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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hagbard Celine's name — a Joyce reference

I just finished reading Robert Anton Wilson's COINCIDANCE, which includes four essays on James Joyce and articles on various other topics. Reading it made me realize that the protagonist's name in ILLUMINATUS! apparently contains a James Joyce reference.

You could argue that ILLUMINATUS! does not have a protagonist, as it shifts in viewpoint to many different characters. The two main characters who are used to transmit the author's viewpoints, however, are Hagbard Celine and Simon Moon, and of those two, it's my impression after reading the work several times that Celine is the most important character in the book.

With me so far?

Wilson, a longtime James Joyce fan, writes in COINCIDANCE about HCE, the protagonist of FINNEGANS WAKE, which Wilson called his favorite book.

Now look at Hagbard Celine's name: Hagbard CelinE.


michael said...

You're on to something here, Jackson. Now, to RILLY blow your/our minds, go back through Illuminatus! and note all the OTHER HCEs!

Steve Fly Agaric said...

RAW seems one of the brightest and most sincere writers on Joyce.

I think RAW's mysterious 'holographic prose', after Joyce and W.S Burroughs 'prose stylings' and many other ontological stylists... flows throughout 'coincidance: a book worth reading more than once and probably best re-reading with your web browser open.

"Now let the centuple celves of my egourge as Micholas de Cusack calls them, -- of all of whose I in my hereinafter of course by recourse demission me -- by the coincidance of their contraries reamalgamerge in that indentity... --James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, g. 49.

Congratulations on the new blog Tom.


Steve fly

Eric Wagner said...

I also enjoyed Philip Jose Farmer's satire of _Finnegans Wake_ "Riders of the Purple Wage." I first heard about the Wake reading Farmer, although I didn't actually read Joyce until I had read some Wilson.

Farmer plays with intials in a very Joycean way. He has various characters who share his own intials: Paul Janus Finnegan, Peter Jarius Frigate, etc. These characters represent various aspects of Farmer's view of himself.