Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dinned she rain, rain, rain

"The Pirate Queen,in search of Grace O'malley,and other legendary women of the sea"
by Barbara Sjoholm
That's what I'm reading at the moment.
Imagine my surprize when I find on page 6 that she (Grace, not Barbara) married an O'Flaherty, who spent much of his time feuding with the Joyce's who eventually killed him.
Joyce eh?
Page 44 there's a story about Grace (the woman pirate) stopping at Howth castle and asking for hospitality, when she was turned away she kidnapped the owners grandson and demanded that no one ever be turned away from Howth castle and environs again.
Surely the inspiration for the similar story of the prankquean and Jarl van Hoother
in the first chapter of Finnegans Wake.
You have read Finnegans Wake haven't you?
I actually met someone who admitted that she read Joyce but that didn't turn out very well. (see "the story" on this site)
Further mythology has the word "clew" (later clue) defined as a bit of string (used to guide one out of a maze). Witches would tie knots in a piece of string or thread and sell it to seafararers to conjure wind with. Untie one knot for a good breeze, two knots for a strong wind but always with the fine print that undoing three would lead to big trouble. In other words the wind will do what the wind will and thanks for the Guinness.
A situation not unlike today's witches, lunatic mathamaticians who dupe us out of money to pursue their soft adademic lives by selling their "string theories"
And such.
I suppose that now would be the time for me to come to some kind of point.

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