7.4 The Female as Peace
ALP is both the material and the spiritual alpha and omega of life, the womb and tomb in HCE's cycle of resurrection. Stressing ALP's status as mythic source of both life and words, Suzette Henke points out that ALP's
origins are mythically associated with the vaporous ether that produces rainclouds and thunderstorms, fertility and blood. Just as in hysterical discourse vagina and mouth are one, so Anna's womb/delta is rife with words and with children.
The Wakean deluge confuses the 'we' of humanity with the 'wee' of ALP's urine, and describes the rainbow peace of the female half of humanity as complemented by the warring of its males in a combined hue and cry of history: 'We're all up to the years in hues and cribies. | That's what she's done for wee!' (FW 103.5-6). While the twins are perpetually in a state of contention, 'Knock knock. War's where! Which war? The Twwinns. Knock knock. Woos without! Without what? An apple. Knock knock' (FW 330.30-32), conversely Issy can sleep in peace: 'The datter, io, io, sleeps in peace, in peace' (FW 583.10). The 29 flower girls or 'pacifettes', as they are described in the following, are named using words from various languages meaning 'peace':
the pacifettes made their armpacts widdershins (Frida! Freda! Paza! Paisy! Irine! Areinette! Bridomay! Bentamai! Sososopky! Bebebekka! Bababadkessy! Ghugugoothoyou! Dama! Damadomina! Takiya! Tokaya! Scioccara! Siuccherillina! Peocchia! Peucchia! Ho Mi Hoping! Ha Me Happinice! Mirra! Myrha! Solyma! Salemita! Sainta! Sianta! O Peace!). (FW 470.36-471.5)
Represented as the seven colours of the rainbow, the flower girls also appear as the pubic hairs upon Issy's genitalia, as 'every crutch has its seven hues' (FW 215.16-17), indicating that the female pudendum is itself a form of the Wakean rainbow. ALP's womb sack also gleams with the colours of the rainbow, containing the 'peewees' of Issy and the 'powwows' of the twins and, as the repository of the genetic message of HCE, she is described as a 'peacefugle', or bird of paradise, with a 'plunderpussy' actively seeking the historical message of HCE figures:
a peacefugle, a parody's bird [...] with peewee and powwows in beggybaggy on her bickybacky and a flick flask fleckflinging its pixylighting pacts' huemeramybows, picking here, pecking there, pussypussy plunderpussy. (FW 11.9-13)
A sexual protagonist collecting HCE's genetic message, ALP/Issy scintillates with the colours of the rainbow; yet departing into the sexual stream of life she questions her sexual role, expostulating about her preordained fate in similar terms to Nuvoletta, who likewise wonders 'Weh, O weh!' (FW 159.17):
Michael Arklow was his riverend name, [...] the kindling curves you simply can't stop feeling, he plunged both of his newly anointed hands, the core of his cushlas, in her singimari saffron strumans of hair, parting them and soothing her and mingling it, that was the deepdark and ample like this red bog at sundown. By that Vale Vowclose's lucydlac, the reignbeau's heavenarches arronged orranged her. Afrothdizzying galbs, her enamelled eyes indergoading him on to the vierge violetian. Wish a wish! Why a why? (FW 203.18-29)
Father Michael and Issy together in their sexual union form a rainbow. However, just how far ALP's consequent flood of children and words will facilitate peace is made clear in Shaun's account of Shem's writing: 'a philtred love, trysting by tantrums, small peace in ppenmark' (FW 189.5-6).
6 Suzette A. Henke, James Joyce and the Politics of Desire (New York and London: Routledge, 1990), p. 209.