James Joyce Occupies Wall Street

Par for the course has changed, and Finnegans today must hit from tees so far away they can’t see the green, let alone the flag. They move to the park, where the fruit rusts, but the green is real. In Finnegans Wake (1939), Joyce juxtaposes Wall Street with Phoenix Park, foreshadowing Occupy Wall Street:

“The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner
ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since devlinsfirst loved livvy.” (para. 3)

Off the wall, Wall Street, in Finnegan’s retail-priced nighttime view, fall the archetypal financial partners, the “oldparr,” finding themselves now in dire straits, closed streets. The short notice is the layoff, the cancelled contract, down the shoot, out to the park. The fat egg Humpty Dumpty is enjoying a baseball game when he gets the news. A ball is knocked out of the park, and Humpty, once a solid egg, looks to the West for an answer, but is hit in the head and knocked out. The rest is a dream.

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