[ExI] outing myself

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 28 20:40:17 UTC 2020

On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 8:27 PM spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> >>… I really am calling bullshit on James Joyce.
> > On Behalf Of Dylan Distasio via extropy-chat
> Subject: Re: [ExI] outing myself
> >…How do you feel about Portrait of the Artist, Dubliners, and Ulysses?  Tangentially, I would guess you're also not an Ezra Pound fan… Dylan
> Heh.
> Hi Dylan, do allow me to answer with a challenge.  Rather than get
> sidetracked with the kinda in-between actual writing and word spew,
> let us focus on Finnegan’s Wake, ja?
> My challenge: go to the free online text, randomly copy any paragraph
> from anywhere in that book, post it here.  Then ask proles to write a
> commentary on what the author means by this paragraph.
> We know about the world of math and physics: everything is so cheerfully
> objective there.  The world of engineering has a lot more subjectivity to it,
> but it has equations, which are unambiguous, refreshingly objective.
> Literature is different: it is subjective.  Finnegan’s Wake is purely subjective.
> That exercise I suggested above will likely yield as many different answers as
> there are proles who take the challenge, and there will be little overlap in the
> notions presented there.

Take a math or physics book -- one that's not addressed to the popular
level -- and 'ask proles to write a commentary on what the author
means by this [randomly chosen] paragraph' and I believe they would,
if they were honest and not already trained in math or physics, tell
you they don't know. If they were dishonest and ditto, they might also
have as many different interpretations. This would work with just
about any field with the exception of popular or introductory works.

> Were I a student of literature, I would refuse to play the game of guessing what
> the professor wanted to hear.  If that caused me to fail the class, I would change
> my major.  In my opinion, Joyce was spewing utter nonsense in Finnegan.

Kind of avoiding the question. Do you like any of Joyce's works? If
you haven't read them, that's fine. But if you've only cracked open
one of his works -- in fact, his final novel published during his
lifetime -- then, kidding aside, it's hard to take your joke thesis
seriously. :)

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