synopsis: continued from the book's last sentence-- recirculation
|oct/nov 1926 (after 4 years of preparation)|
Howth Castle & Environs! →
brings us to Howth Castle & Environs! →
brings us back to Howth Castle & Environs. →
river brings us back to Howth Castle & Environs. →
riverrun brings us back to Howth Castle & Environs. →
riverrun past Eve and Adam's brings us by commodious recirculation back to Howth Castle & Environs. →
riverrun past Eve and Adam's brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle & Environs. →
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. [cite]
(if you start with the goal
of a history of the world
emphasizing how history
repeats with variations
a few basic human stories
& if you want to particularize these universals
through a specific but fictional
family in Dublin
the Liffey river makes for a natural
|classic McHugh's annotations|
google doesn't know any earlier appearances of 'riverrun'
French 'rêverons' = let us dream together
rivers run eternally to the sea, where they evaporate into clouds that rain down and start the cycle over again. Joyce equated the river with Anna Livia Plurabelle, ALP = △
there are about 1700 known river names in FW, including 1000 in a single chapter
there's a secondary theme of the possibly-widowed Mrs Tim Finnegan writing a letter to a 'Revered Majesty', and the opening word 'Revered' or 'Reverend' may be blurred here. cf 615.12 "Dear. And we go on to Dirtdump. Reverend."
the first axiom of Vico's New Science is that rumors grow as they spread (like rivers?)
and this first word is a continuation from the last sentence of the book (sometimes indented to midpage). Joyce Carol Oates: "When I read aloud to my students the last few pages of Finnegans Wake [626.35ff], and come to that glorious, and heartbreaking, final section (“But you're changing, acoolsha, you're changing from me, I can feel”), I think I'm able to communicate the almost overwhelmingly beautiful emotion behind it, and the experience certainly leaves me shaken"
but long before he wrote the last chapter, this conceptual opening quickly evolved from "Howth Castle & Environs!" to "brings us back to Howth Castle & Environs." to "river brings us back to Howth Castle & Environs." (each anticipating a different grammatical setup: object, verb, subject)
"along the riverrun" makes 'run' the noun, a 'river run' like a dog run, an enclosed distance where the river can run
'river runner' is used occasionally in boating
'Rún' in Irish is a riddle or mystery
run (Old English) mystery, secret; advice, counsel; writing; a rune
riverranno: (Italian) they will return; they will come back
reverrons: (French) let us see again
past Eve and Adam's,
the cycle began before the first human couple [wakepd]
Joyce (as usual) corrects patriarchal Judaism by restoring Eve's precedence over Adam
the river is all rivers, but especially the Liffey that runs through Dublin, past Adam and Eve's Church, founded in a tavern in 1618. (a passing glimpse at U141: "They see the roofs and argue about where the different churches are: Rathmines' blue dome, Adam and Eve's, Saint Laurence O'Toole's.")
looking north, Liffey flowing left to right:
|Adam and Eve's is the smaller blue dome on the right|
from swerve of shore to bend of bay,
shore/bay = land/water (but no longer a river?)
swerve/bend = active/passive?
shores can be straight or not, but bayshores must bend concavely
ss... bb (esses are an alternating convex and concave curves, while b/Bs curve only in one direction)
cf 1.131: "from Buythebanks to Roundthehead"
point-of-view: we're following the river, we were upstream
by a commodious vicus of recirculation
(these are all words in good english dictionaries)
commode/odious/odorous subtly hints that the Liffey at Dublin used to be a notorious toilet/sewer, too
fw1 had "commodius"
'vicus' was the common Latin word for village/neighborhood/street, and consequently the origin of British placenames ending in '-wick' or '-wich'. In Latin it has to be WICKus, perhaps anglicised here as VICKus. (i don't think the Romans would have applied it to commodious curved riverruns.) HC Earwicker will be the book's central character.
VICKus also faintly echoes 'vicious circle' (but this opening mood is not vicious)
(Healy says VICKuss, which is probably right. other possibilities: VIGHcuss, VEEcus, WIGHcus or WEEcus.)
Joyce claimed Giambattista Vico's theory of cyclical history as one of his primary inspirations. his surname is always pronounced VEEcoh
but his cycle is vihCOHnian
|Viconian cycle, via Joyce|
|the course of the Liffey river|
back to Howth Castle & Environs.
'back' = we've been there/here before (an infinity of times)
Howth Head juts out into Dublin Bay. It has a castle dating back 700 years, and coincidentally a Martello tower dating back 200yrs. [aerial] [video]
Howth rhymes with oath. 21yo Poldy Bloom proposed to 17yo Molly Tweedy on the hill above the castle in 1888. [wakepd] [1909 map] [StreetView now]
it's incidentally the primary setting of the classic 1963 horror film "Dementia 13" [74min]
the initials HCE are a shorthand for the Finnegan archetype (via Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, aka "E") that's echoed on almost every page (474 out of 626)
the ampersand Joyce favored might hint at H.C. & Sons
FW1 spelled out "and"
surprisingly enough, the word-combination of 'castle' and 'environs' probably came from an eb11 article about Edinburgh (Scotland), which article Joyce had used heavily for chapter III.3 a couple of years earlier: 'The views of the city and environs from the castle or any of the hills are very beautiful'. cf the more common 'Howth Castle and demesne' 1908 ebook, 1909 map
Healy says ENNvihruns (rhymes w/riverrun?), everyone else says enVIGHruns
[YouTube reading] [another] [another] [singing?] [Bute] [from memory]
Waywords and Meansigns 1:
Waywords and Meansigns 2:
(clicking where it says eg "Labels: p3" below will give you the full multi-blog-page sequence for that fw1 page)
full pages: 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