James Joyce
Finn Fordham
FINNEGANS WAKE 503.30 - 505.29

Part II: after transition and on to final publication.

“An overlisting eshtree”
(47487-68v, -69, JJA 62 132-3 and see 503.30)

           After its appearance in transition, Joyce revised the ‘tree’ on two types of documents: 1) the sheets of transition that he had gathered in 1931, and 2) the galley proofs that were sent to Joyce around April 1937.  For each type of document Joyce had (at least) two copies made and, in the case of ‘the tree’, revised both of them.(1) Joyce would have his extra material typed up and, in the case of the transition sheets, then added material on to the sheets of typed material.  This means there are five separable levels of revision from this point on.  A total of about 200 words were added, which makes up about half as much again of what had been written so far.   Taking this as typical and considering that most of Book II had not yet been written, we have the possibility that somewhere between a half and one third of Finnegans Wake was written after 1931.  That is to say, there was an outpouring of composition, even if arguably of a fragmentary kind, and that the period of composition can be understood to constitute Joyce’s ‘late style’, a style which deserves particular analysis to uncover the continuities with and differences from how Joyce had written before.  This second part of my article can only make an initial gesture towards this area, as my intention remains to examine the applicability of ‘organic’ metaphors for how art grows as they appear within an art of growth.
            This late style, beginning late in 1931, followed on from a period of writer’s block.  The block had begun roughly speaking in August 1927, when, after a period of productively budding, branching, flowering—and blooming—writing lasting at least thirteen years, Joyce found himself stumped. He wrote to Harriet Shaw Weaver that the work on Book I for transition was finished and that he was finished too, ‘pour le moment’.(2)In 1928 Joyce wrote the lively but brief sketch of the ‘Ondt and the Gracehoper’, and, early in 1931, he also sketched a few pages for ‘Nightgames’, Book II, chapter 1.  During this fallow period he had of course, as we’ve seen, been producing textual matter in his revisions to the Shaun chapters or Book III for transition.   He read and took notes, then read his own notes, and transferred some of them onto worksheets, redrafts or proofs, recurrently jabbing at and qualifying his text and shifting its texture in sometimes substantial ways.  So this ‘block’ can be qualified: his writing did of course produce effects and the conception of the book seems to have changed, partly due to the very experience of this block.  But the writing was nonetheless fragmentary and there was little development of unbroken and primary material. While ‘Primary’ is a somewhat loaded term, there isn’t the space here to examine it.
            By the Autumn of 1931, Joyce had signed the contracts for eventual publication of Finnegans Wake.(3) The commitment that came with this meant there was something on the horizon towards which Joyce could guide himself, giving a new impetus to his writing.  Thus he extended the draft of the Nightgames and also gathered together everything he had published so far.  This comprised the 13 installments of transition in which “Work in Progress” had appeared and three other publications which contained  versions of the chapter Anna Livia, and the episodes in Tales Told of Shem and Shaun and Haveth Childers Everywhere. Collating and numbering this material he found he had 386 pages: “Much more of the book is done than I had hoped for”.(4) I will refer to these pages as ‘the 1931 gathering’.
            Joyce began the work of expanding this material in a way that resembles the expansion of Ulysses.  This contributes to the ‘motific’ method whereby not only episodes are constructed, but elements in the book as a whole are made to inter-relate in new ways.  Research looking solely at these sheets would enable a sense of how Joyce constructed the motific structure of Finnegans Wake, across chapters.  The conditions of having two different stages of publication—typical for the age—first in magazine and then in book format (and sometimes small luxury press publication in between these two) contribute to the potential for this kind of motific writing and revision.  Joyce would have become familiar with this from as far back as composing and then recomposing Dubliners, some of the stories of which were first published in 1902, while all of them appeared finally in 1914, revisions occurring in the interim.  Publication in different format, but also delays in publication caused by printers’ and publishers’ objections, became a norm which then generated a set of revision techniques, which, in turn, eventually caused delays in publication.  The text can thus grow ‘internally’ and in a reticular manner that is particular to Joyce, though might be observable in other writers.
            At first, he transferred material from his notebooks onto worksheets, then transferred worksheet material onto two or three sets of the 1931 gathering: Joyce had asked for two or three copies because from the experience of revising Ulysses he knew the margins of some pages might get filled with revisions and another copy would be required.  This appears to have happened in the case of the ‘tree’:  the second set of transition sheets is not extant, but when the revisions are typed there is material which isn’t on the first set.  These additions would then be typed up and sent to the Faber printers, who would incorporate them into a new expanded text, and then print them as galleys, which Joyce would later proof-read but also, notoriously, make yet more additions.  There are several points of textual transmission therefore, in which there can be opportunities for slips and changes: from reading to notes, from notes to worksheets, from worksheets to the margins of the 1931 gathering, from these margins to the sheets of typed additions, and from these sheets to the proofs provided by printers.  It is worth noting that, reading this process literally, there is nothing particularly ‘organic’ about it: the ‘growth’ of this text relies on moments of ‘scanning’ for possible material, their selection and transfer to ‘suspensive’ storage.  This is a process with its own idiosyncracies, just as the growth of a tree is idiosyncratic.  Following and describing the detailed processes of growth strictly, the analogy between ‘tree’ and ‘text’, organicism and art, quickly breaks down.  This is clearer still when we home in further on the specifics of the process, but this doesn’t prevent Joyce, on several occasions in his revisions, toying with the analogy. 
Revising transition (1932-1936).
Preparing for Book III, selecting material from his notebooks and copying it onto worksheets, Joyce amassed dozens of pages of text, 87 of which are extant, and 37 of which are devoted to /\ c, or III.3.(5) Joyce also later drew up 40 other pages of ‘extra draft notes’.(6)The following table gives an overview of what is grafted onto the ‘tree’ up until 1936.  During these four and a half years, while he was working on other sections of the book, especially the first two chapters of Book II, it appears that he would revisit the 1931 gathering several times, as evidenced by the different hands that can be identified, which include Joyce’s and Leon’s and possibly Giorgio’s and Lucia’s.   The passage in question is revised quite heavily, though not atypically, with approximately new text amounting to 25% being added (109 added to 386 words). 

sheet page

As notes appeared on the worksheets (see JJA 61, 163-200 and 258-298)

Relative location of transfer

Form at transfer onto first set of transition sheets:  see JJA 61, 72-3.

Form on sheets of typed additions JJA 61, 464 and 500.  Material supplementary to or revising first set of additions is in bold.


handpainted hoydens
plucking husbands off him
(JJA 61, 164; 47486a-39v)


and handpainted hoydens plucking husbands of him
[This is put, in Leon’s handwriting, after ‘unnatural refection’]




(tree) pick down, proferring prayers for their safety + coining [xxxxx?] for their tacerity [?]
(JJA 61, 167; 47486a-41v)


[This is not extant on transition sheets but appears, with additions, on sheets of typed revision units.  It is placed after the words ‘in dissent to them’]

gibbonses and gobbinsess guelfing and ghiberring proferring praydews to their anatolies and blighting findblasts on their catastripes


Dr Melomessa
(JJA 61, 167)


Dr Melamannessy
[added in Leon’s hand]

Not on typescript but on extra transition sheet in Leon’s hand:
Dr. Melamanes[xx]


and the downslider in that snakes to naughsy whimping woman’t she leib a satin dress of that 
(JJA 61,169)


[Not extant on transition sheets though revision mark at ‘air’ indicated. Line stretches to missing sheet.]

utmostfear and her downslyder in that snakedst-tu-naughsy whimmering woman’t seeleib such a fashionaping sathinous dress out of that exquisitive creation


Summerian sunshine
(JJA 61, 174)  


-- In Summerian sunshine?
- And in Cimmerian shudders



Borstal (burstall boys)
(JJA 61, 175)





(arbor), through the gemination of its germination and from
Ond’s outset till Odd’s end,
(JJA 61, 181)


through the gemination
of its germination from
Ond’s outset till Odd’s end,



-- Is it exaltated, eximious,
extraoddandairy and excelssiorising?
-- Nobirdy aviar soar anywing to eagle it.
(JJA 61, 181)

(2) 7

[Originally situated after ‘fraternitrees’  but eventually put after ‘evovae’]

Is it exaltated eximious extraoddandairy and excelssiorising and * nobirdy aviar soar anywing to eagle it.

* amengst menlike trees walking or trees like angels weeping

[Revision incorporated and extended]

Is it so exaltated, eximious extraoldandairy and excelssiorising? 
-- Amengst menlike trees walking or trees like angles weeping nobirdy aviar soar anywing to eagle it.  But rocked of agues, cliffed for aye!


-- Telleth it aye the treeth?
-- Musha mush of a m. m. ness
-- And the steyne that stets it neming?
-- Tod, tod too hard parter
(JJA 61, 294)


Originally situated to come after ‘evovae’ but eventually added onto the quote above.  
-- Telleth it aye the treeth
-- Mushe, mushe of a mixness
-- And that steyne what stiles it neming?
-- Tod, tod, too hard parted

-- Telleth that eke the treeth?
-- Mushe, mushe of a mixness.
-- And that steyne what stiles its neming?
-- Tod, tod, too hard parted


This table reveals several aspects of Joyce’s methods of textual expansion and transformation at this period, showing it as at once complex and not particularly systematic or patterned.  Three of the units (39v, 41v, 53) on the worksheets (here in the second column) have short tags in brackets—‘(tree) … (arbor)’—to indicate what place the units were destined for.  Such tagging without sigla is not uncommon in the notes and worksheets: ‘(dancing)’ and the intriguing ‘(shadow)’ are examples.(7)Such tagged units indicate relatively unified narrative concepts and, like the characters with sigla, are vessels into which associations can be poured.  The ‘tree’ is a distinct form and a setting for text.  It has a major central appearance, though it sends up many shoots elsewhere.  Unlike the characters, it does not appear in dispersed narrative moments, so is not so complex that it requires a sigla and it is too late now for it to develop into one.  It is not to be identified with HCE or ALP nor with Shem or Shaun, though, as mentioned in Part I,  Shem is arguably associated with the organic and living tree, while Shaun is associated with the inorganic and more deathly stone.
            Most of the units that are transferred from the worksheets onto the tree are not tagged in this way, but find their way to it via some other associative means.  The ‘snake’ for instance comes to inhabit the tree easily enough by mythic association, as does ‘Summerian sunshine’ which evokes Sumer, an area in the Middle East where legend says Eden was located. ‘Melomesse’ might indicate melomania or ‘song mania’ but, turned into ‘melomanessy’ it chimes with the organic resin-like compound, melamine.  Some notes in the worksheets are transferred ‘letterperfect’, such as the two beginning ‘handpainted…’ and ‘through the gemination…’.  Elsewhere there are small changes: ‘off him’ becomes ‘of him’, possibly an error (though potentially volitional).  Then there are larger changes, such as to the phrase beginning ‘pick down profering prayers’ which expands to: ‘gibbonses and gobbinsess guelfing and ghibering proferring praydews’, clearly a volitional change, the word ‘praydews’ being a portmanteau word that bears the trace of its origins in ‘prayers’ and ‘prie-Dieus’, now entwined, intentionally, with the chime of ‘produce’.   Joyce revised the first set of transition sheets from both sets of worksheets, which qualifies the Archive’s analysis.(8) Other elements on the transition sheets do not seem to have an origin in the worksheets but are drafted straight onto the transition sheet or the sheets of typed revisions.  The element ‘Summerian sushine’, for instance, becomes a question to which an answer is crafted as an echo of it: ‘And in Cimmerian shudders’.  This incorporates its opposite to cover both sunshine and shade, light and dark.  The phrase about the sublime extremity of the tree (‘exaltated…’) receives into it a few words playing on the association of men, trees and angles.  As we shall see, Joyce also draws from Ulysses for one unit.  Some of the units do not appear on extant transition sheets (‘the downslider’ and ‘proferring prayduce’), and so were probably transferred to the other non-extant transition sheets, prior to the two sets being collated and all the revisions being typed up.  Most elements on the transition sheets are written in Joyce’s hand, but a couple (‘handpainted…’ and ‘Melomanessy’) are not and look like Leon’s hand.  The transition sheets were therefore revisited at least twice, and probably more often, just as both sets of worksheets were revisited several times also; for the appearance of units on the transition sheets does not occur in the order of their appearance in the worksheets.  Joyce, predictably, must have serially read over the worksheet notes and the transition sheets many times, moving back and forth between them, finding apposite textual units and points for their insertion.  It is suitable to conjure up an image of Joyce wandering round and round and back and forth through the sheets that were destined to be revised and the notes that were destined to be used for revision, in the manner of the Gracehoper: “He took a round stroll and he took a stroll round and he took a round strollagain” (416.27-8).
            My close readings of the material will begin with this typed up matter and follow the order of its appearance in the text (not the point of its transfer which cannot be determined completely).  First, then, we find a qualification budding out of the school boys who had been ‘climbing’ to the tree’s ‘crotch’.  In transition they had been from one of ‘Erasmus Smith’s’ grammar schools, but now they have graduated to being ‘burstall boys’, from borstal, that is, reformational prisons for young offenders proposed by the Gladstone Committee in the 1890s, and first opened at the village of Borstall in Kent in 1902.(9)But the suppressions that borstal are supposed to impose are exploded by Joyce in the violent image of these boys being willing to ‘burst all’, to blow up everything, an adolescent dream of phallic power which they will attempt to fulfill by climbing to the tree’s crotch.  Erasmus Smith, incidentally, was an English wholsesale grocer of the 17th century who helped supply Cromwell’s forces and acquired lands in the settlement.  In a deed drawn up in 1657 at the foundation of the Erasmus Smith Trust, set up as a way of preventing a repeat of the 1641 uprisings, Smith expressed that he had ‘a great and ardent desire… that the children inhabiting upon any part of his lands in Ireland should be brought up in the fear of God and good literature and to speak the English tongue’.(10)Borstal’ and ‘Erasmus Smith’s’ are then both institutions of power with similar aims of reducing social unruliness, but these boys have broken out from both of them.
            After the Darwinian element of ‘chattering in dissent to them’ which had appeared in transition, Joyce now grafts on material about inhabitants of the tree and what they’re doing in appropriately Darwinian terms:

gibbonses and gobbenses guelfing and ghiberring proferring praydews to their anatolies and blighting findblasts on their catastripes
            (47486b-436; JJA 61, 500)

Binaries pervade this addition; Gibbons (whose ‘Decline and Fall’ Joyce read and from which he took notes) and Gobbens are English and Dutch versions of each others’ names, so these are kinds of people as well as kinds of monkeys.  That a person can have ‘Gibbon’ as a surname is jokey material for those trying to reduce evolutionary theory to the idea that if we’re descended from monkeys, then we are monkeys.  ‘Guelfing’ contains a gulped garbled ‘laughing’, and there’s gibbering too.  The cacophony of this noise could reflect the presence of conflict which, in turn, is evoked in the warring families of the ‘Guelfs’ and the Ghibellines’, rival factions from Italy in the 13th century, and a reminder of the reductive reading of evolution as a continual war for survival.  On one side, these monkeys are ‘proferring praydews’, prie-Dieus (desks at which you can pray), bowing down to the East where the sun rises (from Greek ‘anatolios’ for East) and offering produce, as if selling fruit from the tree to girls (or ‘Natalies’) below.  Simultaneously, by contrast, they are ‘blighting findblasts’, which McHugh glosses plausibly as ‘cursing’, a kind of ‘blinding’ and ‘f-ing’.  They blast their ‘catastripes’, their bad luck or catastrophes, the stripes of a big cat that has come to threaten them, or of the Cheshire cat come to confuse them.
            As well as boys and extra monkeys, Joyce now adds ill-bred girls or ‘hoydens’, carrying out prankquean-like behaviour by stealing the men of other women; prostitutes, perhaps, luring married men as they wander in the Park.  In between the fruit of the tree (its acorns and pinecorns) and its leaves that ‘sinsinsin’, Joyce now aptly insinuates the complicated ‘snake’ or ‘downslyder’ sentence, which, I suggest, alludes to the temptations in and around the world of fashion.  Joyce makes a rare subsitution too: ‘air’ becomes ‘utmostfear’  a reworking of atmosphere, which assigns to the immensity of the sky and the air a terrorising power.  The air is, after all, the space from which lightning, bombs and Gods might strike.  On the worksheets the phrase appeared as follows:

            and the downslider in that snakes to naughsy whimping woman’t she leib a satin dress of that.  
(JJA 61,169  47486a-42v)     

We cannot see exactly how this was first reworked, as it was entered onto the second set of transition sheets, which are missing.  But it has changed by the time it’s typed up.  Moreover Joyce subsequently adds words (in bold below) on to the sheet where the revisions have been typed up, so that it appears as:

and her downslyder in that snakedst-tu-naughsy whimmering woman’t seeleib such a fashionaping sathinous dress out of that exquisitive creation
            (JJA 61, 500; 47486b-436)

The ‘downslider’ is a snake coming down the tree, but suggests also a name for an item of clothing that slides down easily.  The temptation of Eve and the original fall brings about a metaphorical sliding or falling down of clothing through which being ‘naked’ is associated with the shame of being ‘naughty’, a realisation that the body (present through the German leib) can now be seen for the first time and as something separate from the soul (present through the German seele).  The sentence invites the expectation of a noun phrase such as: ‘and her downslyder in that beautiful dress’, but it is deferred, interrupted by a voice (asking ‘Snakke du Norsk?’ or ‘do you speak Norse?’) or, instead, a huge unweildy python of an adjective stretching from ‘snakedst…’ to ‘…sathinous’).  The voice (or adjective) speaks in attempts to cheer up a whimpering woman: ‘wouldn’t you, whimpering woman, love such a fashionable satin dress made out of that exquisite material’, a whisper from a metaphorical Satan salesman of the fashion world trying to make up for Eve’s loss of Eden with some other ‘creation’. 
            The words in bold Joyce had taken from a ‘tree’ passage in the ‘Cyclops’ chapter of Ulysses, where there is a parody of a fashionable wedding (you can picture it in Hello magazine), and of which he must have been reminded:

The fashionable international world attended en masse … Miss Fir Conifer of Pine Valley … the bride… looked exquisitely charming in a creation of…  green mercerised silk…

‘Fashionable, exquisite and creation’ are copied from here and reworked into the passage for the Wake.  Complications occur as ‘fashionable’ is turned into ‘fashionaping’, a poor imitation (with an echo of the Darwinian ‘gibbons’ encountered earlier).  Fashion relies for its power on the fact that there are those willing to follow and ape it.  But those who do so are never as fashionable as those who lead it: to follow fashion is not to be fashionable, but fashion must be followed for it to be fashionable.  Fashion involves an economy of contempt, producing the latter to be projected onto those it relies on.  The self of fashion does not define itself solely through its other, but rather quite as much as through its same, which it then others for being the same.  Moreover, those who lead or create fashion know something that those who simply ape it do not. God’s knowledge, from which Adam and Eve find themselves to be excluded, must be craved by them before it can be worth having.  But in whatever way they receive that knowledge, it will come with a curse that means it will be a poor imitation of what was promised, an aping of God’s knowledge of his creation.  The discourses of fashion and advertising, entwined here, re-enact the temptation of Eve by Satan, further complicated here of course by the idea that Eve is Satan, and that the woman, as temptress, in her satiny dress, is a beautiful snaky being, another inhabitant of this cosmopolitan tree.
            A further complication ties itself around the term ‘creation’, which, in the context of the fall, may mean God’s creation, but in the context of fashion, means a costume made specially by a classy designer.  A dress that is made ‘out of’ some other special ‘creation’, has to acknowledge its own subsidiary, secondary, supplementary status, however slinky and satiny it is, in the same way that the idea of God’s primary creation forces everything that comes afterwards to acknowledge its own derivative and secondary nature, especially everything that claims to be a ‘creation’.  Art apes the fashioning of God’s creation.  Whether costume or universe, the creation here is ‘exquisitive’, a word which combines ‘exquisite’ and ‘acquisitive’, words joined etymologically by ‘quaerere’, Latin for to seek.  A creation that is ‘acquisitive’ seeks things to add to itself, just as Joyce was acquisitive in the construction of his text; a creation that is ‘exquisite’ is sought out because it is so special, as readers (to a degree) seek out Joyce’s exquisite text; so a creation that is ‘exquisitive’ might be construed as something that seeks out its own specialness. This sounds like the desire of Narcissus to acquire its own exquisite self, another fall into the repeated Narcissism of acquisitive self-fashioning.   This image of inwardness in the middle of the tree’s descriptions contrasts with the generally extrovert perspective the tree has in its manner of reaching out in its relations to the world around it.
            Joyce had brought his earlier version of the description of the tree to a climax with the phrase: ‘shaking … hands … in the new world’.  Then in a later revision had extended this climax with a rounding off: ‘And circle him circuly.  Evovae’.  Now, in between these two distinct climaxes, Joyce inserts another phrase mounting towards a climactic conclusion:

through the gemination of its germination from Ond’s outset till Odd’s end,
            (JJA 61, 73)

More doubles and resemblances, echoes and distortions are budding here: the gem and the germ, the conformist ant (the ‘ond’) and the odd individual, science and myth.  In the two nouns of action (‘gemination’ and ‘germination’) there sounds a partial echo of ‘Our Exagmation round his Factification...’, the book published in 1929 to celebrate “Work in Progress” and whose siglum was a circle, an ‘O’, itself evoked, in turn, by the ‘O’s of ‘Ond’ and ‘Odd’, and the eternal encircling of the tree that is ordained at the end of the passage.  Joyce seems here to return to the romantic analogy between organic and artistic formation with the idea that the ‘tree’, like this passage and the book, has grown through the gemination (or ‘twinning’, or doubling) of its germination (sprouting and budding), words used within a passage which itself shoots forth from an earlier growth and in a symmetrical doubling form.  Beside this quasi-technical language for biological growth, there are allusions to different breadths and depths of time: from the dawn of time to the twilight of the gods, from when the ‘Ond’ first set out, from the origin of evil (from ondt,Danish for evil), or from the time when Ants first roamed the world, to the End of the World, when ‘Odds end’, when the life of Odin (who lives in the World-tree Yggdrasil), is over.  The time when what’s odd ends is when there’s nothing unfamiliar any more, when this odd thing, made up of odds and ends (Finnegans Wake), is ended.
            To this speech, in transition, rounded off with a cry of Evovae, like the Bacchic cry of ‘Evoe’, but also celebrating the eggs (ova) within Eve (Ev-ova-e), the four old masters had responded, with a degree of indifference.  Only one of them, presumably their know-all leader Matthew, reacted with a knowing and superior: ‘I’ve got that now’.  But in revision, two of them are allowed exclamations of wonder, and this is followed by two further questions prompted by disbelief and curiosity: is that the truth?  And what’s its name? 

--  Is it so exaltated, eximious extraoldandairy and excelssiorising? 
-- Amengst menlike trees walking or trees like angles weeping nobirdy aviar soar anywing to eagle it.  But rocked of agues, cliffed for aye! 
-- Telleth that eke the treeth?
-- Mushe, mushe of a mixness.
-- But that steyne what stiles its neming?  
-- Tod, tod, too hard parted.
            (JJA 61, 500)

The four are being given some naturalistic characterisation and the balance of power between the examinee and the interrogators is altering.  The wonder at the ever-extending growth and the overpopulated form of the tree is proleptically establishing the same relation that will occur at the end of the chapter, when the ‘four’ are rendered as good as mute by the dominating appearance of HCE.  These four masters are overwhelmed by the sublime.  The whole dialogue was originally drafted as two different additions (see JJA 61, 72-73).  The first exchange (down to ‘cliffed for aye!’) originally formed the observation of just one speaker and, moreover, seems to have been intended to appear in the middle of Shaun’s description of the tree (see JJA 61, 73).  Joyce expanded it with the words about ‘trees walking and angels weeping’, thus adding a sublime grandeur of apocalyptic imagery.  In typing it up, Joyce split the single source of the utterance into two and then distributed it to two people, so that the amazement of one confirms the wonder of the other, rather than one simply reiterating the other.  Here is a dramatic function of their ‘fourness’—that they can act as a kind of chorus, enabling a view to be doubled and then split up among different voices.  The four are a strategy of expansion, repetition, variation and differentiation, as well as, more generally, the attempt to call up and systematize memory.
            The sublimity of the excelling and airy vision (‘aviar soar) is brought groaningly down to earth in the ingenuity of the extended ‘sound-alike’ pun, where the cliché: ‘nobody ever saw anything to equal it’ becomes a self-admiring over-wrought play of words: ‘no birdy aviar soar anywing to eagle it’.  It is possible to imagine a smug consciousness of this distortion on the part of the speaker, as of a comedian winking with complicity at his or her own clever-cleverness.
            In the second addition (from ‘telleth…’ to ‘…parted’), two questions about truth and naming are asked.  The replies equivocate.  The mushing of the cliché ‘Much of a muchness’, implies that everything’s rather difficult to differentiate, a bit of a mushed-up mixedness.  In this case it is the true and the false that are hard to distinguish.  But the implication may also be that the true tree (the ‘treeth’, like the ‘true cross’, that symbol of the Truth) and the true representation of the tree, are hard to separate too – reality and symbol are much of a muchness.  We cannot see the tree, but only its representations and symbolisations.  Qualifying the ‘tree’, one of the four now wants to know about the ‘steyne’, introducing the pairing of Shem and Shaun as ‘tree’ and ‘stone’.  A 15 foot stone boundary marker erected by the Vikings in Dublin in the 9th century may be referred to here.  Artificial, inorganic, it is a distorted reflection of the natural tree.  On the other hand, while the original cross was a tree, many of its representations are in stone, so, as a marker, symbol and sign, this ‘stone’, as the tree’s double, is not particularly a distortion.  An inscribed stone can be a ‘stele’, and the question of how it is ‘styled’ asks its name.  But the response to this challenge is awkward, the speaker only able to stutter towards a word that evokes death—‘tod, tod’.  It is too difficult to let the name part from him, it will be released only perhaps when ‘death does them part’.  No single name can stand for the multiplicity of its symbolisation.   It is ultimately the imprecision of the evidence, not its excess, that is overwhelming: the imprecise unfacts are too many to warrant any certitiude. 
Joyce dispatched these revisions and the printers for Faber worked on producing galley proofs.
The Galley Proofs, revised after April 1937
Joyce received these back from the printers sometime after the 24th of April 1937, the date which the printers stamped on their work.  So this next stage of work (the last for this passage) began after this time.  There are nine different revision units attached to the ‘tree’:

Text on Galley Proof:  47487-69, JJA 62, 133 and 135.  

Revisions to Galley Proof: 47487-69v, 70; JJA 62, 132-5.

Words on galleys: 510

Words added: 86

    - There used to be a tree stuck up? *1
    - There used, sure enough. *2 And the crandest*3 consecrated maypole in all the reignladen history of Wilds. *4 Squiremade and damesman of plantagenets, high and holy.  
    - *5 What was it doing there, for instance?
    - Standing foreninst us.
    ‑ […]  I would like to hear you burble to us in strict conclave, purpurando, and without too much italiote interfairance, what you know in petto about our sovereign beingstalk, Tonans Tomazeus.  O dite!
    - Corcor Andy, Udi, Udite ! […]  the killmaimthem pensioners chucking overthrown milestones up to her to fall her cranberries *6 for their unnatural refection […]
- Telleth that eke the treeth?
- Mushe, mushe of a mixness.
- *7  But that steyne *8 what stiles its neming?
- Tod, tod hard parted.
- I’ve got that now, Dr melamanessy. Finight mens midinfinite true.  The form masculine. The gender feminine.  I see. Now, are you derevatov of it yourself in any way?  The true tree I mean?  Let’s here what science has to say, pundit-the-next-best-King. *9 
- Upfellbowm.

*1 An overlisting eshtree
*2 Beside the Annar. At the ford of Slivenamond. Oakley Ashe’s elm. With a snoodrift from one beerchen bough.
            *3 grawndest crowndest
*4 Browne’s Thesaurus Plantarum from Nolan’s, The Prittlewell Press, has nothing alike it.  For we are fed of its forest, clad in its wood, burqued by its bark and our lecture is its leave.  The cram, the cram, the King of all crams.

*5 Now, no hiding your wren under a bushle. 


*6 and her pommes annettes


*7 A shrub of libertine, indeed! 
*8 of doom law indeed


*9 Splanck!

All but one of these additions are made to the peripheral discussions on either side of Shaun’s central speech describing the tree.  The paragraph that introduces it initially, praising its importance, expands considerably, from 24 to 86 words through four textual units, two of which are relatively extensive.
            Taking each of the nine in turn, we can see allusions that indicate parallels between this tree and Joyce’s book: the addition made at the earliest point of the text describes the tree as ‘overlisting’, swaying and leaning too much to inspire confidence, like a ship in a storm that ‘lists’. This ‘listing’ is an effect of ‘listing’ one of Joyce’s composition techniques for his mode of textual expansion and, by this time, Joyce can look back and picture himself as having been listing excessively, till his text has become top-heavy, his lists piling upwards in a form that threatens to totter over and capsize it. 
The initial paragraph praising the tree (‘the crandest tree in all… history’) receives, as mentioned, a great deal of new material.  It specifies where the tree was ‘stuck’ up, by breaking out into a song, based on the romantic nostalgic poem by Charles Kickham, ‘The Irish Peasant Girl’, a pastoral elegy for a youthful love who has died, perhaps in the famine.  The poem was anthologised by Joyce’s friend Padraic Colum in his Anthology of Irish Verse from 1922, though Joyce may have had independent knowledge of it.  Joyce takes elements (line 1 and 4) from the first verse: 

SHE lived beside the Anner, at the foot of Slievna-man,
A gentle peasant girl, with mild eyes like the dawn;
Her lips were dewy rosebuds; her teeth of pearls rare;
And a snow-drift ’neath a beechen bough her neck and nut-brown hair.

The interruption of snatches from this song is itself interrupted by the name of the tree’s owner: an elm, we are told, it belongs to ‘Oakley Ashe’, the same kind of joke Joyce played in Ulysses with the ‘Conifer’ family, toying with the mimetic relation between someone’s name and their possessions.  Over this play on arboreal names hovers that of Annie (nearly ‘Annar’) Oakley, the female sharp-shooter, famous in the 1890s and which seems to have made the name Oakley popular for a while.  Through this addition, where a male first-name draws on that of the surname of a famous female, Joyce is reconfirming the bisexual quality to the tree we encountered earlier.  Joyce crosses out ‘crandest’ and inserts ‘grawndest crowndest’, a rare substitution and an exaggerated doubling of ‘grandest’.  The loss of ‘cran’ is compensated for nearby in the phrase ‘the cram the cram the king of all crams’, the two ‘n’s of crann (Irish for tree) melted into the ‘m’ of ‘cram’, meaning to pack densely.  This combines with the motif: ‘the wren the wren the king of all birds’ (which has already sounded in I.2 with ‘the rann the rann the king of all ranns’ (4.16)).  We have in this round of revisions now encountered two reflections on different kinds of growth: a listing, by which material continually extends itself, and a cramming, in which, rather than matter increasing over space, its density increases instead (to a ‘burst all’ point).  The growths of Joyce’s text happen through both listing and through cramming.  Extension and compression are then like two Shem-Shaun models of textual revision and of the conceptualisation of space and matter.
            ‘Cramming’ is also a form of intense study: it happens in the run-up to exams and the following addition evokes school – and therefore also the Nightstudies chapter of II.2, that Joyce had been writing and revising around this time:  

Browne’s Thesaurus Plantarum from Nolan’s, The Prittlewell Press, has nothing alike it.  For we are fed of its forest, clad in its wood, burqued by its bark and our lecture is its leave.  The cram, the cram, the King of all crams.
            (JJA 62, 132).

Joyce often signals the philosopher Bruno (‘the Nolan’), through the Dublin publisher Browne and Nolan and he compresses other allusions in here to school books: W.J. Browne was an Irish educationalist who, according to McHugh, wrote Botany for Schools (among other titles), while Frederick Nolan, an Irish-born theologian, was vicar of Prittlewell in Essex and ran a press from it. He was extremely conservative, resisting attacks on the bible by modern science and, when in Oxford, resisted the introduction of new text books.(12)If his books don’t contain anything like this tree, it’s because the tree would be too modern for him.  This tree, in that all parts of it provide for everyone, as we feed off it and learn from it, means that everything else is parasitical in relation to it.  It is the world-as-origin, on which and through which we live.
            A ‘pommes annettes’, alluded to in one small addition, is a dish made out of shredded potatoes. There are numerous dishes in the Wake—Irish stew, borscht, salmon, soft-boiled eggs—drawn on for their potential as metaphors for the strangely cooked up mixture of the Wake itself.  Once cooked, ‘pommes annettes’ has an intriguing appearance of tangled strands that might have spurred Joyce—as it spurs me—to imagine it as a metaphor for the tangled nature of his text.  The questioning about the truth of the tree and the name of the stone monument that memorialises it, receives two more textual units in a kind of balance with each other: ‘a shrub of libertine’ and ‘doom law, indeed’ puts liberty and law in opposition, just as Shem and Shaun are.  Now referred to as a ‘shrub’ it has been reduced considerably from the splendour of being the grandest tree in the world or a ‘tree of liberty’, the title, coincidentally, of a poem by Robert Burns, which refers to the French revolution.  It is a tree of many trees but also a tree that is somehow comprised of every stage of a tree’s life.  The reduction of the ‘tree’ to a ‘shrub’ is followed by the reduction of the living and vertical tree, now cut down to form a horizontal ‘plank’, lying in the single word exclamation ‘Splanck!’  In this word Joyce is making one more allusion to science—already done through Newton and Darwin, as we’ve seen—by alluding to Max Planck, whose notion of a constant to measure ‘quanta’ kick-started quantum physics.  The presence of ‘Planck’ has pushed many to assume that Joyce is excited by the revision of Newtonian mechanics.  As Donald Theall writes:

The pun on German apple tree… with the apple falling upward in response to Planck clearly plays on turning Newton’s theory upside down—an obvious reference to quantum mechanics and the new physics.
Donald Theall, Joyce’s Techno-Poetics, p.49. 

But it might be somewhat hasty to celebrate the overturning of Newton’s theory by quantum mechanics.  Quantum mechanics may qualify and problematise certain ideas and theories, but it doesn’t simply thereby turn classical physics upside down nor make apples fall upwards: Newton’s theories still operate at several levels.  Theall’s interpretation is optimistically attached to the notion that Joyce is celebrating revolutions in scientific theory, as if he might be stating a belief in such revolutions, rather than using the discourse around such discoveries as a model for modelling representations of revolution.  For this is pundit-driven gesture science: the hollow exclamation of a name proves nothing by itself and the presence of the ‘pundit’ who is now the next best thing to an expert, but, in a world of mass media, a kind of King, points to the way a journalist or critic reduces the complexity of scientific discoveries and developments into simple tags.  What’s significant then is the poverty of the scientific vision communicated by this tree of mythic knowledge.  Joyce jokes at his own reliance on punditry, on the empty gesture towards different types of both ‘new’ and ever renewing science (whether Vico’s and Newton’s or Einstein’s and Planck’s).  And finally, he is drawn to this name in particular because of the play he can make on it with the idea of the ‘plank’ made from the chopped down tree, and which someone is being ordered to walk before they plunge to their death.  Joyce is said also to play on Planck and sub-atomic particles in the phrase ‘with the planckton at play about him’ (477.25 added to page, 47487-51, JJA 62, 99), but the play is surely making its own point as play, acknowledging the degree of play in science, but not necessarily contributing or responding to science in any serious way.
            Joyce finished this set of Galley proofs, but there is one more revision to the tree yet to be made, this time to the second set (see 47487-208, JJA 62, 385), through which he extends the central description of the tree one last time with the exquisite phrase:

            plantitude outsends of plenty to thousands
                        (47487-207v, JJA 62, 384)

What is exquisite—and exquisitive—here is not just the multiple pun—on plant, on plenitude and on platitude—but the way it celebrates the metaphor of the tree and the book as imbricating figures of plenitude and fullness while at the same time subverting such mutual appreciation through the sense of them both being made up of platitudinous matter.  In this latter case, the book and the tree of plenty have only come about through the recycling of plenty of nothings, of meaningless clichés.  The phrase also recycles some words deployed at around this time in II.3 and also much earlier in the first draft of III.1.  The intertextual ramifications of this I will now pursue (back in time), because the pursuit illustrates well how, textually—‘each and all of their branches [are] meeting and shaking hands’ (505.10-11).  The echo (in bold) in II.3 is as follows:

There are twingty
to twangty too thews and leathermail coatschemes penparing to
hostpost for it valinnteerily with my valued fofavour to the post
puzzles deparkment with larch parchels' of presents for future
branch offercings.

The source for both these echoes is in III.1 in the following, spoken by Shaun:

Understand me when I tell you … 
that under the past purcell's office, so deeply deplored by my
erstwhile elder friend, Miss Enders, …  allbethey
blessed with twentytwo thousand sorters out of a biggest poss
of twentytwo thousand
[…] too much privet stationery
and safty quipu was ate up larchly by those nettlesome goats
out of pension greed.

And the source for this image appears in Joyce’s reading from 1924.  Around April of that year Joyce was recording notes of his reading from journals and newspapers.  In The Leader he read about ‘the increase of officialdom’ as a ‘modern tendancy’ to which Ireland was no exception:  ‘The Saorstat is very largely an officials’ country. On October 1st last year, the Saorstat was blessed with 22,260 government officials’.(13) Joyce ironically noted the ironic tone: ‘blessed with 22,000/ officials.” (VI.B.1.143 (g).)   This was eventually transferred to the following bit of comic text at the point marked by the asterisk:

In, Shaun replied, the other postal office ^ much administrative stationery was eaten by goats.
              (47482b, 5; JJA 57: 011, III§1A.*0)

So that the revised draft read:  

In, Shaun replied, the other postal office ^ albeit blessed with 22,000 sorters out of a possible 22,000, too ^ much administrative stationery was eaten by goats.

Joyce has made Irish Free States civil servants into ‘sorters’ or post-office workers – colleagues or rivals of Shaun, who, despite their number, couldn’t save the post office, in an act of rustic terrorism, from being savaged by hungry goats.   By the time of the final revision it’s far from clear whether these workers are not themselves the goats.  In the reworking of this phrase for the tree in III.3, Joyce now echoes an echo of this number of officials, in order to evoke a huge number: ‘twenty two thousands of [or multiplied by] twenty two thousand’, a figure of sublime arborescent plenitude.  And this ‘plenty’ is sent out to thousands of people, recipients of these charitable but empty messages.  The tree and the book, with its ‘branch offercings’, its offices and offerings, has become a postal system aiding the distribution of platitudinous letters amongst thousands of people.  Joyce has thus grafted on one more fresh form to his tree, evoking a rich chord, on the one hand, that communicates the tree’s magnanimity, its generosity in disseminating new forms of language and also new forms for language to pursue.  But over the pompous optimism of this turn to the future, there hovers a subversive and flighty trick of sound, reminding us that all the material, which helps produce these forms, is well-worn and banal, not especially rare but commonplace.   But language still has its own generosity in supplying so much material with which to play. Joyce, having played with it, is only giving it back. 

            The book has grown and some of the processes of its growth, we might romantically like to think, alongside the young Joyce, imitate the organic (and teleological) processes of nature.  Joyce at points plays with the metaphors of the organic as he compares his own book with the tree.  But he outgrows this particular metaphor of growth and structure and plenty.  The tree, under the kind of focus we have given, may come to seem as though it has a metonymic centrality.  But really (in treeth), it lies at only one of the manifold centres of the text, and does not offer a frame for it any more than any other ‘passage’ of the book.  Such a framing could only be achieved by the metonymic violence of turning the book inside out, something Joyce did and readers persistently do too, forcing the book to be contained within the tree (or whatever object or event is in question – dance, funeral, Irish stew), rather than the other way round, which is always instead in fact the case.  In any case, the book also grows through the simple but powerful and inorganic technologies and machineries of writing: Joyce’s hypertextual ‘everplanned’ text-producing machine.  The organic and the inorganic, the symbolic order and the natural order, the real and its representations, are passive subjects of entanglement but also active agents that entwine themselves together.  But precise accounts of process produce differentiation between the ways that texts or trees or machines produce themselves or other material.  From a materialist standpoint, they do so in ways which allow the differences between the organic and the machinic or technological to fall away.  The problem with ‘technophiliac’ attacks on the metaphors of ‘organicism’ and of ‘arboreal’ structures (such as I alluded to in the third note to Part I of this article), is that they let a vitalist spirit in their deployments of the metaphorical to remain: the arboreal and its spirit are abandoned, but the spirit of the rhizomatic, or the machinic or whatever form is favored as a model, lingers.  Approached from a materialistic perspective, all processes of transformation, whatever the form—organic, inorganic, technological or machinic—are equally valid for analysis, all being equally beyond good and evil and metaphoric applicability.  The machinic (or certain types of the organic) deserve metaphoric primacy over the organic form of the tree, only in a material world where the tree and other organic forms, including the rhizome, are acknowledged as machines or part of a machinery themselves.  Materialist examinations of process do not however produce a monism of process but a sense of the discriminations needed to differentiate and describe different processes, of which there are plenty, a plenitude, a ‘plentitude’.  This call for materialist accounts of processes is not platitudinous but remains urgent.   It is not however a call whose urgency can be heard all that loudly in Finnegans Wake.  The Wake does supply a scepticism necessary for materialism, and, in the Archive, we have been left with the material to assist material analyses.  But the Wake also seems to have a firmly rooted scepticism towards any urgent calls for action. 



Hayman, David A First Draft Version of ‘Finnegans Wake’ (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).
Joyce, James Finnegans Wake 3rd edition (London: Faber & Faber, 1975)
--- The Letters of James Joyce Vols 1 and 3 ed. by Richard Ellmann et al. (Viking Press: New York, 1975)
--- The James Joyce Archive, Vols 61 and 62 edited by Michael Groden et al (Garland Press: New York, 1976)
--- The ‘Finnegans Wake’ Notebooks at Buffalo, VI.B.1, edited by Vincent Deane et al. (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2003)
Matthew, Colin et al.  The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)
McHugh, Roland Annotations to ‘Finnegans Wake’ 3rd edition (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)
Rose, Danis and John O’Hanlon ‘Preface’ to the James Joyce Archive, Vols 61 and 62 (Garland Press: New York, 1976)

1 Three or four copies were sometimes provided, but, as in the case of the ‘tree’ passage, not always required.
2 LI, p.259.
3 Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon, ‘Preface’ to JJA 61, viii.
4 See LIII, 232; 27.10.31.
5 See BL Add MSS 47486a-39 to 47486a-54; JJA 61, 163-182.
6 See JJA 61, 258-298. The Joyce Archive observes that these ‘extradraft notes’ were ‘used for the additions on the… (missing) draft and for further overlay on the typescript of the first set of additions.’ (JJA 61, xi). This is correct but the notes were also used for additions to the first set of pages of transition 15, as can be seen from the last unit here beginning ‘-- Telleth it aye the treeth’ (JJA 61, 294). This appears on the first set of transition pages but was copied from the second set of worksheets.
7 See JJA 61, 294 and 296.
8 See, JJA 61, 257; and n.5 above.
9 Borstals in Ireland were in the news in 1930, because there was discussion that in Northern Ireland routine caning should be allowed. This discussion was happening shortly before the time Joyce was producing worksheets for this chapter. See
10 See ‘Erasmus Smith’ in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
11 See Part I of this article in “Hypermedia Joyce Studies”, 8.2.
12 See ‘Frederic Nolan’ in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
13 From The Leader 15 March 1924-125/1. See “The Finnegans Wake Notebooks at Buffalo, VI.B.1”, p. 184.