Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Monday, 11 November 2019, Pages 586 - 588

The reading stopped at "O so mine!" (588.14)

Luke's dumbshow has lasted long. It is not over even when the act between ALP and HCE is over. He mentions the patrolman again. The one who had seen the act by the shadows displayed on the Persian blinds while he was passing by. Now, says Luke, this person will not see much as all is quiet. If he brought his boots to pause in peace (stopped on the road), all that he would hear is the sound of water flowing (the flow of wand was gypsing water...) in the Liffy.
He then brings in two other people, who present another point of view. One of them is Jimmy d'Arcy. We are not told who the other one is. But we do know that they watched a pantomime (puntomine) in the Theatre Regal (Theoatre Regal) eating nuts (nutty woodbines) and Cadbury chocolates (cadbully's choculars).

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Monday, 4 November 2019, Pages 584-586

We stopped at "... homelet not a hothel."  (586.18)

We know already that the sexual act between ALP and HCE was concluded as the hen began in a kikkery key to laugh it off. Was ALP (the hen) laughing at HCE? Was HCE the one who crowed triumphantly cocorico?

Whatever it was, I suspect that in focussing on the act between the two, we have ignored so far other layers Joyce could have hidden in these pages. ALP and HCE could as well be replaced by England and Ireland or equally plausibly by the Catholic and Protestant churches. Worth thinking about though!

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Monday, 28 October 2019, Page 584

We read a bit more on page 584 and stopped at "Cocorico!" (584.27)

We already know that what we are reading is the act of copulation between HCE and ALP. The act that was interrupted when Shem, one of the twins cried in his sleep, making the parents go upstairs and calm him down, continues after they get back to the bed. The time was kicksolock. The act is finally over when a hen begins in a kikkery key way not only to bray like a donkey (neigh, neigh) but also to crow 'Cocorico' like a cock.

The details of the event are masked by Joyce's use of cricket terminology. In the 17 lines we read today, I marked 27 words related to cricket. If you are interested in knowing more about how cricket terminology relates to sex in Finnegans Wake, refer to

The four evangelists:
The act on page 584 is witnessed and described by Luke. One of the questions raised at our reading was how does one know that it is by Luke. Let me try to find a plausible answer. We have been confronting the four evangelists at various place, in various avataras in this book: some time as four old men, in this section as four bedposts. They are always named in the order Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. For example, the last words on page 554 are Mattahah! Marhah! Luahah! Joahanahanahana! In that order. Why this order? Because the first gospel is accepted to be the Gospel of Matthew, the second as that of Mark, third as that of Luke, and the fourth as that of John.

In the section we are reading, the first description of the bedroom scene is given by Matthew starting at 559.21. There we read the following:
A. time.
Act: dumbshow. (according to Oxford dictionary, this means describing something with gestures instead of speech.)
Closeup. Leads
Man with nightcap (obviously HCE) . . . Woman, with curlpins (obviously ALP) . . . Side point of view. First position of harmony..... Check action. Matt (i.e., Matthew)

The second dumbshow starts at page 564.1. There we read the following:
Jeminy, what is the view which now takes up a second position of discordance, tell it please? Mark!

The third dumbshow starts at 582.29. But (unfortunately for me) Joyce does not name that the 'speaker' (gesturer) as Luke. So be it!

So, there is one dumbshow that is yet to come up. By John!

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Monday, 21 October 2019, Pages 583 - 584

We read as far as "I lob him." (584.8)

The paragraph we read has names of various moons of different planets such as Jupiter, Uranus, and Saturn. The next paragraph teems with terminology connected to the game, cricket.

The central theme though is copulation. The man in the street sees the shadows of the act HCE and ALP are engaged in on the Persian blinds of the room. The news will spread far and wide (through all Urania soon). It was half past quick in the morning ... i.e., ... kicksolock in the morm.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Monday, 14 October 2019, Pages 581-583

We stopped at " . . . the bulloge she bears!" (583.4)

What is bulloge? It has many meanings: bullock, belly. It also refers to the place Bulloge in the County of Galway. In this book, it could also mean the bulge (i.e, belly). After all what we have been reading can be interpreted on one level as the sexual act between HCE and ALP. So ALP has to bear the burden of HCE's bulge.

At this stage, FW is becoming quite openly sexual. A witness to what is going on in HCE's bedroom is Luke, one of the four evangelists. The current section (starting with the sentence, Third position of concord;  582.29) is a report of what Luke sees. He has an excellent view from front but does not see HCE completely as female [is] imperfectly masking male. Another witness is the man in the street [who] can see the coming event. We meet him in our next reading.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Monday, 30 September 2019, Pages 579 - 581

We read as far as "... right renownsable patriarch?" (581.5)

At our last reading, we had come across a number of slogans, almost like posters which Earwicker could have put up in his pub. The last ones we had read were: Scrape your souls (soles of shoes?). Commit no miracles. Postpone no bills.

We read more this time. Some nice ones are, Hatenot havenots. My time is on draught. Bottle your own. Love my label like myself.... Oil's wells in our lands. Let earwigged's wivable teach you the dance! (Let Earwicker's able wife teach you the dance?)

We also read that they (HCE & ALP) met and mated and bedded and buckled and got and gave and reared and raised ... tried to mingle and managed to save and feathered foes' nests and fouled their own ...

In this way HCE & ALP represent the most common, the most widely spread type of husband and wife team. Here Comes Everybody! After all that is what Finnegans Wake is supposed to be about.

Please note that there will be no reading on Monday, October 7th.
The next session will be on October 14th.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Monday, 9 September 2019, Pages 577 - 579

We stopped the reading at "Respect the uniform." (579.15)

Important: Please note that the next reading session will be on Monday, September 30th due to renovations being carried out at Strauhof. More information here.