Across the Waters: XXIX International James Joyce Symposium
Glasgow, Scotland 2024
Time Trail in Language. The Ancients are alive in Story.
Crossing the River of Forgetfulness, ALETHEIA The Unforgetting in Language . In Greek mythology, Lethe was one of the five rivers of Hades. The souls of the dead had to drink from its waters to forget their earthly life before they could reincarnate. The word ‘lethe’ in ancient Greek means ‘oblivion’ or ‘forgetfulness’, and ‘aletheia’, as its negation, means ‘unforgetfulness’ or ‘remembrance’.

Zh Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) lived in Honan 370-286 BC

Zhuangzi explains from China’s unbroken poetic tradition. “It is for the meaning that the word exists, once you’ve got the meaning, you forget the word, where can I find the man who will FORGET words so that I can have a word with him?” “to keep the inner memory but not the outer form”

Heraclitus in the 6th Century BC claims to announce an everlasting Word (Logos) according to which all things are one, in some sense.
“Thinking,” Heraclitus says, “is shared by all.” Ultimately, we are all of the same mind. Staying blind to this fact is the cause of our suffering. (NO SINGULAR BRILLIANCE “Listening not to me but to the Logos, it is wise to acknowledge that all things are one.”

Heraclitus was known as "The Obscure" because of the syntactical ambiguity of his book ‘On Nature’ . Euripides gave Socrates a work of Heraclitus to read, and asked him afterwards what he thought of it, and he replied: ‘The part I understand is excellent, and so too is, I dare say, the part I do not understand; but it needs a Delian diver to get to the bottom of it (Diogenes Laertius, 2.22).

Francis Yates explores the Renaissance revival of the ART of MEMORY. For Aristotle the art of memory was merely instrumental. Yates describes Bruno’s memory wheel as a synthetic paradigm of the universe providing a deep insight in the deep structural unity of all knowledge of heaven and earth. (Inspired by Copernicus it had acosmic dimension) When Frances Bacon 1561-1626 REJECTED the notion of magical correspondences between mnemonic images and endorsed memory to serve the scientific investigator Yates asserts that this was the ECLIPSE of the art of memory. The classical art of memory was absorbed into a new science of humanity.

Vico 1668-1744 was the central figure of the revisioning of the role of memory in culture. Vico’s conception of memory was tied to a search for DEEP STRUCTURE of knowledge hidden from contemporary humankind. For Vico such knowledge was hidden in the origins of civilization, a lost HISTORY of human creation, NOT in the heavens as an expression of God’s design. Vico’s New Science a key to this Poetic Knowledge, the historical origins of the art of memory. Memory had hitherto been understood in spatial imagery, he recast it in a temporal
design. (NS 377) . Abstraction that forgets the connection between our present vocabularies and the poetic process through which they were originally formed. NS 402) Vico

Aboriginal Culture has a 50,000 year old history that incorporates RACE Memory as a LIVING ENTITY. Albert Muta Muta, a Murrinpatha man, said: White man got no dreaming /Him go ’nother way /White man, him go different /Him got road belong himself. Muta, quoted in W. E. H. Stanner, ‘The Dreaming’ (1953), in White Man Got No Dreaming: Essays 1938–1973, Canberra, 1979, p. 24.

The Inyjalarrku songs are a set of traditional songs from North-West Arnhem Land, Australia, composed entirely in spirit language. This spirit language is dream received, and used only in song. Inyjalarrku is semantically opaque (non-translatable). (Semantic transparent words are compound words whose meaning can be figured out by an analysis of its parts) while semantic opaque words are compound words whose meaning cannot be established by an analysis of parts.
Funeral ceremonies are important occasions for the presentation of newly composed songs, which arise when deceased spirits intervene in a songman’s dreams and inspire new musical material for him to sing as part of his inherited song-set. Barwick, Birch and Evans have observed that in western Arnhem Land, songs that come from dreams are given the status of ‘true’ songs, as opposed to songs that come to the singer ‘spontaneously’ without spirit intervention. These songs do not 'tell a story' as such. Rather, by juxtaposition or parataxis, it assembles a potent constellation of names and actions embedded within tightly structured musical units.

Scribbledehobble Buffalo Notebook V1.A: 571 James Joyce Dream thoughts are Wake thoughts of centuries ago; unconscious memory: great recurrence race memorial. Automatic Memory which is integrated into the text itself –facilitates a process of (re-)memoration) “Begin to Forget it” FW 614-19-615.11 (P11) V1.B 19:98 “It (FW) will remember itself”

Not TIME centred MEMORY and the MEDIEVAL SUMMA organized the world in a structured whole (Lull) memory systems on the revolution of combinatory wheels. Bruno transforms this to organizing an engagement with the Infinity of Possible Worlds. BRUNO included everything in the physical world art, science, all human activity, all things which can be said , known or imagined-held within a combinatory system “we should form in us the shadow of IDEAS so they may be adaptable to all possible formations”

1929 Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress Marcel Brion’s (French Philosopher). For Joyce’s purpose no word is unpoetic — none obsolete. Words fallen out of USE are racial experience alive but unremembered. When in the poet’s imagination the past experience is relived the dormant word awakes to new life and the poet’s listeners are lifted out of their social, functional grooves and partake of the integral life of the RACE. We speak them and they flow like a river over our consciousness evoking images vivid and unexpected as those of a dream. In Work in Progress the poet’s imagination seems one with racial memory.

Robert McAlmon There is no telling what languages he is using if one is not a person who knows eighty languages . Dublin he cannot forget ; He cannot forget Dublin, and in his Irish tenor prose lemoncholy way he must sing or be mumbling a Dublin Irish come-all-you in a wistful twilight remembering.
Stephen’s reflections “His language, so familiar and so foreign, will always be for me an acquired speech.” Joyce has reached out farther and farther in his explorations of the world’s languages and has cut ever more deeply into the roots of the language formed by the successive generations of his ancestors.

NO Singular Brilliance: A History of Aesthetic by Bernard Bosanquet, (1848–1923), Joyce entered the bibliographic details of Bosanquet’s History in his notebook in Paris 1903. ‘What characterises human nature is a pursuit of unity which cannot be found in isolated human beings but in the joint achievements of humankind such as art, religion and the ideal state.’ Bosanquet 'true individuality' can only be found once the isolated self is transcended. Bosanquet makes a distinction between the limited self which pursues its private interests and the GENUINE self which identifies itself with a wider social environment and adopts the public interest as its own.

Joyce described James Clarence Mangan as “subsuming into himself the spirit of an age and country”

The Capaquin Annual tells us Mangan’s father was from West Limerick, a Gaeltacht area and home to the elder bard of Shanagolden, Sean Clarach (Clarence) Mac Donnell 1691 -1754 who would preside at Courts of Poetry at Rathluire.

It describes how ‘the old folklore was about him in Fishamble St.
Mangan a baby in the midst of country visitors who ‘sat up to midnight drinking whiskey and spouting Sean Clarach’. Mangan’s appropriation of ‘clarence ‘ as a middle name reflects how much he absorbed this identity. The crucial factor here was that Mangan could absorb the Irish phonemes as a baby…“all nights newsery reel”

Baudouin de Courtenay 1870 a linguist described language sounds as structural entities, rather than mere physical phenomena. He used the linguistic term phoneme to denote a speech sound that distinguishes meaning. Contrasting phonemes enable us to distinguish sounds to ENABLE meaning but NO meaning in the phonemes themselves. Substance or meaning is replaced by RELATIONSHIP. Each language is defined by its own code of recognizable phonemes. Babies are born HEARING all 600 PHONEMES and over a 9 month period learn to CODE phonemes for their native’ language through a fusion of gesture and sound. Research by Kuhl, P. K. (2004). Early language acquisition: cracking the speech code. Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington.

English babies will build their language code from 44 Phonemes, Italian 21 Phonemes, French 36. Phonological overlap i.e. Arabic and English have a phonemic similarity of 71.69%. (Mangan’s translation of Persian poets) James Clarence Mangan Grant’s Almanac 1823 “I can write, write, write; I’m fully able to write in any language-I’m a Babel” (CW1, p 17). JCM recited Ovid in long stretches walking in the moonlight. Mangan would ponder Ovid's "Omnia mutantur, nihil interit" (everything changes, nothing perishes), in 'Metamorphoses' (15.165). Phonemes can TRAVERSE Languages. Irish phonology varies from DIALECT to DIALECT; there is no standard pronunciation of Irish. James Clarence Mangan gave Joyce access to the phonemes of Munster Irish. A UCD friend from Limerick George Clancy helped him absorb Mangan’s vernacular. Joyce could VERY PRECISELY hear an overlay of Irish words spoken with phonemes of the English language. In Dante’s Devine Comedy Baby Words are the final language flourish before he breaks through to see the stars again. Joyce gives the mighty pen to baby Tuckoo who holds the universal building blocks of all languages. Phonemes that permeate as a continuum in language through time allowing the ancients to continue to have a living presence, rewoven anew by each generation.

Joyce gives us ‘finn mccoolish’ time travel on phonemes, an amalgam of Irish voices and a ‘united irishman’ journal to tells the myths. . FW gives us the recurrent rhythms of phonemes re-amalgamated by each generation.

Writing Finnegans Wake would require a ‘divilan dive’ into 52 languages a BABEL of sounds that needed to forge their way past Shem’s singular brilliance to Shaun’s communion with the ancients uninhibited by history and religion

Joyce held phonemes of Irish language in a universal linguistic matrix. Joyce heard the Irish language the nationalists were endeavouring to reclaim as a fabricated identity retaining a colonial conformity in the essence of the phonemes. Joyce found in ‘phonemes’ the code to make vernacular universal to provide a visceral underpinning to the Tower of Babel that shattered the strait-jacket of Biblical eloquence and allowed ancestral language to be the living presence in generational renewal.

Jacques Mercanton friends with Joyce 1935-1937. Joyce died in 1941 so a reflective time in his life. “revived by that activity which was his whole life, he showed me how he worked-- yet he was always careful to observe the phonetics and the semantic phenomena of the languages that he combined, since that was his only guarantee of truth." Jaques Mercanton, "Les Heures de James Joyce"

Scribbledehobble Notebook’ (Buffalo MS VI.A) that he began compiling in the summer of 1923 at a crucial early juncture in genesis of ‘Work in Progress. Joyce used verbatim the actual verbal characteristics of his friends RECREATING IN MEMORY in a seamless intimacy. Joyce is filtering PHONEMES as a process of metamorphoses through time. This process can only happen from MEMORY.

Joyce FW "has been reconstructed out of oral style into the verbal for all time with ritual rhythmics" (36.09). FW 1.2 36.16 “by ancientest signlore his gesture meaning”. The Hours of James Joyce, Jacques Mercanton. Joyce explained to me “his method of working according to the precise laws of phonetics, the laws that rule over all languages and preside over their evolution” “All the languages are present, for they have not yet been separated. It's a tower of Babel. The history of people is the history of language. "Isn't it arbitrary of me to make use, as I do, of forty tongues I don't know in order to express the dream state.

Joyce didn’t learn languages he pilfered phonemes. Joyce was known amongst his friends as ‘Dublin’s Dante’ he provided Joyce with the road map for living language in dialect.

Dante in ‘The Divine Comedy’ created a poetic synergy of local vernacular and forged in the smithy of his soul, the Italian language as the uncreated conscience of his race. Dante Alighieri's ‘De Vulgari Eloquentia’ (On Speaking in the Vernacular). Dante catapulted Joyce into a vernacular journey that he took visceral ownership of via his tutor Fr Ghazzi at UCD.

William Rooney was the first President of the Celtic Literary Society. He was a member of the Young Ireland League, the '98 Centenary Committee, and an active member of the Gaelic League. United Irishman, Dublin weekly newspaper ed. by Arthur Griffith, published 1899-1906 Rooney’s early death at the age of 27 was a devastating blow to Griffith.

The United Irishman, February 16, 1901 William Rooney wrote a review of Douglas Hyde’s First Book, “Leabhar Sgeulaigheachta.” “The stories are, of course, all Munster tales, and include Paidin O’Dalaigh. It is a pity that the author’s religious observance of every little peculiarity of dialect has made him stick rigidly to the accents of his own neighbourhood, for the fact may prevent the book from becoming as popular as it might in districts where the language has, perhaps, not preserved all the copiousness claimed for Beara and Bantry.”

Language without ‘vernacular’ truth was an anathema to Joyce and William Rooney within his Irish language journey dismissed this vital aspect. Dante gave Joyce no option but to condemn William Rooney. Cultural identity is inherent in dialect, in the phonemes.

Griffith hospitalized for a week in May 1901 after Rooney’s death. When “Poems and Ballads of Rooney” was published posthumously in 1903. Joyce was commissioned to write a review in ‘The daily Express’ “a weary succession of verses…they have no spiritual or living energy because they come from one in whom the spirit is in a manner dead”

Joyce’s review a BETRAYAL UNFATHONABLE… but it wasn’t EGO. The FEROCITY was ABSOLUTE, the resolution GENERATIONAL and made . "Finnegans Wake” the BOOK he had to WRITE

Joyce does not FABRICATE so where does the dynamic between Shem and Shaun come from…it can only be embedded in Joyce’s own journey. Joyce immersed in a formative struggle as an artist used his review of Rooney’s poetry to crystallize the trajectory that would necessitate his creation of Shem and Shaun in ‘Finnegans Wake’. The VISCERAL FORMULA underpinning Irish renewal via these twin brothers lived in Joyce via James Clarence Mangan and William Rooney. It exposes the most primal linguistic vehicle at the core of his being. There is no redemption for Shem or Joyce in a journey of singular brilliance. A TRIBAL HOMECOMING is imperative and provided the compelling impetus for Joyce to write ‘Finnegans Wake’. 1.7
‘ Shem is as short for Shemus…’ Shem’s forced EXILE in the HAUNTED INKBOTTLE (FW 1.7 (182.30-186.10)

Shaun says we might actually be able to catch a glimpse of Shem surrounded by all that junk in his house, "self exiled in upon his ego, a nightlong a shaking betwixtween white or reddr hawrors, noondayterrorised to skin and bone by an ineluctable phantom (may the Shaper have mercery on him!) writing the mystery of himsel in furniture." (FW p. 184.6-10)

There is no Singular Brilliance. Shem "he would wipe alley english spooker, ultaphoniaksicallyspuking, off the face of the erse" (FW 178.6-7) (fusion of musically and phoniak) ...but the tom and the shorty of it is: he was in his bardic memory low…”

FW 111.3 (484.10-486.5) Shaun continues his defensive reply to Mark by voicing his suspicion that Mark is trying to convince everyone that Shaun is not truly Irish. He's had enough of the four old men -- these "laycreated cardonals" -- and he feels that they're ungrateful for everything he's done for them and the rest of the Irish people. “I brought you from the loups of Lazary and you have remembered my lapsus language” 484.24=25 111.3
Interrogation of Shaun –channels HCE and ancient Ireland.
Shaun’s “drama parapolylogic” FW 474.05 (Yawn’s disembodied voices calls up HCE.) Shaun as a mediamistic sleeper gives ‘echololic’answers to the Four Masters investigation.
“…with his drums and bones and hums in drones your innereer’d heerdly heer he” FW 486.21-28.

'Alphabetical Notebook' (Cornell MS 25) Joyce compiled in 1910 in Trieste. 'Words'. volume 7, pp. 105–56 entries under the names of several of his friends from his time in University College from September 1898 to October 1902. ‘Byrne (John Francis)’, ‘Cosgrave (Vincent)’, ‘Clancy (George Stephen)’, ‘Gogarty (Oliver Saint John), and ‘Skeffington (Francis Joseph Christopher)’ Joyce’s notes verbatim their sayings and another section ‘Giorgino’, ‘Mother’, ‘Nora’, and ‘Pappie’ are recollections of his immediate family. Italian vernacular is recorded from Joyce’s acquaintances in Trieste: ‘Prezioso (Roberto)’, ‘Roucati (Venanzio)’, and ‘Sordino (Conte Francesco)’.

Joyce pilfers phonemes from voices and books then MAPS in colour code to track how he incorporates them in text so they become a continuum as they TRANSITION through TIME. Joyce intermingles older notes in new constellations.

Jacques Mercanton describes his final time with Joyce in Lausanne. “He told me about a recent broadcast from Radio Dublin,February 2, his birthday, during which a professor from the University of Dublin spoke in praise of his life and of his work; this was followed by the reminiscences of a school friend and a reading of poems from Chamber Music. He was deeply moved. This homage was more precious to him than any he might receive from anywhere else in the whole world. "It is the first time in more than thirty years they have mentioned my name there." It was Joyce’s Tribal Homecoming.
Joyce spoke excitedly about an article that had just appeared in The Irish Times and had to do with the University of Dublin, “sanctified" by Cardinal Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and himself. "Just ten years ago, no one would have dared to print my name in an Irish newspaper. And it is an item released by the university itself."
was REDEMPTION for Joyce

'Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.'

Clara Mason 19 May 2024