Friday, December 15, 2006

The Big Fight

'The Killer' - fast fists, flashy footwork!

'Slugger' - powerful, puissant, pugnacious!

The Big Fight – a round by round analysis.
The superfight of the year, unquestionably. James ‘The Killer’ Joyce versus Marcel ‘Slugger’ Proust, two undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champions going up against each other for the first time. This bout had to deliver, other recent big fights failing to live up to the hype … Pynchon offering only token resistance to Burroughs and suffering a knock-out due to a vicious right hook in the third round, Hemingway talking up his chances against Celine pre-fight, only to quit on his stool at the end of the fifth, having taking a one-sided drubbing.
Two great champions, two fascinatingly different styles – Joyce renowned for his fast footwork and lightning fists, Proust a byword for stamina and power, both men possessed of a devastating knockout punch.

Both fighters out of their corners fast, Joyce moving around the ring, Proust coming straight forward. No feeling their way into the bout, both men let fly with iconic opening sentences; Proust leading with a vicious -Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure. Undaunted, Joyce comes straight back with -Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay. Joyce, master of the multilingual, follows up with Eerre-revie, pass’Evant notre Adame, d’erre rive en reviere, catching Proust on the back foot and wobbling him. Proust covers up as Joyce looks for an opening. The ref looks on as Joyce flails away, trying to end it early. The bell finds Proust trapped against the ropes.
Proust out first, straight forward and throwing big lefts, Joyce using the famous ‘Joycean shuffle’ to skip out of the way. Proust, using his superior weight, presses forward, Joyce using his feet to stick and run.
Joyce gets in the first really big shot of the fight, hitting Proust with a sharp -Enigmas, me boyo, who was M’Intosh? Where was Moses when the lights went out?
Proust hits back with –Is Je Marcel? Is Marcel me?
Quick as you like, Joyce returns with -What the bloody bleeding hell is the Wake actually about? Proust hits the canvas and is saved by the bell.
Proust keeps coming forward, it’s the relentless accumulation of minute detail and the extended philosophical digressions that wears his opponents down. Joyce, the protean ringmaster, employing a dazzling variety of styles to bamboozle the other guy, keeps out of trouble and uses his fast fists and tongue to keep Proust off-balance. A shaken Proust is forced to take heavy punishment as Joyce pours it on. Proust’s bulk proves more of a hindrance as Joyce dances around him. The bell finds Proust barely hanging in there.
The tide of the fight turns with Proust using his weight and the steady accumulation of pressure to bully Joyce around the ring. This is how we expected it to pan out, Proust’s one man war of attrition against Joyce’s ring generalship.
It’s Joyce’s turn against the ropes as Proust bores in with heavy shots, throwing a stunning series of uppercuts and hooks, but Joyce is famous for his strong chin. -They told me you were finished. Jim, grunts Proust. –They lied to you, champ, they lied to you, comes back Joyce.
Joyce faces oblivion as Proust catches him with a cracking – Young girls in flower, my flower girls, so fast they move! Only willpower keeps Joyce on his feet and in the fight, but he’s tiring fast.
Never count Joyce out, his stamina and courage are unquestioned. He is out like a shot from his corner, leading with –My seven rainbow girls, every colour of the spectrum! Issy, the face in the mirror! Proust is caught flush and has to retreat under a hail of blows.
The bell finds both men centre ring, toe to toe.
Joyce, the master tactician, moves in. – The most fully realised female characters in literature … Gretta Conroy, Molly Bloom! While you, Mlle Proust, practice a peculiar form of literary transvestitism, Albertine merely a stand-in for the chauffeur whose trousers you want to get into!
Proust is floundering. – No, no, my good Joyce, Mama would never allow! Poor Mama! Proust can only hang on and wait for the bell.
Both men are winded, and circle each other warily. It is here that the corner men prove their worth. Proust’s Swann and Marcel are the best in the business and shout instructions to their man. In Joyce’s corner, Dedalus and Bloom are deep in conversation, discussing tactics. Both fighters score with big lefts.
Proust proves he is a technician of, the highest order. –Time, my dear Joust, du dessin, de l’architecture, de la pensee!
Joyce is a master counterpuncher. – Your genus it’s worldwide, your spacest sublime! But, my dearest Proyce, why can’t you beat time?
Proust gets in an early shot. – The madeleine, a cup of lime blossom tea, Proustian recall! Joyce stands his ground. – A jar of yellow dripping scooped out like a boghole, a Gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of Burgundy. Feel the mustard haunch on y’. The seedcake! Proust is wobbled once more as Joyce steams in. -Joycean wordplay!
The final round. Both men touch gloves centre ring, each acknowledging a worthy opponent. As Proust moves in, looking to end it, Joyce demonstrates some fancy footwork. – Float like a gracehoper, sting like an ondt, Proust m’bucko! Greekjew is Jewgreek! Proust staggers but stands his ground. -The little phrase, my special music. Just a little patch of yellow!
There is nothing to separate the two fighters as the final bell sounds. It’s chaos as both corners invade the ring. Marcel winks at Dedalus, who mutters to Bloom – more Greek than the Greeks, that one. Both fighters circle the ring, each lost in his own thoughts.
Both men are spent and can now only await the counting of the votes and the verdict of the judges.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really amazing. You obviously have a brilliant knowledge of Joyce and Proust. Now, that's what I call impressive.

8:39 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Cheers! Thanks for that.
Who would come out the winner? I'm putting my money on a points draw, honour intact for everyone.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

But you're pitting a blind man against an asthmatic. That's like one of those videos of homeless men scrapping for a bottle of meths.

Have you no shame?

10:15 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Bum fight! Go on, kill him!
I am, it must be said, shameless.
Joyce would be flailing away, missing every punch, while poor old Proust would be collapsed breathless in the corner.
Mind you, for a bottle of Fendant de Sion, Joyce would have been tempted to climb in the ring with Tyson.

1:05 PM  
Blogger kek-w said...

Great post, and this has no particular relevence, but don't you think that Proust looks a little bit like Nikola Tesla? So maybe some electro-velancy death-rays in the bout somewhere...

7:08 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

There is a bit of a resemblance ... never saw Tesla as a bit of a perfumed poseur before.
Wonder what his attitude was to dunking his cake in a nice cup of tea?

7:27 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

a blind man against an asthmatic?
sounds like modern day reality tv to me.

9:57 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Yes, should anyone want to pitch such an idea to the relevant production companies, I'm sure there could be a lucrative contract in it.

12:45 PM  
Blogger kek-w said...

WWF Playwrites.

Thesbian Deathmatch.

Author Throwdown.


8:05 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Hackbout ... I like that.
Somewhere underground in Pere-Lachaise, the sound of a professional layabout spinning at great speed can be heard.
Joyce, I'd imagine, would only smirk.

7:04 AM  

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