GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES - Issue 1 (Spring 2001)



Development, in the Plebiscite, of and away from the Bywaters Case


Bill Cadbury


Let's suppose that when Joyce incorporates Bywaters notes into his first draft of what becomes the plebiscite (FW: 58.23-61.27), he expects the connotations of the Bywaters trial to tag along (as connotations will), so that when his ideal insomniac reads the triggering phrases they yield a flavor of the relationships, the cultural attitudes, the social history that went with it. My question: did he develop the text in a way that amplifies the Bywaters echoes, beyond preserving the broad overlap of themes: sex, aggression, betrayal, younger vs. older man, trial, public opinion? Let's first see how the Notebook testimonies were organized and supplemented in his drafts, and then how the thematic web was focussed, inflected, and enriched.

All of the first-draft opinions except those of Ida Wombwell and Sylvia Silence (and none of the later-added opinions) are derived from the notes Joyce took on the Bywaters case in VI.B.10, whose sources have been identified and explained in the context of the Bywaters trial by Vincent Deane.1 Of those from the newspaper notes, all but that of Brian Lynsky are from notes on the Bywaters case — his note, “The boy curser” (VI.B.10.74), derived from the case of a “Cursing Boy” in the Sunday Express, a paper which is only represented in Deane's list by this entry. Moreover, a glance at the first draft of the plebiscite (BL 47471b-3; JJA 45:138) will show that it is the Bywaters notes which are written out in what we might call the very first draft, on the body of the page, whereas the three non-Bywaters testimonies, of Brian, Ida and Sylvia, are strung together in their complicated way in the margin, as overlay to the rest. Even with the first draft we can say that the beginning only was in Bywaters, and that outside material began to be added at once.

It seems clear that one of Joyce's motives from the start was to have this plebiscite a kind of social microcosm (as the opinions about Bywaters in the newspapers made up, indeed). It was originally planned to be the end of the chapter which tracked the fate of the Rannmakers and the disintegrating reputation of HCE.2 And there it would have matched the end of chapter 2, the broadly representative survey of different Irish classes and characters which first listened to the Rann.

In the first draft, all but one of the plebisciters (the taxi driver who thinks he has influence) are more for than against HCE, but there is a kind of symmetry: the two loutish men who approve of his conduct (the dustman who, or whose mates, thinks or think he's “game” or “gamey”, and Brian Lynsky who just outright likes “caveman sex”) have female counterparts who also are attracted to the conduct and to HCE (Ida to him as “magnificent brute”, Sylvia to his “greatness” though it “must be punished”). And there are two male and two female apologists who excuse him on extenuating circumstances — the males are the soldiers who say he was seduced and the sailor who blames someone else about the “3 drummers” (their military roles making them bookends for the whole); the females are the actress who thinks the world unkind and the barmaid who emphasizes his ill health.

One of the ways Joyce develops the text is to raise the social ceiling. Looking at what comes before level 9, each but Private Pat seems more middle class than the characters established in the first draft. As to opinions, the Board of Trade official joins the approving men in celebrating HCE as a nationalist hero, but the daughters, now no longer his, join the other female excusers.3

B.O.T. official, FW: 60.08-11, first position, after Ida, level 3: [3 A>Well done, Drumcollakill! was the reply of a B.O.T. official while the sistersB>daughters<B murmured in unison: God forgive the jury!<A3]

B.O.T. official at level 4, as moved to follow the barmaid: [4 Well done, Drumcollakill , was the reply of a B.O.T. official while the Daughters Benkletter murmured in uniswoon: Golforgilfhisjury ! 4]

Private Pat, who has only appeared at level 3 and may or may not be one of the soldiers, recounts the story so as to imply a kind of “what would you expect?” inevitability to what happened in terms of both sex and aggression, saying (as I read it): that first there was wrath with an elder; that then a sorrowing “ruth” (a personified quality, despite the lower case here: she is echoed in “Spilltears Ruth”, who becomes “Rue”, at FW: 60.01) read (i.e., interpreted) an erection but also a standoff (it is a compact little description of the events among HCE and girls and soldiers); finally that what it came to was a wracking of wrath, a catastrophe:4

FW: 58.30-32, text as of level 3: It was the first woman, they said, souped him. Lily roth till eldfar, ruth redd stillstand, wrath Ø wruth all confessed private Pat Marchison.

text as of level 4: It was the first woman, they said, souped him, Lili Coninghams. Wroth mod eldfar, ruth redd stillstand, wrath wrackt wroth, confessed private Pat Marchison retro.

The tennis-playing perspirer joins Meagher the sailor in finding an unspecified someone else to blame:

FW: 59.33-35, at level 8+T: [8+T A perspirer (over sixty) who was keeping up his tennises panted he kne ho har twa clect infamatioA>infamatios<A but a diffpair flannels climb wall and trespassing on doorbell. 8+T]5

Finally, the wouldbe martyr, more negative than anyone else but the dustman so far, having followed the barmaid at level 3 reaches his final position after Brian Lynsky and before “Missioner” Ida at level 4, to give a religious male's rejection of sexuality as Ida gives a religious female's acceptance of it — “Cuxhaven”, the haven for cocks, will inevitably be the occasion of fights “over” (concerning) it:

Martyr, FW: 60.16-22 at level 4: [4 A wouldbe martyr, when grilled on the point, revealed the undoubted fact that A>the consequence would be<A there would be fights all over Cuxhaven. 4]6

The first Finnegans Wake galley, level 9, adds testimonies which expand the range still further upwards: the “scientific” entychologist makes the sort of neutral and pedantic observation appropriate to his sort:

The entychologist, 59.15-16: [9A>Prehistoric, obitered to his dictaphone an entychologist. His propenomen is a properismenon.<A9]

The restaurateur Eiskaffier echoes Private Pat's “what would you expect?” approach in his own language, saying that the making of a man involves his Humpty Dumpty fall into the “poele”, frying pan and “poule”, whore:

Eiskaffier, FW: 59.29-32: [9A>Eiskaffier said (Louigi's, you B>know<B that man's, brillant savourain ): Mon foie, you wish to ave some homelette, yes, Lady ? Good , mein leber! Your hegg he must break himself. See ! I crack, so, he sit in the poele, umbedimbt!<A9]

And the politician Jarvey Jilke, i.e. Charles Dilke, i.e., Charles Parnell, is partly replication of and partly wry comment on HCE and his fall on account of a woman:

Jarley Jilke, FW: 61.11-13: [9A>Jarley Jilke began to silke for he couldn't get home to Jelsey A>, He's got the sack that helped him moult instench of his gladsome rags.<A9]

The set of five testimonies drafted together at level 9 raises the social levels as the testifiers come to reveal themselves more than they do HCE:

The group of 5, 60.26-61.01: [9A>“Caligula” ( Mr Danl Magrath, bookmaker, wellknown to Eastrailian poorusers of the Sydney Parade Ballotin) was, as usual, antipodal with his: striving todie, hopening tomellow . Ware Splash. Cobbler. B>We have meat two hourly, sang out C>El<C Caplan Buycout, with his C>the<C famous padre's turridur C>turridur's<C capecast, meet too ourly, matadear! C>Dan Meiklejohn, precentor, of S. S. Smack and Olley's was probiverbal with his upsiduxit: mutatus mutandus. Dauran's lord (“Sniffpox”) and Moirgan's lady (“Flatterfun”) took sides and crossed and bowed to each other's views and recrossed themselves. The dirty dubs upin their flies, went too free, echoed the dainty drabs downin their scenities, una mona.<C<B<A9]

The Yeats-like Anglo-Irishman Caplan Buycout, like Jarley Jilke, exemplifies HCE rather than discussing him, while Sniffpox and Flatterfun, who are also Ascendancy types, switch opinions like stage positions. The precentor (identified as at a theatre, though with an ecclesiastical role) makes again the point that that's just the way it is; and the dubs and drabs (also theatrical, up in the flies and down in the scenery) are the only ones to directly comment on HCE, the men blaming HCE and the women blaming the women. “Caligula” opened this set, and he, “antipodal”, is out of the system entirely: he is a main character in the Wake itself, Magrath, the antagonist (insofar as agonist and antagonist are not one and the same), Tristan as against Mark, Shem as against Shaun, ShemShaun as against HCE, and he just asks for money and threatens cobblestones.

Since the level 9 characters are neutral or negative, in its later versions the plebiscite comes in overall effect to feel more coolly critical of its object than it did in early drafts, embodying far more the public ambiguity about HCE than the way ordinary people on the street felt generally sympathetic to Bywaters and hostile to Edith Thompson. And the later additions tend to echo Wakean concerns not much connected with Bywaters. To take the Caligula testimony further, his “Ware Splash. Cobbler” is echoed on FW: 315.32-3, where it also appears with a “here today” passage preceding: as drafted in late 1936:

Clifftop. Cablen: clifftop, Shelvling tobay oppelong tomeadow. A>Ware cobbles.<A Posh.7

Cables (though not cobbles) and the “here today” motif are also at FW: 172.24-5, drafted in 1927 as overlay to transition galleys (JJA 47:485):

Anzi, cabled from his asylum to his jonathan of for a brother: Here today, gone tomorrow tomorry, do something, Fireless.

The three passages are thus drafted at widely different times, an instance of Joyce preserving his sense of motifs across great stretches of compositional history rather than larding them all in at once as he did, say, with the Moore songs late in the game (or the Bywaters material early). In all three locations the “Here today and gone tomorrow” motif is the contents of what seems to be a cable from Australia. In the plebiscite it is from McGrath (to whom not specified). In chapter 7 it is from Shem to Shaun.8 In II.3 the situation is this: the Norwegian captain threatens the “Burniface” or innkeeper, cabling from Clifden (in the extreme West of Ireland, and perhaps thus connected to Shem's antipodean role, Australia being to Europe as Ireland to England or even the West to Dublin) to “Ware cobbles”, the usual threat of the attacker, Pegger Festy (that “Joyce country” man), about throwing stones — which stones, “Olivers lambs”, are what Shem leaves fleeing the scene (e.g., at FW: 73.28-34). McGrath is of course also Sully the thug who at FW: 618.30 is a “bootmaker”, just as, in the plebiscite, Magrath is a “bookmaker” as well as the “Cobbler” he signs himself. The composite picture is of Captain/McGrath/Sully/Shem/David (the antagonist role), by means of a cable from Australia/Western Ireland/Italy (the “Nearapoblican asylum”, FW: 172.23) harrassing Boniface/HCE/Shaun-Jonathan (the protagonist role), and asking for money or threatening with stones, which are of course exactly the two things the antagonist role does in the main plot of chapters 3 and 4, one way or another the two counts against him in the trial. The telegram is of course simply the Shem-Shaun dynamic sketched out in chapter 6, where in question 11 (FW: 148.33-149.11) the exile from Erin asks if the other would save his soul, to be told similarly coldly, “No, blank ye!”.

It is fitted into the Wake, then, but maybe Bywaters isn't so far away after all. Bywaters is a sailor like the captain; he is the younger impassioned one addressing and attacking the older colder one (I think especially of the way Percy Thompson coldly refuses to divorce Edith, see Deane pp. 166-7). Caligula's testimony is explicitly said to be “antipodal” to the rest — that is, while otherwise people are mostly talking about the guilt of the HCE type who clearly combines Shem and Shaun qualities and is both attacker and attacked, here the attacker element steps forward and just makes his own pitch, part threat part petition, the usual Shem-like move. The plebiscite develops from being focussed on the guilt of a Tristan-type to that of an HCE type, who is in one sense Mark the betrayed but in another much more the patriarch, the aggressive components of the Shem-Shaun-Shame triad. Percy Thompson seems a lot like King Mark and Bywaters not at all: so if it is Bywaters we are looking at and of whom we are questioning the guilt (as in the material of the notes), then he has grown up. It is HCE these late-added testifiers are mostly talking about, not a second-generation character like Bywaters or Shem and Shaun.


The thematic implications are enriched in ways which also move us away from Bywaters and strictly into the world of the Wake itself. Take Brian Lynsky:

Brian Lynsky, FW: 60.11-16, full genetics: A>Brian[1 <B>Linsky<B> [4 <Linskey> [6 TD <Lynskey> Lynsky9 6]4]1], the [3boyA>cub<A3]curser[2 <,> 2][3A>,<A3]was questioned [7A>at his shouting box, Bawlonabraggat,<A7][1 <&> and 1]immediately answeredB>gave a snappy comeback<B[2 , 2][1 when saying 1]:[4 Paw [6 TD <!> [7 TD <;>! 7]6]4][3A>Once more [7 I say<AA>I'll [9 TD <hellhowl<A> hellbowl10 9]7]3][4 ! 4][1 <B>I'm> I am 1] for caveman [7A>chase and sahara<A7]sex[1 <life> 1],[4 <curse it> burk you 4]!<B Themtwo [1 <whores> [4 <women> bitches 4]1]ought to be[1 <B>get<B> be 1] [4 <strangled> leashed 4][1 <B>or axed<B> 1][1.[2[4 <curse them,> canem! 4]2][4 <I say!> 4]1][7A>Up hog and hoar hunt!<A7][3A>Paw!<A3]

Brian is probably connected with animals from the start, what with “Brian” (as Glasheen says, often connected with Bruin) and the animal-hide clothes of Brian O'Linn. His becoming a “cub” not “boy” curser at level 3 expands the bear motif which he then exclaims at level 4: “Paw!”.11 But in another sense his animal connections develop him into a young Irish braggart huntin' man, a social cub: level 4 turns the “women” to “bitches”, their fate from being “strangled” to “leashed”, and his imprecation from “curse them” to “canem”. And level 7, as well as the splendid connection to the three soldiers in “Up hog and hoar hunt!” (another animal, and bringing the whores back in) and the animal implications of “hellhowl” (unfortunately lost by typesetter's error at level 9), also finally specifies his social level, since he has a shooting box at the town whose name is much in his style, “Bawlonabraggat”.

The actress is particularly illuminating about the sexualization of the connotative web: “beauty parlour” is slang for a brothel, but it is also, like Freud's celebrated cigar, a beauty parlour, and it is the accretion of changes which alter the meaning after the first draft.

Changes at level 4, (58.33-59.14): One of our coming Vauxhall ontheboards who is resting for the moment ( she has been [4calledA>callit<A4] by a noted [4 <A>elocution<A> 4][4 < critic> elecutioner 4] a [4 <A>waistpocket<A> wastepacket 4] [4 < Siddons> Sittons 4] ) was [4 < interviewed> interfeud 4] in a [4 <westend> waistend 4] [4 < beauty> pewty 4] parlour [4 < and>. 4] [4 <A>looking> Looking 4] perhaps even more [4 <beautiflushed, > pewtyflushed 4] Mrs F_ A_ said, while [4 < righting> recoopering 4] her cartwheel hat, she hoped he would git a [4 <A>Chrissmas<A> Chrissman's 4] portrout with [4 <B>hollegg<B> holleggs 4] and ether [4 <and two pound> 4][4 <A>porcel<A> 4][4 <because> as 4] the worryld had been uncained. Then [4 < he> it 4] has been [4 < so> such a 4][4 <entirely> 4] wanderful [4 noyth en untirely 4] , added she.

Drink is added at level 4: by container-for-thing-contained pewter is the porter it holds, and a “pewty parlour” where one becomes “pewtyflushed” is not where one has one's hair done.12 That she is “interfeud” in the beauty parlour suggests its rowdiness, and it becomes a “waistend” rather than “westend” place (with I take it reference to the bottom end of the waist). The climactic change at level 4 is from “he has been so entirely wanderful” to “it has been such a wanderful noyth untirely”. “Wanderful” was already there, suggesting straying, but now the “actress” is noting not the wonderful man but the wonderful night with him, with “untirely” suggesting an untiring performance.

“Wastepacket” at level 4 is perhaps not enough in itself to suggest a condom, but at level 8 the hat becomes a “chapot” (suggesting “capot anglaise” as McHugh says), and the remark about what “thimbles” mean is added:

FW: 59.05-6, full genetics: her cartwheel [8hatA>chapot (ahat! [8+T TD13 8+T][8+T IM and 8+T] we now know what thimbles a baquets on lallance [8+T TD <o'talls> a talls 8+T] mean)<A8]

Now we know what a thimble on a lance means, namely what a big penis he has,14 though I think the “thimble” may also be a condom — it is “a baquets” or connected with a vagina — and recovering this hat which may need recoopering ties us with the theme of the broken condom in the bed having (perhaps) to do with Issy's conception — indeed, at FW: 59.11 we hear about a “burstday” in one of the level 10 additions having to do mostly with Buddha. Level 9 again emphasizes the prostitution angle of “beauty parlour” with the “fee” of “feeatre of the” ( as first drafted) “incident”:

FW: 59.07-10, changes level 9: she hoped he would git a Chrissman's portrout [9 A>of orange and lemonsized orchids<A9] with hollegs and ether [9A>, from the feeatre of the incident B>Innocident<B, <A9]

And the chimney sweeps and businessmen are further proof that it is a brothel, since they would be unlikely to be in a literal beauty parlour:15

FW: 58.36-59.04, changes level 9: Looking perhaps even more pewtyflushed [9 A>in her B>cherryderry<B padouasoys B>, girdle and braces by the Halfmoon and Seven Stars, russets from the Blackamoor's Head, amongst the climbing boys at the C>his<C Eagle and Child and over the corn and hay emptors at their Black and All Black, <B<A9]

Joyce had flagged the quote “actress's” change at level 5, where he finishes her testimony with (“Tart!”). What she says of HCE has by now far more the flavor of the rest of Finnegans Wake than of the Bywaters case, and like so much else seems now more accusation than defense.16

Over and over the sexual aspect of the crime takes over from the aggressive, as the Finnegans Wake scenario takes over from the Bywaters. The first draft concerning the soldiers primarily blames the woman and emphasizes HCE's Bywaters-like virtue as “he showed himself a man afterwards” (not that that isn't also suggestive):

FW: 58.23-30, level 0: Three soldiers of the Coldstream Guards were walking inMontgomery street.Onegavean opinion in which all concurred.It was thewomen, they said; he showed himself a man afterwards.

The woman becomes Eve (“the first woman”) at level 1, and at levels 3 and 4 she gets her name (Lily at 3, Lili Coninghams at 4: Lilith and “cunny” and “cunning hams”) while his virtue is dropped:

FW: 58.28-31, to level 3: It was the [1 <women> first woman 1], they said [1 <; he> [3 .A>, souped him [4 <.> ,17 4]3][3He3]1][3showed himself a man afterwards. [4 <A>B>Lily C>roth till> Lili Coninghams . Wroth mod 4] eldfar, . . . 3]

Lily gets her crime on level 8 when she entices him to “go into a field”, and at 8+ this is finally tied to the girls peeing in the Park as it becomes “go in a field”.

FW: 58.29-30, to level 8+T:It was the[1 <women> first woman 1], they said[1 <; he> [3 .A>, souped him [4 <.> , 4] 3][5A>that fatal wellesday [8 [8+ <A>by suggesting him they go into a field<A>18 8+]8] , 5][3He3]1][3showed himself a man afterwards. [4 <A>B>Lily C>roth till> Lili Coninghams [8+ , by suggesting him they go [8+T IM <into> in 8+T] a field 8+] . . . 4] . . . 3]

The simple “three soldiers” of the first draft become more and more our familiar Tom Dick and Harry, at levels 3 and 4, themselves peeing (including also the pot on a pole, in “cappapee”), and at level 5 being at Waterloo, as we can tell from “wellesday”:

FW: 58.23-5, full genetics: [3A>B>Tap [4 <&> and 4] pat [4 <& tapat again<B> and tapatagain, 4] [10A>(fire firstshot, Missiers the Refuseleers! B>Peingpeong! For saxonlootie!)<B<A10] three [4 <tommies B>Retro<B> tommix 4] ,<A3][3Three soldiers A>soldiers [4 <three<A> free 4] A>, [4 <B>cockaleek &<B capapee> cockaleak and cappapee 4] ,<A 3]

The barmaid's testimony too is more and more sexualized: she excuses at level 4 the “merrytricks” of his “revulverher” in her level 8 concern for “man and his syphon”, and seems clearly to blame Phyllis for flooding her stable (“wets her”, as drafted--we almost got wetting the tea there!):

FW: 59.36-60.08, full genetics: A [1 <barmaid> [3[4 <A>reformed<A> 4]3][2[4 <railway> railways 4]2] barmaid's view [3A>(they call her Spilltears [4 <Ruth> Rue 4] )<A3] was A>thus expressed<A1][9 TD : 9][9A>to sympathisers of the Dole Line, Death Avenue<A9][13A>,<A13][8+TA>anent those objects of her [9 TD <pityprompted> pity-prompted 9] ministrance, to wet, man and his syphon.<A8+T][9 TD <:> 9][3A>Ehim! B>It is [4 ever 4] too late to [4 <whistle> whissle 4] when Phyllis wets herC>floods her<C stable.<B<A3][1 <it> It 1]would be [9 TD <a> 9][1[4 <crying> skarlot 4]1]shame[3[4 <A>, honour bright,<A> 4]3]to[4 <jail> 4][3him[4 <A>ehim> jailahim 4] in lockup<A3][10A>, as was proposed to him by the Seddoms personB>creature<B<A10][1[4 <A>no matter> what matter 4] B>what [3C>wrongdoing<C<B[4 <A>merry tricks he<A> merrytricks 4] 3] went [4 <on<A> off 4] 1][3A>with his [4 <revulveher.<A>19 revulverher 4] 3][1 <on account> in [4 <consequence> connections 4]1][4 <of> with 4][1hisA>bad[3B>him enjoying A>ehim B>being a norphan and<B enjoining<A3] such [3weak<B<AA>wicked<A3]1][3healthA>illth<A3][4 <.> , ehim! 4]

Just how much sex comes to be on the text's mind (replacing guilt for murder), is indicated in the perfect torrent of words for the female genitals which appear: Coninghams, revulverher, baquets, una mona, quoite, twat (in “wit's wat, wot's wet”), piscman (Irish pis=vulva), Puellywally (Irish bhal=organ, so girl-organ). Many of these are from Meagher's testimony at the end, especially in the changes made to it at level 9:

FW: 61.13-27, changes at level 9: Meagher, a naval rating, seated on one of the granite cromlech setts of our new fishshambles after the ever popular act, [9 A>with whom were Questa and Puella, B>piquante and quoite,<B (this had a cold in her brain while that felt a sink in her summuck, wit's wat ) B>, wot's wet)<B<A9] was encouraged by one of his [9affianced<C<B<AA>co affianced<A9] to get your breath, Walt, and thus [9A>repliedA>correpliedB>cor replied<B<A9] to her [9A>other's<A9] thankskissing: I lay my two fingerbuttons, fiancee Meagher, he was to blame about your two velvetthighs up Horniman's Hill — as hook and eye blame him or any other piscman? — but I also think [9A>, Puellywally, <A9] by the siege of his trousers there was someone else behind it — you bet yourboughtem blarneys — about their three drummers down Keysars Lane. (Trite!)

While Meagher's testimony may retain Bywaters echoes (he is, like Bywaters, a sailor on shore making love), it is elaborated so that not only is the sexual aspect made more vivid, but it is tied to the Wake story by the girls becoming two (as Margaret Solomon says, the vaginal lips,20 and they are Questa and Puella, the P/K split, for “pee” and “cunt”) like those in the Park, and by his opinion bringing us back to the sexual ambiguities of the relations of the three soldiers to HCE “down Keysars Lane” — the level 5 narrator's comment is “(Trite!)”, which I suspect is in part Tri-T, the triton, the 3-parted male genitals to match the female two (remember the dubs's “went too free” and the drabs's “una mona”).


Another theme which alters the plebiscite from Bywaters is religion. Consider the dustman:

Dustman, FW: 59.16-24, to level 4: A dustman[4 <named> nocknamed 4][1 <Churches> Sevenchurches 1]in the employ of [4 Messrs 4][3A>Ashburn<A3][4 , 4][4 <Bullwinkle> Soulpetre 4]and McHanger[1 <A>McTigue<A> [2 <McTigue> [3M'Tigue[4 <A>Ashburn> Ashreborn 4] , [4 <prayermakers> prairmakers 4] ,<A 3]2]1][4 Glintalook, 4]was asked[3A>by the [4 <brotherhood<A> sisterhood 4] 3]A>the[3A>vexed<A3]question[1 during [3theA>his<A3] midday [3repastA>collation B>of the spuds and tripes<B<A3]1]in a [4 <hashhouse<A> hashhoush 4] and [4 , thankeaven, 4] [3repliedA>responsed<A3][4 impulsively 4] . . .

The dustman of the Bywaters notes was named Churches, and he becomes “Sevenchurches” at level 1. His firm become “prayermakers,” and he is questioned by the “brotherhood” at “collation”, in level 3. And maybe “O'Dea's” there picks up the monastic site at Dysart O'Dea as well. At any rate, level 4: picks up the Glendalough implications of his name (there are seven monastic churches on that site); makes the firm include “Soulpetre”; brings in a Phoenix rebirth theme with “Ashreborn”; and adds “thankeaven”.

To take further only the less obvious strand of the religion theme, consider the “taxi driver” of the Bywaters note and level 0:

59.24-6, level 3 changes: A more than usually sober [3taxidriverA>trapdriverB>cardriver<B<A3] , who was [3?A>jauntingly<A3] hosing his runabout [3A>,<A3] Ginger Jane, took a strong view. [3B>He talked A>Lorry hosed<A3] as he [3workedA>talked<A3] . . . .

The “taxidriver” becomes “cardriver” “Lorry” at level 3, making his class resentment, that HCE has “parliamentary privilege”, more explicit as it suggests lorries and more explicitly working class status even than “taxidriver”, but also providing the link to Lawrence O'Toole when it is suggested that the “wouldbe martyr” is “grilled on the point”, that is, St. Lawrence's gridiron:

60.16-18, changes at 3: [3A>A wouldbe saint was B>martyr, when<B grilled on the point, revealed the fact<A3] . . .21

And level 8 attaches the Thomas à Becket/Lawrence O'Toole pair to sex with the “thimbles” and “lance” of the sexualized “actress” testimony which we saw. It seems an aspect of the satiric social panorama side of the plebiscite to suggest some disreputably sexual connotations to religion. Religion, of course, also figures in the slew of Buddha additions of level 10, where the picture we get, throughout the additions, is of the sexual saint playing with his “apsaras”.


It is no great surprise that, as its development goes along, the plebiscite becomes more like the rest of Finnegans Wake than like the Bywaters notes with which it started. But it is perhaps interesting, if not surprising, that if we look at the effect of level 0 and its Bywaters world as against the finished work, the main difference which stands out is that we are no longer talking about the way people tend to have sympathy for a younger man led astray by an older woman into violence against an older man. In fact, it is not the younger man we're talking about at all, but an older authority figure connected with establishments like the Ascendancy and the church, who consorts with whores, has an undercurrent of violence, and while grudgingly defended from some points of view (especially male ones), is an at least ambiguous object of considerable contempt. That is, we're talking about HCE, and as we do so we're talking about ourselves. Moreover, our doing so is itself an act: since in Notebook entries Joyce identifies Bywaters with the Shem siglum,22 it is as if the plebiscite (like most of the rest of the Wake) comes itself to be a recapitulation of the attack of the younger man on the older, of which the cad event in the Park is prototype and Shem's attacks on Shaun a second-generation version.

But enough Bywaters echoes really are still here that we do ourselves a kindness to note them. That is, even at the end we're looking at a text where a Bywaters story has become an HCE story. But in its sequence as well as its genetic history that is what happens in the Wake at large. Just so, in chapter 4 we will think (and Joyce would think, early in the drafts) we are talking about a trial of the Festy King who was Pegger Festy and threw stones at the plaintiff Pat (whom I take to be HCE23), but by the end of the trial and the end of the draft history it is HCE himself who is the object of testimony, and we will go forward into the rest of the novel with his younger selves having become not separable antagonists but aspects of the Everybody who is us.



1 See Vincent Deane, “Bywaters and the Original Crime”, in Andrew Treib, ed., Finnegans Wake: “teems of times”, European Joyce Studies 4 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994), 165-83.

2 Chapter 3 is only carried beyond the plebiscite at level 6, up to which §2 of chapter 3 always begins a new page and was planned as the beginning of a new chapter: see JJA 45:147 for level 2, JJA 45:191 for level 3, JJA 45:209 for level 4, JJA 45:233 for level 5, and JJA 45:261 for level 6.

3 Some brief notes on the system of genetic representations used in this paper (developed out of the Rose/Gabler system of the 1986 Ulysses): bold means first draft. Subsequent revision levels are indicated by superscripted bracketed numbers. Intradraft overlay level is indicated by letter-labelled carets, "A" for first- level overlay, etc. (If text is shown added at a level without overlay carets, it was added during Joyce's copying from a previous level, unless marked “TD” [transmissional departure] or “IM” [instruction missing], in which cases a change was made by a typist or typesetter without surviving authorial warrant). There are two forms of text removal, deletion and omission: printing in red means that the text is struck out at the level indicated; red text within angle brackets (“<text>”) was not transcribed from its model to the level in question, but was dropped. Note that overlay following deleted or omitted text often replaces it; if struck out text is not followed by overlay, what does follow was inscribed currente calamo.

I often give here (and clearly label) not full genetics but what I think the reader will want: sometimes “output” text at a level (i.e., what the Wake text was at that revision level when completed); sometimes changes at a level (i.e., the output text of the previous level plus revisions made at the level in question); sometimes the genetic representation up to a given level so that its development up to there may be seen.

4 It should be noted that it is far from clear what Joyce has in mind with “Lily”, who seems (though the grammar is wrong) to be part of Private Pat's testimony at level 3 but at level 4 has become the name for the object of the soldiers' testimony. Moreover, to insert “roth . . .” at level 3 Joyce had used an indexing “W” after “Lily”, matched before “roth”, but he inadvertently (I think) takes this as text when transcribing level 4, yielding “wroth”. Perhaps he thought that we would have no trouble recognizing Samuel Roth despite it. There are punctuation problems too at level 3, and no doubt Joyce invented solutions to all when transcribing level 4.

5 It is not clear at level 8 whether Joyce wanted “infamation” or “infamatios” — I think the former, and that he decided on the change as he corrected a typo in the transcription to level 8+T.

6 The wouldbe martyr's testimony moved at level 4 from level 3's position after that of Spilltears Ruth (what would have been FW: 60.08).

7 JJA 55:106. “Clifftop” seems to have been drafted first, indexed to follow “fliorten” and capitalized: though followed by what seems a comma, it may have been a full stop and “Clifftop” itself intended simply as an echo of the “Fullstop” motif. But below it Joyce drafts “Cablen: Shelvling . . .”, and both marks the “C” of “Clifftop” for reduction to lower case and marks “clifftop” for insertion after the colon after “Cablen”. His intentions are not perfectly clear.

8 I admit an ambiguity: “Jonathan of a brother” is clearer than the “Jonathan for a brother” Joyce at once changes it to, and the telegram is signed “Fireless” but its reply is what seems to be signed by David: “And had answer: Inconvenient, David”. Of course that “David” could be a vocative.

9 Though the change at level 6 to “Lynsky” from level 5's “Lynskey” may be typesetter's error, it seems more likely the result of a missing instruction to spell “right” what had originally been “Linsky”.

10 While it is conceivable that “hellhowl” was changed to “hellbowl” under instruction, I think it a typesetter's error, the “h” being so easily mistaken for a “b”.

11 The word “cub” ties Brian to the cardriver's “rewritemen” in a newspaper theme which may indeed be a hint about the origins of much of the plebiscite.

12 And this drink is, unsurprisingly, one of the general Wake themes which are larded throughout: Ida Wombwell's level 1 “interference with fusiliers” becomes “interfizzing with grenadines” at level 4 as her first-draft “brute” had become “brut” at level 3; the barmaid's level 8+ “to wet, man and his syphon” denotes drinking (though the syphon is phallic too).

13 Unlike the “and” which follows, and which is also present at level 8+T (surely under Joyce's instruction, at the typist's shoulder), the hyphen introduced is clearly a typist's error. What the typist reads as the hyphen following “ahat!” is on level 8, in fact, a version of one of the dashes with which the printed transition page number is surrounded, thus: “—39—”.

14 David Hayman suggests to me that in another way of looking at it that thimble suggests also what a small penis he has!

15 In the addition, note that Joyce crossed off “the” before “Eagle and Child” and replaced it with “his”. The initial motivation for the overlay had not therefore been primarily to get that particular “HCE” in, though it may well have been for “corn and hay emptors”. But he spotted the target of opportunity and took it.

16 But this is of course not to say that she stops being an actress, and a theatre theme is one of the many that tie together the plebiscite, perhaps because it is a pantomimic rendition of the Dublin world (that it is Dublin a given, perhaps, but also note level 4's “Drumcollakill” and level 9's “Dole Line”). McHugh and Mink note “Drumcollakill” as from Drom Choilmchille, as O Hehir spells it (but neither of the others do), but of the three only O Hehir notes Dubh-linn for “Dole Line”.

17 It is not certainly on level 3 a period after “souped him”, but though Joyce takes it as a comma on level 4, it would be at the cost of the grammar to take it thus.

18It is not clear on level 8 whether Joyce intended to delete the comma after “wellesday” with his index mark. At level 8+T, in its new location as indexed at 8+ after “Coninghams”, the comma is supplied.

19 It seems almost certain that the period after “revulveher” is a slip of the pen (unlike the apparent period after “lockup” which is in fact a speck of dirt on the manuscript).

20 On the number 2 as the female number see Margaret Solomon, Eternal Geomater: the Sexual Universe of Finnegans Wake (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969), p. 91ff.

21 At level 3 Joyce does not decide how to finish that the martyr “revealed the fact”.

22 Granted, the sigla are not in VI.B.10, the newspaper transcriptions used for the plebiscite, but in the later VI.B.33, from Filson Young's Trial of Frederick Bywaters and Edith Thompson, which Joyce used for II.1. See for instance VI.B.33.73,

"nobody knows/ 's letters", based on Edith Thompson's quote "No one knows what kind of letters he was writing me". On the other hand, Joyce also uses the Tristan "T" siglum (VI.B.33.119, 121) and even the Shaun siglum "/\" (VI.B.33.120) for Bywaters, suggesting how interchangeably Joyce thought of the antagonist role. For all this see Deane's transcriptions, pp. 187ff, and his analysis that “Issy is consistently identified with Edith Thompson, Glugg with Bywaters, and Chuff with Percy Thompson” (p. 175).

23 See my “The Development of the 'Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Witness' Testimony in I.4”, in David Hayman and Sam Slote, edd., Probes: Genetic Studies in Joyce, European Joyce Studies 5 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1995), p. 224 et seq. Danis Rose also sees Pat O'Donnell as HCE, The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (Dublin: Lilliput, 1995), p. 64.

[An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Fifteenth International James Joyce Symposium, Zürich, June 20, 1996]


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