Back to Howth Castle and Environs

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(The phrase occurs on page 3 of FW, which is of course actually the first page of the book -- if an ouroboros of a book can be said to have a first page.)

  • back to → to turn one's back on something
  • back to → to have one's back to something → when he sits up in bed HCE has his back to Howth
  • back to → to arrive back at some place
  • Bach: (German) stream → ALP as the river Liffey → just as this paragraph opened with an allusion to the watery element (riverrun), so it ends with another; interestingly, both have German overtones → see aquaface for more commentary
  • HCE: a trigram that appears in countless phrases throughout FW, always embodying the book's male protagonist, if such he can be called
  • Howth Head (Irish Ceann Binn Éadair) is a headland north of Dublin City in the Republic of Ireland, near the towns of Sutton, Baldoyle and Portmarnock. Howth itself lies on the northern side. Originally an island, it is connected to the mainland via a narrow strip of land, or tombolo. Howth Head forms the northerly bound of the great crescent of Dublin Bay, corresponding to Killiney Head in the south. The earliest mention of the peninsula was on a map attributed to Claudius Ptolemey, where it was called Edri Deserta or in Greek Edrou Erēmos
  • and: the new Rose and O'Hanlon edition (FW2) replaces 'and' with '&'
  • environs: the outskirts of a city; neighbourhood
  • oath: rhymes with Howth