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Monday, 29 August 2016

Pearls: Joyce's Riversong

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Abbey Street, Ennis, County Clare | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Abbey Street, Ennis, County Clare: photo by Robert French, c. 1890-1910 (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)

Abbey Street, Ennis, County Clare | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Abbey Street, Ennis, County Clare: photo by Robert French, c. 1890-1910 (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)

 Martin Cunningham whispered:

—I was in mortal agony with you talking of suicide before Bloom.

—What? Mr Power whispered. How so?

—His father poisoned himself, Martin Cunningham whispered. Had the Queen’s hotel in Ennis. You heard him say he was going to Clare. Anniversary.

—O God! Mr Power whispered. First I heard of it. Poisoned himself?

*

In sloping, upright and backhands: Queen’s Hotel, Queen’s Hotel, Queen’s Hotel. Queen’s Ho…

What suggested scene was then reconstructed by Bloom?

The Queen’s Hotel, Ennis, county Clare, where Rudolph Bloom (Rudolf Virag) died on the evening of the 27 June 1886, at some hour unstated, in consequence of an overdose of monkshood (aconite) selfadministered in the form of a neuralgic liniment composed of 2 parts of aconite liniment to 1 of chloroform liniment (purchased by him at 10.20 a.m. on the morning of 27 June 1886 at the medical hall of Francis Dennehy , 17 Church street, Ennis) after having, though not in consequence of having, purchased at 3.15 p.m. on the afternoon of 27 June 1886 a new boater straw hat, extra smart (after having, though not in consequence of having, purchased at the hour and in the place aforesaid, the toxin aforesaid), at the general drapery store of James Cullen, 4 Main street, Ennis.

*

What other objects relative to Rudolph Bloom (born Virag) were in the 2nd drawer?

An indistinct daguerreotype of Rudolf Virag and his father Leopold Virag executed in the year 1852 in the portrait atelier of their (respectively) 1st and 2nd cousin, Stefan Virag of Szesfehervar, Hungary. An ancient haggadah book in which a pair of hornrimmed convex spectacles inserted marked the passage of thanksgiving in the ritual prayers for Pessach (Passover): a photocard of the Queen’s Hotel, Ennis, proprietor, Rudolph Bloom . . .

James Joyce (1882-1941): from Ulysses (1918-1922), 1922


James Joyce in Zurich: photo by C Ruf, 1918 (James Joyce Collection, Cornell University Library)
 
Man in river, dredging for pearls. House, cart, at Oughterard. | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Man dredging for pearls. Horse, cart at Oughterard. [Owenriff River, Oughterard (Uachter Ard), Connemara, Galway.] "Pearls used in the Crown Jewels, held in the Tower of London, come from mussels harvested in the Owenriff.": photo by Thomas H. Mason, c 1890-1910 (Mason Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)

File:Margaritifera margaritifera-binnen1.jpg

Margaritifera margaritifera, double valved specimen, length 108 mm, inner side; Telsnach, Germany, 1964: photo by Tom Meijer, March 2007


Jail St. Ennis | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Jail St. Ennis [County Clare]: photographer unknown, c. 1880-1900  (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland

She was just a young thin pale soft shy slim slip of a thing then, sauntering, by silvamoonlake and he was a heavy trudging lurching lieabroad of a Curraghman, making his hay for whose sun to shine on, as tough as the oaktrees (peats be with them!) used to rustle that time down by the dykes of killing Kildare, for forstfellfoss with a plash across her. She thought she's sankh neathe the ground with nymphant shame when he gave her the tigris eye! O happy fault! Me wish it was he! You're wrong there, corribly wrong! Tisn't only tonight you're anacheronistic! It was ages behind that when nullahs were nowhere, in county Wickenlow, garden of Erin, before she ever dreamt she'd lave Kilbride and go foaming under Horsepass bridge, with the great southerwestern windstorming her traces and the midland's grain-waster asarch for her track, to wend her ways byandby, robecca or worse, to spin and to grind, to swab and to thrash, for all her golden lifey in the barleyfields and pennylotts of Humphrey's fordofhurdlestown and lie with a landleaper, wellingtonorseher . . .

James Joyce (1882-1941): from Finnegans Wake (1939), Book 1, Chapter 8 (Anna Livia Plurabelle), first published as A Work in Progress, 1925

Humphreystown Bridge, Blessington, Co. Wicklow. | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Humphreystown Bridge, Blessington, County Wicklow: photo by James P. O'Dea, c. 1938 (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)

It was ages behind that when nullahs were nowhere, in county Wickenlow, garden of Erin, before she ever dreamt she'd lave Kilbride and go foaming under Horsepass bridge, with the great southerwestern windstorming her traces and the midland's grain-waster asarch for her track, to wend her ways byandby, robecca or worse, to spin and to grind, to swab and to thrash, for all her golden lifey in the barleyfields and pennylotts of Humphrey's fordofhurdlestown and lie with a landleaper, wellingtonorseher. . . . .

Humphreystown Bridge, Blessington, Co. Wicklow. | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Humphreystown Bridge, Blessington, County Wicklow: photo by James P. O'Dea, c. 1938 (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)

Well, you know or don't you kennet or haven't I told you every telling has a taling and that's the he and the she of it. Look, look, the dusk is growing! My branches lofty are taking root. And my cold cher's gone ashley. Fieluhr? Filou! What age is at? It saon is late. 'Tis endless now senne eye or erewone last saw Waterhouse's clogh. They took it asunder, I hurd thum sigh. When will they reassemble it? O, my back, my back, my bach! I'd want to go to Aches-les-Pains. Pingpong! There's the Belle for Sexaloitez! And Concepta de Send-us-pray! Pang! Wring out the clothes! Wring in the dew! Godavari, vert the showers! And grant thaya grace! Aman. Will we spread them here now? Ay, we will. Flip ! Spread on your bank and I'll spread mine on mine. Flep! It's what I'm doing. Spread ! It's churning chill. Der went is rising. I'll lay a few stones on the hostel sheets. A man and his bride embraced between them. Else I'd have sprinkled and folded them only. And I'll tie my butcher's apron here. It's suety yet. The strollers will pass it by. Six shifts, ten kerchiefs, nine to hold to the fire and this for the code, the convent napkins, twelve, one baby's shawl. Good mother Jossiph knows, she said. Whose head? Mutter snores? Deataceas! Wharnow are alle her childer, say? In kingdome gone or power to come or gloria be to them farther? Allalivial, allalluvial! Some here, more no more, more again lost alla stranger. I've heard tell that same brooch of the Shannons was married into a family in Spain. And all the Dunders de Dunnes in Markland's Vineland beyond Brendan's herring pool takes number nine in yangsee's hats. And one of Biddy's beads went bobbing till she rounded up lost histereve with a marigold and a cobbler's candle in a side strain of a main drain of a manzinahurries off Bachelor's Walk. But all that's left to the last of the Meaghers in the loup of the years prefixed and between is one kneebuckle and two hooks in the front. Do you tell me that now? I do in troth. Orara por Orbe and poor Las Animas! Ussa, Ulla, we're umbas all! Mezha, didn't you hear it a deluge of times, ufer and ufer, respund to spond? You deed, you deed! I need, I need! It's that irrawaddyng I've stoke in my aars. It all but husheth the lethest zswound. Oronoko ! What's your trouble? Is that the great Finnleader himself in his joakimono on his statue riding the high horse there forehengist? Father of Otters, it is himself! Yonne there! Isset that? On Fallareen Common? You're thinking of Astley's Amphitheayter where the bobby restrained you making sugarstuck pouts to the ghostwhite horse of the Peppers. Throw the cobwebs from your eyes, woman, and spread your washing proper! It's well I know your sort of slop. Flap! Ireland sober is Ireland stiff Lord help you, Maria, full of grease, the load is with me! Your prayers. I sonht zo! Madammangut! Were you lifting your elbow, tell us, glazy cheeks, in Conway's Carrigacurra canteen? Was I what, hobbledyhips? Flop! Your rere gait's creakorheuman bitts your butts disagrees. Amn't I up since the damp dawn, marthared mary allacook, with Corrigan's pulse and varicoarse veins, my pramaxle smashed, Alice Jane in decline and my oneeyed mongrel twice run over, soaking and bleaching boiler rags, and sweating cold, a widow like me, for to deck my tennis champion son, the laundryman with the lavandier flannels? You won your limpopo limp fron the husky hussars when Collars and Cuffs was heir to the town and your slur gave the stink to Carlow. Holy Scamander, I sar it again! Near the golden falls. Icis on us! Seints of light! Zezere! Subdue your noise, you hamble creature! What is it but a blackburry growth or the dwyergray ass them four old codgers owns. Are you meanam Tarpey and Lyons and Gregory? I meyne now, thank all, the four of them, and the roar of them, that draves that stray in the mist and old Johnny MacDougal along with them. Is that the Poolbeg flasher beyant, pharphar, or a fireboat coasting nyar the Kishtna or a glow I behold within a hedge or my Garry come back from the Indes? Wait till the honeying of the lune, love! Die eve, little eve, die! We see that wonder in your eye. We'll meet again, we'll part once more. The spot I'll seek if the hour you'll find. My chart shines high where the blue milk's upset. Forgivemequick, I'm going! Bubye! And you, pluck your watch, forgetmenot. Your evenlode. So save to jurna's end! My sights are swimming thicker on me by the shadows to this place. I sow home slowly now by own way, moy-valley way. Towy I too, rathmine.

James Joyce (1882-1941): from Finnegans Wake (1939), Book 1, Chapter 8: Anna Livia Plurabelle, first published as A Work in Progress, 1925

Dublin St. Co. Carlow | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Dublin St. Carlow (County Carlow)
: photo by
Robert French, c. 1900 (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)

 You won your limpopo limp from the husky hussars when Collars and Cuffs was heir to the town and your slur gave the stink to Carlow. Holy Scamander, I sar it again! 

Dublin St. Co. Carlow | by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Dublin St. Carlow (County Carlow): photo by Robert French, c. 1900 (Lawrence Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland)
 
Ah, but she was the queer old skeowsha anyhow, Anna Livia, trinkettoes! And sure he was the quare old buntz too, Dear Dirty Dumpling, foostherfather of fingalls and dotthergills. Gammer and gaffer we're all their gangsters. Hadn't he seven dams to wive him? And every dam had her seven crutches. And every crutch had its seven hues. And each hue had a differing cry. Sudds for me and supper for you and the doctor's bill for Joe John. Befor! Bifur! He married his markets, cheap by foul, I know, like any Etrurian Catholic Heathen, in their pinky limony creamy birnies and their turkiss indienne mauves. But at milkidmass who was the spouse? Then all that was was fair. Tys Elvenland ! Teems of times and happy returns. The seim anew. Ordovico or viricordo. Anna was, Livia is, Plurabelle's to be. Northmen's thing made southfolk's place but howmulty plurators made eachone in person? Latin me that, my trinity scholard, out of eure sanscreed into oure eryan! Hircus Civis Eblanensis! He had buckgoat paps on him, soft ones for orphans. Ho, Lord ! Twins of his bosom. Lord save us! And ho! Hey? What all men. Hot? His tittering daughters of. Whawk?

James Joyce (1882-1941): from Finnegans Wake (1939), Book 1, Chapter 8: Anna Livia Plurabelle, first published as A Work in Progress, 1925

The Quiet Man bridge | by dwangle
 
The Quiet Man bridge, Owenriff River, Oughterard, Connemara, County Galway: photo by David Angle, 19 September 2015

Can't hear with the waters of. The chittering waters of. Flittering bats, fieldmice bawk talk. Ho! Are you not gone ahome? What Thom Malone? Can't hear with bawk of bats, all thim liffeying waters of. Ho, talk save us ! My foos won't moos. I feel as old as yonder elm. A tale told of Shaun or Shem? All Livia's daughtersons. Dark hawks hear us. Night! Night! My ho head halls. I feel as heavy as yonder stone. Tell me of John or Shaun? Who were Shem and Shaun the living sons or daughters of? Night now! Tell me, tell me, tell me, elm! Night night! Telmetale of stem or stone. Beside the rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of. Night!

James Joyce (1882-1941): from Finnegans Wake (1939), Book 1, Chapter 8: Anna Livia Plurabelle, first published as A Work in Progress, 1925

The Quiet Man bridge_2 | by dwangle

Owenriff River, above the Quiet Man bridge, Oughterard, Connemara, County Galway: photo by David Angle, 19 September 2015

The Quiet Man bridge_3 | by dwangle

Owenriff River, below the Quiet Man bridge, Oughterard, Connemara, County Galway: photo by David Angle, 19 September 2015

7 comments:

TC said...

James Joyce reading 'Anna Livia Plurabelle' (1929 78 rpm recording)

Pierre Joris said...

Nice break in the war reporting, Tom.

tpw said...

Thanks for this post, Tom. I had never heard that Joyce recording before---wonderful reading. And those archival photos of Ennis & elsewhere always make me yearn for the old country. Which I will be visiting in October.

Wooden Boy said...

I love that reading. You can hear some trace of that great tenor voice of his, I'm sure. Always hope that some recording of him sing "Who'll go with Fergus?" will turn up.

So much of motherhood in those passages from the Wake. The world prior to our beginning does matter.

Wharnow are alle her childer, say?

Sandra said...

what a handsome man that James Joyce !

TC said...

Gracias to all!

"The word is not a thing, but rather the eternally mobile, eternally changing medium of dialogical intercourse. It never coincides with a 'single' consciousness or a 'single' voice. The life of a word is in its transferral from one mouth to another, one context to another, one social context to another. In the process the word does nor forget where it has been and can never free itself from the dominion of the contexts of which it has been a part." -- Bakhtin

"Our language runs every day out of our hands." -- Montaigne

The recording helps us to understand the swift and deep mercurial riverine womanly running of the night history of language through this beautiful piece of writing.

It came about due to the interest of Charles Kay Ogden, a Cambridge linguist and philosopher. Ogden had a deep interest in literature; his first English translation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus came out the same year Ulysses was published. Ogden's brainchild was Basic English. In 1927, he founded the Orthological Institute to promote Basic English. He wanted to train teachers to employ an international language consisting of 850 words in which anything could be said and understood by everybody everywhere. He immediately grasped the usefulness of sound recording in language instruction. He got writers to make recordings for his Institute. There is a recording of Shaw. And there is this recording of Joyce. Joyce was losing his sight. In the dark studio he had a difficult time making out the very large letters on very large sheets of paper which Ogden had prepared for him. Even with Ogden gently whispering prompts, it took him two takes to do the deed. The record sold for two guineas, steep for the epoch. The first impression sold out within a year. Joyce's astounding comic rendition of an Irish washerwoman's brogue wowed people who hadn't been able to make head or tails of his printed text.

TC said...

About these wonderful photos... The second Ennis shot is a reverse view of the top shot, showing the O'Connell monument. It's not known whether or when or for how long JJ stopped in Ennis, not of course that he couldn't have stopped there without our ever knowing... as indeed we don't... and there is that delicious pleasure in the not knowing, always.

Which leaves the question as to how it came about that Leopold Bloom's father should have become the proprietor of, and met his demise by his own hand, in the Queens Hotel, Ennis.

JJ's notebooks reveal he had made a note, most likely out of the Irish Independent, which had run a brief story on Death in Ennis:

Isaac Marshall, a Yorkshire man, who recently purchased the Queen’s Hotel, Ennis, was found dead yesterday, hanging from a beam in the coachhouse. Mrs Marshall, a Clare lady said at the inquest that she knew of nothing to trouble deceased. Suicide during temporary insanity was the verdict.

Joyce prefigured Odyssean parallels everywhere, Leopold Bloom's father plays the symbolic role of Laertes in this story.

Pearlfishing in the Owenriff at Oughterard is no more.

"Freshwater pearl mussels can be found below the waterfall further down the river. They are now an endangered species. Years ago they were sought after but the industry died out with the development of mussel farming.

"Pearls used in the Crown Jewels, held in the Tower of London, came from mussels harvested in the Owenriff. This mussel needs unpolluted water to survive but is now threatened by the level of algae in the water. The pearl mussel is now protected under the Berne Convention, the Irish 1976 Wild Life Act and the EU Habitats Directive. The mussel is endangered throughout Europe."

The splendid Humphreystown Bridge, Blessington, Co. Wicklow., which it's pretty certain JJ would have at least once or twice crossed over -- at any rate you do feel that, with his lovely reference to it in his riversong -- was blown up between 1938 and 1940 as part of the flooding of this valley to make way for the Poulaphouca Reservoir scheme, which was designed to generate electricity and supply fresh water to Dublin.

"It transpires that the remains of this beautiful bridge lie on the bottom of the reservoir."