FINNEGANS WAKE: PAGE 005
– ¶0 numbers the carry-over paragraph
– solid-line boxed text marks my running outline
– rolling over critical sources give more specific citations as available
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05 Of the first was he to bare arms and a name: Wassaily_Boos-
06 laeugh of Riesengeborg. His crest of huroldry, in vert with
¶1 Continuing the creation theme, Finnegan was the first man to have a name: ergo, Adam. "Wassaily Booslaeugh" puns off of Vassily Buslaev, a "hero of [the] ballad cycle of Novgorod" (McHugh), a story of the nature of the giant of a man whose constantly at arms with everyone, so fitting to the boisterous Finn. Here's a link to a page giving the Buslaev story.
• Of the first was he to bare arms and a name: Puns off a line from Hamlet describing Adam as "the first that ever bore arms" (McHugh).
13 What then agentlike brought about that tragoady thundersday
14 this municipal sin business?
¶2 Moving from the initial scene of 'Adam and Eve in Eden' to the question of the Fall of Finnegan. Benstock points out how the Fall on Earth is paralled with the Fall in Heaven, a continual theme throught the book: the wars in Heaven and their duplication in the conflicts on Earth (or between the characters, especially Shem and Shaun, who are linked with Lucifer and Michael, respectively).
There is a lot of punning on Islamic and Arabic themes (Scheherezade is one of the faces of Anna Livia). It is through the Black Rock that the mythical is brought to the mundade, becoming the possibility of "a missfired brick." The motion is paralleled with the effect the Fall from Eden ("so sore did abe ite ivvy's holired abbles" (5.29-30)) had on human civilization, seen in the long paranthetical list led off by "what with the wallhall's horrors of" (30). Notice in the opening you have the war/battle of Valhalla but recast into the horrors of hell. The paranthetical describes the Dublin of Joyce's time, but puns off of ancient structures and the development to the grandeur of Rome, making the conflict and chaos inherent to the world and unending: thus setting up the Fall and Rebirth of Finn, the coming of a new cycle. Though, there is also the unavoidable conclusion that the "grandeur of Rome" is inherently contaminated; that the more civilization develops, the closer it gets to its Fall.
The paranthetical being tucking within the sentence between the bite of the apple and Finnegan's fall, speaks for me of that the Falls are inherent to the cycle: the "cause" of the Fall is the chaos and warring that was initiated by the previous Fall. His hod was heavy with the world. Indeed, Finnegan is himself the mythic builder of civilization, and he wearies for its weight.
The building that Finn is building when he falls is simultaneously the towering Wellington Monument (by way of Finn's own penis) and Howth, the future home of HCE.
• But so sore did abe ite ivvy's holired abbles": a line with two main readings: Eden, "but so sorely did A[dam] bite Eve's red apple"; and sex, the biting of breasts. Though, I have a quarter of a thought that with "apples" made "abbles," it might refer to Shaun biting Anna Livia's breasts while she breastfed him. Another possible reading of "abbles" is it is "apples" with the p turned upside down: in that p and q tend to cue sexual temptation and lust, there is not sex but the interruption of sex.
• BenstockJoyce-again's Wake, 169-70 on the parenthetical:
|The city is the Dublin Joyce knew, but it is also the Pandemonium built by the outcast angels. The world suddenly emerges full-grown (the ancient cities are incorporated into the building of the modern: Sonehenge is combined with engine to form stonengens, but it will someday return to stone again.) THis is Joyce's superfetation theme of one world burrowing on another, of a new world growing out of the old. And the city is the one Cain built, for since the fall from heaven and Adam's fall from grace are happening simultaneously – 'and sore did abe ite ivvy's holired abbles' (5.29-30) – Satan and Cain find themselves building the same city, but only to find it fully built before them.|