Posted in literature, the scriptures, tagged Dublin, earthly kingdom, James Joyce, kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven, literary space, mirroring, multiple worlds, Odyssy, realism, Ulysses on February 28, 2015 |
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Books are made up of words and each word has its own history, but that does not come to surface while we read, for the idea of reading presupposes a space in which an authors intention could be set up. James Joyce’s Ulysses is his account of one day in the life of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus. Joyce wanted to give a sense of realism by incorporating real people and places into them… At the same time that Ulysses presents itself as a realistic novel, it also works on a mythic level, by way of a series of parallels with Homer’s Odyssey. Stephen, Bloom, and Molly correspond respectively to Telemachus, Ulysses, and Penelope, and each of the eighteen episodes of the novel corresponds to an adventure from the Odyssey.’(sparknotes-Ulysses/context) The date June 16, 1904 in which the events take place is also very crucial to the author, but it s irrelevant to the reader. Nevertheless it throws light into the author’s emotional energy that suffuses the proceedings of various personages in the book.
There are three elements that we need in order to get the most out of any book:
Realism of the work: In Ulysses Joyce created situations and personages that derive their naturalness within the basic premise of reliving a personal event: his first date with Nora Barnacle.
Literary Space which is created by words and it has its own coloring, structure according to the literary devices employed the author.
Mirroring process: This is a subjective element whereby sensibilities of the reader can relate to the events emotionally as well as rationally.
Having used Ulysses as an example let me show the same elements in the Scriptures.
Realism of Ulysses as mentioned above is based on Joyce’s first date with his future wife. It is true. Similarly Truth gives verisimilitude to the scriptures, be it the Bible or Koran or any other. Truth of the godhead gives them their validity. Prophet’s visionary experience gives Koran its impact as the Bible.
In the matter of literary space the Bible creates multiple worlds that run into one another. Kingdom of God and divine Will permeates from the first book to the last Apocalyptic book. Secondly kingdom of Heaven is exemplified by Jesus during his earthly ministry. Thirdly is a earthly kingdom when the Prince of Peace of Messiah sets up his earthly kingdom as fulfillment of prophetic writings. The Book of Daniel for example.
The mirroring process is one area where many tend to go wrong. The reader must exercise his understanding and judgment to get the most out of the Scriptures. The time frame of the reader in the last century is different from the present. Timelessness of Truth is to be mirrored in the reader’s ‘time-space frame’. The Scriptures are meant to guide us into all righteousness and godliness. If we cannot live according to the moral guideposts shown in by the author what avails the reader? Truth as impacted into the literary space is the work of Holy Spirit that overrules as well as instructs the reader. It also serves a caution. The Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip: ‘How can I except some man should guide me?(Ac.8:31) There are passages that may defy simple explanations since the author’s language and experience cannot be mirrored directly but from roundabout way. Thus the prophesies of Isaiah cannot be made sense unless one know of the subject he is predicting. No wonder when some fellows stone or hack others for blasphemy they are interpreting the scriptures wrongly.
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Posted in 20th century literature, personalities, tagged Benny Thomas, endgame, Harold Pinter, James Joyce, Krapp's last tape to play, Murphy, pen portraits, Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot on July 21, 2013 |
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Irish Playwright, Philosopher
Out of Beckett’s small output of works Waiting for Godot has achieved a cult status and has been seen as a morality play of the 20th century.God or Godot is waited upon but in reality what is holding him up while the world is convulsed by man’s inhumanity to one another? God rubs salt on the wounds of man whose carefully built bulwarks of intellect has crumbled along with faith while a strident march of science and technology muffles murmurs of celestial host as stuff and nonsense. Existentialism of the Post WWII had brought in, as could be imagined, two forms of theater,- of the Absurd and of Cruelty. Man according to Beckett aches for oblivion and Godot is a play that took pulse of man’s despair. Remove hope of salvation what have you got? We live in a world of instant gratification. No wonder Beckett is definitely dated.
With the Millennium generation despair is not of a cruel god. Man is a consumer despairing of credit that has dried up all too soon.
Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Dublin, Ireland. He had a distinguished academic career with two years in Paris (28-29) where he first met Joyce. Without elation or bitterness he lived through two decades of neglect and two decades of fame. As James he also remained his own man totally dedicated to his art.
During the 1930s and 1940s he wrote his first novels and short stories. He wrote a trilogy of novels in the 1950s as well as famous plays like Waiting for Godot. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His later works included poetry and short story collections and novellas. He settled permanently in Paris in 1937. He died on December 22, 1989 in Paris, France.
Trivia: James Joyce conceded of the younger expatriate,’I think he has talent’. Joyce had toyed with the idea of him as a prospective son- in- law and also used him as his secretary while writing Finnigan’s Wake. James’s eyes had gone near blind by then.
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Light and water happen to combine in just the right way to paint a beautiful natural picture. The point I want to make here is that it is not a rainbow that exists in the sky outside your position or your vision. It is personal and as though Nature gave its visiting card to you personally.
Each individual raindrop disperses white sunlight into its component colors. So why do we see wide bands of color, as if different rainy areas were dispersing a different single color? Because we only see one color from each raindrop.
When one raindrop disperses light, only the red light exits at the correct angle to travel to the observer’s eyes. The other colored beams exit at a lower angle, so the observer doesn’t see them.
The second Raindrop is much lower in the sky, so it doesn’t bounce red light to the observer. At its height, the violet light exits at the correct angle to travel to the observer’s eye. All the drops surrounding this raindrop bounce light in the same way. The raindrops in between the first and the second all bounce different colors of light to the observer, so the observer sees the full color spectrum. If you were up above the rain, you would see the rainbow as a full circle, because the light would bounce back from all around you. On the ground, we see the arc of the rainbow that is visible above the horizon.
In similar fashion each dream and vision whenever it may visit you holds a plane that is only relevant to you. It may be everyday occurrence what James Joyce would describe as ‘epiphanies’ where the common place has become endowed with special significance.
What we need to remember is that every life form is unique as distinct from another. We tend to speak of ciphers, John Doe, the nameless zeros who are merely considered as ‘cannon fodder’ conceal truth. We are individuals and I am as good as any other. Isn’t it very strange that some can never feel at ease or secure except when he is part of a group? If I support a government it is because I choose to do so. If I whistle blow over some covert act of the government I am expressing my refusal to be part of an immoral act of the few.
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