Reviews and follow-up for DREAM AWAKE by Gerry Fialka
I welcome your comments on this follow-up.
Cheers, Gerry Fialka firstname.lastname@example.org 310-306-7330
http://www.laughtears.com/ and http://venicewake.org/
My screening/workshop "DREAM AWAKE - James Joyce & Experimental Film" at Delancey Street Theater in SF on Oct 13, 2009 went very well. It was co-sponsored by Litquake (10 year old Literature Festival) and SF Cinematheque (48 year old experimental film series). Program notes: http://www.laughtears.com/wakedreamawake.html
Here's some reviews:
"Gerry Fialka's 'Dream Awake' is a great, entertaining, eye-opening, mind-widening, and provocative event. It amply demonstrated for me Marshall McLuhan's assertion that Finnegans Wake is 'a memory theater for the entire contents of human consciousness and unconsciousness.' Highly recommended." - John Bishop, seminal James Joyce scholar, author of "The Book of the Dark," and author of the intro to the current in-print edition of Finnegans Wake
"It was an immensely entertaining program....I bought a copy of McLuhan's War and Peace in the Global Village the next day! ...I can mention that a wide cross-section of the audience -- Cinematheque regulars and Litquake first-timers -- have contacted me privately to tell me how much they enjoyed the lecture." - Jonathan Marlow, SF Cinematheque director
"Fabulous" - Jane Ganahl, Litquake co-founder & co-director, SF Chronicle writer
"Interesting and amusing. I laughed many times." - Merle Kessler, author/humorist/actor, "Ian Sholes" from Ted Koppel's Nightline, member of Duck's Breath Mystery Theater
"I really enjoyed Fialka's Joyce/Film workshop. I was blown away by it and needed time to take it all in. A very nice experience. I thought alot about it. Consciously and unconsciously it keeps coming up." -Jacob Adams, filmmaker of Samuel Beckett documentary "The Impossible I"
Here's three preshow newspaper blurbs:
BAY GUARDIAN- "Dreaming Awake" Apparently James Joyce's 1939 meta-text Finnegans Wake has been a magic 8-ball in disguise all along and we've been missing out on years of fortune-telling. CIA's mind-control program? Wake invented it. Facebook and Twitter? Yup, Wake predicted 'em. In the interactive workshop "Dreaming Awake: How James Joyce Invented Experimental Cinema and Disguised it as a Book," "paramedia-ecologist" Gerry Fialka will explain how Wake has been there, done that. Everything falls in Wake's wake. Come to get a glimpse of the future — provided that old tome still has any blue elixir left in it — or at least revel in the play that Joyce provides in a time of hyperbolic pastiche. -Young, 10-8-09
SF WEEKLY- We don’t understand what he’s talking about. But are we talking about James Joyce, or Gerry Fialka? At the latter’s film workshop Dream Awake: How James Joyce Invented Experimental Cinema & Disguised It as a Book, many things are talked about. Fialka, a sort of mad wizard of weird movies, hurls dubious, impenetrable, and delightful suggestions such as "How and why did Joyce anticipate the Facebook-Google-Wiki-Twitter-YouTube-Blogosphere swirl (social networking), TMZ, Girl Talk, and whatever comes after the Internet?" Somewhat obviously, the book spotlighted here is Finnegan’s Wake, "(and Marshall McLuhan's Menippean Satirized translation of it)" FW, if you think about it, gives everyone permission to do everything, which may have resulted in the Internet and whatever comes after it. This insanity is part of Litquake and SF Cinematheque. - SF Weekly 10-8-09
POPULIT- But even great writers aren't always popular. One critic mockingly called James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake a "riot of blots and blurs and bars and balls and hoops and wriggles and juxtaposed jottings linked by spurts of speed." Gerry Fialka's challenging workshop, screening and reading– shows how James Joyce's seemingly loopy yet prophetic writing inspired many other artists, and possibly anticipated the Twitter generation. -Populit, 10-8-09
My thoughts on the previews:
These three previews illustrate how the Wake exists to inspire people to "make things up," as in the lines: "Everything falls in Wake's wake" and "Gives everyone permission to do everything." In my pre-event research, Robert Dobbs (fivebodied.com) proclaimed that the Wake exists to enable people to "make things up." He revitalizes McLuhan's complex clairvoyance, and mirrors Theodor Adorno's "jazz is not what it is...it is what it is used for."
"Effects precede causes" surfaced with these newspaper blurbs that previewed the event. Note the mistakes: (which are "portals to discovery," as Joyce would say) the apostrophe was mistakenly added twice to the word Finnegans. The Populit writer thought that the Joyce line "riot of blots and blurs and bars and balls and hoops and wriggles and juxtaposed jottings linked by spurts of speed" was written by a critic when indeed it was written by Joyce, anticipating experimental film form in words. As for the insanity reference in the SF Weekly, McLuhan said you cannot prove you are sane unless you have discharge papers from a mental hospital.
Dobbs flips McLuhan's line "specialist cures for specialist ills" into "Joyce did not provide specialist outrage for specialist ills. Joyce provided comprehensive outrage (specialist and non-specialist) for every culture - industrial, pre-industrial and post-industrial." Dobbs continues: "In electronic environments, art, science and nature merge through understanding media. Now, with the Wake, art, science and inventions merge through understanding the Wake. Joyce predicts the merge and the Wake responds to the merger. It generates thought...Joyce is a responsible fake....The state of unknowing is in the book- nothing is there, but it implies everything."
"Dreams are now seeking a bailout." - Robert Dobbs, whose years of probing the Wake, can be seen and heard at http://www.fivebodied.com/archives/audio/catalog/CompleteBobTimeline.html
"There are two kinds of dreamers. The dreamer who never awakes, and the dreamer who is never so wide awake as when he is dreaming." - Washington Irving
"Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake!" - Henry David Thoreau
"Grant Quam is the Zuni rancher who was my only neighbor for 15 miles on the Zuni reservation. He'd been a WWII infantryman, a smoke jumper and rodeo competitor before settling down to ranching on the reservation. One starry evening he offered me, 'Bill, whatever's lackin' to ya, Holy Cow!'" and "It's all about samenesses and differences." - Gary Snyder. - Billy Stern contributed these two quotes.
"It's all the same void." - Snyder told Jack in Dharma Bum days - Hank Rosenfeld contributed this one.
"The gap is where the action is." - McLuhanPlease send me your thoughts. Eyethankyou, Gerry Fialka