5:15 AM (4 hours ago)
when I said that the passage does not seem so enigmatic
I didn’t mean that it is lined with roses, or, if it is,
one must take care of thorns.
At any rate I think the general idea of the paragraph starting
from 240.05 is clear enough. It describes Shem’s public forswearing
of his past and sinful life, his “Examen of conscience”.
In fact it is the morphing of Shem into his opposite “Shaunian” aspect.
And if we jump to the passage under examination we may detect a lot
of more or less overt allusions to that. Let’s give it a try:
240.30: He, A. A., in peachskin shantungs, possible, sooth to say,
240.31: notwithstanding far former guiles and he gaining fish consider-240.32: able, by saving grace after avalunch, to look most prophitable 240.33: out of smily skibluh eye. He repeat of him as pious alios cos he 240.34: ast for shave and haircut people said he’d shape of hegoat where
240.35: he just was sheep of herrgott with his tile togged. Top.
“He,A.A.” That’s a sardonic start, a sort of onomatopeic bray (hee-haw),
and an act of obedience (Aye,Aye [sir!]) made by Augustine Aloysius
(eye-eye : Italian ahi-ahi: ouch!) poor/pair eyed Joyce.
He changes his rude complexion into a delicate (fruitish: peach)
and silky one (shantung); his Chinese pidgin (peachskin) into an orthodox
Shaunian tongue (Shaun tung : tung, from Old English tung, tunge :
The “twin” image is enhanced by the fact that the original and precious
“shantung”, shantung silk, or duppioni silk, is made of the duppion silk
yarn, that is from the cocoon of two silk worms that have nested together.
Although hard to believe, almost non plausible, this Shem-Shaunian’s new look is indeed possible (in sooth) [sooth: hinting vaguely at Italian “seta” : silk],
no matter how treacherous and cunning his past actions (former guiles)
And his physique has changed as well. He has put on some weight (fish / flesh) [like our well known stately and plump Buck Mulligan] since – after his plentiful meals (avalanche -> lunch — French “avaler” : to swallow) – he has learned not to dissipate his fat (grace -> French “gras”, Italian “grasso” : fat), so that his aspect is that of a farsighted wise man (prophet), full of grace/gras, content of himself, with smiling and dear (Russian : milyi)
blue, celestial (sky oriented) eyes who gives profitable directions
to “fhish” people. (His fish of wisdom.)
It’s the “kiblah” (the direction of the Kaaba, in Mecca, toward which Muslims face when praying), the straight road to follow, which is the opposite of the old (sinful) road: “qiblah” is Arabic “that which is placed opposite”; and Arabic “qabala” as well (to be opposite); but Hebrew “qabbalah” too, with its esoteric teaching (FW).
But “gaining fish” and “saving grace” have Christian hints as well and point directly to the The First Feeding Miracle, the only miracle
(apart from the resurrection) which is present in all four canonical Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15.)
The new Shem has learned how to fish (hook people), how to feed them with his (magical) words and charm them with his “blue-sky-directed looks”
which turn five loaves of bread and two fish [again a “twin” image : Pisces]
into an avalanche of food (have a lunch), the rest of which, the surplus (profit), he does not waste or throw away, but “saves” graciously and thankfully (saying grace). That is indeed a miracle if compared with the dissolute intemperance and wastefulness of the old Shem. He outlived (save) through grace the “avalanche” of sins.
The old Shem who keeps saying that he is another man (alios -> alius,
Latin : other), a pious one, like the pious Aeneas,
[but a Triestine could read it as “pajasso” (clown) [pah-yah-soh],
so a “pajas+soul” (clownish soul) and a “pajas+helios” (clownish sun)];
a priestly one (piou-s-alios : Latin salios [acc. plural]; salius [singular]: “priest of Mars”); so a warring priest, member of the Church Militant, like a pious Aenes founder of a new Rome; a pagan Jebusite turned into a Jesuit; one who must be measured with different meters and ratios: cos [trigonometry] cosine against the “sinful” sin);
“ast” (alternating series test) a method used to prove that infinite series
of terms converge (converge -> conversion), discovered by Gottfried Leibniz.
That same Leibniz who surmised that there are indefinitely many substances individually ‘programmed’ to act in a predetermined way, each program being coordinated with all the others. (WP).
[Leibnitz -> Monad : Italian “mònade”; but Triestine “monàde” : bullshit]
And that is exactly Shem’s condition, Shem who has been appointed by
the special verb (herrgott : argot [French: slang] ) of Almighty God
(Herr Gott) to be a scapegoat (shape hegoat),
“With his broad and hairy face, to Ireland a disgrace” (II,2,260),
under the shape (togged / togued) of a devil (Glugg), apparently sure of
himself (tail up), but actually tugged and stoned, lapidated (tile).
And watch out: “tail up” means “bottom exposed”.
As our Russian General knows!