Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Hush! Caution! Echoland!
The opening words of Finnegans Wake are etched in a glass window in the tourist bar of the Guinness factory in Dublin. Looking through the words you can see the beautiful city beyond.
What a jolt: reading the book in Bristol, it seems a tricksy intense jungly kind of a book. A dense tangle of allusions and illusions. A cocktail of cleverness shot with cheeky humour. But look-see, I am wrong again, this book is as rooted in Dublin-town as Ulysses and Portrait of the Artist.
I love the way that his new words send me off travelling to new places. 'Here is the way to the musyroom!'
Echoland. All lands echo as the past impinges on the present. Thank you, James Joyce, for waking me up. I could write a whole novel around that idea.
"Waves of time break on the foreshore of this echoland. The salt-driven winds, funnelling through the estuary, touch our lives until they are swallowed by the hills and ridges that protect us from our enemies. "