353 Ireland’s Eighth Mathematical Wonder: Recounting the 111 Terms of Abuse

   Finnegans Wake is famous for keeping off the street unhinged minds that would otherwise wreak havoc in areas more useful to the advancement of human kind. For wakies, study of the novel is a substitute for small particle physics, submolecular biology and the paleontology of missing species, all rolled into one. They unleash a measure of zeal and imagination only worthy of the noblest of causes. Is there life besides the Wake? For wakies, hardly. This is no surprise as the Wake for them comprises the world, and not the other way round. Sorry, I shouldn’t say for them of course, I should say for us, because I am a wakie myself, and a zooming one.
   Our little cranny of sanity in this crazy world recently zoomed in on the truly haddockian barrage of invectives that Herr Betreffender heaps upon the novel’s hero, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, who has locked himself up in what appears to be the outhouse of his hostelry, located in the sleepy Dublin suburb of Chapelizod, in the vicinity of Phoenix Park. Why and what for is anybody’s guess, but that Earwicker is afflicted by a bad, bad conscience is more than clear.
   As soon as any extended list appears in Finnegans Wake, chances are that the number of items will total exactly one hundred and eleven, 111 being dreamlogic longhand for one-one-one, or III in Latin numerals, 3 being the number of children of the Earwicker-Plurabelle household. When Anna Livia in chapter 8 of book I appears with her ratty bag of presents for her children, she also doles out 111 gifts, one for each child.
   Problem with the list of invectives at FW 71.10-72.16: they don’t add up to 111. Neither in the canonical Faber 1939 text (with Joyce’s corrections incorporated in 1975), nor in the Rose and O’Hanlon 2010 text, dubbed The Restored Finnegans Wake.
   Or do they?
   Behold the spectacle of the italicized commas.
   Let’s start chronologically at the end. If Joyce wanted 111 items, he was well able to provide them, no more, no less. At the very last stage of writing, on the verge of publication, in the final page proofs for Finnegans Wake in August 1938, Joyce checks the list for the last time. In these proofs, Joyce hardly adds anything, which must have cost him superhuman restraint, because his method was one of, accretion, revise and expand and the more the better, as the growth of the list will show. Nonetheless, he adds one item at the very end, Boawwll’s alocutionist, deposed. He could have done without it, he could have added more, had he wanted to, but apparently this one item was needed to bring the total – in his own count – up to 111.
   So all we have to do is recount the list with Joyce’s (admittedly ailing) eyes. Can we just count the commas? No, as the final addition proves: there’s a comma in Boawwll’s alocutionist, deposed but that doesn’t make it two units. Commas and units are not equatable. There is at least one more unit containing a comma, You’re Welcome to Waterfood, signed the Ribbonmen at FW 71.22-23, probably even a second one, Fast in the Barrel, Boose in the Bed at FW 72.15, and there are several items in which the interpunction clearly has gone astray, for instance at FW 72.11-12 the item — ’Man Devoyd of the Commoner Characteristics of an Irish Nature, where the apostrophe should be a comma.
   The weird thing is, that apparantly Joyce, or an amanuensis, did count the commas to ascertain the number of items, for the list contains exactly 110 commas (and one mistaken full stop). And 110 commas is 111 units, so the number is right, no? No, because Joyce inserts a missing comma on line 16 of page 71, between Remove that Bible and Hebdromadary Publocation, plus he adds Boawwll’s alocutionist, deposed. Making 113 commas and 114 units.
   Moreover, line 25 of the page proof contains two typos: there is a full stop between The Ace and Deuce of Paupering and O’Reilly’s which should be a comma, and there is a comma after O’Reilly’s that shouldn’t be there.
   Assuming Joyce didn’t spot these (he didn’t correct them), how could he count 108 items before his two punctuational changes on these pages? For, if he overlooked these two mistakes, read the commaless Remove that Bible and Hebdromadary Publocation as one unit, as well as You’re Welcome to Waterfood, signed the Ribbonmen, and if he would for the rest count commas as unit separators and the absence of commas as unifiers, then he would count 109 items – and adding a comma and an item would give him 112 invectives, one too many.
   So where do we go wrong? Which two items are to be joined to make one unit? Or maybe there are more anomalies in the list? Can we find out?
   Of course, we could leave it at this, and say the list of invectives as it stands, in the Faber 1939 text, has – in Joyce’s opinion – 111 items. But which is which? We’ll never know how to list the units individually.
   In the Restored Finnegans Wake Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon follow the entire genesis of the novel and emend each and every inadvertent typo, lost word or phrase, from the tiniest punctuation to the most blatant saut du même au même (Augensprung, bourdon). Their restoration of this passage yields 115 commas, which would mean 116 items, but no, look at this miracle of typesetting: they do differentiate between internal and external commas by italicizing the internal ones.
   Apart from the one in Boawwll’s Alocutionist, Deposed, only the comma in You’re Welcome to Waterfood, Signed the Ribbonmen has been italicized. Nothing else, which means their list has 114 units, that is still three too many:
   We’ll have to restart, and revert to the first beginnings of the list, back to November 1923. We have to get to the mythical 111. We’re going to have to reconstruct the list of invectives from scratch. First in order to be sure which units are meant to be separate and which ones are one and indivisible but include an internal comma. How else can we add up to the magic 111? There is no alternative.
   Doing that, we’ll have the opportunity to see which words or phrases have unintentionally been maimed or even lost in the course of the sixteen years of composition and the minimally thirteen rounds of revision an transmission it entailed.
   The abusive list started in November 1923 with a mere 6 (or 7) items, informer, Old fruit, funnyface, Yellow whig, Bogsides, muddle, and an undecipherable word, which Rose and O’Hanlon list as ‘unread’, but David Hayman – or perhaps his wife, Lori, who did (or so they say) most of the hard work, the deciphering of Joyce’s hobbly scribble – reads as plander.
[1, first draft, BM 47471b-8v, JJA 45:161, nov23, jjda]

   The second draft has 14 items, informer, old fruit, funnyface, yellow whigger, wheatears, goldygoat, bogside beauty, muddle the plan, mister fatmeat, gouty ghibelline, yorkyporker, white elephant, poison booser and guineapig’s bastard.
[2, second draft, BM 47471b-21, JJA 45:165, nov23, jjda]

   The first fair copy expands to 23 items, reinstating the previously overlooked funnyface, adding in the main body loose Luther and in the margin Dirty Butter, Cainandabler, Ireland’s Eighth Wonderful Wonder, Codsoilman, Hoary Hairy Hoax, Big Bloody Murderer, Midnight Sunburst and Swad Puddlefoot. Poison booser becomes boose in the bed.
[3, first fair copy, BM 47472-131, JJA 45:182, nov-dec23, jjda]

   On the first typescript are added 20 more items in manu: in the main text Firstnighter, and on a separate page Luck before Wedlock, I Divorce Thee Husband, Barebarean, Peculiar Person, Grunt Owl’s Facktotem, Twelve Months’ Aristocrat, Lycanthrope, Cumberer of God’s Holy Ground, Scuttle to Cover, Ruin of the Small Trader, Armenian Atrocity, Milkandbutterbeard, Sickfish Bellyup, Man Devoid of the Commoner Characteristics of an Irish Nature, Hraabhraab, Coocoohandler, Dirt, Micher from your Home, Bad Humborg and Woolworth’s Worst. We now have 43 items, still fairly straightforward in your face.
[4, first typescript, BM 47472-154v-155, JJA 45:196-197, dec23, revised 1927, jjda]

   The heavily marked-up typescript necessitated another fair copy, and from here things start going awry. Joyce adds only 3 items, but, strange to see, these three new items all consist of long dashes: He — —, comes first (with a comma, disguised as the ascender of the letter k in Sickfish underneath) then just two dashes, — —, and lastly a single dash, . Why the dashes? Were they meant as dashes, or did Joyce want to signal further deliberation for future additions? Is Herr Betreffender gasping for breath? Are his invectives unprintable, yes even unpronounceable? They’re funny though, aren’t they? Later on however they will a lot of trouble, textually.
[5, second fair copy, BM 47472-190, JJA 45:217, mar27, jjda]

   The 46 items were faithfully typed up, or almost faithfully: the typist missed the comma after He — —, the one that looked like a portion of the k in Sickfish. Joyce reinserts the comma by hand, but this time the comma will be misplaced in the next stage, as we’ll see. On the typescript were added, in Joyce’s hand and in the hand of an amanuensis, 9 fresh items, one of which, the first, is – as I think after much debilitation – not a new item but an addition to an existing one, Beat My Price, without a comma being added to Codsoilman. We’ll have more to say about it later. The other additions are: Hatches Cocks’ Eggs, Tanner and a Make, Left Boot Sent on Approval, Bombard Street Bester, Sublime Porter, Edomite, Thinks he’s Godblast the good dook of Orguile, and W.D.’s Grace. The last two items were for some reason missed by the transition typesetter, but Joyce will remember them (or pick them up from this stage) when preparing the transition text for the Faber galleys. We have now 55 items, 54 if Beat My Price, Codsoilman is one item, as I think.
[6, second typescript, BM 47472-249-250, JJA 45:242-243, mar-apr27, jjda]

   The trouble really begins with the transition proofs. First of all, two items from the typescript are missing, Thinks he’s Godblast the good dook of Orguile, and W.D.’s Grace, but they will reappear. On the second set of the transition proofs Joyce adds 6 new items, Opendoor Ospices, Yass We’ve Had His Badannas, And At Number Wan Wan Wan, Twitchbratschballs, Vee was a Vindner and Sower Rapes. In the meantime the dash units are starting to behave erratically, all three of them. Joyce corrects the typesetter in the margin expressly re the He — —, which should doubledashed with final comma, and re the single dash before the Man Devoyd etc, where the typesetter missed the comma. Unfortunately, the comma Joyce adds in the margin will be understood in the next stage as an apostrophe and will remain an apostrophe up into the printed text. The third dash Joyce had added, the single one between Bad Humborg and Hraabhraab, and which the typist had typed up more or less correctly as two hyphens, here disappears altogether, apparently unnoticed by Joyce, because he doesn’t correct it. Rose and O’Hanlon will reinstate this dash in their edition, which is one reason why their number of units exceeds 111.
   Without instruction the typesetter inserts a comma between Beat My Price and Codsoilman, formally separating the items. We now have anything between 56 and 62 items, depending on how and what you count. Keeping the exact total tab from here on is fairly useless, but we now know which cruxes we’ll have to resolve.
[7, 2nd transition galleys, BM 47472-364-365, JJA 45:286-287, may27, jjda]

   The next stage is transition proper. We see in the printed text that the typesetter, in spite of the instruction to that effect, did not close the He — — unit with a comma; and that Joyce’s instruction to add a comma after the doubledash addition was interpreted as inserting an apostrophe. Commawise, we lose hereby two entire units.
   The marginal additions are hard to decipher, due to badly faded ink. Some items seem never to have been incorporated, either because they were unreadable, or were just overlooked. The marginal additions to the abusive list are spread out over two (nonconsecutive) pages. On the first page, from top to bottom: Unworthy of the Homely Protestant Religion; Burnham and Bailey, Blau Clay, Terry Cotter, His farther was A Mundzucker, Gibbering Bayamouth of Dublin, and (bottom left) Magogagog, followed by two untransferred items, deciphered by Rose and O’Hanlon as Goliarman and La la Lach (the last word is more likelily Lachs, for salmon). At the bottom we see the reinstatement of Thinks he’s Gobblast the good dook of Orguile and W.D.’s Grace, followed by the crossed-out and untransferred Lights the Far Finger with His [blank] while he Smokes at Both Ends (as deciphered by Rose and O’Hanlon). Two pages further we read four more invectives, Old Botheration, Tight Before Teatime, Read Your Bible, and Tummer the Lame the Tyrannous, one of which, Old Botheration, was not transferred and, like Goliarman, La la Lachs and the unfinished Lights the Far Finger with His [blank] while he Smokes at Both Ends will forever remain on the Finnegans Wake cutting-room floor.
[8, marked up transition pages, BM 47475-30v-31v, JJA 45:298-299, mid30s, jjda]

   The additions were typed up for the printer of Finnegans Wake, but strange things happen here as well. We lose Old Botheration and the several hardly readable additions at the bottom of the marked-up transition page, but we also get two extra items, invectives that can’t be found in Joyce’s handwriting (Rose and O’Hanlon don’t trace them either) and may have come from a lost set of marked-up pages, t.w. Acoustic Disturbance and Artist. Neither does the Mundzucker extension and She had him in a Growler have a manuscript original, as far as I can see. Still, Joyce appears to be closely watching the proceedings, as he adds another two invectives to the typed-up list, Remove that Bible and Hebdromadary Publocation, totalling 16 new invectives.
   The two printer’s instructions on the transition page, to change Godsoilman back into the original Codsoilman and the instruction to lose the dash before ’Man Devoyd etc. were both overlooked by the Faber galley typesetter.
[9, marked-up and typed transition pages, BM 47475-119v-206, JJA 45:330-331, 1936, roh]

   The printed galley text now lists 74 items – if we add a comma between Remove that Bible and Hebdromadary Publocation, between He — — and Milkinghoneybeaverbrooker en read the apostrophe before Man Devoyd etc as a comma. (And read Beat My Price, Godsoilman as two items, for the time being.)
   At this stage, Joyce adds 19 fresh items: (in the right margin) A Ban for Le King of the Bargaans and a Bom for Ye Sur of all the Ruttledges, O’Phelim’s Cutprice, Stodge Arschmann, Awnt Yuke, Tommy Furlong’s Pet Plagues, Archdukon Cabbanger, Last Past the Post; (in the left margin) Go to Hellena or Come to Connies, Piobald Puffpuff, In Custody of the Polis, At Baggotty’s Bend He Bumped His Bride and Kennealy Won’t Tell Thee Off Nancy’s Gown; (in the bottom margin) Fast in the Barrel, Flunkey Beadle Vamps the Town Letting on He’s Loney, Thunder and Turf Married into Clandorf, Easyattic Phallusaphist, Born Burst Feet Foremost, Purged out of Burke’s and He’s None of Me Causin.
[10a, first FW galley proofs, BM 47476a-45, JJA 49:95, 1937-1938, jjda]

   There is one item, listed at k on the typed page, Fast in the Barrel, to be inserted before Boose in the Bed, which by the rhythm of the phrase seems to indicate that it is to be read jointly, as one unit and not two: Fast in the Barrel, Boose in the Bed. If we keep on counting generously though, we’re at 93 now.
[10b, first FW galley proofs, BM 47476a-44v-45, JJA 49:94-95, 1937-1938, jjda]

   The second set of galley proofs adds 19 more items: (in the right margin) Salary Grab, Andy MacNoon in Annie’s Room and Awl Out; (in the left margin) What He Done to Castlecostello, Sleeps with Feathers and Ropes, It is Known Who Sold Horace the Rattler, Enclosed find the Sons of Fingal, Swayed in his Falling, Wants a Wife and Forty of Them, Let Him Do the Fair, Apeegeequanee Chimmuck and Plowp Goes his Whastle; (in the bottom margin) You’re Welcome to Waterfood, Signed the Ribbonmen, Lobsterpot Lardling, All for Arthur of this Town, Hooshed the Cat from the Bacon, Leatherbags Donald, The Ace and Deuce of Paupering and O’Reilly’s Delights to Kiss the Man behind the Barrel.
[11a, second FW galley proofs, BM 47476a-184, JJA 49:389, mar-may38, jjda]
[11b, second FW galley proofs, BM 47476a-183v-184, JJA 49:388-389, mar-may38, jjda]

   The third set of galley proofs shows no new additions. It assembles all corrections and additions for the actual page proofs, plus the instruction to italicize the entire list (omitting Fast in the Barrel by the way). In the typed corrections the uncalled-for comma between O’Reilly’s and Delights is cause for potential misunderstanding and wrong counting. (I won’t mention two further glaring textual mistakes, the misplacement of His Bride and the mistyped Leathertogs.) (we desperately need a handbook or even a university chair Metamorphology of Finnegans Wake, Intentional and Unintentional.)
[12, third FW galley proofs, BM 47476b-332v-333, JJA 50:100-101, may1938, jjda]

   Let’s check and slowback. 93 plus 19 makes 112, meaning Joyce probably was counting here already to 111, and reached that number in his opinion. But how did he count, then?
   To the two galleyproofs he added 38 invectives, meaning he would have to count 73 units on the printed galley. Did he (or an amanuensis) count commas? There are 70 commas in the list, hence 71 items divided by commas. There’s no way the items add up to 73.
   Another – more likely – possibility is that Joyce (or an amuensis), counted the new items in the typed-up list, taking every comma as a division between units, in this way mistakenly adding two units that are not units, for the comma in You’re Welcome to Waterfood, signed the Ribbonmen is an internal comma, and the comma in O’Reilly’s, Delights to Kiss the Man behind the Barrel is a typo.
   In which case we get 40 new additions, which makes, with the putative (because of the 70 commas) 71 items on the galley page, 111 items, in Joyce’s inimitable algebra. QED.
   But we haven’t done yet. The mystery is still far from solved.
   For how come, that on the final page proofs (in the possession of the University of Tulsa), Joyce suddenly is two short, according to his own count? For on these page proofs he not only adds Boawwll’s alocutionist, deposed, but reinserts a comma that was already accidentally dropped by the galley printer, between Remove that Bible and Hebdromedary Publocation. (Note that the unwarranted comma between O’Reilly’s and Delights , in the heart of the Tulsa vignette on the left page, is not corrected, and hence adds up to the count.)
[13, Tulsa page proofs, aug38, jjda]

   I think it is because Joyce on the page proofs improved his deficient counting of the galleys. He failed better, so to speak. He still only counted the commas and extrapolated the total number of items from the number of commas by adding one – and didn’t take into account the four circumstances that make the equation impossible, being:
   1) the fact that certainly two and maybe four invectives contain an internal comma;
   2) the fact that two invectives lost a separating comma underway;
   3) the fact that one typed and typeset invective was lost;
   4) the fact that four handwritten invectives were spoorlessly lost and never made it into a typed or typeset stage.
   I explain:
   ad 1) A (positive) comma: You’re Welcome to Waterfood, Signed the Ribbonmen (FW 71.22-23) and Boawwll’s Alocutionist, Deposed (FW 72.16) (this last one Joyce did indeed exclude from his count). A possible comma: Beat My Price, Codsoilman (FW 71.14) and Fast in the Barrel, Boose in the Bed (FW 72.15).
   ad 2) Lost commas: He — — Milkinghoneybeaverbrooker (FW 72.9-10) and — ’Man Devoyd of the Commoner Characteristics of an Irish Nature (FW 72.11-12).
   ad 3) the lost typed and typeset invective: —, between Bad Humborg and Hraabhraab (FW 72.12-13).
   ad 4) the lost handwritten invectives: Goliarman, La la Lachs, Lights the Far Finger with His [blank] while he Smokes at Both Ends and Old Botheration.
   This means we have some leeway if we want to come to a mathematically correct 111, and at the same time to emend mistakes that have crept into the text.
   Which is what will we do next.
   Not so fast, young man. There’s one stage missing in your gripping reconstruction. There is? Yes. In the List of Corrections Joyce compiled in Sant-Gérand-le-Puy in 1940, there are corrections affecting the punctuation of this passage.
[14, corrections to the first edition, BM VI.H.4.b-5, JJA 63:355]

   Joyce finally notices the mistaken full stop after The Ace and Deuce of Paupering (FW 72.25), and on the same line the superfluous comma after Reilly’s. To all intents and purposes of our counting, he deletes one comma and adds another one. He doesn’t touch the punctuation of the rest of the list, meaning he is still satisfied by his illusory idea that the units count up to 111. Which they do not, at least not in the final redaction of Finnegans Wake that we know.
[Finnegans Wake, first edition and edition with the corrections incorporated]

   Concluding, my mission has failed: I still don’t know how on earth Joyce managed to count 111 units, on the galleys, on the page proofs and in the first edition. If there’s method in his counting, it’s madness, and if there’s no method, it’s pure inspiration of the mathematical gods. There’s nothing left for me but to arrange my own ideal abusive bouquet, which with its 111 invectives will at least be an improvement on the gathering in the Restored Finnegans Wake.
   No! We can’t leave it like this! We can’t give up after all our work, can we? Let’s make one final effort to make the list in Finnegans Wake add up to 111. Without the jiggery-pokery of the James Joyce Archive, without recourse to galleys and page proofs, and without the wish to make an emended, restored or corrected text. Instead I will wallow in unknowing, with just the canonical Finnegans Wake text in front of me, as received from Mount Joyce. Let’s do it.

   [10] Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit, Yellow Whigger, Wheatears, Goldy Geit, Bogside Beauty, Yass We’ve Had His Badannas, York’s Porker, Funnyface.
   Easy-peasy.
   [20] At Baggotty’s Bend He Bumped, Grease with the Butter, Opendoor Ospices, Cainandabler, Ireland’s Eighth Wonderful Wonder, Beat My Price, Godsoilman, Moonface the Murderer, Hoary Hairy Hoax, Midnight Sunburst.
   No ambiguities here.
   [30] Remove that Bible, Hebdromadary Publocation, Tummer the Lame the Tyrannous, Blau Clay, Tight before Teatime, Read Your Pantojoke, Acoustic Disturbance, Thinks He’s Gobblasst the Good Dook of Ourguile, W.D.’s Grace, Gibbering Bayamouth of Dublin.
   Still plain sailing.
   [40] His Farther was a Mundzucker and She had him in a Growler, Burnham and Bailey, Artist, Unworthy of the Homely Protestant Religion, Terry Cotter, You’re Welcome to Waterfood, signed the Ribbonmen, Lobsterpot Lardling, All for Arthur of this Town, Hooshed the Cat from the Bacon, Leathertogs Donald.
   Here we get the first ambiguity: I’ll read, as everyone will, You’re Welcome to Waterfood, signed the Ribbonmen as one unit, for the time being. If needs be, we can upgrade to two.
   [50] The Ace and Deuce of Paupering, O’Reilly's Delights to Kiss the Man behind the Borrel, Magogagog, Swad Puddlefoot, Gouty Ghibeline, Loose Luther, Hatches Cocks’ Eggs, Muddle the Plan, Luck before Wedlock, I Divorce Thee Husband.
   Questions? No questions.
   [60] Tanner and a Make, Go to Hellena or Come to Connies, Piobald Puffpuff His Bride, Purged out of Burke’s, He’s None of Me Causin, Barebarean, Peculiar Person, Grunt Owl’s Facktotem, Twelve Months Aristocrat, Lycanthrope.
   Fairly straightforward.
   [70] Flunkey Beadle Vamps the Tune Letting on He’s Loney, Thunder and Turf Married into Clandorf, Left Boot Sent on Approval, Cumberer of Lord’s Holy Ground, Stodge Arschmann, Awnt Yuke, Tommy Furlong’s Pet Plagues, Archdukon Cabbanger, Last Past the Post, Kennealey Won’t Tell Thee off Nancy’s Gown.
   That makes 70 on page 71. P.t.o.
   [80] Scuttle to Cover, Salary Grab, Andy Mac Noon in Annie’s Room, Awl Out, Twitchbratschballs, Bombard Street Bester, Sublime Porter, A Ban for Le King of the Burgaans and a Bom for Ye Sur of all the Ruttledges, O’Phelim’s Cutprice, And at Number Wan Wan Wan.
   Thirty-one to go.
   [90] What He Done to Castlecostello, Sleeps with Feathers end Ropes, It is Known who Sold Horace the Rattler, Enclosed find the Sons of Fingal, Swayed in his Falling, Wants a Wife and Forty of Them, Let Him Do the Fair, Apeegeequanee Chimmuck, Plowp Goes his Whastle, Ruin of the Small Trader.
   Getting closer.
   [100] He — — Milkinghoneybeaverbrooker, Vee was a Vindner, Sower Rapes, Armenian Atrocity, Sickfish Bellyup, Edomite, — ’Man Devoyd of the Commoner Characteristics of an Irish Nature, Bad Humborg, Hraabhraab, Coocoohandler.
   Okay, let’s say ten, and count the commaless He — — Milkinghoneybeaverbrooker as one unit and the equally commaless — ’Man Devoyd of the Commoner Characteristics of an Irish Nature as well. Where does that get us with the final postulated winning team of eleven?
   [111] Dirt, Miching Daddy, Born Burst Feet Foremost, Woolworth’s Worst, Easyathic Phallusaphist, Guilteypig’s Bastard, Fast in the Barrel, Boose in the Bed, Mister Fatmate, In Custody of the Polis, Boawwll's Alocutionist, Deposed.
   This makes 111 if we read the last three words, Boawwll's Alocutionist, Deposed, as one unit.
   Problem solved. This is how Joyce must have counted his list, thus giving his silent blessing to the mess the typesetters made of the dashes.
   And at the same time giving it to the mess the typists, typesetters, amanuenses and not least he himself made of the entire book. Was Stephen Joyce right then when he said: ‘This is the book my grandfather gave you, and I don’t want anyone mucking about in it’? Could Joyce really be satisfied with all the typos, all the lost words and lines, the incomprehensible dashes? What does it mean that Joyce ddn’t care a hoot for the mistakes as long as the numbers counted up? Maybe he thought in the end that it didn’t matter? That is was only more obfuscating grist to the wheeling wordmill?
   More and more I get the feeling that he considered Finnegans Wake a kind of free for all word association football for everyone – not what he put into it he minded, but what people could get out of it, even if it was to be through some howling, glaring typographical error.
   When is a typo not a typo? When it’s a portal to discovery.
   Perhaps this is so. But for a translator, recourse to the Archive was vital. And once you know where things went wrong, the temptation to set them right is wellnigh irresistible.
   I have reinstated the two commas after the dashes, which left me with 113 items. Reading Fast in the Barrel, Boose in the Bed as one unit, and Beat My Price, Codsoilman as well – both defendable, the first on prosodic, the second on genetic grounds – I ended up with the desired number, as the graph will show. The lost dash I did not recover and neither the handwritten additions that never made it into a typed version. The justifications for the textual emendations (in red) are in the right-hand column.
   With which I leave you, dear and patient reader.
_____

My gratitude goes out to the entire Dublin Finnegans Wake Zoom group, and especially to Ed Mulhall for taking up the counting challenge and to Michael O’Kelly for his sensitive reading of the list of invectives. The Restored Finnegans Wake and the entire justification of the emendations can be studied in the JJDA, here; the isotext of Finnegans Wake chapter I.3 is here. The banner is from the Folio Society edition of the Rose and O’Hanlon Restored Finnegans Wake, London, 2014, illustrations John Vernon Lord. A cumulative index on all VandaagsVertaalProblems can be accessed in blog 345, here.

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