About Giacomo Joyce (GJ)

Ellmann’s Edition The last task should be deciding what type of artistic creation is Giacomo Joyce. It would be helpful to begin reading with that task in mind. It might be a prose poem. It might be a diary, a confession, or an exploration of streams of consciousness. Joyce called the episodes “sketches” when Pound asked himContinue reading “About Giacomo Joyce (GJ)”

(GJ) Cantos XLVIII-XLIX (p.16. ll. 24-27, 31).

Her arms: a casque, gules, and blunt spear on a field, sable.  The tale is told, although neither that subject nor verb is accurate of what we witnessed. There has been no narrative; the sharing has been secretive. It is unlikely that the Poppers or other contenders for the role of “Dark Who” would beContinue reading “(GJ) Cantos XLVIII-XLIX (p.16. ll. 24-27, 31).”

(GJ) Cantos XLVI-XLVII (p.16, ll.12-16, 20).

…foliage of stars-s-and waning heaven-c-stillness-e-…./ Non hunc sed Barabbam!  On first reading, these cantos seem among the simplest of Giacomo Joyce. The simplicity is as deceptive as a Judas kiss. As ever, time twists, shapes shift, and identities intermingle. The essential puzzle of the prose poem changes too from “Who?” (now answered) to “Why?” which mayContinue reading “(GJ) Cantos XLVI-XLVII (p.16, ll.12-16, 20).”

(GJ) Canto XLV (p.16, ll. 1-8).

Youth has an end: the end is here. It will never be. You know that wen. What then? Write it, damn you, write it! What else are you good for?  Vicki Mahaffey notes that Joyce’s memories of Sweelinck’s clavichord tunes recall childhood days. Noted as Europe’s foremost keyboard player until J.S. Bach, many of theContinue reading “(GJ) Canto XLV (p.16, ll. 1-8).”

(GJ)Canto XLIV (p.15, ll. 8-32).

A starry snake has kissed me: a cold nightsnake. I am lost! -Nora!-  The joke asks: What does the B. stand for in Benoit B. Mandelbrot? The punchline: Benoit B. Mandelbrot. Mandelbrot’s theory is that the part is the whole. About Giacomo Joyce, the estimable Fritz Senn says, “One girl is all girls.” This is also the stuffContinue reading “(GJ)Canto XLIV (p.15, ll. 8-32).”

(GJ) Canto XLIII (p. 15, ll. 8-14).

They spread under my feet carpets for the son of man…. darting at me for an instant out of her sluggish sidelong eyes a jet of liquorish venom.  … to revise history for the sake of an artistic conclusion in his writing. The exception, of course, is (not was) recursive Finnegans Wake. Here Joyce avoided aContinue reading “(GJ) Canto XLIII (p. 15, ll. 8-14).”

(GJ) Canto XLII (p.15, ll. 1-6).

E col suo vedere attosca l’uomo quando lo vede. (And with her sight, she attacks the man when she sees him.) The eyes have it in this canto as Giacomo ferments into Ulysses. There are alms for a blind beggar in the prose poem, a lame veteran, and a blind stripling in the novel. Joyce emerges from theContinue reading “(GJ) Canto XLII (p.15, ll. 1-6).”

(GJ) Canto XLI (p.14, ll. 10-18).

Take her now who will!  Abraham heard the voice of Yahweh at the dawn of religion. Until that moment, there was no precedent for theology or ritual. The deity without predecessor whispers his promise to Abraham, and Judaism takes shape under Abraham’s paternity. Before Abraham, there was no religious rule. In various locales, sacrifices toContinue reading “(GJ) Canto XLI (p.14, ll. 10-18).”

(GJ) Canto XL (p.14 ll. 1-3).

Whirling wreaths of grey vapour upon the heath.  James Joyce’s obsession lies thwarted on a smokey moor. Social status impeded the lovers, and an accidental relationship leaves only a forbidden and unlucky love. His paragon of feminine beauty conceded instead to marry an undeserving man. The images have taken shape in the poet’s imagination butContinue reading “(GJ) Canto XL (p.14 ll. 1-3).”

(GJ) Cantos XXXVI-XXXIX (p.13).

My words….Those quiet cold fingers….an odourless flower….dark languor-flooded eyes Joyce spreads fewer than fifty words across four tiny cantos. In the latter three cantos, he looks back, recalling facets of the loveliness that created his obsession, but first, he sinks his wasted wooing in a bog of regret. Nearing the end of his composition, Joyce squeezesContinue reading “(GJ) Cantos XXXVI-XXXIX (p.13).”