On Giambattista Vico’s ‘The New Science’​ : Part Five — Extend my personnalitey to the latents.

‘Whoevery heard of such a think? Till the ulmost of all elmoes shall stele our harts asthone! And Mrs A’Mara makes it up and befriends with Mrs O’Morum! I will write down all your names in my gold pen and ink. Everyday, precious, while m’m’ry’s leaves are falling deeply on my Jungfraud’s Messongebook I will dream telepath posts dulcets on this isinglass stream (but don’t tell him or I’ll be the mort of him!) under the libans and the sickamours, the cyprissis and babilonias, where the frondoak rushes to the ask and the yewleaves too kisskiss themselves and ‘twill carry on my hearz’waves my still waters reflections in words over Margrate von Hungaria, her Quaidy ways and her Flavin hair, to thee, Jack, ahoy, beyond the boysforus. Splesh of hiss splash springs your salmon. Twick twick, twinkle twings my twilight as Sarterday afternoon lex leap will smile on my fourinhanced twelvemonthsmind. And what’s this I was going to say, dean? O, I understand. Listen, here I’ll wait on thee till Thingavalla with beautiful do be careful teacakes, more stuesser flavoured than Vanilla and blackcurrant there’s a cure in, like a born gentleman till you’ll resemble me, all the time you’re awhile way, I swear to you, I will, by Candlemas! And listen, joey, don’t be ennoyed with me, my old evernew, when, by the end of your chapter, you citch water on the wagon for me being turned a star I’ll dubeurry my two fesces under Pouts Vanisha Creme, their way for spilling cream, and, accent, umto extend my personnalitey to the latents, I’ll boy me for myself only of expensive rainproof of pinked elephant’s breath grey of the loveliest sheerest dearest widowshood over airforce blue I am so wild for, my precious once, Hope Bros., Faith Street, Charity Corner, as the bee loves her skyhighdeed, for I always had a crush on heliotrope since the dusess of yore cycled round the Finest Park, and listen’.

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

I’ll dubeurry [Du Barry, brand of cosmetics, and beurre (French), butter) my two fesces [fesses (French), buttocks, and fæces, and bear two faces under one hood, to be guilty of duplicity, and of speech to be ambiguous] under Pouts Vanisha Creme, [Vanessa (and Stella, star), and Pond’s Vanishing Cream] their way for spilling [spelling] cream, and, accent, umto [um zu (German) in order to] extend my personnalitey [clothes extend personality (Joyce’s note), and Morton Prince, ‘The Dissociation of a Personality’] to the latents [limits].

Morton Henry Prince, (1854–1929), physician and psycho-therapist, author of ‘The Dissociation of Personality’, alluded to in the above passage, which is a study of disintegrated personality as exemplified by the strange case of Miss Beauchamp wherein he endeavours to trace the development of the different personalities which originated through the disintegration of the normal self and to demonstrate their psychological relations to one another and to the normal self and by giving a detailed account of the daily life of the personalities after the manner of a biography, he seeks to show their behaviour to the environment and the manner through which a disintegrated personality can adapt itself to the circumstances of life and how it fails to do so.

The theme of the dissociation of personality was of pivotal significance to Joyce’s concerns and techniques throughout his career, from Stephen’s ‘theory of dualism which would symbolise the twin eternities of spirit and nature’, (‘Stephen Hero’), through to Stoom-Blephen, (Stephen Daedalus and Leopold Bloom in ‘Ulysses’), to the Wake. By the time he penned the Wake Joyce evidently was acquainted with case histories of multiple personality which furnished intriguing supporting material for some of his most deeply felt assumptions and convictions about human character. As he wrote elsewhere in the Wake: ‘Closer inspection of the bordereau would reveal a multiplicity of personalities inflicted on the … document’ [bordereau, (French), a memorandum, inventory, docket, which played a central part in the Dreyfus affair, eventually leading to Captain Alfred Dreyfus’s, (1859–1935), false conviction]. Since Adaline Glasheen’s, (1920–1993), significant article, ‘Finnegans Wake and the Girls from Boston, Mass.’ there has been a wide recognition concerning the significance of the Christine Beauchamp case albeit there are other allusions to similar case studies, and a brief summary of the chief aspects of the various Beauchamp personalities will deliver an initial orientation for of course there are variations of importance and interest within all histories of multiple or split personalities but many of the more famous ones do tend to fall into similar patterns, for instance, the majority of the most complex and mysterious ones for some unknown reason involve women, and in the Beauchamp case itself studied and reported by Morton Prince a woman whom Prince names Christine L. Beauchamp developed several ‘selves’ or ‘personalities’ each with ‘a distinctly different character’ and ‘different views, beliefs, ideals, … tastes, habits, experiences, and memories’.

The ‘normal’ Miss Beauchamp called B I or sometimes ‘the saint’ was an earnest young woman with a strict moral consciousness and in addition to this ‘primary’ self or as Prince put it ‘the self that was born and which was intended by nature to be J there were B II the hypnotic state of B I and perhaps therefore not properly speaking a ‘different’ personality. And B III, a free, gay, uninhibited girl at first called Chris but named Sally when she ceased appearing only in a hypnotic state. And B IV who first appeared in 1899 over a year after Miss Beauchamp had come under Prince’s care. Glasheen’s article delves into the influence of the Beauchamp case on the Wake in particular with regard to Issy and the letter from Boston, Mass. the results of which inspired James S. Atherton to include a section on Morton Prince among ‘The Structural Books’ in ‘The Books at the Wake; A Study of Literary Allusions in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake’. Atherton ponders the possibility that ‘other sources for the theme of dissociation are being used’ an hypothesis assuredly supported by the significance in all of the Wake of that theme, of the dissociation, duality, indeed multiplicity of human nature. It was precisely this kind of dualism that was Giordano Bruno’s, (1548–1600), central contribution to the Wake and among the many conceivable answers to Shem’s ‘first riddle of the universe: … when is a man not a man?’ a reply we are given at once is, ‘when he is a …. Sham’ implying that he is not a man when he wears a mask, another identity, which is to say, when he is a ‘nother man, wheile he is asame’ a secondary personality.

But everything in the Wake points to the fact that this response is at least as incorrect as correct for to be a human self is to be a divided one, the self is rather that which Shaun accuses Shem of being in his writings: ‘a dividual chaos, perilous, potent, common to allflesh, … doriangrayer in its dudhud’, indeed so important is this general theme that it may be supposed that Joyce was familiar with other classic cases of dissociation and split personality though given the problems in determining the limits of association in regard to passages in the Wake inquiry is best restricted to contexts that render allusions to multiple personalities seem particularly appropriate or significant in addition to cases that could have attracted Joyce’s attention by the time of the composition of the relevant passages of ‘Work in Progress’ or the Wake.

The phenomenon that Prince’s title refers to as the dissociation of a personality and which is most commonly called nowadays multiple personality has had many terms attached to it through the years, split personality, or dissociated personality, or coexisting or alternating personality, or unconscious or subconscious or intra-conscious personality, or dual or double personality, and so on. Or secondary personality, the only such term Joyce uses in the Wake without distortion and the one preferred by William James, (1842–1910), in his accounts of various case histories. For albeit James’s refused to recognize the possibility of unconscious mental states: ‘There is only one ‘phase’ in which an idea can be, and that is a fully conscious condition. If it is not in that condition, then it is not at all’, he extensively studied and reported cases of secondary personalities. As he explains: ‘we must never take a person’s testimony, however sincere, that he has felt nothing, as proof positive that no feeling has been there. It may have been there as part of the consciousness of a ‘secondary personage,’ of whose experiences the primary one whom we are consulting can naturally give no account’, which is to say, the unconscious is in effect the consciousness of a second self, a secondary consciousness.

In my previous article I raised a question concerning metaphorical thinking in relation to Giambattista Vico’s, (1668–1744), third age of history. Human history recall is divided into three ages, the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of men. In the age of gods men get their first thought and their first memory by imagining that the thundering sky of the primal storm is an immense body that reflects their own fears and passions and naturally these primitive beings are unaware that they are automatically projecting their own affections and sensations onto nature,and the cosmic cloudburst inspires fear in the barbaric nomads for this sky-corpus is larger and more powerful than their own bodies and albeit men have feared and avoided more powerful men before the experience of Jove experience it is precisely the all-encompassing nature of the storm for they are naked and without shelter from the rain, wind, lightning and thunder that qualifies the experience of Jove as a rupture in being as the entire sky is pressing down upon the entire earth somewhat like the Greek creation myth wherein Uranus lay upon Gaia prior to a scythe prying them apart as a consequence suspending the primal rape and spawning otherness on the anxious side of consciousness and ordered movement in space and time on the tranquil side of consciousness.

‘ — Hooraymost! None whomsoever, Shaun replied, Heavenly blank!’

- ‘Finnegans Wake’

Men just as a simple matter of fact were engaging in congress with feral disinclined females when the primal storm erupted and, according to Vico, men prior to the first peal of thunder, had no reason to differentiate one object from another hence they never looked up at the sky prior to that moment and after looking up at a powerful body that appeared to be threatening them with violence these brutish men looked down at their females and experience shame and therefore dragged them to caves where they solemnized their unions through a ritual taking of auspices and this was the beginning of marriage and everything went downhill after that … I jest … and soon men reinforced their monogamy through the burial of dead relatives and now there are the first families in virtue of women being confined and giving give birth to sons of certain parentage, and by producing enclosures which is to say the first cities that took in customers as non-blood relative assistants who were granted protection from the remaining brutish men outside the enclosure and that is the manner whereby society originated.

In this age of gods words were scarce the first word being ‘Jove!’ or ‘Pa!’ an imitation of the sound of the voice of the divine body that set the ball rolling to get them thinking and feeling and upon men’s minds becoming more able to differentiate the bodies, regions, and qualities that they were sensing, they named each after a different god. And by the time we get to the age of heroes language has evolved from grunts of irritable or peevish onomatopoeia like ‘Jove!’ into something more like military commands. Vico uses the example of heraldry, pictures on a flag that represent the virility and exuberant enjoyment of the family or people or tribe. And the third stage the age of men witnesses the blossoming of man’s reason and now the emblems of the age of heroes are replaced with minute marks having little or no intrinsic relation to anything bodily or even verbal rather they represent sounds and are collected together to stand for spoken words.

And thus emerges a quandary for in the age of gods men reined in their physical domination of less powerful bodies out of fear of an inscrutable immense body and in the age of heroes prominent men commanded less powerful men through unquestioned injunctions while in the age of men concern with force of argument overrode any reliance upon physical force and anything can and was questioned for everyone theoretically is equal in their rationality. And yet, as philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat and advocate for social hierarchy and monarchy in the period immediately following the French Revolution Joseph Marie, comte de Maistre, (1753–1821), once declared if we take all of the sacrosanct truths of society and subject them to merciless critique we finish up wearing away any chance of consensus and are thus deluded albeit rationally in a manner of speaking:

‘The more human reason trusts in itself and tries to rely on its own resources, the more absurd it is and the more it reveals its lack of power. This is why the world’s greatest scourge has always been, in every age, what is called philosophy, for philosophy is nothing but the human reason acting alone, and the human reason reduced to its own resources is nothing but a brute whose power is restricted to destroying….’

‘Far from being a theological exaggeration, it was a simple, rigorously expressed truth that one of our prelates (who died happily for his own sake while he was still able to believe in a new turn in affairs) spoke when he said, ‘In its pride, philosophy has said, To me belongs wisdom, knowledge and power; to me belongs the conduct of men, since it is I who enlighten. In order to punish and disgrace it, God needs only to condemn it to rule for a moment’.’

‘In fact, it has ruled over one of the most powerful nations of the world; it rules and no doubt will rule long enough for it not to be able to complain that it had not sufficient time. There has never been a more disgraceful example of the complete futility of human reason when left to its own resources. What lessons have the French legislators taught us? Aided by the whole of human knowledge, the teachings of all the philosophers both ancient and modern, and the whole of historical experience, masters of opinion, disposing of immense wealth, having allies everywhere, in a word backed by every kind of human power, they have spoken with full authority. The world has seen the result. Never has human pride disposed of so many resources and, forgetting its crimes for a moment, never has it been more ridiculous’.


‘There is no doubt that, in a certain sense, reason is good for nothing. We have the scientific knowledge necessary for the maintenance of society; we have made conquests in mathematics and what is called natural science; but, once we leave the circle of our needs, our knowledge becomes either useless or doubtful. The human mind, ever restless, proliferates constantly succeeding theories. They are born, flourish, wither, and fall like leaves from the trees; the only difference is that their year is longer. And in the whole of the moral and political world, what do we know, and what are we able to do? We know the morality handed down to us by our fathers, as a collection of dogmas or useful prejudices adopted by the national mind. But on this point we owe nothing to any man’s individual reason. On the contrary, every time this reason has interfered, it has perverted morality’.


‘In politics, we know that it is necessary to respect those powers established we know not how or by whom. When time leads to abuses capable of altering the root principle of a government, we know that it is necessary to remove these abuses, but without touching the principle itself, an act of delicate surgery; and we are able to carry through these salutary reforms until the time when the principle of life is totally vitiated and the death of the body politic is inevitable. … ‘


‘Wherever the individual reason dominates, there can be nothing great, for everything great rests on a belief, and the clash of individual opinions left to themselves produces only skepticism which is destructive of everything. General and individual morality, religion, laws, revered customs, useful prejudices, nothing is left standing, everything falls before it; it is the universal dissolvent’.

- Joseph Marie, comte de Maistre, ‘Studies on Sovereignty’

Vico thinks that the age of men can lead to a new barbarism, a new age of gods, albeit this ricorso would not be a return to the brutish and uncultivated wanderings of the Jovian visionary lightning bolts. And the question I raised in the previous article was this: does not metaphor vanish completely in this third age? Is not the metaphor little better than the standard analogy that lets us compare things in a very rational way? Not at all, because while Gods and demons have disappeared latency and portability have not and these are the ghost lines (pretending to know what is meant) of metaphor that endure even when the mediums of their existence have been secularised and normalised. There are several categories of latency (a state of existing but not yet being developed or manifest, concealment) and portability (transferable or adaptable in altered circumstances). In the uncanny for instance we have experiences of clairvoyance and de ja vu time travel, and categories of the uncanny, the fantastic, include the double, a second self.

The rule of metaphor is not merely an analogy that expands the original term but something that redefines the original, the tem (see previous article) contains ever and ever more riches for were metaphor the same thing as analogy latency would not exist and an unfamiliar thing or situation would merely be compared to something more familiar. Yet metaphor is different, it is spoken, and visible tems exist in relation to something else, something invisible.


The familiar and the unfamiliar have a space in between that emerges out of the fact that metaphor taken from something known has the power to transform its source retro-actively. A wind metaphorized as a sigh turns all winds into a kind of breathing and if that’s so there must be somewhere a being that can blow fiercely or gently or hold its breath.

WOMB — — — — — — — — TOMB — — — — — — — — WOMB

This mirroring capability means that what is true of one term is true for the other yet the key to their relationship lies in a latent signifier, metaphor does not only describe a world it remakes a world, in the rhyming comparison of womb and tomb for instance womb transforms the idea of tomb and vice versa.

There is no saying that the womb is like the tomb or a tomb is like a womb but that one cannot be understood without the other, they are two opposite ideas pushed together, what Sigmund Freud, (1856–1939), called a contronym, a primal tem. One may be inclined to suppose that latency was an abstract and complicated idea but this is not the case. Latency has a perpetual basis in our experience like an after image produced when a colour vanishes to leave behind its customary shadow, metaphor’s latent signifier operates like the latent image that produces an image that produces a negative simply by constructing absence, latency is not a distraction, it is a concrete presence of an absence which produces signifierness (meaningfulness) by eclipsing signifiers, something that was in our eye all the time but not realised until a void, an absence, was produced. Latency is not something abstract but rather a concrete process that allows us to experience meaningfulness without having specific meanings at hand, this is what occurs when we say that words have failed us, the words have failed but latency has not. We can take part the words and ideas of womb and tomb to show how the retroactive and reciprocal self-definition creates a latency that works, because of absence, and it is no matter that both of these terms directly refer to absence which is why they are so useful to architecture and our ideas of space and time.

WOMB — — — — -TOMB — — — — —— — -WOMB — — — — — — -TOMB

_____________________Latent signifiers generate stories concerning:

matrix_________treasury — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — sex

dessication________ death — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — entropy

40 situations ______wandering/labyrinth — —— — — — — — fractal

orthos_____________ judgement — — — —— —— — -90 degree turns

rebirth_____________reincarnation — — — — — — — — — — -flat (2-d)

nature______________name — — — — —— — — — — — — — — — -law

If we draw upon some common associations of womb and tomb we can create a ladder of references that move side to side rather than vertically down from each tem. We can apply this to the womb/tomb examples to show how contronymic sets of meanings work like making a clearing in the forest did for the first humans, latency is where it is at so to speak, but latency is about where it is not.

‘Uteralterance or the Interplay of Bones in the Womb’.


‘And Dub did glow that night. In Fingal of victories. Cannmatha and Cathlin sang together. And the three shouters of glory. Yelling halfviewed their harps. Surly Tuhal smiled upon drear Darthoola: and Roscranna’s bolgaboyo begirlified the daughter of Cormac. The soul of everyelsesbody rolled into its olesoleself. A doublemonth’s licence, lease on mirth, while hooneymoon and her flame went huneysuckling. Holyryssia, what boom of bells! What battle of bragues on Sandgate where met the bobby mobbed his bibby mabbing through the ryce. Even Tombs left doss and dunnage down in Demidoff’s tomb and drew on the dournailed clogs that Morty Manning left him and legged in by Ghoststown Gate, like Pompei up to date, with a sprig of Whiteboys heather on his late Luke Elcock’s heirloom.


‘ — Fierappel putting years on me! Nwo, nwo! This bolt in hand be my worder! I’ll see you moved farther, blarneying Marcantonio! What cans such wretch to say to I or how have My to doom with him? We were wombful of mischief and initiumwise, everliking a liked, hairytop on heeltipper, alpybecca’s un wachsibles, an ikeson am ikeson, that babe, imprincipially, my leperd brethern, the Puer, ens innocens of but fifteen primes’.

- ‘Finnegans Wake’

Negation is the key whereas the original tems were structured by the negation of one by the other, to womb by the tomb, negation is absent in the structure of latency, just as the dream disallows negation and lets us see dead people as if they were living and the past as a future latency provides new paradigms that step back from opposition and put us on a different level. And what has been described thus far is the process of condensation which in Freud’s thinking is the way the dream crunches down objects, people and ideas into composites, but one starts out with a composite, it is the first thing one gets but it has got elements diametrically opposed to each other crammed inside and it is somewhat like allowing genies out of the bottle whereupon the mites disperse and locate themselves into things one recognises, common objects, images, architecture, but it has come to one first like thunder, an enigma without any apparent structure.

One wants to unravel such a chaos and confusion and yet what one finishes up pulling apart is not just a net of opposed ideas but a void in between, a void that is the latency that allowed for the compression in the first place, and when the first humans cowered in fright at the sound of thunder the difference between them and other animals who did the same thing was that they sensed the action of compression, they imagined a black hole in the universe that has swallowed up all that was outside of it and made an uber-heavy minute black substance, a ball of pure negation, an uber-heavy dense ball that could not be explained but it could be named and thereafter one would associate the name, the name of the father, in psychoanalytical terms with weight (see Uranus above) as weight has pulled down the father of the heavens into earth, buried it, made a tombstone, reading here lies Jove. Condensation was that which the first humans feared, that which had been around all the time yet never prior to this moment had they feared it, and once they did metaphor became possible. Now you know the name of the thunder, here lies Jove, equivalent to a loss of ability to negate. John Milton, (1608–1674), was the first to realise the significance of the fallen god Lucifer and give him his due in ‘Paradise Lost’ while getting the projective geometry (study of geometric properties that are invariant with respect to projective transformations.of the situation) in order for Jove also known as Lucifer lands upside down or is it ourselves? Milton declines to inform us:

Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,

Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived

The mother of mankind, what time his pride

Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host

Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring

To set himself in glory above his peers,

He trusted to have equalled the Most High,

If he opposed, and with ambitious aim

Against the throne and monarchy of God,

Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,

With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power

Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,

With hideous ruin and combustion, down

To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

In adamantine chains and penal fire,

Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.

- ‘Paradise Lost’

And as it happens Lucifer refers to divine thunder:

… into what pit thou seest

From what height fallen: so much the stronger proved

He with his thunder; and till then who knew

The force of those dire arms?

- ‘Paradise Lost’

To return to Vico’s original image of the clearing in the forest, it is now evident that this circular space was actually produced out of the thunder’s literal condensation, how its simple circularity was a composite of antithetical forces coming together in a compressed super sphere of meaningfulness without meaning, and the consequence could only have been that which actually turned out to be in history a production space, a manufactory for latency. Just as Vico demonstrated with his experimental lipogram the dipintura frontispiece for the ‘New Science’ of 1744, (see previous article), the circle is crammed full of things that serve as high functioning enigmas able to face any and all geographical contexts for Vico’s primal clearing in the forest is in fact two circles, two opposite meanings that have overlapped to make a third term latent, to make a multiplicity of cultural forms employing a common mental language that would forever be unstable but not untheorizable.

Vico’s contention is that we can theorize without knowing everything which renders all thinking a kind of substitutional undertaking, an invention, a play, playing with fire, with the negatives whereby anything one says literally is destined to burn up in its own self-contradiction and all one can do is mark out the spaces where latency itself has given over to forms, meaning formations as is the case of the courthouse facade (see previous article) or the countless stories, artworks, music and so on that deal with this emptiness. In architecture what this means is that the idea of the void and the structuring of the void are primary for doubtless architecture is synonymous with the void, it gives it its sublimity, unfortunately architectural theory since the 1980s has turned its back upon an understanding projective geometry that was actually discovered largely by an architect Girard Desargues, (1591–1661), working alongside a youthful genius Blaise Pascal, (1623–1662), in the 1600s. The real projective plane is something one can barely understand, like Vico says of the imaginative universal the first metaphor that initiates human thinking proper it is the continuing foundation that one employs on a daily basis, it is one’s root program in a manner of speaking, and the fact that projective geometry and metaphor share an equal ground in the function of negation, in the forms of self-intersection, and non-orientation is an intriguing conjecture that has much to offer architectural theory in the future.

And so the term latent is grayed out in contemporary architectural theory has not taken seriously the role of projective geometry:

Möbius bands, one-sided surface, no boundaries:

Klein bottles, surface with no edge, no inner, no outer:

Cross caps, circular holes which when entered exits from its opposite point from a topological point of view whereby both singular points on the cross-cap are equivalent:

And looping from womb to tomb or tomb to womb or born or rather Bourne and so we return to second selves or latent personalities for a case that William James himself was involved with was that of Rev. Ansel Bourne. In a second census of the Wake Adaline Glasheen lists eight references under the figure of Bourne but has next to the name an asterisk a symbol indicating that she does not know who he is but the reference in at least some of the passages may well be to Ansel Bourne as when during the lessons doubles like ‘jemmijohns’ cudgel about problems like ‘Browne and Nolan’s divisional tables’ while we hear in regard to Issy’s grammar that ‘all is her inbourne’ and ‘if there is a third person, mascarine, phelinine or nuder, being spoken abad it moods prosodes from a person speaking to her second which is the direct object that has been spoken to, with and at’. The phrase ‘secondary personality’ is employed with particular reference to ‘Mr Browne’ and Bourne’s secondary personality was named A. J. Brown. Mr. Browne is a ‘priest … disguised as a vincentian’ and the Rev. Ansel Bourne was a minister, an ‘itinerant preacher’ from Greene, Rhode Island, who on January 17, 1887, withdrew $551 from a bank and then disappeared. On March 14, he awoke in Norristown, Pennsylvania alarmed at not knowing where he was or what he was doing there (I’ve had mornings like that but let’s not go there) … disoriented … and it transpired that he had arrived in that town six weeks earlier, had given his name as A.J. Brown, and had rented a small shop which he had been running as a candy store.

Several years later, in 1890, William James induced him under hypnosis to assume the memory and character of Brown but otherwise that personality never came back and no similar attacks occurred. Cases such as Bourne-Brown’s suggest why one technical name for multiple personalities has been ‘continued amnesias’:

‘… the aphasia of that heroic agony of recalling a once loved number leading slip by slipper to a general amnesia of misnomering one’s own’.

- ‘Finnegans Wake’

James departed from usual practice in giving the actual name of the patient, Ansel Bourne, in his account,nonetheless almost thirty years later noted alienist Robert Howland Chase, (1845–1921), for reasons best known to himself used a pseudonym in his summary of the case in ‘The Ungeared Mind’ that of Silas Pronge:

‘Save me from those therrble prongs! Two more. Onetwo moremens more’.

- ‘Finnegans Wake’

The name or colour Brown often appears in the Wake in contexts suggesting multiple personalities, as when Shaun-Justius says ‘to himother’ that ‘Brawn is my name and broad is my nature’ and the letter from Boston, Mass. is a ‘brown study’ which has ‘importance in establishing the identities in the writer complexus (for if the hand was one, the minds of active and agitated were more than so)’ and in at least one passage there is a direct connection between Brown and the Beauchamp case (‘Browne umbracing Christina’) but of course Mr. Brown’s ‘secondary personality as a Nolan’ is the one that receives the most stress. For Browne and Nolan are ‘a doblinganger’ and ‘Browne and Nolan’s divisional tables’ pervade the Wake. They are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (‘a jackal with hide for Browne but Nolan’) albeit somehow ‘Browne Nowlan’ is also a ‘heavenlaid twin’, ‘either prexactly unlike his polar andthisishis or procisely the seem’. In one passage, Glugg and Chuff are fighting:

‘For these are not on terms, they twain, bartrossers, since their baffle of Whatalose when Adam Leftus and the devil took our hindmost, gegifting her with his painapple, nor will not be atoned at all in fight to no finish, that dark deed doer, this wellwilled wooer, Jerkoff and Eatsoup, Yem or Yan, while felixed is who culpas does and harm’s worth healing and Brune is bad French for Jour d’Anno’.

- ‘Finnegans Wake’

Brune and Jour d’Anno refer to Giordano Bruno, (1548–1600), the Nolan and ‘d’Anno’ perhaps suggests poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, (1863–1938), whose work Joyce was very familiar with and who in his autobiographical ‘Notturno’ of 1921 gave an account of visions of his double. When we are informed that Mr. Browne has a ‘secondary personality’, he is referred to as a ‘poul soul’ and the word ‘poul’ refers primarily to the hen who found the letter from Boston, Mass., and thereby to the Beauchamp case, particularly Sally, who buried a number of letters and papers in a secret spot, as Glasheen observed. On the other hand in regard to ‘poul’ the one case of an Irish person with a split personality to have received any notoriety or even attention is of John Charles J. Poultney whose secondary personality was named C. J. Poulting and this case which has been grouped with those of Christine Beauchamp and Eve White-Eve Black as one of ‘the classical cases in the literature’ was recounted by prominent American psychologist Shepherd Ivory Franz, (1874–1933), in 1933 in a book with the trinitarian title ‘Persons One and Three’. ‘The same. Three persons’, as it says in the Wake.

And so to goes on endlessly in accord with Vico’s theory of metaphor whereby in the age of men metaphor endures indeed assuredly beyond anything Vico ever envisaged even while the mediums of its existence has been secularised and normalised for latency persists in generating meaningfulness albeit in the seeming absence of meaning.


by Friedrich von Mattisson (1761–1831)

Even the noble’s resting bones

Are covered in the darkness of oblivion

Moss blankets the engraving on the tombstone,

And his name dies in the course of time.

When will rise the new dawn?

Oh, when will emerge the eternal spring’s new leaves?

Low is the covering over the dead’s resting place

Narrow and obscured by dust their chamber!

Roses are as yet crowning my locks,

Love flows to me from everywhere;

When the death knell dies away

Nobody will remember promising youth any longer.


Auch des Edlen schlummernde Gebeine

Hüllt das Dunkel der Vergessenheit

Moos bedeckt die Schrift am Leichensteine,

Und sein Name stirbt im Lauf der Zeit.

Wann erwacht die neue Morgenröte?

O wann keimt des ew’gen Frühlings Laub?

Niedrig ist der Toten Schlummerstätte

Eng und düster ihr Gemach von Staub!

Noch umkränzen Rosen meine Locken,

Liebe lächelt alles um mich her;

Nach dem letzten Klang der Sterbeglocken

Denkt kein Mensch des guten Jünglings mehr.

The fifth thunder word of the Wake, unusual in that it is not theme-oriented but features in a passage centering upon a young woman writing a letter, her beautiful hand writing, her excellent grammar, her taste, it praises her understanding of French a most cultured of languages and advertises her marriageability.

six dix licence: maybe 16, an age of coming out for a first cotillion for a young girl in Victorian England, or six days licence that allowed pubs to serve alcohol for 6 days of the week

him around hers: more suggestions of cotillions and dancing

the magger by: Maggie as a name appears frequently in the Wake in connection with marriageable young women

kin kin kan kan: innuendoes, kinky, kingking (Malay), lift up a leg, as a dog does, kangkang, (Malay), sit or stand with legs wide apart, and can-can, dance

lookingated maybe looking through the gate of a stately mansion where your sweetheart is locked away, or looking at Ed, whoever Ed is, (Edward Ferrars in Jane Austen’s, (1775–1817), ‘Sense and Sensibility’?).

Let’s dance:

Thingcrooklyexineverypasturesixdixlikencehimaroundhersthemaggerbykinkinkank anwithdownmindlookingated.

To be continued …



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