Throw out science fiction and you find few ways to write about vast spans in time. Woolf gave little reason for why her character, Orlando, lives so long; you can call it simple magic, I see it as a feverous  dream. Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso may have given Woolf the name and an idea. I see both as feverous-love dreams. Ariosto transports from place to place; Woolf does from time to time and from sex to sex.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez, borrows from Woof. The literary term Magic realism = dream magic applied to the real world. Márquez takes the history of Colombia and reinterprets it in dream imagery; he never tells you the story resides in a dream, but the imagery fits like sheets on a bed.

James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake reads like a Stewie Griffin novel. Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy character may make a fitting James Joyce. Finnegan’s Wake will go much further over people’s heads than Family Guy, but they share similar puns. Joyce does Ireland much like Márquez does Columbia, but the man from Ireland uses a drunker dreamer. Finnegans Wake reads like a drunken Einstein lecture on physics. If you say you understand it; you are a liar. You may grasp aspects, but no one above the grave knows what lies in this other world.


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