Greetings all! A rare meeting in which we actually read what we said we would...
As usual, the Wake served up to us another iteration of 'the haardly creditable edventyres of the Haberdasher, the two Curchies and the three Enkelchums in their Bearskin ghoats'. (51.13-5)
The section transformed from the theatrical (and musical) of the beginning of chapter three, Joyce incorporating the lines of two songs from Percy French (at 50.33-6), before becoming, more formally, the filming, broadcasting and televising we were anticipating.
I got the sense that HCE isn't the most comfortable in front of the camera... Aside from the fact that he appears to adopt 'the shape of the average human cloudyphiz' (50.35 to 51.01), which makes it very difficult to 'idendifine the individuone' (51.06), HCE also appears to be sensitive about having any of his faces on camera at all. The Spanish lines (52.14-6) poke fun at our man, and perhaps at the filmic medium as well.
51.21-27 clarifies this a little. HCE, in beginning to provide the 'fully armed explanation' (51.23-4), is simultaneously revealed for the chamaeleon-like abilities he has. He is a 'native of the sisterisle', but at the same time he has the 'ex-race eyes, lokil calour and lucal odour which are said to have been average clownturkish'. How ever many iterations we read we still know that HCE is on the nose!
Joyce's representation of HCEs appearance on camera doesn't appear to depart radically from the general presentation of the narrative as we have encountered it so far, unsurprising for a text that departs radically (in so many ways) from the conventions of language and the novel. There is a brief suggestion , however, that Joyce is aware of the radical advances that film allows for the arts. HCE (on 52.06-8) '[h]aving reprimed his repeater and resiteroomed his timespiece His Revenances, with still a life or two to spare' begs for compassion. The camera, however, is not the most compassionate of devices. One "shoots" a film (along with so many more martial metaphors (cf. Kittler in Gramophone, Film, Typewriter) which explains the merging of temporal and martial allusions within this section (especially the 'repeater' being glossed by McHugh as both watch and firearm). Further, the film allows the character to live in another temporal realm, and simultaneously to occupy a new created time and to exist forever in film. Bit of a confused thought I know...
And if film allows the creation of multiple times it also facilitates the construction of multiple worlds, hence the invocation of 'probable words, possibly said' (52.32).
We're meeting next Wednesday (27 June) at 2 pm to read 53.07 56.19. Onwards with the 'humphriad'! (53.09)