely the place where self-knowledge breaks down.”81

TRANSLATION MACHINES In his Introduction to Husserl’s Origin of Geometry, Derrida (referring to Ulysses) describes Joyce’s writing as an attempt “to repeat and take responsibility for all equivocity itself, utilising a language that could equalise the greatest possible synchrony with the greatest potential for buried, accumulated, and interwoven intentions with each linguistic atom, each vocable, each word, each simple proposition, in all worldly cultures and the most ingenious forms (mythology, religion, sciences, arts, literature, politics, and so forth).”82 While Derrida’s comments here may just as well be directed at Finnegans Wake, they reveal how what he later comes to term différance is already largely signified as an “equivocity” that functions across all levels of textuality. Derrida goes on to suggest that Joyce’s text (Ulysses): make[s] the structural unity of all empirical culture appear in the generalised equivocity of a writing that, no longer translating one language into another on the basis of their common core of sense, circulates through all languages at once, accumulates their energies, actualises their most secret consonances, discloses their furthermost common horizons, cultivates their associative syntheses instead of avoiding them.83

In ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ this argument is taken up to further investigate ways in which Finnegans Wake addresses the relationship between language and Being through the 177


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question of translation or metaleptic transmission, while at the same time disrupting the attunements of these relations. Focusing on the paronomasian effect of the words “he war” (FW 258.12), Derrida pays attention to what Herman Rapaport refers to as “tonalities of diaspora” (“in deesperation of deispiration at the diasporation of his diesparation” [FW 257.25-6]) or the “transference or translation” of signifying sense in Joyce’s texts.84 This mechanism of transference or translation is defined by means of an “appropriation and disappropriation” of tonalities which pass or do not pass across linguistic boundaries, as a form of “consonantal” iterability.85 The phrase “he war” appears in Finnegans Wake towards the end of II.1, in a passage in which the text describes a form of twilight pantomime. Throughout this particular part of the Wake Joyce makes references to events that occur in Genesis, in which the “rhythm of the Bible is mimed.”86 One example which Rapaport identifies is in the line: “We’ve heard it all since songdom was gemurrmal” (FW 251.36), which suggests Sodom and Gomorrah, but also the Hebrew word “Gemara” (rabbinical commentary on the Mishnah, forming the second part of the Talmud, derived from Aramaic gemárâ, “completion”), hence describing a pun between “war” and the doctrine of an “end of history” (eschaton or apocalyptō).87 There are possible references to Noah’s ark: “O! Amune! Ark!? Noh?!” (FW 244.26) and the fall of “Lignifer” (FW 250.33), and towards the end of the chapter a reference to the “Babel-scene.” This occurs after the pantomime (or “Noh” theatre) comes to an end with the thunder of the “father” H.C.E., in the guise of Thor: Housefather calls enthreateningly. From Brandenborgenthor. At Asa’s arthre. In thundercloud periwig. With lightning bug aflash from afinger. [FW 246.06-8]

The sign of thunder also suggests a moment of transition, which Margot Norris has identified with Vico’s theory of social origins in Principi di Scienza Nuova as a complement to Joyce’s use of the Edenic and Oedipal myths in Finnegans Wake. According to Norris, “this myth significantly juxtaposes the origins of society and language,” in which the Babel-scene is re-echoed in the account “of the event when the sky first thundered”: The descendants of Ham and Japheth and the non-Hebraic descendants of the Shem, having wandered through the great forest of the earth for a century or two, had lost all human speech and institutions and had been reduced to bestiality, copulating at sight and inclination. These dumb beasts naturally took the thundering sky to be a great animated body, whose flashes and claps were commands, telling them what they had to do. The thunder surprised some of them in the act of copulation and frightened copulating pairs into nearby caves. This was the beginning of matrimony and settled life.88

Vico’s myth provides a type of chiasmatic double of the Babel-scene, in which the vocable of YAHWE (thunder) deconstructs language and social structures in the diasporation of the Shem (“Ba be bi bo bum” [FW 284.L3]). In §448 of the Scienza Nuova, Vico also identifies thunder with the birth of language, first as monasyllable: “pa” or “ba.” As Petr Škrabánek has pointed out, Bhā- is the proto-Indo-European root for “to speak.” 178


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In both cases thunder marks a transition, an advent and a discontinuity, a pantomime or “Noh!” theatre performed between commandment and interdiction. As such, thunder also marks what Joyce refers to as an “INCIPIT IN- / TERMISSIO” (FW 278.R1) (a mechanism which led McLuhan to read the Wake’s ten thunderclaps as a “history of technology”). At the end of II.1, this corresponds to the last act of “Feenichts Playhouse” (FW 219.02), which as “Phoenix” and “nichts” suggests a form of recursive terminus and commencement (entr’acte). With the curtain fall and the announcement of the performance’s conclusion, the spectacle shifts from the gods to the groundlings, thus heralding the coming Viconian age of man: Byfall. Upploud! The play thou shouwburgst, Game, here endeth. The curtain drops by deep request. Uplouderamain! Gonn the gawds, Gunnar’s gustspells. When the h, who was hu, how the hue, where the huer? Orbiter onswers: lots lives lost. [FW 257.29-36]89

For Rapaport, the line “when the h, who was hu, how the hue, where the huer?” likewise marks “not only the falling of the curtain and the dissolution of the biblical stories into a kind of babble,” but also “a disintegration of language under the recognition that the gods are gone.”90 This repetition of terms for “who?” is echoed at the end of the chapter, in which the question of identity is arrived at through a substitution of vowel sounds in the line: “Ha he hi ho hu. Mummum.” (FW 259.09-10). Elsewhere the question of identity is more explicitly in regards to the figure of H.C.E., through a similar repetition of H-sounds: is he? Who is he? Whose is he? Why is he? How much is he? Which is he? When is he? Where is he? How is he? And what the decans is there about him anyway, the decemt man? [FW 261.27-262.01]

The hesitating strategies with which the Wake’s discourse disperses its subjects, through the continual operations of textual difference, will afford no “solution” to these questions, other than a return to the continual displacements and deferrals of Joyce’s logomachia itself: “war’s, end so, und all, ga, ga” (FW 270.31). Rapaport’s contention that this is evidence of a “disintegration of language under the recognition that the gods are gone,” suggests that decipherment of the various codes affirming identity must take place in the absence of any scriptural authority. This in turn points towards an unavailing literality in the mechanism of decoding or “translation,” suggestive of a failure of transmission or of an overredundancy in which the “message” is desimplified through a movement of reduction: Gwds with gurs are gttrdmmrng. Hlls vlls. [FW 258.01-02]

As a possible reference to the final part of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, Götterdämmerung, this “Twilight of the Gods” also calls to mind Nietzsche’s Twilight 179


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of the Idols (Götzen-Dämmerung), suggesting that we might also read II.1 as a possible reference in 1939 to the approaching storm from Bayreuth and the eclipse of the romantic age in the veniality of “modern” technological man. The “reduction” of language to a technics of redundancy, however, also situates the sense of divine logos as a form of deus ex machina. In this way the “mythical” content of the transcoded text gives way to the mythomorphology of the coding and decoding process itself. In the question “when the h, who was hu, how the hue, where the huer?” the answer, which is posed obiter dictum as “lots lives lost,” not only describes a form of “Catastrophe and / Anabasis” (FW 304.L2) but also a series of topical and tropic reversions in which identity (h, hu, hue, huer) is multiplied and dissipated as a performative index of the anagrammatical shift between “lots” and “lost.”91 Consequently, Joyce’s paronomasia may be seen not only as a kind of histrionic re-enactment, metaleptically unfolding itself, but as describing a process of autopoiesis, in which the noun and verb form of the word “lives” likewise suggests a type of production situated as the object of its own process. Elsewhere in ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ Derrida argues that Joyce’s strategy of “disarticulation” not only culminates in a very “violent reading of these relationships” with respect to history as cata-strophe, but that this tropic violence is inherent in a reading of the question of language and Being, as evidenced in the book of Genesis. Discussing the words “he war,” Derrida writes: I spell them out: HEWAR, and sketch a first translation: HE WAR—he wages war, he declares or makes war, he is war, which can also be pronounced by babelising a bit (it is in a particularly Babelian scene of the book that these words rise up), by Germanising, then, in Anglo-Saxon, He war: he was—he who was (“I am he who is who am,” says YAHWE). Where it was, he was, declaring war, and it is true. Pushing things a bit, taking time to draw on the vowel and lend an ear, it will have been true, wahr, that’s what can be kept [garder] or looked at [regarder] in truth.92

Derrida subsequently attempts to establish a link between writing, the masculine singular pronoun, the creator-god YAHWE, and a form of temporalising, egotic warfare: He, is “He,” the “him,” the one who says I in the masculine, “He,” war declaring, he who was war declared, declaring war, by declaring war, was he who was, and he who was true, the truth, he who by declaring war verified the truth that he was, he verified himself, he verified the truth of his truth by war declared, by the act of declaring, and declaring is an act of war, he declared war in language and on language and by language, which gave languages, that’s the truth of Babel when YAHWE pronounced its vocable, difficult to say if it was a name.93

Derrida’s reading of Joyce here is itself largely paronomasian, particularly in terms of the repetition of the pronoun, in which its antecedence is seen to undergo subtle shifts in orientation between subject and object. The words “he war” take on significance as a transmission of a declaration of Being and of truth (he war, he was). Which is to say, the declaration of the truth of Being in whose transmission this truth is verified as the “war,” that modality of Being “in whose contemplation language itself is pluralised 180


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and pulverised.”94 The “war” declared “in language, on language, and by language,” the “war” that gives languages. In Rapaport’s view, the giving of the coded name or declaration of “he war” echoes the es gibt Sein of Heidegger, as a declaration concerning the time of Being. The time of Being is expressed, in this context, as a time declared from within the metalepsis of language—that is to say, the confusions inherent in the translation or transliteration of the word “war” between German and English. In this sense HE WAR also describes a declaration of the time of language as translated event of origin and of an origin in translation: “nat language at any sinse of the world” (FW 13.12). This recalls what Blanchot, in Le pas au-delà, refers to as “the step/not [pas] beyond which is (not) achieved in time, which would lead beyond time, without this beyond being atemporal.”95 In Joyce this “beyond/not-beyond” is the war or was of the aporia of cata-strophe: the heroticism, catastrophes and eccentricities transmitted by the ancient legacy of the past. [FW 612.35-615.01]

For Rapaport, “the indetermination, the secrecy, and dreaded violence of the ‘he war,’ then, functions in Derrida as an allegory of reading for the es gibt in Heidegger.”96 In “he war,” Derrida observes the inflationary mechanism of a potlatch, which elsewhere Bataille relates to sacrifice, religious warfare and to the “gratuitous” violence of what he terms expenditure without reserve.97 The Hebrew god’s reverse “gift” to the Shem of a saying (Sagen) that is untranslatable, inaugurates an interminable event of disclosure which is also a closing-off of the language of Being from the operations of divine logos—a “saying [...] whose origin seems to lose itself in the anonymity of time immemorial.”98 This concept of disclosure, like Heidegger’s es gibt Sein, stresses in the giving of Being an opposite withdrawal or retraction, which Derrida calls the retrait or cancelling-out of the gift99 as “consumed (consummate) art of the secret,”100 a “gift” that effaces itself in the act of giving. This expropriation from within the “event” (Ereignis) of Being’s involvement with language is treated by Heidegger often as an occlusion, concealment or revealing. Yet in Derrida’s reading of Joyce, one motive for the interpretation of “he war” concerns the violence inherent to the mechanics of concealment or expropriation. In “he war” it is as though “the presence of the present were itself being expropriated, retracted, demolished.”101 And as a consequence, the Shem, “the name,” are made to suffer by way of a “terrible linguistic catastrophe” which nevertheless can be said to belong to the destiny of language, as though the tower itself (tour, turn, strophē) were addressed to a point of translation between the possibility of signification and the withdrawn promise of a transcendental signified.102

LOGOMACHIA Concluding a limerick addressed to Eugène Jolas in 1933, Joyce affected a pun on one of the few insightful statements attributed to Louis XVI: “Après mot, le déluge.”103 As 181


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an epigraph to a deconstruction of what Derrida calls the “ontotheology of the logos,” Joyce’s pun can also be read as a solicitation of the figure of Babel (as babelisation of the word) encoded in “he war,” in whose wake language may be conceived of as a type of logomachia.104 Elsewhere in the Wake Joyce links this to the seemingly contradictory statement in Genesis that “in the beginning was the word“: In the buginning is the woid, in the muddle is the sounddance and thereinofter you’re in the unbewised again, vund vulsyvolsy. [FW 378.29-31]

The play between “in the beginning was the word” and “the beginning was the void,” with “in the muddle is the sounddance,” not only suggests the cyclical departures of Finnegans Wake itself (beginning with the word “riverrun,” as a deluge coming from the void, flowing back upon “the,” unbewußed, and so on), but also the ambiguity of origins as such, and of the origin in logos in particular. Similarly, Derrida’s reading of “he war” stresses a particular disclosure of Being in terms of a concept of phonology or phenomenology, as “phonemanon” (FW 258.22): For the Clearer of the Air from on high has spoken in tumbuldum tambaldam to his tembledim tombaldoom worrild and, moguphonoised by that phonemanon, the unhappitents of the earth have terrerumbled from fimament unto fundament and from tweedledeedumms down to twiddledeedees. [FW 258.20-24]

According to Rapaport, Derrida is interested in “phonemanon” as a phenomenon of the vocative and the vocative of the phenomenon, echoing the question raised in Speech and Phenomena about Husserl’s concept of the sign as individuated ideality. By situating the “war” of HE WAR “between two languages—English and German—the revelation of Being is always already described within the war of language—its Wahrheit, past, and violence which comprises its Being as language.”105 Similarly, this logomachia is seen to come about “by way of a violent slippage of the vocative,”106 which, as an effect of paronomasia, also implies a mechanics of iterability and what Lacan, referring to Saussure, terms glissage: the slippage of signification along the interstice dividing signifier from signified. As with the Cartesian speech act of self-affirmed Being, the phrase “he war” assumes the tenor of a declaration, which in the above quotation from Finnegans Wake is supplied in the line “the clearer of the air from on high” (which echoes the Latin declārāre, to make clear). At the same time, this declaration is associated with the encoding of YAHWE as HE WAR, whose vocable is thunder. This vocable, which is described onomatopoeically, takes the form of graphological rebus (in the lapsus of so-called phonetic writing) in which the material significations of its “codes” suggest significations on syntactic and semantic levels, exemplified by the syllabifications of Joyce’s portmanteaux, and in particular the various hundred-letter “thunder words”: Lukkedoerendunandurraskewdylooshoofermoyportertooryzooysphalnabor tansporthaokansakroidverjkapakkapuk. [FW 257. 27-28]

This “sound of the lound” (FW 257.29) describes what Deleuze and Guattari refer to as “an open-ended polyvocal formation” of signifying chains.107 These chains 182


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are not made up of signifying signs, but of linguistic particles and vectors whose organisation is determined by material or structural functions, rather than nominally semantic ones. In ‘The Rebus and the Complicity of Origins,’ Derrida similarly investigates the mimetic aspect of the relationship between linguistic materiality and semantics in terms of phonetic writing and “graphology.”108 For Derrida, the graphic “code” of the rebus should be considered “not from the point of view of the intention of signification or of denotation, but of style and of connotation.”109 The cyclicality of creation and destruction theologised in the Bible and parodied in the Wake suggests a type of recursive apparatus whose antithetical organisation is symbolised in the figure of Babel. Through a series of metaphoric and metonymic displacements, Babel stands for both a “deterritorialised” or confused topos and radical tropos of confusion: a reduction of technics and a poetic architectonics.110 In the deluge after the word, the tower of Babel thus provides a technological analogy to the aporia or retrait inscribed in the impossibility of translation (meta-phora) as the condition and “origin” of translation.111 But this analogy is also a metaphor of the untranslatable itself: “an apotropaic against destinerrance, translation against translation, Babel against Babel.”112 As Derrida suggests: “Metaphor shapes and undermines the proper name. The literal [propre] meaning does not exist, its ‘appearance’ is a necessary function—and must be analysed as such—in the system of differences and metaphors.”113 In this sense the “solicitations” of Babel also describe an “impossible” reduction. In the tropic organisation of this metaphor, the tower acquires a structural centre of gravity, which in the solicitation of structure itself is no longer a centre. The exemplum of Babel consists in its irremediable generalisation: the antinomasia of Babel, as a mark of an impossible literality beyond the appearance of a rhetorical apparatus. “In this sense,” says Derrida, “it would be the myth of the origin of myth, the metaphor of metaphor, the narrative of narrative, the translation of translation, and so on.”114 Similarly, the words “he war” can be said to give rise to questions of translation and translatability as ontological “phenomena,” whose literality equally belies the incongruous relation of the proper to what persists under the authority of the proper name of logos.115 For Derrida, this incongruity “occurs through the paronomasia of the event or phenomenon of declaration or donation,” authorised under the proper name YAHWE: In the landscape immediately surrounding the “he war,” we are, if such a present is possible, and this place, at Babel: at the moment when YAHWE declares war, HE WAR (exchange of the final R and the central H in the anagram’s throat), and punishes the Shem, those who, according to Genesis, declare their intention of building the tower in order to make a name for themselves. Now they bear the name “name” (Shem). And the Lord, the Most High, be he blessed (Lord, loud, laud [...]), declares war on them by interrupting the construction of the tower, he deconstructs by speaking the vocable of his choice, the name of confusion, which in the hearing, could be confused with a word indeed signifying “confusion.” Once this war is declared, he was it (war) by being himself this act of war which consisted in declaring, as he did, that he was the one he was (war). The God of fire assigns to the Shem the necessary, fatal and improbable translation of his name, of the vocable with which he signs this act of war, of himself.116

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Reading HE WAR as a virtual anagrammatical encoding of the proper name YAHWE (“Yawhawaw” [FW 619.34]), Derrida points to the normative relation underwriting the “literality” of the proper and of the logos of identity. Elsewhere in the Wake Joyce parodies the notion of divine authorisation and semantic reduction as “The code’s proof” (FW 364.01), which, in the anagrammatical realignment of the letters HE WAR is consequently given subject to “Gramm’s laws” (FW 378.27). In a parody of the Platonic pharmakon of mimēsis, “Gramm,” as a kind of Thoth figure or god of writing, thus programmes YAHWE, god of confusion and, paradoxically, mnemotechnic of the babelised commemoration of Babel, HE WAR. Hence YAHWE also connotes a signifying substitutability, a deus ex machina in the general translational apparatus: “Blankdeblank, god of all machineries” (FW 253.33). This point is further elaborated in regards to the phrase in Finnegans Wake immediately preceding that in which the words “he war” appear: And shall not Babel be with Lebab? And he war. [FW 258.11-12]

The metathesis of Babel-Lebab not only signals the violent destruction, the overthrowing of the tower, but, as Derrida points out, literalises “the meaning of the letter”: the meaning of being and the letters of being, of “being,” BE,EB (baBEl/lEBab), as it does with the meaning and the letter of the name of God, EL,LE.117

But “Lebab” is not only a metathesis of “Babel,” but also a palindrome incorporating the Hebrew word for “heart” (lebhabh), as well as a derivative of the Irish word leabhar, meaning “book.”118 This triad—Babel, heart, book (biblos)—draws together concepts of decentred structure, the disarticulation of coding and decoding (“decorded”), and the totalising fiction of the book and of architectonics, as what Derrida calls: “the whole Babelian adventure of the book, or rather its underside.”119 Moreover, following Hegel’s assertion late in the Aesthetics that it symbolises the “origin” of architecture,120 we might consider the tower of Babel as standing for an “originary” or archē-textual apparatus, in which the genesis of the book is seen to be contemporaneous with the first allegory of technological proliferation.

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DESTINATIONS Gutenmorg with his cromagnon charter, tintingfast and great primer must once for omniboss step rubrickredd out of the wordpress else is there no virtue more in alcohoran. For that (the rapt one warns) is what papyr is meed of, made of, hides and hints and misses in prints. Till ye finally (though not yet endlike) meet with the acquaintance of Mister Typus, Mistress Tope and all the little typtopies. Fillstup. So you need hardly spell me how every word will be bound over to carry three score and ten toptypsical readings throughout the book of Doublends Jined. [FW 20.07-16]

ESCAPE VELOCITIES

“The Gutenberg Galaxy, a book which redirected the way many theorists viewed

the role of technological mediation in communication processes, had its origin in Marshall McLuhan’s desire to write a book called The Road to Finnegans Wake.”1 For Donald Theall, McLuhan’s “reconnoitring” of The Road to Finnegans Wake established him as one of the first major disseminators of a technological approach to Joyce’s text. In the early 1970s McLuhan was already theorising the possibility of electronically mediated texts, relating computer technology to the inflationary dynamics of the cultural archive. According to McLuhan: It steps up the velocity of logical sequential calculations to the speed of light [...] and at the same time it dissolves hierarchy in favour of decentralisation. When applied to new forms of electronic-messaging such as teletext and video text, it quickly converts sequential alphanumeric texts into multi-level signs and aphorisms, encouraging ideographic summation, like hieroglyphs.2

Since McLuhan, the question of electronic mediation has drawn attention to the way in which contingencies in material structure (or “medium”) affect the ways in which reading takes place and in which meanings are formed. For critics and theorists like George Landow and Martin E. Rosenberg, the idea of electronic mediation and the electronic writing space provides a means of disarticulating notions of textuality from notions of the book, by viewing the electronic writing space as somehow paradigmatic of a deconstruction of the logocentrism recently attributed to the “culture of the book.”3 This technological transcendentalism is nevertheless a form of empiricism, which Derrida describes as “the dream of a purely heterological thought at its source [...]. We say dream because it must vanish at daybreak, as soon as language awakens.”4 At the same time, this heterological thought divides two conceptions of textuality, whereby certain articulating elements which may otherwise be designated as “material” are misunderstood as the materiality of the book. That is to say, for Hillis Miller, its binding and glue, its unique historical placement, and so on—in other words, the book’s bibliographical codes. Similarly Jay David Bolter, in his essay ‘Hypertext and the Electronic Writing Space,’ speaks of hypertextuality in terms of what he calls “topographical writing.”5 185


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For Bolter, the basic contingencies of electronic writing require different ways of thinking about writing practice, and therefore about the mechanics of compositional structure and the overall nature of the textual apparatus. In Bolter’s view: The computer’s memory and central processing unit are intricate hierarchies of electronic components. Layers of software in turn transform the machine’s physical space of electronic circuits into a space of symbolic information, and it is in this space that a new kind of writing can be located.6

What this kind of writing consists of, however, is that it “makes structure a permanent feature of the text,” as opposed to those forms of word processing which “imitate the layout of the typed page” and “flatten the text.”7 Bolter has likewise described “Ulysses and particularly Finnegans Wake [as] hypertexts that have been flattened out to fit on the printed page,” citing a comment by Hugh Kenner in 1962 to the effect that: “the text of Ulysses is not organised in memory and unfolded in time, but both organised and unfolded in what we may call technological space: on printed pages for which it was designed from the beginning.”8 While many of Bolter’s analogies are useful in demonstrating how computing technology has opened up other possibilities for writing practice, they tend to obscure the fact that texts have never functioned in the limited way in which he would like to suggest they have. As a measure of signifying possibility, electronic writing is itself extremely restricted and may be said to provide merely a clumsy approximation of poetical and rhetorical structures which have in one way or another characterised the technics of language from the earliest times. By the same token, electronic writing has tended to foreground the spatial element of textuality, even more so than in other narratological structures which are often conceived as unfolding temporally, if not to represent a certain temporality, and this spatial emphasis no doubt does much to account for the parallel foregrounding of the “materiality” of the text. As the extension of the visual metaphor of the page or the computer screen, the electronic conception of hypertext suggests little more than what Donald Theall has called a “surface of sense.”9 But this elevation of topography to the status of paradigm raises questions at a more fundamental level, about the material aspect of signification—what Derrida calls “the so-called graphic trait, even prior to the existence of the word.”10 As we have seen in regards to the genetic function of the Wake’s triads, H.C.E. and A.L.P., this process is contingent upon a certain polysemy, which despite appearing against a shifting surface of different signifying chains, seems to promise an ultimate coherence under the concept or tenor of a signified identity. Recalling Heidegger’s statements about the haphazard or Zufall masking of a hermeneutic reversion, this apparent tendency within polysemy—that is, towards a moment of reduction or recuperation of signifying unity—achieves its more virulent formulation in the work of theorists such as Algirdas Greimas and Paul Ricœur. According to Greimas, discourse can be rendered univocal through the reduction of polysemy,11 while Ricœur has argued that “one dimension of one word’s meaning sanctions only one dimension of other words’ meanings” (what he calls the “screening of polysemy”).12 However, at the same time, Greimas and Ricœur both point to practical linguistic concerns which need to be taken into account, particularly in regards to 186


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a certain empirical dimension of discursive structures. Similarly, the question of polysemy, and of difference and similitude in broadly paradigmatic terms, is important for our understanding of the way in which hypertext might be understood as an activation of a signifying reserve (or rather “non-reserve,” as non-potential, nonlatency) at the level of materiality. The relative lack of formally recognisable terms in Finnegans Wake (and the corresponding lack of a readily identifiable grammar and syntax organising these terms into a linguistic system) suggests that the marks we encounter on the page must firstly be taken as describing (through various graphic and phonic resemblances) elements of language which might then be assumed to supply this lack. However, before such a decision can be hazarded, the Wake invites a more fundamental kind of reading which would necessarily precede even the effort (chez Aubert) of establishing a grammatical system through which to affect any formal concretisation of the text’s potentialised “meanings.” Hence any reading of the Wake would begin by drawing certain inferences that would allow the reader to treat the Wake as being composed of language-fragments, of portmanteaux, of resemblances to words belonging to one language or another— even a language apparently perverted to the point of being hardly recognisable as such. Yet before we say that this state of affairs reflects an “irreducibility of the text,” we need to take into account the banality of a situation which requires the reader firstly to treat the marks on the page as “objects” simulating the appearance and arrangement of elements belonging to a language, whose outward aspect disguises an internal mechanics which might otherwise yet be determinable. In Finnegans Wake this movement is radicalised in the base materialism of language itself, whose paranoiac or pathological inferability exceeds the “itself” of what is designated, as though it were an entity or a thing, “language.” In the breach or débordement of the “field of language,” “language itself,” caught in the fore-throw of possibility: this designation gives onto an other language, other languages. In each (one) the promise of an other, of others— mise en abyme of the Babelian matrix, holograph or hologram. Thus each “fragment” of the Wake seems to preserve a genetic blueprint of the whole, which it not merely allegorises but in fact inscribes. This requires some consideration, particularly as this situation is aggravated by the way in which Joyce himself seems to “objectify” individual letters or groups of letters by treating them, as we have already seen, in the manner of sigla (or as anagrams, acronyms, algebraic notation and so on). This “objectification” has a radical effect upon the way in which textual elements are understood to signify, posing analogous questions not only in regards to the general typography of the text (marginalia, footnotes, handdrawings, geometrical diagrams, the distribution of paperspace, individual graphemes and phonemes), but also in regards to the more recognisable elements of syntax and grammar, and to other forms of articulation. IDEOGRAMMATICS Of those “altereffects” which allow us to approach the language of Finnegans Wake, as being formed out of other “recognisable” languages, is the way in which textual 187


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elements are articulated in terms of a certain mark, or absence of a mark, of differentiation. This implies a particular significance in the way in which the internal articulation of a term like “riverrun” must bear upon its semantic content (“riverrun” rather than “river run”) as well as upon the other terms that frame its context (“the [...] riverrun past Eve and Adam’s”), and vice versa and so on throughout the Wake. This mode of articulation, however, does not take place linearly or diachronically, presupposing a latent sentence structure for instance, but synchronically and synoptically, so that the text appears to be structured like a palimpsest, according to a logic of what Joyce calls “gramma’s grammar” (FW 268.17). It may be said that reading the Wake would not be possible at all without this assumption of signifying articulation. However, as long as this assumption appears to point towards a perversion of “proper” signifying structures, such a notion of articulation must be dominated by the possibility of a purely arbitrary distribution of differential marks. In this way any reading of the Wake would always be haunted by the possibility of re-distributing these marks “at random,” so that there would seem to be nothing to stop us from considering the structural appearance of the text as merely nominal, or at least as describing a hesitation between a more radical fragmentation, or distortion on the one hand, and a reconstitution into a formal system on the other (as though, in fact, the printed book remained a work-in-process, a genetic parasynthesis whose actual form relates more or less arbitrarily to either the original conception or to the envisaged outcome, neither of which may be conclusively assumed on the basis of the work at hand). What is most often ignored, however, is that in order to begin reading Finnegans Wake in either of these ways one is required to perform violence against the text, effectively defacing it in order to constitute or reconstitute the text that it supposedly represents in a confused way, or at least that it poorly preserves. In either case, the question here may be one of an allegory of language(s), described by a certain “ideographic summation,” of what McLuhan identifies in terms of a “hieroglyphic” function, as the basic economy by means of which language communicates as technē. That is, as a type of “graphology,” or what Derrida terms grammatology. Since the material function of a text only acquires meaning once it is placed in a textual relation (with itself or with other textual elements), then we might recognise here the basis of what Bataille in La part maudite terms an “economy without reserve,” whereby it would no longer be a matter of a signification “empty” of meaning, but rather of certain marks describing, not a signifying potential or latency, but signifying possibility. For Bataille, this possibility also implies a reflexive movement, as the possibility of signification itself.13 Denis Hollier interprets this in performative linguistic terms, as describing: lexical units wrested from the symbolic code, joined to extralinguistic practices, charged with a libidinal intensity referring not to a process of representation or communication, but to a productivity in which the word functions as a centre of energy, a productivity in which the word is not defined by what it means but by what it does, by the effects it induces.14

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But whilst it is possible to conceive of electronic mediation, for example, as reducing the mystical properties of the book and bringing the materiality of language closer to a textual function, the problem remains of avoiding the assignation of metaphysical values to what is said to constitute the textual fabric itself. That is, if we are to consider this fabric as a screen or interface between the reading “subject” and an “other,” for instance, and according to which this other could be regarded as being “made manifest.” This tendency might be said to arise more or less out of certain similarities in appearance between a printed book and an electronic text (and between the computer screen and the mirror), whereby the same empirical notions of textuality reapply themselves in a superficial manner to the question of technology and the erosion or emptying-out of sense.

GENETIC DRIFT The issue of hypertext, however, does not rest upon questions of the difference or similarity between printed books and electronic writing. Indeed, more than ever, the notion of an electronic writing threatens to plunge “textual theory” back into a utopianist or phenomenological understanding of the nature of signification—whereby an analogy might be drawn between the mimetic conception of the word’s relation to a transcendental idea, and the conception of an electronic text as somehow descending from cyberspace as the disembodied signifier of a deus ex machina, which would be nothing more than logocentrism under another guise.15 More important for a consideration of hypertext as such, is how the virtuality of the material body of the text bears upon a general signifying apparatus. In this way the illusion of a form of writing suspended in cyberspace, and no longer seeming to be bounded by the physical limits of the book, opens the possibility of envisaging a graphological network that would take the form of a literal morphogenesis, as it were, implicating a semantic linkage at every level of the textual relation—that is, the distribution of linguistic and non-linguistic difference across the entire field of signifying possibility. It would no longer be simply a question of considering the “materiality of language” as somehow describing an object or non-signifying condition. Nor would it be a question of extending the paradox of a material “non-materiality” to electronic texts as a condition of virtuality (there remains the problem of how this visual trick is determined by a certain play of encoding and decoding, and of programmatics). The question, rather, would be one of considering the metaphor of this paradox in terms of what Derrida has called the “trace,” or “archē-writing,” or again “différance.” Derrida himself describes différance as a kind of “generative polysemy,” where this polysemy could be thought as marking a play of transverse substitution (or translation, between a non-reserve and a certain surplus). This transverse movement describes a rupture in the semantic horizon at the same time as it appears to reconstitute its signifier under the constellation of a transcendental signified, as the totalising form of an apparent abundance of meanings or polysemia. As Derrida argues: Totalisation can be judged impossible in the classical style: one then refers to the empirical endeavour of either a subject or a finite richness which it can never

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master. There is too much, more than one can say. But nontotalisation can also be determined in another way: no longer from the standpoint of a concept of finitude as relegation to the empirical, but from the standpoint of the concept of play. If totalisation no longer has any meaning, it is not because of the infiniteness of a field cannot be covered by a finite glance or a finite discourse, but because the nature of the field—that is, language and a finite language—excludes totalisation. This field is in effect that of play, that is to say, a field of infinite substitutions only because it is finite, that is to say, because instead of being an inexhaustible field, as in the classical hypothesis, instead of being too large, there is something missing from it: a centre which arrests and grounds the play of substitutions. [...] One cannot determine the centre and exhaust totalisation because the sign which replaces the centre, which supplants it, takes the centre’s place in its absence— the sign is added, occurs as a surplus, as a supplement. The movement of signification adds something, which results in the fact that there is always more.16

It is this supplementarity, the surplus effect of signifying substitution, which affects hypertextuality as the counter-reduction of any architectonics that might otherwise situate the transverse play of the supplement as an extension of the mimetic faculty. With regards to Finnegans Wake, this is a threat posed by those approaches that seek to render the Wake’s paronomasia merely as a challenge addressed to narratology and translatability. This also recalls Henri Michaux’s “transcoded” schizophrenic assemblage which, by upsetting any perceivable relationship with nature, suggests an irreducible “ruination” of an organic system and the impossibility of a “restorative” genetic master-code. This, too, describes a state of affairs most apparent within the field of textual genetics, with its necessary structural “contradictions” between a genetic linearity or genetic descent and the types of morphogenetic pathways described by a transversal.17 For Ricœur and Greimas, however, the polysemantic valencies of transversality might simply be viewed as a form of hermeneutic riddle, or of an anamorphosis, whereby what is signified under the term différance would be rendered rather as an algorithm for a process of encryption. Hence the transverse organisation of Joyce’s writing would take the form of a problem whose number of possible solutions would thus be rendered finite, and which could be re-instated within a structural “whole.” In this way Joyce’s “endless play of substitution” might also be posited as a finite probability, and so affirm the metaphysical dimension of hypertext as a totalising movement. These problems, however, can themselves be situated as so many topics of transversality. Indeed they can be said to be generative of transversality itself, and for this reason it is not simply a question of determining where such problems “come to rest.”

STRATIFIED OBJECTS Insofar as hypertext marks a “genetic stratification” or quasi-stratification, it can be seen as providing a way of thinking the failure of this relationship between the materiality of the text, as a function of encoding (for example, the graphemic structure of a “word” as “acrostic,” H.C.E. or A.L.P.), and an architectonics focused upon the idea of potentiality as the “probability of outcomes” issuing from a prior idea and inscribed mimetically. According to Deleuze and Guattari: 190


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as soon as it is recognised that a code is inseparable from a process of decoding that is inherent to it, the problem receives a new formulation. There is no genetics without genetic drift.18

Anticipating Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of “genetic drift,” Derrida, in his 1969 essay ‘Différance,’ offers a means of approaching the problem of “materiality” in hypertext (as one of a generative polysemia) through what he terms “empirical wandering.”19 For Derrida, “empirical wandering” describes “the unity of chance and necessity in calculation without end,”20 suggesting a transverse network whose limits of possibility engage the entire field of signifying “combination.” Such a network would realise the means by which the limits and boundaries between semiological systems are transposed and transformed, and this in turn would again imply a generative polysemy as the basic organisation of any hypertextual “stratification.” As we have seen, the idea of viral emplacement further suggests that any “succession” of coded/coding articulations becomes complicated by various “integrations” or “emplacements,” where series of genetic material become involved in other processes of transcoding and translation, grafting, simultaneous transmission, and so on—so that a morphogenetic pathway is never seen to operate along any determinate trajectory or axis. And although such a morphogenetics might seem to redescribe a movement of polysemy, it would not be in the sense of an abundance of genetic codes which, despite their apparent hybridisation, require a distinct and ultimately traceable genealogy. On the contrary, the genetic metaphor that we have elaborated would suggest what Derrida has called a “disseminating polysemy,” polysemy arising from “irreducible différance,”21 rather than from a plenitude of signs.22 In Dissemination, Derrida warns that: polysemy always puts out its multiplicities and variations within the horizon, at least, of some integral reading which contains no absolute rift [...] the horizon of the final parousia of a meaning at least deciphered, revealed, made present in the rich collection of its determinations.23

What is important is that even in its rendering as a generative polysemy, the term “polysemy” would nevertheless continue to retain the sense of ultimate derivation or reducibility that similarly characterises what may be alternately termed hermeneutics or genealogy. This is precisely because polysemy will have always involved an aporia of destination, which will itself have been implied already in, or as, the “horizon of the final parousia of a meaning,” the re-totalising limit of any polysemy. And however belated such a final re-totalisation might be, and however far off its realisation remains, it secures by right the multiplicities’ re-assemblage into a unitary totality of meaning, and thus also secures the totality of the text. Hence polysemy, as such, always implies a certain architectonics, which preserves between the sign’s abundance of referents or interior significations a structural thread that gives this labyrinthine form its organising principle. In so distinguishing, then, between polysemy as such and a broader “generative polysemy,” it is not simply a matter of denying the difficulty of this aporia by adding 191


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to it a further term, but rather to indicate that the aporetic function itself is at least double (orientating a movement whose end or horizon it is, at the same time as it stands beyond that horizon as the very possibility of an end—as an assumption of itself—and as the locus of a transgression), and that this doubling is more or less “symptomatic” of an inherent différance in the totalising structure of the sign, and hence of polysemy. This aporia, which Derrida terms “originary différance,” does not cut-off polysemy from an “horizon of meaning,” as though such an horizon gave polysemy its chance, as it were, in the first place. Rather this horizon is seen as the generative possibility or forethrow of polysemy—as continuing to “make a sign.”24 In this way, too, the topos of hypertextual transversality could be said to describe the place of a deferral or constant substitutory projection of this aporetic function.

TERMINAL In The Truth of Painting, Derrida raises the question of “the apparent polysemy of technē.”25 According to the traditional opposition physis/technē (which “contrasts divine or natural writing and the human and laborious, finite and artificial inscription”),26 this polysemia would arise out of a prolific manufacture or representations which, while seeming to conceal the “natural” beneath the artificial, mechanical re-production of signs, would nevertheless defer to it for its meaning, or truth (“the simple kernel which supposedly lies hidden beneath the multiplicity”).27 In his Pola notebook (1903), Joyce similarly posed the question of mimēsis in terms of a problem of translation in Aristotle’s dictum on art and imitation: e tekhne mimeitai ten physin—This phrase is falsely rendered as “Art is an imitation of Nature.” Aristotle does not here define art, he says only “Art imitates nature” and meant the artistic process is like the natural process.28

For Joyce, technē is thus a question of process or poiēsis linked to physis in terms of the matter or material nature of language itself. In Ulysses this is most clearly elaborated in chapter 7, ‘Aeolus,’ in which Joyce has encoded examples of almost every rhetorical figure outlined in Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria.29 Don Gifford claims in Ulysses Annotated, rhetoric was “the form of linguistic manipulation Joyce considered closest to the heart of the working process.”30 Generative polysemy, as delimiting this physis/technē opposition, might thus be said to constitute a form of mechanical apparatus which appropriates and mimics aspects of nature, and whose phylogenetic processes of transcription and translation would likewise define a type of “strange attraction” whose vertical axis (physis/technē) would be merely nominal or contingent upon a rhetorical tropology.31 It would be a matter, then, of asserting the aporetic doublelimit of polysemy (“the apparent polysemy of technē”), which would not only upset the opposition physis/technē, but prompt the critical re-alignment that gives rise to Heidegger’s statement that “technē belongs to poiēsis,” and to the assertion that physis, too, is: “the arising of something out of itself, is a bringing-forth, poiēsis.”32 At the same time, the aporetic doubling of polysemy—as generative possibility— 192


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indicates a rupturing of mimēsis “orientated” by an “originary différance,” such that the field of signification could not be thought as closed or situated as an “other of the other,” or specular substitute of a “transcendental signified” (an idea that would “initiate” it as a system) whose “meaning” it would be compelled to supplant or mimic.33 And insofar as this aporia repeats itself, it is in “recognition” of a repetition of/at the “origin” which hence continues to “initiate” itself anew as its own-most possibility. Generative in the sense that it “repeats” this initial repetition, polysemy thus lends its structure to our understanding of technē (which would not then fall into opposition with poiēsis, but would be “described” in poiēsis as what gives generative polysemy its chance, as a “calculation without end”). Like McLuhan’s concepts of “ideographic summation” and “hieroglyphics,” the production of technē would imply so many fragments of a whole to which it merely alludes through its own prolific manufacture, ultimately con-fusing this allusion with the illusion of a communicated message framed by so many sound-bytes or imagebytes (metaphor collapsing into metonymy), as what Joyce calls “juxtaposed jottings linked by spurts of speed” (FW 118.11-30). Moreover, the speeding up of the “velocity of logical calculations” described by McLuhan, runs the risk merely of obscuring the referential structure of its “multi-level signs” by a mere trick of light (what Paul Virilio calls the “interval of light” or “zero sign”).34 Derrida poses this problem from the opposite direction: “How could you calculate the speed with which a mark, a marked piece of information, is placed in contact with another in the same word or from one end of the book to another?”35 Clearly a conception of transversality requires more than thinking of hypertext as a series of multi-level signs, even if these levels are shown to be structurally or otherwise substitutable. As Derrida has pointed out, in Of Grammatology, the logic of the hieroglyph, despite, or precisely because of its economy of summarisation, assumes to a certain extent the logic of the symbol, which implies “an immediate relationship with the logos in general.”36 Moreover, “the hieroglyphic graphē is already allegorical,”37 presupposing an identity, and thus an ideality,38 whose formal articulation it is considered to mimic, or mime. At the same time, the hieroglyph as non-phonetic writing “breaks the noun apart. It describes relations, not appellations.”39 Between this graphic “economy of summarisation” which “breaks apart the noun,” and the relationship of polysemy to technē, there remains the question of how the “materiality” of the text might also be considered under the constellation of ideas which circulate around the question of writing, and the mnemotechnic function of so-called graphic signs. As Derrida suggests, this question points persistently towards the notion of the written trace, and to the relation of technē to a “generative polysemy” (recalling Heidegger’s remarks about technology as a “mode of revealing”),40 and re-emphasising what has already been said about genetics and “thinking memory,” or Gedächtnis, as “the memory productive of signs.”41 This also suggests that we might approach Jacques Aubert’s notion of a “genealogy of the noun” (as deducing grammatical or syntactical systems from the graphic and phonic resemblances the text poses to them) as a form of ruse—which arises out of the duplicity of the textual allegory that on the one hand signals an identity at the same time as “breaking apart” the noun that supposedly refers 193


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back to it: the allegory of the text itself as aporia of all genealogy. This allegory, the play of a generative polysemy, continues to “make a sign” only as the signifying reproduction of what Derrida posits as a différance of/at the origin. And this would perhaps frame for us the basic problematic of a logos “always already” invested by technē, as what remains “essential” to technology as something “belonging” to poiēsis, and what would situate language itself as technological. Hypertext, more than merely a model of textual invention, denotes the various transversals marked out by this technology and its investment of the entire field of signification. Not merely a strategy, it denotes an embeddedness within the locus of technological proliferation (the rupture of technology at the point at which technē invests the meaning of logos). And insofar as we would say that Finnegans Wake “solicits” hypertext, we would also say that it performs an activation, not of a structural latency somehow concealed from logocentric structure, but of the prior possibility of signification as such, and across all levels of the signifying relation. As a “network of topics,”42 hypertext itself can be said to describe a transversal between what we might call topological emplacement and topographical charting, between the topical mask of narrativity and a narrative of topos. But at the same time this network of topics would describe a radical tropology, a fundamental reversion in the technics of emplacement. In this sense we could also view hypertext as a generalising of différance (as spatialisingtemporality), since it is can never be a matter simply of replacing one topology with another, or of inverting a topographical order, but of marking a transversal always on the breach of this “system.” But finally, if we are to speak of a solicitation of hypertext, it would be in the sense of its “activating” a certain non-reserve “at the origin” of a system of signification, an “originary différance” at the point at which the rupture of technology invades the universal problematic.

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NOTES

PREFACE: INSTIGATIONS 1 2 3 4 5

6

7

THEALL, DONALD F. Beyond the Word: Reconstructing Sense in the Joyce Era of Technology, Culture, and Communication. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995: xix. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Two Words for Joyce.’ Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 149. Cf. ROUGHLEY, ALAN. Reading Derrida Reading Joyce. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Force and Signification,’ Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass. London: Routledge, 1978: 6. WEBER, SAMUEL. ‘The Vaulted Eye: Remarks on Knowledge and Professionalism.’ Yale French Studies 77 (1990): 48. The sense of the (hermeneutic) “quest” in Heidegger’s ‘Question’—hinted at here by Weber—is made explicit in the more rigorous translation of Die Frage nach der Technik as ‘The Question After Technology,’ which introduces into the equation a somewhat Derridean notion of spatio-temporal difference, deferral, or différance. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ Basic Writings: From Being and Time (1927) to The Task of Thinking (1964), ed. David Farrell Krell. Revised edition. London: Routledge, 1993: 308. Whether in this case technē is thought to be derived from poiēsis, in a sense dependent upon it, or whether technē is thought as being essential to poiēsis, in fact giving rise to it, or indeed both. KRELL, DAVID FARRELL. Introduction to Heidegger, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 310. DEPARTURES

1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

13

LYOTARD, JEAN-FRANÇOIS. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1991: 80. Cf. VIRILIO, PAUL. ‘The Third Interval: A Critical Transition.’ Re-thinking Technologies, trans. Tom Conley. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993: 38. Cf. TOFTS, DARREN. Parallax. Sydney: Interface, 1999. Three essays in this volume are particularly informative of this development in regards to Joyce and avant-garde “techno-poetics” in the first half of the twentieth-century: ‘Machine Metaphysics,’ ‘Hyperlogic, the Avant-Garde and Other Intransitive Acts,’ and ‘Parallactic Readings: Joyce, Duchamp and the Fourth Dimension.’ BAUR, JOHN. ‘Beauty or the Beast? The Machine in American Art’ [1960], What is American Art? ed. Jean Lipman. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963: 33. STEPHENSON, NEAL. ‘Wiring the Planet,’ Wired (December, 1996): 148. HOFSTADTER, DOUGLAS R. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. New York: Vintage Books, 1980: 25. SWIFT, JONATHAN. Gulliver’s Travels. London: Wordsworth Edition, 1992: III.iv.195. Regarding the Academicians of Lagado. VALÉRY, PAUL. Aesthetics, trans. Ralph Manheim. Bollingen Series 45.13. New York: Pantheon Books, 1964: 225. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 308. See SWIFT, JONATHAN. ‘A Discourse Concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit.’ A Tale of a Tub and Other Satires. London: J.M. Dent, 1963: 169–187. BENJAMIN, WALTER. ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.’ Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn. London: Fontana, 1995: 157. HAUSER, ARNOLD. The Social History of Art, vol. 4: Naturalism, Impressionism, The Film Age. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962: 226. EISENSTEIN, SERGEI. Film Form, ed. and trans. Jay Leda. New York: Meridian, 1957.

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15 16

17 18 19

20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

40 41 42 43

44 45 46

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HEATH, STEPHEN. ‘Ambiviolences: Notes for Reading Joyce,’ trans. Isabelle Mahieu. Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 46. HAUSER, The Social History of Art, 226. Cf. LEWIS, WYNDHAM. ‘An Analysis of the Mind of James Joyce.’ Time and Western Man. London: Chatto and Windus, 1927: 91–130. See BÜRGER, PETER. Theory of the Avant-Garde, trans. Michael Shaw. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984. Cf. MURPHY, RICHARD. Theorizing the Avant-Garde: Modernism, Expressionism, and the Problem of Postmodernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. LYOTARD, The Postmodern Condition, 80–81. Cf. BERTENS, HANS. The Idea of the Postmodern: A History. London: Routledge, 1995: 42. LYOTARD, The Postmodern Condition, 81. HABERMAS, JÜRGEN. ‘Modernity—An Incomplete Project,’ trans. Seyla Ben-Habib. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster. New York: The New Press, 1983: 3–15. For Habermas, “Modernity,” which is linked to the avant-garde, “revolts against the normalizing functions of tradition; modernity lives on the experience of rebelling against all that is normative” (ibid., 5). LYOTARD, The Postmodern Condition, 81. ibid., 79. STAMPER, J.W. ‘The Galerie des Machines of the 1889 Paris World’s Fair.’ Technology and Culture 30.2 (1989): 330–333. Cf. BALLA’s Study for the Materiality of Lights Plus Speed as index of movement and rapid trajectories of line, discontinuity of forms, and the problem of representing form and movement simultaneously (recalling the Quantum dilemma posed in Niels Bohr’s theory of complementarity). Against pictorial efforts at representing aspects of mechanisation, there emerges the development of new media (photography and film), as well as the integration of mechanisation and industrial materials into existing media, such as the kinetic sculpture of Naum Gabo and Vladimir Tatlin. HUGHES, The Shock of the New, 11. ibid. Cf. APOLLINAIRE, GUILLAUME. Alcools. Paris: Gallimard, 1920. ibid., 14. ibid., 14–15. HAUSER, The Social History of Art, 226. Cf. CENDRARS, BLAISE. Modernities and Other Writings, trans. Esther Allen and Monique Chefdor. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992. HUGHES, The Shock of the New, 16. See LE CORBUSIER. The City of Tomorrow. London: Architect Press, 1971. Cf. JENCKS, CHARLES. Le Corbusier and the Tragic View of Architecture. London: Allen Lane, 1975. See VIRILIO, ‘The Third Interval,’ passim. DERRIDA, JACQUES. The Truth in Painting, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Ian McLeod. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1987: 9. RABATÉ, JEAN-MICHEL. ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ trans. Elizabeth Guild. Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. London: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 81. BARTHES, ROLAND. ‘From Work to Text.’ Modern Literary Theory, ed. Philip Rice and Patricia Waugh. London: Edward Arnold, 1990: 42–51. BENNINGTON, GEOFFREY. ‘Derridabase.’ Jacques Derrida, trans. Geoffrey Bennington. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993: 314. THEALL, Beyond the Word, xiii. KRAUSS, ROSALIND. The Optical Unconscious. Cambridge, Mass.: October Books/MIT Press, 1993. Also KRAUSS, ROSALIND. ‘The Blink of an Eye.’ The States of Theory, ed. David Carroll. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990. THEALL, Beyond the Word, 14ff. HUGHES, ROBERT. The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change. Rev. ed. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996: 15. Cited ibid. MARINETTI, FILIPPO TOMMASO. ‘The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism’ [1909], trans. R.W. Flint and Arthur W. Coppotelli. Marinetti: Selected Writings, ed. R.W. Flint. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1972: 42 (translation modified). THEALL, James Joyce’s Techno–Poetics, xvii–xix. JJI 310ff. THEALL, Beyond the Word, 15. Theall notes that metaphors of complex communication technology are characteristic of the later stages of Finnegans Wake, while likely references to cinema, radio, newspapers, “tuppenny” magazines, comics, and telecommunications materialise again and again throughout the entirety of the Wake. ibid., 15ff. Cf. GIEDION, SIEGRIED. Mechanisation Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975. “Three quarks for Muster Mark!” (FW 383.01). Cf. GELL-MANN, MURRAY. The Quark and the Jaguar. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1994: 180.

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BENTON, TIM and CHARLOTTE BENTON, with DENIS SHARP. Form and Function: A Source Book for the History of Architecture and Design, 1890–1939. London: Open University Press, 1975: 97. Cited in MEECHAM, PAM and JULIE SHELDON. Modern Art: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2000: 109. THEALL, James Joyce’s Techno-Poetics, 8–9. Cited in WHITFORD, FRANK. Bauhaus. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985: 11–12. See GROPIUS, WALTER. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus. London: Faber, 1955. WHITFORD, Bauhaus, 26. ITINERARIES 1. BOOKS OF SAND

1 2

3

4 5

6

7

8 9 10 11

12 13 14 15

16 17 18

BORGES, JORGE LUIS. The Book of Sand, trans. N.T. di Giovanni. London: Penguin, 1979: 89. See MCLUHAN, MARSHALL. ‘Joyce, Mallarmé and the Press.’ Literary Criticism of Marshall McLuhan: 1943/1962, ed. E. McNamarra. New York: McGraw Hill, 1969: 5–21. Cf. HAYMAN, DAVID. Joyce et Mallarmé. Les Cahiers des lettres modernes. Collection confrontations, no. 2. Paris: Lettres modernes, 1956. LANDOW, GEORGE P. Hypertext 2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997: 10. Cf. BATESON, GREGORY. Steps to an Ecology of Mind. New York: Ballantine Books, 1972. NELSON, THEODOR H. Literary Machines. Swarthmore, Pa.: Self-published, 1981: 0/2. Cf. William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. The Oxford Shakespeare, eds. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987. See also JAY L. HALIO’s introduction to the New Cambridge Shakespeare edition of King Lear, ed. Halio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. These developments have accompanied changing attitudes among many editors as to the integrity of presenting so-called standard or definitive texts. One of the consequences of this is that it is now not simply a matter of questioning the authority of something we might call a canon, or even a corpus, but of placing a question mark over individual texts themselves as the apparently static and unchanging records of a determinate authorial intention. By this it is not meant abolishing “literary works” and replacing them with metatextual diaboli representing all the various possible intertexts, historical and contextual data, and so forth, but of scrutinising the material boundaries which, either through tradition, chance, censorship, or other contingencies, have been assigned to particular texts (such as Hamlet or Ulysses), whose actual geneses are largely a matter for speculation. In this regard we could say that at no other point in the history of western writing, perhaps with the exception of the translations of the Bible, has the role of editors been so obviously crucial in determining or re-shaping the way in which we view texts and textual histories. Cited in LANDOW, GEORGE P. and PAUL DELANY. ‘Hypertext, Hypermedia and Literary Studies: The State of the Art.’ Hypermedia and Literary Studies, ed. Landow and Delaney. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1994: 3. MILLER, J. HILLIS. ‘What is the Future of the Print Record?’ Profession 95 (MLA, 1995): 34. ibid., 34–35. ibid., 35. The question of authority and authenticity, in regards to the letter, is most clearly illustrated in the ‘Tales Told of Shem and Shaun’ episode of the Wake, where not only does Shem become in one moment both the body of the text and its author, but as “Sham” marks the letter as an originary forgery. In this sense the letter defines a simulacrum at the origin of textual production, and of logos (which Shem “embodies” in his moment of autopoiesis or auto-writing, mimicking the word of God). MCLUHAN, MARSHAL. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographical Man. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1962. LANHAM, RICHARD. ‘Convergent Pressures: Social, Technological, Theoretical.’ Hypermedia and Literary Studies, ed. Landow and Delaney. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994: 155. ROSSMAN, CHARLES. ‘The New Ulysses: The Hidden Controversy.’ New York Review of Books 25:19 (1988): 53–58. GRODEN, MICHAEL. ‘Editing Joyce’s Ulysses: An International Effort.’ Scholarly Publishing in an Era of Change: Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting, Society for Scholarly Publishing, Minneapolis, Minnesota June 2–4, 1980, ed. Ethel C. Langlois. Washington, D.C.: Society for Scholarly Publishing, 1981: 29. BROCKMAN, WILLIAM S. ‘Joyce and the Librarians.’ Unpublished paper delivered at the ‘Joyce and Modern Culture’ conference, Brown University, June 13, 1995: n. pag. BROCKMAN, ‘Joyce and the Librarians,’ n. pag. This previously “unknown” draft, originally mentioned in a letter from Joyce to Quinn in 1921, was purchased by the Irish government on December 14, 2000, at an auction at Christie’s in New York. KILLEEN, TERENCE. ‘See the truth behind Ulysses for yourself.’ The Irish Times, Weekend (June 2, 2001): 8. Another auction, this time of “the lost ‘Eumaeus’ notebook for Ulysses,” was held at Sotheby’s in London, July 10, 2001.

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Catalogue of a Collection Containing Manuscripts and Rare Editions of James Joyce. Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1935. SEGALL, JEFFREY. Joyce in America: Cultural Politics and the Trials of Ulysses. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993: 3ff. This is discussed in detail in BROCKMAN, WILLIAM S. ‘American Librarians and Early Censorship of Ulysses: “Aiding the Cause of Free Expression”?’ Joyce Studies Annual 5 (1994): 56–74. ibid. Cf. TOFTS, ‘Ulysses Returns,’ Parallax, 63–75. See ARNOLD, BRUCE. The Scandal of Ulysses: The Sensational Life of a Twentieth-Century Masterpiece. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. Two years later, after a barrage of criticism from Kidd that ran at length in the New York Review of Books and in the Times Literary Supplement, the Gabler text came under such a cloud that Penguin decided to revert to the Bodley Head edition (claimed by Kidd to be “the most satisfactory to date”) for the relaunch of Joyce’s work in 1990. In Britain, the Gabler edition was reprinted in 1993, with emendations made in light of John Kidd’s critique. These amounted to two (the by now notorious proper names “Buller” and “Thrift”). Gabler saw no reason to make any other corrections. Random House, however, did not issue this corrected reprint in the USA. In 1991, Kidd himself was offered US$100,000.00 by Boston University to produce his own “corrected” text of Ulysses, and an advance $300,000.00 by Norton for a further seven volume edition of Joyce’s works (with the exception of Finnegans Wake). Publication of the new Ulysses was announced for June 16, 1992, but after repeated delays was eventually dropped. In 1993 many of Kidd’s own arguments were in turn seriously discredited after Joyce’s highly influential biographer, Richard Ellmann, affirmed that Gabler’s use of the Ulysses manuscripts in advancing corrections to the final text had in fact been fair. Cf. HAYMAN, DAVID. ‘Reading Joyce’s Notebooks?!: Finnegans Wake from Within.’ Finnegans Wake: Fifty Years, ed. Geert Lernout. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990: 7–22. MADDOX, BRENDA. Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce. New York: Random House, 1988. Cf. SCHLOSS, CAROL. ‘Privacy and Piracy in the Joyce Trade.’ JJQ 33.4 (1996): 499ff. SCHLOSS, ‘Privacy and Piracy in the Joyce Trade,’ 500. Cf. STEINER, GEORGE. Real Presences. London: Faber, 1989: 40. Steiner makes the point that: “All exegesis [...] transports the text into some measure of distance and banishment. Veiled in analysis and metamorphic exposition, the Ur-text is no longer immediate [...]. On the other hand, the commentary underwrites [...] the continued authority and survival of the primary discourse.” Cf. FERRER, DANIEL. ‘Hemingway aux sources de la Liffey.’ Genèse et metamorphoses du texte joycien, ed. Claude Jacquet. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1985: 223–228; TREIP, ANDREW. ‘Histories of Sexuality: Vico and Roman Family Law in Finnegans Wake.’ James Joyce 1: «Scribble» 3, eds. Claude Jacquet and Jean-Michel Rabaté. Paris: Lettres Modernes Minard, 1994: 179–199; SCHORK, R.J. ‘By Jingo: Genetic Criticism of Finnegans Wake.’ Joyce Studies Annual 1994, ed. Thomas F. Staley. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994: 104–127; LERNOUT, GEERT. ‘Singing Walking Gent: Sims Reeves in VI.B.13.’ A Finnegans Wake Circular 3 (1988): 42–52; LERNOUT, GEERT and VINCENT DEANE. ‘Two VI.B.13 Indexes.’ A Finnegans Wake Circular 5 (1988): 21–31; LANDUYT, INGE and GEERT LERNOUT. ‘Joyce’s Sources: Les grands fleuves historiques.’ Joyce Studies Annual 1995, ed. Thomas F. Staley. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995: 99–138; VAN MIERLO, WIM. ‘St. Martin of Tours in VI.B.2 and C.2.’ A Finnegans Wake Circular 7 (1991–1992): 29–43; HAYMAN, DAVID and SAM SLOTE, eds. Probes: Genetic Studies in Joyce. European Joyce Studies 5. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1995. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, trans. Eric Prenowitz. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996: 92. “Archē, we recall, names at once the commencement and commandment. This name apparantly coordinates two principles in one: the principle according to nature or history, there, where things commence—physical, historical, or ontological principle—but also the principle according to the law, there where men and gods command, there where authority, social order are excercised, in this place from which order is given—nomological principle” (ibid., 1). DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 279. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. The Archaeology of the Frivolous: Reading Condillac, trans. J.P. Leavey. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1980. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 80. Cf. LERNOUT, GEERT. ‘Genetic Gems.’ Review of The Textual Diaries of James Joyce, by Danis Rose. JJLS 9.2 (1995). Work in Progress, in the former sense made its contemporary impact (distinct, if limited) piecemeal, and it is mainly in critical retrospect that the segmented publication has been redefined as serial. That is, as a “prepublication,” by instalments, of Finnegans Wake, as finally and “really” published on May 4, 1939. ROSE, DANIS. The Textual Diaries of James Joyce. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1995. Cited in LERNOUT. ‘Genetic Gems,’ 6. GABLER, HANS WALTER. Review of The Textual Diaries of James Joyce, by Danis Rose. JJQ 33.4 (1996): 621–625. See ROSE, DANIS, anno. James Joyce’s The Index Manuscript: Finnegans Wake Holograph Workbook VI.B.46. Colchester: A Wake Newslitter Press, 1978. ROSE, The Textual Diaries of James Joyce, 148. BORGES, JORGE LUIS. ‘The Garden of Forking Paths,’ trans. Donald A. Yates. Spanish-American

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Literature in Translation: A Selection of Poetry, Fiction and Drama since 1888, ed. Willis Knapp Jones. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1962: 351. RESCHER, NICHOLAS. Essays in Philosophical Analysis. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1969: Chapter 4. ARISTOTLE. Poetics, trans. Ingram Bywater. New York: Random House, 1954: 1451b–1452a. Cf. LEIBNIZ, G.W.F. VON. The Monadology, trans. George Montgomery and Albert R. Chandler. The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz. New York: Dolphin Books, 1960. See for instance DEWITT, BRYCE and NEILL GRAHAM. The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973. Also WOLF, FRED ALAN. Parallel Universes. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988; and RAE, ALISTAIR I.M. Quantum Physics: Illusion/Reality? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. TURING, ALAN. ‘On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem.’ Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society 2.42 (1936): 230–265. Cf. TURING, ALAN. ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence.’ Mind LIX.236 (1950): 433–460. THEALL, DONALD F. The Virtual Marshall McLuhan. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000. ibid., 164. Cf. HAYMAN, Joyce et Mallarmé, 149–183. MALLARMÉ, STÉPHANE. ‘Le Livre, instrument spirituel.’ Œuvres complètes, ed. Henri Mondor and G. Jean Aubray. Paris: NRF Bibliotèque de la Pléiade, 1945: 378–382. DELEUZE, GILLES and FÉLIX GUATTARI. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993: 6. ibid. ibid., 502ff. Cf. BAUDRILLARD, JEAN. L’Échange symbolique et la morte. Paris: Gallimard, 1976. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 127. ibid., 6. Cf. MCLUHAN, MARSHALL and BRUCE POWERS. The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century. New York: Oxford, 1989. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 53. BLANCHOT, MAURICE. The Sirens’ Song, ed. G. Josipovicic, trans. Sacha Rabinovitch. London: The Harvester Press, 1982: 224. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Spivak. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1976: 158. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Living On: Border Lines,’ trans. J. Hulbert. A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Peggy Kamuf. New York: Harvester, 1991: 256–257. See LUKACHER, NED. ‘Mourning Becomes Telepathy.’ Introduction to Derrida, Jacques. Cinders, trans. Ned Lukacher. Lincoln: Nebraska University Press, 1992: 5. Lukacher has Nietzsche describing the eternal return as an image in a mirror: “an image of finitude or self-reflection, and thus also of its limits. At its limits, in the place of the tain of the mirror, lies the ‘nothing,’ which ‘rings’ the world into spatial form, between inside and outside.” Cf. NIETZSCHE, FRIEDRICH. Werke, ed. Karl Schlecta. 3 vols. Munich: Karl Hanser, 1960: 3.916-7. Nietzsche describes the eternal return in terms of “a world of eternal selfcreation, of eternal self-destruction, this mystery world of twofold bliss [...] without aim [Zeil], unless the joy of the circle is itself a goal.” Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Coming to One’s Own,’ trans. J. Hulbert. Psychoanalysis and the Question of the Text, ed. Geoffrey Hartman. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1978: 138. “A ‘domain’ opens up in which the ‘inscription’of a subject in his text is also the necessary condition for the pertinence and performance of a text, for its ‘worth’ beyond what is called empirical subjectivity.” MILLER, J. HILLIS. ‘Stevens’s Rock and Criticism as Cure, II.’ Georgia Review 30 (1976): 337. RESCHER, NICHOLAS. ‘The Ontology of the Possible.’ The Possible and the Actual, ed. Loux. Oxford: Blackwell, 1979: 180–2. As Rescher has pointed out, among modal philosophers there are nominalists who attribute the existence of possibility to language, conceptualists who attribute it to the mind, conceptual realists who attribute it to the mind of God, and realists who posit the realm of possibility as existing independently of human language and thought. BAUDRILLARD, JEAN. Simulacra and Simulations, trans. P. Foss, P. Patton, and P. Beitchman. New York: Sémiotext(e), 1983: 1. Cf. KOJÈVE, ALEXANDRE. Introduction à la lecture de Hegel, ed. Raymond Queneau. Paris: Gallimard, 1947. KLOSSOWSKI, PIERRE. Nietzsche et le cercle vicieux. Paris: Mercure de France, 1969: 201. RESCHER, NICHOLAS. A Theory of Possibility. Oxford: Blackwell, 1975: 1. See HOLSTEIN, HANS. Homo Cyberneticus. Uppsala: Sociographica, 1974. Cf. FREUD, SIGMUND. Studies in Parapsychology, ed. Philip Rieff. New York: Macmillan, 1963. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘My Chances/Mes Chances: A Rendezvous with some Epicurean Stereophonies.’ Taking Chances: Derrida, Psychoanalysis, and Literature, eds. J.H. Smith and W. Kerrigan. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1984. Also DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Telepathy,’ trans. Nicholas Royle. Oxford Literary Review 10 (1988): 3–41. For example, the relation of the unconscious to the conscious, as mapped out by Freud, whereby the operations of the conscious are thought of as being, in effect, determined by those of the unconscious and pre-conscious. This is mirrored in the relationship of the Lacanian subject to the objet petit a (as a signifier of the Other), whereby the desiring movement of the subject is in a sense pre-destined.

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To a certain extent such a deferral is common to the Freudian notion of the unconscious, in which socalled “latencies” (for example, a dream idea) is thought of as effecting the nature of what is “made manifest” at the level of consciousness (the dream content) without ever being “realised” as such. Indeed, this realisation is precisely what cannot take place, mimetically or otherwise, if the unconscious is not to be regarded as merely supplementary to the apparatus of consciousness. 2. ENFRAMING

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DERRIDA, The Truth in Painting, 11–12. BUSH, VANNEVAR. ‘As We May Think.’ Atlantic Monthly 176 (July 1945): 101–108. ibid., 106. ibid., 107. LANDOW and DELANEY, ‘Hypertext, Hypermedia and Literary Studies,’ 5. ibid., 12. ibid., 13. ibid., 6. Indeed, in the case of Finnegans Wake the “meaning” and “material limits” of the book (if such a thing can really be spoken of) could be said to be more or less co-determined at the level of phonemes and graphemes, hence requiring us to think in radically different proportionalistic and relational terms— terms which we find more consistent with the structures of hypertext. FISH, STANLEY. ‘Interpreting the Variorum.’ Critical Inquiry 2 (1976): 478–485. ibid., 478. ibid., 485. Fish, whose approach articulates many of the ideas set forth by Maurice Merleu-Ponty, introduces an empirical and psychological element to the question of text that also comes close to Derrida’s thought in ‘Signature, Event, Context.’ See DERRIDA, JACQUES. Limited Inc., trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988. INGARDEN, ROMAN. The Literary Work of Art: An Investigation on the Borderlines of Ontology, Logic and Theory of Literature, trans. George G. Grabowicz. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973: 3. WELLEK, RENÉ and AUSTIN WARREN. Theory of Literature. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973. Chapter 12 was written by Wellek. Cf. WELLEK, RENÉ. ‘The Theory of Literary History.’Études dédiées au quatrième Congrès de linguistes: Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague. Prague: Karolinum, 1936: 179. ibid., 150. Cf. INGARDEN, ROMAN. Vom Erkennen des literarischen Kunstwerks. Tübingen, 1968: 49ff. BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 313–314. ibid. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 9. ibid., 10. ibid., 9. ibid., 10. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 147–148. BECKETT, SAMUEL, et al. Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress. New York: New Directions Press, 1962: 14. ibid. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. La Carte postale. Paris: Flammarion, 1980: 154–155. Derrida sees the “confusion” of Shem and Shaun as the legacy of Babel, in which all modes of communication are “contaminated” by a general erosion of originary meaning (“in the beginning was the post”). In a McLuhanesque sense we might also consider the ways in which Shaun is taken as the means of communication, even if Shem is the medium and the message. Cf. also CIXOUS, HÉLÈNE. The Exile of James Joyce, trans. Sally A.J. Purcell. New York: David Lewis, 1972: 15: “Shem and Shaun turn into Jacob and Essau, Brutus and Cassius, Wellington and Napoleon, Wyndham Lewis and James Joyce, Jim and Stanislaus, de Valera and Joyce, all fraternal couples whose progress is made by mutual opposition and mistakes until they are at last absorbed in one body lying by the Liffey, on the site of Dublin.” CIXOUS, The Exile of James Joyce, 237. ibid. ibid. CROCE, BENEDETTO. Aesthetic, trans. Douglas Ainslie. New York: The Noonday Press, 1956: 221. Cf. FRACASTORO, GIROLAMO. Naugerius, sive De poetica [1555]; cited in CROCE, Aesthetic, 184. CROCE, Aesthetic, 224. ibid., 225. VICO, GIAMBATTISTA. The New Science, trans. Thomas Bergin and Max Frisch. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986: 60. CROCE, Aesthetic, 226. ibid.

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HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 329. JAKOBSON, ROMAN. ‘The Dominant.’ Readings in Russian Poetics: Formalist and Structuralist Views, eds. Ladislav Matejka and Krystyna Pomorska. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Michigan University Press, 1978: 82–87. TOFTS, DARREN. Memory Trade: A Prehistory of Cyberculture. Sydney: Interface, 1997: 88. “From the time the psyche was theorised as a text to be read when we became ‘... easily freudened’ (115), the pun has occupied an important place within psychoanalysis and the interpretation of dreams, since the play of ambivalence and equivocation discloses concealed desires or anxieties that can’t be ‘spoken’ in the language of sense (‘insect,’ for example, stands in for ‘incest’ throughout the Wake)” (ibid., 88–89). FREUD, SIGMUND. ‘Note on the Mystic Writing Pad.’The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, trans. James Strachey. XXII vols. London: Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho-analysis, 1954: XIX.225–232. FREUD, SE XIX.227. DERRIDA, ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing,’ 228. FREUD, SE XIII.177. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Edmund Husserl’s Origin of Geometry: An Introduction, trans. J.P. Leavey. New York: Nicholas Hays, 1978. ibid., 102. DERRIDA, Limited Inc., 60–62. ibid. NELSON, Literary Machines, 1–17. Freud’s topology of presentation in his metaphor of the psyche as writing apparatus is elaborated during several other articles also. Cf. SE XIII.177. To this end Freud adopts the metaphor of the Rebus (SE IV.277–278) and, of course, the Wunderblock (SE XIX.227). Cf. also WILDEN, ANTHONY. ‘Lacan and the Discourse of the Other.’ Introduction to Lacan, Jacques. Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis, trans. Anthony Wilden. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1981: 225. LACAN, JACQUES. ‘The Topic of the Imaginary.’ The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book I: Freud’s Papers on Technique 1953–1954, trans. J. Forrester. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988: 79. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences.’ Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978: 270ff. Cf. BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 313: “Everything we have said about possibly mechanical repetition as an essential possibility of archē-writing marks the necessity of a contamination of any essence by a generalised ‘technology.’” BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 311, 313–314. Cf. DERRIDA, ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing,’ 228. BLANCHOT, MAURICE. The Space of Literature, trans. Ann Smock. Lincoln, Nebraska and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1982: 41. Cf. MALLARMÉ, STÉPHANE. ‘Crise de vers.’ Poésies. Paris: Classiques Français, 1993: 185–198. KOCKELMANS, JOSEPH J. Heidegger on Art and Art Works. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1985: 134. BLANCHOT, The Space of Literature, 43. LEVIN, HARRY. Review in New Directions [1939]. James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, ed. Robert Deming. 2 vols. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1970: 2.695–696. Cf. WATT, IAN. The Rise of the Novel. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. HEATH, ‘Ambiviolences,’ 31. Conversation of December 30, 1929, at the house of Moritz Schlick, recorded by Friedrich Waismann in Wittgenstein und der Wiener Kreis, ed. B.F. McGuiness. London: Blackwell, 1967. JAUSS, HANS ROBERT. ‘Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory.’ New Literary History. 2 vols. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970: 2.11–19. ISER, WOLFGANG. ‘The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach.’ New Directions in Literary History, ed. R. Cohen. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978: 285. LACAN, JACQUES. ‘The Mirror Stage as formative of the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience.’ Écrits: A Selection, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Alan Sheridon. New York: Norton, 1977: 1–7. Cf. BAUDRILLARD, L’Echange symbolique et la mort, 242. This division, or primal “repression,” as the opening of play through the divisibility of the pure idiom, can be seen to operate (according to the metaphorics of a textual apparatus) as what Baudrillard calls the “inverted mirror [...] of the unconscious and libidinal economy” whose images are also the “objects” of fascination and animosity for the narcissistic ego (ibid.). LACAN. Écrits, 4. LACAN, JACQUES. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Alan Sheridon. London: The Hogarth Press, 1977: 83. LACAN, Écrits, 312. According to Lacan, what is “given,” “returned,” or “lent” to the subject as desire is also the signature, proper name, idiom which, like the specular image, is projected or addressed to the Other (through the lacunary “space” of the objet petit a), and which is then “returned” to the subject (as a form of “destinerrance”). See DERRIDA, JACQUES. The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation: Texts and Discussions with Jacques Derrida, ed. Christie V. McDonald, trans. Avital Ronell and Peggy Kamuf. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988: 88–89. See also DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘La Facteur de la vérité.’ The Post Card: from Socrates to Freud and beyond, trans. Alan Bass.

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Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987: 443–444. Cf. further LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 198–9: “The subject is born in so far as the signifier emerges from the field of the Other [...] this subject [...] solidifies into a signifier.” LACAN, Écrits, 312. ibid., 45. ibid., 1. LACAN, from the very beginning of his project, clearly states his opposition to Descartes: “The formation of the ‘I’ as we experience it in psychoanalysis, leads us to oppose any philosophy issuing directly from the cogito.” DERRIDA, Cinders, 76.XXI. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. Being and Time, trans. J. Macquarie and E. Robinson. London: Blackwell, 1992: 42. (N.B. all page references are, according to convention, to the German edition cited in the margins of the English translation.) ibid., 223. Cf. LACAN, JACQUES. ‘Joyce le symptôme I.’ Joyce avec Lacan, ed. Jacques Aubert. Paris: Navarin Éditeur, 1987: 26–27. Lacan, throughout his four seminars on Joyce, characterises Joyce (the body of writing gathered together under that name) as “symptôme,” engaging the word’s obvious Freudian connotations as well as the word’s etymological meaning of “chance” or “happening” (Gk. sumptoma), as well as the pun in French with “tome” (Gk. tomos, section f. temnos, cut), to show how Joyce as “symptom” (or “sinthome”) in fact emerges from a particular “rapport” with language: “qu’on s’interdit de jouer d’aucune des équivoques que émouvrait l’inconscient chez quiconque.” In this way, the name Joyce also designates that division or gap in the process of derivation or textual genealogy, since “dans l’articulation du symptôme au symbole il n’y a qu’un faux trou.” In this way we can also relate the Lacanian symptom to the Freudian metaphorics of memory and trace. HEIDEGGER ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 308. DERRIDA, Cinders, 71.44. BERNASCONI, ROBERT. The Question of Language in Heidegger’s History of Being. New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1984: 11. LACAN, Écrits, 5. ibid. BATAILLE, GEORGES. L’Experience intérieure (140 n1). Œuvres complètes. 8 vols. Paris: Gallimard, 1971–1988: 5:129. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘From Restricted to General Economy: An Hegelianism without Reserve.’ Writing and Difference, trans Alan Bass. London: Routledge, 1978: 252. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Aporias, trans. Thomas Dutoit. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993: 9ff. CIXOUS, HÉLÈNE. ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ trans. Judith Still. Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. London: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 23. Cf. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 27ff. BLANCHOT, MAURICE. The Writing of the Disaster, trans. Ann Smock. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995: 24–25. According to Blanchot: “The word ‘responsible’ qualifies the successful man of action. But now responsibility—my responsibility for the other, for everyone, without reciprocity—is displaced. No longer does it belong to consciousness; it is not an activating thought process put into practice, nor is it even a duty that would impose itself from without and from within. My responsibility for the Other presupposes an overturning such that it can only be marked by a change in the status of ‘me’, a change in time and perhaps in language. Responsibility which withdraws me from my order— perhaps from all orders and from order itself—responsibility, which separates me from myself [...] and reveals the other in place of me, requires that I answer for absence, for passivity. It requires, that is to say, that I answer for the impossibility of being responsible—to which it has always already consigned me by holding me accountable and also discounting me altogether” (ibid.). DERRIDA addresses the question of responsibility and duty at length in The Gift of Death, trans. David Williams. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995, and again in Aporias. In the latter text (which was written after The Gift of Death), Derrida returns to a formulation marked out in the former: tout autre est tout autre, in relation to which he situates the question of responsibility which he nonetheless recognises to be indistinguishable from the question of the terme, the limit, terminus or end, and (following Blanchot) of a certain pas. In delineating this problem, Derrida returns to a more or less Lacanian position in regards to the est of the formula tout autre est tout autre, effectively placing it “under erasure.” For Derrida, the problem of the border thus posed “concerns the choice between the relation to an other who is its other (that is to say, an other that can be opposed in a couple) and the relation to a wholly, nonopposable, other, that is, an other that is no longer its other” (Aporias, 18). What is at stake here, as Derrida clearly recognises, is “the double concept of the border” (ibid.). DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 162. ISER, ‘The Reading Process,’ 285. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Cogito and the History of Madness.’ Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass. London: Routledge, 1978: 62. This essay on Foucault bears as one of its epigraphs a comment by Joyce about the writing of Ulysses: “In any event this book was terribly daring. A transparent sheet separates it from madness” (ibid., 31).

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DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 127. CAGE, JOHN. Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake and Writing for the Second Time through Finnegans Wake. Ars Acoustica CD: WER 6303–2 (Werbo 286 303–2). PERLOFF, MARJORIE. ‘John Cage’s Dublin, Lyn Hejinian’s Leningrad: Poetic Cities as Cyberspaces.’ Classical, Renaissance, and Postmodern Acts of the Imagination: Essays Commemorating O.B. Hardison, ed. Arthur F. Kinney. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1996: 61. Cf. CAGE, JOHN and KLAUS SCHÖNING. ‘Laughtears: Conversation on Roaratorio.’ Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake, ed. Klaus Schöning. Königstein: Atheneum, 1985: 107. PERLOFF, ‘John Cage’s Dublin,’ 61–62. CAGE, JOHN. Writing for the Second Time through Finnegans Wake. New York: Printed Editions, 1978. CAGE, Roaratorio, 29. ibid., 89. BORGES, ‘The Garden of Forking Paths,’ 353. TOFTS, DARREN. ‘The Infinite Library,’ 21C 2 (1996): 29. BLANCHOT, The Sirens’ Song, 224. BAUDRILLARD, JEAN. Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988: 166. Cf. DEBORD, GUY. Society of the Spectacle. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995. BAUDRILLARD, Selected Writings, 167. See BORGES, JORGE LUIS. Labyrinths. London: Penguin, 1980. HART, CLIVE. A Concordance to Finnegans Wake. Corrected ed. New York: Paul Appel, 1974. ibid., introductory note on ‘Statistics,’ n. pag. HART, CLIVE. Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber, 1962: 19–20. ibid., 32. TOFTS, Memory Trade, 90. ECO, UMBERTO. The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979. INGARDEN, Vom Erkennen des literarischen Kunstwerks, 270ff. ISER, ‘The Reading Process,’ 274. FERRER, DANIEL. ‘Circe, regret and regression,’ trans. Gilly Lehmann. Post-Structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 128. HART, Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake, 62. ibid., 58. HART then analyses the following sections of the book along the same lines and demonstrates that Cycle IV brings III.1 “to a conclusion with a prayer [...] to Shaun the god-figure, who is to be resurrected in the next chapter” (ibid., 60). Cited in ROUGHLEY, ALAN. James Joyce and Critical Theory: An Introduction. London: Harvester, 1991: 11. Cf. MCHUGH, ROLAND. The Sigla of Finnegans Wake. London: Edward Arnold, 1976: 118. For McHugh the symbol “denotes the mental sensation of contemplating the mandala of Finnegans Wake, a tranquil equipoise at the hub of time” (ibid., 121). There has been considerable speculation on the relationship between Finnegans Wake’s schematic structures and Jung’s conception of archetypes and collective unconscious (in which Jung employed the mandala symbol). Although Joyce was acquainted with Jung (who treated his daughter, Lucia, for part of her illness), and made several references to Jung in the Wake (“Jungfraud’s” [FW 460.20]), he was more clearly drawn to the ideas of Vico and, to a less certain extent, Freud and the British anthropologist Sir J.G. Frazer. HART, Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake, 77. LACAN, ‘Joyce le symptôme I,’ 29. ibid., 28. ibid. See LACAN. ‘Seminaire.’ Scilicet 6.7 (1976) 40. Cf. ROUGHLEY, James Joyce and Critical Theory, 279. MCHUGH, ROLAND. Annotations to Finnegans Wake. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. MCHUGH, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, 133. L 1.213. MCHUGH, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, 7. ibid., 135. GILBERT, STUART. James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Study. New York: Vintage, 1952: 96. HART, CLIVE. ‘Quinet.’ James Joyce: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. W.M. Chance. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1974: 130. MCHUGH, 66–67. Cf. ROUGHLEY, ALAN. ‘A.L.P.’s “Sein” and “Zeit”: Questions of Finnegans Wake’s Being of Language in a Philosophical Context.’ European Joyce Studies. Finnegans Wake: Fifty Years, ed. Geert Lernout. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990: 129. See HART, introductory note on ‘The Text,’ A Concordance, n. pag. Hart refers to “the first trade edition, emended according to the ‘Corrections of Misprints in Finnegans Wake,’ [1945] after the latter had itself been emended by collation with the typescript (and carbon) of the corrections and with the unbound

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copy of the first edition [...] on which Joyce, with the assistance of Paul Léon, drew up the original list of errata.” THEALL, DONALD. ‘Here Comes Everybody.’ Explorations 2 (April, 1954): 66–77. GIFFORD, DON. Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s Ulysses. Rev. ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. GRODEN, MICHAEL. Ulysses in Progress. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977. Cited in DELOUGHRY, THOMAS J. ‘A Multimedia Boot Camp Inspires Scholarly CD-ROMs.’ Chronicle of Higher Education (July 26, 1996): A22. Cited in ZALEWSKI, DANIEL. ‘Field Notes: Scanners.’ Lingua Franca 6.6 (1996): 10. Ulysses (1967: b/w, 124 min.), directed by Joseph Strick. With Barbara Jefford, Milo O’Shea, Maurice Roeves, Fionnula Flanagan. Distributed by Mystic Fire Video, PO Box 9323, South Burlington, Vermont 05407, USA. FERRER, DANIEL. ‘Archéologie du regard dans les avant-textes de «Circé».’ James Joyce «Scribble» 1 genèse des textes, ed. Claude Jacquet. Paris: Lettres Modernes, 1988: 133. ibid., 140. ibid., 140–141. ibid., 141. FERRER, DANIEL. ‘The Freudful Couchmare of Λd: Joyce’s Notes on Freud and the Composition of Chapter XVI of Finnegans Wake.’ JJQ 22.4 (1985): 367–368. FERRER, DANIEL. ‘La scène primitive de l’écriture, une lecture joycienne de Freud.’ Genèse de Babel: Joyce et la création, ed. Claude Jacquet. Paris: Louis Hay Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1985. FERRER, ‘The Freudful Couchmare of Λd,’ 374. The reference on the right-hand side is from Freud, Sigmund. Collected Papers III. London: The Hogarth Press, 1925: 502. FERRER, ‘The Freudful Couchmare of Λd,’ 374. ibid. FREUD, Collected Papers III.477. FERRER, ‘The Freudful Couchmare of d,’ 373. Cf. FREUD, SIGMUND. ‘A Note on the Mystic Writing Pad,’ SE XIX.227. TOPIA, ANDRÉ. ‘The Matrix and the Echo: Intertextuality in Ulysses,’ trans. Elizabeth Bell with the author. Post-Structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 103. Cf. LONGINUS. Essay on the Sublime, trans. A.O. Prickard. Westport: Greenwood, 1978: §14–16. ibid., 30. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Dissemination.’ Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981: 355. N.B. LONGINUS’S Essay on the Sublime is not only a text making abundant use of quotation, but also a metadiscourse on quotation—thus opening a field of double-play in which the mechanical and signifying function of quotation enters into a dialogue with itself and becomes the subject and object of its own discourse. 4. TEXTUAL ENGINEERING

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RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 79. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 147–148 Cf. RABATÉ, JEAN-MICHEL. ‘Pour une cryptogénetique de l’idiolecte Joycien.’ Genèse de Babel: Joyce et la création, ed. Claud Jacquet. Paris: Louis Hay Éditions du Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, 1985. Cf. also RABATÉ, JEAN-MICHEL. ‘Le Nœud Gordien de «Pénélope».’ James Joyce «Scribble» 1 genèse des textes, ed. Claude Jacquet. Paris: Lettres Modernes, 1988. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 79. BLANCHOT, MAURICE. La part du feu. Paris: Gallimard, 1949: 123. By disarticulating the received phonic-graphic binary, Joyce’s writing also deprives hermeneutics of a semantic limit against which “presence” might then be posited in relation to a prior code. The pun between “decorded” (cord f. L cors, cordis, heart) and decoded bears obvious significance here. BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 315–316. DELEUZE, GILLES and FÉLIX GUATTARI. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. R. Hurley, M. Seem, and H.R. Lane. New York: Viking, 1977: 43. MACH, ERNST. ‘On Physiological, as Distinguished from Geometrical Space.’ The Monist. XI.3 (April, 1901); cited in EVERDELL, WILLIAM. The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of Twentieth-Century Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. According to Everdell, Mach’s conception of time and space as mental events derived from a similar experience to that described by Proust, his “defining moment of revelation” having been “the spectacle of a canted world from the window of a railroad car as it rounded a steeply banked curve” (ibid., 16). DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 48.

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ATTRIDGE, DEREK. ‘Postmodern Joyce: Chance, Coincidence and the Reader.’ Joyce Studies Annual, 1995, ed. Thomas F. Staley. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995: 287–288. ibid., 283. DERRIDA, ‘My Chances/Mes Chances,’ 4. BENNINGTON, GEOFFREY. Legislations. London: Verso, 1994: 2. Cited in DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 43. ibid. ibid. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 147. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘The Double Sessions.’ Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981: 221. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 148. DERRIDA, The Truth in Painting, 27. This metaphor describes a two-fold relation that suggests, also, Georg Cantor’s set continuum problem, which also came to pre-occupy Gottlob Frege and Bertram Russell. The first is the ambivalent set between two writing/translation softwares, in which one is a “minute” and “metonymic dwarf” which is nonetheless “detached from” and able to “exploit” the other. The second is the equivalent set of relations between two softwares in which both are a “detached fragment of a software” and, simultaneously, a “software more powerful than the other” and a “part larger than the whole of which it is a part.” RUSSELL, BERTRAM. ‘Mathematical Logic as Based on the Theory of Types.’ American Journal of Mathematics 30 (1908): 222–262. Repr. in RUSSELL, BERTRAM. Logic and Knowledge. London: Allen and Unwin, 1956: 59–102. ibid. See RUSSELL, BERTRAM. The Principles of Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903. Cf. RUSSELL, BERTRAM and ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD. Principia Mathematica. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘The Law of Genre,’ trans. Avital Ronell. Glyph 7. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980: 207. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 330. MATURANA, HUMBERTO and FRANCISCO VARELa. Autopoiesis and Cognition. Boston: Reidal, 1979. BLANCHOT, The Writing of the Disaster, 60–61. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 79. FRANCIS MAHONY, an Irish Jesuit who wrote for Fraser’s Magazine in London. In 1836 his contributions to the paper were republished as Reliques of Father Prout. Cf. Chambers’s Biographical Dictionary, eds. W.M. and J. Geddie. London: W. and R. Chambers, 1945. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 79. ibid. ibid. 16 April, 1942. L 1.251; cited in RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 80. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 80. ibid., 81. L 3.76. THEALL, James Joyce’s Techno-Poetics, 30–49. See DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 270f. BUDGEN, FRANK. James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972: 356. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 81. ibid. Cf. MCLUHAN, The Gutenberg Galaxy, passim. TURING, ‘On Computable Numbers,’ 249–250. Cf. FW 140–141. The letters A B C and D function here, as elsewhere, as subsectional “indices” of a series of questions, to which it is required “to harmonise your abecedeed responses” (FW 140.14). A musical motif also emerges from the letters H.C.E., where H can be take as signifying the note B natural according to the Germanic convention. Cf. Contrapunctus XIV of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge—where he introduces B-A-C-H as a contra-subject: “N.B. Über dieser Fuge, wo der Nahme B-A-C-H im Contrasubjekt angebracht worden, ist der Verfasser gestorben” (this note appears at the bottom of the last page of Bach’s manuscript in the hand of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach). The parentheses act as a point of possible entry or insertion through which other text are continually summoned: “(and may this hundred thousand welcome stewed letters, relayed wand postchased, multiply, ay faith, and plultiply!)” (FW 404.36–405.01). HART, ‘Quinet,’ 133. HART, Structure and Motif, 66–67. Cf. THEALL, James Joyce’s Techno-Poetics, 134f. FIORENTINO, F., ed. Jordani Bruni Nolani Opera Latine Conscripta. Neapoli, 1879–1891; facsimile reprint by F. Fromman. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Verlag Gunther Holzboog, 1962 (op. cit. is De Monade Numero et Figura, Secretioris Nempe Physicæ, Mathematicæ et Metaphysicæ Elementa). MCHUGH, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, 68.

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STERLING, WILLIAM. The Canon [1897]. London: Garnstone Press, 1974: 11–14; cited in McHugh, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, 68. LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 211. ibid., 221. ibid. ibid., 211. LACAN, ‘Joyce le symptôme I,’ 24. The term “Borromean” comes from the Borromeo family of Renaissance Italy, who used the three interlocking circles on their coat of arms. Cf. The Mathematical Intelligencer, 17.1 (Winter 1995). There is another interesting historical context in which the image of the rings arises. The diagram was found in picture-stones on Gotland, an island in the Baltic sea off the south-east coast of Sweden. These are dated to some period in the ninth-century and are thought to record tales from the Norse myths. To the Norse people of Scandinavia, a drawing of the Borromean knot using triangles instead of rings is known as “Odin’s triangle” or the “Walknot” (or “valknut,” the knot of the slain). The symbol was also carved on bedposts used in sea burials. LACAN, ‘La Sinthome,’ Joyce avec Lacan, 46. ibid., 44–45. ibid., 44. ibid., 45. ibid., 46. LACAN, ‘Joyce le symptôme II,’ Joyce avec Lacan, 33. ROUDENESCO, ELIZABETH. Jacques Lacan: Esquisse d’une vie, histoire d’un système de pensée. Paris: Fayard, 1993: 366–367. LACAN, ‘Joyce le symptôme I,’ 24. LACAN, ÉCRITS, 299. LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 83. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Speech and Phenomena and Other Essays on Husserl’s Theory of Signs, trans. D. Allison. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973: 32ff. ibid., 50. LACAN, JACQUES. Le séminaire: Livre III: Les psychoses 1955–1956. Paris: Seuil, 1981: 247. DERRIDA, The Truth in Painting, 27. ibid., 17. 5. ARTICULATIONS

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BARTHES, ROLAND. S/Z. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1970. MICHAUX, HENRI. The Major Ordeals of the Mind and Countless Minor Ones, trans. Richard Howard. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974: 125–127. Cf. RICE, THOMAS JACKSON. ‘Ulysses, Chaos, and Complexity.’ JJQ 31.2 (1994): 41–54. MICHAUX, The Major Ordeals of the Mind, 125–126. Cf. LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 79ff. Also Baltrusaïtis, Jurgis. Anamorphoses: les perspectives dépravés. Paris: Flammarion, 1984. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 127. Cf. DERRIDA, The Archaeology of the Frivolous, passim. ATTRIDGE, DEREK. ‘Introduction: Highly continental evenements.’ Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 7. ibid., 8. BATAILLE, GEORGES. ‘Formless.’ Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939, ed. Allan Stoekl. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985: 31. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 80. LÉVI-STRAUSS, CLAUDE. The Savage Mind, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1968: 21. DERRIDA, The Post Card, 144. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, trans. Eric Prenowitz. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996: 12. Derrida alludes to “the archē of the commencement,” “according to nature or according to history,” as “introducing surreptitiously a chain of belated and problematic oppositions between physis and its others, thesis, technē, nomos, etc., which are found to be at work in the other principle, the nomological principle of the archē, the principle of the commandment” (ibid., 1). “Shemblable” suggests Shem-babble, Shem-Babel, as well as the French semblable, “similar.” AUGÉ, MARC. Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, trans. John Howe. London: Verso, 1995. CIXOUS, ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ 23. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 44ff. DELEUZE, GILLES and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? trans. Graham Burchell and Hugh Tomlinson. London; Verso, 1994: 118.

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BOLTER, JAY DAVID. ‘The Hypertexts of James Joyce.’ Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1991: 135–137. On the contrary, what defines a hypertext is not a topographical continuum marked out between significatory terrains (a relation which would affirm the integrity of individual planes), but that such terrains of signification are in fact horizon effects of a lapsus or series of lapsus general across the entirety topography of language. Indeed, we might say that hypertextuality articulates that lapsus itself. BATAILLE, GEORGES. ‘L’Anus Solaire.’ Œuvres complètes. 8 vols. Paris: Gallimard, 1971–1988: 5.81. DAVIES, PAUL. The Cosmic Blueprint. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Le Supplement de copule.’ Marges. Paris: Minuit, 1972: 243. DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 330. ibid., 331. Cf. Paul de Man, personal correspondence cited in JONES, W.T. ‘Deconstructing Derrida.’ Metaphilosophy 23.3 (1992): 232. According to Jones’s account, de Man defines “trace” as “an empty referent—there is not nor was there ever any actual content latent in the unconscious to which the trace refers [...] the signifier is the sign of a lack.” DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 300. BLANCHOT, MAURICE. Le livre à venir. Paris: Gallimard, 1959: 335. Cf. Derrida’s discussion of the words “he war” in ‘Two Words for Joyce.’ RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex machina,’ 79. Cf. DE MAN, PAUL. Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism. 2nd rev. ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983: 90–91. According to de Man: “the illusion that continuity can be restored by an act of memory turns out to be merely another moment of transition.” DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 221. Cf. DERRIDA, ‘The Pit and the Pyramid,’ Margins of Philosophy, 88. Suggesting a link between Saussure, Leibniz and Hegel regarding the word (vox) or “spoken language” as “the model of the sign,” Derrida argues that “the process of the sign is an Aufhebung.” AUBERT, JACQUES. ‘riverrun,’trans. Patrick O’Donovan. Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, eds. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 69–70. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Survivre.’ Parages. Paris: Galilée, 1986: 161. AUBERT, ‘riverrun,’ 70. ibid. ibid. ibid., 71. ibid., 70. ibid., 72. See FOUCAULT, MICHEL. The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Pantheon Books, 1972. Letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver, Dec. 21, 1926; cited in JJII 597. FOUCAULT, MICHEL. ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’ trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon. Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, ed. and trans. Donald F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977: 139ff. FOUCAULT, The Archaeology of Knowledge, 77. BAUDRILLARD, ‘Simulacra and Simulations,’ Selected Writings, 182 n1. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Memoires for Paul de Man, trans. C. Lindsay, J. Culler, E. Cadava, and P. Kamuf. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986: 36. BENJAMIN, Illuminations, 157. ibid., 154–155. ibid., 180–181. ibid., 157. ibid. BRENTANO, FRANZ. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, trans. Antos C. Rancurello, D.B. Terrell and Linda L. McAlister. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul: 1973. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. R. Menheim. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966: 155. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 308. Cf. HEGEL, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978: 14. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 24. NELSON, Literary Machines, 0/2. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 311. HOLLIER, DENNIS. Against Architecture: The Writings of Georges Bataille, trans. Betsy Wing. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1992: 65. ARISTOTLE, De Anima, 3:432a. Cf. LEIBNIZ, The Monadology, 455ff. SHKLOVSKY, VICTOR. ‘Art as Technique,’ trans. L.T. Lemon and M.J. Reis. Modern Literary Theory, ed. Philip Rice and Patricia Waugh. London: Edward Arnold, 1990: 18. POGODIN, ALEXANDER. Language as Art. Moscow: Kharkov, 1913: 42. SHKLOVSKY, ‘Art as Technique,’ 18.

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ibid. LÉVI-STRAUSS, The Savage Mind, 215. ibid. Cf. POLTI, GEORGE. The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. New York: The Writer Inc., 1940. Cited in WHEELER, DANIEL. Art Since Mid-Century: 1945 to the Present. London: Thames and Hudson, 1991: 232. ibid. GOMBRICH, E.H. Art and Illusion: A study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. London: Phaidon, 1994: 184–185. If we were to project this vortex in three-dimensions, it might also be possible to obtain a horizontal section describing a hyperbola. GOMBRICH, Art and Illusion, 176. VASARI, GIORGIO. The Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects, trans. Gaston du C. de Vere. 2 vols. London: Everyman Library, 1996. Cf. KANT, IMMANUEL. Critique of Judgement, trans. J.H. Bernard. New York: Hafner Press, 1951: 86–96. For further discussion of the mathematical sublime, cf. LYOTARD, JEAN-FRANÇOIS. Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime, trans. Elizabeth Rottenberg. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994. 6. TECHNOGENESIS

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DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 53. A retrovirus is generally understood to be an RNA-carrying virus that converts its RNA into DNA by means of the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which allows it to become integrated into its host’s DNA. HOFSTADTER, Gödel, Escher, Bach, 538. Cf. LEHNINGER, ALBERT. Biochemestry. New York: Worth Publishers, 1976. The process of transcription, in which information for the manufacture of proteins and their constituent amino acids is encoded in messenger RNA (normally transcribed from DNA in the nucleus of the cell), is followed by a process of translation, which takes place at the ribosomes, in which this encoded information is translated into a sequence of amino acids. This type of causal ambiguity is also discussed, in a different context, by JEAN BAUDRILLARD in Simulacra and Simulations, trans. P. Foss, P. Patton, and P. Beitchman. New York: Sémiotext(e), 1983. HOFSTADTER, Gödel, Escher, Bach, 539. MASSUMI, BRIAN. Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993: 119. BENJAMIN, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’ 214. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Plato’s Pharmacy.’ Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981: 88 n20: “the whole of that essay, as will quickly become apparent, being itself nothing but a reading of Finnegans Wake.” ibid., 103. ibid., 103–104. BENJAMIN, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’ 230. DERRIDA, ‘Plato’s Pharmacy,’ 104. WEBER, ‘The Vaulted Eye,’ 48. DERRIDA, ‘Plato’s Pharmacy,’ 88–89. HOFSTADTER, Gödel, Escher, Bach, 505. ibid., 504ff. DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 278. ibid., 286. Cf. FOUCAULT, ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,’ 148–160. NIETZSCHE, FRIEDRICH. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, trans. R.J. Hollingdale. London: Penguin, 1990: 33. DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 286. HEATH, ‘Ambiviolences,’ 48–49. ibid., 49. LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. L’Origine des manières de table. Paris: Plon, 1968: 105. HEATH, ‘Ambiviolences,’ 49. NORRIS, MARGOT. The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake: A Structuralist Analysis. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976: 26. Cited above. The line “hearasay in” can also be read syllabically as H.C.E. (heara=H, say=C, ín=E), while “paradox lust” suggests A.L.P. LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Structural Anthropology, trans. Claire Jacobson and Brooke G. Schoepf. New York: Doubleday, 1967: 226. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Glas, trans. J.P. Leavey and Richard Rand. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1990: 257bi. WEBER, ‘The Vaulted Eye,’ 49.

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BARTHES, ROLAND. The Pleasure of the Text, trans. Richard Miller. New York: Hill and Wang, 1975: 10. SARTILLIOT, CLAUDETTE. Citation and Modernity: Derrida, Joyce and Brecht. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993: 49. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Ousia and Grammē,’ Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1982: 63. Similarly, the elevation of these triads in Joyce studies, to something like an analytical paradigm, remains symptomatic of a hermeneutic drive toward recuperating significatory and structural play for identity and epistemological certitude. ABRAHAM, NICHOLAS and MARIA TOROK. Cryptonymie: le Verbier de l’homme aux loups. Paris: Aubier Flammarion, 1976: 118. SARTILLIOT, Citation and Modernity, 51. BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 312–313. DERRIDA, Of Spirit, 10. Cf. Derrida, Memoires for Paul de Man, 109–10. ABRAHAM and TOROK, Cryptonymie, 118. DERRIDA, ‘Mes Chances,’ 3–4. DERRIDA, Aporias, 15. DERRIDA, ‘Mes Chances,’ 9–10. WEBER, ‘The Vaulted Eye,’ 49. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 398. ibid., 160ff. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. ‘On the Essence of Truth,’ trans. John Sallis. Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell. Rev. ed. London: Routledge, 1993: 132. Heidegger’s interpretation of aletheia here draws upon an earlier reading of a fragment of Parmenides. See HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. Vorträge und Aufsätze. Pfullingen: Neske, 1954: 26. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. ‘What Calls for Thinking?’trans. Fred D. Wieck and J. Glenn Gray. Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell. Rev. ed. London: Routledge, 1993: 390. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 319. Cf. HEGEL, Encyclopaedia §158. Elsewhere according to Hegel, historical “development” is possible only insofar as we not only raise substantiality to consciousness, but also by becoming aware, through an appreciation of history, that this is what is taking place. The Weltgeist becomes self-conscious spirit, substance becomes subject. According to Robert Bernasconi, “it is this [latter] process that gives rise to begriffen Geschichte [history concept] as the gathering remembrance that Hegel calls Er-Innerung.” BERNASCONI, The Question of Language in Heidegger’s History of Being, 10. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 324. DERRIDA, ‘Plato’s Pharmacy,’ 89. ibid., 105. ibid. WEBER, ‘The Vaulted Eye,’ 50. ibid. Derrida undertakes a study of the origins of writing and of the opposition between the living logos, son of the one who sustains him by speaking him as word, and the technē of inscription, the art which needs no father and which claims to be a specific pharmakon for memory. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 241. DELEUZE and GUATTARI. Anti-Oedipus, 43. RABATÉ, ‘Lapsus ex Machina,’ 79. TOFTS, Parallax, 90. See DERRIDA, Memoirs for Paul de Man, 36. Also DERRIDA, ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing,’ 300. Derrida discusses Freud’s deployment of the written trace as a metaphor for the structure of memory (cf. FREUD, ‘Note on the Mystic Writing Pad,’ SE XIX.225–232). DE MAN, PAUL. ‘Aesthetic Formalisation in Kleist.’ Rhetoric of Romanticism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984: 288. DERRIDA, ‘Ousia and Grammē,’ 87. Cf. BERNASCONI, The Question of Language in Heidegger’s History of Being, 11. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. What is Called Thinking? trans. F.D. Wieck and J.G. Grey. New York: Harper and Row, 1968. DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 151–152. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 43. DERRIDA, Memoirs for Paul de Man, 72. N.B. It is precisely this notion of within, and of a viral emplacement, that can be seen as determining the Wake’s genetic organisation in the way H.C.E. and A.L.P. mark an unsecuring of the text’s structural epistema. The geno-technics of both these triads provide us, moreover, with a means of thinking Finnegans Wake as soliciting hypertext, operating (in the breach of memory) between formal meaning on the one hand and technological proliferation on the other, driven on by the interminable call of this “paradox lust.”

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7. LAPSUS 1 2 3 4 5

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NIETZSCHE, FRIEDRICH. The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. New York: Vintage, 1968: 55 (June 10, 1887). ibid. ibid., 54 n30. BATAILLE, GEORGES. ‘The Solar Anus.’ Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939, trans. Allan Stoekl, with Carl Lovitt and Donald Leslie. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994: 5–10. Nietzsche first formulated the concept of eternal recurrence in Zarathustra III, ‘The Convalescence,’ as ewige Wiederkehr and ewige Wiederkunft Cf. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, trans. Walter Kaufmann. London: Penguin, 1987. Cf. DELEUZE, GILLES. Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983: 28 and 190. ibid., 187. ibid. As Felix Ingold has pointed out, Dedalus (the name of the father) is above all emblematic of technics and technology. INGOLD, FELIX PHILIPP. ‘Zum Selbstverständnis des Autors in der Moderne.’ Technik in der Literatur. Hamburg: Suhrkamp, 1985: 269–350. OVID, Metamorphoses, VIII, 188. DERRIDA, Glas, 240a. APOLLINAIRE, GUILLAUME. ‘Zone,’ trans. Samuel Beckett. In BECKETT, SAMUEL. Collected Poems in English and French. New York: Grove, 1977: 111. See HEGEL, Phenomenology of Spirit, 16–17. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 436. Between “Time’s livid final flame” (U 583) and “time one livid final flame” (U 24), the Phoenix-like conflagration belonging to, or consuming-consummating temporality, and conflagration as spirit. Cf. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 269ff. Also DERRIDA, JACQUES. Of Spirit, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989: passim. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 235: “gesture supposes a distance and a spacing.” DERRIDA, Of Spirit, 14–15. This line also translates, in German, as the “trial” of Adam—which ties in with the theme of inquisition in Finnegans Wake, as well as that of heresy. See the various discussions in this study of the phrase “hearasay in / paradox lust” in which concepts of heresy and hearsay are brought together. This double play of “fall” also emerges in the etymology of Heidegger’s terms centred about the verb fallen. The “universality” of the figures H.C.E. and A.L.P. mimics, to a certain degree, a trinitarian or dialectical structure, which they nevertheless can be seen to destabilise or contradict. Upon the basis of this resemblance, however, one might attempt to reconstruct from the Wake’s tenuous record something like a history or testimony of the fall, seeking in the many fragmented “signatures” of H.C.E. and A.L.P. a type of “babelisation” of divine logos. Indeed, this constitutes one of the many motifs recurring throughout the Wake which engage the metaphor of falling. However, rather than offering the possibility that language merely represents a fall from some prior state of ideality as such, the Wake suggests that the very notion of identity belongs to language as what we might call its specular limit (the aporia of external correspondence to itself). DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 145. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Des Tours de Babel,’ trans. Joseph Graham. A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Peggy Kamuf. London: Harvester, 1991: 248. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Of an Apocalyptic Tone Recently Adopted in Philosophy,’ trans. J.P. Leavey. Oxford Literary Review 6.2 (1984): 3. DERRIDA, ‘Des Tours de Babel,’ 244. ibid., 245. ibid., 248. ibid., 248–249. ibid. 249. DERRIDA, Aporias, 10. DERRIDA, ‘Mes Chances,’ 3. DERRIDA, ‘Des Tours de Babel,’ 244. ibid., 249. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 168. Cf. FRAZER, J. G. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, ed. and intro. Robert Fraser. London: Oxford University Press, 1994: 667ff. HOLLIER, Against Architecture, 99. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 177. ibid., 178. ibid., 177. ibid. ibid. ibid., 178.

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ibid., 169. ibid., 169. GLEICK, JAMES. Chaos. London: Minerva, 1997: 121. HEATH, ‘Ambiviolences,’ 46. RUELLE, DAVID. Chance and Chaos. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991: 136. ibid. ibid., 58–9. RUELLE, DAVID. ‘Strange Attractors.’Mathematical Intelligencer 2 (1980): 126–137. Cf. GLEICK, Chaos, 140. HEATH, ‘Ambiviolences,’ 47. NORRIS, The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake, 26. FREUD, SIGMUND. Beyond the Pleasure Principle, trans. C.J.M. Hubback. London: The Hogarth Press, 1922: 17. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 169. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 150. ULMER, GREGORY. ‘Op Writing: Derrida’s Solicitation of Theoria.’ Displacement, ed. Mark Krupnick. Indianoplis: Indiana University Press, 1983: 29–58. ibid., 56 DERRIDA, Glas, 117ai. The word “phonex” also carries the more mundane signification of a mechanical index of telephone numbers. DERRIDA, Dissemination, 7. DERRIDA, Glas, 117a. BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 312–313. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 147. DERRIDA, The Post Card, 301. FREUD, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 14ff. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 336. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce,’ trans. T. Kendal. James Joyce: The Augmented Ninth, ed. Bernard Benstock. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1984. The metaphor of the “leash” also extends to the function of the handset, the telephone cord, Stephen Dedalus’s ashplant in ‘Circe,’ “Nothung” (U 583), the tapping cane of the blind man in ‘Lestrygonians’ and ‘Sirens,’ the staff of Oedipus and Ariadne’s thread. The “thrownness” of Dasein, brought into the proximity here of the “throw” in the fort/da game of Freud’s grandson, provides a way of beginning to think the relation between Verfallen and Gefallen, thus introducing the Heideggerean notion of “falling” to the apparatus of Freud’s “pleasure principle.” DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 148. We could begin to view this “disguise”—the quasi-transcendental—as a kind of anamorphosis whereby the apparent inferability of (mnemonic) traces runs up against the always-prior of originary repetition, substitution and dissimulation. LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 177–178. GLEICK, Chaos, 256. Cf. SHANNON, CLAUDE. ‘A Mathematical Theory of Communication.’ Bell Systems Technical Journal 27 (1948): 379–423, 623–656. GLEICK, Chaos, 256. A lipogramme is a text that excludes one or more letters of the alphabet. See the Oulipo Compendium, eds. Mathews, Harry and Alastair Brotchie. London: Atlas Press, 1998: 174–5. GLEICK, Chaos, 257. ibid., 258. RUELLE, Chance and Chaos, 132. GLEICK, Chaos, 261. Cf. CIXOUS, The Exile of James Joyce, 672. DERRIDA, ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing,’ 200ff. DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 291. ibid., 312–3. DERRIDA, ‘The Double Session.’ 186 n14. DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 314. ibid. DERRIDA, Cinders, 77.51. Derrida’s notion of the gift here, as elsewhere, follows from Mauss and Lacan. Bataille similarly develops this idea of the gift or potlach as inequation or dissymmetry (of expenditure versus exchange). Cf. MAUSS, MARCEL. Essai sur le don. “The ideal would be to give a potlach and it not be reciprocated”; cited in BATAILLE, Œuvres complètes: 1:310. Cf. also DERRIDA, ‘From Restricted to General Economy,’251f. The problem of the gift has become invasive in Derrida’s work. See DERRIDA, The Post Card, 403. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. Given Time: 1. Counterfeit Money, trans. Peggy Kamuf. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. See also DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘How to Avoid Speaking: Denials.’ Languages of the Unsayable: The Play of Negativity in Literature and Literary Theory, eds. Stanford Budick and Wolfgang Iser. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.

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DERRIDA, Cinders, 31.3. LACAN, Écrits, 304. For Lacan this disclosure marks the “subjection of the subject to the signifier” and inscribes the “circular” trajectory of the subject’s desire through the locus of the Other “for lack of being able to end on anything other than its own scansion, in other words, for lack of an act in which it would find its certainty.” The “circularity” of the trajectory of the subject’s desire, described by the postal metaphor—a circularity which remains unclosed and elliptical or decentred—is critiqued by Derrida in The Post Card and The Ear of the Other as the structure of the subject’s self-difference and the situation of desire and signification in the field of the Other. This circularity is also described by Lacan in his graphing of subjective experience. Cf. Écrits, 302–324. LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 203–244. Cf. WILDEN, ‘Lacan and the Discourse of the Other,’ 271. Cf. DERRIDA, Jacques. ‘Deconstruction and the other.’ Dialogues with Contemporary Continental Thinkers: The Phenomenological Heritage, ed. Richard Kearney. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984: 124. “It is totally false to suggest that deconstruction is a suspension of reference. Deconstruction is always deeply concerned with the ‘other’ of language [...]. [Deconstruction] asks whether the term ‘reference’ is entirely adequate for designating the ‘other.’ The other which is beyond language and summons language.” LACAN, ‘Freud, Hegel and the Machine,’ The Seminar of Jacques Lacan II, 64ff. DERRIDA, Jacques. ‘Psyche: Invention of the Other.’ Acts of Literature, ed. Derek Attridge. London: Routledge, 1992: 320. Cf. BENNINGTON, ‘Derridabase,’ 144. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 83. SOLLERS, Philippe. Numbers, 4.8; cited in DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 312. ibid. ibid. 8. DISCLOSURES

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DERRIDA, The Post Card, 5. HEIDEGGER, Martin. ‘The Origin of the Work of Art,’ trans. Albert Hofstadter. Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell. Rev. ed. London: Routledge, 1993: 161. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 168. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 208–209. ibid., 127. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘No Apocalypse, Not Now,’ trans Catherine Porter and Philip Lewis. Diacritics 14.2 (1984): 29–30. BERRESEM, HANJO. ‘The Litter! The Letter!: The Defilements of the Signifier in Finnegans Wake.’ European Joyce Studies. Finnegans Wake: Fifty Years, ed. Geert Lernout. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990: 141. A tenuous “allusion” is even made to the future advent of electronic mail: “Speak to us of Emailia” (FW 410. 23)—Shaun online? BERRESEM, ‘The Litter! The Letter!’ 141. This is elsewhere dealt with by Lacan in his seminar on Poe’s ‘The Purloined Letter,’ and Derrida’s ‘Facteur de la vérité.’ Joyce’s “languo” is also suggestive of Lacan’s contention that desire and the unconscious are structured like a language. Cf. LACAN, Le séminaire: Livre III, 135. “The unconscious in its essence, is structured, woven, joined together, with language.” Also: “there is desire because there is unconsciousness—that’s to say language which escapes the subject in its structure and in its effect, and there is always at the level of language something which is beyond consciousness, and it is there that one can situate the function of desire,” cited in FRANÇOIS WAHL, ‘La structure, le sujet, la trace. Ou de deux philosphies au-delà du structuralisme: Jacques Lacan et Jacques Derrida,’ Qu’estce que le structuralisme? ed. F. Wahl. Paris: Seuil, 1968). Cf. LACAN, Écrits, 297. “Since Freud the unconscious has been a chain of signifiers that somewhere (on another stage, in another scene, he wrote) is repeated, and insists on interfering in the breaks offered it by the effective discourse and the cogitation that it informs.” The unconscious is also characterised by Freud in Beyond the Pleasure Principle as the “reservoir” of a “death” at the origin, from which arises the notion of the death-drive. RABATÉ, JEAN-MICHEL. James Joyce, Authorized Reader. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991: 64ff. NORRIS, The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake, 58. NIETZSCHE, Zarathustra, II, ‘On the Blissful Islands.’ DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 282–283. This accountancy would also be linked to the metonymic function of A.L.P.’s “mamafesta” and the phenomenon of hearsay and idle talk (“gossipaceous Anna Livia” [FW 195.04]), both of which are fundamentally related to concepts of inflationary economy (a “gossipocracy” [FW 476.04] whose base currency of “hearasay” circulates like “lots of lies” and “flashy foreign mail” [FW 281.F3]). The reference to “liefest pose, arride the winnerful wonders off, the winnerful wonnerful wanders off” also recalls the last lines of the ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle’ section of the Wake, in which identity and filiation

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is equally linked to the telling of tales and the babelling flow of language: “A tale told of Shaun or Shem? All Livia’s daughtersons. Dark hear us. Night! Night! My ho head halls. I feel as heavy as yonder stone. Tell me of John or Shaun? Who were Shem and Shaun the living sons or daughters of? Telmetale of stem or stone. Beside the rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of” (FW 215.35-216.05). DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign and Play,’ 290–291. DERRIDA, The Ear of the Other, 88–89. Cf. Derrida, ‘La facteur de la vérité,’ 89. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 216ff. DERRIDA, Cinders, 23. DERRIDA, ‘La facteur de la vérité,’ 443–44. Cf. LACAN, JACQUES. ‘The Purloined Letter.’ Le Séminaire. Livre II: Le moi dans la théorie de Freud et dans la technique de la psychanalyse 1954–1955. Paris: Seuil, 1978: 191–205. The numerous puns Derrida plays on the word envoi are elaborated by Alan Bass in the glossary to The Post Card. One association that he misses, however, is an anagram of facture (“invoice”) in facteur (“purveyor, postman, factor,” which supports a connection between the postal metaphor at work in much of Derrida’s other writings and the idea of text as polylogue. The term “invoice” (en-voix as a pun on envoi) also helps to sustain a metaphorics of economy and relates the question of signification, and of sending (dispatch, address, destiny), to that of the “call,” which later, in ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ Derrida examines more explicitly in terms of the vocative. Hence the phrase mise en voix (as “vocalisation”) indicates the consigning to chance of the destination of specific “readable grammatical signs,” thereby opening a way for the possibility of other significations to arise (describing a procedure analogous to the work of association performed by the unconscious). Derrida further suggests that we can also think this “call” as the putting to work of the idiom, the “accent,” the “fatally silent call that speaks before its own voice.” In other words, this would mean the putting to work of the desire of the text in a performative way that simulates production through “breaching” (frayer le passage à ces voix qui travaillent une écriture au corps): “How can this fatally silent call that speaks before its own voice be made audible [entendre]? How could it be kept waiting any longer [attendre]?” (DERRIDA, Cinders, 22). ibid., 304. The “circularity” of the trajectory of the subject’s desire—a circularity which remains unclosed and elliptical or decentred—is critiqued by Derrida in The Post Card as the structure of the subject’s difference from itself and the situation of desire and signification in the field of the Other. This circularity is also described by Lacan in his graphing of subjective experience in Écrits, 302–324. DERRIDA, The Ear of the Other, 88. The description of the letter in Finnegans Wake is itself based on a subtext (the “Tinc page of the Book of Kells” [FW 122.23]), which situates the recursiveness of the signifying chain (of letters) as a figural palimpsest. The “unspeakable” itself remains “there,” “over there,” but it carries the sense of a “there” which is not a place at which one can arrive: “My desire only goes so far as the invisible distance, immediately ‘grilled’ between languages” (Cinders, 73.48), where “grill” would also suggest the French term for “grid” or “matrix.” KRISTEVA, JULIA. ‘Novel as Polylogue.’ Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, ed. L.S. Roudiez, trans. T. Gora, A. Jardine and L.S. Roudiez. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980: 163. ROUGHLEY, ‘A.L.P.’s “Sein” and “Zeit,”’ 129. ibid. HEIDEGGER, MARTIN. On the Way to Language, trans. P. D. Hertz. New York: Harper and Row, 1971: 70–71. LACAN, JACQUES. Radiophonie. Weinheim: Quadriga, 1988: 13. DERRIDA, ‘Des Tours de Babel,’ 244. RICŒUR, PAUL. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences, trans. John B. Thompson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981: 112–113. ibid., 144. See LUKACHER, ‘Mourning becomes Telepathy,’ 2. According to Lukacher: “Il y a là cendre literally means ‘it has ashes there, there.’ By rendering the idiomatic il y a by ‘there is,’ we install the intransitive verb ‘to be’ where, properly speaking, it does not belong, for in the French idiom what is in question is not the ‘being’of the entity but its ‘there-ness.’As in the German es gibt (literally, ‘it gives’; idiomatically, ‘there is’), il y a makes no determination concerning the ontology of the essent. Each time we read the refrain il y a là cendre, ‘cinders there are,’ we should remember that the delicate vulnerability of a cinder leaves open the question of its being or non-being. We should hear within ‘cinders there are’ something like ‘it has cinders,’ or ‘it gives cinders,’ or ‘cinders persist,’ where what ‘it’ may be and what ‘persists’ might entail are among the questions the phrase poses without implying that it already has the answers.” DERRIDA, Cinders, 33.4. ibid., 21. ibid., 31.3. Cf. “There [là], where cinder means the difference between what remains and what is” (ibid., 39.14). DERRIDA, JACQUES. Spurs: Nietzsche’s Styles, trans. Barbara Harlow. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1978: 55, 71. ibid., 87–89.

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MALLARMÉ, STÉPHANE. ‘L’après-midi d’un faun’; cited in Derrida, Jacques. ‘Mallarmé.’ Acts of Literature, ed. Derek Attridge. London: Routledge, 1992: 119. DERRIDA, ‘Of an Apocalyptic Tone Recently Adopted in Philosophy,’ 31. ROUSSEAU, HENRI. ‘Essay on the Origin of Languages,’ 24–25; cited in Derrida, Of Grammatology, 227. Cf. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘Différance,’ Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1982: 4–5. DERRIDA, Cinders, 22. Derrida coins the expression mise-en-voix to amplify the phonetic-scriptural relation between “in-voicing” and the literality of the envoi, whose echo in voie (pathway) and renvoie à (refers to) hence describes a further trajectory within the postal metaphor. DERRIDA, Cinders, 33–35.6 Cf. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 22ff. Derrida discusses the Heideggerean notion of the “voice of being” which is described as “silent, mute, insonorous, wordless, originally a-phonic.” According to Derrida, Heidegger’s notion introduces a “rupture between the originary meaning of being and the word” (ibid.). DERRIDA, ‘Mallarmé,’ 113. ibid., 115–16. CIXOUS, The Exile of James Joyce, 732. DERRIDA, ‘Différance,’ 9, 3–4. DERRIDA, Margins of Philosophy, 8. ibid. Cf. RICŒUR, Paul. The Rule of Metaphor, trans. Noher Czerny. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1978: 121–25. According to Ricœur, polysemy is semantic not syntactic, content rather than form, and is thus context specific. Derrida’s reading of Joyce can be seen as an indirect critique of Ricœur’s argument. See also, DERRIDA, JACQUES: ‘The Retrait of Metaphor,’ Enclitic 2.2 (1978): 18. DERRIDA, Positions, 45. DERRIDA, ‘Mallarmé,’ 116. DERRIDA, Positions, 46. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 151. See DERRIDA, JACQUES. Spectres of Marx, trans. Peggy Kamuf. London: Routledge, 1994: 125ff. BARTHES, ROLAND. Image, Music, Text, trans. and ed. Stephen Heath. London: Jonathan Cape, 1977: 142–148. RABATÉ, James Joyce, Authorized Reader, 69. KOJÈVE, ALEXANDRE. Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, ed. Allan Bloom, trans. James H. Nichols. New York: Basic Books, 1969: 7f. NORRIS, The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake, 58. SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. Hamlet. Parallel texts of the first and second Quartos and the first Folio, ed. Wilhelm Vietor. Marburg: Elwert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1891: Q1 III.ii.282. ARMAND, LOUIS. ‘Spectres of Sovereignty: (An)notations on the Colonial Subject in Joyce’s Portrait.’ Litteraria Pragensia 10.20 (2000): 25. LEVINAS, EMMANUEL. ‘Time and the Other.’ The Levinas Reader, ed. Seán Hand. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989: 52. Cited in ULMER, GREGORY. ‘Sounding the Unconscious.’ Glassary, eds. J.P. Leavey and Gregory Ulmer. Lincoln: Nebraska University Press, 1986: 55. IRIGARAY, LUCE. ‘The Fecundity of the Caress: A Reading of Levinas, Totality and Infinity section IV, B, “The Phenomenology of Eros,”’ trans. Carolyn Burke. Face to Face with Levinas, ed. Richard Cohen. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986: 245. CIXOUS, ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ 15. ibid., 16. The symbol of the fox recalls Stephen Dedalus’s credo: “silence, exile and cunning” (P 247). An interesting echo also occurs in a letter Joyce wrote to his brother Stanislaus on September 25, 1906, after a sightseeing expedition to the Forum Romana: “Rome reminds me of a man who lives by exhibiting to traveller’s his grandmother’s corpse” (JJI 233). Cf. Cixous, ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ 20–21. And yet we can also say that this gap is a necessary possibility within any epistemology, it is in fact what gives the epistēmē its chance at the same time as it invests this chance with the Platonic determination of doxa. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 164, 167, 169. CIXOUS, ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ 19. Letters of Ezra Pound, 202; cited in JJII 597. CIXOUS, ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ 19. HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, 265. CIXOUS, ‘Joyce: The (r)use of writing,’ 21. HEIDEGGER, ‘Letter on Humanism,’ 193. Cf. DERRIDA, Archive Fever, 2. Derrida points out the link between the meaning of “house” and archē in the meaning of “archive,” and of a “topology” of language. “The meaning of ‘archive,’ its only meaning, comes to it from the Greek archeion: initially a house, a domicile, an address, the residence of the superior magistrates, the archons, those who commanded” (ibid.). In this sense, Heidegger’s notion of language as a “keeper of the present” can be seen as also

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linked to a certain history of commandment, of the archē, and, as he elsewhere elaborates, to a concept of topos or emplacement, of “Being-there”—Dasein as archival Being. HEIDEGGER, On the Way to Language, 133–135. DERRIDA, The Post Card, 154–155. NORRIS, The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake, 51–52. ibid., 75. ibid. ibid., 78. DERRIDA, Origin of Geometry, 102. ibid. Cf. RAPAPORT, HERMAN. Heidegger and Derrida: Reflections on Time and Language. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989: 221ff. Cf. LACAN, ‘Joyce le symptôme I,’ 26. Lacan investigates a line from Finnegans Wake: “Who ails tongue coddeau aspace of dumbillsilly?” (FW 15.18), which he “translates” as: “Où est ton caddeau, espèce d’imbécile?” According to Lacan, however: “Il y a [...] d’ambigu dans cet usage phonétique [...] c’est que cette homophonie en l’occasion translinquistique ne se supporte que d’une lettre conforme à l’orthographie de la langue anglaise. Vous ne sauriez pas que who peut se transformer en où si vous ne saviez que who au sens interrogatif se prononce ainsi.” DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 152. Cf. STEINER, Real Presences, 40–41. Steiner offers the following definitions: “The Gemara, the commentaries on the Mishna, the collection and collocation of oral laws and prescripts which, together, make up the Talmud; the Midrash, which is part of the interpretive commentary which attends specifically to the interpretation of scripture, are both formally and substantively interminable. The midrashic method of reading is that of the argumentative, qualifying, revisionary gloss and marginalia on the holy text and on previous readings. Hermeneutical investigation bears on every level of possible meaning: semantic, grammatical, lexical [....]. This reading without end represents the foremost guarantee of Jewish identity.” NORRIS, The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake, 55. Cf. Vico, The New Science, xxvi. RAPAPORT, Heidegger and Derrida, 225–8. Following Rapaport, the term “Byfall” might signify the German word Beifall, or applause, while “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended: ‘The darkness falls at thy behest’” could plausibly be read in Joyce’s “The play thou [...] request.” “Uplouderamain” might be rendered as “applaud louder, man!” or as a possible reference to the coming storm of YAHWE/H.C.E. and the structural ricorso at the end of II.1, which is echoed again in “gustspells” (godspells or gospels). RAPAPORT, Heidegger and Derrida, 225. Similarly, the line “lots lives lost” might refer, as Rapaport has suggested, to the title of Shakespeare’s comedy, Love’s Labours Lost, or to a biblical allegory (the “lost wife of Lot“), or a newspaper headline (“lots of lives lost”), thus combining sensational comedy and comedic structure with the idea of paternal judgement and the Mosaic god’s arbitrary wrath. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 145. ibid., 145–6. RAPAPORT, Heidegger and Derrida, 223. BLANCHOT, MAURICE. Le pas au-delà. Paris: Gallimard, 1973: 49. RAPAPORT, Heidegger and Derrida, 228. BATAILLE, GEORGES. The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, vol. 1: Consumption, trans. Robert Hurley. 2 vols. New York: Zone Books, 1991: 1.19ff, 1.63ff. DERRIDA, JACQUES. ‘The Politics of Friendship,’ trans. G. Motzkin. The Journal of Philosophy LXXXV.11 (1988): 632. DERRIDA, ‘The Retrait of Metaphor,’ 5–33. DERRIDA, Cinders, 35.8. RAPAPORT, Heidegger and Derrida, 228. The phallic resonances in the figure of the tower of Babel are crucial to Joyce’s text, where the “fall” is manifestly sexualised/Oedipalised, delineating a Freudian subtext in which the name of the Father represents a taboo (against translation) and the threat of castration (the Father’s vocative as a signifier for confusion, “Bavel”). At the same time, the taboo “structures” the desire of the son (Shem as the son of H.C.E., and as “name,” as Christ is the “word”) to “identify” with the Father, or rather to supplant the Father (the Father’s vocative as a signifier for the son’s phallic desire, “Babel”). Cited in JJII 600. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 89. RAPAPORT, Heidegger and Derrida, 227. ibid., 227. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, Anti-Oedipus, 38. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology’ 87. ibid. Cf. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus’ 373. See MILESI, LAURENT. ‘L’Idiome babélien de Finnegans Wake: recherches thématiques dans une perspective génétique.’ Genèse de Babel: Joyce et la création, ed. Claude Jacquet. Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1985.

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LEAVEY, J.P. ‘Destinerrance: The Apotropolyptics of Translation.’ Deconstruction and Philosophy: The Texts of Jacques Derrida, ed. John Sallis. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1987: 37. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 89. DERRIDA, ‘Des Tours de Babel,’ 244. ibid. DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 153–154. ibid., 154. ibid., 153. ibid. HEGEL, G.W.F. ‘Architecture.’ Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Arts, trans. T.M. Knox. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975: 2:638ff. In this way the tower of Babel also exemplifies the relationship between the recurrence of the fall and the archē of textual production. The trajectory of the fall—by describing a prototype textual apparatus—situates its recurrence, within discourse, as an (originary) event, at the same time as it brings about a kind of monumentality or architecture assembled from an accumulated “surplus” of myth-structures. DESTINATIONS

1 2 3 4 5

Cf. THEALL, DONALD. ‘Beyond the Orality/Literacy Dichotomy: James Joyce and the Pre-History of Cyberspace.’ Postmodern Culture 2.3 (1992): n. pag. MCLUHAN and POWERS, The Global Village, 103. This text was edited and rewritten from McLuhan’s notes, compiled before his death in 1981, and published posthumously in 1989. ROSENBERG, MARTIN E. ‘Physics and Hypertext: Liberation and Complicity in Art and Pedagogy.’ Hyper/Text/Theory, ed. George P. Landow. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994: 268–298. Cited in the introduction to DELEUZE, GILLES. Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume’s Theory of Human Nature, trans. and intro. Constantin V. Boundas. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991: 3. BOLTER, JAY DAVID. ‘Topographical Writing: Hypertext and the Electronic Writing Space.’ Hypermedia and Literary Studies, eds. Landow and Delaney. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994: 105. Cf. BOLTER, ‘The Hypertexts of James Joyce,’ 135-7. Bolter’s concern with topologies often involves a concern with the possibility of re-establishing the underlying linear unity of the text, as the signal horizon of a complicated, palimpsestic terrain. For Bolter, the topology of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake is one that has been intentionally complicated after the fact by Joyce as conspiratorial author-god, by means of “layers of genesis” [ibid., 137]. According to Bolter, these “layers of genesis” were intended by Joyce to remain exposed to his reader, although in the end he did not have the technological means (beyond the printed book) to do this effectively—without, that is, the mediation of scholarly exegesis and genetic criticism. By insisting upon these “layers of genesis” as evidence of an evolutionary process, or as “units [...] connected in temporal order” (ibid.), pointing back to a prior and more originary model, rather than considering them as structural or stylistic elements of an “autonomous” textual apparatus, Bolter reveals an archaeological concern for the meaning of the text (Ulysses and Finnegans Wake) as something grounded in a first principle, or archē, no matter how illusive that principle may appear in the “final” text. In this sense, Bolter’s conception of a hypertextual “network” is always grounded in a principle of referentiality, even if this principle takes the form of index, repertory, history or allusion. Moreover, Bolter insists upon a “theoretical limit” to any (interpretive) network described by a hypertext. Such a limit is never explained or justified and stands in contrast, for example, to a hermeneutic model of exegesis which is, by its very nature, interminable. Moreover, Bolter’s pre-occupation with an experiential model of reading reveals the basic failure of hypertext theorists like Bolter and Landow to reconcile the textual and material aspects of hypertext without falling back upon simplifications of either psychological (I.A. Richards) or phenomenological approaches (Wolfgang Iser). Further, Bolter’s concept of topical layering recalls the multi-linearity of McLuhan, or conventional notions of polysemy that celebrate a plurality of sign structures while nevertheless grounding their models on the promise of ultimate referentiality. Multilinearity never exceeds linearity, just as topical layering never exceeds an ultimate topological enframing: one that guarantees, in the final instance, the integrity of each “layer” and thus allows communication “between” layers to take place. This is because Bolter’s “evolutionary” or “archaeological” view of textual genesis is basically progressive, and transitional, rather than punctual or discontinuous. Bolter envisages a “theoretical limit” to his network of textual layers precisely because he conceives of them as arranged teleologically, spanning a finite distance between an original and a “final” layer. Cf. also LANDOW, Hypertext 2.0, 86–7. In many ways similar to Bolter, Landow proposes a model of hypertext that is generally New Critical, and which ignores both structuralist and poststructuralist conceptions of “intertextuality” (in contrast to which his own efforts to explain the dynamics of, say, citation appear crude to say the least). At the same time, Landow claims for “deconstruction” a fundamentally New Critical orientation in regards to “the text,” although Landow is unable to say what “the text” is, except in referring to “the Great Work.” In the process he reveals himself to be curiously ignorant of the extensive body of critical thought devoted to the question of “the text” and textuality in general.

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BOLTER, ‘Topographical Writing,’ 107. ibid., 106. ibid., 111; Kenner cited in BOLTER, ‘The Hypertexts of James Joyce,’ 136. THEALL, ‘Beyond the Orality/Literacy Dichotomy,’ n. pag. DERRIDA, The Truth in Painting, 10. GREIMAS, ALGIRDAS. On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory, trans. Paul J. Perron and Frank H. Collins. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987. RICŒUR, PAUL. Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, trans. Denis Savage. New Haven: Connecticut University Press, 1970: 26–35. Cf. BATAILLE, The Accursed Share, vol. 1, 15ff. HOLLIER, Against Architecture, 28–29. The metaphor of electronic writing, or of hypertext as computer-based writing, is useful only insofar as it provides a working analogy to the technological nature of language and the mechanical aspect of signifying iterability. However, the prioritising of the computer screen as a “material” textual fabric, tends to over-emphasise the “virtuality” of what has so far been termed “the book.” This is not to be taken as signalling a removal from the problems of logocentrism intrinsic to the book as such, but as marking a step towards considering this “virtuality” in relation to the “open totality” of a hypothetical electronic archive or, as Vannevar Bush termed it, “memex” (again, as a metaphor for intertextual relations that might otherwise be thought in terms of the material limits of a printed book). Amongst other things this would serve to demonstrate the structural embeddedness or emplacement of the “outside” of the text, “within.” DERRIDA, ‘Structure, Sign ad Play,’ 290–291. DELEUZE and GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus, 62. ibid., 53. DERRIDA, ‘Différance,’ 7. ibid. DERRIDA, Positions, 8–9. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 10. DERRIDA, ‘Dissemination,’ 350. DERRIDA, ‘Différance,’ 9. DERRIDA, The Truth in Painting, 21. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 15. DERRIDA, The Truth in Painting, 21. CW 145. Cf. AUBERT, JACQUES. The Aesthetics of James Joyce. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992: 89. GILBERT, James Joyce’s Ulysses, 194ff. GIFFORD, Ulysses Annotated, 635. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 41. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 317. ibid. HEIDEGGER quotes from Plato’s Symposium (205b): “Every occasion for whatever passes beyond the nonpresent and goes forward into presencing is poiēsis, bringing-forth.” VIRILIO, ‘The Third Interval,’ 38. Cf. VIRILIO, PAUL. ‘La Vitesse et l’Information: Cyberspace Alarm!’ Le Monde Diplomatique, August (1995). DERRIDA, ‘Two Words for Joyce,’ 147. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 15. ibid., 237. ibid., 9. ibid., 26. HEIDEGGER, ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ 319. DERRIDA, Of Grammatology, 26. ibid., 109.

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RESUMÉ

TECHNĒ: JAMES JOYCE, HYPERTEXT & TECHNOLOGIE PŘEDMLUVA: PODNĚTY So This Is Dyoublong? Hush! Caution! Echoland! [FW 13.04-05] Předkládaný text se zabývá teoriemi hypertextu a otázkou technologie a jejího vztahu k dílu Jamese Joyce. Zároveň se ale také, v užším smyslu, věnuje konceptu technologie vycházejícímu z jazyka díla Plačky nad Finneganem. Na základě nových tendencí v teorii komunikací a informačních technologií se pokouší o zmapování paralelního vývoje v Joyceově užití jazyka v knize Plačky nad Finneganem a snaží se prokázat, že Joyceovo dílo poskytuje vzor pro promyšlení vztahů mezi technologií a „všemi formami kulturní produkce“. Účelem ovšem není dokázat, že Joyce si musel být vědom budoucích možností hypertextu, a ani se tu nejedná o retrospektivní pohled na Joyce z pozice současných počítačových technologií. Cílem je spíše zjistit, nakolik Joyceova práce zná svou vlastní pozici v kontrastu i v rámci vývoje vědy a elektronických médií své doby, a ukázat, jak Joyce začleňoval materiál zakládající se na těchto vývojových tendencích do svých textů. Dále se tato studie soustřeďuje na způsoby, kterými si Joyceův text žádá hypertext: nesouvislým psaním počínaje a využitím sebe sama jako určitého typu textového aparátu či stroje a motivováním jistého druhu hypertextuální genetiky konče. Otázka zde směřuje k pojmu nárokování – míry, do jaké Joyceův text dokáže jak vymoci si, tak motivovat hypertextualitu neumenšitelnou na pevné pole či umístění, čímž by se text mohl definovat ve vztahu k strukturální epistēmē. Zároveň se ukazuje, že nárokování v Joyceově textu není pouhým afektem, či snad dokonce strategií psaní, ale spíše prvkem inherentním v jazyce samém. Protože tento text obsahuje více méně průřez joyceovským hypertextem, probíhá samotná diskuse, či spíše nejrůznější poznámky shromážděné zde jako základ pro budoucí debatu, topicky. V jejím průběhu se v různé míře věnuje pozornost některým teoretickým přístupům, ale studie sama se odvíjí podél os odpovídajících nárokům Joyceových děl a v souladu se strukturálním metaforickým jazykem vlastním základní konceptualizaci samotného hypertextu. Je možno říci, že se zabývá třemi klíčovými otázkami. Za prvé se snaží vysledovat historický vývoj komunikačních technologií v kontextu Joyceova díla – přičemž bere v úvahu také velký filozofický a sociologický vliv technologie v době, kdy Joyce psal svého Odyssea a Plačky nad Finneganem. Za druhé se pokouší určit některé dopady komunikačních technologií na akademické prostředí obecně a zejména na výzkum týkající se Jamese Joyce. A za třetí se věnuje způsobu, jakým se technologie per se podílí na „komunikaci“ s Joyceovým jazykem v knize Plačky nad Finneganem. Účel této studie můžeme tedy shrnout následujícím způsobem: 1. Vytyčit historickou nutnost nazírat Joyceovo dílo v kontextu technologického vývoje v pozdním 19. a raném 20. století v Evropě – takže Joyce se ocitá v blízkosti spisovatelů jako Mallarmé, Apollinaire, Cendrars, Marinetti a další. Nejde zde ovšem o pouhou historickou kontextualizaci, nýbrž o zmapování vývoje konkrétní tehdejší poetiky, na jejíž spojitost s evolucí komunikačních technologií a na dopad této evoluce na jazyk obecně lze poukázat. 2. Zjistit, jakým způsobem ovlivnila technologie některé aspekty studia Joyceova díla. Jedná se zde vlastně o dvě otázky. Nejprve se ptáme, jakým způsobem „technologie“ jako hypertext připravily prostředky pro vznik anotovaných vydání, archivů a genetických textů. Dále se tážeme, jakým způsobem tyto prostředky umožnily náhled do strukturální logiky Joyceova jazyka, zejména s ohledem na knihy Odysseus a Plačky nad Finneganem.

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3. Pokusit se o kritiku Heideggerovy formulace spojující technologii a poiēsis. Vychází se tu z otázky struktury a jednoty „postav“ H.C.E. a A.L.P. v knize Plačky nad Finneganem. Chápeme je jako „mříže akrostichů“, „stroje touhy“, „podivné zdroje přitažlivosti“, které označují místa průniků nebo komunikace mezi jinak nekomunikujícími elementy textu. Tato otázka dále zahrnuje problém identity, mýtu a technologicko-mechanické báze signifikace, tedy to, co bychom mohli také nazvat „genetické řetězce“. Může se ovšem zdát, že tato „genetika“ nedokáže napomoci obecné hermeneutice, neboť infikuje logiku „univerzálního genetického klíče“ virem. Proto se ptáme na umístění hypertextuální podmínky Joyceovy tvorby jako na něco, co patří do joyceovské poetiky a je jí žádáno, a ne jako na soubor normativních opatření vnucených zvnějšku. Jak říká Heidegger, „ne praxis, ale poiēsis nám umožní postavit se tváří v tvář nutnému rozvoji technologie“.

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ACTA UNIVERSITATIS CAROLINAE PHILOLOGICA MONOGRAPHIA CXXXIX

Louis Armand TECHNĒ JAMES JOYCE, HYPERTEXT & TECHNOLOGY

Řídí prof. PhDr. Libuše Dušková, DrSc. (předsedkyně), prof. PhDr. Karel Kučera, CSc. (tajemník), s redakční radou Prorektor-editor: prof. MUDr. Pavel Klener, DrSc. Recenzovali: doc. PhDr. Martin Procházka, CSc. Dr. Darren Tofts Redakce: Mgr. Iva Sokolová Obálku navrhla a graficky upravila Kateřina Řezáčová Vydala Univerzita Karlova v Praze Nakladatelství Karolinum, Ovocný trh 3, 116 36 Praha 1 Praha 2003 Sazba a zlom: DTP Nakladatelství Karolinum Vytiskla: Tiskárna KOČKA, Masarykovo nám. 139, 274 01 Slaný Vydání 1. Náklad 300 výtisků ISBN 80-246-0391-8 ISSN 0567-8269

Objednávky přijímá ediční oddělení Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy, nám. J. Palacha 2, 116 38 Praha 1 (edice@ff.cuni.cz)


Techne: James Joyce, Hypertext & Technology