Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rise and Shine: The Dawn Prayers of Book IV (Part 1)

"Pu Nuseht, lord of risings"

In our local Finnegans Wake Reading Group here in Austin, the month of April introduced us to a new chapter in the text. Right after the spring equinox sprung forth Austin's lush verdant landscape into abundant green blooming, we kicked off the 17th and final chapter of Finnegans Wake, the sole chapter making up Book IV starting on page 593. (Note: this is actually our seventh chapter since the start of the reading group in 2012 since we are approaching the text in the non-linear chapter sequence described here.)

The chapter brings dawn, sunrise, and renewal to the long dark night of the Wake. The earliest rays of dawn sunlight creeping over the horizon spring this corner of the world to life; the sleeping Irish pub owner Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker is summoned for resurrection.

It's the awakening of all the Finnegans.

I've always considered this my favorite chapter for its ample use of Eastern mythological themes (Sanskrit features heavily in the opening, as we'll see) and because this chapter of sacred invocations and prayers to the rising sun is among the richest, most dense and rewarding sections of the entire book. It's one of the last parts Joyce wrote in the Wake's 17-year compositional odyssey and all the themes of the book seem to be distilled here.

Normally in our reading group we study two pages per meeting. Because of this chapter's densely packed collection of riches and the awe-inspiring poetic nature of its main theme (dawn and renewal), we are tackling this section at a pace of one page per meeting. So far, after two meetings we've unearthed a great deal of treasures---mostly related to the renewing fires of the sun---but in my follow-up research into the pages I've uncovered lots more.

That being the case, I'd like to examine some of the themes present in these first two pages of Book IV here. There is a ton to unpack, so bear with me.



(As always, FWEET.org is an indispensable resource in parsing the Wake. Another fantastic resource---which had slipped my mind for a while, possibly owing to its rather obscure presence on the web---is the blog/website "Annotated Finnegans Wake (with Wakepedia)" which I believe may be arranged by legendary master of Joyceana, Jorn Barger. The same mystery man has set up a Finnegans Wake e-text which has also been very helpful. William York Tindall's book A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake has unique insights on this chapter as does Donald Theall's book James Joyce's Techno-Poetics.)

Here is page 593, the opening of Book IV (presented in gold font for the rising sun):


    Sandhyas! Sandhyas! Sandhyas! 
Calling all downs. Calling all downs to dayne. Array! Surrection. Eireweeker to the wohld bludyn world. O rally, O rally, O rally! Phlenxty, O rally! To what lifelike thyne of the bird can be. Seek you somany matters. Haze sea east to Osseania. Here! Here! Tass, Patt, Staff, Woff, Haw, Bluvv and Rutter. The smog is lofting. And already the olduman's olduman has godden up on othertimes to litanate the bonnamours. Sonne feine, somme feehn avaunt! Guld modning, have yous viewsed Piers' aube? Thane yaars agon we have used yoors up since when we have fused now orther. Calling all daynes. Calling all daynes to dawn. The old breeding bradsted culminwillth of natures to Foyn Mac-Hooligan. The leader, the leader! Securest jubilends albas Temoram. Clogan slogan. Quake up, dim dusky, wook doom for husky! And let Billey Feghin be baallad out of his humuluation. Confindention to churchen. We have highest gratifications in announcing to pewtewr publikumst of pratician pratyusers, genghis is ghoon for you.
A hand from the cloud emerges, holding a chart expanded. 
The eversower of the seeds of light to the cowld owld sowls that are in the domnatory of Defmut after the night of the carrying of the word of Nuahs and the night of making Mehs to cuddle up in a coddlepot, Pu Nuseht, lord of risings in the yonderworld of Ntamplin, tohp triumphant, speaketh.

It's dawn in the Earwicker household, a new day, and another rebirth of the universe is taking place.

The entire page is a solar prayer, a dawn paean to the rising sun, opening with a chant echoing the Sanctus from the Mass, then a radio broadcast calling for an awakening and uprising, interrupted by radio commercials advertising soap, and ending with a description of the sun speaking through light and arousing the dead from sleep in a style mimicking The Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Now let's plunge into some of the details:


Sandhyas! Sandhyas! Sandhyas! 
"Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus" - (Latin: "holy, holy, holy") The Sanctus prayer from the Roman Catholic Mass, from the end of the Preface to the Prayers of Consecration of the Eucharist. This part of the prayer goes: "(All): Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your Glory."

Sandhyas - (Sanskrit) twilight period, a period of junction

sandhya - daily Hindu prayers recited at dawn, noon, sunset, midnight

Sandhya - in Hindu mythology, the personification of twilight, being the daughter of Brahma who changed herself into a deer to escape her father when he tried to force himself on her. (A theme reminiscent of the father HCE and his daughter Issy.)

As one of the readers in our group pointed out, the presence of "deus" (Latin "God") is also in Sandhyas. It sounds like "sun - deus".

Sunday - Easter Sunday. Donald Theall sees this chapter as the Easter Sunday Mass at dawn.

T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land concludes with "Shantih shantih shantih" (from the ending of the Upanishads, Sanskrit shantih - peace, tranquility).


This twilight invocation comes through on a radio announcement that sounds like a police alarm, "Calling all cars!":

Calling all downs. Calling all downs to dayne. Array! Surrection. Eireweeker to the wohld bludyn world. O rally, O rally, O rally! Phlenxty, O rally! To what lifelike thyne of the bird can be. Seek you somany matters. Haze sea east to Osseania. Here! Here! 

Calling all downs. Calling all downs to dayne.
"Calling all cars!", calling all towns, calling all dawns, calling all those who are laying down. Get up!

Calling all dawns to day, calling all those are laying down to the day time. Calling all dawns to become day now (day-ne). Dane is also the Scandinavian HCE. As a member of our group also enlightened us: "Dane" was the pronunciation Deimne of the childhood nickname of Finn MacCool, the Irish hero and recurring figure in Finnegans Wake.

Array! Surrection.
Arise! Hooray! A ray (of sunlight)!

Re-surrection. Insurrection. Morning erection. The resurrection of the sleeper back to wakefulness. A political uprising, insurrection, a rebellion. Finnegans, Wake!

Eireweeker to the wohld bludyn world. 
Earwicker to the whole bloody world. Ear waker to the whole bloody world. The Irish (Eire) uprising of 1916 during Easter week (thanks, W.Y. Tindall). To the old bloody world. To the whole Dublin ("bludyn" anagram) world. German wohl - well. Bulgarian "bluden" - lecherous. The well bloody world.

O rally, O rally, O rally! Phlenxty, O rally!
A rally, a rally, a rally! A rebellion, a political and social rally. Plenty of rally. Phoenix O'Reilly, Persse O'Reilly (nickname for main character/sleeper HCE, from "Ballad of Persse O'Reilly," FW p. 44). Phalanx (a body or row of troops or police), O rally! The three "O rally" followed by the fourth with phoenix reference mirrors the structure of Finnegans Wake with three books then Book IV which is the rally, the phoenix rising, the Ricorso, the sun rising, dawn of a new era. O'Reilly is also The O'Rahilly, one of the rebels killed at the Post Office during the Easter Rising.

To what lifelike thyne of the bird can be.
Rise to what life like that of the bird can be, rise up to sky heights. Also from a Thomas Moore song: 'What life like that of the bard can be" (from "The Wandering Bard" which also features an air of "Planxty O'Reilly). Thyne also echoes dayne. The bird is the phoenix bird previously mentioned in "Phlenxty".

Seek you somany matters. Haze sea east to Osseania. Here! Here! 
I feel like getting up in the morning is often the hardest thing to do in a day. If you opt to snooze when the sun's rays are beckoning you to awaken, you seek somnolent matters. But the sun peeking over from the far east of the globe is calling for you to get up and seek somany matters, the multiplicity of the world revealed by light. The morning sun scatters the vaporous haze hanging over the Pacific, the hazy sea out east of Oceania (Australia and surrounding region).

"Haze sea east" is also H-C-E the everpresent everyman of Joyce's book. Osseania is also Ossian, the son of Finn MacCool. 

Joyce in the Wake makes frequent reference to The Poems of Ossian by James Macpherson, about which a quick aside is worth getting into.

Songs of Ossian by Ingres (1813)

From www.sacred-texts.com:
Ossian purports to be a translation of an epic cycle of Scottish poems from the early dark ages. Ossian, a blind bard, sings of the life and battles of Fingal, a Scotch warrior [Fingal is the Scottish name for Finn MacCool]. Ossian caused a sensation when it was published on the cusp of the era of revolutions, and had a massive cultural impact during the 18th and 19th centuries. Napolean carried a copy into battle; Goethe translated parts of it... 
James Macpherson claimed that Ossian was based on an ancient Gaelic manuscript. There was just one problem. The existence of this manuscript was never established. In fact, unlike Ireland and Wales, there are no dark-age manuscripts of epic poems, tales, and chronicles and so on from Scotland. It isn't that such ancient Scottish poetry and lore didn't exist, it was just purely oral in nature. Not much of it was committed to writing until it was on the verge of extinction. There are Scottish manuscripts and books in existence today which date as far back as the 12th century (some with scraps of poetry in them), but they are principally on subjects such as religion, genealogy, and land grants. For this and several other reasons ... authenticity of the work was widely contested, particularly by Samuel Johnson. A huge (and probably excessive) backlash ensued, and conventional wisdom today brands Ossian as one of the great forgeries of history. 
I love this description because it has echoes of the Wake which also describes itself as a forgery, written by Shem (James/Jim) the Forger, from page 181: "how cutely to copy all their various styles of signature so as one day to utter an epical forged cheque on the public for his own private profit." The oral nature of The Poems of Ossian resembles that of the Wake ("Here! Here!" or Hear! Hear!). The questionable history and research surrounding an ancient document that was unearthed also echoes the Wake's letter dug up out of a trash dump which scholars puzzle over the history and meaning of.

Moving on...


Tass, Patt, Staff, Woff, Haw, Bluvv and Rutter. The smog is lofting. And already the olduman's olduman has godden up on othertimes to litanate the bonnamours. Sonne feine, somme feehn avaunt! 

The seven names are punning references to radio news agencies around "the wohld bludyn world": Tass (Russia), Pat (Poland), Stefani (Italy), Wolff (pre-Nazi Germany), Havas (France), Reuters (Great Britain). Also bread and butter is hinted at, thoughts of breakfast on the mind of the awakening sleeper.

The police radio call blaring out of the "radiooscillating epiepistle" (FW p. 181) of Finnegans Wake is spreading its call for resurrection and insurrection across the world. The rising sun is also climbing above Oceania and shedding light on the Eurasian continent telling everyone to wake up.

The smog is lofting.
The hazy Pacific smog is lifting.

And already the olduman's olduman has godden up on othertimes to litanate the bonnamours.
During "othertimes" or other days at this time, (aforementioned Poems of Ossian frequently speaks "of other times" or far off ancient times) already by now the oldman's oldman (Joe the Janitor at HCE's pub) or the oldwoman's oldwoman (Kate, the janitrix at the pub, aka "Kothereen the Slop" FW p. 556) would be getting up and lighting the bonfires. Litany of the "bon amour" (French, good love) or Bona Mor (Latin, happy death, also the name of a Catholic sodality founded in the 17th century with the purpose of preparing its members to a peaceful death).

Sonne feine, somme feehn avaunt! 

Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin Amháin (Irish) - "Ourselves, ourselves alone!" Irish Nationalist slogan.

Sun fine - (German) "Sonne" and "feine"

somme - (French) nap or snooze

Somme - French river

Foehn = warm dry south wind blowing down the valleys on the north side of the Alps

Finn

avaunt - (archaic) begone! or (French) before

Guld modning, have yous viewsed Piers' aube? Thane yaars agon we have used yoors up since when we have fused now orther. 

Gold morning! The Golden Age is returning, the world is renewing.

Guld - (Danish) gold

modning - (Danish) ripening, maturation

Piers' aube - Persse O (Reilly)

aube - (French) dawn

Have you watched (viewed) the sun rise?

Also a radio commercial (which also appeared in Ulysses): "Good morning, have you used Pears' soap?"

Introducing the soap theme, the cleansing of renewal, as in the washerwomen of the ALP chapter. And the awakening sleeper needing to take a morning shower. In Ulysses, Bloom picks up a bar of lemon soap for his wife and carries it throughout the day, during the psychedelic trip of the Circe episode it rises over the horizon like the sun: "A cake of new clean lemon soap arises, diffusing light and perfume... the disc of the soapsun."

Thane yaars agon we have used yoors up since when we have fused now orther. 

From the Wakepedia page:

"Good morning! Have you used Pears' soap?"

"I used your soap two years ago; since then I have used no other."




"Since using Pears' soap I have discarded all others."

"now orther" is also New Order or New Arthur (return of King Arthur) or, having used Pears' soap for ten years now, no odor, or have used no other. 


Calling all daynes. Calling all daynes to dawn. The old breeding bradsted culminwillth of natures to Foyn MacHooligan. The leader, the leader! 

Repeating the "calling all cars!" style radio announcement, whereas before it was calling out "to the whole bloody world" now it's to "the old breeding bradsted" or bleeding blasted "culminwillth of natures" or commonwealth of nations. "The old breeding bradsted culminwillth" also forms the acronym for BBC news. 

"Culmin" comes from the aforementioned Poems of Ossian, it's a name that means "fair-haired" much like Finn which also means "fair" or "blond".  The phrase also suggests the common will of nature, the culmination of nature. 

Foyn MacHooligan - (fine) Finn MacCool again. Finn again. The rebirth of the Irish hero in the form of some son (mac) of a hooligan. 

The leader, the leader! echoes "Thalatta, thalatta" (Greek, "the sea, the sea!") chanted in the opening chapter of Ulysses. The "now orther" or New Arthur, is a new leader of the people, a new Finn MacCool (MacCool again). It's also "The letter, the letter!" for the letter at the heart of Finnegans Wake (to finally be encountered at the end of this same chapter). 

"Thalatta! Thalatta!" ("the sea! the sea!") comes from the ancient Greek text Anabasis by Xenophon. The word "Anabasis" in Greek means "an ascent or going up" (usually in reference to an expedition from a coastline into the interior of a country) which ties in with the rising sun theme. 


Securest jubilends albas Temoram. Clogan slogan. Quake up, dim dusky, wook doom for husky! And let Billey Feghin be baallad out of his humuluation. Confindention to churchen. We have highest gratifications in announcing to pewtewr publikumst of pratician pratyusers, genghis is ghoon for you.

Things definitely get increasingly dense here and it's harder to identify what exactly is being said, but we have plenty of clues.

Securest jubilends albas Temoram. 

From St. Augustine: "Securus iudicat orbis terrarum" - (Latin) "The verdict of the world is secure." Here it's blended and punned into something a little different. In Portuguese "albas" means daybreak and "Temoram" sounds like tomorrow but it's also Temora, the title of a poem in The Poems of Ossian, where it is the name of a palace. Latin timorem means "fear" (where the word timid derives from). So I'm reading this as something like "Secure rest lends jubilation at the daybreak of tomorrow" or "Secure rest jubilantly daybreaks the fearful night" or something like that. Deciphering Joyce's puns on Latin is no easy task but we've got enough pieces here to hint at a meaning. It seems to fit in the rejuvenating, cleansing context of the rising sun (albas = daybreak in Portuguese but also alba = white in Latin) scattering away the pitch black darkness (timorem = fear).

Clogan slogan.
Danish klog - wise, clever. Irish clogan - little bell, clock. 

The alarm clock is announcing its slogan: Wake up!

Also Colgan is a bard in Poems of Ossian.

The clever, wise slogan of the preceding soap advertisement.

John Colgan was a 17th century historian and hagiographer who coined the name Annals of the Four Masters, a history of Ireland that features heavily in the Wake.

Quake up, dim dusky, wook doom for husky! 
Wake up, dim dusk! Make room for Humphrey!

'Move up, Mick, make room for Dick' (Dublin graffito after Collins' death, 1922, referring to Michael Collins and to Richard Mulcahy, his succesor). In this context this sort of sounds like, move out of the way to make room for the new king or the new leader.

 And let Billey Feghin be baallad out of his humuluation. 

Cannot figure out who Billey Feghin is, but in this context it is referring to HCE aka Persse O'Reilly who had a ballad condemning him on page 44. This seems to say he's being bailed out of his humiliation, the guilt he's suffered throughout the entire book is now cleaned away, refreshed, renewed by the new day and the washing away of dirt and sins with Pears' soap.

Also, since Danish baal is bonfire and Cornish baal is spade or shovel, this is saying we can dig up HCE/Finn/Persse out of the funeral pyre or out of the humus (or compost) of the earth. The theme of resurrection again.

Confindention to churchen.
Cleansing away his guilt just like confiding in confession and having confidence in the church. 

Jurchen is an ancient name for the Chinese tribe known as the Manchu. Lots of Eastern references weaved in here with the sun rising.

We have highest gratifications in announcing to pewtewr publikumst of pratician pratyusers, genghis is ghoon for you.

Sounds so much like another advertisement because it is: Guiness is good for you!

It's a new day so HCE's pub can be re-opened, announced to future publications or a public of pratyusers (Anglo-Irish, "potato"-users, the Irish populace) holding their pewter mugs ready to imbibe. 

Also another Eastern reference with Genghis Khan. 


Now the style flips: 



A hand from the cloud emerges, holding a chart expanded. 

H-C-E, H-C-E

Beautiful line here, the image invoking the medieval representation of God the Father.

The line is inspired by the description of the family crest for the name Finnegan which Joyce found in the Weekly Irish Times from July 18, 1936 (my birthday in the year my dad was born): "Out of a cloud a hand erect holding a book expanded proper."

The chart expanded is the surface of the earthly globe expanding in the sunlight emerging out from the clouds.

The eversower of the seeds of light to the cowld owld sowls that are in the domnatory of Defmut after the night of the carrying of the word of Nuahs and the night of making Mehs to cuddle up in a coddlepot, Pu Nuseht, lord of risings in the yonderworld of Ntamplin, tohp triumphant, speaketh.
The style directly influenced by The Egyptian Book of the Dead where passages often begin with: "The overseer of the house of the overseer of the seal, Nu, triumphant, saith..."

Here it's the sun, the sower of seeds of light waking up the "cowld owld sowls" or cold old souls who are still in the somnolent dormitory of deaf-mute sleep. The "cowld owld sowls" includes the sacred cow as well as owl and sow (pig), the animals are waking up to the sun as well. The word "sow" connects with the seeds of light being sowed into the earth, too.

Defmut - Tefnut was the Egyptian goddess of moisture and rain, resonating with the sowing of seeds in the earth. It also recalls Mutt and Jeff, a comicstrip duo recurring in the Wake.

That comicstrip duo becomes the brothers Shem and Shaun. Here their names are reversed: "carrying of the word of Nuahs" that's Shaun the Postman who's been carrying the letter (a newsletter or newspaper---Irish nuadhacht means news) through the night and "making Mehs to cuddle in a coddlepot" is Shem the Penman who's been bullied and taunted by his brother all night, being forced to cuddle up and sleep in a pot of stew (Irish codul means sleep).

To all of those cold old souls that are still in the somn-domn-atory after the night of Shem & Shaun, "Pu Nuseht" or "The sun up" written backwards, "the lord of risings" speaketh.

Pu is actually the name of a solar deity in the Vedas while echoing the aforementioned invocation of Nu from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Nuseht contains the German nu for now and seht for you (plural) see.

The sun comes up and now all of you see.

"Nuseht" could also hint at the Egyptian sky goddess Nut. It also sounds like "new Set" referring to Set and Horus, the conflicting twin sons of Isis and Osiris. This could tie in with the twins Shem and Shaun again.

The lord of risings in the underworld of "Ntamplin" or Dublin (in Greek "d" is written "nt" and "b" is writen "mp").

This all invokes the symbol from the Egyptian Book of the Dead of the sun traveling through the underworld which is the dark side of the earth, until it finally rises again, resurrecting in the east.

toph triumphant - in a passage with lots of backwards words, toph is the flipped Greek "photo" for light.

So what this whole paragraph is saying is that the rising sun is now going to speak to the cold old souls who are still sleeping.

What does the sun say?

Stay tuned for Part 2.

(Or just flip to page 594.)

6 comments:

  1. If HCE's household awakens with a solar prayer, who there is doing the praying? All, or a specific one, or none of the above? It sounds like someone doing their formal duty-- who might that be? If Mamalujo, how are they present? If Shaun, is he a child? (I just want to draw attention to possible inadequacies of the Earwicker household as a unified setting.)

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  2. Thanks for commenting and also thanks for all of your hard work on various electronic endeavors focused on FW (as I noted above).

    Certainly pinning down any real-life setting for anything in the Wake will always be difficult. Everything is so many things at once, even when it seems very apparent that it's a realistic setting (could be multiple realistic settings at once with multiple narrators at once).

    My theory (which I don't feel strongly about at all) is that this is a radio news announcement or program heard by the sleeping HCE in the morning. Through his snoozing mind it's filtered into this solar paean or dawn prayers, interrupted by the Pears' soap advertisement.

    Although your description of "someone doing their formal duty" suggests maybe it's Kate and Joe, the pub janitors up early doing their work. This is hinted at in the line, "And already the olduman's olduman has godden up on othertimes to litanate the bonnamours."

    The fun "calling all cars" theme could also suggest maybe HCE hearing police radios outside. The previous chapter, taking place just before dawn, seemed to feature the streets outside starting to come alive with cars.

    I'm admittedly partial to the theory of HCE as a sleeping human body at the center of the Wake (thanks to John Bishop), but acknowledge and accept that the setting could open up to something far bigger and weirder than that.

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  3. Lovely blog PQ. For me this prayer is in the collective narrative voice - the 'we', which J.S.Atherton drew attention to in 1967 when he argued that we are all the dreamers of the Wake.

    ''As I see FW it is everyone's dream, the dream of all the living and the dead. Many puzzling features become clear if this is accepted. Obviously we will hear many foreign languages...The Wake never stops: the sentence circles round to become the first and the whole work revolves to reflect the nature of the world of sleeping humanity....
    To my mind, the most revealing statement Joyce ever made about his work was 'Really it is not I who am writing this crazy book. It is you, and you, and you, and that man over there, and that girl at the next table.' This is stressed, once you start looking for it, in the Wake itself. It is 'us' who are brought back to 'Howth Castle and Environs' in the third line of the book...It is easy to miss the 'we'. Chapter 2 has 'we are back' in line 3. In fact all the first chapters use 'us' or 'we' by the ninth line at the latest - and the sixth chapter ends 'Semus sumus'. We are Shem. All of us. The phrase 'us, the real Us' occurs twice (62.26; 446.36); and when one episode ends it is 'we' who are left 'once more as babies awondering' (336.16)....The Wake is an event in which 'the all gianed in with the shoutmost shoviality' (6.18. You expect it to say 'They all' and most people read it as 'They all', but it is 'the all' that Joyce write: everybody joined in.
    It is the universal mind which Joyce assumes as the identity of the sleeper; he, of course, is writing it all down but everyone else contributes. Sometimes the contributions are those of 'the misunderstanding minds of the anticollaborators' (118.25), but they are made all the same.... One final word about my theory. It may also give the Wake (I say this with some diffidence) a purpose and a message. Joyce is saying that mankind is one. We are 'humble indivisibles in this grand continuum' (472.30)....He was an ardent pacifist; he saw the world as a single family. Can we not also see it as one in which it is time the boys grew up and stopped fighting? If so, the Wake is not a 'crazy book' but a work of importance for all of us.''
    'The Identity of the Sleeper', A Wake Newslitter, Vol IV No.5

    Note all the 'we's' in this final chapter:

    'We have highest gratifications...'
    'Have we cherished expectations?'
    'We are passing. Two. From sleep we are passing. Three. Into the wikeawades warld from sleep we are passing'
    'Well, we have frankly enjoyed more than anything these secret workings of natures (thanks ever for it, we humbly pray)'
    etc etc

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  4. Great stuff, thank you for sharing! The frequently appearing "we" is indeed an intriguing puzzle piece.

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  5. PQ: I've long wondered about "Billey Feghin" being bailed out of his humiliation.

    What do you make of the story of this Bill Fagan?:
    http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1900/09/19/page/3/article/billy-fagan-is-dead

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  6. Wow, nice work digging that up, Michael.

    Billey Feghin is indeed a puzzler here. I can't come up with anything for it. Even the spelling of the name Billey is weird.

    I like that article and it would seem to fit the HCE mold of a maligned proprietor and Joyce certainly included many newspaper stories in the text, I just wonder if he caught wind of this one.

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