(FW) Finnegans Wake: Throwin’ Whimsy around Like Blazes, Book I, Ch 4, 79-through 80.



A Key to Pagination

[Page nn-] The page begun at the previous monthly session but not completed.

[Page nn] A full page completed.

[Page nn+] a page with one paragraph completed but the page incomplete.


  • Campbell and Robinson’s A Skeleton Key to Finnegan’s Wake
  • Tindall’s A Reader’s Guide to Finnegans Wake
  • Combined Lexicon and Occassional Summaries from Glosses of Finnegans Wake (finwake.com) and Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake 

100 Words

[Note: My speculation will always appear in brackets so that you can easily ignore it.]


In November, I got underway at Book I, Chapter 4 on Page 79, and continued to the end of Page 80.


Campbell and Robinson’s A Skeleton Key to Finnegan’s Wake

Page 79-

[BEGIN at PARA “Ladies did not….”]

Kate Strong, the old scavenger – widow who knew the city during those filthy times, paints for us a dreary, glowing, vivid picture. She lived in a home like cottage of Elvin – stone with rubbish stinking everywhere” (84).



Page 80

“At her time, the place was called “Finewell’s Keepsacre,” it was later tautaubapptossed ‘Pat’s Purge.’ And she chose this place because all over it were the complicated traceries of the past: fossil foot prints, boot marks, elbow dints, etc. What better time – place could anyone ask for the hiding of a love letter, …?” (84).

“Finally, of course, the heap is composed of Humpty Dumpty fragmants, and so it is the old man after all .”(84n6).

“The midden mound from which a letter is later to be extracted is here located in Phoenix Park. It is the place where All –Father and his woman were making love when the thunder crack was heard” (85n8).


William York Tindall’s A Reader’s Guide to Finnegans Wake

Page 79-

While previous pages focused on honoraria of riches to accompany the deceased to the afterlife. Tindall notes here an emphasis on decay. He equates the Park to a dump and its refuse ” droppings of biddies, stinkend pusshies, moggies’ duggies, rotten wichawubbles, festering rubbages…” (79.23-36).

Tindall notes that the Dublin motto under the proximity of Skin -the-Goat to Phoenix Park, a stop on the tramline, shifts [to mention the Invincibles] “The viability of vicinals” (86).

Arbour, bucketroom, caravan, ditch?” and “Coach, carriage, wheelbarrowdungcart?” These series of four are commonly used to echo the Viconian cycle (Tindall 95n79.25-26).

“‘Pulls a lane picture.’ Context makes the lane Drury Lane, but Joyce also means Yeat’s Hugh Lane, whose gift of pictures to Dublin went to the Tate. ‘Pulls’ means pulling a fast one” (Tindall 95n79.27).


Page 80

“Park and dump are haunted by several of the characters of Le Fanu’s House by the Churchyard: Dangerfield, Fireworker O’Flaherty, Nutter, Castlemallard, Archer, Sturk. Living at the edge of the Park, they are often in it” (Tindall 85n80.8-10).

WYT marks the Park as suitable for the burial of a body or letter. “Dug up, each implies renewal:….” Gods and “Viconian thunderers” administer the site which could be any park Phoenix or Hyde do equally well (Tindall 86).

Issy and the twenty-eight girls are a “school for scamper” (80.20-36), paying pennyfares to take the Lucan tram to Howth. They are now Pilgrims on their way to Compestella in scalloped hats and under the blessing of Saint Fiacre (Tindall 86).


Glosses of Finnegans Wake (finwake.com)
Roland McHugh’s Annotations to Finnegans Wake [Entries below introduced by line numbers “l n.nn” and italicized]


Page 79-

ironed – fitted, furnished, covered, armed, or strengthened with iron + Irish Times (newspaper).

Joyce’s note: ‘*C* calls city after eldest’ (‘*C*’ written over a ‘C’ (for Cain)) → Lamy: Commentarium in Librum Geneseos I.257: ‘Not until two hundred or three hundred years after the birth of Enoch did Cain found a city, to which he gave the name in honour of his eldest son’ (Genesis 4:17).

Danadune= Dana-dun (donedun) (gael) – Fort of Dana (Ana) [goddess of dead] + Danair-Dun (danirdun) (gael) – Danes’ Fort.

l.15 Danu: mother-goddess of Taatha De Danann

dead= deed – that which is done, acted, or performed by an intelligent or responsible agent; an act.

l.16 where indeeth we shall calm decline, our legacy unknown.= Moore: song When in DeathI Shall Calmly Recline {The Bard’s Legacy} {air unknown}

soil= ordure, excrement; the dung of animals used as a compost; manure.

frockful= Forficula – Latin “small shears or scissors,” pincers (of an earwig), diminutive of forfex, the typical genus of the earwig family.

inyon= inghean (inyen) (gael) – daughter, young woman

l.16 (Legend that Cain got idea of burial from seeing an earwig by Able’s body)

godkin= godkin – a lokal deity + William Shakespeare: Hamlet III.1.76: ‘bare bodkin’ (For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, / The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, / The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, / The insolence of office and the spurns / That patient merit of the unworthy takes, / 

When he himself might his quietus make / With a bare bodkin?)

lugod= Lugh (lu) (gael) – god of sun and genius

doo= dubh (du) (gael) – black

prettily= prettily – to the point; expressively, aptly, neatly; nicely; gently, softly.

[“inyon you liked any erenoon or efter would take her bare godkin out, or an even pair of hem, (lugod! lugodoo!) and prettily pray with him-” Bodkin and hem suggest sewing and perhaps young girls hiding their nakedness.] 

tapette= tapette – a passive male homosexual; an effeminate man + tapette (French Slang) – tongue; homosexual (avoir une fière tapette (French Slang) – to be a chatterbox).

marry= song: I Know Where I’m Going: ‘…the dear knows who I’ll marry’

Arbour= arbour – a garden of herbs or flowers; a flower-garden; orchard + a, b, c, d + nursery rhyme Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggarman, Thief.

[END of PARA “wheelbarrow, dungcart?”]

Strong, Kate = Chart says: “The most odious of Dublin tax collectors… a woman, Kate Strong. The people erected an effigy of her, armed with a toll-dish of utterly unfair proportions.” Fitzpatrick says: “Katherine Strong, a widow, inherited from her deceased husband the post of city scavenger, and a grant of tolls for performing the duties of that office. The lady… seems to have been much more active in collecting her dues than in removing the abundant filth of the city, notwithstanding the oath the city scavengers were bound to take.” [Kate Strong and therefore Kathleen ni Houlihan are tax collectors because Ireland extracts blood and treasure from her people.]

lane= lone, lonesome; a narrow passageway between fences + Lane, Sir Hugh (1875-1915) – nephew of Lady Gregory’s who offered some good paintings to Dublin, but when Dublin dragged its feet, he gave them to the Tate. When he went down on the Lusitania, he left a will, again giving the paintings to Dublin, but a legal flaw let the Tate keep them. A celebrated controversy followed.

l.27 Lane Pictures: a collection claimed by both D & London galleries subject of great controversy.

dreariodreama= diorama – a mode of scenic representation in which a picture, some portions of which are translucent, is viewed through an aperture, the sides of which are continued towards the picture; the light, which is thrown upon the picture from the roof, may be diminished or increased at pleasure, so as to represent the change from sunshine to cloudy weather, etc.

vidual=vidual – of or belonging to, befitting, a widow or widowhood + visual

l.29 Elvan: Cornish name for igneous rocks

dumplan= Dublin [dumb+ design]

biddies= domestic fowl, a young chicken; women

pusshies= fishes

moggies= moggy – cow, calf; slut, prostitute + moggies (Slang) – cats.

l.31 Dublin Moggy’s Alley

witchawubbles= [vegetables]

rubbages= rubbish = [cabbages]

beggars’ bullets (Slang)= stones

salmofarious= omnifarious – Of all kinds or forms: exceedingly various + salmo (l) – salmon + Salmo Fario – species of trout (salmon-trout).

l.32 Salmonella bacteria causing food poisoning

“The weakest goes to the wall” – the weakest are the first to be sacrificed (the wall with a hole in it is, in part, the pierced dyke of the Dutch story; Earwicker’s plugging it is obscene (Hart, Clive / Structure and motif in Finnegans wake)).

FDV: Kate Strong, a widow, did all the scavenging in from good King Charles’ days but she cleaned sparingly and her statement was that, there being no macadamised sidewalks barring footpaths which left off where the man was struck, at the time in those R J C days she left, as scavangers will, a filth dump near the dogpond in the park on which fossil boot bootmarks, elbowdints, breechbowls, kneecaves, & fingerprints were all successively found of a very involved description. There It was on that resurfaced spot evidently the attacker, though under medium, with truly native pluck tackled him whom he took to be, saying he wd have his life & lay him out & [made use of sacriligeous language &] catching hold of a long bar he had & with which he usually broke furniture. 

King Hamlaugh= King Hamlet (name derived from Danish prince Olaf)+ [Ham+ Lough]

gulden= a gold coin (obs.); the name was subsequently transferred to a silver coin + gulden (Dutch) – golden.

dayne = dayne – to think it worthy of oneself (to do something); disdain + days + song The Vicar of Bray: ‘In good King Charles’s golden days’.

besom= – an implement for sweeping, a broom + bosom 

cleaned= to make a clean breast – to make a full disclosure or confession

[End of Page]


Page 80

nekropolitan= of or belonging to necropolis (cemetery, an ancient burying place).

footbatter= footbeat – foot step, pace, tread + bothar (boher) (gael) – road, path; anglic. -batter in place-names.

Bryant’s Causeway= Giant’s Causeway – a natural formation in county Antrim, Ireland, consisting of a collection of basaltic columns extending like a mole or pier into the sea.

l.2 Jacob Bryant: mythologist identified Noah’s Ark with the Moon.

speedwell= one or other species of Veronica, an extensive genus of small herbaceous plants with leafy stems and small blue (rarely pink or white) flowers.

white clover= trefoil T. repens

sorrel= one or other of certain small perennial plants belonging to the 

genus Rumex, characterized by a sour taste, and to some extent cultivated for culinary purposes + sorra a foot knows (Anglo-Irish) – no one knows.

dump= a pile or heap of refuse or other matter ‘dumped’ or thrown down + I asked him what he had done to me, and he said that I was in pieces. His tone was reproachful, and he seemed to be annoyed or dissatisfied with me. He repeated various times that I was in pieces and that I had to come together again. He tried to feign a severe tone, but he laughed in the middle of his harangue. He was telling me that it was just terrible that I was spread all over the place, and that he would have to use a broom to sweep all my pieces into one heap … Don Juan then turned my body around and pointed to a lump on the ground. Don Genaro pulled me closer to it and made me go around it. The lump was a man lying on the ground. He was lying on his stomach with his face turned to his right. They kept on pointing out the man to me as they spoke. They pulled me and twisted me around him. I could not focus my eyes on him at all, but finally I had a feeling of quietness and sobriety and I looked at the man. I had a slow awakening into the realization that the man lying on the ground was me (Tales of Power, Carlos Castaneda).

serpentine= a winding path, something that winds sinuously + Although the long pond which curves from one end of the Zoo in Phoenix Park to the other resembles the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park, London, it has no name, official or popular. The avenue of elms laid out by Lord Chesterfield along the line of the present Main Road was serpentine. 

Phoenix Park+ fornix (l)= arch, vault, brothel + porneion (gr) – brothel.

Finewell’s Keepsacre= farewell + keepsake – anything kept or given to be kept for the sake of, or in remembrance of, the giver + trans. Pairc an Fionnuisce (park un finishki) (gael) – Field of the Clear Water; anglic. Phoenix Park.

tautaubapptossed= baptized + tau (gr) – letter T + tauf- (ger) – baptize + Tau (ger) – dew + taub (ger) – deaf.

Purge= that which purges; spec. an aperient medicine, a purgative; the act of purging + Patrick’s Purgatory – a cave on an island in Lough Derg, which Christ revealed to St Patrick, saying that whoever spent a day and a night there would witness hell’s torments, heaven’s bliss. It was a favorite resort of pilgrims, but was closed by the pope’s order on St Patrick’s Day, 1497. Also, according to legend it was the last stronghold of the devil in Ireland until St Patrick drove the devil out by 40 days of fasting and prayer).

butcherswood= BUTCHER’S WOOD – South of Castleknock Gate, Phoenix Park. In Le Fanu’s The House by the Churchyard, Dr Sturk is bludgeoned and left for dead in Butcher’s Wood by Paul Dangerfield (alias Charles Archer), who is overheard by Charles Nutter, agent for Lord Castlemallard’s Irish properties, as Dangerfield is his English agent. 

fireworker oh flaherty= one who makes a fireworks; an artillery officer + Fireworker O’Flaherty, of the artillery regiment stationed in Chapelizod, is not involved. Mr Nutter later fights an abortive duel with Lt Hyacinth ‘Fireworker’ O’Flaherty, also in Phoenix Park.

nutter=nutter – a gatherer of nuts; an insane person, an eccentric person + Nutter – in LeFanu’s House by the Churchyard, Nutter is steward to Lord Castlemallard; he fights a comic duel in the Phoenix Park with Fireworker O’Flaherty.

archer= Archer, Charles – villain of LeFanu’s (q.v.) “House by the Churchyard”. Through most of the novel, Archer is known as Dangerfield; with deadly intent, he stuns Sturk, who later is, so to speak, “resurrected.” The crime is done in Butcher’s Wood in the Phoenix Park + nursery rhyme A Was an Archer. 

‘s turk= Sturk – occupant of LeFanu’s House by the Churchyard, he is attacked in Butcherswood in the Phoenix Park. Sturk is “resurrected” by Black Dillon + sturc (sturk) (geal) – corpse of one who dies upright + torc (turk) – wild boar, hog. [Cuchulain also is “stood up” as he is dying so frighten the enemy from attacking. Christ also dies “standing”] + [A torc is the traditional Celt neck ornament]

footprints= + Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: The House by the Churchyard, ch. 53 (has drawing of footprint left by Nutter’s boot at scene of murder).

l.10Nutter left boot marks at scene of murder in The House by the Churchyard; p 224 has drawing of one representing tracing made of it by characters

envolving= envolve = involve – to entangle (a matter), to render intricate

weald= weald – a heavily wooded area, forest

castrament= castra (l) – camp (pl. of castrum – fort) + castramentor (l) – to pitch camp + castratio (l) – pruning; castration.

l.13 L castra: military camp

leabhar= leabhar (lyour) (geal) – book

l.14( Ir monks hid books from Vikings)

brandihands= brand (Danish) – fire

ructions= ruction – a disturbance, riot, tumult

[End of Para “the pick for child sake! O men!”]

sprack+ Sprache (ger) – language + sprak (Dutch) – spoke. 

krischnians= [disciples of Hari Krishna]

propagana fidies= propaganda fide (l) – things of the faith to be 

propagated (name of a Vatican agency) (O Hehir, Brendan; Dillon, John M. / A classical lexicon for Finnegans wake).

l.20 De Propaganda Fide: papal HQ for all missionary work

beaks of prey= bird of prey – a predatory or rapacious bird + (notebook 1924): ‘eagles sharpen beak before battle’.

morphyl= mortal + morfa (gr) – form. 

 l. 22 Gr morphē: shape

pome= – a fruit of the apple kind or resembling an apple; a jocular alteration of ‘poem’.

terrine= – earthenware dish or jar + terrenus (l) – consisting of earth, earthy.

l.23 terrine Fr. dish of meat poultry &c. cooked together under earthenware

Agni= Agni – [Sanskrit: “Fire”] fire-god of the Hindus, second only to Indra in the Vedic mythology of ancient India. He is equally the fire of the sun, of lightning, and of the hearth that men light for purposes of worship. 

araflammed= aflame – in or into flame; ablaze + ara (l) – altar + flamen (l) – priest of one particular deity + aurea flamma (l) – golden flame + oriflamme – ancient royal standard of France + Flamme (ger) – flame.

Mithra= [Sanskrit: “friend” or “contract.”; In short, Mithra may signify any kind of communication between men and whatever establishes good relations between them] the Iranian god of the sun, justice, contract, and war in pre-Zoroastrian (6th century BC or earlier) Iran. 

l.24 Mithra Persian god of light

Shiva= Shiva – [Sanskrit: “Auspicious One”] one of the main deities of Hinduism and one of the most complex gods of India, embodying seemingly contradictory qualities. He is both the destroyer and the restorer, the great ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the benevolent herdsman of souls and the wrathful avenger. 

mayamutras= maya – [Sanskrit: “wizardry,” or “illusion”] powerful force that creates the cosmic illusion that the phenomenal world is real + mahamudra – {Sanskrit: “the great seal”}, in Tantric Buddhism, the final goal, the union of all apparent dualities. Mudra, in addition to its more usual meaning, has in Tantric Buddhism the esoteric meaning of “female partner,” which in turn symbolizes prajña (“wisdom”). The union of the Tantric initiate with his sexual partner signifies the symbolic union of the upaya (the “means,” or method of teaching the goal) with prajña and–on the highest level–the identity of samsara (the phenomenal world) with Nirvana (ultimate reality).

 obluvial= oblivial – causing oblivion + obluvius (l) – “washed for” (modeled on alluvius (l) – “washed to”: land washed to the shore by flowing of water).

l.25 r Lethe

 noarchic= nauarchos (gr) – admiral + archical (obs) – primordial; governmental + [Noah]

goharksome= gehorsam (ger) – obedient 

timberman= timberman – one who makes things of timber; a carpenter 

torchpriest= archpriest – a chief priest

flamenfan= flamen – a priest devoted to the particular god of the [Romans]

l. 26 in ancient Ireland, ritual lighting of fire on 31 October on Hill of Ward, Co. Meath

pantheon + fan – an enthusiastic devotee, enthusiast.

Jove= Jupiter + nursery rhyme ‘This is the rat, That ate the malt, That lay in the house that Jack built’. [the ward of the wind that lightened the fire that lay in the wood that Jove bolt]=

Posidonius= Poseidon – Greek sea-god. The reference here is to Poseidon and Apollo building the walls of Troy + Posidonius (b. 135 B.C.) – Stoic philosopher, historian, teacher of Cicero. 

O’Fluctuary= fluctuary – having the character of waves, fluctuating

lave= to wash, bathe + lave (Anglo-Irish Pronunciation) – leave.

[bloody stone]= bloodstone – a name applied to certain precious stones spotted or streaked with red, supposed in former times to have the power of staunching bleeding, when worn as amulets.

minx= a pert girl, hussy; a lewd or wanton woman + minxit (l) – [he, she] has urinated + mix – to join in sexual intercourse.

rare= rear – the back part of something

shane= p[ast tense] of shine (obs.)

gush= to flow or rush out with violence

pennyfares= {Isolda and 28 girls (cross Dublin by tram)}

l. 34 pinafores

l.34 Sheridan: School for Scandal

lucan= rel. to evangelist Luke + Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (39-65 A.D.) – Spanish-born Roman poet, forced by Nero to commit suicide.

[End of Para/End of Page]


100 Words: A few words about the personal exploration of this month’s text

[These entries are somewhat random, thoughts that arise from reading the text and my brief research about the page. These are hardly intended to be academic criticism.]

[This page begins the second of the four sections of the chapter according to Campbell and Robinson. The first was HCE’s history. This section is about Kate Strong or Kathleen ni Houlihan. HCE’s burial among Tutankhamun-like riches has turned into a stinking, rotting plot of filth. When the first of the lightning bolts is launched by the Almighty, Finn MacCool and Kate were making love in the Park. The thunderclap is a warning to reform for the new Viconian age. The pile of refuse that the Park has become is a decomposing body that is together the Giant of Howth, Castaneda’s protagonist from Tales of Power, and the ghostly mayhem of The House by the Churchyard. Issy and her moon attendants take the tram to reformation at the sound of the thunder– or whatever you would like to have happen.]








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