Friday, October 11, 2013

[Oppositions in FW]

'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' --Samuel Taylor Coleridge "The Friend" [092.08]

Fweet indexes 31 pair-motifs, where a mention of either half implies that the other will also be mentioned within a few lines. Some are so abstract they're hard to personify:

time/space [47]
new/same [16]
left/right [34] 'sinister'-Shem
mishe/tauf [003] [31] i am/you are???
ear/eye (including hear/see, deaf/blind) [70]
duck/drake [8] female/male
A/O (mark of opposites, e.g. Alpha/Omega, Ah/Oh, &c.) [113]
red/violet (at the ends of the rainbow; including infrared/ultraviolet) [9]
L/R (consonant split in Celtic languages; Chinese pronunciation) [45]
P/K (consonant split in Celtic languages) [40]
P/Q (consonant split in Celtic languages; lowercase mirror images) [31]

Some seem like accidental (shallow?) pairings:
Swift/Sterne [11]
Browne/Nolan (Bruno of Nola; Browne and Nolan, Dublin booksellers) [49]
Paul/Peter [36]
Tom/Tim [40]

Some are more obviously archetypal abstractions:

tree/stone  [71]
pen/post (including penman/postman) [24]
goat/sheep [24]
dove/raven (including coo/caw) [43]
Cain/Abel [28]
dark/fair (including black/white) [40]
Gall/Gael (Viking foreigner/Irish native) [26]

But at the deepest level they're agreed to be James Joyce as Shem, and his various nemeses as Shaun... with the deepest symmetries spread across the whole book:

Shem/Shaun (including James/John) [49]
Jerry/Kevin [14]
Mick/Nick (St Michael, angel and Old Nick, devil) [60]
Mookse/Gripes [152ff] [29] Shaun-fox-pope/Shem-grapes
Ondt/Gracehoper [414ff] [27]
Tingsomingenting/Nixnixundnix (Gracehoper's and Ondt's homes) [6]
Butt/Taff [338ff] [32]
Caddy/Primas [5]

dime/cash [8] time-dimension?/???

not indexed:
holly/ivy [28]
Mutt/Jute [37]
Jacob/Esau [25]

consensus links:
  • Shem-Jerry-Nick-Gripes-Gracehoper-tree-pen-goat-raven-Cain-dark [119]
  • Shaun-Kevin-Mick-Mookse-Ondt-stone-post-sheep-dove-Abel-fair [220]
Viking foreigner/Irish native?
We don't have a theory of why/when Joyce chose to include a pair, or not. The liberal view is that whenever any syllable echoed half a pair, he'd try to work in the other too. The conservative view is that some of these are just accidental, so there need to be definite, explicit changes within a short span.

Fweet links both halves if they're on different lines (here, lines 27 and 34-- very weak!):
035.27+Taff (Motif: Butt/Taff [.34])

Basic principles of story-combinatorics predict we should see:
  • just A, just B, both A and B, neither A nor B
  • A changing to B and back
  • pair 1 permuted with pair 2 (eg time/space/dark/fair)
The encounter of HCE with the cad may be opposites meeting: ShemCad vs ShaunHCE, but also father with (unrecognised?) son

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