(FW) Finnegans Wake: Throwin’ Whimsy around Like Blazes, Book I, Ch 4, 81 through 82-



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 Occasional 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 81, and continued to the end of the first sentence ending of Page 82.


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

Page 81

Campbell and Robinson provide a translation for our convenience: “Yes, the invincible’s all around us can’t be downed. Look at all the slop that this one sent us! [He sent the Deluge.] And we weren’t trespassing on his corns either! There is a power, namely, that keeps us to the road. If this road was walked upon by Hannibal, it was built long before his day by Hercules, and 100,000 unemancipated performed the dirty work. [Now we consider our present position along this highway:] Behind us lies the mausoleum: before us stands the milestones; world without end, Amen. The past has made us this present of a road. A salute, therefore, to O’Connell, the Liberator. We’ve reached the church of Saint Fiacre! Halt!” (Campbell and Robinson 85)

What follows (FW 81-93) prepares us for the brotherly battles of Shem and Shaun. The first version begins immediately on Pages 81 and 82 (Campbell and Robinson 86).


Page 82

The Adversary [Satan] mistakes Oglethorpe for another and they struggle “for some considerable time.” The fight near the booksafe where taller man tries to take a portable still from the miner [minor]. This encounter continues to FW 84 (Campbell and Robinson 86).


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

Page 81

Kropotkin the anarchist is the aggressor he attacks the adversary he was also Earwicker in his disguise as Nick or Satan. Kropotkin mistakes Eawicker for Oglethorpe or old Parr. The “attackler” promises to annihilate Earwicker as quickly as he could say “three patrecknocksters and a couplet of hellmuirries.” Tindall reveals the prayers also reflect the three soldiers and two girls. Identities are thoroughly blended here. Buckley and the Russian General, who are father and son, the twins, and more.

Page 82

In the midst of the altercation, the combatants become parched and pause to drink. The struggle resumes as they lock horns over the Poteen (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 81

viability = the ability to live under certain conditions; the condition of being traversable + Julius Caesar: ‘Veni, vedi, vici’ (Latin ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’).

vicinal = neighbouring, adjacent, near + vicinus (l) – neighbor + vicinal way or road – a local common way as distinguished from a highway; a by-road or crossroad.

l.2 platschen: to splash

flumineus (l) = of, in or belonging to a river + [Via] Flaminia (l) – Flaminian Vay (built by Gaius Flaminius, consul 223 B.C.)

l.3 Flaminian Way, Rome, lined with tombs

l4. slaved the way: paved the way

l.5 Gr gigas:giant + [Adgigasta (it)= a woman who causes gastric distress +agita]

multipopulipater (l artificial) = many-people’s-father

cheadmilias faultering= cead mile failte (ked mili falti) (geal) – a hundred thousand welcomes + faulter = falter – to move as if irresolutely or hesitatingly; to tremble, quiver.

tramestrack= trame = tram – silk thread consisting of two or more single strands loosely twisted together + trame (fr) – thread (of life) + tram – a tram-car.

Brahm = Brahma – the supreme god of post vedic Hindy mythology

omnibus secular seekalarum= per omnia saecula saeculorum (l) – in ages of ages, to all eternity, forever and ever + omnibus (l) – for all, for everyone.

amain – with full force, violently, suddenly +amen

rhedarhoad = r[h]aeda (l) – four-wheeled carriage (spelling with -h- though to be found, is false) + r[h]aeda-r[h]oad (l-eng) – carriage-road (spelling with -h- is false) (O Hehir, Brendan; Dillon, John M. / A classical lexicon for Finnegans wake).

l.9 I seo mórbhøthar Uí Chonaill: this is O’Connell Street

more boher = BOHERMORE – The name is from Bothar Mor, Ir “Great Road.” There were 5 “great roads” built in Ireland in the 2nd century, but none was uniquely called the Bothar Mor + Seo morbhothar Ui Chonaill (shu morvoher i khunil) (geal) – This is O’ Connell highway.

rainy – wet, like rain, affected with rain + ridden – broken in, oppressed, taken advantage of.

scallop = To bake (oysters, etc.) in a scallop-shell or similar-shaped pan or plate with bread crumbs, cream, butter, and condiments + I’ll eat my (old Rowley’s) hat – an asseveration stating one’s readiness to do this, if an event of which one is certain should not occur. [the scallop also suggests a pilgrimage]

l.11 swallow (cockleshells in hats of pilgrims to St. James shrine; cf. 04

Wereupunder = wonder + weapon. [+whereupon]

fane = a temple

fiacre = a small hackney coach + SAINT FIACRE – Hotel Saint Fiacre, Rue St Martin, Paris. Vehices for hire in Paris are called “fiacres” after the hackney coaches which once were stationed at the hotel + Fiacre, St – 7th-century Irish saint + Fiachra (fikhre) (geal) – “Raven”; name of Irish founder of Breuil monastery, France.

l.11 St. Fiacre C7 Ir saint

howe = valley; the middle part of a night or winter; a hill, hillock, an artifical mound, tumulus.

l.12 Howe: site of Thingmote (D Viking assembly)

desolated – made or left desolate +[deprived of Isolt]

Buchan = the name of a Scottish meteorologist, Alexander Buchan (1829-1907), used to designate certain specified periods of cold weather (“cold spots”) foretold by him as of annual occurrence.

cold spot = Physiol., a spot upon the skin which is sensitive to cold, but insensitive to warmth, pain, or pressure.

rupestric = rupes (l) – stone, rock + rupestrian – done on rock or cave walls + rupestral (l) – growing (as a plant) or drawn (as a painting) on rocks + (notebook 1924): ‘rupestre’.

resurface = to provide with a new surface; to come to the surface again + FDV: 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.

Luttrell, Henry (1655-1717) = betrayed Limerick to De Ginkell, was murdered while riding in a sedan chair through Dublin. 

l.14 Henry Luttrell: D colonel whose grave was violated (skull broken with pickax) during 1798 rebellion

saddle = a low point in a ridge + Cnoc Breanainn (knuk brenen) (geal) – Brendan’s Hill, Co. Kerry, has ancient stone causeway leading to summit.

BRENNER PASS = Alpine pass, between Austria and Italy. The lowest and one of the oldest of the important Alpine passes.  

Malpas, Colonel = erected an obelisk on Killiney Hill, called thereafter Malpas High Hill. 

l.15 Mal Pas: stretch of mud in Béroul’s Tristan 

verst = a Russian measure of length (about two-thirds of an English mile) [Joyce’s note: ‘shako verst’ → Jespersen: The Growth and Structure of the English Language 155 (sec. 152): ‘There is, of course, nothing peculiarly English in the adoption of such words as… verst from Russian… shako from Hungarian’].

Traum (ger) = dream + traumhaft (ger) – like dream, charming.

Beneathere = Ben Edar – anciently Howth, said to be named for Edar, a Dedanaan chief, buried on the hill. 

livland= lowland – low or level land; the less mountainous region of Scotland, situated south and east of the Highlands. (now always pl.)

mear = to mark out (land) by means of ‘meres’ or boundaries; to be bounded by (obs.).

l.17 Livland: Baltic province

wilde= wild +[Oscar Wilde]

cropatkin = Kropotkin, Prince (1842-1921) – Russian author, revolutionary + Cruach Phadraig (krukh fadrig) (geal) – Patrick’s Rick (conical heap), mountain, Co. Mayo; anglic. Croagh Patrick.

Adversary = adversary – an opponent, antagonist; an enemy, foe + I Peter 5:8: ‘your adversary the devil’ + Maitland: Life and Legends of St. Martin of Tours 22: ‘The devil, in human form, accosted him… and asked him where he was going. “I go where God calls me”, said Martin. “Know then”, said the Adversary, “that go where you may, do what you will, I will constantly oppose you”‘.

more = And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3:)

Oglethorpe, James Edward (1696 – 1785) – founded the state of Georgia with the aim of helping criminals.

l.21 Oglethorpe, C.18 philanthropist, founder of Georgia.

ginkus = gink – person, fellow, guy

parr – a young salmon before it becomes a smolt + Parr, Thomas, “Old Parr” (1483-1635) – lived in the reigns of ten princes, got a girl with child when oven a hundred. 

l.22 Old Parr: Eng. centenarian accused of incontinence

chickenestegg = song Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye: ‘Ye eyeless, noseless, chickenless egg’

defect= effect

l.25 C…H…E

hemosphores = hemispheres – each of the halves of the cerebrum of the brain

l. 26 b — y b — r’s = bloody bugger’s

contritely = in a contrite (crushed in spirit by a sense of sin, and so brought to complete penitence) manner + completely

patrecknocksters = paternoster – the Lord’s Prayer, esp. in the Latin version + Cnoc Phadraig (knuk fadrig) (geal) – Patrick’s Hill; anglic. Knockpatrick.

hellmuirries = Hail Mary! – the angelic salutation to the Virgin (Luke i. 28), combined with that of Elizabeth, used as a devotional recitation, with the addition (in more recent times) of a prayer to the Virgin, as Mother of God + Muire (mwiri) (geal) – Mary (name of mother of Jesus only).

tout est sacré pour un sacreur, femme à barbe ou homme-nourrice (fr) = all is sacred for a (sacreur), bearded woman, or male nurse.

holst = to catch hold of – to take hold of, seize + Holst (ger) – holly.

boarder = a jouster + border + broader

Nippoluono = Napoleon + FDV: The struggle went on They struggled for a considerable time and in the course of it the masked man said to the other: Let me go, Pat. Later on the same man asked: Was six pounds fifteen taken from you by anyone two or three months ago? There was severe mauling and then a wooden affair in the shape of a revolver fell from the intruder who thereupon became friendly & wanted to know whether his chance companion who had the fender happened to have the change of a ten pound note because, if so, he would pay the six pounds odd out of that for what was lost last summer. The other than said: Would you be surprised to hear that I have not such a thing as the change of a ten pound note but I am able to see my way to give you at for the present four and 7 pence to buy whisky. At the mention of whisky the wouldbe burglar became calm and left him the placesaid he wd go good to him [remarking [gleefully]: You plucky stunning little Southdowner! You have some pluck Southdowner! This is my goalball I’ve struck this day!] He then went away with the four & _____ (seven) and his hurlbat while the fenderite who bore up under all of it [with no of bruises on him] reported the occurrence to the [Vicar Streetwatch house, his face being all covered with nonfatal blood as a good proof that he was bleeding from the nose, mouth & ears while some of his hair had been pulled off his head though otherwise his allround health was good middling enough. As regards the fender pierced fender & fireguard the question of unlawfully obtaining is subsidiary to the far more capital point of the political bias of a person who, when mistakenly molested ambushed, was simply exercising one of the most primary liberties of the subject by walking along a public thoroughfare in broad daylight.  

Wei-Ling-Taou = Wellington + wei (Chinese) – awe + ling (Chinese) – honourable + tau (Chinese) – way, path + ta-ou (Chinese) – ‘Great Europe’.

Razzkias = Russian + razzia (fr) – a military raid.

l.34 C ling: efficacious ; Jean de Reszke: a tenor

reconnoistre = reconnoitre – to make an inspection or take observations of (an enemy, his strength, etc.)

Boukeleff = Buckley

[END of Page 81]

Page 82

All In = all in – in Wrestling: Without restrictions, having almost no holds barred

purple top = Connacht Tribune 26 Apr 1924, 6/6: (Advertisement) ‘T. NAUGHTON’S Carefully Selected and Tested SEEDS… Best of All Purple Top Swede’ [(notebook 1924): ‘all purple top swede’].

tipperuhry = Tipperary – county in Ireland + Tiobraid Arann (tibrid aren) (geal) – “Well of Ara [name of district]”; anglic. Tipperary.

l.3 Purple Top, Tipperary Swede: types of turnip; Ruhr district, Germany

Secremented = sacramented – consecrated, made sacred, sealed by a sacrament

Servious = service + Servius – Roman proper name + Marius Servius Honoratus – 4th C commentator on Vergil + Servius Tullius – sixth king of Rome.

l.4 John Toller (d. 1819) was 8 feet tall; Da taler: speaker taller

bully = of the best quality, first rate + bull beggar (Slang) – bogey, someone who scares children.

l.5 bull beggar: bogey; minor

l.6 worm: condenser of whiskey; still

stiff= stuff + stiff (Slang) – money + [corpse].

Pautheen = potheen – whisky distilled in Ireland in small quantities, i.e. the produce of an illicit still + Paidin (pad’in) (geal) – Paddy (dim. of Padraig) + song Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye.

[END Page 82.10, end of Sentence l.9 “Let me go, Pautheen!”]


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.]


[In Ulysses’ Ithaca episode, Bloom joined Earwicker in the adoration of women who cannot be bound or confined even to a single form. The flawed men joined in as “waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier.” And what about water did the men love? ” Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level… independence…variability…quiescence in calm…turgidity in neap and spring tides …subsidence after devastation:… imperturbability… buoyancy… properties for cleansing… quenching thirst and fire, nourishing … infallibility as paradigm and paragon (Ulysses 766-68).] Bloom attributes the flow of the clean and venerable fluid to the good offices of “the borough surveyor and waterworks engineer, Mr Spencer Harty, C. E.,….”]









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