Thursday, 15 March 2018

Monday, 12 March 2018, P. 453 - 454

We read as far as "Seekit headup!" (454.36)

Shaun / Jaun is leaving. We do not know where to or what for. Is he leaving to simply deliver the post? Perhaps we shall decipher what his mission is later in the book.

Right now he says, that his going will be beneficial to himself (my gala bene fit). He also asks them not to grieve his departure (let ye not be getting grief out of it) because better times await them (Lo, improving ages wait ye! In the orchard of bones.)  Does this orchard of bones (a real lovely phrase) refer to the cemetery?

He is certainly referring to afterlife in Elysium (among the fieldnights eliceam and later when he mentions seekit headup - Egyptian Elysian Fields).

Soon Shaun's thought/talk turns to Lent. Though the said purpose of Lent is self-denial, fasting, doing penance etc, Shaun advises the liddle giddles to 'Drink it up, ladies, please, as smart as you can lower it!' And then he bids them goodbye saying, 'Parting's fun.' In fact he says, 'Goodbye, swisstart, goodbye!' (Did Joyce have a Swiss tart the day he wrote this?)

Shaun/Jaun leaves. Some funny thing must have happened just then because he bursts out into a hearty laugh. (Something of a sidesplitting nature must have occurred to westminstrel Jaunathaun ...) He stops and asks the girls to pray (... my sorellies. It's prayers in layers all the thumping time.)

Friday, 9 March 2018

Monday, 5 March 2018, P. 451 - 453

We stopped in the middle of a sentence at "... Holy Prohibition and Jaun Dyspeptist..." (453.15)

Obviously we are approaching the end of Shaun's sermon to Issy and the 28 girls. It looks as if Shaun is going to leave on an errand. (... go forth.... from our nostorey house, upon this benedictine errand....). He has been thinking about it for some time, for example when he sat for his tripos (at Cambridge) where he read Tennyson's Morte d'Arthur / video of the reading here, (Tennis Flonnels Mac Courther) while he took photographs (peeking into the focus), while he listened to his phonograph and radio (pricking up ears to my phono ... and picking up airs from th'other over th'ether).... He, in fact, is looking forward to meeting a king, Erin himself.

But right now Shaun is beginning to get sunsick (I declare to Jeshuam I'm beginning to get sunsick!), him being a half Norwegian. This is something amazing as it is mentioned at the start of this episode that it was the zero-hour with mid-night's chimes ringing (see, page 403).

Well, anything is possible in the world of dreams ;)

Friday, 2 March 2018

Monday, 26 February 2018, P. 450 - 451


The reading on coming Monday, 5 March 2018, starts at 4 p.m. (16.00h). The reason is that some 40 odd visitors from Milan will be occupying much of the Foundation's space that day.

Back to Shaun's sermon:
We stopped at "Not a spot of my hide but you'd love to seek and scan again!" (451.26)

We read last week that Shaun had gone musical and had recited, 'do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si' to his sister Issy. Of course, he did not do it so straightforwardly, and recited in the fashion of FW, 'I give, a king, 
to me, she does, alone, up there, yes see'. (For those who missed the reading on the 19th February these are the translations of Italian words do, re, mi, etc into English!)

The history or origin of this system of musical syllables is interesting in its own way. They are taken from a medieval hymn in Latin (reproduced below) for John, the Baptist.

Ut queant laxis
resonare fibris,
Mira gestorum
famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti
labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes

Read more about it here!

Shaun is boasting about his musical abilities, saying, '... you can't cadge me off the key. I've a voicical lilt too true!....I'm athlone in the lillabilling of killarnies.' (He never goes off key.... he is at home in singing Lily of Killarney...). He thinks of John McCormack, the tenor (I sport a what youmacormack in the latter part of my throughers.)

Suddenly we are transported into the world of poisons, of heimlocked, laburnums, Belladama (hemlock, laburnum, belladonna) because 'What's god for the gorse in a goad for the garden ' (What is good for the goose is good for the gander)!

There is of course much more to be discovered / uncoded on these pages. Have fun!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Monday, 19 February 2018

Stopped at "... all eclosed asong with them." (450.21).

It was in fact asong, i.e, song/music system that Shaun wants the liddle giddles to sing/learn. He tells them, 'I give, a king, to me, she does, alone, up there, yes see, I double give,.... In other words he is teaching them 'do re me fa sol la, si, do'...., the tonic sol-fa system of music.

Still talking to his sister, Shaun confesses that he would ask no greater kindness from fate than to stay where he is, with his tinny of brownie's tea, under the invocation of Saint James Hanway, servant of Gamp...
Of course, he does not mean a tin of Brownies and tea! According to McHugh, brownies stand for junior girl guides. Saint Jamas Hanway is Jonas Hanway, who was the first man to carry an Umbrella in London. That Jamas Hanway is linked to Jonas Hanway is underscored by the qualification given to him as 'servant of Gamp.' Mrs Gamp is a well known character from the novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens. It is said in that novel that Mrs. Gamp always carried an umbrella.
Mrs Gamp
Shaun is also looking for girl (the nippy girl of my heart's appointment) but he can wait with patience (I am in no violent hurry). Meanwhile he will listen to birdcalls (lots of names of birds follow this announcement) and go fishing (a variety of fish is mentioned at this point!)

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

We stopped at "Do you know what, liddle giddles?" (448.25)

The question is do we - even if we are no liddle giddles - know what these pages tell us! Brother Shaun, who has been lecturing sister Issy, has progressed from announcing, 'I'll tear up your lampshades and lock all your trotters in the closet, I will, and cut your silk-skin into garters,' to proclaiming, 'Iy waount yiou!' as after all 'Aerwenger's (Earwicker) my breed...' Of course, on one level, this is quite a bit incestuous...

Soon Shaun's interest in Issy becomes more prosaic. He wants her to join him in rendering social service, to adopt fosterlings with him. Along with her, he wants to circumcivicise (circumcise? civilise?) all Dublin country. He is obviously bothered by how dirty Dublin is, wondering when it will get its wellbelavered white like l'pool and m'chester (washed white like Liverpool and Manchester.)

Shaun also asks them, the vocational scholars - is he addressing here Issy and the as many as twentynine hedge daughters out of Benent Saint Berched's national nightschool, whom we had met at the beginning of this chapter? -, to write essays, mentioning a varied number of suitable topics such as 'Explain why there is such a number of orders of religion in Asia! Why such an order number in preference to any other number? Why any number in any order at all!'

Naturally umpteen number of songs build the background to the utterings of Shaun here!  

Monday, 12 February 2018

Monday, 5 February 2018

Apologies for not being able to update the blog for this day. I was not present at the reading!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Monday, 29 January 2018

We read as far as "Fair man and foul suggestion." (445.9)

As Shaun seems to have gotten increasingly aggressive about what he will do, how he will treat anyone who sings/says (?) 'Charley you're my darling'* to his sister, Issy, we started wondering about the context of all these vicious threats and asking ourselves whether Shaun is really such a sadistic person. After all he himself proclaims, 'I'll have plenary satisfaction,...'

Below is what Joseph Campbell** writes about the general context of Finnegans Wake:

"Running riddle and fluid answer, Finnegans Wake is a mighty allegory of the fall and resurrection of mankind. It is a strange book, a compound of fables, symphony, and nightmare - a monstrous enigma beckoning imperiously from the shadowy pits of sleep. Its mechanics resemble those of a team, a dream which has freed the author from the necessities of common logic and has enabled him to compress all periods of history, all phases of individual and racial development, into a circular design, of which every part is beginning, middle, and end.
In a gigantic wheeling rebus, dim effigies rumble past, disappear into foggy horizons, and are replaced by other images, vague but half-consciously familiar. On this revolving stage, mythological heroes and evens of remotest antiquity occupy the same spatial and temporal planes as modern personages and contemporary happenings. All time occurs simultaneously; Tristram and the Duke of Wellington, Father Adam and Humpty Dumpty merge in a single percept. Multiple meanings are present in every line; interlocking allusions to key words and phrases are woven like fugal themes into the pattern of the work. Finnegans Wake is a prodigious, multifaceted mono myth, not only the cauchemar of a Dublin citizen but the dreamlike saga of guilt-stained, evolving humanity."

Personally I find consolation when I think of what we read as taking place in a big dream world!

* Charlie, He's my Darling is a Scottish song and is available in many versions. Here is one that is attributed to the Scottish poet and lyricist, Robert Burns (1759 -1796).
** 'A skeleton key to Finnegans Wake, Unlocking James Joyce's Masterwork' by Joseph Campbell & Henry Morton Robinson, New World Library, p.3, 2005, ISBN 1-57731-405-0