Derek and Susie had covered a long table with birthday cards, with a coffin in the centre. We were invited to write or draw a message on one of the cards and post it into the coffin. Here's Derek with Casey Lawrence, a Canadian postgraduate Joyce student who live tweeted throughout the conference (find her on twitter @MyExploding Pen)
'The coffin, a triumph of the illusionist’s art, at first blench naturally taken for a handharp' 66.28
Derek is the man behind the wonderful Waywords and Meansigns musical setting of Finnegans Wake (motto 'a manyfeast munificent more mob than man nourish your inner world and follow your weird') and he has a Finnegans Wake thunderword tattooed on his forearm. I asked him what he planned to do with the coffin. He said, 'I think I might bury it.'
The idea is best explained by Derek, in the note for the installation, where he asks 'What happens when the Wake ceases to be a book?'
We all wrote and drew on the cards.
Here's Erik Bindervoet, the Dutch Genetic scholar and Wake translator sealing his card. Fabulous shirt Erik!
The celebration continues on 3-5 May, when Waywords and Meansigns and the James Joyce Centre are co-hosting a Finnegans Wake-End. A big part of it is the Finnegans Wakes Film Project, which will take place across Dublin - with Sweny the chemist's as a major location.
Finnegan Wakes has filmed 770 performances so far. The aim is to publish a complete edit of chapter I.8 (Anna Livia Plurabella) later this year. We will be focusing on wrapping I.8 during Wake’s 80th celebrations by the Liffey.
As the project progresses, there will be an interactive website where everyone in any place in the Chaosmos (with Wifi!) can themselves perform a page to music and upload it, staking their role in the greatest story of Alle!
When a sufficient number of performances are filmed for each chapter, we will gradually publish an edited edition of it online, culminating in a full-length, evolving film edition where all can watch and listen to Wake come alive to music, as Joyce prescribed.
Finnegan Wakes’ grande design is to set in motion a never-ending, ever-evolving, living, breathing, pulsating, online portal to Wake. It’s an invitation to frivolously drop a toe on the daunting Wake terrain, and have fun doing so while also birthing an utterly unique piece of art. It is an attempt to make Wake’s Word flesh again; accessible and alive for Everybody.
Dyoublong? __ __ __!'
Gavan Kennedy writes about the Burning Man filming here.