Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finnegan: Bricoleur

Celtic morphic-fields of elves, fairies, druidic retinue of beings, they extend beyond the confines of specific geographic locale, they belong in species of celestial, terrestrial, and subterranean beings, they are facets of Mandala.  For magickal adepts, they can be helpers and protectors, and otherwise they manifest as tricksters. The trickster, as with the Fool zero-card of the Major Arcana, is in a nondual state; their value-system is not bivalent, but quonic.  In the hermeneutic of Lévi-Strauss, “The trickster is a mediator. Since his mediating function occupies a position halfway between two polar terms, he must retain something of that duality—namely an ambiguous and equivocal character.”

The engineer-bricoleur juxtaposition (for this specific contrast of two anthropological categories c.f. Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind), or rather, dualism, is that of analog-digital, of artificial-organic, of classical-quantum, and so on. In my opinion, the comparison made by Lévi-Strauss of engineer-bricoleur is rather awkward, because even in his interpretation, these polar opposites approximate each other.  The reason for the awkwardness is simple; the quantum-quonic will always subsume the classical, but doesn’t necessary preclude it.  This is why, even if in the classically trained anthropological thinking of Lévi-Strauss the bricoleur is Savage, it is only so by reason of its intrinsic versatility, flexibility, and organic prolificacy.

The layout of J. Joyce’s Finnegans Wake is anything but classical, structured, formal; it is very much an organic stream of noumenal consciousness originating from the invisible landscape of Mind-Dublin which, finally, when all is said, reveals itself to be recursive, i.e., a fractal, a Mandala, populated with elvin mind-folk of synchronicities---the mythos ends where it begins. The tapestry is woven of the primary Trickster, the bricoleur Finnegan, who dies in a humpty-dumpty “fall” (paralleling the 20th century existential motif of the Nietzschean Gott ist tot that is the beginning, and not the end; e.g., Heidegger’s Being and Time. Hence the Fool card of Tarot marks embarking on a new adventure, and is depicted as stepping off a cliff (Finnegan’s fall); it is pure quonic potential of the uncollapsed wave-function).                

If ever a text comes pre-deconstructed, it is Finnegans Wake, and as such, it freely draws from the bricolage of supra-logocentric fields of thought, energy, alliteration, and pure creativity; its text is that of the trickster’s language, even, a story of a bricoleur in the language of deconstructed bricolage.  In the words of J. Derrida: “The bricoleur, says Lévi-Strauss, is someone who uses ‘the means at hand,’ that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogenous – and so forth.”  (Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences).

Thus Finnegan is the bricoleur-trickster, the Fool of quonic potential, who has, as has the Dasein of Heidegger, fallen; but this is where the parallel ends, even as the wily Coyote dies unto biblical narrative (the fall from Eden) and is not confined in a logocentric coffin.  This is the quintessential hallmark of all tricksters, it transcends culture and history, all the while remaining fully immanent.  It is the stuff of ubiquitous mythos, whose beings are ever playfully alive and well in the world of magickal adepts and those who awaken to the universal Mandala of their own being, their conscious life-force.