phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Crosscat (a difficult one)

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 06, 2004

In Reply to: Crosscat (a difficult one) posted by Malone on June 05, 2004

: I found it in j joyce`s ulysses (episode 13 nausicaa, page 475, Penguin edition 1992) it refers to a girl called Edy Boarman and all descriptions take place inside Gerty Macdowell's mind acting out as narrator through her inner monologue; given JJ's 'homeric approach' to compound names, I thought it may be

: a) compound of 'cross + cat'
: b) a sort of feline version of a 'mongrel' or
: c) taken from the childhood oath I mentioned above.

: I've looked in all dictionaries and could not find a single entry for 'crosscat' and in google there is only an entry for a flying centre.

: Just to give you an idea of how she is protrayed here are some short sentences about Edy, a young female friend of Gerty:

: 1) and Father Conroy handed him his hat to put on and crosscat Edy asked wasn't she coming but Jacky Caffrey called out:

: 2)- Edy said none too amiably with an arch glance from her shortsighted eyes.

: 3)- (Edy) she was black out at daggers drawn with Gerty (the girl chums had of course their little tiffs from time to time like the rest of mortals)

: 4)- squinty Edy

: 5)- Edy Boardman prided herself that she was very
: petite but she never had a foot like Gerty MacDowell, a five, and never would ash, oak or elm.

: 6)- and Edy, little spitfire, because she would betwentytwo in November.

: 7)- Edy got as cross as two sticks

: 8)- when Edy asked her was she heartbroken about her best boy throwing her over.

: 9)- O yes, it cut deep because Edy had her own quiet way of saying things like that she knew would wound like the confounded little cat she was

: 10)- Miss puny little Edy's countenance fell to no slight extent

: thanks

Is the cat, or Edy, cross, is she cross-eyed, is she a crossbreed? Is there a cat? Interesting problem. Imagine, then, the difficulties of the team of CHinese scholars working on a translation into Chinese of Finnegan's Wake. I'm not sure how far along they are; perhaps finished? Or more likely not. An interim report from them pointed to an especial difficulty trying to deal with Joyce's endless puns, which are often incomprehensible even to native speakers of English. SS