Category Archives: Skeleton Key

The Map Is Not The Territory …

But here’s Joyce’s key sent to Miss Harriet Weaver (his patron), corresponding to the first draft of Work in Progress, dated 15 November 1926 (595):

Howth (pron Hoaeth) = Dan Hoved (head)
Sir Amory Tristram 1st earl of Howth changed his name to Saint Lawrence,
b in Brittany (North Armorica)
Tristan et Iseult, passim
viola in all moods and senses
Dublin, Laurens Co, Georgia, founded by a Dubliner, Peter Sawyer, on
r. Oconee. Its motto: Doubling all the time.
The flame of Christianity kindled by S. Patrick on Holy Saturday in
defiance of royal orders
Mishe = I am (Irish) i.e. Christian
Tauf = baptise (German)
Thou art Peter and upon this rock etc (a pun in the original aramaic)
Lat: Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram
Parnell ousted Isaac Butt from leadership
The venison purveyor Jacob got the blessing meant for Esau
Miss Vanhomrigh and Miss Johnson had the same christian name
Sosie = double
Willy brewed a peck of maut
Noah planted the vine and was drunk
John Jameson is the greatest Dublin distiller
Arthur Guinness ” ” ” ” brewer
rory = Irish = red
rory = Latin, roridus = dewy
At the rainbow’s end are dew and the colour red: bloody end to the lie in
Anglo-Irish = no lie
regginbrow = German regenbogen + rainbow
ringsome = German ringsum, around
When all vegetation is covered by the floor there are no eyebrows on the
face of the Waterworld
exaggerare = to mound up
themselse = another dublin 5000 inhabitants
Isthmus of Sutton a neck of land between Howth head and the plain
Howth = an island for old geographers
passencore = pas encore and ricorsi storici of Vico
rearrived = idem
wilderfight = wiederfechten = refight
bellowed = the response of the peatfire of faith to the windy words of
the apostle

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Filed under FW, James Joyce, Skeleton Key, Work in Progress

Unsatisfied Customers

Ezra: “I will have another go at it, but up to present I make nothing of it whatever. Nothing, so far as I can make out, nothing short of divine vision or a new cure for the clapp, can possibly be worth all the circumambient peripherization.” (145)

Stanislaus: “With the best will in the world I cannot read your work in progress. The vague support you get from certain French and American critics, I set down as pure snobbery. What is the meaning of that rout of drunken words?” (216)

Harold: “I try very hard to understand that book but fail completely. It is almost impossible to decipher, and when one or two lines of understanding emerge like telephone poles above a flood, they are at once countered by other poles going in the opposite direction….I truly believe that Joyce has this time gone too far in breaking all communication between himself and his reader. It is a very selfish book. (34)

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Filed under Criticism, FW, Skeleton Key