Wednesday, March 08, 2023

“Walt Meagher” in James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” (1939) and “Walter Meagher” in my life

The passage we read in the Basel "Finnegans Wake" reading group this evening concluded with a figure named Meagher (FW 61.13). That's the name of a family my family knew in California around 1970; they moved first to Canada and then to Devon in the United Kingdom as tax exiles who did not want to pay taxes in the United States because of the Vietnam War. But then Joyce's Meagher is given a first name, Walt (FW 61.19) – and the father of that family was Walter Meagher. As is always the case, it's nice to find anachronistic moments in James Joyce's 1939 novel – and even nicer when the association's so personal. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 8 March 2023)

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