I'm reading the text that Richard Wagner wrote for his opera Tristan und Isolde. Odd that I should learn a version of this Irish tale from an English translation of a German composer's rendering. Why bother when I'm not even a huge fan of Wagner and his operas? I'm reading James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. The "Wake" draws on many, many sources, one being the aforementioned opera. Another is Giambattista Vico's philosophical treatise, "New Science," the third edition (1744) of which I plowed through this summer. English translation. Parts were interesting and others deadly.
But reading Finnegans Wake is a daily meditation on words, even if I don't follow a sense. But: Finnegan dies from a fall off of a ladder. When he was 7 years old, Vico fell off of a ladder and hit his head. There are four stages in Vico's development of civilization(s), the "Viconian Cycle": that of the divine, the heroic, the human (democratic), and the monarchy - which to Vico was the epitome of governmental rule.
But there are connections, somehow to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
Tristan: The daylight! The daylight!
To treacherous daylight my bitterest foe,
laments and loathing!
As you the light,
Oh could I extinguish the lording day with its beacons,
thus venging love for its sufferings, etc.
(Tristan and Isolde are spending the night together behind King Mark's back to whom Isolde is betrothed).
we darkened for you, faulterer, in the year of mourning but we'll fidhil to the dim twinklers when the streamy morvenlight calls up the sunbeam, his streamy pantaloons.
The dawn will come.
And this echoes Homer's "Rosy fingers of dawn on the wine-dark sea."