GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES - Issue 11 (Spring 2011)



‘“Ocone! Ocone!”:

ALP’s 3D Siglum and Dolph’s “Dainty” Diagram


By Jonathan McCreedy



“The Triangle” section (FW 282.5-304.4) of Finnegans Wake,[1] incorporates a medieval Dantean study of theology, human corruption and sin, focusing upon the Lustful figure of Dolph who is damned for his crimes. Using a genetic approach,[2] I study the Divine Comedy’s thematic position within “The Triangle”, reviewing the Dante quotations[3] and diagrammatic structures in its multi-layered story-line. Dolph’s character is introduced as a teacher, educating a young man called Kevin about sex. He uses, as a tool within his lesson, a diagram (JJA 53: 4; FW 293), which, in this essay, is analysed from three perspectives: geometrical (Euclid), biological (the vulva) and Dantean (the Divine Comedy). The ‘“Dainty” Diagram’,[4] or ‘“Dante” Diagram’, in the title, is related to the structures of the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, and their integration within the visual design of Dolph’s diagram, so this essay will be focusing on Joyce’s love of Dantean construction, with its schematically organised, architectonic world.[5]  

In 8AC.*0, the first draft from mid-1926, “The Triangle” begins with a conversation in juvenile Scottish dialect,[6] when Dolph asks Kevin: ‘Ken you? O alores![7] I can and ken you you cont.’ (JJA 53: 4; cf. FW 286.25-27). In 8(ABC).*1, the second draft, this has evolved into: ‘Can you not do her, numb? asks Dolph, expecting the answer know I cont. Ken you, ninny? answers [illegible] ^Kev^ ex^sus^pecting the answer guess.’ (JJA 53: 17; cf. FW 286.25-8) The question, which is: ‘Did you have sex with her?’ is expected to have the answer ‘know’ in the “Biblical” sense of intercourse. We don’t know who the girl is, but it is clear that Kevin planned a liaison, indicating his physical maturity. But he was unsuccessful in his aim, the reason given to Dolph being: ‘’I cont’ or ‘I can’t. Kevin confides with Dolph, asking in return: ‘Ken you, ninny?’ (FW 286.26-7) that is, if he is a virgin also, a taboo in male society, or if he knows anything about it: ‘O tell it to we, do, Sem!’[8] (JJA 53: 47; cf. FW 286.31). Dolph shares his intimate knowledge, first by instructing Kevin how to draw the FW 293 diagram in five steps. Dolph uses the diagram as a didactic tool in the context of a schoolboy’s lesson, where the overarching topic is sex education.

As his teaching model, Dolph uses a diagram from Euclid’s Elements. Prior to Dolph and Kevin’s initial dialogue, a voice imitating the Elements states: ‘Problem ye ferst, construct ann aqualittoral dryankle Probe loom!’ (JJA 53: 36; FW 286.19-20), which is based on the instruction in Euclid’s 1st Proposition in Book I: ‘To describe an equilateral triangle on a given finite straight line.’[9] The original diagram from this Euclidian problem is transcribed below:




John Casey’s edition of the Elements was most likely Joyce’s genetic source[11] as ‘Casey’s frost book of page torn on dirty.’ (JJA 53: 35; FW 286.9-10) is written in 8.*2, the fourth draft of “The Triangle”: ‘9 handwritten pages, completed in 25th September, 1926’.[12] In the Elements, Euclid provides a series of instructions following each of his diagrams, which are usually directions to draw lines or calculate and plot angles. The first three instructions in Euclid’s 1st Proposition are:


From the centre A, at the distance AB, describe the circle BCD.

From the centre B, at the distance BA, describe the circle ACE.

From the point C, at which the circles cut one another, draw the straight lines CA and CB to the points A and B.[13]


The lesson begins with Dolph telling Kevin to draw an ‘α’ in the mud: ‘Take mud. You take Dump it at a given point ^of coast^ to be called α but pronounced olfa’ (JJA 53:4; cf. FW 287.13-15) but, in 8(ABC).*1, subsequent instructions to construct a diagram (JJA 53: 4; cf. FW 293) are delayed by a large integration of text, comprising eleven pages of material (JJA 53: 18-29). Introduced by a Latin passage: ‘venite [indecipherable] ^sine mora^ deumque de ^entibus^ nascitus decendius in ^romana^ his(?) mortuorum [...]’ (JJA 53: 18; cf. FW 287.21-28), a narrator, who seeks to bring disgrace to Dolph, interrupts the lesson to inform the reader that Dolph is a fallen man and corrupt Shem figure, condemned to Hell by God and society. In 8.*2, this section is given within parentheses: ‘Now (For Dolph, dean of idles ^suckling of a stone^ [...]’ (JJA 53: 36; FW 287,18), concluding with: ‘[...] that you must, law draw the line somewhawre)’ (JJA 53: 41; FW 292.35-36). The sex education we have been anticipating is halted, temporarily, and in its place a character study of Dolph integrates themes of sin and damnation, making this passage the first part of Joyce’s Divine Comedy structure in the “The Triangle”.

The section is written in a style akin to that of I.1,[14] since Dolph’s character, like that of HCE, is a fusion of mythical, literary and historical figures. Dolph, initially a good Christian and chaste St. Patrick figure[15], is corrupted by Lust, engaging in ‘craft ebbing’ (JJA 53:90; FW 290.28) styled sexual depravity: ‘Luck, come[16] messes, come mams and touch your spottprice[17].’ (JJA 53: 51; FW 290.25) with famous, desirable women including ‘the belle of La Chapelle’ (JJA 53: 38; FW 290.2), or Isolde, and a Kitty O’Shea figure: ‘Shee’ (JJA 53: 38; FW 290.1). Dolph’s sins are irreproachable to the narrator, and indivisible from the great historical and literary acts of Lust, Heresy and Treachery. Dolph encompasses the characters of Jonathan Swift: ‘^Gratings, Mr Dane!^’ (JJA 53: 61; FW 288.19), who is possibly damned for his inappropriate sexual desires[18]; Charles Stewart Parnell, and his adultery with ‘Shee’, or Kitty O’Shea; ‘Poor Macbeth!’ (JJA 53: 49; FW 290.5-9) for his murder of King Duncan; Tristan: ‘where in the rose world trysting [...].’ (JJA 53: 104; FW 290.1-2), for his physical love of Isolde, or ‘Isolade’ (FW 289.29) and betrayal of his uncle King Mark; and Faust (FW 288.9), for his ‘faustian’ (FW 292.22) sorcery[19], by signing his ‘damning letter’ (FW 288.13). Like Dolph, all of these men, whose sins he inherits through association, were once esteemed figures in their respective historical or fictional societies, but they were all led to damnation through moral corruption. Dolph’s character study, in this section: FW 287.18 – FW 292.31, is encased in anticipatory allusions to Hell and torture. There is fire in an 8(ABC).1* accretion: ‘^Byrnes and Flanning’s and Furniss’ and Bill Haye’s and Ellishly Haught^’ (FW 289.13-14; JJA 53: 21), or ‘burns’, ‘flaming’, ‘furnace’, blaze’ and ‘hellishly hot’. In the un-transcribed 8(ABC).*0 accretion, there is also crucifixion: ‘^ordinailed^’ (JJA 53: 19), a unit combining ‘ordination’ with ‘nails’. It’s non-transference to 8.*1 may be because, owing to its Christian symbolism, it could imbue Dolph with a Jesus-identity.[20] As noted by several critics,[21] there are multiple Inferno quotations, specifically from Canto V, Virgil’s record of circle II, ‘the Lustful’ – Dolph’s most characteristic sin. The Irish heroine Gráinne: ‘granyou’ (JJA 53: 51; FW 292.1), the adulterous lover of Dermot, is assimilated with the tragic figure of Francesca da Rimini in Canto V of the Inferno. This female figure, one of Dolph’s lovers, is condemned to spend eternity with him in the pitch-dark, desert of ferocious winds, in Circle II.[22] Dante’s pity for Francesca and Paolo: ‘Love, that so soon takes hold in the gentle breast’ (Inf. V.100), is echoed: [...] that is what lamour which of gentle breast rathe is intaken seems circling toward out yondest heaven holp the hindmost [...].’ (JJA 53: 27; cf. FW 292.1-4) as well as their Dantean punishment: ‘Circling toward out yondest’ probably refers to the outermost circle of Hell in which Paolo and Francesca are confined.[23] The famous concluding phrase in Francesca’s declaration of misery to Dante[24]: ‘[...] and this thy doctor knows.’ (Inf. V.123) is iterated to Dolph by the narrator: ‘[...] accordant to all three doctors.’ (JJA 53: 38; cf. FW 290.5-6), who are identified in an accretion as: ‘^ MulHuliffe and poor Macbeth and poor old MaConnell^’ (JJA 53: 38; cf. FW 290.5-6). The number ‘three’ suggests the character siglum , which was in I.1 usage in late 1926, but the meaning of this nevertheless remains unclear, save a fair assumption that the noble Virgil figure, Dante’s ‘doctor’, is not amongst their corruptive party. Dante’s swoon, or fainting, caused by his pity for Francesca: ‘And as a dead man falling, down I fell.’ (Inf. V.142), is transferred to the soul of Dolph: ‘[...] they let drop as a dumbbody damnedbody ^doombody^ drops without another word [...].’ (JJA 53: 21&23; cf. FW 289.15), who being a damned, or doomed figure, will be cast by God into Hell, as soon as he is dead. However, in a late “Triangle” draft, 8.13 +[25], in the accretion: ‘[...] and in truth as a poor soul is between shift and shit ere the death he has lived through becomes the life he is to die into [...].’ (JJA 53: 249; FW 293.2-3), Dolph quotes Capaneus, from the Inferno, an unrepentant, wrathful sinner, in Circle VII, who rails against God: ‘That which in life I was, in death I am.’ (Inf. XIV.51) Hence, Dolph proudly accepts his sin, and states that damnation will not change his Lustful ways, even though he knows the terrible suffering he will endure in Hell as a consequence. 

Upon the conclusion of this section, we commence Dolph’s lesson, albeit that our understanding of his teachings is informed by his character study. Since Dolph’s damnation is integral to the content of “The Triangle”, and the Divine Comedy is now of key importance, the lesson does not function merely as a parody of Euclidian geometric construction. Dolph provides Kevin with step by step workings, so the diagram can be recreated visually in five pictures. A geometric method constructs the figure, since the instructions draw lines, letters and circles, but its encapsulating meaning remains elusive unless its shapes are interpreted in reference to themes in the surrounding narrative. Dolph’s first instructed step following: ‘Dump it a given point ^of coast^ to be called α but pronounced olfa.’ (JJA 53: 4; FW 287.13-5) is: ‘After that you must draw the line somewhere. Given an inch make an ell. Now we see the line AL stops at Lamda’ (JJA 53:4; cf. FW 293.23-294.4).



Dolph’s second instruction: ‘Now with Olaf as centrum and Olaf; Lambtail as his spokesman[26] cumscribe a circlus’ (JJA 53:4; cf. FW 294.8-11) tells Kevin to draw a circle, with precise relation to the previous instruction, using the point Aα as its centre.



In stage three: ‘The mystery repeats itself. Spin from the mudbank Loosh with Allium as her end in view, turn a somersault. Hop lala!’ (JJA 53: 4; FW 295.18-21) Dolph asks for a second circle to be drawn, with λL as its centre:



In step four: ‘[...] pour[?] a pee there ^for Pride^ and let you go and make ^for Humbles^ a pie up your end’ (JJA 53: 5; cf. FW 295.19-21),[27] π and  are incorporated at the top and bottom of the diagram:




In the final instruction: ‘‘Now from ^dotty links^ alpha pea ^Bene^ [indecipherable] pull ^by^ loose and & ^and^ ^and^ paleale and eelpie ^by trunklines^’ (JJA 53: 5; cf. FW 296.24-27), the figure is completed with two triangles created inside the interlocking circles. The letters and symbols, spelling ALP in Greek and Roman letters, [28] are now linked together:



In 8.7+, Dolph, with pleasure, sees that Kevin has viewed the completed diagram and masturbated: ‘You’ve spat your shower but lets have at it’ (JJA 53: 111; cf. FW 297.5), his happiness with his student’s Lustful behaviour made unambiguous in 8.8, wherein the statement: Arrah, go on! Fin for fun?’ (JJA 53: 137; FW 297.4) precedes the act. Joycean criticism has identified the pudenda, or female genitals, of ALP is integral to Dolph’s design,[29] its purpose being to educate Kevin about sex through a visual medium. The diagram therefore, having instigated Kevin’s ejaculation, has a pornographic quality to the young man.[30] It is a ‘dirty picture’[31] designed by Dolph, and owing to its effective stimulus on Kevin, it can be assumed that, in physical resemblance, it is exact in proportion and detail to the female genitalia.[32] The design recreates the biological totality of the vulva, from a close perspective. Although the two circles have been defined as ALP’s hips[33] and buttocks[34] in criticism, it is difficult to visualise exactly how these theories function within Dolph’s diagrammatic representation of the female genitals. The circles intersect rather to make a frame for a detailed image of the vulva, and with steps four and five complete in the construction of the diagram, its anatomical parts are integrated in visual form. The outer structure of the vulva is formed by the inclusion of two triangles in the diagram, which, in their positioning, creates the interior of the figure. The four half-ellipse shapes,[35] which link together the triangles and the circles, resemble the folds of the labia which enclose it.[36] In the diagram, the labia rise up into three dimensions, framing the image of the vulva. This provides the basis for the inclusion of two additional parts of anatomy, the clitoris and the anus, positioned opposite one another as the π and P symbols. In my reading,[37] ALP’s clitoris is π, located at the top of the diagram above the labia. Dolph’s π is accurate to the positioning of the clitoris on the vulva, and its proportion is correct in anatomical terms. With its two vertical lines, combining with a top, the π is the clitoris in visual form,[38] if viewed in a three dimensional perspective.[39] It inclusion makes the diagram as sexually explicit as possible, which is fitting with Dolph’s Lustful appetites and libertine experiences. The P, with its position under the vulva, is the anus – the letter’s half-circle shape, above its vertical line, resembling an opening into the body. ‘There’s mud island [...] Modder island there too’[40] (JJA 53: 4; cf. FW 294.4-5), with its scatological imagery, may be Dolph’s reference to the anus during the diagram’s construction, and its inclusion is of importance to him, possibly because he has coprophilic desires. Upon Kevin’s masturbation, and corruption through the pornographic diagram, Dolph seizes the opportunity to make him commit another sexual act, specifically that of lifting up ALP’s skirt. In 8AC.*0, Dolph teaches him the schoolboy method: ‘Then ^we^  carefully lift ^by her hem^ up the apron of our A.L.P. Carefully ^until^ its ^nether^ apex below is ^[indecipherable]^ where a navel ought to be.’ (JJA 53: 5; FW 297.8-14), which is that he will lift up her dress whilst Kevin looks underneath.[41] This idea is posed to Kevin, but it does not take place in the narrative action.  Instead, its suggestion gives exposition to Dolph’s deviancy, contrasting with Kevin’s innocence. Kevin does not accept Dolph’s offer, his character being evidently pure and not perverted like his teacher’s. It is Dolph’s attempted corruption of Kevin, and his unrelenting Lust, which integrates the need for a Dantean interpretation within the diagram, rendered simultaneously with the image of the vulva. With its highly architectonical structure, the world in Dante's Divine Comedy is partly geometrical,[42] and its incorporation, in a diagram of triangles and circles, is accurate in design. The Dantean interpretation facilitates, in a three dimensional perspective change, two cones, or the ‘Ocone! Ocone!’ (JJA 53: 328; FW 297.11) evolving out of the triangles, wherein Dolph, a Virgil figure, descends into the Inferno with Kevin, his damnation actively realised in the narrative.  

From 8(ABC).*1 onwards, Dante takes a central position with Joyce incorporating the Divine Comedy’s tripartite structure into “The Triangle” to document Dolph’s unrepentant journey into Hell. In 8AC.*0, although in relative sketch form, the structures of the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise are integrated within the FW 293 diagram, each in correct proportion to the other, according to the Divine Comedy, and in three dimensions, making its design multi-levelled from its conception. 8AC.*0, with its narrative focus on Dolph’s construction of the diagram, include Purgatory and Paradise quotations, which anticipate material in 8(ABC).*0 and later drafts. The 8AC.*0 instruction: ‘[...] pour[?] a pee there ^for Pride^ and let you go and make ^for Humbles^ a pie up your end’ (JJA 53: 5; cf. FW 295.19-21), is explicitly Dantean,[43] not labelling the diagram in dry geometric fashion. In Canto IX of Purgatory, Dante and Virgil, upon the Gate, climb three steps and are greeted by an angel. To make his way towards Paradise and God, Dante requires his soul to be purged of his capital sins, which the trials on the seven cornices of the mountain will provide. Dante has seven P’s[44] cut into his forehead by the angel, and in climbing each of the mountain’s seven cornices, his capital sins are purged:


Then he did write with his sword’s point, and make

Upon my brow the mark of seven P’s;

“Wash thou these within there”, thus he spake. (Purg. IX.112-14)


Dolph’s Pride is identifiable with Dante’s schematic progress up Mount Purgatory passing through the cornices each of which represent another Deadly sin. In 8.*2, the addition of ‘the word capital’ prior to ‘pee’: ‘I’d likelong to have ^mack^ a capital pee for Pride down there’ (JJA 53: 41; cf. FW 296.5) defines Pride with its official doctrinal title.[45] Dolph has one  ‘for Pride’, the most serious of all capital sins, and he classifies it to himself in the diagram’s construction. There is indeed ‘Pride’ in this self-assignation, and together with his positioning of Kevin at the top, in a heaven-like placing, mocking his innocent, ‘humble’ nature, it is self-evident that Dolph is not in Dante’s Purgatory, where only repentant sinners are allowed, who are searching forgiveness from God.

The Paradise structure is centred upon one short line in 8AC.*0: ‘^Now I’ll show you your geometer^’ (JJA 53:5; cf. FW 296.31-297.1), which quotes from its final canto whilst including the geometric theme of the section. It seems, in 8AC.*0, Dolph includes the line to define the two circles in the diagram which like the ten-fold orbital network of Paradise rise above Purgatory and the Inferno. In XXXIII, Dante, in the presence of God, cannot express what he sees:[46] ‘As the geometer his applies/ To square the circle, nor for all his wit/ Finds the right formula, howe’er he tries,/ So strove I with that wonder.’ (Paradise. XXXIII.133-136). Dolph disassociates himself from Paradise, as he has already done so with Purgatory, and the theological desire to be cleansed of his sins. Paradise is known to Dolph, but although it is observed and described in “The Triangle” it is never entered or explored because his sins do not permit him, in conjunction with his refusal to repent. However, in 8(ABC).*1, the presumably male ‘geometer’ of 8AC.*0[47] is re-assigned as female[48] in 8(ABC).*1: ‘^the^ whom ^of^ your first ^eternal^ geome^a^ter[49].’ The Dantean allusion may be hidden in 8(ABC).*1, since it is supplanted by the ‘geomater’ or Earth Mother symbolism characteristic of ALP. However, as Dolph’s interaction with Kevin is not associated with the Paradise, but rather with the Inferno, Joyce does not replace it.  Instead, he develops his new animistic idea with the image of ‘^the whom^’ inside the Earth, which is where his two characters will shortly descend during Dolph’s Harrowing of Hell. In the 1934 drafts of “The Triangle”, Joyce included such references to Paradise within its marginalia, rebuilding its structure, demolished in 8(ABC).*1. The II.2 margin notes, with their detachment from the main narrative of “The Triangle”, as if above its text on a higher plane, are related to this heavenly, theological content. In 8.12 ,[50] there are allusions written by Shem and Issy, in italics and footnotes, which transcend the impurity of Dolph’s lesson, looking down at him from a Heavenly position. The Lethe river, which flows from a source in the Earthly Paradise and down Mount Purgatory into Hell, visually descends upon the narrative of Dolph’s Lust in Issy’s footnote: ‘^ 3. Because it’s run on the mountain and river system^’ (JJA 53: 206; FW 288.f3). Dolph requires the water from the river Lethe to cleanse his sins, which he can only obtain if he scales Purgatory. In Dolph’s lesson to Kevin, the concentric circles of Paradise and the organisation of its saints and divine souls into a planetary system are illustrated by the visionary Shem as: ‘^Ecclasiastical and Celestial Hierarchies. The Ascending. The Descending^’ (JJA 53: 219: FW 298.l2) The image of the Paradise is a fleeting one as shortly afterwards, in the text of the “Triangle”, Dolph descends into an Inferno of his own making, its torments being of sexual interest to him and of more interest than the humility that an entrance into Heaven would require. In Shem’s final margin note, Beatrice, the love of Dante’s life and guide through Paradise, watches over Dolph in this Inferno: ‘^Ensouling Female Sustains Agonising Overman^’ (JJA 53: 219; FW 302.l2). Her everlasting sympathy, epitomised in her rescue of Dante in the Lost Wood (Inf. I), is felt for the suffering of Dolph from her observation point in Heaven, although he cannot be helped, owing to his unrepentant sinful nature and his self-inflicted damnation.

In 8AC.*0, the Inferno is incorporated by the structure of the diagram with the integration of dotted or dashed lines, a correction to Euclid: ‘Now from ^dotty links^ alpha pea ^Bene^ [indecipherable] pull ^by^ loose and & ^and^ ^and^ paleale and eelpie ^by trunklines^’ (JJA 53: 5; cf. FW 296.24-27). Using the convention that a triangle can represent a cone, just as Yeats does for his gyre drawings in A Vision,[51] this breaks the fixed linear boundary of the diagram. Dolph’s cone in 8AC.*0 is the Inferno, hollowed into the plane which the exterior vulva is illustrated upon. In geometry, a shape marked with dotted lines is unseen, so to provide a suitable figurative example, if a cone is inside a cube, with its circular entrance on the top, it would be rendered thus:[52] 



Dolph’s diagram combines two and three dimensional space. The circular base of the cone, the entrance to its interior, is the line Aα Lλ, which shows how the design gains a new dimension. Aα Lλ is a line and a circular base, owing to the inclusion of the dotted triangle. However, in both the vulva and Dantean interpretations of Dolph’s diagram, Aα Lλ represents an entrance, the interior cone design fusing them together. The dotted triangle completes Dolph’s representation of the vulva in diagrammatic form, adding a third dimension which shows its interiority as an organ. The cone, with its circular entrance at Aα Lλ, is ALP’s vagina which enters into her body. The positioning of Aα Lλ, at the centre of the vulva, is anatomically correct for the vagina, fitting amongst the parts previously named. The vagina as an interior cone[53] is a cross-section to the exterior vulva, with its labia, clitoris, anus and circular vaginal entrance. With this three-dimensional conic design, integrating the vagina, Dolph teaches Kevin that the vulva is both an exterior and interior body part, which is vital information in his sex education.

The architecture of Dante’s Inferno is the result of the Devil’s expulsion from Paradise, who, being cast by God into the centre of the Earth, hollowed out a cone in his fall,[54] the entrance of which is outside Jerusalem. In 8AC.*0, this cone shaped excavation is presented as a cross-section to the two-dimensional plane, which in this interpretation is the Dark Wood which Dante is lost in (Inf. I).[55] As noted before, in late 1926, Joyce incorporated quotations from the Inferno in 8(ABC).*1 and 8.*2, as well as Hellish imagery and representations of sinful acts in myth and literature. Inferno quotations are integrated into the pre-diagram text of 8(ABC).*0, but there was no Dantean material in its final section (JJA 53: 31-4) until verso accretions on JJA 53: 33 were incorporated. Initially, prior to these additions, this material in 8(ABC).*0 was an exposition of Dolph, who had been purified from Lust by the love of a woman. His identity is ‘Romeopullupaloops’ (JJA 53:33; FW 303.2) who calls her ‘sweet marie’ (JJA 53: 31; FW 300.12) and is innocently ‘^candykissing^’ (JJA 53: 31; FW 300.15) her, not having sex. The incorporation of the accretions on JJA 53: 33, transcribed in full below, immediately rectify the character of Dolph as a sinner once more by placing him within the Inferno, specifically locating his suffering within two circles of Hell: the Wood of Suicides and the river of boiling blood, where the Wrathful are punished. Dolph has committed the sin of suicide owing to the woman’s romantic rejection of him, and he has also acted in extreme anger, imprisoning him in Hell:

Gentlemine born, milady bred, he would pen for her he would pen for her he would pun ^fun^ for all how much he would pine ^and fine^ for her and plan for her with his frowner so to with his ^gulum^ grinner otherso, loves on his plankraft of shittim wood, now laying low on his rawside laying siege to Goblin Castle, touchen(?) laying him long on his laughside laying sack to Croak partridge. And how are you Waggy? (JJA 53: 33; cf. FW 301.10-302.8)


Dolph’s suicidal and wrathful sins are fused with contemporary historical events and figures, creating a matching style with the text 8(ABC).*0 wherein his Lustful nature is described. The punishment for committing suicide in the Inferno is physical encasement in a tree, in Circle VII.. His damnation equates with the love for the lady: ‘[...] how much he would pine ^and fine^ for her and plan for her [...].’ and his fate is the transformation into a ‘plankraft of shittim wood’ in the Wood of Suicides. Dolph’s Wrath in this 8(ABC).*0 accretion is connected to the violence of his suicide, so that he is damned for both sins and not one. The next clause: ‘[...] now laying low on his rawside laying siege to Goblin Castle [...].’ references the English invasion of Dublin. In 8(ABC).*1, Dolph is also a Wrathful ‘Black and Tan’ who is attacking Croke Park Stadium in 1920, killing 13 people in retaliation for the IRA’s murder of British officers on “Bloody Sunday”: ‘[...] laying him long on his laughside laying sack to Croak partridge.’ This Wrath submerges Dolph in the Styx, a river of boiling blood in the Inferno, since he is in the ‘loch’, the Irish word for ‘lake’. In 8.5+, in a letter addressed to Elliot Paul,[56] Joyce makes the alteration: ‘diesmal he was laying him low on his laughside.’ (JJA 53: 84; FW 301.27-8), incorporating Dis, the walled city of Circle VII, clarifying why, in the previous clause, Dublin Castle has its demonic ‘Goblin’ title. 

In 1928, following a compositional hiatus of one year and a half, Joyce, in preparation for publication in transition 11, produces multiple drafts of “The Triangle” in quick succession, which collectively developed the association between Dolph and the Inferno originated in the final section of 8(ABC).*1. In 8.6, Dolph is identified as Virgil: ‘And i Romain, hp u bn gd grl’ (JJA 53: 96; FW 302.25) who leads Dante through the Inferno in spirit form. Virgil, a righteous Pagan, is damned in Limbo: the first circle of the Inferno, so Dolph’s sins are different, being non-associative to having lived prior to Christ’s birth and resurrection. Dolph, an evil Virgil figure, who corrupts rather than enlightens in his teachings, is Kevin’s guide within a proto-type Inferno structure, in 8.6. Joyce conceptualised this as a schematic descent through the circles of the Inferno, adding accretions which, once fully ordered in 8.7+,[57] incorporate its sin network in a step by step progression from the top of the cone to the bottom. In 8.6, Joyce prefixed this section with the Inferno reference: ‘You know you’ll be damped, so you will, one of these infernal days, but you will be carotty.’ (JJA 53: 94; FW 300.6-7) anticipating Dolph’s journey into Hell. This introduction, in a Hoey-esque Dublin accent, is an ironic warning to Dolph, since he enters the Inferno in the next paragraph. The accretions which build the structure of the Inferno in 8.6 begin with the observation of the Heretics in circle VI, who are locked inside coffins which are eternally on fire: ‘Er war it was priesterrite. O He Must Suffer! From this misbelieving feacemaker to his fancyflame.’ (JJA 53: 95; FW 301.2-4). Also, the 8(ABC).*1 line: ‘trispasing on your bunificience’ (JJA 53:33) is adapted into an Inferno reference in 8.6 with the addition of Guido da Montefeltro’s name to the beginning of the phrase, and the figure of Pope Boniface VIII becoming the fixed subject of the sentence: ‘[...] and [he] again begs guerdon for bistrispissing on your bunificence.’ (JJA 53: 95; FW 302.6-7) Montelfeltro, the Ghibelline leader, who demonstrates remorse for his act, is punished by fire in bowge 8: Counsellors of Fraud, within the Malbowges for providing the Pope with advice to commit evil. In 1929, Joyce would incorporate his final set of accretions to this section of “The Triangle”, completing Dolph’s journey into the Inferno, beginning with the establishment of the Vestibule of Hell, where the Futile or indecisive are punished (Inf. III). Joyce categorises these sinners as being guilty of Sloth in the 8.7+ accretion: ‘Wherapool, gayed that he would have the lothst word.’ (JJA 53: 114; cf. FW 300.9-11), of which ‘lothst’ is an anagram. In 8.13+,[58] the contrapasso punishment of eternally chasing after a blank banner is incorporated to further illustrate the Inferno reference: ‘Wherapool, gayet that ^when he stop look time he stop long ground who here hurry^ he would have ever the lothst word [...].’ (JJA 53: 259; cf. FW 300.9-11). In 8.7+, the addition: ‘[...] fress up the rinnerung and to ate by hart [...].’ (JJA 53: 95; FW 300.14-15), with its consumption imagery is, in the context of the Inferno framework, a visualisation of the Gluttons in Circle III. 8.9’s ‘[...] nibbleh ravenostonnoriously [...].’ (JJA 53: 165; FW 300.18) is Dolph’s view of ferocious, uncontrollable appetites, a characteristic of its sin. The contrapasso fate for Gluttonous sinners is integrated as ‘Hyenesmeal’ (JJA 53: 116; FW 301.29), which is being ripped apart by Cerberus, as they lie in filth. Additionally, in 8.7+, observations by Dolph about the geographical interior of the Inferno, in a compositional shift in focus, return to the biology of the vagina, which fuses the cone’s Dantean and vulva visual interpretations. Joyce’s 8.7+ accretions emphasise Dolph’s equation of the vagina with Hell, which he may believe, like Shakespeare,[59] is the origin and cause of Lust. ‘Hear where the bolgylines’ (JJA 53: 113; FW 299.19) are Circle VIII of the Inferno: the Maelbolge, which are the ten closely compacted, concentric circles which each house a fraudulent sin. However, they also double as an anatomical part of ALP, as the stretch-marks on her skin. ‘Bolgylines’, or ‘bulgy-lines’, can be the stretch-marks on ALP’s stomach, obtained through childbirth. In a review of this section of “The Triangle”, the circular tidal metaphors introduced in 8(ABC).*0: ‘Wherapool’ (JJA 53: 31; FW 300.9) and 8.6’s ‘^Dink deep or touch not the Cartesian spring!^’[60] (JJA 53: 76a; FW 301.25) introduce liquid into the cone, which offers various biological associations with the vagina. The spinning waters in the Inferno can be the Acheron, Styx or Phelethon rivers, which function as circles in Hell. Menstruation is incorporated in 8.7+ with: ‘By the magnasine fall. Lumps, lavas and all.’ (JJA 53: 108; FW 294.25-26), with the hell, fire and brimstone equated with menstrual blood, both of which are in flux inside their respective cones. In “The Triangle”, Treachery: Circle IX of the Inferno, contains Irish writers and patriots, but it is only through its positioning, as a thematic collective, at the finale of Dolph’s journey, with the inclusion of a late marginalia accretion in 8.13+ that this can be determined. 8.4’s ‘Bould strokes for your life! Tip! This is Steal, this is Barke, this is Starn, this is Swipt, this is Wiles, this Pshaw, this is Doubbllinnbbayyates.’ (JJA 53: 65; FW 303.5-8) is adapted into an observation by Dolph that various writers: Steele, Burke, Sterne, Swift, Wilde, Shaw and Yeats are being whipped. However, their collective sin as traitors was unclear until 8.13+’s margin note: ‘All square and according to Cocker’ (JJA 53: 263; FW 302 l2-303 l1) was incorporated. The note, with its positioning to the narrative’s left-hand side, takes the role of a summarising guide to the text, so ‘Cocker’ identifies this passage with ‘Coctyus Lake’: Circle IX of the Inferno wherein the traitors are housed. In 8.5, the Liberator Daniel O’Connell and James Connolly are affixed onto the list of Irish writers: ‘^This is brave Danny writing his speech for the popers. This is Connolly wiping his hearth with brave Danny.^’ (JJA 53: 76a; FW 303.8-10), who are in Hell, fighting each other in intense heat.

In 8.8, in mid-1929, the structure of Dolph’s descent into the Inferno was completed, save a few accretions in late 1934. Joyce’s incorporation of the respective categories of sin is faithful in its overview of Dante’s circles of Hell, which would remain in place in the final version of “The Triangle” in Finnegans Wake. The journey Dolph takes through the Inferno is presented, in schematic form, within the table below, noting the page numbers and the respective circles they travel through:[61]


SLOTH: Vestibule

FW 300.10-11

JJA 53: 114

LUST:[62] Circle II

FW 300.135

JJA 53: 31


FW 300.14-15; 300.18

JJA 53:95; 53: 165

WRATH: Circle V

FW 301.27-31

JJA 53: 33


FW 301.2-4

JJA 53: 95


FW 301.24-25

JJA 53: 33


FW 302.6-7

JJA 53: 95


FW 303.5-8; 303.8-10

JJA 53: 65; 53: 76a


Upon the conclusion of Dolph’s schematic descent into the Inferno, the pair return to the surface of the Earth, the teacher exclaiming ‘^Prouf!^ (JJA 53: 76a; FW 303.14). Kevin’s response, owing to anger and disgust, is to punch Dolph in the face[63] in an act of righteous indignation: ‘[...] woodint wun able rep of the triperforator awl rite blast through his pergamon ^hit him where lived and^ do for the ble [...] who, to be plain ^he fight all time twofeller long a kill dead finish, bloody face blong you;^ was misocain.’ (JJA 53: 264; cf. FW 303.21-32). This late 8.13+ addition coincides with Joyce’s integration of Purgatory into Dolph’s diagram, structurally and thematically, in relation to Kevin’s character. Kevin rejects Dolph’s teachings, which in Dantean terms places him outside of the Inferno and in the Purgatory, the mountain that penitent sinners have to climb to reach Paradise. In 8.11, ‘^daintical pair of accomplasses^’ (JJA 53: 186; FW 295.26-7) introduces Dolph and Kevin as a Dantean pair[64] represents the two cones of the Inferno and Purgatory. Dolph’s 8AC.*0 character positioning anticipates this construction, with him at the apex of the interior cone, or Inferno: ‘a capital pee for Pride down there’ (JJA 53: 41; cf. FW 296.5). Kevin is now at the top of, what is now, a solid cone structured upon a flat plane, which is Purgatory: ‘^for Humbles^ a pie up your end’ (JJA 53: 5; cf. FW 295.19-21). Kevin’s position at Purgatory’s summit is given exposition in 8.13: ‘^The Turnpike under the great Ulm with Mearingstone in Foreground^’ (JJA 53: 249; FW 293.13-15). The ‘great Ulm’ is an Elm tree,[65] and it is observed by Dolph during the construction of the diagram. Its identity is most likely the π since this has a tree shape, with vertical lines like a trunk and a horizontal top. Since π is positioned at the apex of the solid Purgatory cone it could reference ‘The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’ in the Earthly Paradise,[66] which Dante and Beatrice witness (Purg. XXXII). This Tree produced the apples which were eaten by Adam and Evil, wherein ‘Eve takes Fall’ (JJA 53: 134; cf. 293.21), but Kevin’s location in the Earthly Paradise demonstrates that he is free of sin, contrary to Dolph.

The creation of a three dimensional perspective within Euclid’s 1st Preposition diagram, no doubt, excited Joyce owing to the constructive freedom it facilitated.[67] The diagrammatic integration of the Divine Comedy into “The Triangle” demonstrates Joyce’s love of Dante’s world, with its schematic structuring, in the rings and cornices. Although Joyce claimed to be the ‘greatest engineer’ in all literature, perhaps, on reflection, he would make a concession to Dante’s abilities in that respect. However, although Joyce retains the schematic structuring of the Divine Comedy in “The Triangle”, he does not moralise upon the subject of Lust, or pass judgement as Dante does. Dante’s condemnation of Lust in the Divine Comedy appealed less to Joyce than the architectonics of his great work and its theological message failed to convince the lapsed Catholic.





Alighieri, Dante, Hell, edited by Dorothy Sayers, USA: Penguin, 2001.


Alighieri, Dante, Purgatory, translated by Sayers, Dorothy L., Great Britain: Penguin, 1955.


Alighieri, Dante, Paradise, translated by Sayers, Dorothy L. and Reynolds, Barbara, Great Britain: Penguin, 1962.


Alighieri, Dante, La Divina Commedia Volume II, Milano: Nicolò Bettoni, 1825.


Alighieri, Dante, “Letter to Congrande della Scala: 1314-17 or 1319-20, Dante: The Critical Heritage 1314(?) -1870, London and New York: Routledge, 1989.


Atherton, James S., The Books at the Wake, London: Faber and Faber, 1959.

Benstock, Shari, “Nightletters: Women’s Writing in the Wake”, Critical Essays of James Joyce, edited by Bernard Benstock, USA: G.K Hall and Co., 1985.

Boldrini, Lucia, Joyce, Dante and the Poetics of Literary Relations, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2001.


Brivic, Sheldon, Joyce’s Waking Women, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995.

Campbell, Joseph and Robinson, Henry Morton, A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake, USA: Viking Press, 1969.

Casey, John, The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid and Propositions: I-XXI of Book XI etc., 17th edition, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1902.


Crispi, Luca, “Storiella as She Was Wryt: Chapter II.2”, How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake: A Chapter-by-Chapter Genetic Guide, edited by Crispi, Luca and Slote, Sam, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007.


Euclid, The Elements of Euclid For the Use of Schools and Colleges, edited by Toddhunter, Isaac, London and Cambridge: Macmillan, 1869.


Gillet, Louis, Claybook for James Joyce, translated by Georges Markow-Totevy, London and New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1958.

Gordon, John, Finnegans Wake: A Plot Summary, USA: Syracuse University Press, 1986.

Hulle, Dirk Van, “Discovering Dante”, The National Library of Ireland Joyce Studies 2004, edited by Luca Crispi and Catherine Fahy, Ireland: Dirk Van Hulle, 2004.

Joyce, James, Finnegans Wake, Great Britain: Faber, 1975.


Joyce, James, Finnegans Wake: Book II, Chapter 2, A Facsimile of Drafts, Typescripts and Proofs, Vol. 1, edited by Groden, Michael, James Joyce Archive, Volume 53, New York: Garland, 1978.


Lernout, Geert, “The Beginning: Chapter I.1”, How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake, edited by Luca Crispi and Sam Slote, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007.

Litz, A Walton, The Art of James Joyce, New York: Oxford University Press, 1964)

McCreedy, Jonathan, “Everyword for Oneself But Code for Us All!” The Shapes of Sigla in Finnegans Wake, edited by Dirk Van Hulle, Genetic Joyce Studies, Issue 10, 2010.

McHugh, Roland, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1976.

Reynolds, Mary T., Joyce and Dante: The Shaping Imagination, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Shakespeare, William, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, edited by John Kerrigan, England: Penguin, 2005.

Solomon, Margaret C., Eternal Geomater: The Sexual Universe of Finnegans Wake, London and Amsterdam: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969.

Glasheen, Adaline, and Wilder, Thornton, A Tour of the Darkling Plain: The Finnegans Wake Letters of Thornton Wilder and Adaline Glasheen, edited by Burns, Edward M., and Gaylord, Joshua A.,  Ireland: University College Dublin Press, 2001.


Yeats, W.B, A Vision, Hong Kong: Macmillan, 1981.



























[1] ‘The Triangle’, the canonical title for this section of Finnegans Wake, was coined in critical discourse by Walton Litz. It is based on the concluding line of a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver wherein Joyce refers to the section as ‘the triangle’. See A. Walton Litz, The Art of James Joyce, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), 89. Its title changed twice during its composition: “The Mathematical Lesson” in draft 8.6 (JJA 52:85) and “The Muddest Thick That Was Ever Heard Dump”, published as one of the Tales Told of Shem and Shaun collection in 1929.

[2] The relevant drafts are contained in: Joyce, James, Finnegans Wake: Book II, Chapter 2, A Facsimile of Drafts, Typescripts and Proofs, Vol. 1, edited by Michael Groden, James Joyce Archive, Volume 53, (New York: Garland, 1978).

[3] Joyce first read Dante’s Inferno at Belvedere College in 1897-8 using Eugenio Camerini’s marginalia to learn its allegorical structure, affixed to the literal level of its reading. Reynolds and Van Hulle concur on this, the latter using notesheets acquired by the NLI in 2004 as a means of genetic confirmation. In the NLI notesheets, owing to his then limited vocabulary, Joyce primarily transcribed Italian words and phrases unfamiliar to him from Dante’s text. See, Dirk Van Hulle, “Discovering Dante”, The National Library of Ireland Joyce Studies 2004, edited by Luca Crispi and Catherine Fahy, (Ireland: Dirk Van Hulle, 2004), 2-3.

[4] See Mary T. Reynolds, Joyce and  Dante: The Shaping Imagination, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), 318. In the appendix, ‘dainty’ (FW 295.27) is classed as an allusion to Dante.

[5] For a study of Dantean literary stylistics in Finnegans Wake see: Lucia Boldrini, Joyce, Dante and the Poetics of Literary Relations,  (United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2001). Bolderini studies how Joyce uses a ‘polysemous’ Dantean style in Finnegans Wake, instigated, in part, by Gillet’s statement: ‘[Joyce’s] text has to be read like Dante’s, according to several superimposed meanings. There is a literal meaning, an allegorical meaning, and perhaps several others – almost as many as the skins of an onion.’ See Louis Gillet, Claybook for James Joyce, translated by Georges Markow-Totevy, (London and New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1958), 58.  ‘Polysemous’ is defined in Dante’s letter to Cangrande della Scala: ‘[...] the first meaning is that which is conveyed by the letter, and the next is that which is conveyed by what the letter signifies; the former of which is called literal, while the latter is called allegorical, or mystical.’ Dante Alighieri, “Letter to Cangrande della Scala: 1314-17 or 1319-20”, Dante: The Critical Heritage 1314(?)-1870, (London and New York: Routledge, 1989), 93.

[6] Even though it shares a Celtic origin, this Scottish dialect jars with Joyce’s usage of Dublin dialect later in “The Triangle”, based upon the language of Joyce’s friend Patrick Hoey . See Geert Lernout, “The Beginning: Chapter I.1”, How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake, edited by Luca Crispi and Sam Slote, (USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), 52. It is possible that the dialect in Northern Irish, with its Ulster-Scots linguistic connections, but this still does not associate directly with Hoey, a native of Dublin, whose speech is not replicated in Dolph and Kevin’s conversation, here.

[7] Cf. FW 290.18. The unit is transferred to 8.*2: ‘^O alors^’ (JJA 53:39), although the reason for this is unclear.

[8] This is again Scottish dialect: ‘Och! Tell it to me, do, Shem!’ Incidentally, this is the only line in “The Triangle” where Dolph is identified with Shem.

[9] Euclid, The Elements of Euclid For the Use of Schools and Colleges, edited by Isaac Toddhunter, (London and Cambridge: Macmillan, 1869), 7.

[10] Ibid., 7.

[11] John Casey, The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid and Propositions: I-XXI of Book XI etc., 17th edition, (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1902). For more information on this genetic source see, Luca Crispi, “Storiella as She Was Wryt: Chapter II.2”, How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake: A Chapter-by-Chapter Genetic Guide, edited by Luca Crispi and Sam Slote, (USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), 243 n19.

[12] See JJA 53:1.

[13] Euclid, 7.

[14] Joyce wrote the first drafts of I.1 in late 1926 together with the early versions of “The Triangle” so a cross-over in characterisation techniques is possible.

[15] ‘[...] [Dolph] showed em the celestine way by his tristar [...].’ (JJA 53:19; FW 288.21-22), referencing the shamrock.

[16] It is likely that ‘come’, in this sexual context, is semen.

[17] See above. It is also possible, being in the same sentence, that this is a reference to the clitoris.

[18] Swift had romantic affections for Esther Vanhomrigh and Vanessa-Esther Johnson.

[19] Sorcery is a sin punished in the Maelbowges: circle XIII of the Inferno.

[20] However, owing to the ingenuity of the accretion, it is possible that Joyce intended to transfer it to 8.1*, but missed it in the revision process.

[21] See James S. Atherton, The Books at the Wake, (London: Faber and Faber, 1959), 79: ‘The [Dante quotations] nearly all come in the ‘Night Lessons’ chapter.’ See also, See A Tour of the Darkling Plain: The Finnegans Wake Letters of Thornton Wilder and Adaline Glasheen, edited by Edward M. Burns and Joshua A. Gaylord, (Ireland: University College Dublin Press, 2001), 226. Here, Adaline Glasheen theorizes that five of the Lustful sinners visible in Circle II of the Inferno are present ‘on pages 289 to 292’ of Finnegans Wake. She lists them together.

[22] A descriptive precursor to this circle occurs at the beginning of Dolph’s character study: ‘[...] this windiest of landhavemiseries’ (FW 288.25).

[23] Atherton, 80.

[24] ‘Then she to me: “The bitterest woe of woes/ Is to remember in our wretchedness/Old happy times; and this thy doctor knows.’ (Inf. 121-123).

[25] A typescript from early 1937. See JJA 53: 197.

[26] The line AαλL is visually the spoke of a wheel, or its ‘spokesman’. Dolph uses visual childish parallels, in this case a bike, to make his teaching understandable to the naive Kevin.

[27] This page from 8AC.*0 is heavily accretive and difficult to read, being evidently written during a near uncontrollable burst of artistic inspiration.

[28] ALP and αλπ.

[29] See Joseph Campbell and Henry Morton Robinson, A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake,  (USA: Viking Press, 1969, 185), 185: ‘Dolph is drawing a picture of his mother’s genitals.’; John Gordon,  Finnegans Wake: A Plot Summary, (USA: Syracuse University Press, 1986), 191: ‘The illustration represents the mother’s vagina’ and Crispi, 220: ‘Therefore, as the lesson’s sum, the children delineate the mother’s most intimate triangular contours, her pudenda.’

[30] The chapter “Plain Geometry” in Margaret Solomon’s Eternal Geomater: The Sexual Universe of Finnegans Wake the most influential and complete study of the diagram in criticism, puts forth an argument that Joyce originally designed the figure with superimposed rectangular lines over its basic structure of two interconnected circles and triangles. The compositional sigla of the characters HCE ( ), Shaun ( ), Tristan ( ), ALP ( ) and Issy ( ) are visually integrated together within this scaffolding, creating a unified collection of all Earwicker family members within the diagram. Since the sigla are superimposed on top of one another, Solomon argues that all the characters are engaging in intercourse, which is incestuous as well as bi-sexual. Margaret C. Solomon, Eternal Geomater: The Sexual Universe of Finnegans Wake, (London and Amsterdam: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969), 105. In a further development of her theory, Solomon interprets four dimensions within the structure of the diagram Ibid., 120-129. 

[31] Gordon, 191.

[32] Kevin is instinctively excited, despite his lack of sexual experience.

[33] See Skeleton Key, 186: ‘These [circles] may be thought of as two cosmic cycles, or as a pair of lassies arm in arm, or again, as the two hips of ALP.’

[34] Gordon, 191: ‘[...] the doubled circles are probably, as several have remarked, [ALP’s] buttocks.’

[35] The half-ellipse shapes are in the approximate positions: Aα → π, π → λL, Aα → P, P→ λL.

[36] Joyce was not shy in discussing the labia. See: ‘It’s good for her bilabials, you understand.’ (FW 465.26), from Book III.1. ‘Bi’ means two, defining the folds in their accurate double structure of labia majoris and minoris respectively

[37] See Jonathan McCreedy, “Everyword for Oneself But Code for Us All!” The Shapes of Sigla in Finnegans Wake, edited by Dirk Van Hulle, Genetic Joyce Studies, Issue 10, 2010. The concept is introduced briefly as part of a discussion on the ALP siglum.

[38] Bissyclitties’ (JJA 53: 223; FW 294.23), a 8.12 addition in 1934-1937, (or ‘busy-clitoris’) , with its masturbatory imagery, is an anticipation of this part of the anatomy within the narrative of “The Triangle”. For thoughts upon Joyce’s knowledge of female orgasm, see Sheldon Brivic, Joyce’s Waking Women, (USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), 58-59.

[39] π is not to be read as a mathematic number: 3.141 or as a letter of the Greek alphabet, if this biological interpretation is to be accepted.

[40] In 8(ABC).*1, the repetition of the location was removed, keeping the latter phrase (JJA 53:29).

[41] See, holds ’s skirt as child.’ (VI.B.12.50). VI.B.12 was composed June to August 1926, which was contemporaneous to 8AC.*0.

[42] Diagrams exist in most of the Divine Comedy editions consulted for this essay. For example, there is a detailed series of ten images in Dorothy L. Sayers’ English translation of the Divine Comedy.See, Dante Alighieri, Hell, edited by Dorothy Sayers, (USA: Penguin, 2001), lxii, 14, 52, 70, 105, 112, 126, 158, 197. In it introduction, the Italian edition  of the Purgatorio used: Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia Volume II, (Milano: Nicolò Bettoni, 1825), has an bird’s eye view image of Mt..Purgatory in its introduction, charting Virgil and Dante’s precise mode and direction of ascent. 

[43] Reynolds identifies this Purgatory reference in her index of Dantean references in Finnegans Wake. See Reynolds, 318.

[44] The P stands for ‘peccatum’, which is Latin for ‘sin’.

[45] The official Catholic title for the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ are the seven capital sins.

[46] See Reynolds, 210: ‘Dante’s image of the geometer who sets himself to square the circle, and cannot find the principal he needs, becomes in the canto a statement of the inability of man to express deity in terms of humanity.’

[47] The ‘geometer’ in 8AC.*0 is more than likely Euclid himself.

[48] See Reynolds, 211.

[49] At close inspection, the ‘a’ of ‘geomater’ is superimposed over the ‘e’ of ‘geometer’, so it is as late 8(ABC).*1 correction.

[50] 8.112  is the extra draft material added to marked pages of Tales Told of Shem and Shaun, written in Paris, 1929. Groden hypothesises that Joyce returned to this draft and incorporated marginalia. (JJA 53: 297). The marginalia additions definitively began in 1934, in draft 9.0*.

[51] See, Yeats, W.B, A Vision, (Hong Kong: Macmillan, 1981), 68, 71-72,75-79, 199-201 and 266.

[52] The cube does not specifically associate with Dolph’s diagram.

[53] For a siglum interpretation of the vagina’s shape in Finnegans Wake see Shari Benstock, “Nightletters: Women’s Writing in the Wake”, Critical Essays of James Joyce, edited by Bernard Benstock, (USA: G.K Hall and Co., 1985), 229: ‘The Wake constructs its postal system of desire on the body of Anna Livia, the River Liffey, tracing its route from Sallygap to Dublin Bay. Along this canal the Viking invaders up the vagina of Anna Livia. [...] The letters are a sexual code as well [...] the “S” and “p” marking the penis in its flaccid and erect forms; the “S” tracing the spiral cone of the vagina.’

[54] ‘This side the world from out high Heaven he fell;

The land which here stood forth fled back dismayed,

Pulling the sea upon her like a veil,

And sought our hemisphere; with equal dread,

Belike, that peak of earth which still is found

This side, rushed up, and so this void was made.’ (Inf. XXXIV.121-126)

[55] See Roland McHugh, The Sigla of Finnegans Wake, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1976), 69: During the lesson,  calls  ‘Michael’ and  calls  ‘Nickel’. The figure must then include a cosmogony with AL the world, below heaven (π) and  above hell (P).’

[56] 8.5+ is a handwritten, single paged draft which includes a few additions to 8.5’’. See JJA 53: 84.

[57] 8.7+ was composed April-May 1929 and it is a revised transcript of Tales Told of Shaun and Shem. See JJA 53: 97.

[58] 8.13+ was composed in early 1937. See JJA 53: 197.

[59] In Sonnet 129:‘All this the world well knows, yet none knows well/ To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.’ Shakespeare’s Lust for women damns him. Hence the vagina is a Hell. See William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, edited by John Kerrigan, (England: Penguin, 2005), 129.

[60] René Descartes, owing to his invention of ‘Cartesian’ co-ordinates (x-y and z), is ‘the father of analytic geometry’. Cartesian geometry is the study of two-dimensional conic sections: a collective noun for circles, parabolas, ellipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas. Descartes’ work studies cones and their respective circular cross-sections, in other terms.

[61] In a letter to Adaline Glasheen on 28th April 1958, Thornton Wilder wrote: ‘All through [Finnegans Wake] I can “feel” the circles and bolgia’s of the Inferno and terraces and cornices of the Purgatorio, and I made a try at co-relating section, but I had to give up. [Joyce] is too foxy about it.’ A Tour of the Darkling Plain: The Finnegans Wake Letters of Thornton Wilder and Adaline Glasheen, edited by Edward M. Burns and Joshua A. Gaylord, (Ireland: University College Dublin Press, 2001), 181.

[62] It seems that 8(ABC).*0’s ‘^candykissing^’ is revised to represent Lust in 8.7+, owing to its appropriate schematic positioning between Sloth and Gluttony, the Vestibule and Circle III.

[63] See Skeleton Key, 190.

[64] See Reynolds, 318.

[65] Ulmus is the genus name for Elm.

[66] The linkage between the Earthly Paradise and the clitoris, in the diagram’s exterior vulva interpretation, tie together two sources of theological and physical ecstasy respectively.

[67] Since we possess the diagram solely in its completed form, it is sadly impossible to discuss how its design evolved.