Monday, 9 September 2019

The Fall and Rise of Barry Allen

An Unknown Force just Reverse-Engineered me to life out of a Blizzard of Faster-Than-Light Particles.

I'm sorry I seem a little abstract.

I: Have you found any prophecies which would be prophetic to us at this point?

RAW: Let’s see, the major theme of FW is the fall and the rise.  On the first page you’ve got the Wall Street stock market crashing and the fall of the Roman empire and Adam and Eve falling because of the forbidden fruit, and Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall, and Tim Finnegan falling off the wall, and the old Irish drinking song from which the book takes its title, and the dream of falling asleep to the collective unconscious of the species, and below that into the non-local consciousness of the entire cosmos, and all this falling is followed by a rising at the end in which the river turns into air molecules.  The river turns becomes one with the sea, and the Irish sea, and the Irish sea becomes air molecules which become clouds which float over the Wicklow Hills, and they come down as rain, and you’re back at the beginning of the book where this rain is the river Liffey forming in the hills to flow from Dublin and go out to the sea.  So you’ve got this cyclical rise-and-fall.  And I find more and more that the symbolism of the thing suggests the fall of DNA to this planet, which is Fred Hoyle’s cosmological theory, that DNA didn’t happen by accident, it was propagated throughout the galaxy by higher intelligences.  You’ve got the DNA falling on this planet, and FW has all these metamorphoses, you’ve got the four stages of the insect: the egg, the chrysalis, the larva, the adult, I’ve got them slightly out of order I think; I’m not an entomologist.  And then you’ve got the lords of the four quarters: Matt Gregory, Marcus Lyons, Luke Tar-pey, and Johnny MacDougal, which are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, plus the bed that I lie on, an old children’s prayer, but it’s also the four chambers of the human heart, the four kings of the tarot deck, the four provinces of Ireland, but it’s this basic four part cycle there which Joyce calls their weatherings and their marryings and their buryings and their natural selection, which refers to all these insect and mammalian patterns, the parallels that Joyce keeps drawing.  He manages to combine the evolution of plants, insects, and mammals into this structure, and it’s all part of - the deepest part of the collective unconscious that Joyce is exploring in FW.  And there’s this cycle of the DNA being spread through the galaxy, falling onto the Earth, going through these primitive stages of evolution, and then rising up from the Earth at the end to return to union with the rest of the galaxy.  I think Joyce is prophesying the space age that we are now entering.

I: Well, RC Jung also has a theory which is a cosmological, unifying theory saying the same thing.  What kept coming to me is the foreignness that you were talking about, and it also reminded me of the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy; there’s a whole lot of overlap going on between everybody right now.  Talk about synchronicity!  Maybe it’s because Joyce is coming into his time, because I hear this same rap in many different situations, and I don’t know that we can all say it comes from Joyce, or whether he just has brought on the time of this birthing of Sog (?). 

RAW: Brian O’Nolan is supposed to have said in the 1950’s, when they first thought of celebrating Bloomsday in Dublin, he said, “sure, we’re wrong, we’re all living in Joyce’s head”.  Now it seems it’s not just Dublin, it’s a contagion spreading all over the world.  The Bacon-Shakespeare thing you mentioned, then Joyce, Bacon, and Shakespeare are another model of the twin thing.  Bacon is the rationalist, Shakespeare is the poet, but some people think they’re one, and so the two become three, in unity, and that makes them isomorphic with the three sons of Noah, who are Joyce’s basic archetype of threeness - Sham, Jafid, and Ham - and the thing fits together because Ham and Bacon make a pun linking the two trios together.  The whole thing makes a hidden unity because Shakespeare’s coat of arms had a boar’s head on it, and so you’ve got the boar, the ham, and the bacon, which has the Adonis theme in it.  In FW everything refers back to the dying and resurrected god, and Adonis is one of the dying and resurrected gods, along with Christ, Tim Finnegan, and Osiris, and so on.

I: Well, when we think of FW now, do we have sort of a trend that we can follow in terms of getting one line?  There are so many ways to go, so many different aspects and streams that we can follow.  Is there sort of a beginning, middle, and end that we can find, or a trend, a theme, besides all of these things?  Can we take - we have a storyline, we know it’s one day, we know FW goes through one night.  Joseph Campbell said he thought it was one of a trilogy which would end with a dream sequence that was even more of an other world that James Joyce was planning to write after FW.  Do you have any feeling about that?

RAW: In his last two years, Joyce didn’t seem to know what to do.  Having done Ulysses and FW, he was puzzled what to try next.  It’s a fascinating thought to think of what he might have tried next if he had lived.

I’d already made my mind up to accept complete surrender to a process of transformation, an ego-dissolving ordeal that I felt sure would give me new things to write about, new things to say, and a new way to see the world.

Growing up, I’d immersed myself in the life stories of Byron and Shelley, Rimbaud and Verlaine, and the Beats, and knew by heart the biographies of the sixties psychonauts like Kesey, Timothy Leary, and John Lilly. They were my perhaps dubious role models in my project of reinvention. I set about debugging my glitchy personality with Robert Anton Wilson’s Quantum Psychology, NLP, acting classes, tae kwon do lessons, and yoga sessions. The Arkham Asylum royalties gave me an opportunity to play the part of “writer” to the hilt. I pictured myself lolling with “floppy, frilled cuffs like Thomas Chatterton, suicidal and glamorous on a chaise, quaffing absinthe and laudanum as I dipped a peacock quill into luminous green ink and scrawled feverish fantasies by black candlelight. Insensate on the South Seas, scandalous in the Forum. I longed to experience the full freedom and scale of the archetypal writer’s world and made up my mind to leave a biography as good as the ones I was consuming so avidly.

I’d already contrived to meet Animal Man in his own environment, creating with the help of artist Chaz Truog what I came to call a “fiction suit.” This was a way of “descending,” as I saw it, into the 2-D world, where I could interact directly with the inhabitants of the DC universe on their own terms, in the form of a drawing.

I wanted to take that direct contact idea further, to explore the interface between fact and fiction in a more personally involving way. I wondered if I could arrange an exchange that would affect my “life and real world as profoundly as it would the paper world.”

Excerpt From
Grant Morrison

An Unknown Force just Reverse-Engineered me to life out of a Blizzard of Faster-Than-Light Particles.

I'm sorry I seem a little abstract.

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