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  • Genesis 2:10: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads."
  • Revelation 22:1: "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan: Or, A Vision in a Dream. A Fragment, lines 1-4: "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure-dome decree: / Where Alph, the sacred river, ran / Through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea." → with a possible hint that this word is the Alpha of FW and symbolizes ALP. For Kubla Khan see (FW 32).
    • The allusion to Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" leaves enough room for speculations: the poem came to Coleridge during a drug-induced dream → reverie; from author's note published with the poem: "On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved" → Erinnerung; "At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!" → the smooth flow of words is interrupted by thunder, producing charosmatic world of FW.
  • Alfred Tennyson, Dying Swan, lines 5-6: "With an inner voice the river ran, / Adown it floated a dying swan, / And loudly did lament."
  • river Rhone → river runs from Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean Sea
  • riverain: (adj) pertaining to a river or a riverbank; situated or dwelling on or near a river; (n) a district situated beside a river
  • reverie: (n) a state of dreaming while awake, a daydream; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea; (music) an instrumental composition of a vague and dreamy character
  • reverend: (informal) a member of the clergy
  • Reverend: (adj) 1. (initial capital letter) used as a title of respect applied or prefixed to the name of a member of the clergy or a religious order, cf. ALP's letter (FW 615 ff): "Dear. And we go on to Dirtdump. Reverend."; 2. worthy to be revered; entitled to reverence; 3. pertaining to or characteristic of the clergy
  • err: to make a mistake; to sin; to wander from the right way; to go astray
    • Cf. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!" It's hard to find any better description for Joyce's art in general and FW in particular.
  • run (Old English) mystery, secret; advice, counsel; writing; a rune
  • ri- (Italian) Prefix used with verbal roots to mean repetition; re-, again
    • ricorso (Italian) = return → Vico’s ricorso storico (historical return)
  • riverranno: (Italian) they will return; they will come back
  • riveran: (Italian Dialect) they will arrive
  • reveries: (French) day-dreams; reveries; ravings; delusions
  • rief heran: (German) he or she called or summoned somebody
  • Ragnarok: (Old Norse) fate of the gods; twilight of the gods; end of the world
  • water faucet: is there a washhand basin with a tap in the corner of HCE's bedroom? → the 1st of 7 elements in a circuit of HCE's bedroom
  • watercourse → the Latinism-Saxonism of "river-run" becomes the Saxonism-Latinism of "water-course"
  • riverrunEridanos
    • Nonnus, Dionysiaca 23: "I will drag down from heaven the fiery Eridanos whose course is among the stars, and bring him back to a new home in the Celtic land: he shall be water again, and the sky shall be bare of the river of fire."
  • River Jordan: a river in the Holy Land → Giordano Bruno, whose name means literally "Brown Jordan" → the River Liffey (FW 194.22 turfbrown mummy) → the Liffey as Dublin's sewer → jordan = a chamber-pot. Giordano wrote mnemonic works ( see Erinnerung above ).
  • elvelop: (Norwegian) the course of the river, translates directly as riverrun (river - elv; run - lop (noun or imperative))
  • rivo (Latin) from (v) 'rivus' ("brook; channel"): "I lead" or "I draw off".
  • ribhéar a rúin, Irish for 'my darling river'
  • Rún (Irish) a riddle, a mistery


The first four paragraphs can be seen as a sort of prelude to FW; they offer possible answers to the questions where, when, what & how?

  • Where are we at all? and whenabouts in the name of space? - FW 558.33
  • Where are we? (1) In Dublin (2) In the master bedroom of the Mullingar House Hotel in Chapelizod, where the elderly landlord is just falling asleep at 11:32 pm
  • When are we? Back at the beginning of a new Viconian cycle, when salient events in history have not yet occurred
    • Since the book has no beginning and no end, the last word along with the first one construct the point of recirculation: the Ouroboros bites its own tail while the story unfolds in-between, like series of transmutations within an aludel. Hen to pan, one is the all; Here Comes Everybody.
    • Allusions to Genesis and Revelation in the first word make it the focal point of the recurrection, although, strictly speaking, there can be no still point in the continuity, where the nature rejoices in nature; nature charms nature; nature triumphs over nature; and nature masters nature.
  • What is FW about? (1) The fall of man, and his subsequent rise again (2) the whole of human history and indeed the entire history of the World, of which the life of a single family or a single individual is a microcosm
  • How does this story unfold? By conflict between opposites, which are actually striving for reconciliation and union through their Brunonian conflict

The following four paragraphs seem to comprise a single Viconian cycle of four ages, so that the true beginning of the story occurs in the paragraph beginning Hurrah .... FW 6