Sunday, September 8, 2013

Page 3 (I.1)

Assigned reading (3 paragraphs [] plus 234 notes) [secondary] [McH] [ch1 variants]

People have found every sort of obscure multilingual pun in every line. A good rule of thumb is to ignore secondary echoes unless they're needed to explain Joyce's exact spellings. Eg, "commodius" seems to require "Commodus" because of the missing "o", but FW2 has restored that "o" so we can ignore Commodus altogether.

The first chapter is a condensed overview of the fundamental archetypes of human history, as Joyce saw them. [digest] We might picture it as the book's "rebooting" sequence.

The first paragraph offers a geographic metaphor of the Liffey River (ALP) flowing through Dublin past Adam and Eve's Church. Howth Castle is chosen mainly for the initials echoing "HCE", which will appear on almost every page.

For "riverrun" I like the French rêverons: "let us dream".

"vicus" can be pronounced VYcus, VEEcus, VIHcus, WIHcus or WEEcus. "Vico" is always VEEco, I think. Howth rhymes with oath.

The second paragraph seems to offer seven primary themes, as "not yet"s (but no neat theory yet accounts for these specific seven):
  1. Sir Tristram had passencore rearrived
  2. nor had topsawyer’s rocks exaggerated themselse ["Oconee"]
  3. nor avoice bellowsed mishe mishe
  4. not yet had a kidscad buttended isaac [Parnell]
  5. not yet were sosie sesthers wroth with nathandjoe
  6. Rot a peck of malt had Jhem or Shen brewed [♬ brewed a peck o'malt]
  7. rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen
 Ellmann: "The first draft, composed alternately with readings in Anita Loos's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, was dated 15 November 1926... Joyce asked an American visitor, Julien Levy, to look up Dublin, Georgia, for him. Levy found there were three Dublins in the United States, one of them named from the custom of bundling or doubling in. Joyce was anxious to find out if it lay on a river." (Dublin, Georgia as a sister-city reappears hardly at all after this paragraph.)

The third paragraph deals with the sin/fall/death/burial of a great man. This emphasis may be entirely coincidental, inspired by Joyce's patron Harriet Weaver's humorous request for a piece about a megalith called the Giant's Grave in nw England:

The first of ten hundred-letter thunderclaps tries to express Joyce's genuine, infantile terror at the sound of thunder. [♬ erse solid man]

Fweet indexes over a hundred motifs, including on just this page: 4-stage Viconian cycle, the Letter, HCE, red/violet, 4 elements, mishe/tauf, Butt/Taff, Shem/Shaun, 100-letter thunderword, and Left/Right. Numerological patterns like 2, 4, 7, 12,and 29 are fundamental to Joyce's love of symmetry.


FDV: "Howth Castle & Environs! Sir Tristram had not encore arrived from North Armorica, nor stones exaggerated theirselves in Laurens county, Ga, doubling all the time, nor a voice answered mishe mishe to tufftuff thouartpatrick. Not yet had a kidson buttended an isaac not yet had twin sesthers played siege to twone Jonathan. Not a peck of malt had Shem and Son brewed & bad luck to the regginbrew was to be seen on the waterface.  The story of the fall is retailed early in bed and later in life throughout most christian minstrelsy. The fall of the wall at once entailed the fall of Finnigan, and the humpty hill himself promptly sends an inquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes. Two facts have come down to us [...] is at the knock out in the park where there have always been oranges on the green always & ever since the Devlin first loved liffey." (Trying to simplify Hayman's FDV is awkward: the oldest layers are hardest to read, and Joyce revised continually as he wrote.)

Healy gives "Environs" the French pronunciation to rhyme with riverrun/reverons.


I.1: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

1 comment:

  1. riverrun,
    past Eve and Adam's,
    from swerve of shore
    to bend of bay,
    brings us
    by a commodious vicus of recirculation
    back to Howth Castle & Environs.

    Sir Tristram,
    violer d'amores,
    fr'over the short sea,
    had passencore rearrived from North Armorica
    on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor
    to wielderfight his penisolate war:

    nor had topsawyer's rocks
    by the stream Oconee
    exaggerated themselse to Laurens County's gorgios
    while they went doublin their mumper all the time:

    nor avoice from afire bellowsed
    mishe mishe
    to tauftauf thuartpeatrick:

    not yet, though venisoon after,
    had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac:

    not yet, though all's fair in vanessy,
    were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe.

    Rot a peck of pa's malt
    had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight
    and rory end to the regginbrow
    was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.

    The fall
    of a once wallstrait oldparr
    is retaled early in bed and later on life
    down through all christian minstrelsy.

    The great fall of the offwall
    entailed at such short notice
    the pftjschute of Finnegan,
    erse solid man,
    that the humptyhillhead of humself
    prumptly sends an unquiring one
    well to the west
    in quest of his tumptytumtoes:

    and their upturnpikepointandplace
    is at the knock out in the park
    where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green
    since devlins first loved livvy.