A World of Gods and Monsters — Part Seven

‘How the fictionable world in Fruzian Creamtartery is loading off heavy furses and affubling themselves with muckinstushes. The neatschnee Novgolosh. How the spinach ruddocks are being tatoovatted up for the second comings of antigreenst. Hebeneros for Aromal Peace’.

- James Joyce, (1882–1941), ‘Finnegans Wake’

While Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker sleeps there is a noise of revelry down below and a storm outside that is growing louder; plus a radio is broadcasting a roundup of society news that makes its way into the narrative of the Wake. Here the boisterous escapades of high-society centre upon the arrival of the fashionable Ballet Russe, ‘the second coming of antigreenst’; red is the contrary of green, which from 1932 to 1938 was indeed recovered and reinvigorated for the second coming. ‘The neatschnee Novgolosh’ is probably Rimsky-Korsakov, (1844–1908), whose first composition was an opera about prototypical Russian patriarch, Ivan the Great. Also composer of the symphonic suite ‘Scheherazade’, based upon a tale of a well bred and well read vizier’s daughter, peruser of books, annals and legends of former sovereigns, and of the stories, examples and instances of men and events and circumstances of days gone by; collector of a thousand books of histories that relate to ancient races and long departed rulers, reader of the poets whose works she learned by heart; student of philosophy, and of the sciences, and of the arts. The Sultan Schariar, persuaded of the falseness and faithlessness of all women, swore to execute every one of his wives after the very first nuptial night, but our Sultana Scheherazade was able to save her own life by keeping her lord entertained with enchanting tales, told over a thousand and one nights. The Sultan, overwhelmed by curiosity for how the tales might turn out, delayed day after day the execution of his wife, until at last he disavowed his bloody pledge completely… and in the Wake, where we can at no moment be positive about who someone is, about where we are, about when anything occurs, episodes and developments replay themselves out as compellingly and unrestrainedly as Scheherazade relating her stories until it transpires that different renditions of an event abound, to the extent that no longer is it possible to determine the true one.

‘The neatschnee Novgolosh’ also refers to Friedrich Nietzsche, (1844–1900); author of ‘The Antichrist’ (‘antigreenst’). And so, to continue with this brief run through of ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’, we have arrived at its fourth and last part, although not intended by Nietzsche to be the last. This part engages with the consequences of accepting some portion of Zarathustra’s teaching without accepting the whole; one must rather take all or none; and much of this part consists of parodies of Christian views, for example, that one must become like a little bovine in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.

‘Bullfight 3’, Oscar Dominguez, (1906–1957)

‘Fundamentally standeth everything still’ — that is an appropriate winter doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive period, a great comfort for winter-sleepers and fireside-loungers.

‘Fundamentally standeth everything still’ — : but CONTRARY thereto, preacheth the thawing wind!

The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock — a furious bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaketh the ice! The ice however — BREAKETH GANGWAYS!

O my brethren, is not everything AT PRESENT IN FLUX? Have not all railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still HOLD ON to ‘good’ and ‘evil’?

‘Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind bloweth!’ — Thus preach, my brethren, through all the streets!

There is an old illusion — it is called good and evil…


‘… Crooked is the path of eternity.’ –

- O ye wags and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and smiled once more, how well do ye know what had to be fulfilled in seven days: -

- And how that monster crept into my throat and choked me! But I bit off its head and spat it away from me.

And ye — ye have made a lyre-lay out of it? Now, however, do I lie here, still exhausted with that biting and spitting-away, still sick with mine own salvation.

AND YE LOOKED ON AT IT ALL? O mine animals, are ye also cruel? Did ye like to look at my great pain as men do? For man is the cruellest animal.

At tragedies, bull-fights, and crucifixions hath he hitherto been happiest on earth; and when he invented his hell, behold, that was his heaven on earth’.

- Thus spake Zarathustra.

‘The Crucifixion’, 1933, Francis Bacon

Zarathustra, who is still concerned with the Overman, wonders what he will be like; and as he travels from place to place in the world, he sees that man is fit only to be despised unless he is the prelude to the Overman. Man is not to be preserved; he is to be overcome; man must be brave even though there is no God; man must be strong because he is evil; and man must hate his neighbour as a consequence of the will to power.

But once again, this doctrine is too strong for the people who listen to Zarathustra; and God may well be dead, but it is necessary for them to make a god of their own; and this time they choose a donkey.

‘The Vegetable Garden with Donkey’, 1918, Joan Miro

‘They have all of them become PIOUS again, they PRAY, they are mad!’ — said he, and was astonished beyond measure. And forsooth! all these higher men, the two kings, the pope out of service, the evil magician, the voluntary beggar, the wanderer and shadow, the old soothsayer, the spiritually conscientious one, and the ugliest man — they all lay on their knees like children and credulous old women, and worshipped the ass. And just then began the ugliest man to gurgle and snort, as if something unutterable in him tried to find expression; when, however, he had actually found words, behold! it was a pious, strange litany in praise of the adored and censed ass. And the litany sounded thus:

Amen! And glory and honour and wisdom and thanks and praise and strength be to our God, from everlasting to everlasting!

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

He carrieth our burdens, he hath taken upon him the form of a servant, he is patient of heart and never saith Nay; and he who loveth his God chastiseth him.

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

He speaketh not: except that he ever saith Yea to the world which he created: thus doth he extol his world. It is his artfulness that speaketh not: thus is he rarely found wrong.

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Uncomely goeth he through the world. Grey is the favourite colour in which he wrappeth his virtue. Hath he spirit, then doth he conceal it; every one, however, believeth in his long ears.

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

What hidden wisdom it is to wear long ears, and only to say Yea and never Nay! Hath he not created the world in his own image, namely, as stupid as possible?

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Thou goest straight and crooked ways; it concerneth thee little what seemeth straight or crooked unto us men. Beyond good and evil is thy domain. It is thine innocence not to know what innocence is.

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Lo! how thou spurnest none from thee, neither beggars nor kings. Thou sufferest little children to come unto thee, and when the bad boys decoy thee, then sayest thou simply, YE-A.

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Thou lovest she-asses and fresh figs, thou art no food-despiser. A thistle tickleth thy heart when thou chancest to be hungry. There is the wisdom of a God therein.

- The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

- Thus spake Zarathustra.

Paul Gauguin, ‘Faa Iheihe’, 1898

Such an animal fulfils all of the requirements for a god; it is a servant of men; it does not speak and therefore is never wrong; the world, created as stupidly as possible, is in its own image; and everyone is able to believe in the donkey’s long ears. Zarathustra, after upbraiding the people for worshiping a donkey, is told by them that it is better to worship some god, even a donkey, than no god at all; at the very least here is something that the worshiper can see, touch, hear, and even smell and taste if he or she wanted to. God seems more credible in this form. The first atheist was the man who said that God is spirit.

Zarathustra replies to this plea for the donkey by pointing out that worship of any sort is a return to childhood; whereas the Overman has no wish to enter the kingdom of heaven; he wants the earth. However, if the people need to worship, let them worship donkeys if such a belief helps them. No man except Zarathustra has seen the earth as it is, but the Overman will come, and he will see it, he will command the earth and it will obey. And with this vision in mind, Zarathustra turns again to the world to search for and bring into perfection the Overman.

Thus endeth ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’; very entertaining, I’ll grant that much, and it does address what I consider to be very important issues, and concerns with which I share. Christianity, with its values of good and evil, its belief in an afterlife for which evidence is lacking but for the sake of the pursuit of which an earthly existence is squandered; its distorted interpretation of the words and practices of Jesus (c. 4 BCE — c. 30/33 ACE), for which St. Paul, (c. 5 ACE — c. 64/67 ACE), and those who follow him, are largely responsible; how Christianity as practised compels people merely to believe as Jesus believed but not to act as Jesus acted, in particular by refusing to judge people, something that Christians do all the time; the problems, of which there are many, caused by institutionalized religion and the priestly class; the Christian emphasis upon a morality of pity, the assumption being that the world is afflicted with an inherent illness.

‘Pity’, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, 1887

And the style by which Nietzsche chooses to address such issues includes sarcastic and negative comments directed towards Christian doctrine, a parodying of Christian teaching, a lighthearted imitation of the New Testament, and of the Platonic dialogues in its employment of natural phenomena as rhetorical and explanatory devices; frequent references to the Western literary and philosophical traditions, implicitly offering an interpretation of these traditions and of their problems; speeches on philosophical topics delivered through the character of Zarathustra, traditional prophet of Zoroastrianism, and that trade upon ambiguity and paradox; eschewing rational argument to support empirical claims, such as the denial of an afterlife, in favour of an aphoristic writing style (more so in ‘The Antichrist’); an unconventional style blurring the distinction between philosophy and literature; an affirmation of values without feeling the need to defend them, such as a love of one’s fate, expressed through the formulation of the doctrine of eternal recurrence; and an intentionally ironic writing style that perhaps gives vent to a recognized internal conflict of Nietzsche/Zarathustra’s, that is to say, a hatred of religious leaders while talking and behaving like one.

I will now demonstrate how it should be done, with a method more persuasive, systematic, logical, and detailed, and coming from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, (1770–1831), in ‘The Phenomenology of Spirit’. This may initially strike you as odd; was not Hegel a Christian philosopher? Well, he has been identified as being so, but the evidence presented for such libel chiefly derives from his hostility towards the crude atheism that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment. Were Hegel around today we can be certain he would not be impressed either with Richard Dawkins, (1941 — ), or Christopher Hitchens, (1949–2011). Hegel has quite a distinctive conception of Christianity that undermines the Enlightenment critical commentary upon religious faith in which Christianity is accused of irrationalism, doubtful historical authenticity, and authoritarianism. In response Hegel incorporated components of the Enlightenment narrative into a revised conception of Christian doctrine whereby theism is so devised as to be in harmony with the very kind of humanism to which it is customarily opposed. The point, as always, is to subvert antitheses; in this case, Christian and humanist elements are to be brought together without undercutting either.

Gustave Moreau, ‘Jupiter and Semele’, 1894–1896. (Semele, Jupiter’s human lover, wished to see the god’s face. Jupiter granted her request, but she died overwhelmed by the dazzling vision)

Let us begin with Nietzsche’s diagnosis of nihilism which he saw as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture; being the unsystematic philosopher that he was he employed the term in multiple ways, with disparate meanings and connotations. But generally speaking, he characterized nihilism as a disparity between that which is wanted or valued and how the world actually functions; once it is discovered that the world lacks the objective value or meaning that it is desired to have, or for a long time believed to have had, crisis ensues for the individual, or the society, thus affected. And this characterizes modern times, according to Nietzsche, subsequent upon the decline of Christianity, an ideology that delivered a moral doctrine with intrinsic values, a belief in God, a justification of evil in the world, (all part of God’s grand scheme), a foundation for objective knowledge, and a preventative against the despair of meaninglessness. Christian ideology no longer serves, ‘not because we lived too far from it, rather because we lived too close’, said Nietzsche; it assumed for itself the interpretation rather than an interpretation, and its dissolution takes us beyond scepticism to an extreme wariness with regard to all meaning; although Nietzsche, while suggesting that it is still ongoing, believes that nihilism can be overcome; through amor fati, love of one’s fate, and so on.

‘Fates Gathering in the Stars’, 1887, Elihu Vedder

Misdiagnosis, and hence ineffective treatment, I would contend. Nihilism is an extreme form of scepticism; but as it happens the sceptic of classical Greece, as Hegel has argued, came to view thought as both omnipotent and impotent at the same time, for ‘in Scepticism, consciousness truly experiences itself as internally contradictory’; and such duality comes to be realized in what Hegel terms the unhappy consciousness: ‘This new form is, therefore, one which knows that it is the dual consciousness of itself, as self-liberating, unchangeable, and self-identical, and as self-bewildering and self-perverting, and it is the awareness of this self-contradictory nature of itself . . . [T]he Unhappy Consciousness is the consciousness of self as a dual-natured, merely contradictory being’. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, (1813–1855), as is well known, was quite a critic of Hegel; I wonder if he ever saw himself in this characterization of the unhappy consciousness? I have not read his entire corpus so I do not know if he ever discusses it; but it is certainly he, or so it seems to me; I would say it is also Nietzsche, absurd though that may sound about a philosopher famous for proclaiming God to be dead. But as I have explained in part three of this series, there is a problem with existentialism generally, which is that it is at heart a theology reconstructed in secular form and thereby inheriting the failing of religions to deliver what they claim to deliver.

Scepticism leads to the unhappy consciousness together with its associated soul-searching murkiness and dismal religiosity, but then from that, Hegel demonstrates, it moves forward towards an optimistic rationalism; something to be preferred over Nietzschean vagaries concerning the re-evaluation of all values and so on. And how does it achieve that? Well, to begin with, the unhappy consciousness regards itself as incapable of transcending the world of changeable appearances, and yet at the same time it holds that it can only achieve satisfaction by doing so; and rather than hoping to achieve some measure of stoical tranquility, (which seems to be Nietzsche’s preferred solution; love of fate and so on), or a state of being unperturbed, (ataraxia is the term the Stoics used), by getting itself accustomed to the appearances, like the Sceptic, (and the nihilist?… taking everything to be meaningless, if such a perspective is even possible, could result in ataraxia, and not necessarily despair), the unhappy consciousness is rather acutely aware of the existing hiatus between itself as a contingent, finite individual, and the realm of eternal universal reason; for at this stage the Stoic’s logos (active reason pervading and animating the cosmos) is for the unhappy consciousness an unknowable transcendence; the Stoic holds that the capacity for rational contemplation belongs to humans, but the unhappy consciousness views it as a capacity belonging to a quite alien existent, a higher form of consciousness that the unhappy consciousness has unhappily situated above itself.

‘Transfiguration, Body and Soul’, Kazimir Malevich, 1907

However, the unhappy consciousness may well have projected this capacity for rational reflection onto another being that possesses the very kind of eternal and unchangeable nature that it lacks, but, and here is a distinctively Hegelian take upon the Christian ideology, and we may assume he alludes to the Holy Trinity, Christianity endeavours to retain something of the Stoic portrayal of the human person’s rational soul as a fragment of the divine logos, while rendering the apparently out of reach unchangeable truth of the Sceptic as that which is relateable to the human. And so: ‘the first Unchangeable [i.e. God] it knows only as the alien Being who passes judgement on the particular individual’. But, in the Son it continues to see that ‘the Unchangeable is a form of individuality like itself’; that is, where ‘the reconciliation of its individuality with the universal’ is symbolized by the Holy Spirit’. However that may be, it is still the case that traditional medieval Christianity retained something of a prior rationalistic framework, thereby emphasizing just how delicate and flimsy is the link between God and human, resulting in uncertainty as to the possibility of any reconciliation transpiring; a flimsiness symbolized in the apparent contingency of the birth of Christ, upon which any hope of reconciliation is grounded: ‘The hope of becoming one with it [the Unchangeable] must remain a hope, i.e. without fulfilment and present fruition, for between the hope and the fulfilment there stands precisely the absolute contingency or inflexible indifference which lies in the very assumption of definite form, which was the ground of hope’.

‘Transfiguration, Body and Soul’, Kazimir Malevich, 1907

Christianity in such a form is in some respects an advance upon Stoicism and Scepticism, for it is an acknowledgement of the impossibility of thought to merely turn its back upon individuality by abstracting from the contingency, finitude, and suffering of actual existence into a realm of abstract thought; however, it still ‘has not yet risen to that thinking whereby consciousness as a particular individuality is reconciled with pure thought itself’. The subject consequently feels that as an individual subject he or she is cut off from the rational ground of existence, as pure thought, and whereas a desiring consciousness wishes to impose its individuality onto the world, here it has circled round to the very opposite, though equally one-sided, perspective; for now it views its individuality as something that obstructs its endeavours to attain harmony with the Unchangeable. Consequently, Christian consciousness may in some respects possess a conception of such a reconciliation, but its view upon how this reconciliation may occur is distorted by the three ideals it holds of the Christian life; as prayer, as work, as penitence; all three of which merit a critique.

Hegel criticises prayer because it places too much stress upon feeling at the expense of thought and rational reflection: ‘[I]t is only a movement towards thinking, and so is devotion. Its thinking as such is no more than the chaotic jingling of bells, or a mist of warm incense, a musical thinking that does not get as far as the Notion, which would be the sole, immanent objective mode of thought’. The devotee may well seek to find communion with God by virtue of being a pure heart, but at the same time he or she seeks to demonstrate his or her purity by declaring that he or she has not yet found God but nonetheless remains devoted to the search; and devotion is thereby ‘the struggle of an enterprise doomed to failure’.

‘Religion’, (detail), Charles Sprague Pearce, 1896

As for the ideal of work, as the believer tries to serve God through labour; the unhappy consciousness has now a contradictory attitude to the world on which it works; for on the one hand, anything worldly has no significance, for what matters is the God who stands above it; and on the other hand, everything in the world is sanctified as the expression of God’s nature. Similarly, the unhappy consciousness views its own capacities for labour in a two-fold way; on the one hand if it can create anything using such capacities, it is only because God permits it to do so; on the other hand, in addition it views these capacities as endowed upon it by God, and hence divinely ordained; so that work may well grant the unhappy consciousness at least some sense of its union with the Unchangeable, in another sense it makes it feel even more separated from it:

‘The fact that the unchangeable consciousness renounces and surrenders its embodied form, while, on the other hand, the particular individual consciousness gives thanks [for the gift], i.e. denies itself the satisfaction of being conscious of its independence, and assigns the essence of its action not to itself but to the beyond, through these two moments of reciprocal self-surrender of both parts, consciousness does, of course, gain a sense of unity with the Unchangeable. But this unity is at the same time affected with division, is again broken within itself, and from it there emerges once more the antithesis of the universal and the individual’.

Charles Maurin, ‘The Dawn of Labour’, c. 1891

The problem for the unhappy consciousness is that it recognises that its humility here is false, for while it may well treat the world and its capacities as gifts from God and for which it gives thanks, it also recognizes that these gifts are a cause of prideful and presumptuous gratification for it: ‘Consciousness feels itself therein as a particular individual, and does not let itself be deceived by its own seeming renunciation, for the truth of the matter is that it has not renounced itself’. And from such a sense of its own unworthiness, the unhappy consciousness endeavours to overcome its hypocrisy by moving towards that third ideal of Christianity that is all too familiar, that of penitence: ‘Work and enjoyment thus lose all universal content and significance, for if they had any, they would have an absolute being of their own. Both withdraw into their mere particularity, which consciousness is set upon reducing to nothingness’.

The unhappy consciousness, in an attempt to purify itself, turns upon its own body as a source of weakness and of spiritual corruption, as obstructing the path of its endeavours to rise above its mere individuality; and yet the more it tries to overcome its physical nature, the more the body becomes an obsessive focus of attention:

‘Consciousness is aware of itself as this actual individual in the animal functions. These are no longer performed naturally and without embarrassment, as matters trifling in themselves which cannot possess any importance or essential significance for Spirit; instead, since it is in them that the enemy reveals itself in his characteristic shape, they are rather the object of serious endeavour, and become precisely matters of the utmost importance. This enemy, however, renews himself in his defeat, and consciousness, in fixing its attention on him, far from freeing itself from him, really remains for ever in contact with him, and for ever sees itself as defiled; and, since at the same time this object of its efforts, instead of being something essential, is of the meanest character, instead of being a universal, is the merest particular, we have here only a personality confined to its own self and its own petty actions, a personality brooding over itself, as wretched as it is impoverished’.

Rembrandt, ‘Woman Bathing in a River’, 1654

In going further in such an endeavour to reduce its particularity to nothingness, the unhappy consciousness now relinquishes all freedom of action as well as all earthly goods, and places them into the hands of a ‘mediator or minister’, a priest in other words (this is where things really begin to darken for the unhappy consciousness, but, out of such false steps a new sense of direction can emerge); it is thus now up to the priest to decide for it as to how the unhappy consciousness should act:

‘This mediator, having a direct relationship with the unchangeable Being, ministers by giving advice on what is right. The action, since it follows upon the decision of someone else, ceases, as regards the doing or the willing of it, to be its own. But there is still left to the unessential consciousness the objective aspect, viz. the fruit of its labour, and its enjoyment. These, therefore, it rejects as well, and just as it renounces its will, so it renounces the actuality it received in work and enjoyment . . . Through these moments of surrender, first of its right to decide for itself, then of its property and enjoyment, and finally through the positive moment of practising what it does not understand, it truly and completely deprives itself of the consciousness of inner and outer freedom, of the actuality in which consciousness exists for itself. It has the certainty of having truly divested itself of its ‘I’, and of having turned its immediate self-consciousness into a Thing, into an objective existence’.

‘Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X’, Francis Bacon, 1953

The unhappy consciousness has comes to feel that it has attained authentic self-renunciation, in a manner that was unavailable through prayer and work; and yet although the individual can take a step towards universality by putting him or herself under the sway of the priest, this is merely a negative loss of self, and so does not really signal the synthesis of universal and individual, as the latter is seen as negated by the former: ‘The surrender of its own will, as a particular will, is not taken by it to be in principle the positive aspect of universal will. Similarly, its giving up of possessions and enjoyment has only the same negative meaning’.

But now the outlook and its associated mood of gloom undergoes a suddenly transition towards an optimistic rationalism; for as soon as it has adopted the priest as a mediator, the unhappy consciousness can now at the very least conceive of the possibility of blessedness; it can come to think that at least in principle its actions may be recognized as those required and ordained by God; it no longer therefore views itself as inherently out of touch with the rational order that governs the world, even though it continues to regard such reconciliation as something beyond, something that it is better to treat simply as a hope. And yet once it takes a further step, and relinquishes thinking of this reconciliation as out of reach, its rationalistic self-confidence that it had left behind with the Stoics can now make its comeback, but this time in a new and more radical form, in which self-consciousness as an individual recognizes itself in the world of objects, and so no longer sets itself outside the rational order simply as a universal:‘In this movement it has also become aware of its unity with this universal’.

Which is to say, the unhappy consciousness makes its move towards reason with its newly acquired and much renewed rationalism, thereby recapturing that spirit of optimism that rationalism tends to bring with it; no longer unhappy, consciousness once again comes to look at the world as a place where it can be at home: ‘Now that self-consciousness is Reason, its hitherto negative relation to otherness turns round into a positive relation’. Reason holds that the world is rational, and reason sets forth to find itself in this otherness; there is of course some way to go before rationalism assumes its proper form; but now as it begins to resolve the tension between the categories of individuality and those of universality, it is at last on the right track to find its way home.

Salvador Dalí, ‘Untitled’, 1932

‘Look Home’

by Robert Southwell (1565- 1595)

Retired thoughts enjoy their own delights,

As beauty doth in self-beholding eye ;

Man’s mind a mirror is of heavenly sights,

A brief wherein all marvels summed lie,

Of fairest forms and sweetest shapes the store,

Most graceful all, yet thought may grace them more.

The mind a creature is, yet can create,

To nature’s patterns adding higher skill ;

Of finest works with better could the state

If force of wit had equal power of will.

Device of man in working hath no end,

What thought can think, another thought can mend.

Man’s soul of endless beauty image is,

Drawn by the work of endless skill and might ;

This skillful might gave many sparks of bliss

And, to discern this bliss, a native light ;

To frame God’s image as his worths required

His might, his skill, his word and will conspired.

All that he had his image should present,

All that it should present it could afford,

To that he could afford his will was bent,

His will was followed with performing word.

Let this suffice, by this conceive the rest,

He should, he could, he would, he did, the best.


Notes to ‘Finnegans Wake’ quotation:

1. fictionable = fiction, to feign, to fictionize; and fashionable; and four (*X*) events on television, each composed of one long sentence starting with ‘How’ followed by a short sentence.

2. Fruzian = Frisian, of or relating to the people or culture or language of Friesland or Frisia. Frisia extends from the northwestern Netherlands across northwestern Germany to the border of Denmark; and (North).

3. Creamtartery = crematory, a place or establishment for cremation; specifically an erection for the incineration of corpses.

4. furses = furse, obsolete form of fierce; and forces.

5. affubling = affubler (French), to dress up.

6. muckinstushes = mackintosh, the name of Charles Mackintosh (1766–1843), applied attrib. to designate garments made of the waterproof material invented by him (patent no. 4804, 17 June 1823), consisting of two or more layers of cloth cemented together with india-rubber; and muc (Irish), pig.

7. neatschnee Novgolosh = Nizhny Novgorod, formerly (1932–90) Gorky, city and administrative centre of Nizhegorod oblast (province), western Russia. The city lies at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers; and Schnee (Germa), snow.

8. spinach = Spanish (South).

9. ruddocks = Ruddock, the redbreast or robin, Erithacus rubecula; a gold coin; hence pl., gold, money; and rudoch (Czech), redskin, red Indian.

19. tattoovatted = tattoo, to form permanent marks or designs upon the skin by puncturing it and inserting a pigment; and titivate, to make neat, smart, or trim.

20. antigreenst = Antichrist, the title of a great personal opponent of Christ and His kingdom, expected by the early church to appear before the end of the world, and much referred to in the Middle Ages.

21. Hebeneros= Habaneros (Spanish), Havana cigars.

22. Aromal Peace = aromal, of or pertaining to, concerned with, or involving, aroma or aromas; and Pax Romana (Latin), Roman Peace (among countries within the Roman Empire).

Alexandre Séon, ‘The Return’, 1900




David Proud is a British philosopher currently pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, on Hegel and James Joyce.

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David Proud

David Proud

David Proud is a British philosopher currently pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, on Hegel and James Joyce.

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