By Barbara DiBernard
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Extra info for Alchemy and Finnegans Wake
U 678) Bloom is pointedly called a "kinetic poet"the type of artist Stephen deplores in Portrait, and related to those alchemists whose aim was material. While Bloom has the qualities of humanity and charity which Stephen lacks, and while there is "a touch of the artist about old Bloom" (U 235), he will never be a real artist. In fact, although in Joyce's work there are many artist figures, there are none capable of uniting the material and the spiritual, rubbish and art; that is to say, none are capable of writing the works of Joyce.
This resulted in a dual alchemical tradition. Many alchemists, whether for the love of knowledge or the love of wealth, worked on the physical plane, trying to transmute base metals into gold, but others felt that the process was spiritual only, concerned with the perfection of the soul. Many tracts claim that the true alchemist is pure of heart, has no interest in obtaining material wealth, and will not transmit the sacred knowledge to the unworthy or use it for improper ends. These "spiritual" alchemists derided the ''puffers," those short-sighted alchemists mentioned above who missed all the spiritual implications of the alchemical texts, taking the instructions absolutely literally.
4 A similar collection of refuse has gone into making of this mound: Countlessness of livestories have netherfallen by this plage, flick as flowflakes, litters from aloft, like a waast wizzard all of whirlworlds. Hereinunder lyethey. Llarge by the smal an' everynight life olso th'estrange, babylone the greatgrandhotelled with tit tit tittlehouse, alp on earwig, drukn on ild, likeas equal to anequal in this sound seemetery which iz leebez luv. 2636) Like the alchemical lapis, contraries compose this rubbish heapthe great and the small, ALP and HCE, sound and sight.