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3.3 The Picture Book

Immediately following the story of How Buckley Shot the Russian General in Book II.3, HCE attempts to vindicate himself before the customers of the pub. HCE explains that he has been reading a '(suppressed) book' (FW 356.20) which is 'ambullished with expurgative plates' (FW 356.30-31) by 'a master of vignettiennes' (FW 356.36-357.1). These plates, vignettes or pictures, are contemplated by HCE whilst on the 'lamatory' (FW 357.22) relieving himself upon the 'trurally virvir vergitabale (garden)' (FW 357.34) in much the same posture adopted by the Russian General before his explosion. In this contemplative position, HCE announces that he was involuntarily 'cadging hapsnots as at murmurrandoms of distend renations from ficsimilar phases or dugouts in the behindscenes of our earthwork' (FW 358.2-4). A re-enactment of the explosion of the Russian General and the consequent silence occurs in this passage too, although the silence contains a contrary sense of being in fact quite loud: 'by their loudest reports from my threespawn bottery parts (shsh!)' (FW 358.11-12). The archaeological and pictorial reconstructions of HCE's backside, the 'behindscenes of our earthwork', is also a blurred picture upon the wall. The 'earthwork' is a version of the wall, made from mud or stone, or HCE's fecal deposit, and is also a garden 'tip'. The 'behindscenes' is thus that aspect of HCE which is 'left behind'.

The 'suppressed' book HCE reads is compared to the Arabian Nights for its descriptions of pleasure. In addition to the tip, the book also relates to the opening of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, for the paragraph discussing the suppressed book begins 'A time. And a find time. Whenin aye was a kiddling' (FW 356.16) and is consequently akin to Shem's letter. Additionally, HCE uses his fingers as bookmarks in the earthwork/book to recall particular lessons or 'eyefeast' pictures of women, and the suggestion that HCE is in fact 'fingering' the Maggies also equates the book to the sexual organs of Issy/ALP:

There is among others pleasons whom I love and which are favourests to mind, one which I have pushed my finker in for the movement and, but for my sealring in none to hand I swear, she is highly catatheristic and there is another which I have fombly fongered freequuntly and, when my signet is on sign again I swear, she is deeply sangnificant. Culpo de Dido! Ars we say in the classies. Kunstful, we others said. What ravening shadow! What dovely line! Not the king of this age could richlier eyefeast in oreillental longuardness with alternate nightjoys of a thousand kinds but one kind. (FW 357.10-19)

As well as being physically present in the book, Issy and ALP are also represented as black and white pornographic pictures ('What ravening shadow! What dovely line!) and HCE goes on to compare these 'manmade' pornographic pictures with statues of the feminine form and the urinating Maggies themselves. Such pornographic scenes, or 'sins', rather than arousing him to engage in sexual congress or masturbation, instead incite HCE to relieve himself fecally upon the tip, and the replacement of semen with the excrement motif is consistent with the representation of ALP's womb as the tip:

if you wil excuse for me this informal leading down of illexpressibles, enlivened toward the Author of Nature by the natural sins liggen gobelimned theirs before me, (how differended with the manmade Eonochs Cunstuntonopolies!), weathered they be of a general golf stature, assasserted, or blossomly emblushing thems elves underneed of some howthern folleys, am entrenched up contemplating of myself, wiz my naked I, for relieving purposes in our trurally virvir vergitabale (garden). (FW 357.27-34)

HCE's fecal contribution to the tip is the Wakean sin of the garden, its events closely paralleled by an original sexual union with ALP. Its outcome produces not only children: but the fecal bricks which Finnegan adds to the wall.