Friday, January 22, 2010

Finnegans Wake

I arrived at the stadium with my cherished copy of Finnegans Wake. I was joined by several others in a grassy area, a kind of walkway high upon its rim. We were to give a performance of some kind. As the stadium filled with people, I put my book on a long narrow table, then fell into conversation with a grown friend from grade school. She seemed to be in charge. She asked if I would be singing. I told her I hadn’t planned to, but could if she wanted. The stadium grew louder and louder. I went back and looked out over the rim — there was now a sea of people. Everyone was dressed in white and holding a little round light, a kind of third red eye glowing against their chests. Afraid I might fall in, I stepped away from the edge and stood by some foliage. I was on a narrow graveled road. From there, I could see that my book was missing. The sun had set. The performance began. I couldn’t see him, but I immediately recognized the voice of James Joyce. He was reading a passage from his book. It was then that I realized I had completely forgotten what I was supposed to do. In my foolish confidence, I had felt so prepared that I hadn’t brought any notes. The reading ended. Joyce was followed by someone playing an electric guitar. The musician was facing the audience, but standing in a shell where he couldn’t be seen. My stomach was in an uproar. I knew I was next. But I couldn’t go on. At the last moment, I asked someone if he knew who had stolen my copy of Finnegans Wake. He smiled and shrugged. As the music ended, I set off down the road, embarrassed, disappointed, ashamed.

Recently Linked: My thanks to francoguerrazzi2009 for signing on as a follower of Recently Banned Literature.

In the Forum: Avoid slovenliness of form.


Conrad DiDiodato said...

What a dream!
Or was it?

Anna Livia—
meet me by the Liffey.

William Michaelian said...

Allalivial, allalluvial!
to be specific

Elisabeth said...

Fancy meeting James Joyce. And what did he look like? do you remember? Or has it passed by in the fog of the most marvelous dream?

William Michaelian said...

I never did see Sunny Jim, only heard his voice. I wonder if he took my book, the rascal.