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3.6 HCE as the Wall

At the outset of Finnegans Wake, the reader is introduced to an HCE fundamentally associated with the wall, the 'once wallstrait oldparr [...] The great fall of the offwall' (FW 3.17-19), and in quite a number of later instances the word 'wall' is incorporated into a name designating HCE:

Stonewall Willingdone is on old maxy montrumeny. (FW 10.2-3)

may the treeth we tale of live in stoney. [...] Some bapt him [...] Wall. (FW 44.9-13)

Crumwall. (FW 88.21)

Boomaport, Walleslee. (FW 133.21)

Ungodly old Ardrey, Cronwall beeswaxing the convulsion box. (FW 261.L5-8)

By old Grumbledum's walls. (FW 273.1)

As Ollover Krumwall sayed when he slepped ueber his grannyamother. (FW 299.9-11)

all over Crummwiliam wall. (FW 347.32)

my trueblues hurusalaming before Wailingtone's Wall. (FW 542.3-4).

Most of these references equate HCE with the wall in the context of an identity of a renowned, but deceased, military leader, and the wall is described as having since crumbled. As neither Humpty Dumpty or Tim Finnegan are themselves walls, it is only after the fall that HCE is subsumed into, or drawn or splattered upon, the wall. Moreover, the buggery associated with HCE's fall, and HCE's corresponding displacement from the patriarchal centre, results in his consequent inability to speak, a silence which closely resembles ALP's own muteness following conception: 'Bumbty, tumbty, Sot on a Wall, Mute art for the Million' (FW 496.6-7). After the fall he rests silently entrapped but listening within a wall: 'Do he not know that walleds had wars' (FW 289.F6), and; 'I'll dwealth mid warblers' walls' (FW 449.18-19). The notion of HCE existing within a wall entails a merging of the feminine wall and the masculine picture motif, where echoes of a past signified linger in the signifiers of the present, whether as the archaeological picture, the content of the 'annadominant' letter or the potential genetic 'second coming' of HCE from within Issy/ALP.

Descriptions of HCE's death, or of the HCE singularity in the past, can include the theme of 'turning toward the wall'. The notion of turning a picture to face a wall evokes a sense of annihilation or concealment, and in the following quotations the 'turning to the wall' phrase is associated with the tip, writing and death:

as her weaker had turned him to the wall (Tiptiptip!). (FW 79.33-34)

yunker doodler wanked to wall awriting off his phoney. (FW 464.21-22)

The leinstrel boy to the wall is gone. (FW 528.30-31)

Turning to the wall, or going to the wall, is indicative of death, or a preoccupation with the dead HCE, as in Shem's writing. ALP also 'faces the wall' after her husband's demise as an act of loyalty associated with her desire to justify HCE. Despite Shem's emphasis upon ALP's role in the production of the culture of the future, ALP's own perspective is atavistic, and she is allied in some respects to Shaun in the worship of the stone:

with her face to the wall, in view of the poorhouse. (FW 392.26)

when Marie stopes Phil fluther's game to go. Arms arome, side aside, face into the wall. (FW 444.8-9)