[Abstract] Joyce’s connections with African America in the United States go back to profound understandings of W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey. This is shown through close textual analysis of central passages as well as related references throughout the text. In particular it analyzes the thick or dense texture, thick even when one is analyzing only a few related themes, that Joyce creates on the second half of page 293, as well as the poetic associations surrounding the figure of Marcus Garvey
1. “of twosome twiminds:
W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk:
“double consciousness” and “second sight”
188.13 a nogger among the blankards
188.14 of this dastard century, you have become of twosome twiminds
188.15 forenenst gods, hidden and discovered, nay, condemned fool,
188.16 anarch, egoarch, hiresiarch, you have reared your disunited king-
188.17 dom on the vacuum of your own most intensely doubtful soul.
In Paris in the 1920’s Joyce was not isolated from the more glamorous aspects of the African American world in the United States. More than five recent books and an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery have been devoted to La Revue Nègre of 1925 and Le Tumulte Noir in Jazz Age Paris. Joyce in his ever accurate ironic way saw through Josephine Baker, one of the centerpieces of that Tumulte, when he writes in Finnegans Wake:
Joyce also has wonderful invocations of Louis Armstrong’s voice: “Louee, louee! How wooden I not know it, . . . Old grilsy growlsy!” (16.33); of Cab Calloway’s patter: “Hyededye, kittyls, and howdeddoh, pan!” (340.31); and Duke Ellington’s radiance, “Conk a dook he’ll doo.” (595.30 — the “he’ll do” being a comment on his acceptability to white audiences; see also 340.20 “dodewodedook”). Armstrong appears as well in a list with Bach, Beethoven, Pergolesi and others at 360.13 “Lou must wail to cool me airly! Coil me curly, warbler dear! May song it flourish (in the underwood)” with its reference to the line “Just because my hair is curly” from the song, “Shine”. And near Paris Nancy Cunard whom Joyce had at least met was putting together her large book, Negro: an anthology (1934) which presented much of the “Harlem Rennaissance.”
But Joyce’s connections with African America in the United States go back much earlier, to profound understandings of two giants, W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey. In 1903, the year before Joyce left Ireland, W.E.B. Du Bois published The Souls of Black Folk and wrote (in the first chapter):
. . . the Negro is a sort of a seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second sight in this American world — a world which yields him up no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others . . . One ever feels his twoness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.1
Before discussing Joyce’s use of the ideas of this passage, it is worth remembering that tensions of a soul confronted with its colonizer’s language and culture appeared in Joyce’s writing not much later. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Stephen has a famous interview with the dean of studies:
— What funnel? asked Stephen.
— The funnel through which you pour the oil into your lamp.
— That? said Stephen. Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish?
— What is a tundish?
— That. The funnel.
— Is that called a tundish in Ireland? asked the dean. I never heard the word in my life.
— It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra, said Stephen, laughing, where they speak the best English.
— A tundish, said the dean reflectively. That is a most interesting word. I must look that word up. Upon my word I must.
. . .
The dean repeated the word yet again.
— Tundish! Well now, that is interesting!
— The question you asked me a moment ago seems to me more interesting. What is that beauty which the artist struggles to express from lumps of earth, said Stephen coldly.
— The little word seemed to have turned a rapier point of his sensitiveness against this courteous and vigilant foe. He felt with a smart of dejection that the man to whom he was speaking was a countryman of Ben Jonson. He thought:
— The language in which we are speaking is his before it is mine. How different are the words home, Christ, ale, master, on his lips and on mine! I cannot speak or write these words without unrest of spirit. His language, so familiar and so foreign, will always be for me an acquired speech. I have not made or accepted its words. My voice holds them at bay. My soul frets in the shadow of his language.
April 13. That tundish has been on my mind for a long time. I looked it up and find it English and good old blunt English too. Damn the dean of studies and his funnel! What did he come here for to teach us his own language or to learn it from us. Damn him one way or the other!
* * *
Double consciousness, double identity.
For DuBois even his name is involved with doubleness.
The NAACP spells it DuBois, as does rhe FBI and Paul Partington’s Bibliography and DuBois himself in early books (The later titles and covers may involve decisions by editors). DuBois is also the form used by the New Georgia Encyclopedia and by the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center of Kansas City, Missouri and its website called duboislc.org.
But Columbia University’s Bartleby website spells it Du Bois (as do the French). So do Wikipedia and Amazon Books (most of the time). Henry Louis Gates of Harvard was originally the DuBois professor, but later became the Du Bois professor and head of the Du Bois Institute of African and African American Research.
The name is also often spelled Dubois and has been spelled du Bois, emphasizing the French basis of the name — ‘of the wood‘.
Joyce seems to opt for a one word version.
Layer one — the caption3
In Finnegans Wake DuBois appears most prominently, if in disguise, in the line that follows this drawing of intersecting circles on Page 293.12:
“Vieus Von DVbLIn, ’twas one of dozedeams a darkies ding in dewood.”
The drawing itself probably can be made to carry all the themes of the Wake. Its caption, “Vieus Von DvbLIn” can also be read in a myriad of ways. From the perspective of “second sight” it is a drawing of two eyes.
Or is it ‘Views from the Blind’, the vision of a blind poet, Joyce himself or Homer, (or are we to read this just as an oxymoron). Of course it also illustrates, incongruously with the drawing, a set of ‘Views of Dublin’. And as has been often discussed it is also the delta of Anna Livia Plurabelle with pi behind and P before.
If we really look at the typography of “DVbLIn” and realize how fully Joyce had worked it out, we have to become aware of — what many Joyce scholars apparently have not fully understood — how much Joyce was concerned with the details of many aspects of linguistics, including here the relation of language sounds to ways of writing, and how much knowledge and skill he brought to this concern.4
If we give a syllabic quality to the capital letters we can read “DVbL” as ‘double’. The “In” then can be read as a middle English plural with the capital “I” read as ‘eye’ to give us ‘views from double eyn’ (‘double eyes’). Joyce uses a similar form elsewhere, for example eyne in: “his seaarm strongsround her, her velivole eyne ashipwracked” (275.18; velivole.5 French, ‘glide’, could give a hypothetical reading gliding eyes’. Joyce uses another old plural spellling — in s - at 499.12 “loosen his eyis!).
Three lines below “Vieus Von DvbLIn” is “Given now ann linch you take enn all” (293.15). The treatment of “enn” here suggests several games with n including a stretched reading of “you take enn all” as ‘take enn as plural (all)’, with “take” in its sense in ‘you take my meaning’.
So that “enn” equals a spelling out or sounding out of n as plural.
The capital “L” and “I” of “DvbLIn” could also push us toward another reading. following African U.S. (and other African American) speech varieties that reduce final nd clusters to n, we could read n of “DVbLIn” as nd which would identify the drawing as ‘Views of/from the blind’ [blain]. Joyce plays with such alternations of nd with n in other places, as in “Bohemeand lips” (170.10), and “puddigood, this is for true a sweetish mand” (590.20), read ‘Swedish man’, but also as African American and West Indian ‘sweet man’.
Who are the double eyed and who the blind is not yet clear.
The “DV” in “DVbLIn” read as ‘The’ pronounced with a d is confirmed in this line (and elsewhere in Finnegans Wake): “one of dozedeams a darkies ding in dewood”, which shows also the phonetic variation of d, with th (both voiced [ð] and unvoiced [θ]). “DV” is a kind of “stupid” dialect version of ‘The’, or perhaps a version of parody African American. The “de” of “dewood” is a more specifically African American “rendition” of ‘the” (although it has other sources, perhaps Dutch Brooklyn, as in “Dis and dat and dese and dose!” (FW 26) — and “hosetanzies, dat sure is . . .” — FW379.07).
The ‘the’ in “dewood” is confirmed by ‘the Woods’ in Hodgart and Worthington’s identification of Thomas Moore’s “Song of the Woods” in this line.6
The replacement of ‘the’ with “de” that we see in “dewood” also occurs in reverse, — in “The foe” (316.24) read as the author Daniel Defoe (the ‘De’ reading of “The” which contrasts Robinson Crusoe with the slave trade, in this description of the middle passage) or as an 18th century version of African English: De foe things = ‘the few things’.
We could, perhaps, go a little further with our reading of ‘double eyn, reading it as a doubling of the pronoun ‘I’ and so ‘double ego’ or ‘double self’. The drawing would then become an image of the duality of soul or “double consciousness” that is the subject of the passage quoted from DuBois’s book. Understanding the rest of the line and the context in which it appears will make this a not unlikely interpretation.
So ‘double eyes’ raises the theme of “double consciousness”. Let us begin with a fairly complex examination of this line, and the passage that accompanies it — and its relation to the page opposite (as Joyce so often mirrors items across page).
The full passage includes items on the side:
293.12 Uteralterance or
293.13 the Interplay of
293.14 Bones in the
293.18 The Vortex,
293.19 Spring of Sprung
293.20 Verse. The Ver-
Vieus Von DVbLIn, ’twas one of dozedeams
a darkies ding in dewood) the Turnpike under
the Great Ulm (with Mearingstone in Fore
ground).¹ Given now ann linch you take enn
all. Allow me! And, heaving alljawbreakical
expressions out of old Sare Isaac’s² universal
of specious aristmystic unsaid, A is for Anna
like L is for liv. Aha hahah, Ante Ann you’re
apt to ape aunty annalive! Dawn gives rise.
Lo, lo, lives love! Eve takes fall. La, la, laugh
leaves alass! Aiaiaiai, Antiann, we’re last to
the lost, Loulou! Tis perfect. Now (lens
your dappled yeye here . . .
293.f1 ¹ Draumcondra’s Dream country where the betterlies blow.
293.f2 ² O, Laughing Sally, are we going to be toadhauntered by that old Pantifox
Sir Somebody Something, Burtt, for the rest of our secret stripture?
Layer two — the song
Hodgart and Worthington (1959, 124) identify the line “one of dozedeams a darkies ding in dewood” as a line from Thomas Moore’s Song of the Woods:
“One of those dreams that by music are brought”
Hidden behind this “pretty” line are a host of other dreams and musics, and different songs of the woods.
That, in Joyce, behind Moore’s Melodies there is a more Irish (or more ‘natural’?) music was discussed by Sean Golden in his remarkable article “Traditional Irish Music in Contemporary Irish Literature” (Mosaic XII.3, 1979, 1-29). He showed us Joyce’s long term concern with the genuine Irish culture which underlies the various distortions that have resulted from colonial domination; the tradition of genuine Irish music which Moore distorted to please an English audience, or an anglicized Irish taste.
Discussing Portrait Sean Golden says:”Stephen’s appropriate tradition is the one hidden behind Moore’s Melodies in the Irish airs which structure them and in the culture which produced those airs . . . in the world of the old man from the west he imagines he must wrestle with all night long”7
In this context of music the “tempered” scale of post Rennaissance European music can be contrasted with the “natural” scales of old Irish melodies. In an article I have been trying unsuccesfully to recover for many years, someone (I think in a musical journal) related Joyce’s line “Your heart is in the system of the shewolf” (26.11) to the system of Irish scales with the flattened “wolf tone” (apt name) in the seventh. Whatever Joyce may or may not have meant by the “system of the shewolf”, the distinguished organist and composer Ronald Prowse very kindly explained the musical system to me: “I am not sure what Joyce had to say about wolf tone but the concept itself is no mystery. The harmonic series is based on ratios: 1/1 fundamental unison, 1/2 — octave, 2/3 — perfect fifth, 3/4 — perfect fourth, 4/5 — major third, 5/6 — minor third, etc. Unforunately, when you go around the circle of fifths: C-G-D-A-E-B- F#-C#-G#-D#-A#-E#-B#, in nature the B# does not equal C. A “wolf tone” or an interval smalled than a perfect fifth would result if you played the interval from E# to C. Different temperaments were invented to compromise the intervals found in nature in order to avoid the “wolf tone”. Meantone temperament and equal temperament are only two of many examples.”8
That this is relevant to Irish airs is described by William H. Grattan Flood in his A History of Irish Music, Chapter 4, 1905) (9): “However, I would especially call attention to the beauty of airs constructed in the fourth Irish mode, at least the variant of it which obtained in the early Anglo-Irish period, when the really characteristic note of this lovely mode had become definitely fixed by the inclusion of the missing seventh, that is F natural. This mode . . . had to flatten the seventh in order to meet the tonality of the Irish modes, and thus the airs written in this fourth mode were said to have been the flat seventh.”9
Layer three — line 12
The appearance of Moore’s songs in Finnegans Wake is often an indicator of the presence of African related material. In this case that indication is hardly necessary. That the obvious African American and racist content of this line has never been commented on may be the result of scholars afraid of their own racism or simply that no one wanted to see this content in Finnegans Wake. Joyce was perfectly aware about what he was doing, whether simply recording the racism around him, or ironically or otherwise participating in it.
So “dozedeams” can read ‘those dreams’ or ‘those themes’. There are also overtones of ‘beam’, ‘one of those beams’ (of light or part of ‘mote and beam’ to go with the ‘blind’ reading of “DvbLIn”).
The a in “a darkies” presents more complex problems. We could take it simply as ‘that’, ‘that darkies sing’. Or we could take it as the indefinite article ‘a darky’s thing/ding’. Or we could take it as the Creole particle a sometimes translated by Caribbeanists as ‘it is’ or sometimes appearing in African American speech as simply “is”, with no pronoun. (“Ding” — from ‘thing’ to ‘sing’ to ‘soul’ to ‘ding an sich’ — requires a whole section which we will come to in a moment.)
Either the “darkies” are singing in the woods — a Black version of some “Song of the Woods” — or we will see the value of reading “dewood” as the English translation of DuBois. And the reading would become ‘One of those dreams/songs that by DuBois are brought’. For at the head of each chapter but one of The Souls of Black Folk DuBois puts the actual notes, the themes, of African American “spirituals” (which DuBois calls “Sorrow Songs”) (At one point Joyce with multiple reference talks about: “Weepon, weeponder, song of sorrowmon” 344.05).
So we come to read “‘twas one of dozedeams a darkies ding in dewood” as ‘One of those themes (songs) that “darkies” sing in DuBois. In Chapter 14 of The Souls of Black Folk DuBois tells us what he thinks these songs are:
“They that walked in darkness sang songs in the olden days — Sorrow Songs — for they were weary at heart. And so before each thought that I have written in this book I have set a phrase, a haunting echo of these weird old songs in which the soul of the black slave spoke to men.” (181)
So these are not only sorrow songs, but ‘soul songs’ — for by putting the very notes, the musical notation, at the head of his chapters the whole book is introduced as a “translation” of the message of a set of songs through which The Souls of Black Folk speak about their condition to men.
Layer four — the rest of the page
The image of DuBois in a drawing of two eyes, “this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others”, thus “gifted with second sight”, is followed by a mirror image of “double consciousness” in Mark Twain (fitting name). He gives a desciption of the conflict of two ways of seeing rising to consciousness in the soul of Huckleberry Finn. “Given now ann linch you take enn all” (293.15)
McHugh (Annotations ) gives Huckleberry Finn, Chapter 16, as a source
(I queried McHugh as to where he got this. He wasn’t sure but it seems that the annotation is his own — although given his system he has claimed no credit).10
The line in Huckleberry Finn is: “Give a nigger an inch and he’ll take an ell.”
In Huckleberry Finn this line comes just at a point where Twain (‘2’) is demonstrating the distortion of values and perspective that has come to Whites from treating humans as property. This is a reversal of DuBois’s account of the distortion of vision that comes from being treated as property. Huck’s “conscience” starts troubling him because by helping Jim to freedom he is “stealing”, a perspective which makes his spontaneous, human ethical impulses appear to him, or the “civilized” part of him, as wrong.
It is when Jim starts fantasizing what he will do with his freedom that Huck, seeking justification to turn Jim in, picks on this behavior and quotes “the old saying” that Joyce imitates in “Given now ann linch you take enn all” (.15).
This strategic use of Huck’s line demonstrates (what we should all have guessed anyway) that Joyce knew Huckleberry Finn and didn’t simply rely on 18-year-old David Fleischman’s notes, as some scholars have claimed. For him to have placed this quotation just after alluding to The Souls of Black Folk shows that Joyce had read and thought through, not only the line’s surface meaning of overeaching one’s place, but Twain’s strategy with Huck as a revealer of white confusion of values, and its relation to the implications of DuBois’s discussion of “double consciousness”.
Possibly the passage is also a characterization of DuBois, who was spokesman for an organization — the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) — which sought improvement for African Americans by gradual (‘an inch’) and Legal (“an ell” L?) means.
The whole passage is a “lynching”, which is a reasonable context for African American protest between 1865 and the time of Joyce’s writing. “Given now ann linch you take enn all” (293.15) and the rest of the passage mimes or “apes” a lynching. If “enn all” is ‘an ell’ or ‘an L’ and on line .19 Joyce says, “A is for Anna like L is for liv”, then to take ‘an L’ is ‘to take a life’. To “take enn all” is followed by a rather too graphic description of the lynching, “heaving alljawbreakical expressions” (.16).11 And the invocation of Newton that accompanies it — “Sare Isaac” etc. — can be taken in this context as simply a representation of the principle of gravity. To the left the “Spring” of this “Vortex” is “Sprung”. And there is a “Verse”, a ‘turning’, from life to death (alongside Gerard Manley Hopkins view of sprung verse and Wyndham Lewis’s vortices. And “Vertex”, at the left of the page, can be glossed ‘apex’ or ‘Ape-X’, echoing the theme of ape and aping found throughout.
And so “Eve takes fall” and “laugh leaves” (“laugh” read ‘life’ in southern U.S. dialect?).
The actual ‘ape-ing’ is described in 293.20, “Ante Ann you’re apt to ape aunty annalive!” and contains a ‘lynching’ allusion as well as the notion of aping someone ‘alive’. The connection of ape and lynch refers also to one account of the word’s history. Some sources attribute the word lynch to the behavior of James Lynch, Warden of Galway, who in 1493 sentenced and personally hung his own son. In one version an ape was carved on the facade of the Lynch family mansion in Galway city, commemorating the rescue from fire of one of the children by an ape in Spain.12
Lynching as a reversal also appears earlier in the book: “Creedless, croonless hangs his haughty. There end no moe red devil in the white of his eye. Braglodyte him do a katadupe!” (252.33). Katadupe” (Gk. kata ‘reversal process’) also contains the Yoruba word adupe ‘thankyou’, which could give a reading ‘Cat — Thankyou’.13
If we follow “A” and “L” on page 293 we can see this change of state of the lynching mirrored at the level of music and visual arrangement. The two circles in the drawing — or their points of intersection with the horizontal of the triangle(s) — are labelled “A” and “L”. In the lines below, but not in the lines above the drawing “A” and “L” figure throughout. So following just one thread, the syllable al starting at line .16, we get:
“you take enn all Allow me! And heaving all jawbreakical . . . universal . . . A is for Anna like L is for liv.”
And after the ‘hanging/reversal’ marked by: “Eve takes fall” (affecting presumably all the themes this passage is about) — the syllable al finally reverses and we get: “La, la laugh leaves alass”, where “alass” gives us both al and la symmetrically (Allah?) at the end.14.
Finally, at the end of the passage, running over to the top of the next page, we find “lens your dappled yeye here” with echoes of A L trailing off into a series of L’s:
293.21 La, la, laugh
293.22 leaves alass! Aiaiaiai, Antiann, we’re last to
293.23 the lost, Loulou! Tis perfect. Now (lens
294.01 your dappled yeye here . . .
And what is “yeye”? It is a doubled (“dappled”) (reduplicated) form of ‘eye’ — eye-eye, echoing the ‘double eyes’ of “DVbLIn” with which we began. We can find this form, yeye, several times in Henry Garland Murray’s Married Hab Teet’: or; Brown Sammy Finds a Wife and Finds Trouble (Kingston, Jamaica, 1876). “Yeye” would then be a representation of what in Jamaica would phonetically be [iyayi] ( e yayee ) which since number is unmarked in Jamaican could be either singular or plural. The form “yeye” would then be plural by its reduplication (doubling), echoing the double eyes of the drawing and its caption. Brown Sammy has the expression, “Cut him yeye” on page 4.15
Murray (a name Joyce rarely passed by) was a folklorist, writer and entertainer, who wrote for the Jamaica Gleaner There is no biography of him in any reference works (including the 1911 Brittanica) that I could find, but Errol Hill includes the following note and excerpt from the Jamaica Gleaner 1876 in his The Jamaican Stage 1992): ‘Henry G. Murray, a black man,’ and from the Gleaner :16
“We beg to call attention to Mr. Murray’s lecture this evening at the Collegiate School Room, After a great deal of trouble, Mr. Murray has at last got a place for the delivery of his Lecture. We hope he will be supported liberally.
“His case has been a hard one. We refer particularly to the refusal to grant him the use of one of Woolmer’s rooms, while it has been granted for a public meeting this evening of the Co-operative society.”
Between 1876 and 1877 Murray published three books in Jamaica:
1. Tom Kittle’s Wake: Manners and Customs of the Country a Generation Ago . . . Tom Kittle’s Wake. 1877, E. Jordan, Kingston, Jamaica.
2. Married Hab Teet’, or Brown Sammy finds a Wife and finds Trouble. 1876, Kingston, Jamaica
3. Feedin’ ’Perrit: A Lecture Illustrative of Jamaica Mythology, De Cordova, Kingston, Jamaica. 1877.
Tom Kittle’s Wake, Murray’s book of 1877, is cited in Hugo Schuchardt’s bibliographical preface to Die Sprache der Saramakkaneger von Suriname (190_) as one of the best sources on Jamaican Creole. Schuchardt’s bibliography was a major source for Joyce on both Creole and Pidgin language texts and studies (see 485.07, on a page where Pidgin is described as “sea Djoytsch”: “in alleman: Suck at!” (or ‘in German, Schuchhardt’). Since there is no biography of Murray in standard reference works Joyce most probably followed this up on his own. By alluding to Tom Kittle’s Wake in some depth on page 340 of Finnegans Wake Joyce was also honoring his friend Tom Kettle, an important Home Rule political leader and poet (and possibly an associate of his in giving Gaelic lectures in 1903) who died in World War I.
“And his boney bogey braggs.” (340.03) and , on the same page “Hyededye, kittyls, and howdeddoh, pan! (340.31) both point clearly to Tom Kittle’s Wake. In the imitation of Cab Calloways patter where “kittyls” is a version of ‘kittens’ we get the indicator “kittyls” for the “boney bogey braggs” at the top of the page.In the book Tom Kittle’s Wake which opens with competitive talk about exploits at sea, a braggart is described as “him is a regular wa dem call bosify Bony”. On the second page Tom Kittle’s greatest sea exploit takes place in the “Bogue Islands” as they emerge from the “rapids” of the “River Styx” in the “deep green waters of the Bogue Keys”.17
“Bony” is of course Napoleon, and at the end of Tom Kittle’s Wake there is a song about Bony who “mek de Dubs fly, Bony mek de Guineas fly” + “Then follows William’s celebrated story of ‘Bony and the Duke’ (Wellington) which cannot be written”
Feedin’ ’Perrit: A Lecture Illustrative of Jamaica Mythology may be the source of “sperrits” in “He had his sperrits all foulen on him” (294.01). And the same may be said of “yeye” in “lens your dappled yeye here” as being from Brown Sammy. Taken together with the Tom Kittle’s Wake allusions there is a pretty good case to be made for Brown Sammy as a source of “yeye” on 294.01, for it is otherwise not a common form for ‘eyes’.
There are possibly other allusions to Murray. A part of some of his performances was to sing some of Thomas Moore’s Melodies at the end. Finnegans Wake has the line:
439.08 of the first nancy-
439.09 free that ran off after the trumpadour that mangled Moore’s melo-
439.10 dies and so upturned the tubshead
where to ‘upturn the tubshead’ refers to an African New World slave practice to make religious events unhearable or unobservable to plantation owners and overseers. And Brer Nancy (the Ashanti spider trickster Ananse) was the hero of Jamaican trickster tales. Trumpadour is a trumpeting ‘troubadour’ (perhaps a characterization of sorts of Murray’s role).
Also the subtitle of Tom Kittle’s Wake, “Manners and Customs of the Country a Generation Ago”, may be a source for “had been mocking his hollaballoon a sample of the costume of the country” (322.07).
Layer five — the mirroring page
DuBois and Charles Stewart Parnell were both gradualists in seeking change through constitutional and legal means and Joyce ties them together across pages 293 and 292 by using the syllable “mear” ‘boundary’.
Making boundaries, while perhaps necessary, is ultimately the source of racism and other such disciminations. In the passage on 293 this is marked, just before the lynching with the presence of the “Mearingstone” or ‘boundary’ stone. Mere is Middle English ‘boundary’, and the “Mearingstone” Gaelic: Aill-na-Mirem is the ‘Stone of Divisions’ (McHugh, Annotations):
293.13 the Turnpike under
293.14 the Great Ulm (with Mearingstone in Fore
293.15 ground). Given now ann linch you take enn
293.16 all. Allow me!
So the theme of going beyond boundaries, taking an “ell”, is marked by an actual boundary stone.
“Mear” also occurs on the opposite page (292), most noticeably in an addition to a famous quotation from Charles Stewart Parnell. Joyce’s version: “no mouth has the might to set a mearbound to the march of a landsmaul” (292.26), refers first of all to language, but Parnell’s original, to be found on his statue at the junction of O’Connell Street and Parnell Street in Dublin City Centre, refers to the emergence of “nations”, seen by him as the self-determination of peoples and cultures.
‘No man shall have the right to fix the boundary to the march of a Nation.’
Joyce’s version, “landsmaul”, is in part his ironic twist on nationalism as the ‘mauling’ of the land. But landsmål in Danish means ‘national language’ while in Norway it means the ‘people’s speech’ as opposed to the official national language — riksmål Joyce clearly seeks both meanings: national language and speech of the people.
But for him, unlike for Parnell, it is not a program, but a historical truth:
“Nor that the mappamund has been changing pattern as youth plays move from street to street since time and races were” (253.04).
The “mear” which is added to Parnell’s original line reflects the appearance of “Mearingstone” on 293.14. And in this setting “mear” ties both to the impossibilities of limiting the development of ‘national’ or racial or, in the case of DuBois, African American self-expression. However Joyce, by changing “right” to “might”, “no mouth has the might” rather than the “right”, transforms this political statement into a natural history of the development of languages and cultural expression.
Joyce’s line about the mappamund follows right after a statement about the “mouthart” of the “slove” (‘slave’, which comes from Slav, though not from Irish slob ‘mud’, though both may be relevant if we are comparing English racism towards the Irish with U.S. racism against African Americans).18 The line goes: “since in the mouthart of the slove look at me now means I once was otherwise” (253.04). Joyce contrasts this with “for in the ersebest idiom I have done it equals I so shall do” (253.01). This discussion follows right after the lynching scene of the Nigerian mentioned earlier (252.33)
252.33 Creedless, croonless hangs his haughty. There end no moe red
252.34 devil in the white of his eye. Braglodyte him do a katadupe! A con-
252.35 damn quondam jontom sick af a suckbut! He does not know how
252.36 his grandson’s grandson’s grandson’s grandson will stammer up
253.01 in Peruvian for in the ersebest idiom I have done it equals I so
253.02 shall do. He dares not think why the grandmother of the grand-
253.03 mother of his grandmother’s grandmother coughed Russky with
253.04 suchky husky accent since in the mouthart of the slove look at
253.05 me now means I once was otherwise. Nor that the mappamund
253.06 has been changing pattern as youth plays moves from street to
253.07 street since time and races were . . .
So Joyce connects the lynched African slave to the Slav/Russian who was his etymological ancestor and with his “Peruvian” descrendant in this endless process of change and mixture “since time and races were”. And on 292 to the Irish for whom Parnell was proclaiming “the march of a nation”.
The lines leading into Joyce’s version of Parnell’s declaration provide an additional history of culture and language, with echoes of Ezra Pound’s call to “Make it New” and a glimpse of the totalitarian authority of a an ‘Eton’ SS collar, and the stutter, probably of Willam Randolph Hearst’s friend Marion Davies, uttering a call for boundaries.
292.14 you would see in his house of thoughtsam (was
292.15 you, that is, decontaminated enough to look discarnate) what a
292.16 jetsam litterage of convolvuli of times lost or strayed, of lands
292.17 derelict and of tongues laggin too, longa yamsayore, not only that
292.18 but, search lighting, beached, bashed and beaushelled à la Mer
292.19 pharahead into faturity, your own convolvulis pickninnig capman
292.20 would real to jazztfancy the novo takin place of what stale words
292.21 whilom were woven with and fitted fairly featly for, so; and
292.22 equally so, the crame of the whole faustian fustian, whether your
292.23 launer’s lightsome or your soulard’s schwearmood, it is that,
292.24 whenas the swiftshut scareyss of our pupilteachertaut duplex will
292.25 hark back to lark to you symibellically that, though a day be as
292.26 dense as a decade, no mouth has the might to set a mearbound to
292.27 the march of a landsmaul,² in half a sylb, helf a solb, holf a salb on-
292.28 ward³ the beast of boredom, common sense, lurking gyrographi-
292.29 cally down inside his loose Eating S.S. collar is gogoing of
292.30 whisth to you sternly how — Plutonic loveliaks twinnt Platonic
292.31 yearlings — you must, how, in undivided reawlity draw the line
The flotsam (“thoughtsam”) and jetsam of the past, shells bashed on the beaches, along with other litter of lands and letters, include ‘beach-la-mar’ or ‘beche-de-mer’ , the pidgin (now national language) spoken in areas of New Guinea and neighboring islands (flot Danish ‘beautiful’ — so that beautiful — or ‘thinking’ — Sam is contrasted with “jetsam” ‘Black Sam’).
This accumulation of “litterage” is then characterized as Jazz:
292.19 your own convolvulis pickninnig capman
292.20 would real to jazztfancy the novo takin place of what stale words
292.21 whilom were woven with and fitted fairly featly for, so; and
292.22 equally so, the crame of the whole faustian fustian, whether your
292.23 launer’s lightsome or your soulard’s schwearmood,
“Pickni” is a creole version, that spread more widely, of the Portuguese word for ‘child’ while “nig’ indicates that the “capman” is another invocation of the ‘black porter’ who appears throughout the Wake. Jazz is fancy remaking the litterage into something new, a creole process of picking up the pieces or scraps and reforging them into a new language, or, emphasinzing the “stale words”, simply a desciption of Pound’s view of the process of poetic creation. For “the crame of your whole faustian fustian” (.22), McHugh Annotations) notes Spengler’s characterization of Western Man as the “Faustian cream of fashion” in The Decline of the West. While for the rest he notes German laune ‘mood’ and refers to “Faust’s ‘two souls’, leicht (light) and schwer(heavy)” and to German schwermut ‘melancholy’.
With a little effort we can read “your soulard’s schwearmood” as another characterization of DuBois — with another possible occurance of “mear” creeping through the debris. “Soulard” breaks down in a couple of ways. The suffix -ard “a living formative of English derivatives, as in buzzard drunkard laggard sluggard with sense of ‘one who does to excess, or who does what is discreditable’” (OED . So a “soulard” is someone doing “soul” to excess or in a way that is discreditable. With reference to DuBois’s book, The Souls of Black Folk and the concern with the songs as expressing soul, and Joyce’s sometimes ironic view of the book, DuBois is a “soulard”, one addicted to soul.
And then there is the ‘lard’. Soul, for Joyce, has a definite connection with food. This is most visible in the ‘soulfood’ reading of “soullfriede” in “”But of they never eat soullfriede they’re ating it now” (376.36; “friede” also as ‘freed’, ‘love’, ‘peace’, and ‘fried’) and the readings related to it. ‘Soulfood’ is not necessarily fried, but it has had that reputation. ‘Soul butter” appears in “being brung up on soul butter” (230.23) and with ‘heavenly’ in “O, what an ovenly odour! Buttter butter!” (603.07). The butter connection appears on the same page as “soullfriede” where we find “Gormagareen” (376.18). This word has a strong secondary reading as ‘Man margarine’, a reading based on a Fulfulde (Fulani) reading of gor as ‘man’.19. Across the page we find a description of the great vaudeville singer Al Joilson in blackface (soulskin — Danish ‘sunshine’):
377.26 And who will wager but he’ll
377.27 Shonny Bhoy be,the fleshlumpfleeter from Poshtapengha and all
377.28 he bares sobsconcious inklings shadowed on soulskin.
where ‘Sonny Boy’ was one of Jolson’s most famous song performances and “sobsconscious” is an inspired description of Jolson’s vocal style. There is also a food reference here — “eeter” in “fleshlumpfleeter”.
There are examples of soul food in the Wake: “selling foulty treepes she would make massa dinars with her savuneer dealinsh” (243.24), where “savuneer” is ‘Savannah’ and ‘tripe’ are ‘chitterlings’ or ‘chitlins’ illustrated later on the same page in “to his cowmate and chilterlings” (243.32). ‘Tripe’ also appears in association with what may be African American rhyming insults called the dozens:
“Here’s our dozen cousins from the starves on tripes” (265.L5), the “dozens” described in the main text as “wustworts” (265.27 ‘westwards’ or ‘to the left on the page’?). The “wust” word most featured in “dozens” rhyming gives a reading: ‘Here’s our fucking cousins from the U.S.’ (“Stars and Stripes”).
The “soulard” in this passage has a “schwearmood” (schwermut ‘dark/difficult mood’) with an extra a added. The trickier way to approach the readings I want to make is simply to suggest that we can reverse the w and the m to get ‘schmearwood’. But there is a more open way along this track. If “schwearmood” comes at the end of a list of forms of expression, or languages, it is reasonable to read the “mood” as a ‘word’, a ‘difficult’ (schwer or with the m as a ‘schmer’ Word, more consistently read as a ‘schmear (or ‘smear’) word’. Yiddish schmear/schmeer/shmir noun or verb: ‘spread’ (e.g., cream cheese on a bagel); also a ‘bribe’ (see German schmieren). ‘Smear’ also has a sound echo in Danish as smørbrød ‘butter bread’ or open sandwiches (another kind of soul food?). These readings go with the list of fat allusions in this passage: “crame” (.22) and “fat” (.19) and the “lard” in “soulard”.20 The ‘smearword’ may also apply to Parnell, a reference to Pigott’s forged letter condoning the Phoenix Park murders (see the various references to the misspelling of “hesitancy” that exposed it). To ‘smear’ of course includes the word “mear”.
So the “soulard’s schwearmood” can be taken as referring to and reading DuBois’s book, with “mear” connecting across the pages.
* * *
There are other references to DuBois, although none so worked on as that on 293. A couple of them involve references to the Boston Evening Transcript, the newspaper acceptable to the Boston establishment. As characterized by T. S. Eliot in an early poem that Joyce must have known:
The Readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.
When evening quickens faintly in the street,
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, “Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript.”
The paper was recognized as a “motif” by Clive Hart in this Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake (232)21 One reference involving the Transcript is “A trancedone boyscript” (374.03). DuBois gave his name an English pronunciation as in “Boyce”. In “A trancedone boyscript” (374.03), Joyce‘s elegant reworking of this pronunciation into “boyscript”, we may read a comment on DuBois’s book: ‘a boy’s script’. The sound [z] at the end of boy’s becomes an [s] when combined with words beginning in s, such as “script”. So we can read ‘a Boyce or DuBois script’.
Boys[z] also shows up as Boyce [s] in a line associating the Irish origins of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan )- “Brékkek Kékek Kékkek Kékkek! Kóax Kóax Kóax! Ualu Ualu Ualu! Quaouauh!” (4.02) with the ‘Whiteboys’ (also ‘oboes’ or ‘hautbois’)22 “catapelting the camibalistics out of the Whoyteboyce of Hoodie Head” (4.04)
“A trancedone boyscript” comes “with tittivits by. Ahem.” (374.04 — the hem of a skirt also, thus ‘a skirt’ in the slang of the first half of the 20th century). This is part of a set of allusions to D.H. Lawrence and M.L. Skinner’s The Boy in the Bush (1924), a book that Ms. Skinner wrote but that Lawrence revised and added to largely. One of his additions was the chapter called “Lost”. This chapter of The Boy in the Bush appears in, “You is feeling like you was lost in the bush, boy?” (112.03). Lawrence’s words are: “The Australian, lost but unbroken, on the edge of the wilderness . . . They were up against the great dilemma of whitemen on the edge of the white man’s world, looking into the vaster alien world of the undawned era, and unable to enter, unable to leave their own.”
This is another white image, the view into the “bush”, set up in contrast to the view from “dewood”, the woods. In the context:
112.03 You is feeling like you was lost in the bush, boy? You says:
112.04 It is a puling sample jungle of woods. You most shouts out:
112.05 Bethicket me for a stump of a beech if I have the poultriest no-
112.06 tions what the farest he all means. Gee up, girly! The quad gos-
112.07 pellers may own the targum but any of the Zingari shoolerim
112.08 may pick a peck of kindlings yet from the sack of auld hensyne.
it might seem to say that part of what keeps some readers (if Lawrence is relevant that would make them White Men} from understanding Finnegans Wake is that their formal learning keeps them from the live understanding that the ‘Sin City’ schoolkids have (as opposed to the college spiritual singers, the “quad gospellers” who own the targum),23 whether ‘Gypsies’ Italian Zingari (See Ron Maling, “Cricketers in the Wake” on “I. Zingari”, a wandering [from ‘Gypsy'] cricket team in the 1860’s), or as they appear in Hausa, the ‘Sin City’ (zin ‘sin’ + gari ‘profane or market city’ ), who have the courage to pick kindlings from to the sack of old hen signs (Danish hensyn ‘regard’ ‘consideration’ (Christiani 117).24
The Boston Evening Transcript appears again in another possible DuBois allusion:
“Rased on traumscrapt from Maston, Boss” (623.36).
Apart from ‘race’, there is again a focus on a dream-like quality — the dr ‘dream’ and the tr of ‘trance’ merge in German “traum” (‘dreamscraps': see FW293 Ftnt 1: Draumcondra’s Dreamcountry”). A Wagnerian quality may be indicated, a tone culled from the wreckage (“scrapt”) of the Boston, German influenced, late 19th century “Culture” that was the matrix for DuBois’s education (“rased” ‘raised’) in Massachusetts, at Harvard, and in Germany. But his culture is also culled from the ‘race’ (“rased”) themes of ‘Master on slave’.
Joyce’s own way of stating DuBois’s theme of double vision, “of twosome twiminds” is a bit more complicated. For “twi” can be a lisped or ‘Twain” version of tri ‘three’.25 Reading “twi” as ‘three’ presents us with a case of two against three, somehwat similar to the 4 against 3 that appears in sqaring the circle. In this case Joyce
347.23 took out after the dead beats. So I begin to study and I soon
347.24 show them day’s reasons how to give the cold shake to they
347.25 blighty perishers and lay one over the beats. All feller he look
347.26 he call all feller come longa villa finish. Toumbalo, how was
347.27 I acclapadad! From them banjopeddlars on the raid. Gidding
347.28 up me anti vanillas and getting off the stissas me aunties.
James Atherton notes that “lowsome” comes from a passage in Huckleberry Finn where it originates as “laws-a-me” (He then says we can ignore this, part of the generally conservative tenor of Wake scholarship in the 1960’s).26 This is followed by “day’s reasons” a phrase of two words in a rather awkward standard English, but of three words if read in an African American dialect as ‘there is reasons’ ‘I soon showed them there are reasons to . . . lay one over the beats’. To lay a music line “over the beats’ is a wonderful description of the basic principle of how African polyrhythms work, something much more connonly known today than in the 1930’s, but which Joyce apparently understood. This is followed by a line in Pidgin and a reference to banjos and to “anti-vanillas”, and three lines later to the Yoruba Gods, the orishas in “orussheying” (347.31).
* * *
Ding is a sound that penetrates, that focuses meditation; or, that brings us back to earth, as well as “a darkies ding in dewood“ (293.12).
DuBois is at pains to emphasize the “souls” of African American people. But Joyce’s text also suggests the possible neglect of earthier elements, for there are the multiple valences of “ding”. On the left we have “Uteralterance or the interplay of bones in the womb” — either childbirth or sex concretely viewed — also a possible sexual reading of “ding” (although this would require changing the text from “darkies” to ‘darky’s’). Oh dem bones, dem bones
To understand the full nature of ding we need to look particularly at two contexts, one at page 214 and the other at page 611. Page 214 has as one of its issues the plurality of souls:
214.06 Orara por Orbe and poor Las Animas!
214.07 Ussa, Ulla, we’re umbas all! . . .
214.09 . . . It’s that irrawaddyng I’ve stoke in my aars. It all
214.10 but husheth the lethest zswound. Oronoko!
First, we have the categories into which souls are often divided, ‘breath’ (anima) and ‘shadow’ or ‘shade’. “Las Animas”, ‘the souls’, is plural (and contains a side glance at Jung’s notion of anima which we shall need to keep in mind).27 In “umbas” (214.07) two kinds of shadow are merged: Latin umbra meaning physical shade or shadow, is merged with Latin ambo has the meanings of ‘double’ or ‘twin’ as well as the soul as ‘shade-shadow’.
This reading of ambo is connected by Joyce both to an African presence and to Jim in Huckleberry Finn. “I could love that man like my own ambo” (159.29) is paralleled by “but I loved that man who has africot lupps with the moonshane in his profile, my shemblabble! My freer!” (489.26-.28, ‘my brother’ [French], and my ‘liberator’). This in turn echoes “Jimmy, my old brown freer” (588.13), both Jim and Joyce himself, and Jim’s role in bringing Huck to consciousness.
But the ‘Irrawady’ river carries us to something new. To understand “ddyng” in “irrawaddyng” we need to look at another book on souls, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl’s The Soul of the Primitive 1927). Lévy-Bruhl appears as “Professor Loewy-Brueller” (150.15), accompanied by direct references to anthropology, with very modern indications of its colonial role and the need for “apology” in “I need not anthrapologize” (151.07). Joyce had a presentation copy of Lévy-Bruhl’s book with the pages uncut. But this should not be taken as an indication that he had not read or looked seriously into the book.28
Built into this version of Lévy-Bruhl’s name is the name of another significant anthropologist not previously noticed in Finnegans Wake Robert Lowie (“Loewy”), a follower of Franz Boas. Lowie’s Primitive Society 1920)29 is a Boasian critique of all evolutionary schemes of culture, including notions of a “primitive mind” of the kind associated with Lévy-Bruhl (and with Carl Jung). But Lowie was aware that Lévy-Bruhl had a complex view of cultural evolution. In a late view he remarks, “. . . [Lévy-Bruhl] not infrequently arrives at important reclassifications, as when he shows convincingly that the primitive concept of the soul is by no means so simple and uniform as the followers of the animistic theory assume” (1937).30 Joyce, if my readings are correct, uses Lévy-Bruhl to make just this point.
For on page 132 of The Soul of the Primitive there is a reference to a concept of the ‘soul’ which is neither ‘breath’ nor ‘shadow’. Three kinds of souls, Lévy-Bruhl tells us, are believed in by the Suau Tawala of Papua New Guinea. The third kind of soul, not breath or shadow, is called by them “earua”.
Joyce gives clear indications for a reading of “irrawaddyng” as ‘ear wadding’. It “husheth the lethest zswound” — sound or wound. But if it is an ‘ear wadding’ then perhaps the washerwomen on the banks of the Liffey, whose dialogue at one level this is, don’t want to hear all these different kinds of souls battling it out, ‘It’s that ear-wadding I’ve stuck in my ears’.
Although “aars” suggests something less spiritual. what the washerwomen can ‘hear’ is relevant to another echo of “umbas” (214.07). George Cinclair Gibson says with reference to the washerwomen that “The Wakean banshees possess the ability of imbas forosnai — they can hear the voice of the river” (2005, 146).
Whether earua or imbas, “Irrawaddyng” as ‘Earua-Ding’ is a ‘soul-sound’ that gets through the ‘wadding’ (an ‘ear-waker’?), a ‘soul ding’.
Another description may give us a further view into the character of this ‘soul ding':
“the Ding hvad in idself id est” (FW 611.21)
The Soul of the Primitive , it turns out, is at the center of the most ‘civilized’ philosophy. Not only the Kantian ding an sich, the ‘thing in itself’ which we cannot know’, but a “Ding” that is in itself, ‘in itself it is’. (This seems to me to be a statement about a soul that is whole and one, authentic — where the equilibrium between inner and outer view has not been broken as it has in “double consciousness”, but so far I have no serious evidence for this.) This ding is tied to a Freudian reading of the ‘thing in itself’ as “id” (“id est”) — which contrasts with the references on 214 to Jung’s anima. How the “ding” in “a darkies ding” (293.13) relates to these other appearances is in question: the ‘soul’s singing’ and a ‘soul thing’, an “id” that is “stoke” in the “aars” (FW 214.09 — “aars”, Dutch ‘ass’). McHugh’s reading of a ‘coal’ image in “stoke” reinforces a ‘Black’ reading of ‘soul- earua’). After the “irrawaddyng” has been “stoke” the reaction is “Oronoko!” (FW 214.10). “Oronoko”, not only a river, is of course “The Royal Slave” of Aphra Behn’s novel, Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave( 1688).
The id (‘it’) along with the ‘inch’ and ‘all’ that we discussed in connection with Huckleberry Finn and lynching, are all tied together sexually in
268.04 the It with an itch in it, the All
268.05 every inch of it, the pleasure each will preen her
268.06 for, the business each was bred to breed by.
with a footnote which, by noting Jung’s less spiritual side, confirms the Freud-Jung connection hovering around these themes: “³ The law of the jungerl”.31
On the same page as “soullfriede” we noted the presence of “Gormagareen” (376.18). In the line that follows, “The eitch is in her blood” ( 376.19) the “itch” appears again as a dropped h pronunciation of h (“eitch”). The “it”, the “inch”, the “All” and the h are all tied to the ‘soulfood’ by the dropping of the h in “ating” to get the reading ‘hating’ as well as ‘eating’ (with a confusing of past and present):32
“But of they never eat soullfriede they’re ating it now” (376.36)
* * *
“When I lay this body down”
But Joyce too was a “soulard” and identified himself with disembodied spirit: “a person who has now dissolved visibly and possesses scarcely as much ‘pendibility’ as an uninhabited dressinggown” Letters I, 166-7, to Harriet Shaw Weaver, June 24, 1921). He is “discarnate” as in the passage that ends with the “soulard’s schwearmood” and which begins “you would see in his house of thoughtsam (was you, that is, decontaminated enough to look discarnate)” (292.14-17).
DuBois also plays between “double consciousness” and something more “discarnate”, namely “second sight” when he describes “the Negro” as “a seventh son born with a veil”, for being born with a caul was (is) a sign for someone born with second sight in the traditional meaning, the ability to see or converse with the dead. And we have heard DuBois describe the songs he has put as epigraphs to his chapters as “a haunting echo of these weird old songs in which the soul of the black slave spoke to men.”
Joyce may have picked up on “haunting echo” in the second footnote on page 293: “Are we going to be toadhauntered by that old Pantifox . . .” (293.f2).
I say all this because the last layer I want to read in the line with which we began involves Joyce’s identification of himself with the dead soul of an African American slave. Many of us have experienced Joyce’s way of leading us to someone else’s words which he then appropriates in his own voice. In this case it is to us that he seeks to give with his voice a kind of “second sight”.
Only once, does DuBois put the actual words of a “sorrow song” instead of the notes of the music. When we turn to the chapter “Of the Sorrow Songs” to read about DuBois’s attitude towards and use of these songs “in dewood” we find these words at the head of the chapter:
I walk through the churchyard
To lay this body down;
I know moon-rise, I know star-rise;
I walk in the moonlight, I walk in the starlight;
I’ll lie in the grave and stretch out my arms,
I’ll go to judgement in the evening of the day,
And my soul and thy soul shall meet that day,
When I lay this body down.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
When his Steam was like a Raimbrandt round Mac Garvey (176.18)
While W.E.B. DuBois appeared as a man of reason, education, and law, founding member of the “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” N.A.A.C.P. Marcus Garvey was the messianic voice of the “Universal Negro Improvement Association.”Where DuBois saw a future of equality and integration, Garvey preached the separation of the races as the basis of the dignity of Black people. Even though the United States government threw him out of the country as dangerous he planted the seeds of such movements as the Black Muslims. And he helped establish the idea that the “races” were irreconcilable, fostering an atmosphere that recognized the depth of racism as fact, and sought to create the soul of the Black Race emphasizing the superiority and fundamental importance of Africa and African cultures in the creation of civilization. In doing so he transformed the consciousness of millions of “Black” people both inside and outside the United States: “Up, Oh Mighty Race”.33
The emotions he released affect many discussions today including debates in anthropology over the place of origin of the human species. Human origins are now accepted as being in Africa, but the development of Homo Sapiens continues to be debated with passions that have little to do with science. discussions of the origins of “classical” Greek culture stimulated by the book Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (Martin Bernal, 1987) and the responses to it, represent another strand of his influence.
Joyce’s major treatment of Garvey — in the last of the “flesh and blood games” — is suitably messianic and apocalyptic and flamboyant: a rainbow sign and a fire.are both contained in the “Raimbrandt.” that is around Mac (Common Celtic root *Makkos) Garvey. We shall be looking at a painting by Rembrandt that shows Christ on a cross with his halo created by cold light passing through an vaporous atmosphere — the “steam” — emanating from the tears and excretions of the sick below. The rainbow/Rembrandt is burnt — brandt — and so presumeably is the cross it features.
* * *
The “flesh and blood games” are played by “piccaninnies . . . with Dina and old Joe . . . and the yellow girl” (175.33-36):
175.30 Darkies never done tug that coon out to
175.31 play non-excretory, anti-sexuous, misoxenetic, gaasy pure, flesh
175.32 and blood games, written and composed and sung and danced
175.33 by Niscemus Nemon, same as piccaninnies play all day, those
175.34 old (none of your honeys and rubbers!) games for fun and ele-
175.35 ment we used to play with Dina and old Joe kicking her behind
175.36 and before and the yellow girl kicking him behind old Joe,
“Old Joe” echoes a number of old southern themes, such as Stephen Foster’s “Old Black Joe” and the white country music song, “Old Joe Clark”. Joyce emphasizes a generic element by putting “old” in lower case. But this version is the song “Old Joe” written in 1844 by Frank Brower, a white blackface performer, for the Virginia Minstrels (whatever His source may have been). In the index of Hodgart and Worthington’s, Song in the Works of James Joyce — there is no reference in their text — there is a fairly cryptic short remark saying that Mabel Worthington attributes the song to an appearance of the refrain in Georges du Maurier’s 1894 novel, Trilby. Du Maurier’s version introduces the “yellow girl”, so it is clearly a source.
‘Old Joe kicking up behind and afore.
And the yaller gal a-kicking up behind old Joe.’
Whether or not Joyce knew Brower’s version, it was clearly a source for du Maurier. But the Virginia Minstrels were not just any white blackface group (Dan Emmet, Richard Pelham, Billy Whitlock, and Frank Brower), They were the first group to ever put on a full evening’s minstrel show. Brower was one of the endmen. He is also known for having introduced playing the bones into the minstrel show. His version of the refrain, in the recording I was able to listen to, is:
Old Joe kicking up ahind and afore
and the young gal kicking up behind Old Joe.34
Whether the following minstrel scene (it seems to contain allusions to the Christy minstrels in Dublin) actually contains reference to Brower is uncertain, although it certainly has enough bones and they are played:“whisklyng into a bone”). In any case it shows Joyce’s strong interest in minstrels:
515.28 that bamboozelem mincethrill voice of yours. Let’s have it,
515.29 christie! The Dublin own, the thrice familiar.
515.30 — Ah, sure, I eyewitless foggus. ‘Tis all around me bebatters-
515.31 bid hat.
515.32 — Ah, go on now, Masta Bones, a gig for a gag, with your
515.33 impendements your perroqtriques! Blank memory of hatless
515.34 darky in blued suit. You were ever the gentle poet, dove from
515.35 Haywarden. Pitcher cup, patcher cap, pratey man? Be nice about
515.36 it, Bones Minor! Look chairful! Come, delicacy! GO to the end,
516.01 thou slackerd! Once upon a grass and a hopping high grass it
516.03 — Faith, then, Meesta Cheeryman, first he come up, a gag
516.04 as a gig, badgeler’s rake to the town’s major from the wesz,
516.05 MacSmashall Swingy of the Cattelaxes, got up regardless, with
516.06 a cock on the Kildare side of his Tattersull, in his riddlesneek’s
516.07 ragamufflers and the horrid contrivance as seen above, whisklyng
516.08 into a bone tolerably delicately, the Wearing of the Blue,
“Blank memory of hatless darky in blued suit”, a ‘white’ (Fr. blanc) ‘empty’ memory of a “hatless darky”, the blackface minstrel show anticipating what Ralph Ellison was to call The Invisible Man — no flesh and no blood.35
What are these “flesh and blood” games? Are they African American ‘Black’ games, or are they blackface games, games of sex/of war or just those played among one’s own flesh and blood. Or just the street games of London children, a list of which, in Norman Douglas’s London Street Games is a basic source?
In any case the games in the list take on added meanimgs (and forms) as the content of the list and its last game develop. So let us begin with that last game:
“When his Steam was like a Raimbrandt round Mac Garvey” (176.18).
The late Janine Freyens, raised and educated in Belgium during and after “the war”, a French teacher and not a Joyce reader normally, when shown this line immediately responded with an awareness of Baudelaire’s poem “Les Phares” (‘The Beacons’ — see also Danish far ‘father’, so ‘The Fathers’) which has a verse on Rembrandt. So for someone living in a French atmosphere, as Joyce was, this was not an unusual allusion. not a difficult stretch at all.
The ‘Beacons’ are, as well, part of a vision of the ‘rainbow girls’, in a reworking of beckonings”: “with waverings that made shimmershake rather naightily all the duskcended airs and shylit beaconings from shehind hims back . . . O holytroopers.” (222.34-.36; 223.11 “holytroopers” read also as ‘heliotrope’).
The presence of “Les Phares” explodes the images of the line. The words of Baudelaire’s verse on Rembrandt are:
Rembrandt, triste hôpital tout rempli de murmures
Et d’un grand crucifix décoré seulment,
Ou la prière en pleurs s’exhale des ordures,
Et d’un rayon d’hiver traversé brusquement.
‘Rembrandt, sad hospital all filled with murmurings,
Decorated only with a large crucifix,
Where the prayer — of tears — breathes out garbage (wastes)
Crossed abruptly by a ray (beam) of winter light.’
In the Rembrandt picture often used to illustrate this verse in French publications the mist cut by the ray of winter light in fact forms a halo over the head of the crucifix. There is a large church-like room with an important representation of Jesus on the Cross with the tears of the sufferers below becoming a miasmic mist rising up and cut by this ray of winter light.
In Joyce’s game then the “steam” makes a halo around Christ on the cross, and a ‘rainbow’ (‘halo’?) around (the shoulders of?) “Mac” Garvey.
The sound and rhythm structure of the line are echoed elsewhere, most particularly in the line:
“while the scheme is like your rumba round me garden” (309.07)
which Clive Hart has claimed “defines the shape of Finnegans Wake” (1962, 143): “The rhythm of the rumba is a counterpoint of three beats against four.” The connection of the rainbow and the “rumba” (Afro-Cuban ) in the two versions of this motif is emphasized in the words, “Renborumba!” (351.05) and “rhimba rhomba” (257.04 — marking the variant spelling rhumba. And at 339.30 the rumba becomes a ‘remembering’ of the conquest of Mexico and Peru (“strungled Attahilloupa . . . empoisoned El Monte de Zuma”) in “to merumber.” (Other references to Cuba in music include:the “cubarola glide” [618.22] [AWN 10,,80 Adeline Glasheen, "The Cubanola Glide"], actually a ragtime piece of 1909 [words by Vincent Bryan, music by Harry von Tilzer]. Cuba and rumba also show up in “Tumbarumba mountain” [596.11] both a reference to the rumba drum, the tumba, and to a plantation in eastern Cuba where Demoticus Philolethes participated in a hunt for maroon slaves with dogs [see Karl Reisman "Darktongues", 2008, 91]).
The “rayon d’hiver” of Baudelaire’s poem shows up again in “Or de Reinebeau, Sourire d’Hiver” (548.29), the rainbow as a beautiful Queen (masculine adjective), with the “ordures” of Baudelaire’s verse converted to gold. (Fr. or. This is echoed in the feminine in “Mon ishebeau! Ma reinebelle!” (527.28 ) with a possible allusion to the great early blues singer, Ma Rainey. And converted to the ‘devil’ (vto b in “but in street wauks that are darkest I debelledem superb” (545.28 with a Jamaican plural demon the ‘belles’ who are superb (with the article ‘the’ converted to “de”.
One of the remakes of the play A Royal Divorce (about Josephine, Napoleon and Marie Louise) which appears thoughout Finnegans Wake appears as an echo of the “rayon d’hiver” in “A Royenne Devours”:
Like the newcasters in their old plyable of A Royenne Devours. Jazzaphoney and Mirillovis and Nippy she nets best. fing. Ay, ay! Sobbos. And so he was. Sabbus.
Marcus. And after that, not forgetting, there was the Flemish armada, all scattered, and all officially drowned, there and then, on a lovely morning, after the universal flood, at about aleven thirty-two was it? off the coast of Cominghome” (388.08)
There is the possibility here that the Marcus who will “Sabbus” is Garvey with his message of “Cominghome” (to Africa). The “Jazz” reference gives an African American context — whether Josephine Baker in Paris, or even when the alienated jazz is performed with a ‘symphony’ orchestra. All ‘phoney’.
A related line seems to comment on Garvey’s attempts to revive “African” standards of beauty:
“like your muddy goalbind who he was (dun), the chassetitties belles conclaiming: You and your gift of your gaft of your garbage abaht our Farvver!” (93.18)
where “Farvver” is ‘colors’ (German, Danish), while “garbage” echoes the “ordures” of Baudelaire’s verse.36 The “goal bind” occurs again in “believes in everyman his own goaldkeeper and in Africa for the fullblacks” (129.31). As part of his “garbage” Garvey wrote, “Black queen of beauty, thou hast given color to the world!”.
The image of the ‘rainbow’ takes on related relevance in a pair of possible Swahili readings. In the form “Renborumba!” (351.05: echoing Clive Hart’s reading of “while the scheme is like your rumba round me garden” — 309.07) we could arrive at Swahili remba, ‘to make beautiful’ and rembo ‘ornamental coloring’.
Reading ‘Rembrandt’ with the slow pronunciation suggested by “Raimbrandt” we could get a resulting word ‘remba rant‘ (in Swahili: ‘making beautiful rant’). Then the “Raimbrandt” is like the ‘making beautiful rant’ around Marcus Garvey. From “renbo” to remba and rembo replaces n by an m, the m having a source in the shift from ‘rainbow’ to “Raimbrandt”, echoed in the pairing of “renbo” with “rhimba rhomba” (257.04), and in the assimilation of n to a following b, a common process all over the world and in Joyce’s writing.
One should point out that remba and rembo are not the only occurences of Swahili in Finnegans Wake that are not found in the Swahili list in Joyce’s notebooks . Whatever Joyce’s intention the two readings would fill out the coloring of this rainbow and its relevance to Garvey.37
There are more serious reflections and confirmations of Baudelaire’s poem and Garvey’s presence in the rest of the flesh and blood games in the list. The “triste hôpital” is echoed in the game “hospitals” (176.09). The “Ducking Mummy” from Norman Douglas’s London Street Games is changed by Joyce to “Ducking Mammy” and thus is clearly an intentional allusion to the Dozens, African American rhyming insults based on ‘I fucked your mother’ (among other descriptions see, Roger Abrahams, 1962, 1983),. See also “our turfbrown mummy is acoming” (FW194.22]). The dozens appears also on page 265.L5: “Here’s our dozen cousins from the starves on tripes (‘’Stars and Stripes’, tripes are a form of ‘soulfood’ marked by Joyce in “selling foulty treepes, she would make massa dinars with her savuneer dealinsh” (243.24; ‘massa’, ‘Savannah’ ‘Dinah’). “Dozen cousins is accompanied at the right in the text by “wustworts” (‘worst words’), making possible a reading via ‘the dozens’ of ‘Here’s our fucking cousins from the U.S.A.’
The “coon” of page 175.30 is echoed in the game “Zip Cooney Candy” (176.14). The song Zip Coon is discussed in Allen, William Francis, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States (1867; a source mentioned in Schuchardt, Die Sprache der Saramakkaneger von Suriname, 1914). But by changing it to “Zip Cooney Candy” Joyce is introducing a whole set of other connections.
A number of years ago a manuscript circulated written by Eileen MacCarvaill of Dublin, ostensibly having to do with Joyce’s education. In it the claim was made that the author had seen advertisements in some 1901 Dublin newspapers for both Joyce and Thomas Kettle as main speakers for Gaelic lectures in Caithal Mac Garvey’s Tobacco Shop. For many things it is my personal judgement, having had the privilege of reading that manuscript some 25 years ago (though I was not allowed to keep it), that MacCarvaill was unreliable, carried away by a personal and enthusiastically nationalist view of Irish history. I have no idea what the opinions of his writings and lectures of his colleagues and others in Dublin is or was. The manuscript was never published for reasons I know nothing about. But when someone says in a simple declarative way that they have seen something, in this case advertisements in a Dublin paper, I think we need to take the matter seriously, although there is no other record of Joyce speaking publicly in Gaelic. It is at least a serious possibility that this happened, even if the actual newspapers may by now have crumbled to dust.
My interest is not in whether Joyce actually gave talks in Gaelic, but in the fact that MacCarvaill identifies Cooney’s shop as Caithal Mac Garvey’s shop. In Stephen Hero Joyce changes the name to Cooney’s Shop:
His circle was the separatist centre and in it reigned the irreconcilable temper. It had its headquarters in Cooney’s tobacco-shop where the members sat every evening in the ‘Divan’ talking Irish loudly and smoking churchwardens. To this circle Madden who was the captain of a club of hurley-players reported the muscular condition of the young irreconcilables under his charge and the editor of the weekly journal of the irreconcilable party reported any signs of Philocelticism which he had observed in the Paris newspapers.
By all this society liberty was held to be the chief desirable; the members of it were fierce democrats. The liberty they desired for themselves was mainly a liberty of costume and vocabulary: and Stephen could hardly understand how such a poor scarecrow of liberty could bring serious human beings to their knees in worship. As in the Daniels’ household he had seen people playing at being important so here he saw people playing at being free.
He saw that many political absurdities arose from the lack of a just sense of comparison in public men.
If the shop (tobacco or candy) here called Cooney’s was really Garvey’s shop, then MacCarvaell’s identification puts Garvey together with the African American “slave song” Zip Coon with “coon” as an African American word being directly invoked on the previous page (175.30) in the introduction to a list of games played by Afrcian Americans of which the last game is the climax . (And accompanied also by the Cuban reference to “rumba” in the parallel motif of “the scheme is like your rumba round me garden”). (I know this is a fairly tortured chain of evidence, but it does make the case that the Garvey in “When his Steam was like a Raimbrandt round Mac Garvey” (176.18) is in one reading an African American (Jamaican in the United States), namely Marcus Garvey, an “irreconcilable” leader in exactly Joyce’s sense of the term in Stephen Hero.)
Calvert Watkins in his keyed listing of Indo-European roots in the Appendix to the 1969 and some later editions of the American Heritage Dictionary ties the name Marcus to the Italic deity Máwort who in Rome became Mars. Baudelaire, whose verse as we have seen is central to the “Raimbrandt” and other images in this line, is tied by Joyce to the same God — as Aries, on page 4 of Finnegans Wake with Baudelaire himself transformed into ‘battle’ along with an occurence of the KKK motif and the ‘whiteboys’ previously mentioned:
004.01 What clashes here of wills gen wonts, oystrygods gaggin fishy-
004.02 gods! Brékkek Kékkek Kékkek Kékkek! Kóax Kóax Kóax! Ualu
004.03 Ualu Ualu! Quaouauh! Where the Baddelaries partisans are still
004.04 out to mathmaster Malachus Micgranes and the Verdons cata-
004.05 pelting the camibalistics out of the Whoyteboyce of Hoodie
“Baddelaries” also contains ‘bad air’, echoing the “s’exhale des ordures” of Baudelaire’s verse on Rembrandt. “Camibalistics” combines an allusion to cannibals’ with the ‘shirts’ of the “Whoyteboyce” (the m giving Spanish camisa English (in Spencer) “camis” and “camisole”, from Provencal camisolla, diminutive of camisa, ‘shirt’ — both from Late Latin camisia camsa. The Ku Klux Klan appears not only here, but also in “Weren’t they arriving in clansdestinies . . . fogabawlers . . . and houthhunters” (497.04 — “houth” ‘hood’) and in “Fu Flux Fans” (464.15).
With the KKK one associates the burning of crosses. Reading “Raimbrandt” as invoking the image in “Les Phares” then the “brandt” gives us an image of a burnt or burning cross.
The “steam” of “When his Steam was like a Raimbrandt round Mac Garvey” is echoed in another of the games. Taking steam to have the same qualities of ‘bad air’ that comes from the breathing of the sick and the wastes in Baudelaire’s verse (“s’exhale des ordures”) then the game “Prisson your Pritchards and Play Withers Team” (176.02), where the last two words run on. to read ‘with her steam’. has both the word and the appropriate quality (McHugh shows a reading, ‘Piss in your breeches and play with the steam’) — the steam being produced by body heat in winter cold, or before the fire.
Both the ‘Rembrandt’ and the ‘rainbow’ formed in the steam are ‘burnt’ — that is the colors are changed to black and white. In another way the “rayon d’hiver”, the beam of winter light of Baudelaire’s poem, takes the colors away from the sun, and changes things to black and white. Another meaning of “steam” may be the ‘anger‘ raiaed in Marcus Garvey when crosses are burnt around him, faced with the lynchings of the KKK. And so race in America burns the real colors of people and the richness of the issues of life to black and white.38
The first syllable of Baudelaire is the same as the second syllable of the name of the younger poet most closely associated with him, Arthur Rimbaud. Indeed Rimbaud as rainbow’ is the more likely first connection with Baudelaire following after, for Rimbaud tied colors, the rainbow, to the vowels, in his poem Les Voyelles (whose presence in Finnegans Wake James Atherton noted in The Books at the Wake [49-53, 276]). In the ‘gold’ version of the rainbow motif (“Or de Reinebeau, Sourire d’Hiver” 548.29; “Mon ishebeau! Ma reinebelle!” 527.28 ) the ‘bow’ is converted from “brandt” to “beau” (in French the d is silent in all these variants). So rainbow and Rimbaud are clearly connected.39 Indeed Joyce may also see a connection between “Les Phares” and a poem of Rimbaud’s called in a phonetically similar way “Les Effarés” — with its image of poor children looking in a window at a baker bringing out fresh bread.40 Atherton (276) connects Rimbaud to another occurence of the “raimbrandt round Mac Garvey” motif, as ”ringing rinbus round Demetrius” (319.05):
319.05 and ringing rinbus round Demetrius for, as you wrinkle
319.06 wryghtly, bully bluedomer, it’s a suirsite’s stircus haunting hes-
319.07 teries round old volcanoes.
The phonetic path for a connection of “rinbus” to either Rimbaud or rainbow is not obvious, but plausible — and the reading ‘rainbow’ is forced by the parallel motif. And the “brandt” reappears, in conjunction with the winter cold, on the page before in “coldbrundt” (318.21), whose presence in the context of Rimbaud is also noted by Atherton.
But “ringing rinbus round Demetrius” replaces Garvey at the center of this rainbow with “Demetius” ‘James’, Joyce himself. And the “rayon d’hiver” moves from black and white to the green of Ireland. In my Petit Larousse immediately after “rayon d’hiver” in the same entry is rayon vert ‘the flash of green light that lights up the sky as the sun dissappears over the horizon’. Joyce does not leave us to guess at this reading for he gives us “That grene ray of earong” (267.13).
This work, as well as research in Africa, was supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Work on Finnegans Wake was done in close association and discussion with John Szwed. Robert Faris Thompson, Master of Timothy Dwight College, invited me for a year as Resident Fellow and opened to me the encouragement which Yale so generously offers. I should also like to remember the support of Adeline Glasheen and Lewis Mink.
1 W.E.B. DuBois (1903), The Souls of Black Folk (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, Crest Reprints, pp. 16-17, 1961).
2 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, (Modern Library edition p.221).
Peter A. Maguire “Finnegans Wake and Irish Historical Memory” The Journal of Modern Literature 22:2 (1999) 293-327 notes that “The history of Ireland has typically been written as the history of an occupation; it could with equal authority be written as the history of a language. In fact, this is essentially what Douglas Hyde did, in 1899, in A Literary History of Ireland. As Hyde realized, although the occupation of Ireland provided one neat strand of formal unity, the changing linguistic expression of the island’s inhabitants provided another and perhaps more appropriate device by which to record Ireland’s past. For centuries, the Irish community’s struggle to integrate its history — and to understand its identity — was inevitably woven with the complex issue of language. Much of the thrust of that occupation was centered around a struggle to determine which was to be the dominant language of Ireland, to the extent that the whole issue of language was central to the complex interaction of social, economic, and cultural conditions which formed the Irish — as well as the Anglo-Irish — experience of colonialism. The struggle continued to manifest itself in the daily life of the Irish
Republic . . .”
3 By layer — in this article — I mean the additional meanings that come clear from expanding the area of text relevant to the reading
4 An early letter to Stanislaus asks, “Would you be surprised if I wrote a very good English grammar some day?” (March 15, 1905), and six weeks later he reprises, “I am thinking of studying grammar.” Remarks in Finnegans Wake include: “And smotthermock Gramm’s laws! . . . In the buginning is the woid, in the muddle is the . . . sounddance and thereinofter you’re in the unbewised again” (378.27) and “explaining . . . with a meticulosity bordering on the insane, the various meanings of all the different foreign parts of speech he misused” (173.34 — See also Hugh Kenner, “Joyce and the 19th Century Linguistics Explosion”).
Examples have been put forward to show Joyce’s textual inconsistency. These are not all convincing. What look like inconsistencies often have specific purposes in other contexts of reading. Also trails dissolve intentionally. Joyce’s games with details of spelling and sound give us leads, even though they sometimes draw us down blind alleys. Perhaps we should be grateful for the frustrations of the blind alleys. Since every theme eventually dies out in uncertainty, Given Joyce’s technique of “redissolusingness” (143.14), such dissolutions do not invalidate themes strongly established. But rapid dying out of a trail does demonstrate that it is not true, as has been claimed, that you can read “anything” in Finnegans Wake.
5 Old Irish ainne ‘ring, circle, circuit’ Gibson 54, “velivole” French ‘glide’, Eyne, a ski resort, Pyrénées Orientales):
“The plural of a few nouns can also be formed from the singular by adding — n or -en, stemming from the obsolete Old English weak declension: eye eyen (rare, found in some regional dialects)” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_plural).
6 Hodgart, Mathew J.C. and Mabel P. Worthington, Song in the Works of James Joyce. Columbia University Press. N.Y. 1959, 124. The listing and description of Louis Armstrong with Bach, Beethoven and Pergolesi which I mentioned in the opening paragraph ends with another reference to music in the woods “May song it flourish (in the underwood)” (360.14).
7 Sean Golden, “Traditional Irish Music in Contemporary Irish Literature” (Mosaic 3, 1979, 1-29)
8 Ronald Prowse, 1998, email, personal communication.
9 William H. Grattan Flood, A History of Irish Music 1905, Chapter 4, 4thparagraph. Online at Ibrary Ireland: http://www.libraryireland.com/IrishMusic/Contents.php
10 Roland McHugh, Annotations to Finnegans Wake(Revised Edition, 1991.
McHugh’s Annotations is organized by corresponding pages in Finnegans Wake so no page numbers are necessary. References to McHugh will be indicated in parentheses with no page numbers.
11 Among possible sources for “jawbreakical” see Hesketh Bell, Obeah. Witchcraft in the West Indies, 1893, p.140: “his position in the affections of his ladylove very much depends on the number of jawbreaking words he can cram into an epistle”. (Not necessarily Joyce’s source)
12 Since the whole matter was part of Galway belief its accuracy is not an issue. But a refutation of this attribution and its details, by Michael Quinion, can be found at http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-lyn1.htm
On ape and Africa, see: “the Affrian Way” — read ‘Appian’ (497.12), “pole aprican” (350.21). On ape and artificial languages: “universal” appears on page 293.17 (along with Newton’s term for the calculus, ‘universal arithmetic’ “universal . . . aristmystic” — McHugh); while “apically Volapucky” (116.21) connects an artificial or ‘universal’ language with both ape and ‘Africa’ — which is cited in Volapuk in “Fikup, for flesh nelly” ‘Africa for England’ (34.32) followed immediately by “keep black, keep black!”).
13 Discovered as a lynching scene along with the Yoruba reading of “adupe” by Dr. Ermina Davis of Antigua W.I. Reading “end” as ‘ain’t’, and “Braglodyte” as ‘Troglodyte’ we get:
‘There ain’t no mo(r)e red devil . . . Troglodyte’. (Troglodyte = ‘cave=dweller’, traditionally defined as ‘an Ethiopian people’.
14 The al syllable is further marked in these lines in assonance in “the Great Ulm” (.14), for the Indo-European root for ‘elm’ (“ulm”) is *el reading ‘the Great L'; and this root is the source also for trees in al . Derrida (1984. 154) notes: reversal of “EL-LE” ‘name of God’ in “And shall not Babel be with Lebab” (258.12) just before “And he war.”
Peter Chrisp has just written a letter to the FWREAD mailing list (July 21 2008 on the same kind of treatment of AL (and P) in the conclusion of Finnegans Wake: “Finnegans Wake begins with HCE’s initials (‘Howth Castle and Environs) and ends with ALP’s, completed with the ‘P’ of Paris: “A way a lone a last a loved a long the
Dirk Van Hulle, in How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake (ed Crisp and Slote) writes, ‘As early as 1926 Joyce apparently planned a literal visualization of a ‘delta at end’ (VI.B.12:137).’”
15 Rickford, John R., & Angela Rickford. 1976. “Cut-eye and suck-teeth: African words and gestures in New World guise”. Journal of American Folklore 89: 294-309. (Perhaps echoed in “cutting mouton legs and capers” FW 233.02; ‘maut’, West Indian mouth’ as in the minstrel scene “Tiptoptap, Mister Maut” — FW 319.09).
16 Errol Hill, The Jamaican Stage 1655-1900. Profile of a Colonial Theatre..University of Massachusetts Press. 1992. 346 pages
17 Tom Kittle’s Wake: Manners and Customs of the Country a Generation Ago . . . Tom Kittle’s Wake. E. Jordan, Kingston, Jamaica. 1877.
18 “slove” also may be an echo of Lewis Caroll, ‘Twas Bryllig and the slithy toves’.
19 On Fulfulde (Fulani) see Karl Reisman, “Darktongues”: Fulfulde and Hausa in Finnegans Wake in The Journal of Modern Literature 31, no. 2, 2008, 79-103.
20 see also 283.30-.32 “They ought to told you every last word first stead of trying every which way to kinder smear it out poison long”, for which McHugh, (Annotations) gives Huckleberry Finn: “pison long”, along with a whole series of Huckleberry Finn references in these lines.
21 Hart, Clive. Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake. P. 232 Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1962. Also see: Glasheen Adeline, “Finnegans Wakeand the Girls from Boston, Mass” in Hudson Review Spring 1954.
22 “Whiteboys”: 18th century peasant bands against enclosures of commons and other agricultural distress; 1759, severly suppressed in 1765; they wore white disguises. Joyce here seems to suggest a connection with the origin of the Ku Klux Klan.
23 Maling’s article and the relation of the “Zingari” and the “All Black” cricket teams to the Wake and the relation of the “quad gospellers” as groups singing spirituals in and from “Black” colleges as opposed to the “Zingari shoolerim” were pointed out to me by John Szwed (personal discussions 1980).
24 hensyn: see Dunia Bounis Christiani, Scandinavian Elements in Finnegans Wake, page 117.
25 Or of Twi, the language of the Ashanti of Ghana (Gold Coast) — see discussion of the Jamaican slave absent from his Ashanti homeland on page 198 of Finnegans Wake in my “Whagta Kriowday: Creole languages and cultures in Finnegans Wake” Unpublished essay (1980, 1996).
26 James S., “To Give Down the Banks and Hark from the Tomb” in James Joyce Quarterly, 1967 V.1,75-8.
27 see “Is the Co-Education of Animus and Anima Wholly Desirable?” (FW307.03).
28 on Joyce’s presentation copy of Lévy-Bruhl see Connolly Thomas E., The Personal Library of James Joyce: A Descriptive Bibliography. University of Buffalo Studies 22:5-58
29 Robert Lowie, Primitive Society 1920)
30 The History of Ethnological Theory (1937). Joyce satirizes the early cultural evolutionists’ “stages” in “use of the homeborn shillelagh as an aid to calligraphy shows a distinct advance from savagery to barbarism” (114.12). Since theorists of this evolutionary kind, being better known to literary critics, have often been considered Joyce’s guides to the nature and role of non-western cultures, Joyce’s knowledge of Lowie is of some significance. Lowie’s most well known ethnographic work on the Crow indians gives to the Wake appropriately enough, the form “crowy” (232.28 ) with “moiety”, a term for an element of social structure often used by Lowie and other Boasians, just above (232.22). Primitive Society emphasizes the variety of “primitive” cultures, and the need for a specific history of each people. Joyce’s knowledge of the Lowie-Boas critique is significant because it must be brought to bear on any view of Finnegans Wake as simply adumbrating a set of clear universals of human relationship and cultural development. And this has been the typical view in discussions of the book.
31 Did Joyce know about Jung’s affair with his patient and student, Sabina Spielrein, revealed to the general public only with the discovery in 1977 in Geneva of a box which contained parts of a diary, letters and other writings which she left behind when she returned to Russia in 1923. It may have been part of Zurich gossip.
32 “h” is also given a ‘color’ association in “When the h, who the hu, how the hue, where the huer” (257.34)
33 In such writings as:
An Appeal To The Soul Of White America
The Handwriting On The Wall
Great People of Color
History Of The African People
The African Origin Of Civilization
The FBI Reports
The Liberia Project
The Negro World
UNIA 1924 Convention
34 “Old Joe”
From The Early Minstrel Show
Robert Winans, Music Director & Program Consultant, Published by New World Records
New World Records — Recorded Anthology of American Music, Inc.
701 Seventh Avenue New York, New York 10036
The words of the song (1844) are not easy to find, so I have transcribed them as I was able from a digital copy I have:
Old Joe stood at the garden gate
But he couldn’t get in
He come too late
He pick up a stone
and he knock at the door
I want to get in said Big Black Joe
(refrain) Old Joe kickin up
ahind and afore
And the young gal
akickin up behind Old Joe (repeated)
Up come Dinah
“Joe, what you doin there?”
“I want to get a gun
to go shoot a bear.”
Said she, “O Joe there ain’t no (unclear)”
Joe go so mad he bus his shoe.
That Old Joe stop straight off home
He walk all the way by the light of the moon
Ol’ (Old) wife laugh and ___ and grin
To see Old Joe come back again.
Then very early the next morning
Went to the field and hoe the corn
Work very hard to get it done
And finish all by the set of the sun.
He got done workin
flung down the hoe,
Say, Me I’ll play
on the old banjo
He start off for Flatfoot Sam<
But on the way he took a dram.
Whiskey flew into his head
and reel and fall down in the shed
Taken sick and put to bed
Three weeks later he is dead.
Old Joe is gone
and left this place
We nevermore will see his face
He left one (?) behind
and ( unclear )
He played like the devil on the old banjo.
Old Joe kickin up
ahind and afore
And the young gal
akickin up behind Old Joe
35 On “impendements” and lack of flesh and blood, see also Joyce’s comments on his lack of “pendibility” in his letter to Harruet Shaw Weaver quoted in the DuBois section of this paper (“a person who has now dissolved visibly and possesses scarcely as much ‘pendibility’ as an uninhabited dressinggown” (Letters I, 166-7, to Harriet Shaw Weaver, June 24, 1921). Three crucial passages in this article are all marked by the term “darky” or “darkies”, 297.12, 175.30, and 515.34. But even in the line invoking DuBois the word is always said from a “white” perspective and in a “white” voice. It is not Joyce himself speaking. And there are more ambiguities. At 175.30 the games are not described as what “darkies” play — rather they “never” “tug” someone else “out to play” them. We don’t know if they played them or not. (Joyce is very precise in these matters.) That the darky here is “hatless” invokes the motif, “Take off that white hat” (Clive Hart 1962, 242). A recent biography of Marcus Garvey is called Negro With A Hat, by Colin Grant).
36 Rose, Danis, ed. James Joyce’s The Index Manuscript: Finnegans Wake Holograph Workbook VI.B.46, Colchester, A Wake Newslitter Press, 1978.
Wolff, Phillip. “Kiswahili Words in Finnegans Wake.” A Wake Newslitter n.s (‘New Series’) VIII (1962): 2-4. Reprinted in A Wake Digest. Eds. Clive Hart and Fritz Senn. Sydney: Sydney UP, 1968.
Dalton, Jack “Re ‘Kiswahili Words in Finnegans Wake by Phillip Wolff’.” A Wake Newslitter, 1:12, 6-12 (1963). Rpt. in A Wake Digest Eds. Clive Hart and Fritz Senn. Sydney: Sydney UP, 1968, 43-47.
Even Dalton points out that Swahili noo ‘a large whetstone’ and chamba‘’a hiding place’, which he identifies as Swahili, are not in Joyce’s notes. (On “chamba choo” as ‘Sama suu’ in the Sama/Chamba language, see my “Darktongues: Fulfulde and Hausa in Finnegans Wake”).
A more complex and interesting idenitifcation is Swahili lio‘to cry out in pain’. This appears in two places. One is in “my sad late brother, before his coglionial expancian?” (488.31). Louis Berrone pointed out that the pain reading is confirmed by the more obvious Italian reference to “coglioni” and the fact that Italians are always talking, he said, about pains in their balls. Joyce himself used the word coglioneria in a letter to Stanislaus from Rome in 1907 where he says that in going to Rome he had made a “coglioneria” (a ‘ball-up’) (Feb.16,1907; Selected Letters ed. Ellmann, 150).
The second occurence is a complex but definite case. Opposite the line “In that earopean end meets Ind” (598.15) is a list of animals, “the gow, the stiar, the tigara, the liofant”. The last of these, “the liofant” is of course the ‘elephant’. In Stephen Hero the old man says:
“— I’ve heerd tell them elephants is most natural things, that they has the notions of a Christian . . . I wanse seen meself a picture of niggers riding on wan of ’em — aye and beating blazes out of ’im with a stick . . .”
The young lady who was much amused began to tell the peasant about the animals of prehistoric times. The old man heard her out in silence and then said slowly:
“— Aw, there must be terrible quare craythurs at the latther ind of the world.”
(Stephen Hero, New Directions, New Edition. 1963, p. 243)
But in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man he has been moved to the West, his cabin set in a mountain. His red eyes stare at us. He speaks Irish. The one line of dialogue left to him emphasizes distance:
“Mulrennan spoke to him about universe and stars. Old man sat , listened, smoked, spat. Then said:
— Ah, there must be terrible queer creatures at the latter end of the world.”
The “ind” of Stephen Hero has become the “end” of Portrait:
“In that earopean end meets Ind”.
The picture the old man saw where elepahants were being beaten with sticks must have come from India. He has merged ALL the ”dark” peoples in “niggers” and merged both space and time at the “ind” of the world. Writing in Finnegans Wake, “In that earopean end meets Ind” (598.15) Joyce has not forgotten his shift from “ind” to “end” in representing the old man’s dialect, and by marking the word with a capital “I”, “Ind”, has pointed up not only this relation but also that of “ind” to India and the Indies. On the page opposite (599.06) we can hear the elephants still being beaten in a Swahili reading of “liofant”.
Elephants also have an association with Swahili in “tembo in her tumbo” (209.11) which reads an ‘elephant in her belly’, provoking a long discussion in A Wake Newslitter as tembo being in Joyce’s notes could not be ignored.. The Swahili reading of Elephant in the Belly is confirmed in “Elenfant” (244.35) with the child in the Elephant.
37 Garvey originated the notion later phrased as “Black is Beautiful” among other places in an essay “The Black Woman” (1927):
“Black queen of beauty, thou hast given color to the world!
Among other women thou art royal and the fairest!
Like the brightest of jewels in the regal diadem,
Shin’st thou, Goddess of Africa, Nature’s purest emblem!”
and it continues in this vain. Is this what Joyce was thinking of in
“You and your gift of your gaft of your garbage abaht our Farvver”?
38 Raimbrandt and the Rainbow Sign
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
McHugh’s annotation for 176.18, “his steam was like a rainbow round McCarthy” is a mystery. The line occured in an Alaskan travelog site a couple of years back but the page is no longer available. Otherwise it will require someone with a good memory and the right reading or someone very widely read in these matters, with an intuition of where to look. My searches on the internet yield no results.
1927 The Paul Robeson recording, “I got a home ins dat rock”, His Master’s Voice, was at just the right time for Joyce, a radio and record fan, to have heard it.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
Don’t you see (don’t you see)
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
Don’t you see
God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time
I got a home ina dat rock, don’t you see.
The presence of “Ulysses” in the title of the following book suggests that it might be something Joyce noticed: Howard Odum, Rainbow Round My Shoulder: The Blue Trail of Black Ulysses 1928) .
Rainbow is also subverted to black, as part of a series of reversals on the opening page accompanying “Eve and Adam’s”, “swerve of shore to bend of bay”, even “riverrun”, as part of the “recirculation” and rearriving marked on this page. The lne in question is “rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface” (3.14) where “regginbrow” as a version of ‘rainbow’ by reversal becomes ‘niggerbrow’.
39 A reggae artist named Steel Pulse wrote a verse for Garvey that echoes a sequence of colors:
Marcus say, Marcus say, red for the blood that flowed like the river
Marcus say, Marcus say, green for the land of Africa
Marcus say, Marcus say, yellow for the gold that they stole
Marcus say, Marcus say, black for the people they looted from . . .”
—Steel Pulse (“Here Steel Pulse sings words that Garvey himself spoke” C. E. Jordan Gremp)
40 “Les Effarés” (echoes of “Les Phares”):
Noirs dans la neige et dans la brume,
Au grand soupirail qui s’allume,
Leurs culs en rond,
À genoux, cinq petits, — misère ! -
Regardent le boulanger faire
Le lourd pain blond…
. . .
Quand ce trou chaud souffle la vie ;
Ils ont leur âme si ravie
Sous leurs haillons,
Ils se ressentent si bien vivre,
Les pauvres petits plein de givre,
— Qu’ils sont là, tous,
Collant leur petits museaux roses
Au grillage, chantant des choses,
Entre les trous,
Mais bien bas, — comme une prière….
Repliés vers cette lumière
Du ciel rouvert,
. . .
— Et que leur lange blanc tremblotte
Au vent d’hiver . . .
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———, Selected Letters, ed Richard Ellmann, *
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