3.7 ALP as the Wall
The wall motif is allied with HCE's pub in a number of allusions to an actual Dublin pub entitled the Hole in the Wall located near Phoenix Park. The alcohol within the pub (as discussed below, *) is indicative of an entombed HCE, and given that the 'hole in the wall' reference also incorporates a suggestion of ALP's vagina, the phrase conveys the notion of a gateway between HCE in the past and his potentially living future: 'If he was not alluding to the whole in the wall? That he was when he was not eluding from the whole of the woman' (FW 90.21-23). In the following passage the 'hole in the wall' similarly indicates a vaginal doorway between life and death, and the reference merges with the Valhalla of Norse religion, establishing a relationship between the wall/womb with HCE's tomb:
Now by memory inspired, turn wheel again to the whole of the wall. Where Gyant Blyant fronts Peannlueamoore There was once upon a wall and a hooghoog wall a was and such a wallhole did exist. (FW 69.5-8)
Childbirth follows the 'fronting' of ALP, as indicated in the above by the childlike language reminiscent of the first lines of A Portrait. Another pun equating 'Valhalla' and 'hollow wall' can be found in 'the hallaw vall' (FW 553.22) referred to in a litany of HCE's achievements. HCE also describes ALP in terms of a hole, the eye of which he equates on one level with heaven: 'She is my bestpreserved wholewife, sowell her as herafter, in Evans's eye' (FW 533.4-5). In another instance, rather than heaven the wall is transmogrified into alternately an otiose, outhouse or oasthouse hell, but which can also be associated with Valhalla: 'oathiose infernals to Booth Salvation, arcane celestials to Sweatenburgs Welhell!' (FW 552.15-16). The wall is depicted as a mausoleum at the outset of the Wake in a phrase describing a scene of Dublin: 'By the mausolime wall. Fimfim fimfim' (FW 13.14-15). The idea conveyed is of heaven and hell existing within ALP, who exists as a passive receptacle of an HCE who is both the spiritual beyond and the deified logos of the present. (The female as a heaven is also discussed below, *.)
The reverberation of the familial sexual events of prehistory are shown as existing within all institutions, civil, military and spiritual. With the illuminating aid of Shem's 'Lucifer' match, however, the original sexual scene is visible as a picture portrayed within the darkness of its archaeological remnants: 'The doun is theirs and still to see for menags if he strikes a lousaforitch' (FW 69.11-12). The feminine material of the wall and its masculine content are indicative of sexual union; HCE accuses his descendants, the fusiliers, of voyeurism, implying, with the added suggestion of cunnilingus, that their noses are at the hole of the wall out of a desire to discover the original sin: 'You might be threeabreasted wholenosing at a whallhoarding from our Don Amir anent villayets prostatution' (FW 365.15-16). The pub is described as a feminine container of HCE at the conclusion of Book II.3 where as a ship it bears off the defeated HCE prior to the story of Tristan and Isolde: 'So sailed the stout ship Nansy Hans. From Liff away. For Nattenlaender. As who has come returns. Farvel, farerne! Goodbark, goodbye!' (FW 382.27). It is worth pointing out that 'Nancy Hands' is the local name of the pub 'The Hole in the Wall'.6
The fallen HCE can be invoked from the inert silence of the picture through sexual union with the Maggies of the Magazine Wall, or more symbolically the hole in the wall. Such an event in the Wake has the significance of a potent religious ritual, and reproduction is portrayed as the true miracle at the centre of human culture. In the explicit sexual union of Book III.4, a ten-ton bell booms announcing the ritual, and upon the altar of his resurrection the the small bell used in the catholic ritual of the eucharist is also used:
What scenic artist! It is ideal residence for realtar. By hims ingang tilt tinkt a tunning bell that Limen Mr, that Boggey Godde, be airwaked. Lingling, lingling. Be their maggies in all. Chump, do your ephort. Shop! Please shop! Shop ado please! O ado please shop! (FW 560.13-17)
The passage describes Shem/HCE under Issy/ALP in the act of coitus. Upon his insertion there is the chiming of a bell, a thunder driving him perhaps in a Viconian sense into a 'cave', but which also forewarns of his fall. At this action too the 'Boggey Godde', the 'turb' or one of the 'dead turves' ALP has collected in her womb/sack, is awakened, and accordingly the Magazine Wall refrain is repeated: 'Be their maggies in all'. The door of life is described as being unlocked by HCE's penis, 'As keymaster fits the lock it weds so this bally builder to his streamline secret' (FW 560.29-30), and ALP's response to his sexual intrusion through her 'hole in the wall', on one level, is one of resistance; the phrase 'Shop! Please shop!' used here, albeit appropriate to the age of humanity, occurs elsewhere in relation to the sin as 'Stop! Please stop!'.7
6 Roland McHugh, Annotations to Finnegans Wake (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1991), p. 382.
7 See also: 'stop, please stop, do please stop, and O do please stop' (FW 124.4-5), as marks of the hen upon the letter; 'Pink, pleas pink, two pleas pink, how to pleas pink. | Punk.' (FW 367.5-7), as the fall of HCE after an account of the sin; 'stop. Press stop. To press stop. All to press stop.' (FW 379.5-6), an account of the sin in the 'Bugle and the Bitch'; 'Stop. Bung. Stop. Cumm Bumm. Stop. Came Baked to Auld Aireen. Stop.' (FW 421.13-14), which is the contents of a telegram, a version of the letter, and; 'With Mata and after please with Matamaru and after please stop with Matamaruluka and after stop do please with Matamarulukajoni' (FW 609.6-8), where Matthew Mark Luke and John make love to 'goochlipped gwendolenes with duffyeyed dolores' (FW 609.4-5).