James Joyce: Commentary (12)


File 12
 


Bruce Stewart, ‘Another Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce and the Envoy’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, 93, 370 (Summer 2004) - notice by “Sadbh” [Caroline Walsh, Lit. Ed.] in The Irish Times (q.d.): ‘A fascinating episode in the long story of Ireland’s reaction to James Joyce is analysed in the current issue of Studies. In an essay by Bruce Stewart called Another Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce and the Envoy, the focus is on a volume called A Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce by the Irish (1970), edited by man of letters and publican John Ryan, and including articles by Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh and others which they had contributed to a James Joyce special issue of Envoy, which Ryan had published in 1951. / Stewart says that apart from isolated enthusiasms in that issue of Envoy and its sequel, the pieces represented a moment when the expropriation of Joyce’s Dublin triggered apoplectic irritation on the part of its living literary denizens. They simply carped, he adds, giving a flavour of what was said at the time. “It remains a pity that they did not seek in Joyce’s works an explanation for their own confusions at the same time as they berated transatlantic Joyceans for their inevitable failings,” Stewart concludes.’

James Baldwin (1955) to Martin Dowling (2008)
Justin Beplate
Eric Bulson
Alan Roughley
Gregory Castle
Gareth J. Downes
Val. Cunningham
Garry Leonard
Maria Tymoczko
Sam Slote
Hans Walter Gabler
John Gross
Maud Ellmann
Aaron Kelly
David Pierce
Fran O’Rourke
Martin Dowling

Justin Beplate, review of Geert Lernout & Wim Van Mierlo, The Reception of Joyce in Europe (Continuum/Thoemmes 2005): ‘[...] One of the more intriguing elements of Joyce’s European reception, outside France and Germany, was the affinity felt by certain nationals towards a politically and culturally marginalised Ireland. In Norway, for example, Bjorn Tysdahl suggests that Joyce’s enthusiastic reception was fostered by this sense of shared history - of relative cultural decline after the Middle Ages, of troubled relations with powerful neighbours, and of recent movements for national independence. Joyce’s well-known admiration for Ibsen strengthened such associations, and fortified the view that both writers spoke from a shared colonial experience, In Spain, Joyce assumed particular importance for a group of Galician writers who, on top of the shared Celtic origins of Ireland and Galicia, saw their own preoccupation with cultural marginalization and nationalism powerfully expressed in the Irish Literary Revival. In the 1920s, the Galician journal Nós (a title that echoes the sentiment of Sinn Féin’s “We Ourselves”) devoted a number of issues to the theme of Irish-Calician relations. Perhaps the most memorable contribution was that of the journal’s Editor, Vicente Risco, who imagined Joyce’s protagonist Stephen Dedalus going on a final adventure to Galicia, where, as part of his pact with the devil, he will be the last pilgrim to die on Celtic soil; he thus closes the circle of martyrdom opened by his namesake St Stephen - the first Christian martyr.’ (In Times Literary Supplement, 29 April 2005, pp.4-5.) Further, regarding ‘Joyce’s appropriation by “foreign” interests’: ‘Recent trends in Joyce studies [...] suggest a return to something many early critics took for granted - that Joyce was Irish and that the formative experiences of colonialism and Catholicism lay at the heart of his work. At a time when the prominent Joyce scholar Derek Attridge has acknowledged the “excessively cosy relation between Joyce’s text and the cultural envelope within which it finds its meanings”, and when the Editor of the James Joyce Quarterly has argued that “we must inoculate ourselves against Joyce with a proper hatred of his pre-eminence”, it may be that the best prospect of recovering the roots of Joyce’s radical difficulty lies in those readings which restore him to an Irish context, rather than pursuing the revolution-of-the-word legacy of French theory. Then again, the Irish turn in Joyce studies may simply rehash, albeit with a new critical vocabulary, what has already been written elsewhere and otherwise, as if we needed reminding that our insights to Joyce are caught up in the same Viconian ricorso of the Wake - “happy returns” of the “seim anew”. (Times Literary Supplement, 29 April 2005, p.4.) Note, Beplate’s article elicits a letter from Jonty Driver (East Sussex) in a subsequent issue of TLS attesting that he found a copy of Ulysses in the Jagger Library of Capetown University and read it at one sitting.)

Hans Walter Gabler: ‘The true status [of workshop materials] is not that of separate sub-texts, or side-texts. They are, on the contrary, integral to the literary work itself, seen as a continuous text in its extension in time from conception to completion.’ (q. source.)

Note Hugh Kenner’s attribution to Gabler of the discovery of a ‘chiasmatic’ structure in A Portrait, which consists in the ‘cunning with which the three episodes and the diary of Chapter V reverse the overture and three episodes of Chapter I [which] went unnoticed for sixty years’ [Kenner, Ulysses, Allen & Unwin, p.13 & n., citing Gabler, ‘The Seven Lost Years of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, in Approaches ot James Joyce’s “Portrait”: Ten Essays, ed., Thomas F. Staley & Bernard Benstock, Pittsburgh 1976, pp.35-60.]

See also Gabler’s conjectures about the chronology of A Portrait, retaled by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon, under Notes > A Portrait - infra.

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Eric Bulson, Cambridge Companion to James Joyce (Cambridge UP 2006), paraphrases Joyce’s 1912 Lectures on Defoe & Blake in which he wrote of Defoe’s “Duncan Campbell” [being] a spiritualistic study of an interesting case of clairvoyance in Scotland which relates what happens when the realist comes into a mystical place where ‘telepathy is in the air’ [JJ]. Bulson quotes Joyce: ‘Seated at the bedside of a boy visionary [i.e., “Duncan Campbell”;] gazing at his raised eyelids listing to his breathing, examining the position of his head, noting his fresh complexion, Defoe is the realist in the presence of the unknown, it is the experience of the man who struggles and conquers in the presence of a dream which he fears may fool him; he is, finally, the Anglo-Saxon in the presence of the Celt.” (Occasional Writings, ed. Kevin Barry, OUP 2001, p.171.) Bulson remarks: ‘Unfortunately for us Joyce fails to elaborate and we are left wondering how Defoe’s description of the boy visionary necessarily translates [...] the encounter between the Anglo-Saxon and the Celt. The realist Joyce seems to be [28] suggesting here, that we can never get beyond the material world, much as the English coloniser cannot get into the mind of the colonised Irish race. Joyce was particularly pleased with this lecture and sent it to a prestigious literary journal in Florence call the Marzocco. Corinna de Greco Lobner suspects that the editors refused to publish it because Joyce’s thinly veiled anti-British sentiments would offend British subscribers.’ Bulson points out that Joyce argued that Blake was Irish, reflecting his reading of Yeats’s introduction to the Works of William Blake, edited with Ellis, remarking: ‘James Joyce was not the first to make Blake a Celt. Yeats [on the] ‘shakiest evidence tried to prove Blake’s father James Blake was born James O’Neill.’ (Bulson, pp.28-29.) Bulson quotes Joyce further: ‘In English literature Blake represents the most significant and the truest form of idealism. He was not however an Anglo-Saxon. Instead he possessed all the qualities contrary to this type and most of all his hatred of commerce. He was Irish and he manifested in his art those characteristics most particular to his people.’ (Barry, ed., op. cit., n.p.; here p. 29.)

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Alan Roughley, Reading Derrida, Reading Joyce ( Florida UP 1999), Preface: ‘The writings of Joyce and Derrida rupture the taxonomic structures that are founded upon these concepts and principles [presence, facticity, genre, teleology, progression, linearity]. These ruptures are analogous with the gap into the unconscious opened by Freud and the practice of criticism after Joyce and Derrida in some aspects engages in the same project as psychoanalysis followed after Freud [...; &c.] [xv] ‘Since Joyce, and perhaps even more since Derrida, our understanding of the form of a book as an ideal structure has been radically changed. [...] Both have produced books without conventional structures or endings. They both teach us that the concept of the book as an ideological form as well as our ideas about the relationship between speech and writing can, and should be, radically rethought.’ [xvi] ‘For both Joyce and Derrida, marginal parts of a text are capable of a force that produces important effects within the text’s main body/ The operations of this forces can disrupt and overturn the traditional hierarchy of evaluation of the main body of a text as more and powerful than its marginal counterpart. [...] In Ulysses both the jar of Plumtree’s potted meat and the slogan advertising it are relatively unimportant [...] Joyce’s writing, however, gives this marginal textual fragment a power belonging to its status as a minor realistic textual detail in the narrative by making the potted meat and its advertising slogan signifiers of humour, love, betrayal and death as well as the textual slippage that undermines a strictly representational reading of Joyce’s text.’ (Refs. Astradur Eysteinsson, The Concept of Modernism, Cornell UP 1990, p.227; here p.xix.) [Cont.]

Alan Roughley (Reading Derrida, Reading Joyce, 1999) - cont.: Roughley notes that Derrida read Joyce at Harvard [1]; speaks of Levinas’s ‘encounter with the absolutely other’ [18]. Re Derrida at the 9th International James Joyce Symposium [Paris]: ‘Deconstruction could not have been possible without Joyce’ (vide, Jones, 1988, p.77.) Further: ‘Although the word “perhaps” still hangs over Derrida’s assessment of Joyce as “the most Hegelian of novelists”, there is much to support the [91] argument that Derrida finds Hegel’s encyclopaedic and totalising philosophical project parallel (or “completed”) by Joyce’s “most powerful project for programming the totality of research into the onto-logico-encyclopaedic field”. For Derrida readers and scholars who engage with Joyce’s writings find themselves playing “with the entire archive of culture - at least of what is called Western culture, and in it of that which returns to itself according to the Ulyssean circle of ‘the encyclopaedia’”.’ (Quoting Jacques Derrida, ‘Ulysses Gramophone: Deux Mots pour Joyce’, trans. as ‘Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce’, in Derek Attridge, ed., Acts of Literature, London: Routledge, 1992,253-309; here 91.) ‘Derrida uses the Wake’s metaphor of its language as a river to re-mark the continual return involved in such a rereading and to signify how returning to Joyce’s work produces the effect of encountering that work anew each time.’ (Roughley, op. cit., p.91.)

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Gregory Castle, Modernism and the Celtic Revival (Cambridge UP 2001): ‘[...] in view of Terry Eagleton’s these that Ireland’s colonial status, together with its strong traditional social organisation, created ideal conditions for the formation of a conservative modernist sensibility, the role of anthropology in the Celtic Revival becomes pivotal, since both sought to conserve the pristine social conditions of primitive societies and both had to contend with the tensions and contradictions that arise when a traditional culture comes into contact with a modern - that is to say, a civilised - observer. This is certainly the case in Synge’s ethnographic account of the Aran Islands and Yeats’s folklore collections and folkloric fictions, for both Yeats an Synge presupposed certain key elements of anthropological theory having to do with primitive cultures and emplyed, however inconsistently or even unwittingly, techniques of participant observation [à la Malinowski]. But other features of modernism, specifically narrative self-reflexivity and plurivocality, are less evident in early Revivalist writing, in part because of the conservative tendency of Anglo-Irish literary production. When we do see these features - for example in Synge’s “exaggerated” realism and in Joyce’s experiments in style and point of view - they signal a commitment less to an enthnographic imaginatgion than to a critique of that mode of imagining. Joyce’s workd (and, to a lesser extent, Synge’s) serves as a salutary self-criticism of the Revival’s reliance on a redemptive discourse that purports to offer a pro-nationalist representation of traditional Irish culture, while at the same time it assimiliates that culture into an essentially anthropological frame of reference. The chief difference between the participant observer and the Revivalists like Synge and Joyce with regard to self-reflexivity and narrative plurivocality lies in the fact that the former must repress the desire for subjective response and “counter-narratives” in the production of a primary, authoritative ethnographic text (relegating the expression of such desires, when they arise, to unofficial or private texts), while the latter is free to incorporate such subjective responses or the fragmentation and multiplication of narrative perspectives.’ (p.30.) Castle compares the assumption of a “sovereign” Western observer’s personal experince and point of view with the interplay of multiple and divergent voices and intersubjective approach characteristics of the “new” or “revisionist” anthropology associated with James Clifford, et al. [Cont.]

Gregory Castle, Modernism and the Celtic Revival (Cambridge UP 2001) - cont: [on “The Dead”:] quotes Fanon, “political education means opening [the peoples‘] minds, awakening them, and allowing the birth of their intelligence; as [Aimé] Césaire said, it is “to invent souls.”; (Wretched of the Earth, [1967] p.197; here p.173]. ‘But it is in Ulysses that Joyce is able to recognize the productive power of this interaction and to transform a critique of Revivalism into a new revival, an awakening to the revolutionary possibilities of a “political education”; in which both the traditional and the modern have a share in the invention of souls. / The first stage in this awakening is Dubliners, a text that is often regarded as a premier example of either realism or naturalism, part of a tradition that features European masters like Gustave Flaubert and Émile Zola. To be sure, this view of Joyce‘s first major work would not be out of place in a literary history of realistic fiction. However, as recent critics have begun to notice, Dubliners has complex ideological commitments to cultural nationalism and anti-colonial resistance, and its realist strategies are not strictly consonant with those of nineteenth-century practitioners, though Zola‘s interest in unmasking the hidden sources of social oppression is similar to what we find in Joyce. In some cases, as in Nolan‘s discussion of “The Dead,”; Revivalism is identified as an important context for understanding these commitments. It hardly bears repeating the conclusion drawn by so many critics that Gabriel Conroy experiences a conflict over the values of cultural nationalism as they manifest themselves in Miss Ivors‘ enthusiasm for the Aran Islands. My discussion of Synge‘s own experience there indicates the extent to which the West of Ireland attained a nearly iconic significance for cultural nationalists and continued to hold that significance well into the opening decades of the twentieth century. Michael Levenson has drawn our attention to the significant fact that the Playboy riots of late January and early February of 1907 took place during the time Joyce was composing “The Dead.”; He writes that Joyce, “who was living out a few months of his exile in Rome, eagerly followed the controversy, clearly sensing that here was a foretaste of a feast being laid for him. The Playboy affair made clear that in the midst of an ongoing colonial struggle, the boundaries between art and politics were highly permeable, where they existed at all.”; (Michael Levenson, ‘Living History in “the Dead”;, in Dubliners: Text, Criticism and Notes, ed. Robert Scholes & A Walton Litz, Penguin 1996, pp.421-38.) Joyce, then, picks up where Synge leaves off, exploring in his own anthropological fictions the permeability of boundaries that Synge had tested and exposed.’ (p.179.) [Cont.]

Gregory Castle, (Modernism and the Celtic Revival, 2001) - cont. [on Joyce’s reference to ‘my nicely-polished looking-glass’ in letter to Grant Richards]: ‘We should not fail at this juncture to notice that Joyce, in flourishing his “nicely polished looking-glass,” employs a metaphor that had been used against Synge during the Playboy controversy. A reviewer of The Playboy had lamented Synge’s refusal to represent the Irish realistically, asserting that the Abbey Theatre directors “were expected to fulfill the true purpose of playing - ‘to hold as ’twere the, mirror up to Nature’, to banish the meretricious stage, and give, for: the first time, true pictures of Irish life and fulfillment of that pledge.” (Anon., Freeman’s Journal, 29 Jan. 1907; rep. in James Kilroy, ed., The Playboy Riots, Dolmen Press 1971, p.20.) Perhaps more effectively than Synge, Joyce reveals the complacency of those people whose faith in “true pictures” blinds them to the constructedness and the interestedness of realistic representation, as well as to the deleterious effects of Revivalist programs of cultural redemption that offer meager and ineffective alternatives to colonialist and nationalist idealizations whose reliance on a primitivist discourse was largely unexamined and uncriticized. Joyce’s employment of the mirror-image, however, is both ironic and strategic, for, while it appears that Joyce’s stories are meant to represent the social world realistically, we are constantly pulled, [181] despite the narrators’ scrupulous attention to detail, toward the subjective responses of characters to that world. This ironic deflection of the reader’s gaze from the realistic detail to the subjective experience of characters who all too often simply fail to see , constitutes a strategic reversal of the aims of realistic discourse: to imitate through language the social and material relations of the external world. Joyce simply brings to the fore the ideological assumptions about what aspect of that world is “real” and proper for representation and how those assumptions fail individuals who abide by them.’ (p.180-81.)

Note: Castle goes on to quote Roy Pascal on Flaubert’s form of realism, which he likewise ascribes to Joyce - see Notes, infra.

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Gareth Joseph Downes, ‘The Heretical Auctoritas of Giordano Bruno: The Significance of the Brunonian Presence in James Joyce’s The Day of the Rabblement and Stephen Hero’, in Joyce Studies Annual, 14 (Summer 2003), pp.37-73: ‘[...] This article discusses Joyce’s acerbic pamphlet as the first of the belligerent sorties that he wrote in his “open war” against the Roman Catholic Church, and the pervasive and paralysing influence of the bourgeois Catholic morality that it helped to maintain in the contemporary cultural and intellectual life of Dublin. It discusses Joyce’s reading of Bruno’s Italian dialogues and how this encounter steeled him in his own struggle with Catholic orthodoxy, and explores his covert employment of Bruno as an heretical auctoritas in The Day of the Rabblement and Stephen Hero. It argues that an historicist examination of Joyce’s dialogue with Bruno provides an extremely effective means of realizing some of the urgency and offensiveness of his critical engagement with contemporary Catholicism during the 1900s. /  In an interview with James Knowlson in September 1989, Samuel Beckett revealed that the only remark Joyce ever made about “Dante . . . Bruno. Vico.. Joyce,” was that, although he liked the essay (which was written at his own behest and instruction), he thought there “wasn’t enough about Bruno; he found Bruno rather neglected.” His comments are, to a large extent, justified; and even though the essay was first published in 1929, Joyce’s estimation of “Dante . . . Bruno. Vico.. Joyce” remains as a salutary and instructive comment on the treatment of Joyce’s complex relationship with the writings and legacy of the “heresiarch martyr of Nola” in Joycean criticism to date. Beckett’s discussion of Joyce’s encounter with Bruno and his appraisal of the signifcance of the doctrine of the coincidence of contraries in the Wake is relatively telegraphic, when [38] compared to his more expansive accounts of the importance of Dante’s “system of poetics” and the Viconian theory of the “inevitability of cyclical evolution”, and, in fact, is cribbed largely from J. Lewis McIntyre’s 1903 study of the Nolan, Giordano Bruno.’

Downes adds in a footnote: ‘Beckett’s summary of the coincidence of contraries appears to be in fact a concise préces of McIntyre’s text. Compare Beckett’s appraisal of the Brunonian doctrine in “Dante ... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce” [in Our Exagmination ... (&c.)], with McIntyres’s summation of the geometrical illustrations and verifications that Bruno employs to explicate the doctrine of the coincidence of contraries in his 1903 study [citing pp.176-78].’ (p.38-39.) [ See longer extracts in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Critics > Major Authors > Joyce”, via index, or attached. ]

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Valentine Cunningham, ‘James Joyce’, in Andrew Hass, David Jasper & Elisabeth Jay, eds., The Oxford Handbook of English Literature (OUP 2007): ‘As this neo-Christ, Bloom is the very essence of the heretical fleshly Word. [...] For “Circe”; is an anti-Apocalypse, a triumphant carnival of the blasphemous New Bloomusalem, an apocalypse of the bad body and the sinful word, all egged-on by uncouth American evangelist A. J. Dowie, a messianic Elijah come at last. “A. J. Christ Dowie”; urges the whole debauched crew, “Florry Christ, Stephen Christ, Zoe Christ, Bloom Christ, Kitty Christ, Lynch Christ”;, to “be on the side of the angels”; and expect “the second advent”; on Coney Island, to the tune of his “glory song”; from THE GRAMOPHONE, “The Holy City”; of Edward Weatherby and Stephen Adams bastardised: “Whorusalaminyourhighhohhhh ...”; Whorusalem. A new Jerusalem of the whole. The Bible’s Scarlet Woman rampant. / We hear THE GRAMOPHONE winding down at that very point. It winds up again, so to say, in Finnegans Wake, that extended glossalalic Day of Pentecost, or pun-full fulfilment of the Scriptures: ut implerentur scripturae. (U424.) A pleromatic of Joyce’s own scriptures, of course, a text replaying the whole preceding Joycean word-game, but also revamping the church’s texts and textuality, a practice of scriptural fulfilment as a kind of annagrammatical gibberish, a pentecostal exiling of clear meaning, an extended jubilee of the fallen letter - a textuality delighted in by deconstructionist critics high on postmodernist models of mystagogic textualism (such as Beryl Schlossman [Joyce’s Catholic Comedy of the Word, Wisconsin UP 1985]), and encouraged of course by certain of Joyce’s closest discipes, especially Eugene Jolas, preacher of the surrealist “Revolution of the Word”; in Our Exagmination (Jolas, 1929, pp.77-92.) A textual revolution which invests in the kind of linguistic and interpretative bottomlessness that more recent deconstructive Joyceans want to celebrate Joyce for bringing out as the real linguistic, epistemic, and hermeneutical truth of the Bible and the Christian tradition discourses with, allegedly, no fixed meanings at all, but existing rather as infinitely rewriteable and reinterpretatable sets of meaning potential, as amply exploited by Joyce.’ [Cont.]

Valentine Cunningham, ‘James Joyce’, in Andrew Hass, David Jasper & Elisabeth Jay, eds., The Oxford Handbook of English Literature (OUP 2007): ‘Which is an argument - potently put by Gian Balsamo [Scriptural Poetics in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, 2002), and William Franke (‘Literature as Liturgy and the Interpretative Revolution in Literary Criticism’, in Gian Balsamo, op. cit., 2002, [?Foreword] pp.v-xiii) - that certainly has its force. Except that Joyce’s is a neo-logocentrism that does indeed keep touching bottom - and not least with bottom-obsessed Molly Bloom. Not to mention excrement-dotty Leopold Bloom. Dowie-Christ man only return jokily, and the word of his coming may be a mere throwaway covered in gutter-filth. But we never get the olefactory shock of the soiled work-paper of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake out of our nostrils. And Bloom’s dark horse Throwaway did have that funny way of coming in a winner. And of course Molly Bloom’s talk goes on and on, and the flow of Anna Livia Plurabelle is an endless circling. Cunt indeed proves oracular. With these grandiloquently eloquent females, at the long climax of Ulysses and in the unstoppably cyclical flow of the Wake, the voice of the already usurped patriarchal texts is taken over and metamorphosed yet once more into this transformed, unquenchably undone and redone voice of the post-orthodox female: Irish virgin, old pious mother, Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother Church, triumphantly traduced. And, of course, as Ulysses suggests, this voice of the transgresive female if, so to say, the voice and text and textuality of Bloom as gifted with an oracular vagina [519] as in Nighttown, where, as the “new womanly man”;, he gives birth miraculously to many sons - including one Chrysostomos - while remaining virgo intacta. So that Bloom is both the new father of the new Joycean fatherland and also Virgin Mary rediviva, all in one. Which couldn’t be more transgressive, and blasphemous and heretical, and shocking - Bloom all at once the startling Father and Mother of the new logos, the new logocentrism, that Joyce’s later texts like to think themselves as comprising.’ (End; pp.519-20.)

Garry Leonard, ‘James Joyce and Popular Culture’, in Jean-Michel Rabaté, James Joyce Studies (London: Palgrave/Macmillan 2004): ‘[...] T. S. Eliot famously wrote in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, ‘I have measured out my life in coffee spoons’, but Joyce is far more contextual than this. He asks: where did you buy the coffee? What brand? Who was it advertised and how did that affect the choice? What were you thinking when you bought it? [...;’ p.46]. ‘As my reading of moments of consumption suggests, the momentary is momentous because it remains unexplained and unaccounted for by what the Marxist critic Gramsci called “hegemonic discourse.” Discourse [47] more generally an be understood as the various conceptual frameworks that facilitate some modes of thought and exclude or invalidate others. In this way, various institutions sustain their privileged position. (p.48.) Further: ‘The “escape” afforded by chronicles of disorder [...] is not an escape from history but rather an escape from the historicised, to the not yet historicised, where the colonial subject may have access to actual possibilities ousted by the exclusionary “actualities” imposed by historical narratives.’ (p.49.) ‘For Joyce the momentary is momentous; the “everyday” is not where we make history, but where we live and “low” art chronicles this disorder. If we seek the full splendor of Joyce’s accomplishment, examples of “low” art are what we must read and read doubly, instead of our Roman history.’ (p.50.) See also remarks under Matthew Arnold, supra; and note: coffee-spoons are used for stirring in sugar not measuring coffee and are nowhere mentioned in Ulysses.

Maria Tymoczko, ‘Joyce’s Postpostivist Prose Cultural Translation and Transculturation’, in Irish Studies in Brazil, ed. Munira H. Mutran & Laura P. Z. Izarra (Associação Editorial Humanitas 2005), pp.263-94: ‘[...] Joyce’s antipositivism has an Irish strain. Enthusiasm for positivism had been constrained in Ireland, in part by the strength of Catholicism in the country. By the 1890s, moreover, dominant voices [264] of Irish cultural nationalism had embraced mysticism and spiritualism, including many of the leading intellectuals and artists of the Irish Revival who were steeped in such things as theosophy and “the Celtic Twilight”. At the same time Joyce’s reaction to positivism is part of a larger shift in Western intellectual thought that can be traced in mathematics, the natural sciences [... &c.; also cites Freud and Jung, Heisenberg and Gödel.] / Ulysses is the epitome of an antipositivist novel, and its emphasis on and validation of the subjective are most famously reified in Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness technique that dominates the first ten episodes of the book. The argument that observation can be objective or lead to positive truths is undercut by Joyce who demonstrates that the world looks very different from different perspectives. By having his characters perceive the same phenomena but register them in dissimilar ways, as Joyce deliberately contrives for them to do repeatedly, Joyce makes the point that observation is not objective and does not result in positive facts about the world: distinct points of view result in distinct observations and interpretations of the world. Joyce shows that the act of observation itself is significant in constructing the reality observed, and, therefore, in a literary domain anticipates Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle by more than a decade. Ironically, as an antipositivist technique, stream of consciousness is arguably an outgrowth of the nineteenth-century realistic novel, particularly as it had been elaborated in English, where the emphasis is on the [265] subjectivity and psychology development of the principal characters as “positively” by the omniscient. In Joyce’s technique, however, a character’s consciousness supplants the omniscient narrator as the point of reference for observation, thus undercutting the possibility of objectivity, even while validating that character’s authority and viewpoint. [...] Joyce’s approach to style in the second half of Ulysses also challenges positivist approaches to knowledge and to narrative. The styles reflect socially constructed, subjective, and even metaphysical orientations to experience. Joyce’s manipulation of style constitutes a modernist approach to the problematic of positivst narrative, and the second half of Joyce’s work anticipates later twentieth-century explorations of the way that knowledge itself is shaped by language [...] that is, there are no words for thinking and speaking “objective” observations because language itself shapes thought in ways that encode perspectives, cultural presuppositions, and specific values and beliefs.’

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Sam Slote, ‘Epiphanic “Proteus”’, in Genetic Joyce Studies (Spring 2005) [online]: ‘[...] Initially, the most surprising new manuscript is the early “Proteus” draft, which represents that episode in an unexpected configuration. Up until this new draft came to light, the earliest-known “Proteus” draft was Buffalo V.A.3, which represents the text of the entire episode in a form mostly congruous with the final text, with a few notable exceptions. The new NLI draft (II.ii.1) contains the text of only about one third of the final episode divided into sixteen discrete, fragmentary units, out of order from their appearance in the final text. Comparison of the NLI “Proteus” with the Buffalo draft shows that, for the most part, the earlier draft’s units were transferred to the subsequent draft with minimal modifications. However, the Buffalo draft contains a great deal of text not indicated on the earlier NLI draft – such as the famous opening passage on vision and colour – and so the later draft must have been made in conjunction with another, still-missing, draft. Furthermore, there is evidence that for at least some of the units on the NLI draft, an intervening draft was also made. [...]’ (Cont.)

Sam Slote (‘Epiphanic “Proteus”’, in Genetic Joyce Studies, Spring 2005) -cont.: ‘I would propose that Joyce, at this early stage of the development of “Proteus”, conceptualised the episode as a series of discrete units that would be be rearranged and linked together through additional material into one more-or-less integral narrative thread. In other words, the fragmentary arrangement was fungible. “Proteus” is more Protean than previously assumed. Each of the draft’s units focuses on a specific scene or thought and could be construed as being analogous to Joyce’s concept of the epiphany. Indeed, the final unit on the draft is a revision of the Paris epiphany (epiphany 33). In a sense, then, this draft attempts a revision or remaking and remodelling of the epiphany, which had been the central component of Joyce’s æsthetic theory in 1904, that is, at the time of Stephen’s Sandymount stroll. By being yoked together, even in an unconnected state, the individual epiphanic units of this draft are not self-sufficient events, but rather blocks for a narrative-in-process. / A revision of the epiphanic praxis is interesting in that the epiphany is, according to Joyce’s definition, itself a form of re-vision. / As you recall, the epiphany is explicitly defined only in Stephen Hero: “By an epiphany [..., &c.]” [...] the epiphany is explicitly defined only in Stephen Hero [...] the epiphany is what defines the artist: the artist is the person who is able to record these spiritual manifestations with appropriate sensitivity. An epiphany is only an epiphany if it is recorded, it is the artistic après-coup of experience, the artist’s revision of experience.’ [Cont.]

Sam Slote (‘Epiphanic “Proteus”’, in Genetic Joyce Studies, Spring 2005) -cont.: ‘Joyce himself revised this definition of the artist’s rôle in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. There, Stephen’s argument elides the key-word “epiphany” and, instead replaces it with the more redoubtably Thomistic term claritas. According to Stephen’s argument, claritas, in a very general way, is the synthesis of sensible and intellectual perception as a transcendent revelation. Claritas is only to the extent that it can be communicated by the appropriately sensitive artistic soul: “The image, it is clear, must be set between the mind or senses of the artist himself and the mind or senses of others” (P213). This then would be a very traditional Hegelian aesthetic in that the work of art stands as an intersubjective object. But, the important point here is that claritas is a function of writing, and thus, inevitably, a function of rewriting and revising, even as the word “epiphany” is revised out of existence in the text of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. / On the level of style, the major change between the epiphanies and Joyce’s later use of an epiphanic form (or something like an epiphanic form) in Giacomo Joyce and Ulysses involves a dispersal of sense through ambiguous collocation and construction. In short, the manifestation of claritas is ambiguated in its communication, and with the NLI “Proteus” we can now clearly see that this tactic of ambiguation is something that evolved and changed across various drafts.’ [Slote goes on to argue that Joyce challenges the Thomist notion implicit in the the idea of lex eterna that, a ‘;soul’ once created cannot be uncreated, holding that the analogous position to be untrue: a text having once been written can be indefinitely revised. He draws attention to the phrase ‘God’s ways are not our ways’ as it occurs in the NLI draft of this episode - a phrase apparently transposed - or, at least, echoed - in the ‘Nestor’ episode, where it is used to confer permanency on the deity rather than the opposite design in this context.] (See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors > Joyce”, via index, or direct.)

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John Gross, review of New Dictionary of National Biography, in Times Literary Supplement (17 Dec. 2004), pp.12-14: ‘[...] In general, contributors have avoided academic jargon, especially its more recent varieties, and few of them have been tempted to put their authors through the mangle of literary theory. A partial exception is Bruce Stewart, in his article on Joyce. Much of the time Stewart offers a straightforward and often spirited account of the writer’s life and work, but he is also at pains to inform us that “ écriture féminine was the very definition of Joyce’s way of writing from “Penelope” [in Ulysses] onwards”, and that “the nature of the colonial world from which he sprang dictated that the only authentic representation of reality in language must follow the contours of a divided world.” In his final summing-up, Stewart is heavily preoccupied with the efforts made by some Irish critics to “repatriate” Joyce or enlist him under the banner of Irish nationalism. Stewart’s own view is that the paradoxes of Joyce’s position - at once very Irish and very cosmopolitan - are best accounted for by “the post-colonial concept of hybridity”.’ (p.13.) By contrast, Gross reads R. F. Foster’s - free from theory - article on W. B. Yeats as a ‘model contribution’ (p.12). For a lengthy draft version of this the NDNB article, see “A Short Life of James Joyce” [attached].

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Aaron Kelly, Twentieth-Century Literature in Ireland: A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2008): ‘Famously, Joyce refused to sign a student petition condemning the play. Indeed, Joyce also looked favourably on the Irish Literary Theatre’s second play, Martyn’s The Heather Field (1899), and he would later produce a version of it in Zurich in 1919. / However, “The Day of the Rabblement”; signals a very abrupt change of Joyce’s opinion in regard to the overall direction of the Irish Literary Theatre in 1901. For the year in which Joyce (hastily) wrote his polemic saw the Theatre produce Douglas Hyde’s Casadh an tSúgáin (The Twisting of the Rope, 1901) and Diarmuid and Gráinne (1900) by Yeats and George Moore (1852-1933). To Joyce, the production of these plays indicated that the Irish Literary Theatre had been intimidated by the controversies surrounding its initial work and had capitulated to the demands of what he regarded as a crass, populist nationalism. Such a retreat, for Joyce, betrayed the original intention of the Irish Literary Theatre to produce work not only by Irish dramatists but also by the great European playwrights such as Joyce’s hero Ibsen: “the Irish Literary Theatre must now be considered the property of the rabblement of the most belated race in Europe” [Joyce, Critical Writings, Cornell UP 1989 Edn., p.70]. So, according to Joyce, both the Irish Literary Theatre and populist nationalism hold each other in a mutually destructive embrace. Notably, Joyce recognizes “a time of crisis”; for literature and art at the onset of the twentieth century, and therefore a concomitant need to defend and sustain art’s integrity against decay in a convulsively changing modern world - a sentiment he in fact thus shares with the founders of the Irish Literary Theatre. Nonetheless, Joyce evidently feels the frustration of an opportunity missed, that the Irish Literary Theatre backtracked after the bad press surrounding its formative productions and surrendered the opportunity to establish what Joyce would have considered a more European and international theatre and concomitant intellectual crosscurrent of ideas. Hence, provincial, populist acceptance becomes the bargaining chip by which the Irish Literary Theatre relinquishes its artistic integrity and its more cosmopolitan mission statement. Joyce was particularly frustrated by the fact that Ibsen’s Ghosts (1881) and The Power of Darkness (1880) by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) were plays that were both banned in England by [23] the British government but could have been performed in Ireland had the Irish Literary Theatre had either the courage or conviction to do so. (Critical Writings, p.71; Kelly, pp.23-24.).

Aaron Kelly, Twentieth-Century Literature in Ireland: A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2008) - cont.: ‘[...] Joyce is seeking to redefine Irish identity rather than avoid it completely - a fact that was largely lost on literary criticism until the development of Irish Studies in the last three decades of the twentieth century. While Joyce ponders whether nationality is a “convenient ficiton”, he is also passionately concerned about the state of Irelnad, and his antipathy to mainstream Irish Nationalism should therefore not be misread as apathy.’ (p.26.) ‘[...] Joyce’s critical writing specifically distances his own work form what he adjudges the mythologizing, folkloric nostalgia of Yeats and others [...] What Joyce did share with Yeats and the other Revivalists, however, was an acute conern with how to use the English language in expressing Irish experience, and Joyce, in his own way, reinforces Yeats’s resistance to Irish literature being swallowed up as a mere regional variation of English literature. Joyce has a shrewd grasp of British cultural hegemony [27] and its capacity to appropriate [sic] and rewrite Irish ltierature in its own dominant terms.’ (pp.27-28.) ‘It is worth reiterating though that Joyce, in signalling the depleted state of the Irish language, attends directly to issues of culture and power. It is highly significant that the first English presence in Ulysses is not Privates Carr or Compton - figures of military domination who appear in the “Circe” chapter of the novel - but Haines the cultural imperialist or whom the Irish language becomes another of his accumulated cultural treasures while simultaneously being denied any living currency among Irish people themselves. Joyce is careful, however, to frame the action of the first chapter in the Martello Tower, a former British military garrison built to protect the occupation from French attack or invasion, so that Haines’s Matthew Arnold-type cultural appropriation and [29] pseudo-anthropology are seen as directly connected to military power and vice versa.’ (pp.29-30.)

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David Pierce, Joyce and Company (London: Continuum 2006), pb. 2008. p.181. ‘[... I]n the Library in Ulysses[. t]he assembled group are discussing paradoxes in the context of authorship. “it’s the very essence of Wilde, don’t you know. The light touch.” (U:529-30). Richard Best is recalling Wilde’s story-essay “The Portrait of W.H.” (1889) and the proposition that Shakespeare wrote his sonnets for the boy-actor Willie Hghes. Best’s comment is lifted in part from Wilde himself who has Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest declare: “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” In one of those unsettling markers that distinguish the “Scylla and Charbydis” episode, the disgruntled Stephen Dedalus thinks to himself: “His glance touched their faces lightly as he smiled, a blond ephebe. Tame essence of Wilde.” This is clever and puts Best in his place alongside Haines with his “smile of a Saxon” in that other tower (or garrison) episode “Telemachus”, but the put on Wilde’s name, if it’s not directed at Best being Wilde’s tame essence, is a little obvious, and what exactly is essence when Wilde is all performance? Perhaps the intention Joyce’s part is for the comment to rebound on Stephen, for Wilde is not so much tame as external, all brilliance, someone who, as with “the very essence”, empties intensifiers of their meaning but who also challegnes us to distinguish the affective and affectatious. As for Wilde’s “light touch”, in the context of Willie Hughes, this is presumably a double entendred, perhaps unintended on Best’s part and not pursued by Stephen, but one capable of being registered by Joyce’s ideal “wideawake” reader, mor today in the light of [Jamie] O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys (2001), a novel which brings out the latent homosexual theme in Ulysses [...] So Wilde’s light touch is both metaphoric and literal, both witty and physical in nature, capable of being appreciated and at the same time rejected by polite society, a midway position that is revealing for those who have eyes to see and blind or deceptive for those who don’t.’ (p.22.) [Goes on to discuss Molly’s “La ci darem la mano

Maud Ellmann, ‘Ulysses: Changing into an Animal’, in Field Day Review, 2 (2006), pp.74-93: ‘Joyce’s interest in the murky division between man and animal reaches back to his Paris notebooks of 1904, where he makes careful notes on Aristotle’s theory of the animals, especially the philosopher’s idea that good minds depend upon thin skin, the human mind growing stronger in proportion to the weakness of the human hide, its nake porosity to influence. [In the MS Early Notes recently acquired from the Paul Leon estate by the National Library of Ireland (NLI, MS 36,639/2/A), Joyce notes: “In the sense of touch man is far above all other animals and hence his is the most intelligent animal. / Men with tough flesh do not have much intelligence. / The flesh is the intermediary for the sense of touch.” In the last phrase Joyce substitutes touch for though[t], which is crossed out.] With this ingenious case for the cognitive benefits of furlessness, Aristotle launched philosophy on a ceaseless quest for the quintessence of humanity, the unique endowment that ensures man’s superiority over animals, be it reason, language, consciousness, free will, or opposed thumb. [...] In challenging the distinction between the human and the anikal, Joyce is revisiting a theme in Homer’s Odyssey, where this distinction has to be reinstated every time Odysseus arrives at a new island and must determine whether the inhabitants are men or beasts - or soemthing monstrous in between. The litmus test is hospitality: strangers who feed their guests are human, whereas those who eat their guests are monsters. What makes them monsters, however, is the fact that they are cannibals, which means they must be human, not animal.’ (p.77.) Speaks of the zoomorphic tendency in “Circe”; and goes on to note that Joyce was revolted by beef and underlines Shem’s and Bloom’s similar revulsion; cites Derrida, J. M. Coetzee, Upton Sinclair, et al. - incl. Joseph O’Neill, ‘Dear, Dirty Dublin: A City in Distress, 1899-1916’, Berkeley 1982.)

Fran O’Rourke, ‘James Joyce and the Greeks’: ‘[...] For the curriculum of the Intermediate Examination in English, Joyce was required to study Charles Lamb’s The Adventures of Ulysses; examination questions of the time indicate that a very detailed knowledge was required. Presented with the topic “My Favourite Hero” for an English essay, he chose Ulysses as his subject. On another occasion, when permitted to select his own topic, he wrote on Pope’s translation of the Odyssey. Joyce later recalled: “I was twelve years old when we dealt with the Trojan War at school; only the Odyssey stuck in my memory. I want to be candid: at twelve I liked the mysticism in Ulysses.” [George Borach, “Conversations with James Joyce’ in James Joyce: Portraits of the Artist in Exile, ed. Willard Potts, Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 1979, p.69f.] Joyce was impressed above all by the completeness of the character of Odysseus. Most revealing is a conversation with the sculptor Frank Budgen, who posed the question from the perspective of his own artistic technique. “What do you mean by a complete man? For example, if a sculptor makes a figure of a man then that man is all-round, three-dimensional, but not necessarily complete in the sense of being ideal. All human bodies are imperfect, limited in some way, human beings too.” To which Joyce replied: “[Ulysses] is both. I see him from all sides, and therefore he is all-round in the sense of your sculptor’s figure. But he is a complete man as well - a good man.” [Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of “Ulysses” OUP 1991, pp.17-18.] Joyce asked Budgen if he knew of any complete all-round character in literature, and pointed out lacunae in the personalities suggested, such as Faust or Hamlet. Joyce did not even consider Christ a perfect man: “He was a bachelor, and never lived with a woman. Surely living with a woman is one of the most difficult things a man can do, and he never did it.” [Ibid., p.19.] Ulysses meets all of the requirements: “Ulysses is son to Laertes, but he is father to Telemachus, husband to Penelope, lover of Calypso, companion in arms of the Greek warriors around Troy, and King of Ithaca. He was subjected to many trials, but with wisdom and courage came through them all.” [ibid., p.16.]’ (Available EENS Congress - online in 2010; later renamed in Greek, 2012.)

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Susan Brown, ‘The Mystery of the Fuga per Canonem Solved’, in Genetic Joyce Studies, 7 (Spring 2007) - Remarks on the discovery of Joyce’s schema for fuga per canonem on cover verso of a draft of Sirens in NLI papers (catalogued 2002): ‘[...] On a broader scale, the new “Sirens” manuscripts, the fuga per canonem notes, and Joyce’s source for these are critical keys as we connect the dots about why and how Ulysses underwent a radical change at this moment in its composition. As a comparison of the two newly discovered drafts reveal, the original plan for the episode did not include Bloom; he is missing from the first half of the earlier draft. Ferrer asserts in his article, “What Song the Sirens Sang . . . Is No Longer Beyond Conjecture,” Joyce suddenly embarked on “a new departure in the development of Ulysses ,” the use of “counterpointed voices” with the insertion of Bloom and Bloom’s interior monologue into the narrative (59-60). / It is after Joyce has investigated the fugue and cribbed these notes onto the cover of the II.ii.3 copybook that Joyce suddenly leaves behind the security of the initial style and commits to creating a new type of literature. Ferrer concludes, “The presence of these notes on the threshold of the second draft and the juxtaposition with the earlier version. ... gives us the impression of observing at close range a crucial turning point in the history of Ulysses – one could say in the history of literature” (63). ’ [Cont.]

Susan Brown (‘The Mystery of the Fuga per Canonem Solved’, 2007) - cont.: ‘The discovery of these exciting new materials, however, is only the beginning of the scholarly odyssey. Yes, the fugal structure was more than a metaphor or bogus claim for Joyce. As Groden points out, “Here is his (Joyce’s) indication to himself of a fugue’s structure, which he apparently planned to superimpose onto an episode that was already partially drafted” (44). However, what Joyce meant by these eight terms and how he applied them is far from immediately clear. One stumbling block is that these eight parts are possible or potential parts of a fugue, not a fuga per canonem. Nor is it possible to simply, as many of us tried, to take these terms as a jumping off place for analyzing the radical new rewriting of “Sirens.”’ The article identifies the source of Joyce’s actual notes on the fugue - as given under Notes, infra - in Ralph Vaughn Williams’ entry in the 1906 edn. of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (the standard reference work), and offers an account of Joyce’s notetaking methods, here in Italian where the original is in English, and often conducted according to the procedure she calls the ‘Stephen Dedalus School of Speed Reading’ with reference to the practice sketched in Ulysses: “Two pages apiece of seven books every night, eh? ... Hurray for the Goddamned idiot” (40-41). She crucially notes that Joyce simply missed the distinction between the fugue and fuga per canonem in the relevant article by Williams. She goes on: ‘Unfortunately, the new notes and their source bring us no closer to definitive answers [...]’ (Available online; accessed 21.05.2010.)

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Martin Dowling, ‘“Thought-Tormented Music”: Joyce and the Music of the Irish Revival’, in James Joyce Quarterly, 45, 3/4 [Biographical Joyce] (Spring-Summer 2008), pp.437-58: ‘In the wake of the scrupulous meanness of “A Mother”, where poor Madam Glynn sings in “a bodiless gasping voice”, Joyce develops a sympathy and compassion for weak players tackling difficult pieces. In “The Dead” and in “Sirens” Joyce draws subtle connections between weakness and authentic expression, hinting that starvation, age, sickness, and decrepitude are all preconditions [452] for a truly aesthetic performance and for the authentic power of the singer’s voice. The reticence of the professional tenor in “The Dead,” the fragility of his voice as he suffers from a cold, are appropriate to the traditional nature of his song and the setting in which he delivers it. The ghostly Michael Furey, lost in the rain and snow, had a very good voice but delicate health, as if, in Joyce’s imagination, these are complementary qualities. “Sirens” meditates on how starvation and poverty produce sublime vocal beauty. / Joyce points us to another valuable characteristic of authentic traditional singing: its orientation toward the unprogrammable and the ineffable present, its resistance to the textual and canonical fixa- tions of Revivalists and nationalists. In “Sirens,” songs breathe in an intertextual reality, drifting from one to the next and overlapping in Bloom’s thoughts, linked by conversation and daydreaming, just as they do in the contemporary traditional session. Much mediocre material is rehearsed and given a chance to breathe, but true gems like the “Lass of Aughrim” and “The Croppy Boy” are preserved. What we now call Irish traditional music was once merely a variegated musical vernacular of the country, and it was developing and changing much too quickly to be fixed in discourse. David Lloyd identifies exactly this problem in the confrontation between the hybrid and fragmented character of the enormous repertoire of ballads collected in the nineteenth century and cultural nationalists who required that the culture be “monologic in its modes of expression.” (David Lloyd, Anomalous States: Irish Writing and the Post-Colonial Moment, Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1993, p.97.) The adulterated repertoire must be purged, according to Young Irelanders and those who followed in their wake, of its foreign and plebian accretions, its melodeons, music-hall flourishes, and continental dances. The ballads and dance tunes are pliable commodity forms capable of incorporating the burlesque as well as the rarified, classical references and contemporary slang, the language of the military and racecourse. Lloyd notes that the balladeers and practitioners of a mongrelized “traditional” music continually reinvigorated and maintained currency with developments in the public sphere even as they became increasingly useless as an elite touchstone for the pristine past (Lloyd, 95-97). To the vast store of knowledge that Joyce has bequeathed, perhaps we may add this: by his approach to musical performance in his fiction, he has taught us an important lesson about the “inauthentic” authenticity of our musical traditions and how they might be reinvigorated amidst the fixating and sterilizing influences of professional performance and the discourses of ethnic and national essence. And if not that, we might at least learn a few party pieces.’

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