Café Mouffe: Marshall McLuhan’s Finnegans Wake


Call it synchronicity, again. Alex de Jong in Rotterdam is dipping into Ulysses, and I’ve started to re-read Richard Ellmann’s magisterial biography of James Joyce. It’s a consolation of sorts for me. Ms. Modigliani and I have accepted that we won’t make it to Paris this summer, so I’m indulging my flaneur’s imagination in the landscapes of the Joycean word-horde.

James Joyce has been my tutelary spirit in post-literate oral culture for as long as I;ve been reading by listening. Marshall McLuhan’s apocalyptic commentary on Finnegans Wake, presented here, suggests something of what I mean. I hope to blog it, deeply and richly, in the coming months. Alex has pointed me to tools, including the Project Gutenberg e-text of Ulysses, that can help me document the written/oral interfaces in Joyce’s texts.

Alex, I’m grateful for your ideas and creative energies. This Mouffe is for you.

p.s. The McLuhan clip is quite the 60s/70s time capsule. Thanks to MyCluein for creating and posting it. Great mash-up! Does anyone know the source of the McLuhan interview?

Café Mouffe opens every Friday at 3:00 p.m. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the set notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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7 Responses to Café Mouffe: Marshall McLuhan’s Finnegans Wake

  1. alex says:

    thanks for pointing me to McLuhan. Oddly, joostburger left a comment @my blog, declaring his new-found interest in Joyce, while before, joost too pointed me to McLuhan. Synchronicity…

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Very cool. Thanks!

  3. joostburger says:

    I see you 2 found out I’m moving reading the same stuff..

  4. Mark Willis says:

    Welcome, Joost. Which of McLuhan’s books are you reading?

  5. joostburger says:

    Thank you Mark, the blog is a joy to read, and full of interesting ideas. I found you through Alex Augmented Ilussions. I live in Rotterdam too, and have met alex through flickr.

    I have been ‘lurking’ this blog for a while.
    I finished ‘Understandin Media’ and the ‘Medium is the Massage’. ‘War and Peace in the global village’ is on the pile next to my pillow. War and Peace was actually inspired by Finnegan’s Wake.

  6. Mark Willis says:

    I don’t know ‘War and Peace in the Global Village.’ I’ll look for it. The McLuhan work I know best is ‘The Gutenberg Galazy,’ which I think discusses Joyce in terms of literacy and oral culture.

    I’m grateful for your attention as a reader, Joost. I look forward to learning more about what you are doing in Rotterdam.

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