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Carola Giedion-Welcker, remembering her first meeting with James Joyce in
recalls speaking with him about the growing mechanization in the world.
"Suddenly Joyce
asked -- as if finally to make a sharp verbal clarification ... 'Tell me,
what sort of an idea do you
think the word "automobile" would have aroused in the Middle Ages?
Certainly only that of a
divine being' he added without waiting for my answer, 'a self mover, thus a
god.' " She
continues, "Joyce wanted to crystallize a cultural state, or better yet the
cultural crisis of a
century. For God and technology had moved critically close to each other."

With a disgust I have learned to ignore, I propel myself among these
pre-staged personalities, among these unending dependabilities,
male and
female humans, dogs, schools, mountains, quotidian and faded
terrors and
thrills. For a few thousand years now you put forth this axiomatic
humanoid of Oedipus, propagate it like an obscurantist epidemic,
castration complex man, the man of the natal trauma, upon which you
up your amorous encounters, your occupations, your neckties and
purses, your progress, your arts, your churches. I detest this
natural son of
Oedipus, I disdain and abjure his pre-established biology. And, if
this is so
because man is born, then all that is left for me is to abjure
birth, abjure
any axiom even if it boasts of the appearance of a certitude.
Upholding like
a curse this quotidian psychology-consequence of birth, we will
unearth the potential of bursting into the world extrinsic of the
trauma. The man of Oedipus deserves his destiny.

-Gherasim Luca (rendered from Romanian by Julian Semilian &


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