The Battle of the Little Bighorn in Finnegans Wake

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Abstract
This article shows that underlying the Museyroom passage of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake is an account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Joyce's passage touches on what motivated the battle, its Irish participants, its commanders, Custer's disagreements with his Crow scouts, Sitting Bull's prediction of Custer's failure, Custer's (purely fanciful) joking reply to Sitting Bull's prediction, Custer's home near Bismarck, ND, and his signature song. Other passages scattered throughout Finnegans Wake treat of casualties, a straggler, Custer's trumpeter, Custer's from-the-grave denunciations of his subordinates, and the burial of the dead. The famous "Three quarks for Muster Mark!" passage describes the desolation of Last Stand Hill. And Joyce's famous final paragraph contains an account of the legend of the narrow escape of Custer's Crow scout Ashishishe, who, at the battle's close, hides in the carcass of a horse before making his escape downriver. A brief look at Joyce's choice of names closes out the article.
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First archival date: 2016-05-08
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2016-05-08

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