Timothy Spearman Shakingmyspear.com
Oxford Is Shakespeare
Hello Timothy Spearman, very much interested in your work on Shake-Spear, Pallas Athena and shaking the spear at ignorance and vice. I’m a 79 years old yoga teacher with interests in UFOs, Sanskrit and weird stuff. I do not have a cellphone nor website, maybe in the future. Back in the late 1960s I was a paratrooper and clerk in Vietnam. Going forward, for a time I worked at the Strand Bookstore in NYC, a very large secondhand bookstore. In the early 70s I went to a language school in Besançon, France. At that time became fascinated by Boris Vian, a polymath, known for his antiwar song, Le Deserteur, and his novel, Foam of the Daze. In or about 1976 until 1988, I lived in Paris and during that time became a member of the College of Pataphysics. We used to meet at the Polidor restaurant on rue Monsieur le Prince. In 1983, during the celebration of Bloomsday, I took a trip from Paris to Dublin to interview Robert Anton Wilson, who was then living in Dublin. Later in the 1990s I sent Robert Anton Wilson a copy of the Pataphysical calendar. He replied that September 8 which starts the calendar is also the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Molly Bloom in Joyce’s Ulysses.
I’m calling my work, Molly Bloom as the Man with the Axe. “Alfred Jarry, the Man with the Axe” is a biography of Alfred Jarry by an old friend, Nigey Lennon, now deceased. “The Man with the Axe” is a poem by Alfred Jarry commemorating Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian paining by the same name.
Alfred Jarry is known for his play, Ubu Roi, a spoof on William Shakespeare’s plays, certainly Macbeth but also elements of elements of Richard III, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Winter’s Tale, The Tempest (Schumacher, Claude, “Alfred Jarry and Guillaume Apollinaire,” 54-67). Dr. Schumacher, professor of drama, states “Jarry has a sound knowledge of Shakespearean and of French neoclassical drama, and his plays are full of deliberate references to well known classics. These references take the form of parallel situations and parodies, and for the learned spectator they strike a definite chord in memory.”
Anyway, Alfred Jarry was born in the sleepy provincial town of Laval on 8 September 1873, Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, and died at the Hôpital de la Charité in Paris on 1 November 1907, All Saints Day; he was 34 years old but thought he was 33. In Ulysses Molly Bloom, the unfaithful wife of Leopold Bloom, was born on 8 September 1870 and the action of Ulysses takes place in Dublin on 16 June 1904, Bloomsday, the day Joyce first went walking with Nora Barnacle in the Ringsend district of Dublin. Her age and date of birth can be checked in the Lestrygonians and Ithaca chapters and perhaps elsewhere. In the Penelope episode, 8 very long ungrammatical rambling sentences, she says, “Ill be 33 in September.” The editor of Ulysses Annotated corrects her mistake.
Joyce always regretted never learning classical Greek, he got a degree in modern languages certainly Italian and French, at University College Dublin and learned Latin at the Jesuit prep-schools, Clongowes Wood College and Belvedere College. Alfred Jarry had a good knowledge of English, German, Latin and Greek. He translated Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Christian Dietrich Grabbe’s Scherz, Satire, Ironie und tiefere Bedeutung into French. in the late 1890s and early 1900s Jarry wrote six novels which hardly anybody reads today. His prose style was experimental and polysemic, meaning the multiplicity of meaning. Jarry had an excellent knowledge of the classical languages. Entering his Latin class at Lycée Henri IV, the professor congratulated Jarry on his Latin essay and asked Jarry what Latin authors influenced his writing. Jarry replied “Aristophanes,” the Greek comic dramatist, the class beginning to chuckle thinking Jarry had confused Latin and Greek, Jarry replied, “I learned my Latin from reading the Latin footnotes explaining the obscene passages in the Greek text. The translator of Jarry’s novel,”Black Minutes of Memorial Sand” notes that the French title of that novel has eighteen possible meanings. Jarry was never a writer for the general public; he wrote novels to amuse his creativity, for his friends and perhaps for 500 individuals.
Jarry’s “Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll” was finished and ready for publication in 1898 but remained unpublished until 1911 four years after Jarry died. Printed by his friends, “Faustroll” was passed over by his contemporaries, an eccentric whose works were being forgotten. Apollinaire wrote a review.
A large portion of “Faustroll” is inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. According to Ben Fisher’s “The Pataphysician’s Library,” “The choice of the Odyssey reflects Jarry’s education; he had a real ability in the classical languages, and his knowledge of Greek has already come to the fore in our examination of Baudelaire and St. Luke, cases in which we have seen an almost pedantic use of the language.” Indeed Homer’s “Odyssey” is a fertile source for the composition of “Faustroll,” especially Book XI of the Odyssey, “Where Odysseus Visits the Kingdom of the Dead” and chapter 24 of Faustroll, “Concerning the Hermetic Shades and the King who Awaited Death” were Jarry alludes to the River Ocean which divides the world from Hades which Jarry compares to the Boulevard Saint Germain.
In my opinion, Joyce’s Ulysses as well as Finnegans Wake, were inspired by reading Alfred Jarry’s work. Here we can look at chapter 20 of Faustroll, “Concerning the Isle of Her, the Cyclops, and the Great Swan which is of Christal” and Joyce’s Cyclops episode in Ulysses, noting for one, the number of times Joyce employs the word “crystal.” I could go on with Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, especially what might be called the wraparound sentence, the sentence that begins and ends Finnegans Wake as well as the beginning of the last chapter of Finnegans Wake, “Sandhyas! Sandhyas! Sandhyas! and Mrs. S.C. Belnos’ book “The Sundhya and the Daily Prayers of the Brahmins” which Jarry cites with the English title of her book. Both Joyce’s Sandhyas and Jarry’s Syndhya are on the same words in Devanagari Sanskrit. More later. I have to read your work on Shaking Pallas Athena’s Spear at Ignorance and Vice. Best, Johh
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