Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Monday, 18 March 2019, Pages 539 - 540

We stopped at "... quite out of time now." (540.31)

Continuing to talk about himself, Earwicker, 'pro clam a shun's (proclaims) how 'things are not as they were' since he came to Dublin and 'platzed ... residenze' (established his home) there. He also opened a pub for the 'mean straits male and evorage fimmel' (average man of the street and average woman.)

But Finnegans Wake would not be Finnegans Wake if he does not embellish his statements, hiding in them, not only names of various cities - Prague, New York, Madras, Berlin ... - but also names of well known plays by Ibsen - Peer Gynt, Caesar & Galilean, The Lady from the Sea, Hedda Gabler*, Ghosts, When We Dead Awaken, Pillars of Society and Rosmersholm.

* Watch the 1962 movie, Hedda Gabler, with Ingrid Bergman here!

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Monday, 11 March 2019, Pages 537 - 539

We stopped reading at " ... that this is to come." (539.7)

Continuing his defence, HCE justifies his behaviour that he did not cophetuise milady's maid. This refers to the African king, Cophetua, who married a beggar maid. To find out who HCE's beggar maid i.e., milady's maid is, we have to go back to page 530 where we had read that the 4 old men conducting the enquiry had decided to call as witness, Kitty the Beads, who had worked as a maid in the HCE household and pub. She had described how she had made HCE go all hot for her (I messaged his dilltoyds sausepander mussels on the kisschen table; 531.5)

According to HCE, it is 'Utterly improperable!'  He would not do it (catch venereal diseases) for any amount of money, not for all ecus in the Cunzie House, (the mint in old Edinburgh according to McHigh). He addresses his inquirers, saying, 'My herrings! The surdity of it!' (Meine Herren! The absurdity of it!). This is as absurd as the rumour about him in the Phoenix park with the two girls because in his own words, 'I would not know to contact such gretched youngsteys ...' 

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Monday, 4 March 2019, Pages 536 - 537

We stopped at "... milady's maid." (537.32)

As I understand it, HCE's defence is going on. It is masked by Joyce in sentences sprinkled abundantly with the names of the past Lord Mayors of Dublin - names that almost none of today's readers know or recognise -, names of various cities (Copenhagen, New York, Prague, Sofia, ...), hints to Bible, Oscar Wilde, and I think, to Charles Dickens.* Joyce refers even to Zürich, when he makes HCE exclaim, 'Sacks eleathury!' (Sechseläuten / Sächsilüüte / The six o'clock ringing of the bells)

In any case, HCE announces that he has told the inquisitors all about his past (... have bared my whole past ...), asking them to give him two months when he is sentenced. When that happens he will protest at various places such as Thing of all Things, or court of Skivinis**. He even utters his own version of the Lord's Prayer, intoning, 'Haar Faagher, wild heart in Homelan; Harrod's be the naun. Mine kinder come, mine wohl be won' or in non-HCE version, 'Our Father, Which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.'

* I see references to Charles Dickens's novel, David Copperfield, in the following:
reekeries (p. 536.9) to the house Rookery in which Copperfield was born
Stolterforth (p. 537/8) to Steerforth, Copperfield's friend
peggot (p. 537/1) to Peggotty, who was the housekeeper

** According to McHugh, Court of Skivini governed London in A. D. 1191 and Allthing is the Icelandic National Assembly.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Monday, 25 February 2019, Pages 534 - 536

Our reading stopped at "Poor Felix Culapert!"  (536.8)

Last week we had heard HCE defending himself before the 4 interrogators. Talking about his wife, he had pronounced, "She is my bestpreserved wholewife..." and that "... there is luttrelly not one teaspoonspill of evidence ..." to prove his wickedness in connection with that incidence in the Phoenix park.

On these pages he asks them whether they had seen such a thing? (Happen seen sore eyes belived? i.e, Haben Sie so eins erlebt?) He protests against the person who made public such libel. HCE calls that person a cad (caca cad), saying, "Sherlock is lorking for him."

In other words, HCE's defence is continuing...

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Monday, 18 February 2019, Pages 532 - 534

We read as far as "... holding down the throne." (534.24)

Earlier in the work, Joyce had used in many places a single idea as the thread connecting a number of paragraphs/pages. For instance, the names of the rivers of the world was the thread running through pages 196 to 216.
Now it is the turn of cities to connect ideas, sentences, paragraphs and pages. The paragraph starting with Amtsadam (page 532) hints at Bucharest, Mecca, Jerusalem, Brussels, Oslo, London, Gretna Greene, New York, Stockholm, Liverpool, Tokyo, Kyoto, Athens, Belfast, Rome, Peking, Lambay Island, Frankfurt and Dublin, among others.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Monday, 11 February 2019, 531 - 532

We stopped at "... ouija ouija wicket up." (532.18)

Last week we had read that the 4 old men want to call Kitty the Beads, the Mandame of Tipknock Castle (530/32) to answer their questions. According to McHugh, Kitty the Beads lived near Ticknock, County Dublin, and she carried rosary beads. Joseph Campbell identifies her as the female janitor at HCE's pub.

What follows is her statements (hidden among many words that are to do with kitchen, cooking, ...) about HCE, how she massaged him till he was red in the face, etc. In Joseph Campbells' rendition of parts of page 531, she says, "He sizzled there, watching my picture as the refined soubrette, with my broached bust. And he never saw anything finer than he saw when I started so ladylike to leg a jig, highly tight, kickakickkack...."

At this point HCE himself participates in the inquisition conducted by the 4 old men.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Monday, 4 February 2019, Pages 529 - 531

The reading stopped at "Master's gunne he warrs the best." (531.4)

When I think about the pages we read this week, I have to remind myself - constantly - that what we are reading takes place in the dream world.  Earwicker is dreaming and we are kind of voyeurs of his dreams. This is the only way I can extract some sense out of these pages.

This chapter (chapter 3, book 3) started with Shaun being subjected to interrogation by four old men (four wise men, four evangelists, ...).  Now others are being interrogated. As Joseph Campbell writes, "The whole great world of the sons and the grandsons simply vanishes like a dream, and only the primordial, archetypal presence of HCE and ALP remains." A couple of things they want to know about HCE is whether he is the co-owner of a circus (hengster's circus near North Great Denmark Street; 529.33), whether he sent his son to buy the usual jar of porter ... and set it down before the wife ... bidding her mine the hoose (mind the house)..., while he and his buddies go rampaging the roads? (530.12 ff)