Monday, November 11, 2013

[Kersse the tailor and the Norwegian captain]

Philip McCann was a ship's chandler at 2 Burgh Quay in Dublin; Joyce suggests in Stephen Hero that it was McCann who paid his godson's way through University College from 1898 to 1902, but McCann died in 1898, and does not seem to have left money for the purpose. A more genuine connection between him and Joyce came about through McCann's story, told to John Joyce, of a hunchbacked Norwegian captain who ordered a suit from a Dublin tailor, J.H. Kerse of 34 Upper Sackville Street. The finished suit did not fit him, and the captain berated the tailor for being unable to sew, whereupon the irate tailor denounced him for being impossible to fit. The subject was not promising, but it became, by the time John Joyce had retold it, wonderful farce, and it is one of the parables of native and outlander, humorous but full of acid repartee, which found their way into Finnegans Wake [esp. 311-331]. If that book ever reached his father in the afterworld, James Joyce once said, John Joyce's comment would be, 'Well, he can't tell that story as I used to and that's one sure five!' (Ellmann p23)

Kersse [fweet-26]
Norwegian captain [fweet-13]

Norwegian [fweet-400] mostly the language
curse [fweet-90]
sailor [fweet-65]
hunch [fweet-32] two other hunchbacks are featured in the text, the fictional Danny Mann and the real Joe Biggar
hump [fweet-93] HCE is also a Humphrey

the extra 's' in Kersse may relate to "Persse O'Reilly" which in turn may relate to Lady Gregory (nee Persse)

Ulysses ch4: "His back is like that Norwegian captain's."

p23: "How kirssy the tiler made a sweet unclose to the Narwhealian captol."
3 Norwegian sailors →
three Norwegians of the seafaring class →
"a Northwegian and his mate of the Sheawolving class"

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