Anna Liffey in her new location
Week Twenty Five (pg. 415-432 Hilaritas edition, Chapter 21&22 Part III all editions)By Gregory Arnott
Special guest blogger
Our protagonists are drawn closer together psychically, in the case of Moon emotionally. Moon’s discombobulated thoughts give way to two long soliloquies on hate and idealism as he wanders around in the pre-dawn gloam. (Moon’s short remarks about living somewhere where the sun doesn’t come up at three in the morning and missing half the day is an example of how RAW can deftly point out basic perceptual differences between populations. Coming from a mid-Atlantic latitude, while I am duly grateful as the days become longer, the rash of daylight that takes place at the antipodes of the world has always seemed slightly horrifying. Last year’s Midsommar uses the lengthened day to great disconcerting effect.)
Moon’s greater understanding of Ireland’s situation makes it harder to blindly hate the agents of his misfortune as he apprehends them as cogs in a miserable machine. I can relate to this as I am currently disgusted with some policies I have been dealing with- but the more I have looked for a person to despise and blame the more I have found people with their hands tied and just as frustrated as I am.
While Moon reflected on Ireland I found myself thinking of my Home and wishing more of her sons and daughters felt the loyalty I did to Her. I am often confused that my neighbors don’t realize that we are an occupied people, mere proles meant to scrape by in a glorified industrial colony. I wish we would someday rise against our ineffectual, bought and sold government and elect someone other than corporate shills and religio-maniacs but I doubt that day will come soon. Instead we suffer a brain-drain as those who can leave and those who remain behind do a great job imitating the undignified poverty and breeding habits of the 18th-Century Irish. Alas, I doubt that most of my “countrymen” appreciate the beauty of our home as much as an Irishperson enjoys Green Eire. Does anyone revere the Ohio like the Anna Liffey? Where is our dancing spirit?
A perhaps-interesting synchronicity is that I have read three books this week that took the time to relish Homer’s address to Rhododaktylos eos.
De Selby seemingly makes a leap from the footnotes into Sigismundo’s cell as he wrestles with and hammers at his recalcitrant machine. (The footnotes are keeping up their bizarreness quotient as we are reminded randomly of Bill Patterson’s ears and the fact that a whale is not a fish.)
Despite Moon’s inner conflicts, at the end of our reading he seems set on a path to make himself into a villain.
From Eric: “With all the hammering in this week’s reading, I chose the Hammerklavier Sonata by Beethoven - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKlLPe86Flk .”
I personally like this selection as it brings together our novel with Schrodinger’s Cat.