Joyce, Bruno, Baudrillard and the coincidence of contraries.

James Joyce

Interestingly, Baudrillard’s collapse of poles operates on dynamics similar to those expressed in Giordano Bruno’s Cause, Principle and Unity, whose coincidence of contraries extends binary values, like macro and micro, to such an extreme that they become equal, like two antithetical objects travelling in opposite directions on a single line that becomes a circle (8). As is well known, Bruno’s theory of the coincidence of contraries plays a substantial role throughout Finnegans Wake. Besides the fact that his name is often referenced and that merging binary values are frequently represented through Shem and Shaun, Issy and her mirror image, between father and sons, and mother and daughter–in all manner of conflicts familial or epic–the paradoxical function of Bruno’s theory surfaces in numerous aesthetic and epistemological issues in Finnegans Wake. The Museyroom, overture and prelude to all that follows, plays a pivotal role in complicating a system of differentials like past/present, factual/fictive, and inside/outside, thus exposing historiography and archive practices to the labyrinthine effects of paradox and inversion. —

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