– ¶0 numbers the carry-over paragraph
– solid-line boxed text marks my running outline

– rolling over critical sources give more specific citations as available

All comments welcome; and, welcome as additions to the site:

Unless otherwise stated,
all content © A.E.M. Baumann

1.1 Page 3
– last update: May 8, 2015


page 4



01      riverrun, past Eve and Adams, from swerve of shore to bend
02 of bay brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to
03 Howth Castle and Environs.

¶1 The end of the sentence that begins at the end of the book; the beginning again of the Viconian cycle that is described by the Wake. This is not a simple, opening sentence: the scene of the first book is established: (1) "past Even and Adam's" = we are at mythic origins, the beginning of all things; (2) the cosmology is cycular (re Vico); (3) and, that beginning, the new 'Eden,' is found at Howth Castle and Environs = HCE.

commodius vicus of recirculation: “vicus” invokes, immediately, Vico. “Commodius” is naturally read as making a joke of comparing the Liffy to a toilet (combined with the circular swirling of the water in a toilet). But Campbell Mythic Worlds, Modern Worlds offers that “Commode” was another name for the river Jordan, which links to Giordanom, creating the Bruno-Vico pairing, arguably the two primary ideational groundings of the Wake. Irrespective of any relationship to the Jordan, "commode" is far too obvious a pun for it not to be intended, and Liffy was and is frequently described in the Wake as a filthy, brown river, filled with trash.



04 Sir Tristram, violer d'amores [. . .]

¶2 The setting of the grand scene continues, here pulling the focus into narrative, listing events in the Wake that are yet to happen, setting the time of the moment in archetypal pre-history. The list:

  • Tristram’s arrival in Ireland (that is, is HCE’s arrival)
  • Benstock Joyce-Again's Wake (84-5)points out that "rocks" are a common slang for testicles for Joyce (inc. in Ulysses), and the line refers to "the father engendering his progeny"
  • “mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick” to me refers to the Shem-Shaun agon, though also it simply refers to Irish history
  • “a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac” refers to the Phoenix Park incident, to the Buckley tale, and to Shem and Shaun’s agon with HCE (the gaining/usurpation of the father’s rule/power
  • “sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe” the ALP/Issy agon with the two boys; note how right off the Shem and Shaun are both two and one

04-05 passencore: pas encore = “not yet” in French


12 Rot a
13 peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory
14 end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.

Refers to tale of Noah drunk and exposed, which refers again to the HCE-Shem/Shaun agon, but also to the Phoenix Park incident, and to the rainbow (“regginbrow”) that marks the beginning of a new age. In setting the stage, before all the events listed above, there came the Fall, which is, in the narrative of HCE, the Phoenix Park incident.


BenstockJoyce-again's Wake, 170 on 3¶2:

Meanwhile [in conjunction with world creation], wave after wave of invaders are discovering, conquering, colonizing new lands, lands that had their own inhabitants and cultures, and each invasion of one civilization conquering another and merging its culture with the existing native culture re-echoes the superfetation theme. Sir Almeric Tristram arrives with Strongbow's forces in 1170 and settles in Dublin, founding Howth Castle: "Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war" (3.4-6); Jonathan Sawyer is simultaneously founding the city of Dublinin the state of Georgia (in Laurens County): "topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurenc County's giorgios" (3.7-8); and St. Bridget is being created out of the goddess Brigit, while St Patrick through baptism is creating Christians out of heathens: "avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick" (3.9-10), and Christ is creating the Church upon "the rock which is Peter."



15      The fall [. . .]

¶3 Speaks (in an introductory manner) the fall of Tim Finnegan. Lying on the ground he becomes the geography of Dublin. Howth is his head, his feet rest westward [at the Magazine Wall], and at Phoenix Park is his penis (the Wellington Monument). ALP is the mythical river, specifically, here, the River Liffey.


15 [. . .] (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-
16 ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-
17 nuk!)

The Thunderwords: there are ten of them in the Wake, the first nine 100 letters long, the last 101. This word is made up of words for "thunder" in other languages.