“oranges have been laid to rust”


So, bearing in mind that “the best and most valuable way to read Finnegan’s Wake–perhaps the only way–is in a group, collectively,” I venture to suggest the first Ghost Island reading group.  


On but the first page–reading like a case-study of the persistent link(leak)age of anality and the mouth, or anality and omnipotence, like Judge Schreber impregnated by God’s “arclight”– Joyce waxes lyrically about vaginas, rainbows, anal sex and that stigmata of the modernist hero (Picasso) syphilis, among other luminous and indecipherable nursery rhymes, puns and miscellany.  As “Sir Tristram” “violer d’amores” searches for “Iseut,” re: Iseult, or anagrammatically a slut.  


“Rot a peck of pa’s malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.”   


We could do it on the site, though if commentary becomes voluminous enough, another independent platform could be in order.  


Joyce never lived through the Second World War.  Ezra Pound broke with Joyce over the work.  John Cage wrote his beautiful “Roaratorio” after years of meditation on and with the text.  Hollis Frampton never ceased citing it in the schema for his uncompleted final film “Magellan.” I think there may be interesting discoveries to be made in it about both social and aesthetic promises left unfulfilled–I’ll post more in the future.  Specifically about an incredible meeting between Joyce and Eisenstein, regarding the infinite “image-machine” of film.  


I eagerly await.


8 Responses to ““oranges have been laid to rust””

  1. 1 Luckycloud
    March 5, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I would love to do this, but cannot guarantee I would be much help — Joyce in particular, and this book in general have always been particularly confounding to me, but I can think of no better company to read it in.

  2. 2 Luckycloud
    March 5, 2009 at 11:59 am

    If it’s a success, I suggest we follow with “A Thousand Plateaus.” Or something by Nabokov. Does it need to be huge? MAN WITHOUT QUALITIES. The Arcades Project? Gravity’s Rainbow? I’m just spouting off names, now. But I wholeheartedly agree in this reading group idea.

  3. 3 butttub
    March 6, 2009 at 6:32 am

    1) is there a copy of fw online? can we read it real slow and fragmented? make rules. avi make rules.

    2)i am for man without qualities in the future. i want to read it the whole way through instead of being stymied by its size and the amount of other things that crop up to block it off/render it unfeasible to read within my schedule. but with impetus & coercion….

    3) make rules.

  4. 5 Luckycloud
    March 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm


    A list of about 35k books in the public domain and available for free online.

  5. 6 butttub
    March 7, 2009 at 2:07 am

    thanks sean

  6. March 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm


    1. try reading, by friday morning, pp. 3-10.23 (page.line number), if you have the penguin edition;

    which, in ebooks, is from “riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay” to “Phew!” = 11 paragraphs or 2″ scrolled down on your browser

    2. a good way to begin reading is to use a pencil or something and write in the reverberations of other words you find embedded in a word or phrase

    i.e. for “Sir Tristram”, you have “tristram” = tryst, triste (french), trieste (if you want, where Joyce lived), ram (animal or fucking)– all of which abide in the larger conceptual envelope of Tristan, from the Tristan and Isolde Arthurian tale, imagine intruding a Ram into Wagner . . .

    3. This is too much and is discouraging I think. Just have fun– I’ll post more

    4. I have a good project in mind . . . will post soon

    5. We should open up the Ghost Island Free School as a forum for all our intellectual bric-a-brakhage; I am ALL IN FOR our Choose YOUR OWN ADVENTURE !!

    6. Everytime you don’t unerstand a passage, txt Ben, and he has to do 2 shots — everytime Joyce makes a sex joke, txt Ben, and he has to do 10 pushups

  7. 8 butttub
    March 8, 2009 at 7:13 am

    i will do shots & pushups, seriously. but i need you to pay for the shots after the first few cause shit’s expensive

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