(FW) Finnegans Wake: Throwing Whimsey around Like Blazes pp 92.06- 92.32



  • 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.]


Pages 92.06 [Beginning of Paragraph] -92.32 [End of Paragraph]


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

Campbell and Robinson break down this very dense paragraph: “The hilarious hoot of Pegger’s windup contrasted as neatly with the sad tone of the Wet Pinter’s 13 as were they, ‘this one’ and ‘that one,’ equals of opposites, evolved by a one–same power of nature or of spirit, which we may call ‘that other.’ [And here a great law is illustrated; the great law, namely, of Bruno the Nolan; the law underlying the historical polar play of brother opposites generated by a common father. The law is as follows:] (1) Direct opposites, since they are evolved by a common power, are polarized for reunion by the coalescence of their antipathies. (2). As opposites, nevertheless, their respective destinies will remain distinctly diverse. [Regard, for instantce, the contrasting experiences, in this court of law, of Pegger, and the Wet Pinter;] No sooner had Pegger concluded his statement than the maidie’s of the bar fluttered and flattered around him, complimenting him, sticking hyacinths through his curls, and bringing busses to his cheeks. And it was not unobserved that of one among them all he seemed blindly, mutely, tastelessly,  innamorate “(Campbell and Robinson 88-89).

88n13: The Wet Pinter is the witness, Shem.


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

Tindall reveals some minor differences from the Campbell and Robinson interpretation: “The next two lines (92 dot 6–7) are difficult. Bruno’s Hilary, and Tristapher, Pegger, and the Wet Pinter seem to be included in the following passage on Bruno’s ‘equals of opposites… polarized four reunion by the symphysis of their antipathies’ (92.7-11)— included but not altogether accounted for. Pegger (Pegger Festy, 91.1) is Earwicker, who got the “wind up” (was frightened) after his defeat by the Prankqueen (23.14) and who, by his testimony, wound up the case. But Pegger as Shaun is the witness against Earwicker, and the Wet Pinter is the attorney for the defense. (A West Pointer is a cadet or Cad from the new world, and a Wet Pinter is a drunk — or Shem.) But Sean, giving a ‘hilariohoot.’ Has changed places with Hilary – Shem; and shams ‘tristitone’ shows that he has become Tristopher – Shaun. The Prankqueen must have had a hand in the changes of these changelings. Earwicker, falling apart, is now his changeling sons. As Shaun, he is given an ovation, and as Shem, that stinker, he goes off into exile. ‘Distinctly different where their duadestinies.’

Twenty-eight moon girls,’maidies of the bar,’ acclaiming Shaun, the Post, ring their hero round, ‘stincking thyacinths through his curls,’ while that decorated witness, like lady Chatterley is gamekeeper, loses the senses he has relied on. Twenty-ninth in the ring, Isabel, ‘a lovelooking leapgirl’ (A.L.P.), approaches her ‘shayshaun’ as Kitty O’Shea her Parnell (92.12-32). Shaun is the rising son, and the girls, as they are going to be again in Chapter IX, are heliotropic” (Tindall 89-90).

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 92.06

l.6 Bruno’s motto: In Tristitia: Hilaris Hilaritate Tristis;  P.W. (MacDonald’s abbr. for ‘Parnell Witness’); L cum: with
halariohoot = hilarious – boisterously joyous or merry; rollicking + hoot – a laugh; a shout, outcry. + [a lariat to rope rigged to capture from a distance]F
FDV: The hilarious hilariohoot of Pegger’s Windup contrasted so neatly with the tristitone of the wet pinter’s as were they opposites, evolved by the a power powers of nature & spirit as the sole means & condition of its manifestation, polarised for reunion by the symphysis of their antipathies. Distinctly different were their destinies. Whereas While the maidies of the bar clustered fluttered & flattered around the willingly pressed, complimenting him on having all his senses about him, sticking hyacinths in his hair curls, & bringing busses to his cheeks, legando round his nice new neck for him & pizzicando at his willywags woolywags it was not unobserved by the court their worships that for by one among all wild gentian of the hills[Makegiddculling] reeks, with in unmixed admiration he seemed blindly, mutely, hands over earsspeechlessly fascinatedanamourate when while with she herupor heruponhim shining aminglement, the shay of his shifting into the shimmering of hers till the wildwishwish of her shashay melted moist musically mid the dark deepdeep of his shayshaun.

l.7 “Every power in nature & in spirit must evolve an opposite as the sole means & condition of its manifestation, & all opposition is a tendency to reunion. This is the universal law of polarity or essential dualism, first promulgated… by Giordano Bruno (Coleridge, The Friend); W.P.; L isce et ille: this & that
Windup = wind up – closing, concluding + [To build momentum before throwing a ball or a punch]
cumjustled =cum – come + cum (l) – with + justle – to knock or push against, to come into collision with + combust – to burn up, consume with fire; fig. To consume or waste as fire does. + [ jostle]
neatly = so as to present a neat appearance; in a nicely finished way
tristitone = triste – sad {Earwicker’s fragile identity
splits apart under the strain of his examination and his consciousness is amalgamated with those of his two sons.

l. 8 G einsam: single
Although what remains of Earwicker is ultimately acquitted – for this courtroom permits no proper adjudication – the judges conclude by expressing their contempt for him. (Lee Spinks: James Joyce, a critical guide)} + [Tristan]
isce et ille (l) = this (emphatic) and that
onesame =einsam (ger) – lonely, single

l. 9 L site: that of yours; G hin und her: hither & thither
iste (l) = that of yours
sole = singular, unique + Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Friend: ‘Every power in nature and in spirit must evolve an opposite as the sole means and condition of its manifestation, and all opposition is a tendency to reunion. This is the universal law of polarity or essential dualism, first promulgated… by Giordano Bruno’.
himundher = hin und her (ger) – hither and thither + [him under]

l.10 Gr symphysis: growing together
symphysis = union or fusion of parts originally or normally separate

l.11 Gr duas: 2
duasdestinies = symphysis – union or fusion of parts originally or normally separate

l.12 barmaid; 30-2 = 28; peerless
pairless = peerless [or without a titled member  or peer]
trentene = 13 + trent (fr) -30 1trent + trente (fr) – thirty.

score = 12 + [or 20]
eranthus = eranthos (gr) – spring flower
myrrmyrred = murmurred + myrris (gr) – sweet cicely; myrtle.
Show’m the Posed = Shaun the Post

willingly – with a ready will, without reluctance: with various shades of meaning from ‘with acquiescence, submissively’ to ‘with pleasure, cheerfully, gladly’ or ‘wishfully, eagerly’
pressed  =  subjected to pressure, well dressed

Swiney = Sweeney – I cannot distinguish T. S. Eliot’s Sweeney among the Nightingales from the Irish king, Sweeney, who went mad and lived in trees with wild birds (Glasheen, Adaline / Third census of Finnegans wake).
captivating  =  that captivates or enthralls + captivate – to overpower with excellence, to enthrall with charm or attractiveness + Thomas Moore: Irish Melodies: song Sweet Innisfallen [air: The Captivating Youth]

thyacinth  =  hyacinth

l.18 I fíon: wine; I deur: tear; blushes; Arch buss:kiss
O deur = [odor]
busses = kisses

l.19 I oiris: knowledge, science; My Wild
Irish Rose
Oirisher Rose = song My Wild Irish Rose + (notebook 1924): ‘masculine Irish rose’ → Key: John McCormack, His Own Life Story 74: (of Lily Foley, a soprano and later McCormack’s wife) ‘She just stood there, like a feminine Irish rose, and brought everyone to her feet’.
neece cleur = nice color + kleur (Dutch)- colour

l.20 ‘legato’ opposite of ‘pizzacato’ (music); It pizzacare: to pinch;It pizzicagnolo: delicatessen
legando (it)  =  tying
pizzicagnoling = pizzicagnolo (it) – porkbutcher, delicatessen dealer, cheesemonger + pizzicare (it) – to pinch.

woolywags =golliwog – a name invented for a black-faced grotesquely dressed (male) doll with a shock of fuzzy hair.
dandy – very good, first rate, fine + song Handy Spandy
sugar candy – sugar clarified and crystallized by slow evaporation; fig. Something sweet, pleasant, or delicious + Joyce’s note: ‘sugar de candy’ →Douglas: London Street Games 40: (a chant) ‘Charlie likes whisky, Charlie likes brandy, Charlie likes kissing girls — O sugar-de-candy’.
machree  =  my dear, my heart + song Mother Machree

postheen = Fion, Paustheen – an Irish air +  mo phaistin (mufashtin) (gael) – my little child + mo phuistin (mufushtin) (gael) – my little post.
notebook 1923: courier (facteur) i.e. postman
belive them of all his untiring young dames = Thomas Moore: Irish Melodiessong: Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms

l.22 peace in our time; Hymen

present  =  a person that is present
worship – a person of importance

l.24 defend; defame
deputised = deputize – to appoint as a deputy (a person delegated or sent (alone or as a member of a deputation) to act in the place of those who send him)
defeme = defame – to attack the good fame or reputation of (a person); to dishonour by rumour or report + [to describe as feminine]

l.25 It gemma:gem
alonely  =  solitary, lonely + Joyce’s note: ‘all all alonely’ → Douglas: London Street Games 47: (a chant) ‘Three little children sitting on the sand, All, all a-lonely’
Gentia = gentian – any plant belonging to the genus Gentiana
gemma  =  bud + Gentica Gemma (l) – national gem + gemma (it) – gem (also feminine proper name)

l.26 Macgugillycuddy’s Reeks, Co. Kerry; WP
McGILLYCUDDY’S REEKS  =  Mountain (“reek”) range West of Killarney, County Kerry. Boucicault’s Coleen Bawn had her cottage there. The hereditary title of the chief is “The M’Gillycuddy of the Reeks.”

l.27 (086.32-3)
innamorate  = inamorate – to inspire with love, to enamour

aminglement = minglement – the action of mingling; a mixture
shaym = shame + shine + [Shem]
hisu  =  [his issue (offspring)]

shimmering = shimmer – to shine with a tremulous or flickering light; to gleam faintly
youthsy: Joyce’s note: ‘youth, sir, tey’
hee’s her chap = Douglas: London Street Games 3: ‘Catch… Two boys stand at each side of the road and one in the middle, that’s Hee. One of them tries to get the ball over middles head for the other to get it but if middle gets it the throer goes Hee’ + Joyce’s note: ‘Hee middles’
Joyce’s note: ‘her chap’

shey’ll tell memmas when she gays whom = home + Joyce’s note: ‘I’ll tell ma when I get home’ → Douglas: London Street Games 29: (a chant) ‘I’ll tell Ma when I get home That the boys won’t leave me alone. They pull my hair and break my comb, I’ll tell Ma when I get home’.

l.32 I sí: she; I sé: him; season
wishwish of her sheeshea = [swish of her sashay]

End of Paragraph 92.32

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.]

This passage serves up claims of guilt and innocence originating from the accused himself. The argument springs from Giordano Bruno of Nola’s thinking. Joyce, who makes all things universal and all things universal, particularly Irish, renames him Bruno the Nolan.

The Nolan was army-brat-turned-Dominican known for an uncanny memory. But Bruno contended that all Truth was relative and had to be viewed as a product of perspective. Perfect memory can, therefore, still be fallible. Speaking for HCE and myself, I’ll testify as expert witness that memory is the Grand Inquisitor and relentless prosecutor. HCE’s memory is so prodigious that he may be able to remember sins that he never committed (though he may have enjoyed the temptation). His memories are virulent too but split between Shem (sinner) and Shaun (auto de fé). They are the pugilists Excuse v Remorse in the Main Event on the boxing card that is the human psyche.






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