Ulysses Reading Group – Sunday 19 May 2019

The next meeting of the Reading Group is on Sunday 19th of May at 7pm in the New Headingley Club.

We continue our reading of Finnegans Wake from Page 41 Line 3: Lisa O’Deavis and Roche Mongan

Here we find reference to: the shavers in the shaw the yokels in the yoats or, well, the wasters in the wilde

George Bernard ShawWilliam Butler YeatsImage result for oscar wilde


Stone of Destiny

O’Mara, an exprivate secretary of no fixed abode (locally known as Mildew Lisa), makes his appearance in Chapter 2 of Finnegans Wake, one of the recipients of a piece of gossip about HCE. O’Mara had passed several nights, funnish enough, in a doorway under the blankets of homelessness on the bunk of iceland, pillowed upon the stone of destiny colder than man’s knee or woman’s breast. [FW, page 40, lines 18-20]

“[P]illowed upon the stone of destiny” suggests the Stone of Scone (N.B. pronounced skoon) on which Scottish kings were crowned before it was taken away to lie in Westminster Abbey by Edward the First of England in 1296. It was kept under the coronation chair of English and United Kingdom monarchs until being repatriated to Scotland in 1996.

The stone was given a biblical origin being identified as the one which Jacob used as a pillow when he dreamt of a ladder to heaven. Subsequently, legend held, it was taken from Palestine to Ireland and became the coronation stone of Irish kings at Tara. It was “borrowed” and taken to Argyll for the coronation of Fergus, first king of Scotland, in 500AD. A later king transferred the stone to a monastery in Scone, in Perthshire, an area associated with the kingdom of the Picts.

Roland McHugh in his annotations to Finnegans Wake directs the reader to page 25, line 31 where he has Lia Fáil: a monolith at Tara that shrieked at coronations of rightful High Kings; supposedly now British coronation stone.

Finwake echoes McHugh but drops the reference to British coronations and adds some extra colour: The “Stone of Destiny,” a monolith at ancient Tara which shrieked at the coronation of rightful high kings, and caused “black spot” on any guilty man seated on it.

And FWEET has this: [A]ccording to Keating, a 17th century Irish historian, the Coronation Stone in the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey is Lia Fáil, the stone on which Irish kings were crowned at Tara, brought to London by Edward I from Scone, Scotland, where it was on loan.

While Lia Fáil is the Gaelic translation of Stone of Destiny, McHugh’s mention of a monolith indicates a possible confusion with another stone of that name which is still to be found at Tara. This is not a stone slab on which Jacob might have slept or kings might have sat, but a standing stone.

If there is uncertainty over the legends attached to the coronation stone, its more recent history is also controversial. Some argue that the stone which Edward carried off in 1296 was not the original but a copy made by the monks in Scone. Nevertheless, in 1950, four Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey. It was broken in the process and repaired by a stonemason in Glasgow. It was then left in Arbroath Abbey before being recovered and returned to London. Again there is a theory that this was a copy of the Westminster stone and that the repaired original remained in Scotland. So is the current Stone of Destiny in Edinburgh Castle a copy, or even a copy of a copy?

The 1950 escapade was not the first plot to restore the stone to Scotland. In 1934, the Scottish poet and nationalist Hugh MacDiarmid decided to liberate the stone. According to one version his plan was light on how he would get the stone out of the Abbey but, he told friends, he was sure that “a fast car” was essential to take the stone over the border. He gathered funds for the enterprise and invited two rugby players to come down from Scotland to assist. In the event MacDiarmid spent the money which was to be used to hire the “fast car” in the pub and the attempt was abandoned.

More on the Stone here.

Stone of Scone, Edinburgh Castle.


Lia Fáil, Tara.

Ulysses Reading Group – Sunday 14 April 2019

The next meeting of the Reading Group is on Sunday 14th of April at 7pm in the New Headingley Club.

We continue our reading of Finnegans Wake from page39 line 14: ‘Twas two pisononse Timcoves.

There is a reference to: the Dullkey Downlairy and Bleakrooky tramaline.


Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 17 March 2019

The next meeting of the Reading Group is on Sunday 17th of March at 7pm in the New Headingley Club.

We continue our reading of Finnegans Wake from page 37, line 13: I have met with you, bird, too late,
or if not, too worm and early


Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 24 February 2019

The next meeting of the Reading Group is on Sunday 24th of February at 7pm in the New Headingley Club.

We continue our reading of Finnegans Wake from page 35, line 11: The latter, the luciferant not the oriulate.

Image result for waterbury watch

Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 20 January 2019

We start the New Year with a meeting of the Reading Group on Sunday 20th of January at 7pm in the New Headingley Club.

We take up the story of HCE in Finnegans Wake, Book I, chapter 2, page 33 line 14:
A baser meaning has been read into these characters…, in which we meet a cad with a pipe and maybe learn of goings on in the park.

The definitive account of the source for the Glues, the Gravys, the Northeasts, the Ankers and the Earwickers of Sidlesham in the Hundred of Manhood can be found here.

Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 16 December 2018

The next meeting of the Ulysses Reading Group is on Sunday 16th of December, 2018. We meet in the New Headingley Club at 7pm.

We are starting a new chapter in Finnegans Wake, from page 30. It begins – Now (to forebare for ever solittle of Iris Trees and Lili O’Ranigans).

The reference is to Iris Tree who was a poet and actress as well as a favourite model of many famous artists at the beginning of the 20th century. You can download a collection of her poetry here.