Sunday, June 16, 2019

Anatomy of a Conference 'chairs miraculeuse'


Joyce's Tower, Sandycove, County Dublin

Bathing place of Samuel Beckett

Taking the poem chairs miraculeuse, the title itself for a start would have to be inspired by Lois Oppenheim's Keynote opening presentation which was a phenomenological exploration of  How It Is while also being a comparative study using the paintings of Agnes Martin to contrast some of the ideas she was exploring while examining Beckett's final attempt at a full length novel. chairs miraculeuse as the body as the first point of contact in Oppenheim's exploration through which all data filters through to consciousness; events past, present and futural, as indeed they are set down in Beckett's work; 'avant Pim avec Pim apres Pim'. Evoking also such figures as Merleau Ponty, Oppenheim's examination sees similarities in Beckett's tightly ordered universe and Martin's later abstract paintings, all representation having been abandoned, till only form, in the shape of the painter's lines, or the writer's fragments of prose remain, the sole trace of events past or present, or indeed yet to come.

Derval Tubridy's exploration of Gare Saint Lazare Ireland's stage production of How It Is part 1 is the work signaled in the opening collocation of the poem voice embodied as she explores the first stage production of Beckett's epic work of prose, while contrasting GSLI's production with other works of contemporary art such as the mammoth installation by Polish artist Miroslav Balka's using the title How It Is by Beckett as a starting point. Theme's of  intimacy in the face of public horror and atrocity are conjoined.

The poet Fergal Gaynor's wonderful presentation When the Panting Stops is alluded to in the lines spirited in breath. Gaynor's text explores the singular idea of breath and breathing in relation to Comment c'est /How It Is. The terms 'spiritus' and 'anima' and their varying correspondences being put to wonderful use. The text was loaded with pathos, as Beckett nursed both his brother Frank, while dying of cancer, and his mother, their last breaths, particularly the former, leaving the author particularly traumatised. Such personal details of the author were being treated with great sensitivity by the poet, and yet also with humour, as indeed one would expect in a text about Beckett.

gloriously heroic then being significant in relation to Giambattista Vico's second age, it being the 'heroic', and so relating to violence and war. The ashplant then evoking Joyce, author of Finnegans Wake a work whose influence on Comment c'est/How It Is is only beginning to be explored. 

tap tapping away being a reference to Sarah Jane Scaife's street presentations, installations, performances of Beckett's shorter prose works on the streets of Dublin, for whom Beckett's work has enormous significance for Scaife; the very streets themselves being physical embodiments of Beckett's, peopled as they are with the detritus of society in the form of street people of all sorts, castaways eking out an existence on the capitol's streets.

scent of Rose a reference to Feargal Whelan's very poignant discourse on Beckett's reading of Roger Casement's Black Diaries while composing Cc/HII. A text which for Whelan is full of grotesque horror while at the same time being 'interrupted' by moments, or passages, rather, of extreme lyrical beauty. These passages being signified in the motif of the butterfly, in Beckett's text, the 'Rose', as it were.

The superlative performance, or presentation, without a doubt, has to go to the wunderkind Anthony Cordingley. His curation of the Digital Beckett Project was simply a wonder to behold, particularly arresting was his exploration of the name Hamilton via the search engines and the Proustian meanderings of possibility which came up. Fitzgerald's denotes the pantheon of pathways indicated by a mere sign. 

sequestering a wood pigeon fellow panelist Hannah Simpson, who kicked off the conference after Oppenheim's film ( she could not attend the symposium due to a broken leg), explored pain in the Beckettian arena. Pain and consciousness. Funny how Dublin produced the two greatest artists who explored this theme so compulsively in the twentieth century, the other being of course Francis Bacon. The wood pigeon, like Beckett's many characters, enjoys mere respites, while awaiting the next prolonged agony, Simpson is interested in the artists attestation of its mortal agony, in between bouts of delirium and laughter.

The actors Conor Lovett and Stephen Dillane are, of course, the two men reading in a room. And what a reading did they give us, and in what a room! Up in the library of the Crawford Art Gallery. What a privilege it was to see these two great actors perform part 2 in a private reading in this way. To see both men embody the voices proper. They were superlative. Enough said. Very much looking forward to experiencing the full production in September.

the architects a reference to Gareth Evans and his absolutely hilarious quip about the toilet doors in the Crawford Art Gallery whose cathedral like dimensions, according to Evans, instigate Beckettian like encounters with fellow users, so confining are they once opened.

  have done with the plans s a reference to Tom Creed, Gerry Dukes who I replaced, due to his health he had to pull out, and Barry McGovern who have all put on prose productions of Beckett also, in the past. In particular Tom Creed who spoke so wonderfully about his engagements with McGovern while producing Watt, in and out of the Gate. 

miraculous flesh all Judy you whose dream it was to "reinvent spaces", be they Freemason halls or novels! 

 Once again, many thanks for the day of wonder that was in it.               



Saturday, June 15, 2019

chairs miraculeuse


chairs miraculeuse


Judy Hegarty Lovett

voice embodied spirited in breath
its waking anima in mudden mundi
gloriously heroic and still animated
ashplant tap tapping away at the

walk along under the sycamores
lovely Lee meandering slow slow
scent of Rose from Fitzgerald's
sequestering a sole wood pigeon

two men reading to one another in a room
after the architects have done with the
plans great shifting clouds

move above the city time 
enough for universals along
 to the old song  miraculous flesh 

Cork, 15/06/2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

how' tis -

Due to illness, Gerry Dukes has had to pull out as a panelist in the Gare Saint Lazare Players 2nd How It Is Symposium which is to take place on Friday the 14th of June. So, I have been asked to fill in for him. This is a very great honour, as I am very familiar with Gerry Dukes involvement with Barry MaGovern's I'll Go On one man show which he toured all over the world. I saw it twice, once in Cork, in the Everyman, and the second time in Dublin, in the Gate, if I am not mistaken. It was a magical performance. So, the text I will be presenting in Gerry Dukes absence is the text below, which focuses on part 2 of Joyce's Finnegans Wake and part 2 'avec Pim' of Beckett's Comment c'est/How It is, and finally the correspondence which both works have with the second age in Giambattista Vico's Scienza nuova.  

how’ tis[1]

Chapter 2, Book II, of Finnegans Wake (1939)  is the subject of the following essay in which  I attempt to trace the correspondences with the second age in  Gimbattista Vico’s Scienza nuova ( 1765 ) , correspondences which James Joyce himself famously asked the young Samuel Beckett to illuminate for the public, in order to prepare them for the Wakes eventual publication, and which provoked the young Beckett to write Dante…Bruno.Vico…Joyce (1929) . Furthermore, I will be attempting to also explore the possible further correspondences between Joyce and Vico and Beckett’s final full-length novel in French Comment c’est (1961) and which he later translated as How It Is (1963). Some of these  correspondences I have already outlined in More Micks than Dicks ( 2017 ),[2] but they were primarily concerned with part 1 of Comment c’est and Vico’s first age, the divine. However, in the following work the focus has shifted to Vico’s second age that of violence, or force, and the subsequent treatments of the theme in both Joyce’s and Beckett’s most controversial and obscure works. Finally, in an attempt to underline how contemporary all of the issues are, I will be also making reference to the contemporary Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben and his ideas on biopolitics, as I see his work as an extension of Vico’s, whose ideas are made all the more pertinent by contemporary politics in the Trump era. President Trump, I will be positing, being the pugnacious leader par excellence of our time[3], as Hitler was in Joyce’s, and so the almost perfect expression of Vico’s ideas on rulers during ‘heroic’ times. 
One of the most surprising discoveries to make while reading Book 2 of Finnegans Wake is the appearance of Adolf Hitler and the many other related references to Nazi Germany and the pogroms on the Jews. But, they really should come as no surprise when one considers the fact that Finnegans Wake playfully echoes the thematic structure of Vico’s three ages of man theory as they appear in his Scienza nuova; with each section of Joyce’s work evoking an age as they are enumerated by Vico. So, Book 1 of the Wake corresponding with Vico’s first age, Book 2, the second, Book 3 the third, and finally Book 4, the shortest and comprising of only one part ( Book 1 of FW is made up of 8 different sections, while Books 1 & 2 are each divided into four different parts) is given over to death, before the whole cycle starts off again – Finnegans Wake the very title of the book being a sign of all that is to come, sound conveying as much to meaning, as any other sense. Ideally, then, the book should be read aloud. Normal ideas of punctuation have been jettisoned, hence the omission of the apostrophe to denote possession, as the wake is everyone’s and it will happen again, and again. The cyclical nature of the book imitates life. Joyce used Giambattista Vico’s three ages of man theory as a singularly complex structural device on which to rest the whole whopping edifice, so that each book, as enumerated above, corresponds to a separate age and the Viconean superstructure, like some infernal wheel, powers the narration along.
So, what were these ages?  According to Vico, the very first age was divine, the second heroic and the third human. Each age is governed by different laws. The first age, being divine, was governed by Gods, and principally by Jupiter himself. While the second age was governed by heroes, again as in Homer. So, Agamemnon and Achilles being representative characters, being heroic, of this particular age. Finally, the third age is governed by humans, so reason is the principal guiding force. Beckett, and indeed Joyce, make huge play of this, as you would expect. But let us return to Vico’s second age, as it is Book 2 of Finnegans Wake, and part 2 of Comment c’est/How It Is and the way in which  Vico’s theme of the second age, being violence or force, is treated in each work that concern us here.
But before beginning, it may perhaps be prudent of me to first of all comment on the very close proximity in Vico’s work between religion and law, and how force naturally binds them together. This is Vico’s fundamental modernity, history being cyclical, so man then being apparently condemned to repeat eternally the very same mistakes again, and again. Nietzsche, of course, took up this idea and explores it further in his concept of the eternal occurrence. Vico’s three ages, similarly, act as the eternal thread-mill[4]. So, the very complex ideas which he explores in Scienza nuovo will always have resonance, as man is condemned eternally to repeat the patterns. Vico calls this phenomenon providence.
In a word, here is all humanity circling with fatal monotony
about the Providential fulcrum – the ‘convoy wheeling
encirculating abound the gigantig’s lifetree.’ [5]
Giambattista Vico makes reference to the quirites in Scienza nuova, the ancient Roman holy priests who were responsible for defending and at times with punishment of death, the sacred tenants of Roman law the Twelve Tables, which preceded the ten Christian Commandments, and which upheld ancient Roman patriarchy. Both Finnegans Wake and Comment c’est/How It Is are full of references to ancient Roman patriarchy laws, as enumerated by Vico in Scienza nouva but which also have a very strong resonance today. For example, Giorgio Agamben makes a direct reference to Vico, early on in his much- celebrated work Homo sacer in which he quotes Vico when he states that the exception[6] rather than the norm is always the rule in jurisprudence. Might always being right. Such, in effect, is the real sacred rule of Law. Beckett in Comment c’est/How It Is makes reference to this when the narrator speaks of ‘notre justice’[7] . Agamben quotes Carl Schmitt, who is particularly apt for our present purposes, as Schmitt wrote extensively on Hitler, particularly in- regards- to the changes made to German law during the early 1930’s when the Nazis took power and started enshrining their pogroms on the Jews into German law.
Il secondo fu eroico, ovvero della forza, ma però
prevenuta già dalla religione, che sola può tener
in dovere la forza,[8]
Only religion can keep the power of force in check. This is one of the fundamental ideas which both Joyce and Beckett explore in parts 2 of both their books. In the Scienza nouva Vico is at pains to show how religion, just like language and law, is an entirely manmade structure, and so all truths, as a consequence, are manmade, hence comprehensible, thus pre-empting Nietzsche by over a century.  

Hoots fromm, we’re globing. Why hidest
thou hinder thy husband his name? Leda, Lada,
aflutter-afraida, so does your girdle grow!
Willed without witting, whorled without
aimed. Pappapassos, Mammamanet, warwhets-
wut and whowitswhy. But its tails for
toughs and titties for totties and come
buckets come bats till deeleet.[9]

Joyce, it has been well documented, as a young man liked to distance himself from Yeats, seeing the elder poet as a product of a bygone era. But it is very hard to read the above passage taken from section 2, Book 2 of Finnegans Wake, without being reminded of his sonnet Leda and the Swan and which William Butler Yeats published in The Tower (1922),  some years before Joyce’s book was finally published in 1939, on the very eve of the second world war.  In the ancient Greek myth Zeus takes the form of a swan and begets Agamemnon by seducing Leda by first deception, and then force, and from such twin origins the seeds for the destruction of Troy, indeed ‘civilisation’ we may add, are sewn.

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead. [10]

The fragment above by Joyce is typical of Finnegans Wake where children’s nursery rhymes, ‘so how does your girdle grow’ clearly a pun on the phrase ‘so how does your garden grow’,  mix with ancient myth, here the reference to Leda; the Bible ‘world without aimed’ a play on ‘world without end’ which is a line directly taken from The Lord’s Prayer; and sheer wordplay, ‘Pappapassos’ a play on Pappageno, for example, yet the currency passos supplanting the former suffix to conform with the recurring theme of patriarchy, and might basically being right, which runs throughout the entire four Books, and which is also the recurring theme in Vico. But if we scan further down to the very next paragraph that directly follows the Leda piece, and which contains the following side-heading, printed in capitals, again a feature which Beckett was to use in part 2 of Comment c’est/How It Is[11], ‘PANOPTICAL PURVIEW OF POLITICAL PROGRESS AND THE FUTURE PRESENTATION OF THE PAST’[12] we then move onto a reference to Nazi Germany.

But, holy Janus, I was forgetting the Blitzenkopfs!
Here, Hengest and Horsesauce, take your heads out
of that taletub. And leave your hinnyhennyhind you.
Its haunted. The chamber. Of errings. Whoan, tug, trace,
stirrup! It is distinctly understouttered that, sense you
threehandshighs put your twofootlarge timepats in that
dead wash of Lough Murph and until such pace one and the
same Messhern the grinning statesmen, Brock
and Leon, have shunted the grumbling countdetouts,
Starlin and Ser Arthur Ghinis. Foamously homely brew,
Bebattled by bottle, gageure de guegerre. Bull igien bear and
Then bearagain bulligan, Gringrin gringrin. Staffs
Varsus herds and bucks vursus barks.[13]

We must never forget the historical context, Joyce won’t allow us. The text above is riddled with references to the ugly politics and alliances of the time, which is the 1930s when Hitler and the Nazis went from being an extreme right- wing group without much credibility, particularly after the failed pusch and the imprisonment of Hitler in the twenties, to a major political party elected into government by democratic means in 1933.
 Janus is the Roman two- faced God, obviously serving a dual function here in Joyce’s narrative, in the literal Viconean sense, and by that meaning historic, as Janus is the god who looks back with one face, while with the other attempts to navigate the future. On the other hand, it can also be read in the idiomatic sense of being two-faced, or false, saying one thing and then doing another. The context above clearly being political, with  references to Nazi Germany with ‘Blitzenkopfs’. ‘Here Hengest and Horsesauce’ a possible play on the German Herr, ‘Hengest’ paraphrasing chicken ( hen guest ), which could possibly be a reference to either Chamberlin, or any number of European statesmen at the time who went down the road of appeasement. We know that Joyce composed chapter 2 of Book two during the 1930’s, and part 2 in Book 2 of the Wake is particularly full of references to the events as they occurred. ‘Horsesauce’, a rather playful pun on the popular, now banned song, Horst Wiessel which was typically sung at all Nazi parades and demonstrations of power. Adolf Hitler, and the Nazi party, being the greatest possible expression of Vico’s second age, particularly with its ideas of racial superiority. Himmler’s SS being the ultimate expression of Nazi ideas of  supremacy, and this is coming back to Agamben’s ideas on ancient Roman law and homo sacer, which takes on a very significant resonance in modern history as a consequence of the Final Solution, regarding what became known in Nazi circles as ‘the Jewish question.[14]
 ‘The chamber. Of errings.’ Takes on a very sinister connotation, given the overall context of the book. Joyce, by using almost childish language, and so innocent, not so innocently puns, by inserting such numerous references to political scandals, war and general skulduggery. ‘Starlin and Ser Artur Ghinis. Foamously homely brew, bebattled by bottle, gageure de guegerre.’ Starlin being Stalin, the other infamous 20th century despot with whom Hitler went into an unholy alliance with before the outbreak of WWII. ‘gageure de guegerre’, guerre in French meaning war, and the onomatopoeic resonance, which is such a central quality of the Wake making sure that we understand the sense, through sound, quite well. Interestingly, if Finnegans Wake could be said to be a book for the ear then Comment c’est/How It Is could be said to be one for the mouth. As the mouth is the central human orifice which recurs again and again.[15]
‘Heil, heptarched span of peace!’ abruptly annotated by Joyce in the footnote sections with the comment ‘I’m blest if I can see it.’ All the signs of war being ever present [16].

Fas est dass and foe err you. Impoverment
of the booble by the bauble for the bubble. So
wrap up your worries in your woe ( wumpum-
tum!) and shake down the shuffle for the
throw. For there’s one mere ope for down-
fall ned. As Hanah Levy, shrewd shroplifter,
and nievre anore skidoos with her spoileds.
To add gay touches. For hugh and guy and
goy and jew. A peak in a poke and a pig in a

So that there is absolutely no ambiguity as to what we are actually talking about, Joyce spells out the issue of the times, Europe in the nineteen thirties, only some years after the Wall Street Crash, the rise of the Nazi party and the subsequent premeditated attacks on the Jewish population in Germany.
Joyce continues the playful, Rabelaisean humour; [17] by using stage German – ‘Fas est dass and foe err you’ – to underline the ‘error’ ( echoing ‘The Chamber. Of errings.’ Of the passage previous.) , ‘you’ rhyming with Jew which is further on in the passage actually spelt out, but not before all the Jewish references have been made, such as ‘Levy’ being the name of the ‘shrewd shroplifter’.  But, as we read on, a very specific character from out of twentieth century history emerges, as depicted by one of the centuries most inventive and formidable minds.

wheeze of old windbag, Blusterboss, blowharding
all about all he didn’t do. Hell o’ your troop!
With is the winker for the muckwits
of willsely and nith is the nod for the uproar
napollyon and hitheris poorblond piebold
hoerse. Huirse. With its tricuspidal hauberk
helm coverchaf emblem on. For the man
that broke the ranks on Monte Sinjon. [18]

Beckett in Comment c’est/How It Is as we have seen already with part one ‘avec pim’ continues the Viconean thematic; divinity and the period of wandering before the encounter with Pim, to ideas of possession and violence in part 2 ‘avec Pim’, all of which is announced very clearly in the fourth fragment of part two, two pages into this part of the novel.

prestement comme d’un bloc de glace ou chauffé
à blanc ma main se retire reste suspendue en l’air
u bon moment c’est vague puis lentement redes-
cend et se repose ferme voire légerement proprié
taire déja à plat sur les chairs miraculeuses per
pendiculaire à la fente le moignon du pouce et
les éminence thenar et hypo sur la fesse gauche les
quatre doigts sur l’autre la main droite donc nous
ne sommes pas encore tête-bêche
The phrase ‘légèrement propriétaire’ ‘with a touch of ownership’ signals almost right away into part 2 ‘avec Pim’ the whole Roman idea of ownership in regards to spouses, and which Giambattista Vico is at such pains to describe in Scienza nuova concerning the place of women in the old empire.  Here is Vico on the subject:

Family fathers held the sovereign
right of life or death over their children, and hence despotic dominion
over their possessions.

Possessions. It is one of the key ideas behind all of the grotesque humour of part 2 ‘avec Pim’ in Comment c’est/How It Is. Beckett is as clear and precise about this, as he is pitiless, and it is all tied up with Vico, and ancient Roman law.

de l’ongle donc de l’índex droit je grave et lors-
qu’il se case outombe jusqu’à ce qu’il repousse
d’un autre sur le dos de Pim intact au depart de
gauche á droite et de haute n basse comme dans
notre civilistaion je grave mes majuscules romaines[19]

with the nail then of the right index I carve and when it breaks
or falls until it grows again with another on Pim’s back intact at
the outset from left to right and top to bottom as in our civili-
sation I carve my Roman capitals[20]

Agamben, Giorgio: Homo sacer, Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi Filosofia, Torino, 2005.
Agamben, Giorgio: Homo Sacer, Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen, Stanford University Press, 1998. 
Beckett, Samuel: Comment c’est, Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris, 1992.
Beckett, Samuel: Disjecta – Miscellaneous Writings and a Dramatic Fragment, Edited by Ruby Cohen, Grove Press, New York, First Edition, 1984.
Beckett, Samuel: How It Is, Faber & Faber, London, 2009.
Joyce, James: Finnegans Wake, Wordsworth Classics with an Introduction by Len Platt, London, 2012.
Vico. Giambattista: New Science, Translated by David Marsh with an Introduction by Anthony Grafton, Penguin Books, London, 2001.

[1] Joyce, James: Finnegans Wake, Wordsworth Classics with an Introduction by Len Platt, London, 2012, p.140.
I shall be referring to this edition throughout the text.
[2]  I first presented the essay Embodying “Be-ING” – Beckett and Heraclitus and which appears in More Micks than Dicks ( Famous Seamus, London, 2017. Now, out of print.) at the ‘Samuel Beckett and the ‘State’ of Ireland III conference at University College Dublin, 2/08/2013. In this essay I first made reference to Vico and the correspondences with Comment c’est but it was not until the How It Is Symposium held in the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris by Gare Saint Lazare Players on the 23/02/2017 that I made direct reference to the correspondences between Comment c’est and Finnegans Wake in an open forum discussion with Jean Michel Rabaté, as I had already started my research on Finnegans Wake and the connections with Vico and Comment c’est before the symposium. The following essay are some of the results of my findings, but I should like to make it clear that this particular study is but one of a much larger project, which hopefully one day will result in the publication of a book with the singular objective of attempting to trace in full the many other correspondences uniting all three books, and authors. In many respects, I see this project as the culmination of a life’s work. 
[3] We are living in an age which some have described as the return of the autocrats: Vladimir Putin in Russia, Wei in China and Erdoyan in Turkey, just to name a few, all corresponding with Vico’s ‘heroic’ or second age when the law of force, rather than reason, applies. Russia’s decision to abandon the Soviet American missile treaty instigated by Gorbachev and Reagan during the Cold War years is merely just one illustration of this fact.
[4] There are many fascinating parallel studies available on the similarities between Vico and Nietzsche. Vico’s use in the Scienza nuova of thunder, representative of Jove/Jupiter, has been compared to Nietzsche’s motif of lightening, for example. For a good introduction see:
Price W. David: Vico and Nietzsche; On Metaphor, History and Literature, The Personalist Forum, University of Illinois Press, Vol 10, No 2, Fall 1994, pp. 119- 132.
See also Isaiah Berlin, Allan Meyill, Thomas Norris and David P. Parry.
[5] Beckett, Samuel: Disjecta – Miscellaneous Writings and a Dramatic Fragment, Edited by Ruby Cohen, Grove Press, New York, First Edition, 1984 p.23.
[6]Sebbene già Vico avesse affermato in termini non troppo dissimili la superiorità dell’eccezione, come ‘configurazione ultimi dei fatti’, sul diritto positive ( ‘Indidem iurisprudentia non censetur, qui beata memoria ius theticum sive summon et generale regularum tenet; sed qui acri iudicio videt in causis ultimus factorum peristases seu circumstantias, quae aequitatem sive exceptionem, quibis lege universali eximantur, promereant.’: De antiquissima, cap.ii)’
Agamben, Giorgio: Homo sacer,, il poetere sovrano e la nuda vita, Piccolo Biblioteca Einaudi Filosofia, Torino, 2005, pp. 20, 21.
[7]cinquante mille couples de nouveau au même instant partout le même séparés par le même espace c’est mathématique c’est notre justice’
Beckett, Samuel: Comment c’est, Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris, 1998, p.175.
Vico speaks of ‘tre spezie di diritti naturali’ three types of natural law, or ‘l’ordre natural’ as Beckett repeatedly refers to it in Comment c’est.
[9] FW, II.2, p.272.
[10] Heaney, Seamus: W.B. Yeats, Poems Selected by Seamus Heaney, Faber & Faber, London, First Published 2000, p. 80. 
[11] It is perhaps one of the most extraordinary passages in part 1 of Comment c’est/How It Is when the phrase M’AIME TU CON/DO YOU LOVE ME CUNT is printed in screaming capitals. ( Give page numbers )
[12] FW, p.272.
[13] FW, p.272.
[14] ‘At homos sacer is est, quem populis iudicavit ob maleficium; neque fas est eum immolari, sed qui occidit, parricidi non damnatur; num lege tribunician prima cavetur “ si quis eum, qui eo plebei scito sacer sit, occiderit, parricida ne sit”. Ex quo quivis homo malus ataque improbus sacer appellari solet.’
As Agamben states, ‘Festo, al lemma sacer mons del suo trattato Sul significato delle parole, ci ha conservato memoria di una figura del diritto romana arcaico in cui il carattere della sacralità si lega per la prima volta a una vita umana come tale.’ Sacredness, in this sense, takes on a totally ambiguous meaning, in the eyes of ancient Roman law. Whereby the homo sacer – or sacred man has a dual function; both divine and
Agamben, Giorgio: Homo sacer, Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi Filosofia, Torino, 2005, p.79.
[15] bouche – give quote 
[16] Absolutely must get exact dates of composition, see Richard Ellman, and Joyce’s letters of the period. Is this an exact reference to the ‘Peace in Our Time’ declaration in 1939, or perhaps it must have been earlier. Check. Also, consider the 1972 edition of the annotated notes and corrections made by Joyce in the Rutledge edition. ( 75£, or thereabouts, Book Depository ).Had Joyce read Mein Kampf ? For example.
[17] A contemporary comparison would be Roberto Beninni’s La vita et bella in which the protagonist, played by Beninni himself, jokes all the while he accompanies his son through the madness of the holocaust. 
[18] Joyce, James: Finnegans Wake, Wordsworth Classics, 2012, pp. 273-274.
[19] Beckett, Samuel: Comment c’est, Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris, 1992, p.109.
We must never forget that Beckett’s original publisher in French was linked to the resistance in France during the Nazi occupation, nor indeed how Beckett himself was part of a resistance cell Gloria, and narrowly escaped with his life having been pursued by the Gestapo after hiss friend Alfred Péron had been arrested, he was later to die on the 1st May, 1945, just after having been liberated from a concentration camp. ( p.314, Knowlson, DTF)
[20] Beckett, Samuel: How It Is, Faber & Faber, London, 2009, p. 60.