File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0103, message 28

Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 22:22:57 -0600
Subject: The cracked looking glass of a servant

Supposedly during World War I, when James Joyce was sending out various
chapters of  "Ulysses" the British censorship department suspected them
of being a secret code.

Hugh Kenner has described the world of "Waiting for Godot" on one level
as a perfect description of a clandestine meeting  between members of
the resistance during World War II with all the anxiety and endless
deferrals this entails.  Samuel Beckett himself served in the resistance
and received a medal for his services after the war.

Art as the language of espionage
Intelligence and counterintelligence
Slipping secret codes past the censors
What can a minoritarian literature do?
Or as Sam once put it so well:
"What else is there to do when you're lying in the ditch but sing?"

Sam used the code of silence, explored the crack 
Where less is less until nothing comes.   

Jimmy used the mother code, womb and matrix, hall of mirrors
To keep the critics busy a thousand years  

A conquered nation
Ruled by the bloody black and tan
The sun never sets on the British Empire because 
Even God doesn't trust the Brits in the dark

To be at home is to be in exile
To be in exile is to be at home

Ulysses, Stephen, Paddy, Having Childers Everywhere
Belacqua, Murphy, Malloy, Moran, Malone
I can't go on, I'll go on
The voyage of a broken pencil

Bloom as Everyman, the Wandering Jew
Molloy as Noman, lost in Dante's Wood
Silva Obscura

Joyce's endless cycles
"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, 
brings us a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and

Beckett's End Game
"They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then
it's night once more "


Perhaps the messages in the end are not incommeasurable
Secret sharers 
Brothers in exile

"Grain upon grain,
one by one, 
suddenly, there's a heap, 
a little heap, 
the impossible heap"

Both had to leave, to get out, to see their native state more clearly
Nietzsche's pathos of distance.

It has been remarked that the Irish, like the Jews and
African-Americans, share a surprising facility with language,
disproportionate with their status in society.  It is almost as though
in becoming territorialized by others -  
heretics, servants, slaves 
their language became deterritorialized 
it allowed them to name the terror

The cracked looking glass of a servant 
Reveals a broken god

Jimmy and Sammy
Remind me of 
gogo & didi

two tramps
who stand perpetually 
at the crossroads of language
& wait for the night to fall


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