Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Catullus 14 and/or Joyce

I find it interesting how I become interested or disinterested in various writers.  Over the years I have had periods of intense interest in Louis Zukofsky's writing.  Now that I have committed to comment on it weekly, I don't find myself as fascinated, although I remain interested.  For more than ten years I have worked on a book on the influence of James Joyce on Robert Anton Wilson.  My interest in Joyce ebbs and flows.  I decided to dive back into Joyce last Saturday.  I read a bit of Campbell and Robinson's Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake and a bit of the Wake itself.  Then I read some of the free sample pages on Amazon's from Shelly Brivic's Joyce through Lacan and Brivic and I felt my love of Joyce (and Brivic) burst forth anew.  I ordered a copy of that book by Brivic, but I got email that the bookstore had sold its copy.  Then I ordered another book by Brivic on Joyce and Lacan, and I started rereading Brivic's Joyce the Creator.  I just read this line: "Meanwhile Shem becomes Shaun because he assumes the role of an instructor, an authority fatal to Shem's spiritual independence" (pg. 121).  Hm.  I have worked as a high school teacher for the last sixteen plus years.  I had previously identified with Shem the Penman, the writer, the maverick, but perhaps I have become more like Shaun the Postman.  (Back in the 1980's that name used to make me think of Karl Malone's nickname "The Mailman".)  When I started teaching high school I still thought of myself as a poet, etc.  Now, more and more, I think of myself as a teacher, etc.

Catullus 14 makes a reference to Saturnalia.  On the Equinox on Monday I found myself thinking about pagan festivals and their presence in 2014 C.E.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Catullus 13

Well, I just read a little of Zukofsky's Little / for careenagers.  Pg 74 of Zukofsky's Collected Fiction mentions a volume of Shakespeare on a shelf next to a Babar book and a book by Leopold Mozart.  I found that an interesting juxtaposition.

My film history classes started watching Casablanca this week.  Victor Laslo in that film suggests that we each have a destiny for good or for evil.  I wonder if I have a destiny.  Does it have anything to do with the writings of Louis Zukofsky?  Catullus 13 deals with overeating, one of my life challenges.  As Pound said of his vision, I don't know how to make it cohere.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tastes Great! Less Filling! and/or Catullus 12

The second line of this poem has the word wine.  This reminded me of seeing Pat Boone on the Tonight Show years ago.  Mr. Boone suggested that the wine mentioned in the New Testament had no alcohol.  This seems unlikely to me in my ignorance, but it strikes me how great a role alcohol has played in our culture for so many centuries.  Terrence McKenna has written about how different cultures  favor different drugs.  I wonder about the meaning of the increased popularity of coffee among young people in our society today.  I love the fact the Starbucks takes its name from a character in Moby Dick.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Catullus 11

Not much to say.  I continue to inch my way through Catullus, reading the Zukofsky's versions, reading the original Latin and other English translations and German translations.  Perhaps in years to come my German and Latin will improve.  I finished Anne Sexton's poems, and I've read a good chunk of Ed Dorn's.  I have a Bach violin concerto playing, and I read a little of Zukofsky's Little today.  Perhaps I will have more to say next Wednesday or Thursday.