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Early drafts of the Roderick O'Conor vignette of Finnegans Wake

Jorn Barger May 1998? (tweaked May 2000)

Here are the first draft, the fourth draft, and the published version of the ROC vignette. I've highlighted some added phrases that can be traced to surviving notebook notes. For more detailed analysis, see: ftp://ftp.trentu.ca/pub/jjoyce/newgame/roc.txt (90k)

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First draft, March 1923:

So anyhow to wind up after the whole beanfeast was all over poor old King Roderick O'Conor the last king of all Ireland who was anything you like between fiftyfour and fiftyfive years of age at the time after the socalled last supper he gave or at least he wasn't actually the last king of all Ireland for the time being because he was still such as he was the king of all Ireland after the last king of all Ireland Art MacMurrough Kavanagh who was king of all Ireland before he was anyhow what did he do King Roderick O'Conor the respected king of all Ireland at the time after they were all of them gone when he was all by himself but he just went heeltapping round his own right royal round rollicking table and faith he sucked up sure enough like a Trojan in some particular cases with the assistance of his venerated tongue one after the other in strict order of rotation whatever happened to be left in the different bottoms of the various drinking utensils left there behind them by the departed honourable guests such as it was either Guiness's or Phoenix Brewery Stout or John Jameson and Sons or for that matter O'Connell's Dublin ale as a fallback of several different quantities amounting in all to I should say considerably more than the better part of a gill or naggin of imperial dry and liquid measure.

Notes used:

DecB 10.54 "MacMurrogh Kavanagh"


Fourth draft, July 1923 (added notes highlighted):

So anyhow after that to wind up that long to be chronicled get together day, the anniversary of his first holy communion, after that same barbecue beanfeast was all over poor old hospitable King Roderick O'Conor, the paramount chief polemarch and last preelectric king of all Ireland who was anything you say yourself between fiftyfour and fiftyfive years of age at the time after the socalled last free supper he greatly gave in his umbrageous house of the hundred bottles or at least he wasn't actually the then last king of all Ireland for the time being for the jolly good reason that he was still such as he was the eminent king of all Ireland himself after the last preeminent king of all Ireland, the whilom joky old top that went before him in the dienasty King Art MacMurrough Kavanagh of the leather leggings, now of parts unknown, God guard his generous soul that put a poached fowl in the poor man's pot before he took to his pallyass with the weeping eczema for better and worse until he went and died nevertheless the year the sugar was scarce and himself down to three cows that was meat and drink and dogs and washing to him 'tis good cause we have to remember it anyhow wait till I tell you what did he do poor old Roderick O'Conor Rex the auspicious waterproof monarch of all Ireland when he found himself all alone by himself in his grand old historic pile after all of them had all gone off with themselves as best they could on footback in extended order a tree's length from the longest way out down the switchbackward road, the unimportant Parthalonians with the mouldy Firbolgs and the Tuatha de Danaan googs and all the rest of the notmuchers that he didn't care the royal spit out of his ostensible mouth about well what do you think he did, sir, but faix he just went heeltapping through the winespilth and weevily popcorks that were kneedeep round his own right royal round rollicking topers' table with his old Roderick Random pullon hat at a cant on him, the body, you'd pity him, the way the world is, poor he, the heart of Midleinster and the supereminent lord of them all, overwhelmed as he was with black ruin like a sponge out of water and singing all to himself through his old tears starkened by the most regal belches I've a terrible errible lot todo today todo toderribleday well what did he go and do at all His Most Exuberant Majesty King Roderick O'Conor but arrah bedamnbut he finalised by lowering his woolly throat with the wonderful midnight thirst was on him as keen as mustard and leave it if he didn't suck up sure enough like a Trojan in some particular cases with the assistance of his venerated tongue whatever surplus rotgut sorra much was left by the lazy lousers of maltknights and beerchurls in the different bottoms of the various different replenquished drinking utensils left there behind them on the premises, by the departed honourable homegoers and other slygrogging suburbanites such as it was no matter whether it was chateaubottled Guinness's or Phoenix brewery stout it was or John Jameson and Sons or Roob Coccola or for the matter of that O'Connell's famous old Dublin ale that he wanted like hell as a fallback of several different quantities and qualities amounting in all to I should say considerably more than the better part of a gill or naggin of imperial dry or liquid measure.

Notes used:

NovC 10.16 "old top"
NovE 10.29 "God guard his generous soul"
NovE 10.29 "+ I down to 3 pigs"
NovE 10.30 "She died the year the sugar was scarce"
NovE 10.30 "'tis why I remember it"
NovE 10.30 "the way the world is"
NovE 10.30 "the same fight"
NovF 10.40 "'dorgs'- meat drink + washing"
NovG 10.45 "weevily winecorks"
NovG 10.45 "chateau-bottled"
Nov A-Words 39 "pull on hat"
Nov A-Eolus 4 "house of the hundred bottles"
DecB 10.53 "Muircaerteach of the Leather Coats"
DecC 10.59 "a get-together day"
DecE 10.75 "the mother, you'd pity her"
DecF 10.76 "jokey old man"
JanA 10.90 "Fr. king to put a fowl in every man's pot"
JanC 10.101 "barbecue - feast whole roasting"
JanE 10.117 "paramount chief"
Feb A-Words 158 "cross or pile"
Apr 3.04 "hospitable"
Jun A-Words 299 "not muchers"
Jun A-Painful 25-26 "Roob-Coccola"
Jul A-Words 352 "a couple of googs"
Jul 25.88 "decorated by most regal of belches"
Jul A-Words 366 "starkened"

A long file that includes these notes in context: ftp://ftp.trentu.ca/pub/jjoyce/newgame/fwnotes.txt (330k)


Published version, 1939, FW380-2:

So anyhow, melumps and mumpos of the hoose uncommons, after that to wind up that longtobechronickled gettogether thanksbetogiving day at Glenfinnisk-en-la-Valle, the anniversary of his finst homy commulion, after that same barbecue beanfeast was all over poor old hospitable corn and eggfactor, King Roderick O'Conor, the paramount chief polemarch and last preelectric king of Ireland, who was anything you say yourself between fiftyodd and fiftyeven years of age at the time after the socalled last supper he greatly gave in his umbrageous house of the hundred bottles with the radio beamer tower and its hangars, chimbneys and equilines or, at least, he was'nt actually the then last king of all Ireland for the time being for the jolly good reason that he was still such as he was the eminent king of all Ireland himself after the last preeminent king of all Ireland, the whilom joky old top that went before him in the Taharan dynasty, King Arth Mockmorrow Koughenough of the leathered leggions, now of parts unknown, (God guard his generous comicsongbook soul!) that put a poached fowl in the poor man's pot before he took to his pallyass with the weeping eczema for better and worse until he went under the grass quilt on us, nevertheless, the year the sugar was scarce, and we to lather and shave and frizzle him, like a bald surging buoy and himself down to three cows that was meat and drink and dogs and washing to him, 'tis good cause we have to remember it, going through summersultryngs of snow and sleet witht the widow Nolan's goats and the Brownes girls neats anyhow, wait till I tell you, what did he do, poor old Roderick O'Conor Rex, the auspicious waterproof monarch of all Ireland, when he found himself all alone by himself in his grand old handwedown pile after all of them had all gone off with themselves to their castles of mud, as best they cud, on footback, owing to the leak of the McCarthy's mare, in extended order, a tree's length from the longest way out, down the switchbackward slidder of the landsown route of Hauburnea's liveliest vinnage on the brain, the unimportant Parthalonians with the mouldy Firbolgs and the Tuatha de Danaan googs and the ramblers from Clane and all the rest of the notmuchers that he did not care the royal spit out of his ostensible mouth about, well, what do you think he did, sir, but, faix, he just went heeltapping through the winespilth and weevily popcorks that were kneedeep round his own right royal round rollicking toper's table, with his old Roderick Random pullon hat at a Lanty Leary cant on him and Mike Brady's shirt and Greene's linnet collarbow and his Ghenter's gaunts and his Macclefield's swash and his readymade Reillys and his panprestuberian poncho, the body you'd pity him, the way the world is, poor he, the heart of Midleinster and the supereminent lord of them all, overwhelmed as he was with black ruin like a sponge out of water, allocutioning in bellcantos to his own oliverian society MacGuiney's Dreans of Ergen Adams and thruming through all to himself with diversed tonguesed through his old tears and his ould plaised drawl, starkened by the most regal of belches, like a blurney Cashelmagh crooner that lerking Clare air, the blackberd's ballad I've a terrible errible lot todue todie todue tootorribleday, well, what did he go and do at all, His Most Exuberant Majesty King Roderick O'Conor but, arrah bedamnbut, he finalised by lowering his woolly throat with the wonderful midnight thirst was on him, as keen as mustard, he could not tell what he did ale, that bothered he was from head to tail, and, wishawishawish, leave it, what the Irish, boys, can do, if he did'nt go, sliggymaglooral reemyround and suck up, sure enough, like a Trojan, in some particular cases with the assistance of his venerated tongue, whatever surplus rotgut, sorra much, was left by the lazy lousers of maltknights and beerchurls in the different bottoms of the various different replenquished drinking utensils left there behind them on the premisses by that whole hogsheaded firkin family, the departed honourable homegoers and other slygrogging suburbanites, such as it was, fall and fall about, to the brindishing of his charmed life, as toastified by his cheeriubicundenances, no matter whether it was chateaubottled Guiness's or Phoenix brewery stout it was or John Jameson and Sons or Roob Coccola or, for the matter of that, O'Connell's famous old Dublin ale that he wanted like hell, more that halibut oil or jesuits tea, as a fall back, of several different quantities and qualities amounting in all to, I should say, considerably more than the better part of a gill or naggin of imperial dry and liquid measure till, welcome be from us here, till the rising of the morn, till that hen of Kaven's shows her beaconegg, and Chapwellswendows stain our horyhistoricold and Father MacMichael stamps for aitch o'clerk mess and the Litvian Newestlatter is seen, sold and delivered and all's set for restart after the silence, like his ancestors to this day after him (that the blazings of their ouldmouldy gods may attend to them we pray!), overopposides the cowery lad in the corner and forenenst the staregaze of the cathering candled, that adornment of his album and folkenfather of familyans, he came acrash a crupper sort of a sate on accomondation and the very boxst in all his composs, whereuponce, behome the fore for cove and trawlers, heave hone, leave lone, Larry's on the focse and Faugh MacHugh O'Bawlar at the wheel, one to do and one to dare, par by par, a peerless pair, ever here and over there, with his fol the dee oll the doo on the flure of his feats and the feels of the fumes in the wakes of his ears our wineman from Barleyhome he just slumped to throne.

So sailed the stout ship Nansy Hans. From Liff away. For Nattenlaender. As who has come returns. Farvel, farerne! Goodbark, goodbye!

Now follow we out by Starloe!


The full published chapter (FW II.3) is here.


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