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“Shem is as short for Shemus as Jem is joky for Jacob. A few roughnecks are still getatable who pretend that aboriginally he was of respectable stemming…” and the text eventually continues to “describe” Shem’s appearance - his “bodily getup”. To read the book is to create or recreate it, and at each moment to read the Glass is to create and recreate it and neither has a single “master” or “author”. The large text at the bottom right in this work is a page from The Contexts of Reading: Duchamp La Lecture “Combat de Boxe” by Carol Plyley James (an unpublished PhD dissertation): “It is difficult to agree on any sort of common terminology when discussing Duchamp. The usual ‘book’ and ‘reader’ even ‘text’ and image are inadequate and even thrown into question”. Duchamp like Joyce needed to create a new language for his own work in progress, and the very tiny details that make up this large image will need to take a very different format than the one provided here, and as always this is something that is being thought through. Shem is “the pen man” or any writer or artist but particularly Joyce himself. Shem and Shaun are HCE’s ‘sons’ in “brothers broil” and they can be articulated as the new HCE or “everyman” or “ubermensch” to come.

The image: Shem FW.169
Background Shem FW.169Shem FW. 170Shem FW. 171Shem FW. 172Shem FW. 173Shem FW. 174Shem FW. 174 (blueprint)Shem FW. 175Shem FW. 175 (blueprint)Shem FW. 176 << Back