Summer 2009, Web Issue 12


Spring 2015, Web Issue 17

Spring 2014, Web Issue 16

Spring 2013, Web Issue 15

Spring 2012, Web Issue 14

Spring 2010, Web Issue 13

Summer 2009, Web Issue 12

Winter 2008, Extra Issue 11

Spring 2008, Web Issue 10

Spring 2007, Web Issue 9

Spring 2006, Web Issue 8

Summer 2004, Web Issue 7

Winter 2004, Web Issue 6

Summer 2003, EXTRA #2

Spring 2002, Web Issue 5

Winter 2001, Web Issue 4

Summer 2000, EXTRA #1

Summer 1999, Web Issue 3

Spring 1998, Web Issue 2

Spring 1997, Web Issue 1

A multidisciplinary
journal in the
arts and politics




     Paintings & Prints
     Poetry & Prose
     Virtual Facsimiles

Founding Editors:
Joe Brennan
Carlo Parcelli

Contributing Editors:
Bradford Haas
Rosalie Gancie
Cathy Muse
Mark Scroggins
Jim Angelo

Web Editors:
JR Foley
Rosalie Gancie
Nicole Foley

Have you heard of one
          Humpty Dumpty
How he fell with a roll
          and a rumble
And curled up like Lord
          Olofa Crumple
By the butt of the 
          Magazine Wall,
  Of the Magazine Wall,
  Hump, helmet and all?
He was one time our
 King of the Castle
Now he's kicked about like
 a rotten old parsnip.
And from Green street
 he'll be sent 
 by order of His Worship
To the penal jail
 of Mountjoy
  To the jail of Mountjoy!
  Jail him and joy.
- James Joyce
The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly


All essays, poetry, fiction, and artwork are copyrighted in the
names of the authors and artists,
to whom all rights revert.

Issue Index

       James Joyce's
            Finnegans Wake

With new essays by Patrick A. McCarthy,
Alan Tucker, and Notes on Mary Manning


     J.R. Foley


The Discovery of
     Wake Rites

     George Cinclair Gibson

Celtic Cauldrons at the Wake

"where every hollow holds a hallow"


     Karl Reisman

"In the muddle is the sounddance"

Another Introduction to
the Reading of Finnegans Wake

Alan Tucker

Skinny Dipping in the Liffey


Finnegans Wake
and March Demon:

a collaged text by Morris Cox

Eric Rosenbloom

     Return to Senders


     James Joyce reading

Anna Livia Plurabelle

     Stephen Walsh & Brian O'Toole

S h E m & s a M   3 comic strips

     Pitch 'n' Putt with

     Joyce 'n' Beckett

a short-short


Suzanne Nixon

         Bloomsday 2003

         fen again wakes

         a hymn to jim

John Atkinson

          Lucia, Come Home

Stella Steyn

   A selection of
Drawings & Paintings


Illustrations for
Finnegans Wake

from transition No. 18, 1929

   Lucia Joyce

a selection of 'lettrines',
her hand-illuminated letters


'Passages from
Finnegans Wake'

a film by Mary Ellen Bute

Passages from
Finnegans Wake:

The Film

    Kit Smyth Basquin

Introduction to the screening
at Anthology Film Archives, Summer 2008

    Patrick A. McCarthy

Finnegans Wake on Film

    Mary Ellen Bute

Two pages of the script

plus links to the full script online

    Mary Manning

Notes & Internet Sources

and a review of the
1955 Poets' Theatre Production

    Elliot Kaplan

A Note on the Music

    Expanding Cinema

Cannes film Program


Promotional Flyer

    Rosalie Gancie

a review of
Mary Ellen Bute's 1965
interview with Camera Three

Notes on Mary Ellen Bute: Film Pioneer

Mary Ellen Bute Links

Carlo Parcelli

     Finnegans Wake and the
     Quiet Genius of Rudd Fleming


Joe Brennan

         ..... aided & abetted

         a selection from a work in progress

     John Matthias

two selections from:


seven poems in
two sets and a coda

Peter O'Brien

         Mental Care: a sketch

David Hickman

New Work


Anthony Madrid

       Whoever Worries Too
       Much About Being Believed

       O You Beautiful
       Young Readers of Poetry

     John Ryskamp

Notes on Postconstructivist Art

   Carlo Parcelli

Deconstructing the Demiurge:
Eschatology of Reason:

"The Gilded Index of Far-Reaching Ruin"
a poem in five parts

I.     A Brief Course in Secular Eschatology

II.    Congo Redux

III.   A Koan Operated Turing Tape:
       A Lost Found Poem and the Arrow of Time

IV.   Maxwell’s Demonology

V.    About the Author

A.   At 64

B.   That’s How I Remember Her

      and an essay

      The Schneidercentric Poetry World of
      Dan Schneider: Cosmoetica vs. Planet Earth

Marquis Yasu de Sada

     I Cling to the Body Sophistic


      A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to the 70th anniversary of the publication (May 4, 1939) of Finnegans Wake.

     We celebrate the Wake, and we introduce it to all who have not yet partaken. Since the Wake is not yet a staple of high school English syllabi, this means ... Here Comes Everybody! When this reader first tried, despite intimidation, to get through even the opening page, a great deal of the difficulty could be ascribed to a mistaken idea of what I would find. The general word was that, as James Joyce had written Ulysses as one day in the stream-of-consciousness of one man, he wrote Finnegans Wake as one night in the stream-of-unconsciousness of another man. In other words -- a novel. I didn't last; but before I surrendered I did persist two chapters enough to realize Finnegans Wake is much closer to Mother Goose than to any Psychological Novel anyone could name. Other FlashPøint editors have read it once or twice before. Only in the last twelve months -- in the spirit of if not now, when? -- and long before this issue was a gleam in any eye --has this reader joined the funferal.

      And if this issue does nothing else, may it seduce every other reader, gentle and ungentle, into the fun. I'll use a humble, unJoycean image: the Wake's a rollercoaster in a pitch-dark fun house, and once you get the thrill, you'll go back, and back, and back -- the line is not long! -- and again back and back again. On a clear page -- clear to me -- I got as much as 10% of what was going on; ordinarily, 5% was high. What kept me climbing into car after car, though, was the incredible, inexhaustible, ebullient boffo vitality of the language.

      And what's especially wonderful is there's a great community of readers of Finnegans Wake, many of whom even talk to one another about it, all the time -- and some of them have written books for the rest of us coming in to join the party.

     One of the noteworthy recent books is Wake Rites: The Ancient Irish Rituals of Finnegans Wake by George Cinclair Gibson. Wake Rites contends, on the basis of books Joyce is known to have researched, that the underlying structure of FW embodies the Teamhur Feis, the series of festivals on the Hill of Tara in County Meath which accompanied the selection, inauguration, death (sometimes by ritual assassination), and burial of the ancient Ardri, the High King of Ireland ... followed by selection and inauguration of a new High King.

     Before this issue was conceived by other FlashPøint editors, and long before discovering Wake Rites, this editor happened to visit the Hill of Tara in August 2008. The essay, "Museomound of Tara", examines Tara as tourists and as archaeologists have approached it, and presents the thesis of Wake Rites with some elaboration.

     Hush! Caution! Echoland!

     Strange things do happen in Joyce’s Echoland, both outside and inside the pages of FW. "Museomound of Tara" was posted on the FlashPøint website (albeit without homepage links) some months ago. Meanwhile a call for essays had gone forth, and one of those responding is Contributing Editor Suzanne Nixon, who in turn cast an even wider net. The essays she solicited came in last month, shortly after the precise 70th anniversary of FW’s publication, and leading the essayists was ... George Cinclair Gibson himself!

     So FlashPøint is especially happy to present Prof. Gibson’s "Celtic Cauldrons in the Wake", which focuses on one most important feature of the Teamhur Feis and its uses in Finnegans Wake.

     As "Museomound of Tara" and "Celtic Cauldrons at the Wake" provide macroviews of Finnegans Wake, "In the muddle of the sounddance" takes Karl Reisman down deep into the inner organs of the "dark tongue" in which it is written. Eric Rosenbloom brings us back to the surface again in "Return to Senders", but with a twist in direction as he minds the goslings of folklore in the Wake, Anna Livia in particular as -- who else? -- Mother Goose.

     More than essays, however, celebrate Finnegans Wake in this issue. For one, himself graciously tenders his own reading of Anna Livia Plurabelle.

     But this is far from all.

     It is well-known, of course, that early drafts of some chapters of Finnegans Wake appeared in Eugene Jolas’ Paris quarterly transition as Work in Progress. Much less well-known is that one of these appearances, in transition #18, in 1929, was accompanied by illustrations. "Illustrations" should actually be put in quotes, because the three drawings of Stella Steyn for Anna Livia Plurabelle were hardly pictures derived from text in any ordinary sense. The young artist was asked by Joyce himself to prepare the drawings, and he counseled her on what to include. Rosalie Gancie has, with great energy and resourcefulness, not only found these drawings, but others of Steyn’s as well, including paintings.

     And not only of Stella Steyn’s. Joyce’s daughter Lucia also was an imaginative if intermittent artist. But one of her own illustrations for the Wake is here for "The Mime of Mick, Nick and the Maggies", along with three more. And accompanying these works of Lucia is a poem of John Atkinson’s, "Lucia, Come Home", a cri de coeur from devoted father to real life Issy.

     And we have also discovered some illustrations of a completely different sort. They do not comment directly upon Finnegans Wake, but who cares! A few years ago in Dublin Stephen Walsh, entranced by certain images, sketched some apposite lines of situational dialogue and sent them to a gravestone-carver in Liverpool whom he had met but once, and the results were the fabulous if much too abbreviated adventures of "ShEm & saM," which cannot be with any justice further described. Check them out.

     But still images are hardly the only ones inspired by Finnegans Wake. At least once someone -- Mary Ellen Bute -- has attempted to translate the Wake into motion pictures.

     But note the title she gives her picture: Passages from "Finnegans Wake" (1965). Kit Smyth Basquin's "Introduction to the Screening" explains Mary Ellen Bute's approach. Bute has not tried to film the book, as, for instance, Joseph Strick filmed Ulysses (1967). To the extent Finnegans Wake has a plot at all, she has not followed it. So no washerwomen, no Mookse and Gripes, no Ondt and Gracehoper, no Buckley and Russian General, no Mamalujo. On the other hand, the male lead, while not named Earwicker, is Finnegan all the same, and he does keep a pub. He does have a wife Anna Livia, a daughter Issy, sons Shem and Shaun, and, broadly speaking, representatives of the Twelve and of the 28 Maggies abound, and Tristan and Isolde certainly make their Mark. Bute riffs on the Wake, making a work all her own, faithful in spirit and letter to the Wake, but as gay and free of her source as her source itself. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is the actors speak their lines -- which are straight from the text -- as though they know exactly what they're saying. Bute also prints every line in subtitles, so one may catch from Joyce's spelling multiple puns and nuances for which the spoken word, alas! is not yet up to Joycean standards.

     Happily, though, the entire film of Passages from "Finnegans Wake" is available in this issue. FlashPøint #12 provides extensive coverage of Passages, in addition to Kit Smyth Basquin’s "Introduction to the Screening", from Elliott Kaplan’s "Note on the Score" he composed for it, to such artifacts as the first two pages of Bute’s script, a promotional flyer, and the program for the film from the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the award for best feature film debut.

     Rosalie Gancie reviews an interview of Mary Ellen Bute about the film conducted in 1965 on the television show Camera Three by host James Macandrew and Joyce scholar William York Tindall, author of several Reader's Guides to Joyce’s works. And offers a historical look at some of Bute's artistic partnerships in Mary Ellen Bute: Film Pioneer, along with Links to additional internet resources on Bute & her films.

     In addition to her editorial contributions, Suzanne Nixon also offers two tributes of her own, "Bloomsday 2003" and "fen again wakes: a hymn to jim".

     Carlo Parcelli contributes a brief memoir of the teacher who first inspired him for poetry, Rudd Fleming, of the University of Maryland. They did a lot of work on Ezra Pound, with whom Fleming had translated Elektra and Women of Trachis. But Fleming also introduced Parcelli to Finnegans Wake, which he often read antiphonally with his wife Polly Fleming. The memoir suggests quite a bit about the evolution of Parcelli as poet, but the focus remains on one of the few people in his life CP has found worthy of admiration.

     To discover more about Finnegans Wake online, including the text itself, we offer Finnegans Links.

     Other celebrants of Finnegans Wake appear with disparate offerings of their own.

     Joe Brennan gives us Aided & Abetted, pages 1649 through 1658 of his polyglot poetic universe entitled Work in Progress. Brennan's Work in Progress is the only work of literature being produced today extraordinary enough to share Joyce's working title for Finnegans Wake with the master himself.

     John Matthias presents two selections, "Aruski Rehab" and "Chez Harvey Goldberg," Parts II and III of Trigon Two from his extended work "Trigons: seven poems in two sets and a coda".

     Peter O'Brien etches a sketch of "Mental Care".

     David Hickman mixes six new collages.

     And with Whoever Worries Too Much About Being Believed and O You Beautiful Young Readers of Poetry Anthony Madrid opens the doorway to perception, then sledges it off its hinges with his subversive sensibility and explosive imagery, letting in what Jacques Fabien called “too much illumination.”

     John Ryskamp declares "Picasso said one true thing, ‘I hope the world hates us.’" And John’s manifesto, 'Notes on Postconstructivist Art’ seems designed to fulfill that hope right down to the cryptic page torn from Rimbaud.

      In the five-part "The Gilded Index of Far-Reaching Ruin" Carlo Parcelli returns to 'Deconstructing the Demiurge: Eschatology of Reason,' beginning with "A Brief Course in Secular Eschatology". He also -- briefly -- mulls the phenomenon that is Dan Schneider in ‘The Schneidercentric Poetry World of Dan Schneider: Cosmoetica vs. Planet Earth’

     And last -- and certainly least -- the illustrious Marquis Yasu de Sada totally thumbs his Pinnochian nose at Finnegans Wake by not making the faintest allusion to it in "I Cling to the Body Sophistic."

     As always, kindly -- or unkindly -- tell us what you think!