Always surprised when I find a Straussian reading of some obscure thinker
To understand Joyce one needs to understand Vico, to understand Vico one needs to understand Strauss, and hermeneutics broadly. People think of “art appreciation” as staring at a painting in a museum.
If you google “most difficult novel” you’ll find Finnegans Wake at the top of many lists. This is similar to those elitist groups of mathematicians Badiou mentions. In the realm of politics the equivalent might be someone like Shmakov. “Shmakov I never heard of him!” So, you’re starting to understand the nature of the political then. Badiou says philosophers who don’t know math are akin to amateur high schoolers – this applies to politics as well, and I feel that way trying to understand Finnegans Wake. Speaking of interdisciplinarity, can I get uhhh synthesis between all these forms of elitism please and thanks. The formalization of the true gesamtkunstwerk (yes, it would have to involve VR technology [and probably Shulgin]).
So, Vico studied the psychology of the primitive mind, through extant text.
Joyce parodied the psychology of Freud and Jung recurrently
yung and easily freudened
Jung was critical of Ulysses at first, and grew to respect it, even naming it in the same breath with Faust and Zarathustra
Nietzsche is inundated with all that material which has no longer a place in the church or in the Christian system of symbols. James Joyce at his best is the same, only in his case it is the negation of the Catholic church and the Catholic symbols
I relate to this! I hate this cathedral, I’m glad I’ve burned at least some of it down. Oh what pain!
Anyway something similar to Pessoa with Joyce here
He is just the event, utterly identical with it. Joyce appears nowhere. James Joyce is the flow himself; and Ulysses appears nowhere, the flow is Ulysses.
Joyce said he created eighteen points of view when writing that book- all, he claimed, unknown to his contemporaries. He defines what we call “the stream of consciousness” style perhaps more than any other writer. What I’ve referred to as “perpetually reluctant” he was not.
“What’s on your mind?” … “Hmm, that’s pretty weird.”
It’s not only that Joyce was influenced by Vico- he was also in an agon against him
The new critical art of the New Science, by a study of the ancient myths and poems, demonstrates that man in his earliest stages was a being without intelligence and hence incapable of recondite or philosophic wisdom such as the philosophers have claimed.
Homer stans will never recover. “Plato didn’t represent a paradigm-shift in human consciousness!” You don’t have to throw Homer in the waste-basket to admit that he was. Peoples that never even had a Homer, on the other hand…
So if we think of Vico’s cycles again, of the age of the gods, age of the heroes, age of humans, and of chaos, could we say that Joyce was attempting to return to the way of ancient poetry, somewhere between the age of the gods and age of the heroes? “Originary Being”.
One doesn’t often think about these possibilities in the context of Joyce
This great discovery of the true character of ancient poetry and mythology opens up new vistas. Vico promises that his discovery would lead to new principles of moral and political philosophy.
Vico was unread in his time. Finnegans Wake is still pretty unread, especially if it’s read and not understood, which seems to be the usual case. A couple untimelinesses?
Some people in the early 1700s imagined themselves marooned on an island, others wrote cyclical histories which showed the development out of the state of nature. Most people can better relate to the island story–to this day.
It’s possible that Finnegans Wake could be titled The New Science in 2021? Too confusing, too tongue-tying from its sublimity to say. It’s too occult, mostly, in my opinion. So I’m trying to put it into “structures” to facilitate understanding.
You don’t hear about these types of chaps until they’re dead and what they said isn’t as controversial anymore.
Don’t you love to live in a time where people and turning more bestial
Providence is the internal principle of dynamics causing the nations to progress from the first bestial stage to the highest stage of humanity.
Allah, turn it around! Jupiter? Any god? -cricket chirps-
Decades of deadening conversations await those like me. Third world coarseness. Radhanite materialism. Woman’s hysteria. All bestial. Oriental mimicry? Proletarian plainness? Time to light it all on fire and do a dance around it, la la la. Slosh the gasoline, slosh slosh!
Ah aesthetic appreciation of the “burnt offerings”. Srsly tho, people really hate this side of aesthetic appreciation
Vico claims Plato, Tacitus, Bacon and Grotius as his “autori” and credits them with having had a major influence on the New Science.
If one wants to understand Finnegans Wake…
People would rather stream some garbage. And you are what you eat.
Anyway, back to the idea that it’s surprising to find Straussian readings of obscure writers- finding a list of those would be nice. That essay on Robinson Crusoe for instance- flooring. One on Tacitus?? Some of these old books you read when you’re so naive and really have no idea what’s going on in the text. I haven’t read Walden since I was 16 for instance – what was that even about? I doubt I know.