Application of hypermedia to textual analysis of Finnegans Wake displays “scop” within seventeen morphological chains, of which only two are adverbs: “phonoscopically”(1) and “choreopiscopally.”(2) If understood as autopoietic moments of the Wake, they anticipate new modes of textual relationship between signified and receiver based on fragmentation, projection and (mechanical) motion. The term “phonoscopically” can firstly relate to an apparatus(3) invented by Georges Demenÿ, in association with Léon Gaumont, and presented in 1892 at the Exposition Internationale de Photographie de Paris. After that event, Demenÿ dreamt of commercialising chronophotography, presupposing the transmission of projected movement in general. Reading it in this manner would subsequently locate the term within technical ‘discourses’ of imaging devices, such as mutagraph, the Wake might be referring to.
The grammatical mode used, however, suggests approaching it as a metaphor of situation of the text with regards to phone[me], acknowledged within the term as a referent equal or subject to skopeo, which has implied in its meaning analysis of structure. Since the smallest unit of spoken language was emphasised as the last word of Finnegans Wake, James Joyce’s text can be, then, seen within the broader number of mechanical instruments - especially those used in experimental phonetics during the beginning of twentieth century. Considering Joyce’s op-writing in refractions of the ‘writing’ of kymograph, phoneloscope and phonometre, all of them transmuting sound into visual elements and influencing the comprehension of language we are having today, Finnegans Wake operates not primarily as an issueless predicament of multiple meanings, but as one that previously imposes, arguably creative or constrained, pronunciation of phonemes that function as signifiers of textual signifiers.
Concerned originally with the work of art and scholarship in the age of electronic reproduction, Jacques Derrida’s reflection on the slowness of practical translating machines in comparison with Finnegans Wake contains a statement on the impossibility of revealing or producing any new syllable, because one can’t say anything that is not already programmed on work of Joyce.(4) Focusing on the audible aspect of the text, this view bears upon presumption that even the smallest unit of language is eligible for becoming re-contextualised into composition of new morpheme, by being put, or not, between quotation marks. Immanently, this implies that language is a limited system based on its operating laws that allow, in certain extent, injectivity of components based on the principle of catachresis. These would, reciprocally, influence upon the system they belong to as much as they are previously conditioned by it, since, according to Derrida, a context can never be absolutely illimitable because of its determination that is never certain or sustained.(5)
Similarly, regarding phonemes, theory of language argues that number of allophones one unit can have is infinite, grounded on conditions of sequency of events in spoken language, under which particularly converged sounds tend to assimilate. In order to understand principles of opponents within one language in a given time, phonology was the first linguistic discipline to re-establish the exact method of analysis with help of technical instruments. Mathematician Joseph Fourier measured sound waves and wrote a theory on formants - specific resonances of sound wave dependable on its localization inside of a speaking apparatus. Earlier, in 1780, Wolfgang von Kempelen, who has been called the first experimental phonetician, made a speaking machine capable of producing whole words and short sentences in Roman languages and English, on grounds of which he wrote a thesis on the nature of sound waves.(6) Instruments invented about the time of the First War, such as phonometre,(7) used for measuring strength of sound, revealed that decisive moment for the nature of every vowel is concentration of energy in certain frequencies of vibration, as encoded in “ffff”(8) fragment of Finnegans Wake.
Roman Jakobson, in Linguistics and Poetics,described short and long vowels /i/ and /i:/ as resonating with emotions to emphasize this main feature of the spoken word as medium. Marshall McLuhan presented it by Constantin Stanislavsky’s method who used to askhis actors to pronounce “tonight”in fifty different ways so that the audience couldwrite down different hues of meaning and feeling expressed.(9) Previously, in 1870s Baudouin de Courtenay debated that sound values should be thought of as determinative within the process of communication, even though he approached phoneme as “a sound imagined or intended, opposed to the emitted sound as a ‘psychophonetic’ phenomenon to the ‘physiophonetic’ fact.”(10) This led to Charles Bally’s theory of actualisation referring to speech as a concrete appearance opposite to words, understood as virtual concepts. Shortly after, in 1879, Ferdinand de Saussure introduced term phonème(11) and later included psychologicalaspect in a definition, assuming that phoneme doesn’t necessarily need to beactualised, as long as it exists in speakers’ conscience, “recognizing the structure of asign to be a trace-structure.”(12)
More materialistic, in a sense of writing, phoneme was perceived as the trace-structure when Jean-Pierre Rousselot included kymograph into phonetic experiments. This “wave writer,” invented in 1840s, contains a rotating drum wrapped with a stripe of paper upon which are ‘drawn’ sounds by a style sensitive on simultaneous changes in audible frequencies, producing a waving line as a signifier of the signifier. Kymograph has been also used for recording cardiology data (from Latin: cordis, heart), in particular measuring blood pressure and pulse, by decoding them into visual language – the process to which the Wake’s graphic-phonic unity “decorded”(13) might allude.
Generally, the main shift from recognising a phoneme as the least important linguistic element for communication, or even excluded from it, brought Prague linguistic circle, while dealing with distinctive features of sound units, and American distributionalists, being interested primarily in their arrangement. Morris Halle, introducing generative approach to phonetic description of language, showed that each word appears not as union of phonemes, but as combination of elements in a way that each sound within them is a group of distinctive features. In doing so, he was concentrating at the phonologic level on those aspects that the Prague circle examined at the morpho-phonologic one. Evidently, both groups approached language as a system of mutually connected signs where the value of each sign is determined by the presence of others, so that “meaning inheres not in sounds themselves – ‘d’ and ‘t,’ for example – but in the contrast or difference between them.”(14) Since then, the only practical way of excluding phoneme from the process of communication, based on any natural language, would be taking into account even smaller units, as when Sidney Lamb distinguished phoneme from phonon and phone, demonstrating that “it is always possible to break a language down into internal structural elements.”(15)
(BEFORE) IMAGING TURN
It has been noted that some of Joyce’s neologisms are more easily understood by eye than by ear,(16) like construction “kknneess”(17) and synoptic “svvollovving,”(18) while in the larger unit “Rest in peace! But to return.2 What a wonderful memory you have too! Twonderful […]”(19) lyrical parallelism indicates the number of the footnote to be read aloud. After “phaneoroscopy of Peirce, [according to whom] manifestation itself does not reveal a presence, it makes a sign,”(20) within this altering, homonymic “two” can be recognised the poetic function of language in Finnegans Wake that, “reflected within echoing syllables that are not necessarily transmitting any meaningful message, but rather perceivable acoustic process,”(21) becomes demonstrable by a graphic code.
Donald Theall assumed that Joyce began to write Finnegans Wake bearing in mind that reanimation of oral poetry will be accomplished by potentialities of sound recording.(22) During one critical reading of the Wake, composer John Cage concluded that whatever comes out from that text will certainly not be a white noise.(23) Another approach, Mary Ellen Bute’s 1965-67 film Passages from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, changes, as well as Roaratorio, the entity of phonemes, since the text is more sung then read, but proposes a way of reading “Nn”(24) as double n, Dublin.(25) Joyce himself emphasized the importance of audible aspect of language in creating multiple meanings through “Pingpong!”(26) read as /piŋ p’æng/ or through dealing with pauses when not reading three ending punctuation marks(27) and thus changing the five-sentence structure into two sentences. His separation of syllables in “pharphar”(28) on two lexemes, both ending with an Italian r, also appears as important for phonemic level.(29) Providing that this recorded part of “Anna Livia Plurabelle” does not differ largely from the later printed version, silent reading of “Night! Night!”(30) becomes an encounter of longer pause in speech with its analogue sign in the printed text.
Saussure used the metaphor of chess, understood as mechanism of importantly distinctive value each figure has been given, to show that each sign can appear both by chance and as an obligatory item whose function would be examined by method of substitution. Examining the changeable entity of contemporary semantics, Noam Chomsky defines phonology as a separate study of mental representations of perceived changes in the processing system we placed ourselves in relation to in order to comprehend it, approaching phoneme as a subclass of sound.(31) Both communicative and poetic function of language must be achieved even at this level, for otherwise, the strength of certainty in having message received will be considerably interrupted.
In Finnegans Wake we read words “freeflawforms;parasama”(32) and “colour;stoatters”(33) as critique of, proposed in few preceding lines, speaking without links, without impediments. At this point the function of semicolon - of rupture - is clearly parodied, but when it comes to pronunciation of s followed by or following this punctuation mark, which has rendered into another communicative code, the Wake becomes a machine that expands variety of the smallest units of language with the highest entropy. Another, negative form of semicolon - “; ;”(34) - has a tripled spacing before its repeated or mirrored image, implicating any two graphemes to be read in between:
This empty space can be also seen as a mirror where the second semicolon does not indicate how to treat a sequence of time, given within a lexical unit usually printed before it, but stands for visualisation of any aspect of time in spoken language as such. In this way, this fragment functionally differs from the later “Sassondale,, Jorsey”(35) where the second comma reflects only the time period given by the previous one. By its capacity to deviate a flow of sound as any other punctuation or diacritic mark, semicolon, especially when doubled as here capturing the materiality of medium, can become metaphor of phoneloscope. This instrument was used for measuring sound-waves whose throbbing would be bridged from the diaphragm of a telephone receiver, through an attached thread to a mirror (replacing the sound emitter) which would reflect directed lines of light in the rhythm of movements of the diaphragm. The scope of rays and sharpness of angles in their pulsation would provide simultaneous, observable and measurable photo-writing equal to sound frequencies.
When no sound was received, the mirror was still, so that one could capture an image in it, like when during a silent pause in a speech is unintentionally heard anything from (its) surrounding. At moments like these, phoneloscope ‘contains’ an absence of sound in the same way “; ;” presupposes(36) materialised language.(37) If read as part of the sentence, the empty space on the page inertly becomes fulfilled by memory of an eye that tends to preserve its continuity in apprehension. Since uncommunicative elements are not easily understandable, they tend to be kept in memory and ‘prolonged’ through the text until an adequate place for their ‘rearrangement’ is found. As such, their only purpose on the page is definition of space, in the same way that mirror always reflects light, but in order to introduce a notion of time upon the surface, the visual code (semicolon or angle between reflected rays) must have previously become transcription of an audible message.
Suprasegmental occurrences, including intonation, accent and pause, were widely used by Joyce to produce “writing that is subject to rhythms of spoken language,” although, in history of phonetics, it was not until H. L. Smith’s paper on “Superfixes and Syntactic Markers,”(38) that they were acknowledged as important organisational means of sentence structure. Joyce, however, used even mechanism of phonemic constraint by repeating a phoneme, so that a pause or accent has to be realized along with pronunciation. In contrast to this process are sound assimilations, systematically analysed for the firs time in 1920 by Alexander Vostokov, who focused on Slavic languages. The same phenomenon, also known as pushout in computing linguistics, was described as neutralisation by Nikolai Troubetzkoy, who regarded phoneme as that minimum of acoustic-articulate characteristics used in a process of communication to transmit meaning. This transformation happens because both members of the opposition cannot be on the same position, so that only one phonetic value appears which Troubetzkoy called archiphoneme. According to Junggrammatiker group, the consistence in realization of sound assimilations is absolute, for they take place in moments of supplantation that are following certain rules without aberrations. These can occur only later, analogically, id est by subconscious associating of a given form of language with another one.
If looked through the table of consonants paired by their voicing distinction, in writing of Finnegans Wake are notable traces of this way of thinking about a phoneme:
In “yonderworld of Ntamplin”(39) n by the place of articulation influences changing of t and they will be heard as of damp-, instead. Similarly, in the last word of the third chapter in book I, d, influenced by less sounded consonant, changes into t: “Rain. When we sleep. Drops. But wait until our sleeping. Drain. Sdops.”(40) Assimilation here may happen reversely, resulting in zdops, but short, telegraphic sentences suggest otherwise. It seems that Joyce also used to write already bearing in mind the phoneme occurring when the text is read aloud, since in an example: “He hears! Zay, zay, zay!”(41) there is no other explanation for changing s into z and repeating it, except that z is lauder – transforming this passage to function ironically. Additionally, graphic emphasis of unsounded f in “herslF, including science of sonorous silence”(42) invokes name of Finnegan, while its influenced louder reading provides hearing of vowel e – that objectless, imaginary part of textual sonogram. In contrast to omitted unit, “ofver and umnder, since, evenif or although, in double preposition as in triple conjunction”(43) contains also two double phonemic compilations.
The p/b pair is the most active of all in Finnegans Wake, which might be a result of presence of p within ALP figure, while h (of HCE) has no pairing among voiced sounds. Additionally, theyare graphically very similar, especially in combinations d-b and q-p(44) and reappearance of “prankquean.”(45) Joyce’s turning to this pair may be seen as one means of interpolating names and rules of children games into the text, since Roman Jakobson later acknowledged how labial and dental consonants appear earlier in child language than velar ones, so that a child distinguishes p and b earlier that k and g.(46) Petr Škrabanek, commenting on “Boghas the baregams,”(47) noted that Joyce always transcribes Armenian letter բ /p/ as b, along with once transcribed Դ as d instead of /t/ in “darnall,”(48) in discordance with proposed differences between Eastern and Western Armenian in Manuel de langue arménienne by Frederic Feydit. However, inversion of these two consonants in “a superpbosition!”(49) indicates acknowledging them as pair and along with “to mpe mporn,”(50) de-chorded as to be born, shows Joyce’s care towards sound assimilations. Furthermore, “stampforth”(51) implicates (the beginning) stabforth or stab forth, while m and p falling upon each other in “the sound sense sympol”(52) result in p changed into b. Aware of audible characteristics of this pair, Joyce introduces it in “halpbrother”(53) by purpose of including ALP figure into the alphabetic form of the word.
Process and effects of Joyce’s building of sound could be further illustrated by work of Victor Vasarely. Producing mostly prints, Vasarely constructed several three-dimensional pieces, including objects made of two parallel, plain glass surfaces upon which were pasted parallel black stripes. The value of both surfaces within one object is the same, each containing exactly the half of a beginning, completely black rectangle, so that the difference that had been subtracted from one image was pasted on another piece of glass. One surface image, might be said, represents the negative of another, not in terms of colour or darkness, but of quantity and shape. These objects are variations of his print Zebra (1937), viewed as the earliest example of op-art - a direction in visual art that highlighted an illusion of present motion or instability within a stationary artwork caused by external stimuli, light and air. An illusion of the third dimension in Zebra, composed of winding black and white stripes, is created through interaction of form and complementary achromatic colours. Within the objects, however, the kinetic effect – an impression of black stripes overlapping - is conditioned by viewer’s changing position, which brings out the role Duchamp gave to audience in creating artwork by perceiving it.
Vasarely widely used technique of diffusion and multiplication to exhibit the minimal difference. He pointed out the importance of context as influential for appearance of forms and colours situated within it, so that “the environment causes one colour to retreat, and the other to be brought to the foreground, thus producing an unexpected spatial feeling, creating the illusion of motion and duration.”(54) In other words, binary oppositions, in which communicative units are iterabilly related to each other, cause the mere actualisation of visual language and, therefore, possibility of perception. For this reason, Vasarely described correlation of form and colour by equation 2=1, 1=2 or duality=unity, which, when applied to Joyce, becomes art “of both/and, not either/or.”(55)
Both Vasarely’s objects and Finnegans Wake are dichotomically-coherent examples of dealing with redundancy when the structural saturation is too high. Regarding three-dimensional, transparent pieces, redundancy is increased when they are placed nearer to the centre of a gallery. Unintentionally, visitors are “brought” then between the frames, lessening the visual effect of movement rising from stripes themselves. In opposition to this external cause, redundancy in Finnegans Wake is quality of autopoiesis, encountered in the sixth thunderword (on Industrial revolution):
George Kingsley Zipf, operating with English, Chinese languages and German, analysed frequency of linguistic units, stating between 1935 and 1949 that most of words are used very rarely and the number of those occurring very often is remarkably limited. He established that number of words’ occurrences is proportional to their successiveness, where the complexity of pronounced sounds is in reverse proportion to their frequency in words. Consequently, unsounded phonemes, as simpler for pronouncing, appear more often in languages than sounded ones. Another notion of his regards the length of a word that is also in reverse proportion to its repetitiveness in language, as expressed in formula: number of contextual meanings one word has equals square root of its frequency. While read aloud, integrity of thunderwords does not affect us as composition in 1001 units, proposing that structure is, rather, characteristic of non-audible forms. However, through the figure ALP and dependency of graphemes a and p on their phonic actualisation can be traced Joyce’s emphasis of the smallest units of language as moments of intertextuality.
In the “first and last rittlerattle of the anniverse; when is a nam nought a nam whenas it is a. Watch!”(56) textual materialisation of blindness is achieved only by a bordering signal whose function and tone are radically changed by end punctuation. Blindness addressed in indefinite article can be both Oedipus’ and Odysseus’. The king, who was the first one to (self)recognise a man in the creature described in the riddle, was metaphorically blind when unaware of prophecy regarding his marriage, leading him later to blind himself in exile. “No man,” in the Wake “nought a nam,”was Odysseus’ reply on Cyclops’ will to know who blinded him and was the first one to escape. On the other hand, phoneme p appears isolated as “p.p. a mimeograph,”(57) contextualised along with the recursive ALP figure, “apl lpa!”(58) and made slightly different every time by technique of paronomasia; but as well as prefix and suffix:
With regard to audibility, “ppp-[…]-pp” can be read as symbol for connected speech, where “pp”(pianissimo) introduces quieter tone. Being unvoiced plosive, p can never be pronounced in series or in a flow like any vowel. It is impossible to read aloud “ppp-” and “-pp” as part of words they are graphically included in: each p becomes a separate fragment while pronounced. Otherwise, Joyce’s concern with a phoneme here is analogue to Saussure’s, since its continuitycan exist only in speaker’s conscience, or when seen, as suggested by, graphically similar to l,pronoun in the middle of alp string. Reading this passage after “there’s no puggatory”(59) and “our prepurgatory [grade]”(60) makes it comparable to Purgatory, middle part of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, where is presented mirrored-like vortex of hell, the place for penitents. The form of “I am soso sorry” indicates so, but more closely the series of p grapheme.
In Canto IX Vergil and Dante are arriving at the gates of purgatory where an angel inscribes by a sword seven p graphemes for peccatum (Latin: sin) on Dante’s forehead. All those who arrive there have to rise repentantly through circles of purgatory, during what the letters will disappear and they will be in earthly heaven, described in Canto XXX, where Dante meets Beatrice who becomes his guide instead of Vergil. The forth circle of purgatory, which Dante leaves with “ppp”on his forehead, is place for those who were spiritually lazy, what the question “whatever shall I pppease to do?” might signify. An image of Beatrice, whom Dante is hoping to see at this point, is in the Wake invoked by graphic image of alp figure that through the vortext directs to the last voiced phoneme of the soliloquy and of the Wake. This part can, then, represent Anna Livia’s transformation from speechless Lavinia(61) to the one whose last words are to be heard. Until then, she already existed as one phonemic image, but within a speech of the other:
As series of slightly differing images are needed for mechanism of phonoscope to project a movement as an existing object, or viewers’ motion for their eyes to perceive running of Vasarely’s zebras, phonemes at crucial points at syntactic levels in Finnegans Wake (recorded and analysed in Orion 8, if needed) can reveal a whole new intermedial, semantic and intercultural net, like the uncatalogued beginning articles in titles of James Joyce scholarship, only if, before all, acknowledged as constellations.WORKS CITED
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