John Bishop, Joyce’s Book of the Dark (Winsconsin UP 1986), 479pp, index.

[Bishop’s distinctive interpretation of the structure and detail of the Wake may be regarded as a materialistic approach to the dream-foundations of the book. He sees the underlying substrate of all the action as the recumbent body of the sleeping hero together with his bodily organs and his senses, with their interaction through sounds becoming the original script of the whole symphonic creation.]


See also critique by Shari Benstock’s critique of Joyce’ s Book of the Dark in extract [infra]

One of the many reasons why Joyce’s repeated claims about Finnegans Wake have seemed so improbably for so long is that people have customarily treated the book, at Joyce’s invitation, as the ‘representation of a dream’ - doing so, however, as if dreams only took place in theory, and without concretely engaging the very strange and obscure question of what a dream is.

JJ: ‘… to suit the esthetics of a dream’ (to Edmund Jaloux) [6]; ‘it’s like a dream’ (to Ole Vinding, JJ, 696); ‘one great part of every human existence’ (L, III, 146); ‘Work in Progress? I[n the] nocturnal state, lunar. That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream. Not what is left over afterward, in the memory. Afterward, nothing is left.’ (to Mercanton, The Hours of James Joyce, p.207). [6]

But the ways in which sleeping people show themselves to wakened rationalists will finally not ‘reveil’ what in particular goes on in the ‘hole affair’ we went ‘trough’ last night and which FW takes as its subject. [14]

The Interpretation of Dreams broke the ground which Joyce would reconstruct in his ‘intrepidation of dreams’

JJ: ‘imitation of the dream state’ (to Mercanton, p.221)

One way of reading Ulysses, a work thematically absorbed with fathering and self-fathering, is to see it as the process whereby arrogant little man, a young Joyce who in fact had published under the name of Stephen Dedalus, rewrote himself so entirely as to emerge from the experience not simply with the humane capabilities of a Leopold Bloom, and not simply even with the expansive good humor and affability that every reader of the biography will know, but s one of the 20th century’s great men of letters. The book through its microscopic examination of the inner life, altered the past in every way possible. [17]


Joyce’s reticence, and sense of difficulty [20]

JJ: ‘having written Ulysses about the day, I wanted to write this book about the night.’ (JJ, 695)

Joyce’s insistent and systematic attention to dreams [21]

Joyce … developed a modern eschatology [Gk furthest] in his dreamworld [~24]

1: Reading the Evening World
Even if on wanted to and had the time, sleep is what one cannot think about because it unfolds in a bottomless fissure within which thinking and all our quotidian ways of knowing disappear. At its interior, every epistemological category on which the novel, science and empiricism are traditionally predicated - indeed, the totality of ‘the real’- crumbles into rich indefinition, and vanishes; and so too does ‘common sense. [24]

JJ: ‘I am at present attending night school’ (jokingly, to son and daughter in law, L. III, 320-21).

The sleeper turns into himself and falls back … into his own body, his own body being the material substratum of the dream; the process of dreaming a rebuilding … the new environment formed by the dreamer’s body: ‘once amore as babes awondering in a wold made fresh [336.15-17] [[37]

Particularly in its first chapter, as a way of orienting his reader into the alien spatialities of a world made fresh, Joyce calls heavy attention to the’landshape’ highlighted on the book’s first page [where HCE selfstretches ] [37]

Acc. Bishop, sleep pitches one into a ‘vaguum’ [136.34], a very vague vacuum - but vagina would also fit, transposing associations from dream and amnesis to amniosis.

Quoting the Wake: ‘This representation does not accord with my experience’ [509.1-2], and also ‘touring the no placelike no timelike absolent [609.1-2], Bishop notes that there is no negative word for ‘representation’, a fact which necessitates the linguistic negativities of the Wake. In an ftn. he remarks that deconstruction would be a remote approximation, directing bibliographical attention towards Norris, and Attridge & Ferrer, the post-structuralist critics of Joyce. A more resonant approximation, he suggests, would be "de-presentation", the term coined by Samuel Weber, a writer on Freud ( The Legend of Freud, Minneapolis Press 1982), who cites Freud’s insistence that ‘at bottom dreams are nothing more than a particular form of thinking, made possible by the conditions of the state of sleep.’ (ID 545n.) [38]

The rationale of Bishop’s own method seems to lie here, in Freud: Rather than moving linearly through the text ‘imitative of the dream-state’, drawing on the compromised instruments of orthodox rationalism, it might be better make sense to proceed much as we might in interpreting a dream. In what follows, then, ‘our procedure [will consist] in abandoning all those purposive ideas which normally govern reflections … ideas that are known to us’ will teach us nothing more than what we already knew to begin with … [39] … ‘no connection [will be] too loose, no joke too bad, to serve as a connection from one to another’ (ID 568-69). [40]

2: Nothing in Particular - On English Obliterature
A writer of strong realist allegiances … Joyce would have beheld in the darker parts of sleep the paradoxical spectacle of an undeniably real human experience within which reality and experience and all human knowing mutually vanished into a state that the Wake class, with contradictory precision, ‘Real Absence’ [536.5-6] [43]

Reading … FW requires one to become familiar with a set of representation-al mannerisms peculiar to the working of the night, one of which has to do with the latent omnipresence of the sleeper’s body beneath all the manifest appearances of his dream.

Actually on trial [in Festy King’ is the evidence of the senses: ‘he was patrified to see, hear, taste and smell, as his time of night’ [86.12] [45]

Ultimately on trial in this strange legal scene is not simply the taxed evidence of the senses but all the exacting rules of evidence by which the innately formless senses of sight and hearing have been disciplined over years both of personal and cultural history to bear witness to the ‘audible-visible-gnosible world’ [which Vico assigns to the workings of legality, legibility, and logic - from legere, to collect.] [46]

accurately to reconstruct that part of life lived in immobility and dream-void sensory paralysis, Joyce necessarily devises in FW a whole strange language of negation, a system of reference to no experience, whose infinitely inflected terms, equally signifying the absence of perception and the perception of nothing, ultimately replicate from his own ‘eyewitless foggus’ the ‘one percepted nought’ [368.36] endured by a man unconsciously drifting towards sunrise through ‘Real Absence’ in ‘heliotropical noughttime’ of ‘a night-time’s’ sleep. [48]

Typically of the procedures of Bishop’s book - and not explicitly mentioned by him - is scattergun use of Wake phrases from widely disparate ‘narrative’ contexts in a single discursive portion of the critic’s argument. Thus, in one para. on p.49, the Wakese which crams the sentences is taken from FW pp.24, 546, 135, 76, 439, 489, 323. [49]

abnihilisation of the etym [353.22] [50].

Nichtian glossery which purveys aprioric roots from aposteriorious tongues this is nat language at any sinse of the world [83.10-12] [51] Bishop stresses Dan. nat, ‘night’, but makes no allusion to sins of the world .

Bishop’s theory with its inveterate emphasis on the ‘Real Absence’ is the Black Hole cosmology of Finnegans Wake .

‘scotography’ as opposed to photography [51]

haardly creditable edventyres [51.14] eventyr, (Da. ‘fairy tale’)

wordspiderweb (Letters, III, 422).

?SEVENS: That deliberately occulted phrase "he was", repeated seven times to suggest ‘helvetically hermetic’ enclosure, structures the paragraph [48.6-17] … [and shows] HCE as he takes a spectral ‘French leave’ and ‘disappears spoorlessly’ … into the unknown ‘latitat’ (L. hiding-place). [55]

It scenes like a landescape … or some seem on some dimb Arrs, dumb as Mum’s mutyness, this mimage of the seventyseventh kusin of kristansen is odable to os across the wineless Ere no oeder nor mere eerie nor liss potent of suggestion than in the tale of the tingmount. (Prigged!) [Cf. AP: the dim fabric of the city lay prone in the haze. Like a scene on some vague arras old as man’s weariness, the image of the seventh city of christendom was visible to him across the timeless air no more wear nor less patient of subjection than in the days of the thingmote. (Viking ed., 1964, p.167.)] Bishop comments: Dedalus may be absentminded, but far less so than the ‘very pure nondescript’ depicted asleep in the corresponding [Wake] passage … Obliterating every term in the literate stream of consciousness whose evolving totality means Stephen Dedalus … Finnegans Wake yields … . a poor trait of the artless [114.32]

Bishop’s fig. 2.1., illustrating ‘manyoumeant’ [318.31] traces etymology of Indo-Eur. *men- (think, etc.) to give man, mind, mental, mention, memory, mania, mandarin, maths, mosaic, admonish, money, demonstrate, mnemonics, amnesia [and cognates of many of these]. The branch giving memory and cognates is marked in dotted lines as being ‘speculatively entertained in Joyce’s day, but now discredited’. [60-61] He glosses: the term buries man and meaning under a monument … [but] memory and meaning, moreover, are only two in a long series of etymologically toppling dominos … [62]

JJ: ‘My eyes are tired. For over half a century, they have gazed into nullity where they have found a lovely nothing.’ (Letters, III, 359, 361n.)

Bishop: … the experience of sleep becomes, at the Wake, the concrete reality out of which the whole category of nothingness immanently wells. Sleeps ‘Real Absence’ is the experience of nothing, really endured, in particular … a man at the dazzlingly developed height of millenia of evolved civilization - a twentieth century Westerner - he lies "reduced to nothing" within a body "tropped head" experiencing both the extinction of his consciousness and the nothingness above which his daily life, over years of personal and ages of collective history, has been masoned and layered. [64] … Finnegans Wake manages to spin an ‘obliterated negative’ of the one now present to literate consciousness out of the study of sleep’s Real Absence. [65]

Bishop quotes Sartre, Being and Nothingness : ‘We see nothingness making the world iridescent, casting a shimmer over things.’ But he limits the philosophical specificity of the comparison in a footnote, writing: ‘Thre are of course differnces, though finally not irreconcilable ones, beteen Sartrean nothingness and the Wake’s Real Absence.’ [64; n.401]

3: Finnegan
no more his real name than ‘Headmound’; ‘dead to the world’; etymology of bed, *bhedh-, ‘bury’; [6]

sleep and death [67-68]; Tim Finnegan, alive or dead, or Scheintod [70] … . semitary of Somnionia [74]; the vernacular becomes the ‘vermicular’ [79]

In the New Science, Vico establishes an etymological equivalence between humanity and humando (L. burying), ‘a great principle of humanity’.

4: Finnegans Wake and the Egyptian Book of the Dead
Joyce actively sought to have someone write an essay explaining the Wake’ affinity with this text (Letters, I, 281; JJ 13-14). [87]

Actually known as Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, … the meaning latent in this “real” title suggests how Joyce would have found the Book of the Dead’s account … a covert psychology of sleep [89]

The Papyrus of Ani (Budge’s version of the Chapters), identified as one of the many Theban recensions, or - as the Wake puts it - ‘the thieves’ rescension’; also: ‘hinted at in the eschatological chapters of Humphrey’s Justesse of the Jaypees and hunted for by Theban recensors who sniff there’s something behind the Bug of the Deaf’ [134.34-36] [91]

There is another Theban recension in Dublin Nat. Museum, which Joyce may have been aware of. For information of "the Dublin Papyrus", see Edouard Henri Naville, Das aegyptische Totenbuch den XVIII. bis XX Dynastie (Graz:Akademische Druk-u. Verlangsantalt, 1971), Bd. I, pt. 1, pp.80-81; reproductions and illustrations, Bd. I, pt. 2, pp.3, 4, 19, 22, 27-30, and 212.

Bishop notes that Sir E.A. Wallis Budge’s Egyptology was Joyce’s Egyptology. [406, n.] though Joyce also drew on the Papyrus of Nu [see 493.30]

Bishop gives a detailed and graceful account of Egyptian cosmology, and its Wakean purposes. A focal passage is ‘The eversower of the seeds of light … toph triumphant, speaketh’ [593.20-24] [102]

Bishop elucidates the Egyptian concept of a ‘second death’ - for if the other world were at all to accommodate a humanity whose existence was not independent of time, these people shrewdly reasoned that not only must there be life after death, but there must be death after death as well [104]

The rite of Egyptian interment is conducted thus in the Wake: ‘So may the priest of the seven worms and scalding tayboil, Papa Vestray, come never anear you as your hair grows wheater beside the Liffey that’s in Heaven. Hep, hep, hurrah there! Hero! Seven times thereto we salute you. The whole bag of kits … concerning thee in the matter of thy tombing. Howe of shipmen, steep wall! [26.6-24] In this passage, the ‘bag of kits’ are the canopic jars and other appendages in which entrails and the necessaries of reincarnation have been placed, now assembled in the funerary place. [~107]

Bishop remarks: in a way there is nothing figurative about the passage at all: it reconstructs exactly, from the internal [evidence] of the corpse itself, the kind of life that Tutenkhamen and his contemporaries imagined would follow death. [108]

As the Wake’s treatment of Totumcalmum shows, Joyce clearly found the force of sleep palpably manifested not only in Egyptian books of the dead and in the extraterrestrial geographies they mapped out, but also in the material forms of Egyptian funeral practice and sepulture themselves. [113]

Joyce sustained an equivalence between these two figures throughout his ‘bog of the depths’ [5166.25] not because his hero has any substantial knowledge of Tutenkhamen, and not because the Egyptian thought at all of Tutenkhamen’s death as a species of sleep; but because Tutenkhamen was presumed at death to experience the same quality of nothingness, to enter the same kind of other world, and to move toward the same kind of solar resurrection as Joyce’s sleeper. … After offering an internal understanding of the nullity felt by a dead man awaiting the resurrection of the body … the Book of the Dead minutely documented the various stages by which the corpse would rise from its mortal inertia to return to life … a chronological plot … . [114]

Bishop reads the paragraph ‘A spate of calyptrous glum involucrumines the perianthean Amenta … &c. [613.13-26] as an enactment of the self-consciousness of the dead, waking to the morning taste of his mouth, and speaking in the language of botany which recites the successive levels of vegetal life (spathe, calyp, etc), all serving to present an image of a palm. The ‘skullhollow’ is the mouth, equally a ‘charnelcyst[s]’, and in it Ralph the Retriever, or the tongue, experiences a ‘nauseous forere brarkfarsts’ which compares with Leopold Bloom’s ‘morning mouth’ in Ulysses . [118-19]

The cleansing of the body in the Book of the Dead, incorporated in ‘The Opening of the Mouth’ chapter, is mimicked by Joyce: ‘… Unclean you are not. Outcaste thou are not. … Untouchable is not the scarecrown on you. You are pure. You are pure. You are in your puerity. You have not brought stinking members into the house of Amanti….Your head has been touched by the god Enel-Rah and your face has been brightened by the goddess Aruc-Ituc. Return, sainted youngling, and walk once more among us. [237.16-30]

The Wake proceeds towards its conclusion with: ‘Let Eiven bemember for Gates of Gold for their fadeless suns berayed her. Irises, Osirises! B thy mouth given unto thee! … Overseer of the house of the oversire of the seas, Nu-Men, triumphant, sayeth: Fly as the hawk, cry as the corncrake. Ani Latch of the postern is thy name; shout! [-] My heart, my mother! My heart, my coming forth of darkness! [493.27-35]

Bishop sees the ‘plot’ of the Book of the Dead, its ritual enactment of the movement towards resurrection of its named central character, Osiris-Ani or Osiris-Nu as the point of radical affinity with Finnegans Wake: a succession of events of dramatic consequence supposed to befall his corpse between death and resurrection … a linearly progressive account chronicling the heliotropic movement towards resurrection of a man lying inert in bed. [124]

The ‘double Tet’ of spine and phallus is found in FW at [328.31-35].

Bishop ends the chapter insisting that sleep, not death and resurrection in the religious sense, is the subject of the Wake, though the analogous nature of the two makes the latter conceivable.

5: The Identity of the Dreamer
‘Kerrse the Tailor and the Norwegian Captain’: Bishop marks the unsatisfactory readings, adverts to the underlying theme of ‘a good fit’, and lists tailoring elements in FW, including the references to the Carlylean "tailorised world". The problem (‘how comes ever a body in our taylorised world to selve out thishis’), Bishop hints, is ‘redressing’ or ‘reinvesting’ HCE in flesh with his proper identity. Bishop fixes on ‘telling’, in the page one homophone ‘retale/entail’ as an etymological key: ‘How does anyone sleepily knocked out tell who he is?’ [~126-30]

FW: ‘Here line the refrains of. Some vote him Vike, some mote him Mike, some dub him Llyn and Phin while others hail him Lug Bug Dan Lop, Lex, Lax, Gunne or Guinn. Some apt him Arth, some bapt him Barth, Coll, Noll, soll, Will, Weel, Wall but I parse him Persse O’Reilly else he’s called no name at all.’ [44.20-24] No name at all seems the most appropriate since the man remains ‘topantically anonymos’. [131]

JJ: ‘there are, so to say, no individual people in the book - it is a dream, the style gliding and unreal as is the way of dreams. If one were to speak of a person in the book, it would have to be of an old man, but even his relationship to reality is doubtful.’ (Ole Vinding, ‘James Joyce in Copenhagen’, p.149.) [131]

‘Who’s Who When Everybody is Somebody Else?’: A note insists that the identity of the dreamer as one is consistent with Joyce’s comments, and also with the book’s ‘one stable somebody’ [107.29-30] This point is pursued in the text also: Beneath the whole of FW underlying all the ‘samalikes’ and ‘altergoases’ and ‘pseudoselves’ in the book [579.33] there lies only one ‘comedy nominator’ [283.6-8], the one stable somebody [107.30] whose nightlife generates the comic denominations, distorting them in the process … [132]

A further note insists that the subsumption of Tommy Moore’s ‘maladies’ has much to do with the recurrence in them of the terms sleep, dream, and death, andcognates - so frequently, in fact, that Bishop supposes a collation of the lines in which they occur would make a soupily romantic sort of Ur-Wake. [417-18, n.4]

Bishop now deals with attempts to identify HCE in his Dublin context. Viz., ‘in the heart of the orangeflavoured mudmound’ (midden) identifies him as Protestant, citing for instance the following: homely Protestant religion [530.28] Skandiknaver [47.21] Gunne or Guinn [44.12] [Bishop, 134; note, p.419]

HCE’s Identity: The sheer density of certain repeated details and concerns allows us to know that he is a particular Dubliner. The nature of these recurring concerns, moreover, enables us to see that most of what Joyce leaked out to his publicists and much of what the criticism has inferred is largely true. Our hero seems to be an older Protestant male, of Scandinavian lineage, connected with the pubkeeping business, somewhere in the neighborhood of Chapelizod, who has a wife, a daughter, and two sons … FW offers less a family history than a ‘family histrionic’ / What emerges from an examination of these details is the sense of someone as singularly unsingular as Leopold Bloom [230.29] [135]

Bishop weighs the identity of HCE and determines that he is indeed a publican, or ‘bottlewasher’, and that the repetitive and petty ‘business’ of ‘arranging tumblers on table[s]’ [127.20-23] is indeed his life. [136-37]

Alcohol saturates Joyce’s ‘alcohoran’ [20.9-20] for an overdetermined variety of reasons. [138]

Notes the Kabbalah’s Sepirotic emanations, 29.13-15, 261.23-14.

Having cited so many instances of the unselved, unnameable body of sigla-fied HCE, Bishop argues: These considerations will enable us to begin filling in the vast ‘blank memory’ we all have of the night by allowing us to see that what must take place in parts of sleep void of dreams is the body itself, which has to be there in the ‘Real Absence’ of everything else for one ‘to be continued’ … what is ultimately being represented is less a dream than the fertile grounds of dreams; and if in wakefulness HCE ‘has’ a body in the night he simply ‘is’ one. This is only to what we might expect of a work entitled the Wake, where, as at all Wakes, the body is the life of the party. FW now becomes a … sort of ‘sacred stripture’ whose subject is ‘the supreme importance … of physical life’ [293.F2, 35.22-23] [143]

All things in the Wake start here,’back in the flesh’[67.5]. [145]

6: Nocturnal Geography
By standing in an inverse relation to the real-world locality which it parallels, each item on the relief map [B] acts as a term under erasure, so to indicate the epistemological cancellation of that locality … Goatstown and Dundrum … evaporate into an indistinct ‘Ghosttown’ [and] ‘duldrum’ … ‘Clown-talkin’. … / At a remote level Finnegans Wake really does take place in Dublin of Map A, where our hero lies at home in bed in Chapelizod, though he cannot know this Dublin or that Chapelizod, much less his ‘bed’ &c. [152]

NOTE that the sentences dealing with the underlying ‘presence (of a curpse)’ at 154, 155, and 157 are virtual repetitions.

As one consequence of the topological transformation by which sleep turns the map of Dublin ‘skinside out’ into the map of Nibud where everything is ‘recorporated’

Irish nation becomes ‘airish … notion’ [various discontinuous references]

Centring HCE’s reported malfeasances [‘an impressive private reputation for whispered sins’, 69.4] on the ‘Willingdone Marmoreal’ in ‘feelmick’s park’ or ‘Phronix Park’ - which is the dream equivalent of his private parts rather than the real Dublin location - and listing the various ways in which this ‘magnificent brut’ is supposed to have been ‘abusing his apparatus’ Bishop concludes: Precisely the slippery indefiniteness with which the Wake treats HCE’s crime, finally, allows Joyce to capture his hero’s guilt with an exactitude that would not be possible in the rule-bound, fact-craving Daily World. [167]

7: Vico’ s Night of Darkness: The New Science and FW
The critical work on FW has failed to account fully for Joyce’s passionate interest in Giambattista Vico’s New Science [174] … the cyclic theory of history complacently summarised by Wakeans only occupies a fraction of Vico’s work [~175]. It is - and should be - hard to understand how the Vico portrayed in Joyce studies should have generated ‘passionate interest’ (JJ, 340). It makes little sense to suppose that [Joyce} should have ended his career writing a book in polyglottal puns in order to transmit the news that the same things happened over and over again in quadripartite cycles. [176]

[Vico’s] was a conception of history that needed a Darwin before it could become at all generally accepted … Well before the appearance of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind, the New Science necessarily implied that human consciousness was an evolutionary variable, changeable with history and society, and that it depended on the whole human past for its definition. [176] … Vico’s premise, of course, breaks with such forms of Enlightenment belief as Cartesian rationalism and Lockean empiricism, both of which regarded "Reason" as an eternal manifestation of laws of nature determined if not by a benevolent deity than by a transcendental order; and implicitly, but not explicitly, it therefore breaks with the world-view out of which rationalism evolved.

VICO: But in the night of thick darkness enveloping the earliest antiquity, so remote from ourselves, there shines the eternal and never failing light of truth beyond all question: that the world of civil society has certainly been made by men, and that its principles are therefore to be found within the modifications of our own human mind. Whoever reflects on this cannot but marvel that the philosophers should have bent all their energies to the study of the world of nature, which, since God made it, He alone knows; and that they should have neglected the study of the world of nations, or civil world. which, since men made it, men could come to know. This aberration was a consequence of that infirmity of the human mind by which, immersed and buried in the body, it naturally inclines to take notice of bodily things, and find the effort to attend to itself too laborious … . [NS 331]

MARX: the traditions of all dead generations weighing like an Alp on the brains of the living. ( Eighteen Brumaire) [183]

Bishop puts a Viconian gloss on: But the world, mind, is, was and will be writing its own wrunes for ever, man, on all matter that fall under the ban of our infrarational senses … [19.35-20.1] [185]

Vico addresses the Hebraic I AM of J[eh]ov(e)[ah], YHWH. The human I AM is paradoxically a kind of wisdom achieved through nescience: ‘as rational metaphysics teaches that a man becomes all things by understanding them (home intelligendo fit omnia), this imaginative metaphysics shows that man becomes all things by not understanding them (homo non intelligendo fit omnia), and perhaps the latter proposition is truer than the former, for when man understands, he extends his mind and takes in the things, but when he does not understand, he makes the things out of himself and becomes them by transforming himself into them. [NS, 405]

Vico’s view of poetry, in "Poetic Wisdom", broadly coincides with Freud: ‘The most sublime labour of poetry is to give sense and passion to insensate things [as is] characteristic of children. … this philologico-philosophical axiom proves to us that in the world’s childhood men were by nature sublime poets.’ [Ns 186]. Vico uses the term ‘poetic wisdom’ to denote the manifold forms of consciousness that Freud would study more specifically in his work on infantile sexuality. [190]

The intense process of reading by which Joyce elicited a dreamwork from Vico’s Poetic Wisdom had to be one of the great literary encounter’s of Joyce’s life; for Vico also gave Joyce a richly articulated account of the genesis of language that enabled him to evolve a reconstruction of the human night. [194]

Vico: ‘mythologies … will be seen to be civil histories of the first peoples, who were everywhere natural poets’ (NS 352)

Freud: ‘analyis of nonsensical verbal forms … occur[ring] in dreams is particularly well calculated to exhibit the dream-work’ achievements’

Vico: ‘The human mind is naturally inclined by the senses to see itself externally to the body and only with great difficulty does it come to understand itself by means of reflection. / This axiom gives us the universal principle of etmology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and the properties of bodies to signiy the institutions of the mind and spirit. [New Science, 236-7] It is noteworthy languages the greater part of the expressions relating to inanimate things are formed by metaphor from the human body … [New Science, 405]

Hence] by weaving through Finnegans Wake the carnel etymons internal to English, Joyce could reconstruct an unconscious pattern that everywhere subliminally informs the Daily World. [199]

All of these Vichian verbal archaeologies important to FW which, after the example of Vico, discovers beneath all words a layer of subliminal meanings stratified in sociohistorical time … [205-06]

HCE: ‘a respectable prominently connnected fellow of Iro-European ascendances with welldressed ideas’ [37.25-26]

When Joyce makes the family the centre of all historical conflict in FW then, he isolates the primal social struggle in Vico that both historically and always engender other struggle. [206]

Bishop gives an account of Irish language[s], tracing the migratory amalgams of European languages, Brettonic, Anglo-Saxon, Norman French and Latin, mixed with Gaelic, producing ‘the hybrid known by day to the hero of Finnegans Wake [which has] acquired a polyglottal texture already densely riddled with historical tensions.’ [207]

Bishop quotes ‘the ignorance that implies impression that knits knowledge that finds the nameform that whets the wits that conveys contacts that sweetens sensation that drives desire that adheres to attachment that dog death that bitches birth that entails the ensuances of existentiality.’ [18.24-29] He reads it as an account of the ignorance out of which each morning the whole gentile existence comes to be. [210]

VICO is Mr John Baptister Vickar [255.27]

the obscure soul of the world (U, 27)

in every sentence it brings to mind those forgotten furbears who spoke alien tongues in obscure pre-history of the gentile world so as to make possible all the small articles of the consciousness and reality within which Joyce’s hero by day individually lives: ‘you mean to see we have been hadding a sound night’s sleep? &c.’ [207]

In Vico’s third etymological axiom, Joyce found richly affirmed the certain knowledge that language and consciousness are manifestations of each other, living and evolving forces made my men, but beyond any individual’s control, which grow and expand and become more international as our ‘social something bowls along bumpily, experiencing a jolting series of prearranged disappointments, down the long lane of … generations’ (107.32-35) [208-09]

[e]ven a tortuous first reading of the Wake should suggest that few books are less egocentric: dead to the world, its ‘belowes hero’ has no consciousness of himself as an ego or an identity at all. [214]

The ideal universal history that Vico discovered beneath the consciousness of everyone born in the enlightened present, Joyce made a living, dynamic world of FW. Its prose is the prose of the world. [215]

8: Meoptics
Bishop argues that the Wake is visually occluded, for whichreason it is notoriously deficiency in visual image - giving rise the the complaint that "Joycce’s vision has atrophied".

Bishop assembles a regiment of ‘black’ and night refercnes, including ‘scotography’. He concludes: ‘watching tar’ [502.2 might well be an ideal preparatory exercise for any reading of the Wake. [219]

Joyce’s use of the names Doyle and O’Sullivan, being Dubhghaill and O Súileabháin, being two dark types in Irish history. The ar ‘doyles when they deliberate but sullivans when they are swordsed’ [148.826-7], though collectively they resolve into The Morphios. [221] AND see not: one particularly dark scene involves a legal action heard by ‘Judge Doyle’ [574.9] and a jury of ‘fellows all of whom were curiously named after doyles’ [574.31-32], the testimony being ‘delivered in doylish’ by a ‘Doyle’ from ‘doyle’s county’ [575.9-10. 6-7]. [notes, 430]

Moles, bats, and owls: see n. at 430.

Bishop assails the critics’notion of the Wake, Bk I, as taking place in daytime, more specifically in the morning.

He interprets FW 003, ‘a bland old Isaac’, as meaning that HCE is blind, and hence ‘rory end to the regginbow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface’ (3.13-14). He continues: ‘Merely by falling asleep, the Wake’s ‘irismaimed’ has drifted into a universe whose visible surfaces lie beyond - below - the red end of the spectrum (rory = red, in Joyce’s own gloss of this line; regginbow = German regenbow, rainbow, L, I, 248]. If ‘nighthood’ unseen violet render all animated greatbritish and Irish objects nonviewable to human watchers’ elsewhere in the Wake [403.34-36], so too here must ‘nighthood’s unseen infrared’ at other the other ‘rory’ end of the spectrum. in other ords the spectrum of visible light extending from red to violet and perceptible at ver minut of the waking day is nowhere to be seen here (‘no end to the rainbow was to be seen’); and its place, within ‘eyes shut’, kinds of light invisible to ‘eyes whiteopen’ have swum problematically, if at all, into view (234.7): his reingbolt’ shot’ [590.10]. Sleep begins precisely here, where the spectrum of visible light comes to an end - t both its ends - and where kinds of light invisible to the open eye emerge ‘from th irised sea’ [318.34] to ‘reveil’ to a man made absent ‘the spectrem of his prisents’ [498.31] - the spectre of the present as illuminated in spectral colours bled out of a prism imprisoned in blackeye lenses. vision arises here, like the verb "to be seen" in passive form, and in the absence of an identifiable agent or perceived object. [225]

Phrases enforcing the "dark" reading of the Wake include: ‘keep black’; ‘in dims and deeps and dusks and darks’; ‘darumen’; ‘burrowed the coacher’s headlight’; ‘looking pretty black’; ‘blackeye lenses’, ‘eyegonblack’

… the Wake necessarily develops its own system of vision and optics, opposed to Helmholtz (1866) and Decartes (1704). … This ‘meoptics works the other way around: the light searing the retina coms from within and from behind - if this could see with its backsight’ [249.3] [227]

HCE as Anglo-Irish sleeper: ‘aglo-iris’ [528.23] [227

Such sporadic ocular turmoil as disrupts sleep wtih vision will perhaps explain the Wake’s recurrent preoccupation with the forms of "light" that no one awake can ever see - with infrared, ultraviolet, herzian waves, and xrays, for instances, all of which resemble the light washing over objects perceived in dreams … But it will also certainly clarify the Wake’s well-known obsession with the ‘rainbows’ and ‘rainbow girls’, and its dense employment of what Joyce called the iritic colours (L, 1, 295). [cf Gk, iris, rainbow] [230]

… anyone awake who looks around right now and surveys themulticolord ‘photoprismic velaminea of hueful panepiphanal world’ will always and only see, anywhere and everywhere he looks, the colors of the rainbow - though not neatly arrayed order and rarely in unmixed primary form. … [in FW] the colours of the rainbow simply signify the colors of the spectrum:they make up the total span of visible.

Bishop here argues that our blinded hero experiences ‘the opalescent gathering of those iritic colours way out there in the reaches of far space, on the backs of eyelids, [which] means that suddenly from ‘next to nothing’ [4.36-5.1 out of a universe washed away and swamped in black, a New world starts radiantly to undergo creation all over again, bringing to his yes sights and scenes familiar as ‘home sweet home.’ [231]

Creating their own form of ‘earthlight’ [449.7] each of HCE’s eyes now becomes a powerful ‘flask of lightning’ [in which flesh and flash are interchangeable] [233]

All this seems to call for an investigation of the coloured opposite: dearmcolohour [176.10, cf. Drumcollogher], hence a section in Bishop on -

COLOURS, The Mime of Nick, Nick and the Maggies (II.i.), otherwise, Find Me Colours. [237]. ‘The eyes deserve their turn. Let them be seen!’ The book’s dark optics. [237]

That the occulted colour HCE tries to discover by ‘gazework’ within his ‘glistering juwells’ should be ‘heliotrope’ would account for the positioning of the “Colours” chapter at the centre of FW … and it is here, precisely, half-way through the Wake’s reconstruction of the night that its unconscious hero - and unknown sunseeker’ - starts inexorably to float toward [238] sunrise, resurrection, and the wakened world of sunlit vision. … a whole visionary trend …

the bone of contention over whom these two ‘crown pretenders’ struggle … is Issy [who is] surely the most difficult of the Wake’s main characters to fathom …

A student of its ‘meoptics’ will find distributed everywhere throughout the Wake, as Joyce hinted, an eleaborately developed ‘theory of colours’ (L. 1, 406]

… the cryptic hour now turns out to be precise precisely because it designates the time of the creation of light. [247]

Bishop discusses the intra-somatic sources of the letter, 248ff.

Sleep-Sea: ‘fishy eyes’ [559.223; ‘the salt catara off a windows’ [395.11]; ‘behold the residuance of a delugion’ [367.24]; ‘the legnth of the land lies under liquidation … our seelord’ [325.16]; ‘great deap sleap’ [277.13]; ‘Deepsleep Sea’ [37.18]; ‘fathomglasses to find out all the fathoms [in the] ‘saltwater’ [386.16-17, 19] [Bishop 257]

‘you are not quite so successful in the process verbal whereby you would sublimate you blepharospasmockical suppressions’ [515.5-17]. Bishop makes much of the th role of the eyelid as the shutter or ‘catara’ which closes off the Day World, and makes the screen on which the ‘flash’ and ‘flesch’ of nightlife is visible (or ‘invisible/invinsible’). Blepharon is eyelid. Laughter too interrupts ordinary logic and thinking, as Freud ( Jokes ) argued. [See Bishop 258f.]

9: Earwicker
Chp. deals with the ‘sordomutics’ [117.14] of the Wake; ‘Act:dumbshow’ [559.18].

Notice etymological chart, fig. 9.1. From IE *dheu, rising mist, Bishop derives dark words including dump, deep, Dublin, typhlosis, doldrums, donkey, obfuscate, dizzy, doze, dud, die, funeral, thanatos, dune, down, dotty, doddering, feral, theos, but also Gaelic duine (person), OF feire and Mod. F. faire. Feral is glosses as ‘pertaining to the dead or underground’; but why not fetal also?’

Wake Deafwords: Dufblin [477.23]; Tabling [7.6]; sorestate hearing’ [242.1]; ‘bothered … from head to tail’ [381.28];’dropped down dead and deaf’ [323.19]; ‘Demidoff’s tomb’[329.23]; ‘psourdonome’ [332.32]; ‘old dummydeaf’ [329.27]; ‘Sur Soord’ [238.31]; ‘Mrs Taubiestimm’[546.29]; … ‘How to Understand the Deaf’ [307.20-21]. [Bishop 269] Also, ‘allearth’s dumbnation’.

Bloom:’What am I saying, barrels? Gallons [U79]. Bishop considers that th Joycean interior monologue is localised somewhere in the dark channels linking mouth and ear [as] unsounded talking-over.[270]

Mutt and Jute: ‘dummpshow’ = dumb/dump … our sleeping hero, a stupified Taciturn [17.3] whose mouth seems determined to invade his ear - hence th invasion motif.

as night moves HCE forward … under the forces of sensory closure, … the ears become extremely important because, unlike the eyes and the mouth, they nver reall close. … they serve an enlightening and ‘oreillental’ function [357.18]

WhyJoyce chose to saddle his ostensibly ordinary 20th c sleeper with the altogether xtraordinary name of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker … elaborately explored in chp. 2 … finally bears on what Joyce frankly called ‘the Earwicker absurdity’ (L, 1, 203). Joyce: ‘In sleep our senses are dormant, except the sense of hearing, which is always awake, since you can’t close your ears. So any sound that comes to our ears turns into a dream.’ (JJ, 546-7). FW: ‘Earwicker, that patternmind, that paradigmatic ear, receptoretentive as his of Dionysius’ [70.35-6].

Bishop’s account of the Tale in a Pub section, 309.1-311.4, admits the radion interpretation, but insists on the Real Absence of ‘man made static’ - the funerary condensation of voices. [275]

‘pressures be to our hoary frother, the pop gave his sullen bulletaction and, bilges, sled a movement of cathartic emulsipotion’ [310.28]: Bishop interprets this as a belch impinging on the pinna - viz, ‘pinntrat[ing] - of HCE’s ear, and demanding interpretation, which he imposes on it in terms of a popping bottle, and also a scenario involving the pope and catholic emancipation. [279-80]

‘the ear of Fionn Earwicker’ [108.21-22] oprates much like the phantasmal radioset explored at the beginning of chapter 1.iii by sorting out sounds ‘for all within crstal range [229.12] - ‘Eh, chrstal holder?’ [19.16] [Bishop, 281]

Since Here Comes Everybody’s body is incessantly generating unheard ‘static babel’ of this sort, the wakening from the dead of these sounds alows one to begin noticing how much of ‘th presence (of the curpse)’ … is not simply repressed as a condition of civility, but relegated to deep auditory unconsciousness [so that] ‘you … remain ignorant of all what you hear.’ [238.15-16]

~The trouble with Bishop’s insistentally physiological and literal approach to the dream is that it tends to occlude the metaphysical and epistemological aspects of the Wake’s thematic organisation - in other words its force as an expressive and metaphoric structure rather than a diagnostic script.

‘Acoustic disturbances: Listing the body-sounds which impinge on the dream (including groans, rumblings, hawing, throat-clearing, snoring and even tooth-grinding), Bishop instances the ‘farternoiser’ - or farting - of HCE as a source ofthe thunderwords. [282]

Other nocturnal sound impinge from ‘worldwithout!’ [244.1]; ‘it’s only the wind on the road outside to wake all shivering shanks from snorring’ [577.36-578.2]; ‘it is not yet the engine of the load with haled morries full of crates, you mattinmummer, for dombel dumbs [604.11] [Bishop, 285]

Focussing on the phrase ‘phonoscopically incuriosited’ [449.1; incuriosite, It. made curious ], Bishop remarks that such passages are important because they also demonstrate the manifold ways in whcih ‘our ears, eyes of darkness [14.29], see in the night and therefore serve as HCE’s ‘aural eyeness’ [623.18]. [Bishop 286] His next section begins: very early in the Wake, Joyce alerts his reader to the nature of those ‘dectroscophonious’ mechanisms (123.12; dekter, receiver; skopos, objects of vision; phone, sound ) [which] bring the world to light. [287]


tis optophone which ontophanes. List! Wheatstone’s magic lyer [13.14, 16-17]. Bishop comments: HCE’ optophone-like ears are the porals through which, in the darm, reality (onta and being (ta onta) comes to light (phaino).

Because The New Science shows humanity rising into en light ment not primarily in visually extended space, but in the slow drift forward through time of phonetic structures that have the power to make and alter phenomenal ones, we should furthermore see that this auditory ‘marygoaraumd’ is the protospeace out of which visual space and consciousness waken. Even since the beginning of time, in ‘first infancy’ [22.1], the ears have always and inevitably been open and receptive; whereas the eyes, sightless in all the dark places and darker parts of life, have not. Vision therefore becomes, in the Wake, a sense whose developed forms are preceded and made possible by hearing. [289] [Bishop quotes ‘Clearer of the Air … phonemanon, &c.’, 289]

Thunderworkd 257.29 includes English ‘sport the oak’, Ir, dun an doras, It. chiudi l’uscio, Fr. fermez la porte, &c.

Gr. phainomenon, ‘that which appears’ [Bishop 291] And see fig. 5: the ‘funantics’ of ‘phonemanon’ [450.27; 258.22] [Bishop 292-3]

“Earwigs”; ‘the Bug of the Deaf’ [134.36] [Bishop 296-7]

Bishop’s reading of Post-Structuralist Joyce et al.: If a reading of the New Science hows HCE lying at the evolved end of a diachronic language whose roots lie unrecapturabl buried in the unconsciousness of prehistory, immersion in the Wake’s ‘funantics’ complementarily show Earwicker lying at the centr of an immense phonological tangle whoe totality is language as a synchronic structure. This is an aspect of the Wake - and it is a definite, if partial aspect - that does not need a great deal of attention here because it is th only aspect of the book that many readers seem currently willing to engage. … Such readings will hardly explain, however, why it would have taken Joyce fifteen ears to produce a text which he was always careful to distinguish from dada and the surreal; or why, when he was asked to say what the Wake was ‘about’, Joyce never hesitated to say that it was ‘about the night’ (as opposed to less concrete forms of nothing. to regard the Wake as a free-floating scud of signifiers disengaged from contact with the concrete, then, finally overlooks, in the best of all western traditions, ‘the supreme importance … of physical life’ … by reducing the body to … the typanum. &c. [Bishop 299]

Mr Eustache; Gaping Gill; senses of ‘overhearing’ [302-03]; in place of cogito ergo sum, ‘I hereb hear by ear’, therefore ‘I am amp amp amplify’ 468.24-25, 533.33). [Bishop 304].

10. Litters : On Reading Finnegans Wake
The chapter is a reasoned discussion of the reading methods appropriate to the Wake in its kind as a dream-text. Bishop justified his method in terms of a kind of literary sortilege: ‘Sortes Virginianae ’ [281.R1]; i.e., sortes virgilianae - ‘volve the virgil page’ [270.25].

The greatst obstacle to our comprehension of FW since its publication has surely been a failure on the part of readers to believe that Joyce really meant wha he said when he spoke of the book as a ‘rconstruction of the nocturnal life’ and and ‘imitation of the dream-state’; and as a consequence, readers have perhaps too easily exerised on the text an unyielding literalism bent on finding a kind of meaning in every ay anti-thetical to the kind of meaning purveyed in dreams. [309]

On hesitancy : ‘the spoil of hesitants, the spell of hesitency’ [97.24]; be the seem talkin wharabahts hosetanzies, dat sure is sullbrated word!’ [379.6-7]; also ‘Hasitatense?’ [296.F4]; ‘ha dizz spells’ [373.27]; ‘hazeydency’ [305/4]. Cf Letters I, 241, where Joyce points out that

Irishman would connect this with Piggott, who tried to implicate Parnell in the Phoenix Park murders. [Bishop 312]

11: The Nursing Mirror
Freud: ‘what is unconscious in mental life is also what is infantile.’ Bishops argues that ‘to ignore [the] childish impulses and all the infantile material represented in [any Wake] paragraph because there is Latin to xplicate or a theory to expound is to … annihilate a deeply formative part of the dream, but [also] to lobotomise a whole portion of the brain … by keeping the child inside the body buried. [319] … as in The Mime of Mick, Nick, and the Maggies, sleep might be considered a daily re-enactment of childhood itself. [320]

Hence Bishop sees the Wake as making he child free: ‘two pretty mistletots, ribboned to a tree, up rose liberator and, fancy, they were free.’ [588.35-36]

Bishop catches Joyce’s sense of the educational process, with its repressions of childhood freedom in the ‘business world’ of daily life. [329-331]: ‘Rockaby, babel, flatten a wall’, he calls the return with a vengeance of the repressed, seeing Joyce’s development from Dubliners (‘There was no hope’) through the ‘Yes’ of Ulysses to the ‘ovrgrown babeling’ [ of Finnegans Wake are just such an upsurge on unconscious energy. Pantosoph - all-knowing - is here ‘panto’s off’ [257.10] [Bishop 332]

‘shoepisser pluvious’ [451.36], with mannequin pisse for Jupiter Pluvius, is finally the reigning deity and watermaker of the Wake. [~334]

12: Anna Livia Plurabelle
Bishop addresses the problem of the chapter, quoting widely from Joce’s letters and commentaries: that ALP was rated by Joyce as his showcase, containing a thousand rivers, but that these rivers which ‘make it move’ seem to critics the indices of an obsession and a rote method rather than a serious aesthetic purpose. Bishop holds that if we keep to the ‘reconstruction of nocturnal life’ interpretation all becomes clear. [336-3].

Bishop illustrates many riparian allusions [341] He reads the rivers are the blood-stream, and especially the sound of the blood flowing in the ear, which, according to Havelock Ellis, may form the nucleus around which all the hallucinations of a dream crystallise. [340]

Joyce makes the sound of blood sing the song of consanguinity in the Earwicker family. [352] It is also the cleansing agency, his bloodstreaming acting - according to Bishop - as an invisible and internalised version of the Dublin Coroporation Main Drainage Systems. [353]

intrauterine regressions: ‘the childman weary, the manchild in the womb’ (U, 737). Hence, HCE experiences recurrences of ‘momerr[ies’ of ‘nunsbelly Square’ [95.35-36]. [355] The sonority of his own ‘bloodlines; ‘overheard’ unconsciously reminds HCE of a first and deep attachment to hi mothr, ‘the missus seepy, and sewery’ [207.13]; ‘forthe of his pierced part came the woman of his dreams, blood thicker then water’ (130.31-33).

Because of the unconscious perception of the bloodstream and all the ‘meanam’ associativel adhering to it constitute an incessant part of the ‘gossiple’ so delivered in HCE’s] epistolear’ [38.23), its sonority spills out of Anna Livia" into everything else in the Wake, enveloping it everywhere and ultimately giving the book its circular, recirculating form. Throughout the night the hearing of his own bloodstream in th Real Absence’ of anything else causes HCE ‘to pianissime a slightly varied version of Crookedribs [viz, Eve] confidentials … and, to the strain of The Secret of Her Birth, hushly pierce the rubiend aurellum of … a layteacher of … orthophonethics’ (38.30-36). [Bishop 363]

HCE as origin and auditor of messages of the dream: ‘overhear[ing], in his secondary personality as … [an] underearred’ [38.27-28]

Note also: that’s the point of eschatology our book of kills reaches for now in soandso many counterpoint words. What can’t be coded can be decorded if an ear aye seize what no eye ere grieved for [482.33-36] [Bishop 381]

Transitional material: ‘years and years I loved you, O my son, my firstborn, when you lay in my womb’ (U, 581]; ‘[navel]cords all link back’ [U, 38] [Comm., Bishop, 368]

Alma Mater, fostering mother: ‘we’re all fond of our anmal matter’ [294.F5]

ALP/maternal material [Bishop 370-71]: Mater Mary Mercerycordial of the Dripping Nipples, milk’s a queer arrangement [260.F2]: ‘Bringer of Pluarabilities’ [104.1-2]; ‘fetters to new desire, repeals an act of union to unite in bonds of schismacy’ 586.24-26]; ‘wedded now evermore in annastomoses by a ground plan of the placehunter’ [585.22-23]; ‘For as Anna was at the beginning lives yet and will return’ [277.12-13]; ‘Anna was, Livia is, Plurabelle’s to be’ [215.24]; ‘a lot of lasses and lads without damas or dads, but fresh and blued ’ [341.33-34].


Bartholomew’s Deep [99.36] and Challenger’s Deep [501.11]: two oceanic trenches equal to or less than the profounds of Wakean sleep and silence. [~Bishop, 372]

The Lough Neagh grave, ‘an inversion of phallopharos’ [76.34], i.e., a dark womb. Incubation: ‘ovasleep’; ‘Eggeberth’, ‘ovidently’ ‘asleep in a shell’; oggs; eggshill etc. [Bishop 375]

‘The Constant Fluvion’

Since these silent gaps [in Wake words] fall outside of letters,and outside of institutions that those letters empower, what becomes expressed in the ‘cunniform letters’ of which Anna Livia is composed is a form of creative power, feminine rather than masculine because it escpares traditional phallologocentric mastery and control. this productive force works much differently from the creative powers of patriarchy, whose deity, as exemplified by Genesis, brings the world to light by creating things in his own image, domesticating the unknown with the known, and discriminating and establishing difference - between light and dark, night and day, heaven and earth, sheep and goats, men and women, right and wrong. Anna Livia’s ‘afluvial flowandflow’ spills into the world a ‘safety vulve’ [297.26-27], a ‘constant of fluvion, Mahamewetma [297.29-30] [which] call to mind maternity and birth.’ [Bishop, 381]

‘New Free Woman with novel inside’ [145.29]; a ‘nightynovel’ [54.21] which follows the ‘explots’ [of the sleeping man], it linear plot being one of steadily deepening ‘embedment’ that reveres itself at the book’s mid-point, in the gap between 1.viii and 2.i, where a rejuvenating body begins to relive its own childhood and gravitate heliotropically toward the moment of its resurrection and wakening. … If the Wake preserves an eccentric and remote attachment to the novel and comparable forms of ‘patrilinear plop’ [279.4], however, it also dismantles those forms, simply by taking as its subject the real experience of sleep, within which the real crumbles altogether - together with the paternal old man who ‘disselve[s] by night, into a mother and child. [Bishop, 382]

‘A book like that, [Joyce] said of the Wake, ‘has no ending. It could go on forever.’ [Mercanton, The Hours of James Joyce, p.213] [Bishop 385, END]

A spotty survey of the incessant misappearances of our hero’s ‘tropped head’, at Bishop, p.396-97.

Joyce spoke of the Wake as effecting ‘a deliberate break from a certain Cartesianism’, in Frank, ‘The Shadow that Had Lost Its Man’, p.97. [Bishop 397]

Since telegraph and radiography unlike writing, convey articulate meaning through the medium of an “ether” imperceptible to the human senses, both serve as figures, throughout FW, for kinds of sense sensed in the absence of real perception. [Bishop, Notes, p.398.]

In following remarks Bishop cites: ‘turn a wideamost ear dreamily; ‘hear the wireless harps of sweet old Aerial [449.28-30]; ‘in this wireless age’ [489.36]; ‘for all within crystal range’ [229/12]; ‘wordloosed over seven seas crowdblast in cellelleneteutoslavzendlatinsoundscript’ [219.16-17]; ‘you have just (a ham) beamed listening through’ [359.22]; ‘as I hourly learn from Rooters and Havers through Gilligan’s maypoles’ [421.31-32]; ‘Morse nuisance’ [99.6]; ‘new book of Morses’ [123.33]; ‘morse-made-earsy’ [324.27].

See Clive Hart’s notes on “the Telegram” in Structure and Motif (1962), p.122-28, 243; and entries on Reuters, Havas, and Tass, in Glasheen’s 3rd Census. [Bishop, 398-99]

On Tu es Petrus, ‘sleeping like a rock’, and ‘thuartpatrick’, see n.4, p.402.

Extensive notes on Huck Finn and Mark Twain in Finnegans Wake: Bishop, Notes, 411-12.

Notes and critical bibliography on the topic of the identity of the sleeper in the Wake, Bishop, notes, p.417.

On Joyce’s use of Moore’s Melodies, see Bishop, Notes, pp.417-8

Joyce’s interest in post-Newtonian science, discussed in Ihab Hassan, ‘Joyce and Gnosis of Modern Science’, and SB Burdy, ‘Let’s hear What Science Has to Say: Finnegans Wake and the Gnosis of Science’, in 7th of Joyce, ed., Bernard Benstock (Indiana 1982.

Macpherson: see Fritz Senn, ‘Ossianic Echoes’, in A wake Newslitter, n.s., 3 (apr 1966), 25-36; also Swinson Ward, ‘macpherson in Finnegans Wake’, in Wake Newsletter, n.s., 9 (Oct. 1972), 89-95. [Bishop, notes, 421]

3 stanzas of Brian O’Linn, notes 422.

Allegiance of Tel Quel group to Maoist China and Finnegans Wake, note at 425.

‘The ambiguity of the jewel’: Jacques Lacan, ‘The Line and Light’, in The Four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Alan Sheridan (NY: Norton 1978). Includes a discussion of embodied light. Lacan writes: ‘the essence of the relation between appearance and being, which the philosopher, conquering the field of vision, so easily masters, lies elsewhere [than in geometric relations]. It is not the straight line, but in the point of light - the point of irradiation, the play of light, fire, the source from whcih reflection pours forth. Light may travel in a straight line, but it is refracted, diffused, it floods, it fills - the eye is a sort of bowl - it flows over, too, it necessitates, around the ocular bowl, a whole series of organs, mechanisms, defences’ (.94). Bishop remarks that this refractive complexity permeates HCE’s ‘eyenbowls’ [389.28]. [Bishop, note, 425]

Discussion of Heliotrope riddle, and citations in the wake and in commentaries on: see note in Bishop, 435-6.

Television: looking through at these accidents with the farofscope of television (this nightlife instrument … ) [150.30-33]; for other refs., see FW 52.18, 254.22, 345.45, 389.21, 597.36, 610.35, and esp. 349.6-28.[Bishop, notes, p.438]

Bishop lists alphabetically and in full the nursery rhymes cited in Hodgart and Worthington, Songs in the Work of James Joyce, together with their occurences in the Wake [Bishop, notes, 452-53.] The list, he notes, does not include refs. to singing games or foreign language songs.

Moore’s ‘the virgin page’, quoted in notes, p.454.

Quinet’s sentence: ‘Today, as in the time of Pliny and Columelle, the hyacinth thrives in Wales, the periwinkle in Illyria, the daisy on the ruins of Numantia, and while the cities around them have changed masters and names, several having pased into nothingness, civilizations having clashed and broken, their peaceful generations have crossed the ages and come down to us, fresh and laughing s in days of battles.’ (Introduction à la philosophie de l’histoire de l’humanité, quoted in Clive Hart, Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake, 1967; Bishop, 1982, p.454.

Bibliography [from Notes]
  • Jacques Mercanton, “The Hours of James Joyce” [trans. Lloyd C. Parks], in Portraits of the Artist in Exile: Recollections of James Joyce by Europeans, ed. Willard Potts (Seattle 1979).
  • Ole Vindig, ‘James Joyce in Copenhagen’, trans. Helge Irgens-Moller, in Potts, ed., op. cit. (1979).
    Havelock Ellis, The World of Dreams (Boston 1911)
  • Sigmund Freud, Introductory lectures to Psychoanalysis, trans. and ed. James Strachey (NY:Norton 1966]
  • E. A. Wallis Budge, trans., The Book of the Dead: The hieroglyphic Transcript of the Papyrus of Ani [Medici Society Version] (1913, rep., Secaucus, NJ: Univ. Books 1960),
  • E. A. Wallis Budge,, The Dwellers of the Nile: The Life, History, Religion, and Literature of the Ancient Egyptians (1926; rpt. NY:Dover 1977)
  • E. A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Heaven and Hell (1925; rpt. La Salle, Ill: Open Court Pub. co., 1974).
  • E. A. Wallis Budge, The Mummy: chapters on Egyptian Funeral Archaeology (1925; rpt. NY:Macmillan, Collier Books, 1972).
  • Frank Budgen, ‘James Joyce’, in Givens, ed., James Joyce: Two Decades of Criticism, p.26; also Budgen, ‘Joyce’ Chapters of Going Forth by Day’, in Givens, 343-47.
  • Danis Rose, ‘Chapters of Coming Forth by Day’, in A Wake Newslitter Monograph, no. 6 (Colchester: Wake Newslitter Press 1982). [Rose reads the Book of the Dead as ‘undoubtedly the single most significant source resorted to by Joyce in compiling his own Irish book of the Dead (p.1)]
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Shari Benstock, ‘Apostrophes: Framing Finnegans Wake’, in Joycean Occasions: Essays from the Milwaukee James Joyce Conference 1987, ed. Janet E. Dunleavy, et al. (1991) - in which a footnote criticising Joyce’ s Book of the Dark (1986):

‘John Bishop’s reading the Wake draws together sleep, dreams, and memory to suggest ways of Wakean obscurity, its language serving (in Joyce’s words) “to reconstruct the nocturnal life” (Bishop, 1986, p.4).

[…] Bishop’s study does not concentrate on dreams, per se, and thus he extends the dream frame to mark the internal boundary between sleep and dreams, between the ‘hole’ and the ‘whole’ continually passing the bar between that which is barred from memory and that which is available only in dream. His entrance to the Wake are those which mark a falling asleep (presumably the first pages) and the coming awake (the closing pages). Postulating that the clearest renderings of the Wake themes and structures are available here, Bishop rigorously tries to render a comprehensive, literary interpretation of the text […] which the text itself defeats. [120]

[End extract]