Jerusalem by Alan Moore is a novel that takes place in a small section of Northampton, England but in different times and planes. The narrative is told through several people, some experiencing the same events, and some seemingly disconnected from the overall storyline. Mr. Moore is known for his influential graphic novels, including Watchmen, and V for Vendetta.
So, I decided to write posts about some of my favorite sections of the novel, before a final review.
- 1280 pages
- Publisher : Liveright
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 9781631491344
The chapter Round the Bend in Jerusalem by Alan Moore was one I kept hearing about but was not looking forward to reading. This chapter is told from the viewpoint of Lucia Anna Joyce, daughter of James Joyce, and is written in the style her father wrote Finnegans Wake.
It took me a few false starts to read this cryptic chapter before I delved right into the reading. It was incomprehensible at first, you have to read it out loud, the whole sentence not word by word, and then decipher it through some mystical knowledge of history, literature, and 1920s pop culture.
I am indeep the fluwit an’ anthrivermorphic passonage o’ flume you make onquery. Who my tubey, my gut wormin, and so firth and slo forth?”
and the translation
“I am indeed the fluid and anthropomorphic personage of whom you make inquiry. Who might you be, my good woman, and so forth and so forth?”
I owe a debt of gratitude to the website Annotations for Jerusalem by Alan Moore. They did a masterful job of translating each paragraph, as seen above, and taking each word, yes… word, and giving several of the ways in which it could be interpreted within the narrative. Without their help, I probably would have s till been trying to decipher it or skip it altogether as, frankly, it has almost nothing to do with the overall arc of the book.
But then, a strange thing happened – I started to enjoy this chapter very much. Especially when I figure out the meanings of some of the sentences, and the playfulness of the words within them.
Moore’s references are all over the place, Shakespeare, Arthurian Legends, world folklore, the poetry of J.K. Stephen, Greek mythology, Alice in Wonderland, Herbie Popnecker, and yes, even his own work, From Hell, about Jack The Ripper. Lucia even meet Violet Gibson, who tried to assassinate Benito Mussolini and spent the rest of her life in St. Andrews Infirmary, even though there’s no evidence the two met.
Synopsis of this chapter:
Lucia Joyce wonders about the St. Andrews Infirmary. During her walk, she recalls her life, and her famous father, and meets other inmates some dead, some alive. Throughout the reader is unsure if the unstable Lucia is alive, dead, dreaming, or anywhere in between.
Alan Moore took a lot of liberties in this chapter, the one that bothered me the most is that he states, and describes, the way Lucia’s brother, Giorgio, raped her over the years. This has absolutely no proof at all and I can’t believe someone would make that up with real people just for kicks.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book as a gift
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