McHugh, Roland / The sigla of Finnegans wake
Chapter 9: the serpent, pp. 122-132
The Serpent 123 she was followed the worse she grew, and kept the streets the fouler.'2 Kate Strong was indeed a widow, but remarried with the merchant Thomas White thus permitting K and S in FW, theoretically at least, to be conjoined. Her two assistants, whose names suggest ~ and A, were James Bellewe and John Butcher. The 'filthdump near the Serpentine' is of course 0: affinities between K and A are thereby set up. In 1632 the Dubliners petitioned 'shewing that whereas Catherin Stronge, alias White, scavinger of this cittie, doth laie all the filthred and dounge which shee gathereth in the easte parte of this citty, close to Mr. George Baddely his garden, where the tide doth ebbe and flowe, by which meanes the river is soe stopt, that a small gabbart cannott come to the key with her loadeinge, but in a springe tide, which is most miserable to bee permitted'.3 The principal function of K in FW is the building and maintenance of 0, either as middenheap or waxworks. She also carries a message from A to m (333.06Ä334.30) and finds him on the stairs late at night (556.3 1Ä557.12). The siglum is rare. VI.B.33.19o has 'K weeps for m's soul', VI.B.14.152 'K descended from Odin'. In fact little of the Scandinavian quality of S appears in his consort. We find them both at 221 .o6Äi6. 'SAUNDERSON', a 'scherinsheiner and spoilcurate', serves drink to 0. He is also a 'supperaape', for VI.B.27. 105 has 'S= ape'. K is 'Rachel Lea Varian', combining an aged -II- with I. S. Varian's Dublin brush manufacture. As a scavenger, K carries a brush or rake. To the children S is a bogeyman. VI.B.4.132 gives 'K threatens ~ with S', and VI.B. 13.105, possibly in reference to 578.01, 'wind round the house S'. This is one of the occasional instances where the letter is drawn with sharp corners, but I do not believe the deviation carries any particular import. S frequently appears as a menacing police officer, for example as that embodiment of~'s paranoia 'Petty constable Sistersen' who may be seen in action at i86. 19Ä187.14. We can often recognize S in names echoic of 'Sackerson', such as Saunderson and Sistersen. Another example is 'Comestipple Sacksoun' at 015.35, who becomes the Jute. If we take the hint of VI.B.4. 183, 'S= Robot', we may also find S involved in the prosecution case in the 1.4 trial as 'P. C. Robort' (086.07), acting for the crown. If S in book I is the harasser of ~, book III reverses the 2 John Gilbert, Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin III (Dublin, Dollard 1892), xxiii. 3lbid., 262.
Copyright © 1976 by Roland McHugh.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright