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Thu Dec 29, 2016, 10:32 AM

Today's Google Doodle: Charles Macintosh's 250th birthday:

It’s a wonder how the weatherbeaten Brits coped before Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh invented his eponymous waterproof coat. His invention, patented in 1823, came about as he experimented with coal-tar naphtha and rubber and realised they could be fused together with fabric to create a waterproof surface. These days in the U.K., it’s common to call any type of raincoat a "Mac."

Today’s Doodle shows Macintosh enjoying a Scottish rain shower whilst testing his ingenious invention.


On the corner is a banker with a motorcar,
The little children laugh at him behind his back.
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange.

"Penny Lane," The Beatles

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Reply Today's Google Doodle: Charles Macintosh's 250th birthday: (Original post)
femmocrat Dec 2016 OP
Tanuki Dec 2016 #1
femmocrat Dec 2016 #2

Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 10:43 AM

1. Made me think of James Joyce and Ulysses......


..."At every turn, around every corner of Dublin’s cobblestone streets, in every interaction Leopold Bloom has or avoids, in everything he does and in everything he dreams, as he wanders the city on June 16th, 1904, little gaps open up, and riddles, mysteries, ambiguities tumble out. Amongst this seeming infinity of minute mysteries in the text, there is perhaps no greater mystery than the question of the identity of the so-called “man in the macintosh.” In the 94 years since the book’s publication, Joyce scholars have written innumerable words arguing for and against various answers to this question.

But before we get to the attempts at an answer, let’s remind ourselves of the enigma’s particulars. The man in the macintosh is mentioned or alluded to numerous times throughout the pages of Ulysses. He first appears in the Hades episode, where Bloom attends Dignam’s funeral with eleven other mourners. Just as the gravediggers are about to lower the coffin into the grave, Bloom notices another presence: “Now who is that lankylooking galoot over there in the macintosh? Now who is he I’d like to know? Now, I’d give a trifle to know who he is. Always someone turns up you never dreamt of.” This lankylooking galoot’s presence, Bloom notes, turns the dozen mourners into a group of 13 (“Death’s number,” Bloom thinks, even if he admits it’s a “silly superstition”).

“Where the deuce did he pop out of?” Bloom wonders. “He wasn’t in the chapel, that I’ll swear.” The ghostly presence, at first, seems like it could possibly all be in Bloom’s head—since much of the novel plays out in the stream of his consciousness—but a few pages later, Hynes, a newspaper reporter who had previously appeared in Joyce’s short story “Ivy Day in the Committee Room,” and who is writing down the names of the funeral attendees for the purpose of publication in the Telegraph, asks Bloom if he saw “that fellow in the, fellow was over there in the…” To which Bloom responds, “Macintosh. Yes, I saw him.” Hynes scribbles down the name “M’Intosh,” because he assumes that Bloom was giving him the man’s name rather than describing him by his clothing. Hynes’ misidentifications, of course, won’t end there. Bloom will see his name written in the paper as Boom by day’s end (next to M’Intosh’s “name,” in the Eumeus episode).

In The Wandering Rocks, a few episodes after the Hades funeral procession, we see potentially the same macintoshed man: “a pedestrian in a brown macintosh, eating dry bread, passed swiftly and unscathed across the viceroy’s path.” Then, in the Sirens episode, Bloom, under the influence of a siren’s song, in one of many chains of free associations, questions: “Wonder who was that chap at the grave in the brown mackin.” His next mention, in the Cyclops episode, gives us a new clue (or perhaps a misdirection?) when we read, “The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead.” What exactly that episode’s narrator knows to make him claim that the lankylooking galoot loves a lady who is dead is a mystery within a mystery. In Nausicaa, Bloom once again thinks of “that fellow today at the graveside in the brown macintosh” and claims he has “corns on his kismet.” In the Oxen in the Sun episode, the mystery man enters again, and may actually be the one who starts the fire in that chapter—especially since, in the following chapter, the Circe episode, amongst the chaotic phantasmagoria of Nighttown, the man in the macintosh “springs up through a trapdoor” and “points an elongated finger at Bloom,” accusing him of being “Leopold M’Intosh, the notorious fireraiser.”

The final mention of the man in the macintosh arrives in the penultimate chapter, the Ithaca episode, which takes the form of a catechism of questions and answers. One question reads: “What selfinvolved enigma did Bloom risen, going, gathering multicoloured multiform multitudinous garments, voluntarily apprehending, not comprehend?” The answer is tellingly in the form of a question: “Who was M’Intosh?”........"

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 10:53 AM

2. Geez.... it made me think of The Beatles.

I feel so under-educated!

That is a beautiful passage. Thanks for posting it.

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