(FW) Finnegans Wake: Throwing Whimsy around Like Blazes pp 86.32- 88.04



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.]


The cruise got underway at Book I, Chapter 4, Page 86.32, and docked again at 88.04.


Pages 86.32- 88.04

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

“Remarkable evidence was given, anon, by eye, ear, nose, and throat witness [Shem], who (87) stated that he was pleased to remember the history – making episode. One thing, he declared, which particularly struck him and his two companions [the Three Soldiers], though there’s not to reason why, 11, was how Hyacinth O’Donnell, B. A., With part of a dung-fork, on the fair green, at the hour of twenty-four o’clock, had sought to sack, sock, stab, and slaughter single-handed two of the old kings, Gush MacGale and Roaring O’Crian, Jr., both changelings and of no address; since which time there had been bad blood between the litigants, and no end of petty quarrels. The litigants, he said, had been egged on by their womenfolk. Hereupon there were cries and cat calls from the gallery. But it oozed out in cross – examination, that when and where the three partied ambush had been laid, (88) it had been quite dark (Campbell and Robinson 87-88).

11 Echoes from ”Lawn Tennyson’s” “ Charge of the Light Brigade” continually break through statements of the three soldier team and culminate in the Crimean war episodes of pp. 338-55.

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

The eye–year–nose–and–throat witness for the prosecution is a Shaun type, modeled on Dr. Oliver Gogerty (a specialist in nose, throat, and the rest) and Stanislaus Joyce, a “plain clothes priest.” When grilled by the attorney for the defense (a Shem type), this witness testifies that he saw, heard, and smelt Hyacinth O’Donnell, B. A., “a mixer end word painter,’ threatening to old kings, Gush Mac Gale and Roaring O’Crian, Jr., “both changelings… of no address and in noncommunicables.” Hyacinth O’Donnell is Festy King as reviver and liberator perhaps. As mixer and wordpainter he is a union of Shaun and Shem, who reappear in the royal “changelings.” Shem–Shaun is fighting with Shaun-Shem again as allusions to the Mookse and the Gripes, the Ondt and the Gracehoper, Mutt and Jute make as plain as anything around here.

The ” crossexanimation of the casehardened testis,” at once legal and genital, introduces the “treepartied ambush,”….

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 86.32

l.32 Oliver St John Gogarty, ear, eye, nose & throat specialist

l.33 W.C.: water closet; Wesleyan Chapel; MacDonald’s Diary of the Parnell Commission abbreviates ‘Parnell witness’ P.W.
situate = situated
null null = (ger) – zero zero, sign for toilet

l.34 Sl square: latrine

peacegreen = peagreen – (of) a colour like that of fresh green peas, a nearly pure but not deep green.

END Page 86 

Page 87

grill = to torment with heat; to subject to severe questioning.
bumper = a cup or glass of wine, etc., filled to the brim, esp. when drunk as a toast + Thomas Moore: Irish Melodies: song One Bumper at Parting [air: Moll Roe in the Morning].

elicit = to extract, draw out (information) from a person by interrogation = [illicit]
l.2 solicitor

morse = the sea-horse or walrus + walrus moustache – a large moustache which overhangs the lips (thus resembling the whiskers of a walrus).
mustaccents = mustacci (it) – moustache + [of a foreign style + upturned]
gobbless = god bless + gob (gob) (geal) – beak, snout.
bonafides = (orig. used with agent nouns, or those involving some quality, as in ‘bona fide purchaser’, ‘bona fide poverty’, ‘bona fide traveller’.) Acting or done in good faith; sincere, genuine.
l.3 Norse; Fi musta: black; Ir. pubs once open on Sundays only to bona-fide travellers

l.4 ‘Please to remember The 5th of November Gunpowder, treason & plot’ (Guy Fawkes Day chant)

hatinaring = [ to throw one’s hat in the ring- seeking appointment or election] 
jiboulees = jubilee – the fiftieth anniversary of an event + giboulées d’avril (fr) – April showers.
Juno = Juno – Roman godess (daughter of Saturn, wife of Jupiter) + [suggests O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock about marriage, betrayal, incompetence, and shame]

ould lanxiety = = old + song ‘days of Auld Lang Syne’.
Rainmaker = rainmaker – a member of a tribal community believed or claiming to be able to procure rain by the use of magic + Pluvius (l) – epithet of Jupiter + [a professional such as a lawyer known for an ability to make good things happen]

decembs = decem (l) – ten + December (l) – tenth month of the Roman year + [unsuccessful Russian revolutionaries who wanted the repeal of serfdom]

ephemerides = an almanac or calendar of any kind; in early use esp. one containing astrological or meteorological predictions for each day of the period embraced.
l.7 ephemerides: diaries (now means astronomical almanacs)
profane = not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge + [degrading, disrespectful]
all one = alone
[Rainmaker – the Noah story of the great flood]
TOURNAY = City, 45 miles South-West of Brussels, Belgium + today 
Teamhair = (t’our) (geal) – Prospective Hill, Co. Meath, ancient seat of high king: anglic. Tara; distorted to Temora by Macpherson.
l.8 today, yesterday& tomorrow; Shem, Ham & Japhet [?]

pigstickularly = pigstick – to hunt the wild boar on a horseback with a spear stright + particularly
theirs not to reason why = their’s not to reason why – Tennyson, Charge of the Light Brigade: Their’s not to make reply, Their’s not to reason why, Their’s but to do and die.

patrified = [fear of father]; to see, hear, taste and smell = [Gogarty’s branch of medicine was ear, nose, and throat. He studied in Vienna.]

Hyacinth = Hyacinthus (l) – Laconian youth beloved by Apollo who accidentally killed him, the flower sprang from his blood. 
l.12 Hyacinthus: youth loved by Zeus & Apollo; Killed by Zeus
O’Donnell = O’Domhnaill (o’donel) (geal) – descendant of Domhnall (“world-mighty”) + (notebook 1924): 
B.A. = (notebook 1924): ‘BA’.
l.13 John Macdonald, B.A.: Diary of the Parnell Commission

calendar = a list or register of any kind
mixer = one that mixes (paint, drug…); a person marked by easy sociability; a trouble maker; a bartender.
wordpainter = wordpainter – a writer of vivid or graphic descriptive power

sivispace = si vis pacem (l) – if you want peace + si vis pacem, para bellum (l) – ‘if you would have peace, prepare for war’ (i.e. parabellum pistol) + civis (l) – citizen.
Gaeltact = Gaeltacht – a region in Ireland in which Irish is the vernacular; also, these regions collectively.

bullycassidy = BALLYCASSIDY – Town, County Fermanagh + BULLY ACRE – Ancient cemetery of Kilmainham, corner of SCR and Royal Hospital Road. Closed 1832 after thousands of burials in cholera epidemic + Baile Ui Chaiside (bolyi khoshidi) (geal) – Town of the Descendants of Caiside (“curled”); anglic. Ballycassidy.
l.15 Bully’s Acre: oldest D cemetary; bellicosity

friedhoffer = friedhof (ger) – cemetery
sack = to put (a person) in a sack to be drowned

Gush Mac Gale = ‘ghus Mac Cathail (gus mok kohil) (geal) – “-choice, son of Battle-mighty”.
O’Crian = O’Brian
l.18 crying; Lucan
changelings = changeling – a child secretly substituted for another in infancy; a half-witted person (arch.)
unlucalised = unlocalized – not fixed in, attached or restricted to, a certain locality

ever since = eversince – throughout all the time before or after a specified date
l.19 Wallop Fields (Vortigern v Saxons)

LEWES = The county town of Sussex, England. After Simon de Montfort defeated Henry III on 14 May 1264, he extracted from Henry the document called the “Mise of Lewes,” in which Henry promised to abide by the Magma Carta and other documents and customs limiting royal prerogative.
on the ground of = by reason of

boer (Dutch) = farmer
l.21 bears & bulls: speculators for falls& rises, respectively, on Stock Exchange; Bull Island

twoways = extending in two directions or dimensions
creepfoxed andt grousuppers = fox and grapes + [the ondt and the gracehoper, the ant and the grasshopper]

l.23 Gripes Mooske (152.15); Ondt Gracehoper (414.20)
nippy = Formerly, a waitress in one of the restaurants of J. Lyons & Co. Ltd., London; hence, any waitress; sharp, quick, active, nimble.
novelette = a story of moderate length having the characteristics of a novel + novelletta (it) – short story + [Violetta doomed courtesan of La Traviata]

meathe = a maggot, worm + Midhe (mi) (geal) – “Middle,” former fifth (royal) province, now Co. Meath, N.W. of Dublin.

congsmen = Conga (kunge) (geal) – “Strait,” religious settlement, Co. Mayo; anglic. Cong, where Ruaidhri O’Conchobhair, last high king, retired in old age + kingsman – a partisan of the king; a royalist; the King’s men: a name for the dramatic company otherwise known as ‘the King’s Majesty’s Servants’ under James I.

l.25 Roderick O’Connor died at Cong Abbey; Aran Islands; Annual coronation of King of Dalkey Island: burlesque ceremony
donalds = Domhnall (donel) (geal) – “World-mighty”
kings of the arans = king of arms – an officer of arms (herald) of the highest rank + ARAN ISLANDS – Islands off Galway Bay.
dalkeys = Dalkey, King of – “His facetious Majesty, King of Dalkey, King of Mugleins Sovereign of the Illustrious Order of the Periwinkle and the Lobster.” He was a figure in an 18th-century burlesque ceremony, which the English suppressed and the Free State revived.

mud = Mud Island, King of – hereditary robber chieftain who ruled a gang of smugglers and highwaymen. 
tory = TORY ISLAND – Island, 7 miles off North coast of County Donegal; The island was noted for its various clays, used for heat-resistant pottery. The islanders traditionally elected a “king.”
goat king = god king – a human ruler believed to be a god
Killorglin = Killorglin, Goat King of – Killorglin, Co. Kerry, holds a Puck Fair at Lammas. A male goat, called Puck, is king of the fair, is paraded, wreathed, driven out. 
l.26 Land of Hope and Glory;Kings of Mud Island, gang of desperadoes in Ballybough ca. 1650-1850; Tory Island, Co. Donegal, originally elected king; Puck, male goat, annually crowned at Killorglin Fair

egg = to provoke to action, incite, encourage

bowstrung = bowstring – to strangle with a bowstirng (the string of a bow)
l.28 Strongbow: leader of Anglo-Normans who invaded Ireland; Carthaginian women in 146 B.C. siege cut off their hair to make bowstrings
Carrothagenuine = CARTHAGE – Ancient Phoenician city, North Africa, on coast North-East of modern Tunis, noted for sea power and the Punic Wars with Rome. Cato the Elder proclaimed that Rome must destroy Carthage: “Delenda est Carthago.” An 18th-century theory held that the Irish people was of Carthaginian origin. The women of Carthage, at the final siege by the Romans, 146 B.C., cut off their hair to make bowstrings

petties = petticoats
l.29 Isod’s Tower, Essex St., D, demolished 1675.

thickset = set or placed close together; closely arranged
l.30 thickets

bohernabreen = bohereen – a narrow country road esp. in hilly country + BOHERNABREENA – Bóthar-na-Bruighne, “Road of the mansion.” Townland, road, and reservoir, 2 miles South of Tallaght in Glenasmole; named for the famous “Hostel of Da Derga,” destroyed by pirates ca 1st century AD. It was the site of a famous murder and execution in 1816: one Kearney and his 2 sons were hanged for the hatchet slaying of a gamekeeper. 
l.31 Bohernabreena, townland in Glenasmole, once wrongly thought the site of Da Dearga’s hostel
bank from Banagher = to bang banagher – to surpass everything + BANAGHER – Village, County Offaly, on Shannon River. To anything unusual, people say, “Well, that bangs Banagher” (P W Joyce). 
Mick = Irishman + Mic (mik) (geal) – Son; Mr. in Mac names

O’Donner = O’Donnabhair (o’donawir) (geal) – descendant of Donnabhar (“brown eyebrow”) + song O’Donnell abú.
l.32 O’Donnell abu: O’Donnell to victory
Ay = Ah! O! (now the common northern exclamation of surprise, invocation, earnestness).
relics – the remains of a person; the body, or part of the body, of one deceased + relics (Slang) – male sex organs.
bu = boo – a sound imitating the lowing of oxen; also used to express contempt, disapprobation, aversion. 
Use the tongue = to give tongue – properly of a hound: to give forth its voice when on the scent or in sight of the quarry. Also transf. of persons.

mor = more
l.33 I tungc mór: big push
ooze – to pass as through pores or minute interstices, and so slowly or gradually
deadman – corpse + Joyce’s note: ‘deadmen’s dark scenery court’ → Douglas: London Street Games 5: ‘Dead Man’s Rise (also called Dead Man’s Dark Scenery or Coat) is one of these jacket-games, where one party has to hide, covered up in their coats’.

crossexanimation = crossexamination – a careful examination + exanimatio (l) – terror.
casehardened = case hardened – insensible, callous [(notebook 1924): ‘casehardened’]
l. 34 case-hardened: hardened on the surface
testis (l) = a witness; a testicle

knife of knifes = night of nights
l.35 night of nights
threeparted = having three parts, tripartite

l.36 speaking
twixt = between

END Page 87


Waterhose’s Meddle Europeic Time = WATERHOUSE AND CO – Silversmiths, jewellers, and watchmakers, South side of Dame Street. Projecting at right angles over the sidewalk, Waterhouse’s clock spelled out its name (clockwise, naturally) from “W” at “3.”
Stop and Think = Joyce’s note: ‘Stop & think!’

l.2 HCE; L vivens; being green; appletree
evervirens = environs – the outskirts, surrounding districts, of a town + sempervirens (l) – evergreen.
abfalltree = Apfel (ger) – apple + Abfall (ger) – garbage; apostasy + [the Garden of Eden]
auld = old + all

widowed – deprived of a partner; deserted, solitary [(notebook 1924): ‘(the widowed moon)’].

END Sentence 88.04



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 brief research about the page. These are hardly intended to be academic criticism.]

[Since “An Encounter” (first published in 1905), Joyce considered the abandoned Norse settlement of Dalkey Island (“kings of the arans and the dalkeys”) with its comic king a symbolic locale. Dalkey is near the Forty Foot Hole of Ulysses’ Telemachus episode and the site of the first of the novel’s many drownings. In “An Encounter,” Joyce’s two young adventurers risk passing Mud Island’s once thug kingdom (“Mudford”), where for two hundred years, constables feared to tread. Armed with a slingshot, the boys also skirted the dueling grounds. The treacherous route included the ground where Brian Boru died driving the Danes from Clontarf. The Murphy-Smith expedition crossed quays that were plains of mud when Vikings dragged longboats ashore. They crossed the site of the Thingmote, once maintained by a hereditary “godi,” both chief and priest-like neo-Dane HCE. The boys dream of sailing recklessly off on a Scandanavian three-master in the company of a green-eyed seaman. Innocence endangered, pedophile engaged, the schoolboys find themselves scurrying home before nightfall and the onset of Earwicker’s dreamworld. Earwicker, randy as Puck, “the goat king of Killorglin.”]

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