Category Archives: Work in Progress

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

Samuel Beckett’s “Dante…Bruno.Vico.. Joyce”

… has a great summary of Vico’s philosophical system (in Scienza Nuova) as it pertains to FW.

But first, Beckett’s opening lines:

“The danger is in the neatness of identifications. The conception of Philosophy and Philology as a pair of nigger minstrels out of the Teatro dei Piccoli is soothing, like the contemplation of a carefully folded ham-sandwich.”

Anyway, I will quote here in (somewhat) full:

“Giambattista Vico was a practical roundheaded Neapolitan. It pleases Croce to consider him as a mystic, essentially speculative, “disdegnoso dell’ empirismo.” It is a surprising interpretation, seeing that more than three-fifths of his Scienza Nuova is concerned with empirical investigation. Croce opposed him to the reformative materialistic school of Ugo Grozio, and absolves him from the utilitarian preoccupations of Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Bayle and Machiavelli. All this cannot be swallowed without protest. Vico defines Providence as: “una mente spesso diversa ed alle volte tutta contraria e sempre superiore ad essi fini particolari che essi uomini se avevano proposti; dei quali fini ristretti fatti mezzi per servire a fini piu ampi, gli ha sempre adoperati per conservare l’umana generazione in questa terra.” What could be more definitely utilitarianism? His treatment of the origin and functions of poetry, language and myth, as will appear later, is as far removed from the mystical as it is possible to imagine. For our immediate purpose, however, it matters little whether we consider him as a mystic or as a scientific investigator; but there are no two ways about considering him as an innovator. His division of the development of human society into three ages: Theocratic, Heroic, Human (civilized), with a corresponding classification of language: Hieroglyphic (sacred), Metaphorical (poetic), Philosophical (capable of abstraction and generalization), was by no means new, although it must have appeared so to his contemporaries. He derived this convenient classification from the Egyptians, via Herodotus. At the same time it is impossible to deny the originality with which he applied and developed its implications. His exposition of the ineluctable circular progression of Society was completely new, although the germ of it was contained in Giordano Bruno’s treatment of identified contraries.”

[Continued here.]

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Filed under Criticism, FW, Our Exagmination, Work in Progress