James Joyce: Notes - Literary Figures [III]

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Literary Figures

Ancient & Renaissance
Aristotle (Stagyrite)
Saint Augustine
Scotus Erigena
St. Patrick
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. John Chrysostom
Sir Thomas Browne
Joachim Abbas [of Flora]
Jacopone da Toda
Dante Alighieri
Nicolas of Cusa
Giambattista Vico
Neo-classical & Romantic
J-W. von Goethe
Samuel Johnson
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Thomas de Quincey
Thomas Moore
Caesar Otway
W. M. Thackeray
Ralph Waldo Emerson
John Mitchel
Gustave Flaubert
J. H. Newman
Benedetto Croce
Hugh Miller
Henrik Ibsen
Cesare Lombroso
Modern & contemporary
Sigmund Freud
Benedetto Croce
Edgar Quinet
Walter Pater
Edouard Dujardin
Oscar Wilde
George Meredith
Mme Blavatsky
William Archer
Alice Stopford Green
Somerville & Ross
John Todhunter
William James
Valery Larbaud
Carl G. Jung
Wyndham Lewis
Arnold Schoenberg
Takaoki Katta
Lewis Carroll

Extended Treatment

Sigmund Freud (1): Richard Ellmann notes that Joyce had copies of three pamphlets on psychoanalysis in German, Freud’s A Childhood Memory of Leonarda da Vinci, Ernst Jones’s The Problem of “Hamlet” and the Oedipus Complex, and Jung’s The Significance of the Father in the Destiny of the Individual in his Trieste library.

Sigmund Freud (2): Joyce’s “paternity is a legal fiction’ [in “Scylla and Charybdis” of Ulysses - see longer extract, infra] seems to echo the same precept as Freud’s observations on the relation of the growing child to the father in “Family Romances” - viz.,

“When presently the child comes to know the difference in the parts played by fathers and mothers in their sexual relations, and realizes that “pater semper incertus est”, while the mother is “certissima”. [See ftn, in infra.] When [...] the child comes to know the difference in the parts played by fathers and mothers in their sexual relations, and realizes that [i.e. the above], the family romance undergoes a curious curtailment: it contents itself with exalting the child’s father, but no longer casts any doubts on his maternal origin, which is regarded as something unalterable.’ (Freud, The Penguin Freud Library, ed. Angela Richards, et al., Vol. 7: On Sexuality - Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality and Other Works, 1977, pp.217-56; p.224.) Footnote: ‘An old legal tag, “paternity is always uncertain, maternity is most certain”.’ (Idem.)

Cf. Ulysses: ‘[...] Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. [....]. Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him or he any son? [...] It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro- and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. [...] When [S]hakespeare [...] wrote Hamlet he was not the father of his own son merely but, being no more a son, he was and felt himself the father of all his race, the father of his own grandfather [...] Himself his own father [...]. (Bodley Head Edn., 1960, p.266; see longer extract, in Quotations, infra.)

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Sigmund Freud (2): Joyce does not, however, follow Freud in the next stage of the argument: ‘This second (sexual) stage of the family romance is actuated by another motive as well, which is absent in the first (asexual) stage. The child, having learnt about sexual processes, tends to picture to himself erotic situations and relations, the motive force behind this being his desire to bring his mother (who is the subject of the most intense sexual curiosity) into situations of secret infidelity and into secret love-affairs. In this way the child’s phantasies, which started by being, as it were, asexual, are brought up to the level of his later knowledge.’ [224]. Arguably, however, Joyce exemplifies with Finnegans Wake the final stage of Freudian argument: ‘Indeed the whole effort at replacing the real father by a superior one is only an expression of the [225] child’s longing for the happy, vanished days when his father seemed to him the noblest and strongest of men and his mother the dearest and loveliest of women. He is turning away from the father whom he knows today to the father in whom he believed in the earlier years of his childhood; and his phantasy is no more than the expression of a regret that those happy days have gone. Thus in these phantasies the overvaluation that characterizes a child’s earliest years comes into its own again. An interesting contribution to this subject is afforded by the study of dreams. We learn from their interpretation that even in later years, if the Emperor and Empress appear in dreams, those exalted personages stand for the dreamer’s father and mother’s. So that the child’s overvaluation of his parents survives as well in the dreams of normal adults.’ (See Freud, op. cit., p225-26 & 257.)

For full text, see RICORSO Library > “Criticism > International Critics”> Sigmund Freud (4), via index, or direct]. Note also the resemblance in title between Joyce’s “Tales Told by Shem and Shaun” and Freud’s “Two Lies Told by Children” [1913] (The Penguin Freud Library - On Sexuality [Vol. VII], 1977, p.285-92).

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Benedetto Croco: Joyce knew Croce’s Estetica which contains a chapter on Vico incorporating a restatement of Vico on the creation of the human world: ’Man creates the human world, creates it by transforming himself into the facts of society: by thinking it he re-creates his own creations, traverses over again the paths he has already traversed, reconstructs the whole ideally, and thus knows it with full and true knowledge.’ Cf., ’What went forth to the ends of the world to traverse not itself [...] having itself traversed in reality itself, becomes that self ... Self which it was ineluctibly preconditioned to become. Ecco!’ (Quoted in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1982 Edn., p.340, n, citing Ulysses [“Scylla and Charybdis”], 505[623].)

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Edgar Quinet (1803-75), author of ’a beautiful sentence’ of which Joyce spoke (Letters, I, p.295) and which he incorporated in several versions in Finnegans Wake (e.g., 117.11). Richard Ellmann (James Joyce, OUP 1965) remarks that Joyce once astounding John O’Sullivan by quoting it in the original as they walked by the cemetary on the Boulevard Edgar Quinet, while Joyce later asked Paul Léon to find the passage in notebooks left behind in Paris in 1933 (Ellmann, 1965, p.676), quoting the [supposed] original:

‘Aujourd’hui, comme aux temps [sic] de Pline et de Columelle la jacinthe se plaît dans les Gaules, la pervenche en Illyrie, la marguerite sur les ruines de Numance et pendant qu’autour d’elles les villes ont changé de maîtres et de noms [sic], que plusieurs sont entrées dans le néant, que les civilisations se sont choquées et brisées, leurs paisible generations ont traversé les âges et sont arrivés jusqu’a nous, fraîches et riantes commes aux jours des batailles. [Today as in the time of Pliny and Columbella the hyacinth desports in Wales, the periwinkle in Illyria, the daisy on the ruins of Numantia and while around them cities have changes masters and names, while some have ceased to exist, while the civilisations have collided with each other and smashed, their peaceful generations have passed through the ages and have come up to us, fresh and laughing as on the days of battles.]’

Viz., FW281-04-13; see British Museum Add. MS 47482 A, ff.101-02; written 1926; vide Letters, I, p.246; cited in Clive Hart, Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake, 1962, p.189. And note Joyce’s variants on the original as infra - here marked [sic].

See original [correct]: ‘Aujourd’hui, comme aux jours de Pline et de Columelle, la jacinthe se plaît dans les Gaules, la pervenche en Illyrie, la marguerite sur les ruines de Numance; et pendant qu’autour d’elles les villes on changé de maître et de nom, que plusieurs sont rentrées dans le néant, que le civilisations se sont choquées et brisées, leurs paisible générations on traversé les âges et se sont succédé l’une à l’autre justqu’à nous, fraîches et riantes comme aux jours des batailles.’ (Quinet, Introduction à la philosophie de l’humanité [q.d.], in Oeuvres Complètes, II, 1857, pp.367-68; quoted in Clive Hart, Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake (London: Faber & Faber 1962), p.183f.; see also Atherton, Books at the Wake, 1959, pp.34 & 276.

Note: Hart remarks on Joyce’s continued love of stylistic simplicity - the ‘supple periodic prose’ [Portrait] of Newman to whose standing as the greatest English prose stylist he still attested as late as 1935 [Letters, p.366.] Hart writes: ‘This love of simplicity in others may well have been a psychological reaction against the complexity of his own writing very similar to that which induced him momentarily to lower his defences and publish Pomes Penyeach. In a somewhat lyrical mood he incorporated Quinet’s sentence into the text of Finnegans Wake in the original French (281.04). While this is the only quotation of any length to be included in the book, it is interesting to note that Joyce has misquoted no less than six times, almost certainly due to faulty memory.’ (Hart, op. cit., p.183.) In a footnote, Hart draws attention to the plate between pp.128 and 129 in A James Joyce Yearbook, ed. Maria Jolas (1949) which reproduces an even more corrupted version in Joyce’s hand which ‘shows clear signs of having been written out from memory.’ (Idem.) Hart further identifies the use of the sentence to Joyce with its character as a ‘closed circle“ and therefore consonant with the cycles of Vico.

Ellmann also quotes the ‘Irish’ version in Finnegans Wake: ‘Since the bouts of Hebear and hairman the cornflowers have been staying at Ballymun, the duskrose has choosed out Goatstown hedges, twolips have pressed togatherem by sweet Rush, townland of twinedlights, the whitethorn and the redthorn have fairygeyed the mayvalleys of Knockmaroon, and, though for rings round them, during a chiliad of perihelygangs, the Formoreans have brittled the tooath of the Danes and the Oxman has been pestered by the Firebugs and the Joynts have thrown up jerrybuilding to the Kevanses and Little on the Green is childsfather to the City (Year! Year! And laughtears!), these paxsealing buttonholes have quadrilled across the centuries and whiff now whafft to us, fresh and made-of-all-smiles, as, on the eve of Killallwho.’ (FW, pp.14-15; Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965, p.67, n.)

See also detailed exposition in Clive Hart, Structure and Motif in Finnegans Wake (London: Faber 1962), pp.187ff.; Adaline Glasheen, Third Census of Finnegans Wake, California UP 1977, p.242, and Richard Kain, ‘“Nothing Odd Will Do Long”: Some Thoughts on Finnegans Wake Twenty-five Years Later’, Jack P. Dalton & Clive Hart, eds., Twelve and a Tilly: Essays on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Finnegans Wake, London: Faber & Faber 1966, p.95.)

Further variants
1.) ‘Since nozzy Nanette tripped palmyways with Highho Harry there’s a spurtfire turf a’kind o’kindling whenoft as the souffsouff blows her peaties up and a claypot wet for thee, my Sitys, and talkatalka till Tibbs have eve: and whathough billiousness has been billiousness during milliums of millenions and our mixed ratings have been giving two hoots or three jeers for the grape, vine, and brew and Pieter’s in Nieuw Amsteldam and Paoli’s where the ponies go and rum smelt his end for him and he dined off acerb american this oldworld epistola of their weatherings and their marryings and their buryings and their natural selections has combled tumbled down to us fersch and made-at-all-hours like an auld cup on tay.’ (Add. MS 47473, f.102; version from second half of 1927 when Joyce was revising the Criterion III text of 1.5 for transition 5, August 1927.) [Hart, op. cit., p.189, with ref. to Slocum and Cahoon, A Bibliography of James Joyce, 1882-1941, London, 1953, pp.99, 101, sects. C.64, and C.70. See final form at FW117.16-30.)

2) ‘Since the days of Roamaloose and Rehmoose the pavanos have been stridend through the struts of Chapelldiseut, the vaulsies have raced and youdled through the purly ooze of Ballybough, many a mismy cloudy has tripped tauntily along that hercourt strayed reelway and the rigadoons have held ragtimed revels on the plateauplain of Grangegorman; and though since then sterlings and guineas have been replaced by brooks and lions and some progress has been made on stilths [sic] and the races have come and gone and Thyme, that chef of season’s, has made his usual astewte use of endadjustables and whatnot willbe isnor was, those danceadeils and cancanzanies have come stummering down for our begayment through the bedeafdom of pa’s greats, the obcecity of pa’s teapuc’s, as lithe and limb free limber as when momie played at ma.’ (Add. MS 47477, f.21; the third parody to be written, dating from 1930; see Letters, I, p.295. Hart notes that the word ’stilths’ has been corrupted to ’stilts’ in all later versions; op. cit., p.189-90. See final form at FW236.19-32.)

3.) ‘When old the wormd was a gadden and Anthea first unfoiled her limbs Wanderloot was the way the wold wagged and opter and apter were samuraised twimbs. They had their mutthering ivies and their murdhering idies and their mouldhering iries in that muskat grove but there’ll be bright Plinnyflowers in Calomella’s cool bowers when the magpyre’s babble towers scorching and screeching from the ravenindove. If thees liked the sex of his head and mees ates the seeps of his traublers he’s dancing figgies to the spittle side and shoving outs the soord. And he’ll be buying buys and gulling gells with his carme, silk and honey while myandthys playing lancifer lucifug and what’s duff as a bottle for usses makes cosyn corallines’ moues weeter to wee. So till butagain budly budly [sic] shoots than rising germinal let bodley chew the fatt of his anger and badley bide the toil of his tubb.’ (Add. MS 47480, f.105; Slocum and Cahoon, A Bibliography of James Joyce, London, 1953, p.101; sect. C.70; see final form FW 354.22-36.)

Hart notes two anterior stages of composition before Joyce realised that this could be expanded into a full parody of the Quinet sentence - viz., ‘Forfife and formicular allonall and in particular till budly shoots the rising germinal badly.’ (Add. 47480, f.68); and a longer piece beginning, ‘When old the wormd was a gadden opter and apter were Twummily twims ..’, and ending ‘dustice of the piece’ (Add. MS 47480, f.67) [Hart, op. cit., p.190.]

4.) ‘[...] heroticisms, catastrophes and eccentricities transmitted by the ancient legacy [614] of the past, type by tope, letter from litter, word at ward, with sendence of sundance, since the days of Plooney and Columcelles when Giacinta, Pervenche and Margaret swayed over the all-too-ghoulish and illyrical an dunnumantic of our mutter nationa, all, anastomosically assimilated and preteridentified paraidiotically, in face, the sameold gamebold admoic structure of our Finnius the Old Oone, as highly charged with electrons as hohazards can effective it, may be there for you, Cockallooralooraloomenos, when cup, platter and pot come piping hot, as sure as herself pits hen to paper and there’s scribings scrawled on eggs.’ (FW614.35-615-10.)

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Walter Pater, The Renaissance; Studies in Art and Poetry (1873; 1893 Edn.), Preface: ‘Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it. The value of these attempts has most often been in the suggestive and penetrating things said by the way. Such discussions help us very little to enjoy what has been well done in art or poetry, to discriminate between what is more and what is less excellent in them [...] “To see the object as in itself it really is,” has been justly said to be the aim of all true criticism whatever, and in æsthetic criticism the first step towards seeing one’s object as it really is, is to know one’s own impression as it really is, to discriminate it, to realise it distinctly. The objects with which æsthetic criticism deals - music, poetry, artistic and accomplished forms of human life - are indeed receptacles of so many powers or forces: they possess, like the products of nature, so many virtues or qualities. What is this song or picture, this engaging personality presented in life or in a book, to me? What effect does it really produce on me? Does it give me pleasure? and if so, what sort or degree of pleasure? How is my nature modified by its presence, and under its influence? [...] The ages are all equal, says William Blake, “but genius is always above its age.” Often it will require great nicety to disengage this virtue from the commoner elements with which it may be found in combination. Few artists, not Goethe or Byron even, work quite cleanly, casting off all débris, and leaving us only what the heat of their imagination has wholly fused and transformed. Take, for instance, the writings of Wordsworth. The heat of his genius, entering into the substance of his work, has crystallised a part, but only a part, of it; and in that great mass of verse there is much which might well be forgotten. [...]’ [For full text, see RICORSO Library, International Critics, infra.] (Available at Gutenberg Project - online.)

Pater on Coleridge: Pater contributed his first essay on the metaphysics of Coleridge anonymously as “Coleridge’s Writings” to the Westminster Review in 1866. This was followed by his essay on Winckelmann (1867), and“The Poems of William Morris” (1868), respectively expressing his interest in classicism and romanticism. His essays on Leonardo da Vinci (1869), Sandro Botticelli (1870), and Michelangelo (1871) appeared in the Fortnightly Review thereafter. These and others went into Studies in the History of the Renaissance (London: Macmillan 1873), reissued as The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry (1877), incorporating the famous 12-page “Conclusion” which incorporated the famous phrase in the form of advice to the readers - presumed to be undergraduates at Oxbridge - about burning with as ‘hard gemlike flame’. The “Conclusion” was sometimes printed separately - viz., The Conclusion: An Essay (NY: Brothers of the Book 1898).

See Walter Pater, “Giordano Bruno, Paris, 1586”, in Fortnightly Review, Vol. XLVI, No. CCLXXII (1 August 1889), pp.234-44 [as infra].


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Walter Pater, The Renaissance (1873; 1893 Edn.), Conclusion [Epilogue]: ‘Our physical life is a perpetual motion of them - the passage of the blood, the waste and repairing of the brain under every ray of light and sound - processes which science reduces to simpler and more elementary forces. Like the elements of which we are composed, the action of these forces extends beyond us: it rusts iron and ripens corn. Far out on every side of us those elements are broadcast, driven in many currents; and birth and gesture and death and the springing of violets from the grave are but a few out of ten thousand resultant combinations. That clear, perpetual outline of face and limb is but an image of ours, under which we group them - a design in a web, the actual threads of which pass out beyond it. This at least of flame-like our life has, that it is but the concurrence, renewed from moment to moment, of forces parting sooner or later on their ways. / Or if we begin with the inward world of thought and feeling, the whirlpool is still more rapid, the flame more eager and devouring. There it is no longer the gradual darkening of the eye, the gradual fading of colour from the wall - movements of the shore-side, where the water flows down indeed, though in apparent rest - but the race of the midstream, a drift of momentary acts of sight and passion and thought. At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action. But when reflexion begins to play upon these objects they are dissipated under its influence; the cohesive force seems suspended like some trick of magic; each object is loosed into a group of impressions - colour, odour, texture - in the mind of the observer. And if we continue to dwell in thought on this world, not of objects in the solidity with which language invests them, but of impressions, unstable, flickering, inconsistent, which burn and are extinguished with our consciousness of them, it contracts still further: the whole scope of observation is dwarfed into the narrow chamber of the individual mind. [...] To such a tremulous wisp constantly re-forming itself on the stream, to a single sharp impression, with a sense in it, a relic more or less fleeting, of such moments gone by, what is real in our life fines itself down. It is with this movement, with the passage and dissolution of impressions, images, sensations, that analysis leaves off - that continual vanishing away, that strange, perpetual, weaving and unweaving of ourselves.’ (Quoted [in small part] in Vicki Mahaffey, Reauthorizing Joyce, Cambridge UP 1988, p.145, comparing the passage with Stephen’s speech in the Library scene of Ulysses: “we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies ... from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro.” - U 9.376-77.) [For full text, see RICORSO Library, “Criticism > International Critics”, infra.)

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Walter Pater: In “The Decay of Lying”, Wilde writes: ‘[...] Art never expresses anything but itself. This is the principle of my new aesthetics; and it is this, more than that vital connection between form and substance, on which Mr. Pater dwells, that makes music the type of all the arts.’ (The Works of Oscar Wilde, London: Galley Press 1987, p.926.)

Conjecture: Could it be to that, when Stephen Dedalus asserts at the opening of the “Circe” episode of Ulysses, ‘So that gesture, not music, not odours, would be a universal language, the gift of tongues rendering visible not the lay sense but the first entelechy, the structural rhythm’ (Bodley Head Edn., 1965, p.564.) - Joyce has this passage in mind as his inspiration? [BS]

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Walter Pater: Wilde writes of Pater’s Renaissance: ‘[...] Who, again, cares whether Mr. Pater has put into the portrait of Mona Lisa something that Lionardo [Leonardo] never dreamed of? The painter may have been merely the slave of an archaic smile, as some have fancied, but whenever I pass into the cool galleries of the Palace of the Louvre, and stand before that strange figure “set in its marble chair in that cirque of fantastic rocks, as in some faint light under sea“, I murmur to myself, “She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her: and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as St. Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands”. And I say to my friend, “The presence that thus so strangely rose beside the waters is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years man had come to desire”; and he answers me, “Hers is the head upon which all “the ends of the world are come,” and the eyelids are a little weary”. / And so the picture becomes more wonderful to us than it really is, and reveals to us a secret of which, in truth, it knows nothing.”’ (See Works of Oscar Wilde, Galley Press 1987, p.860.)

[Cf., Stephen’s Shakespeare, who ‘passes on towards eternity in undiminished personality, untaught by the wisdom he has written or by the laws he has revealed. [..] ghost, [...] a voice heard only in the heart of him who is the substance of his shadow, the son consubstantial with the father.’ (U252 - Bodley Head 1960 Edn.)]

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Walter Pater, in “Giordano Bruno, Paris, 1586”, in Fortnightly Review, Vol. XLVI, No. CCLXXII (1 August 1889), pp.234-44: ‘Bruno himself tells us, long after he had withdrawn himself from it, that the monastic life promotes the freedom of the intellect by its [235] silence and self-concentration. The prospect of such freedom sufficiently explains why a young man who, however well found in worldly and personal advantages, was conscious above all of great intellectual possessions, and of fastidious spirit also, with a remarkable distaste for the vulgar, should have espoused poverty, chastity, obedience, in a Dominican cloister. What liberty of mind may really come to in such places, what daring new departures it may suggest to the strictly monastic temper, is exemplified by the dubious and dangerous mysticism of men like John of Parma and Joachim of Flora, reputed author of the new “Everlasting Gospel”, strange dreamers, in a world of sanctified rhetoric, of that later dispensation of the spirit, in which all law must have passed away; or again by a recognised tendency in the great rival Order of St. Francis, in the so-called “spiritual” Franciscans, to understand the dogmatic words of faith with a difference [his italics].’ (pp.235-36) [See full-text version in RICORSO Library > “Criticism > International Critics” via index or as attached.]

Note: W. B. Yeats appears to pick up this reference the “Everlasting Gospel”, in his own account of Joachim of Flora in “The Tables of the Law” (1897. [See further under Joachim Abbas of Fiore, supra.]

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Ernest Renan: Joyce reads and does not like Renan’s Souvenirs and guesses that ‘his life of Jesus must be very maudlin stuff.’ (Letter of 3 Dec. 1904; Selected Letters, 1975, p.45); asks Stanislaus for translation of Strauss’s Life of Jesus and tells him that he is ordering Renan’s Vie de Jesu [1863] (Letter of 16 Jan. 1906, Selected Letters, p.50.)

Ernest Renan (2): On 28 February 1905 he reported on Vie de Jesu: ‘I have read Renan’s Life of Jesus (I asked you to send Strauss): it is a model of good writing in many ways: the temper is delightful. The narrative of the death I may perhaps translate for our. He calls John the Baptist the absinthe of the divine feast.’ (Selected Letters, 1975, p.55.)

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Edouard Dujardin -of Les lauriers sont coupés (1887): Harry Levin writes, ‘Dujardin was not utterly unknown to the Dublin of Ulysses, since Dana: A Magazine of Independent Thought carried his defence of the excommunicated Catholic historian, Alfred Loisy, a month before Stephen tried to persuade the editor, John Eglinton, to accept an article on Shakespeare. The elderly innovator survived to promulgate a rambling definition of the style which he had invented and Joyce had perfected: “The internal monologue, in its nature on the order of poetry, is that unheard and unspoken speech by which a character expresses his inmost thoughts (those lying nearest the unconscious) without regard to logical organizations - that is, in their original state - by means of direct sentences reduced to the syntactic minimum, and in such a way as to give the impression of reproducing the thoughts just as they come into the mind.” [...] The little book [Les lauriers sont coupés] did not escape the sharp eye of Remy de Gourmont, who reviewed it as “a novel which seems in literature a transposed anticipation of the cinema”. (James Joyce: A Critical Introduction [1944], Faber & Faber 1960, p.83; For longer extracts, see RICORSO Library, > Major Writers > James Joyce > Levin - via index or as attached.]

Note: Les Lauriers sont coupé (1888) - trans. into English as We’ll to the Woods No More. Of monologue int´rieure, the term he coined for the technique of that novel, Dujardin later wrote in a lecture of that name given in 1930:

‘The interior monologue is the speech of a character in a scene, having for its object the direct introduction of the reader into the interior life of the character, without any interventions in the way of explanations or commentary on the part of the author; like other monologues, it has theoretically no hearers and is not spoken. But it differs from the traditional monologue in these respects: in the matter of content, it is the expression of the most intimate thoughts, those which lie nearest the unconscious; in its nature it is a speech which precedes logical organization, reproducing the intimate thoughts just as they are born and just as they come; as for form, it employs direct sentences reduced to the syntactical minimum; thus in general it fulfills the same requirements which we make today for poetry.’ (Quoted at R. Gray, Comparative Lit. [German, English] - online; accessed 27.05.2014.)

See also Edouard Roditi, [review of] The Bays Are Sere and Interior Monologue, by Edouard Dujardin; trans. Anthony Suter, in James Joyce Quarterly, 28, 4 [Papers from the Joyce and History Conference at Yale, October 1990] (Summer 1991), pp.1012-16: ‘No scholar appears to have yet questioned the truth of James Joyce’s extraordinary statement, made in 1920 or 1921, about his serendipitous discovery, in a French railway bookstall in 1903, of a copy of Edouard Dujardin’s Les Lauriers sont coupés. First published as a serial in 1887 in La Revue Indépendante, this none too successful or popular Symbolist novel had been considerably revised for publication as a book in 1888 by the Librairie de la Revue Indépendante. In 1897, this revised edtion was in turn reprinted, together with Les Hantises, a group of Dujardins earlier poems, by the Mercure de France. / French railway station bookstalls have never stocked a wide range of avant-garde litreature [...] Nor does it appear very likely that a French railway station bookstall should still have displayed in its stock, as late as 1903, a none to popular book first publshed by a small press fifteen years earlier, or a six-year-old reprint of it [...] Be that as it may, Edouard Dujardin’s little novel is today far more famous, more widely read, and more often quoted in England or the United States than its author’s native France.’

Bibl. The Bays are Sere and Interior Monologue, by Edouard Dujardin, intro. & trans. by Anthony Suter (London: Libris 1991), 156pp. Note that “Interior Monologue” is a lecture given in Marburg, Leipzig and Berlin in 1930. The previous translation of Les lauriers [... &c.] is by Stuart Gilbert and shows, acc. Roditi, ‘too clearly the influence of Joyce’s prose style as well as Gilbert’s limited knowledge of Dujardin’s involvement in the whole movement of French Symbolist prose and poetry [...]’.

Further: [Dujardin is] ‘credited, thanks to Joyce’s generous admission, by many critics and literary historians of recent decades, with the invention of another new literary form, that of the interior monologue, of which his novel entitled Les Lauriers sont coupees appears to offer the first known example. [...; 2012, with t.p. image on p.2013] Even a cursory reading of the original French text of Dujardin’s widely acclaimed “masterpiece“ should reveal to anyone well versed in nineteenth-century French fiction, that his young hero Daniel Price is but an very immature and presumptuous womanizer who has fallen into the clutches of an undistinguished and scheming little adventuress [...] Apart from the alleged novelty of Dujardin’s literary form, his French prose remains typical of a whole school of his Symbolist associates and contemporaries which included such more gifted and today more widely read writers such as Marcel Schwob, Villiers de l’Isle Adam, Léon Bloy, Georges Rodenbach or Remy Gourmount. / The only originality of Dubjardin’s literary style might consist in his avowed attempt to emulate in French prose the aesthetics of Richard Wagner’s handing of melodic themes in musical composition. [...] His typically “boulvardier” plot and characters would serve more readily for the libretto of a late nineteenth-century Parisian operetta than for that of a full-blown Wagnerian opera. Very discreetly, Dujardin even refers twice, in his hero’s monologue, to the refrain of one of the songs of La Mascotte, a popular French operetta, first performed in 1880, by the composer Audran.’

[...] Dujardin’s lectures on the interior monologue are in this respect pitifully revealing. Salvaged at long last from oblivion thanks to the kind publicity of Joyce and Larbaud, Dujardin went here to great lengths, as if indignantly defending a threatened industrial patent rather than a literary copyright, to prove the utter originality of this apparently new literary form which André Gide, among others, alread claimed that Poe, Dostoyevski, and Browning had used long before Dujardin. [...] In the whole controversy, nobody has pointed out that examples of interior monologue can already be found in ancient Greek litreature, for instance in parts of Lyocphron’s Alexandra [...] Dujardin fails to explain clearly that, whether in fiction or in drama, whether unspoken or spoken, it consists in a [1015] soliloquy in which the protagonist remains his own antagonist, and that this kind of soliloquy’s full development was achieved by James Joyce in Molly’s logorrhea that ignores all traditional rules of syntax, prosody, or rhetoric in order to reflect the uninterrupted flow of subconscious thought processes. [...] Both Dujardin [...] and Anthony Suter [...] fail to mention Gertrude Stein, who certainly deserves to be remembered in this general context as much as Schnitzler, Virginia Woolf, Malcolm Lowry, and a number of others.’ [End.] (pp.1012 & 14; available in JSTOR - online; accessed 25.05.2014.)

Remarks: Aside from mis-characterising the monologue of Molly Bloom, the writer seems to overlook the possibility that it is exactly the vulgarity of Dujardin’s text which makes Les Lauriers [... &c.] a possible candidate for the honour of model, if not original, of the technique. See Ellmann, James Joyce (1959) for details of the publicisation of Dujardin’s role by Joyce and Valery Larbaud at the time of the publicaiton of Ulysses by Shakespeare & Co. in 1922. [BS 25.05.2014.] (See also Stream of Consciousness, under William James - infra.)

See also Jean-Michel Rabaté, James Joyce and the Politics of Egoism (Cambridge UP 2001): ‘Les Lauriers sont coupes is the French title of the 1887 slender novel from whcih Joyce allegedly derived his idea of interior monologue. Did Dujardin really start ex nihilo the tradition of “stream of consciousness technique” or “silent monologue”? Joyce repeated acknowledged his debt to Dujardin, perhaps to hide more important debts to prestigious authors such as Tolstoy (as his brother Stanislaus suggested). This has triggered the totally unfounded rumor (still current in many encyclopedias and students’ guides) that most of Ulysses has been written in the mode of interior monologue. After the publication of Ulysses, Dujardin dedicated Les laurier sont coupés to Joyce by identifying him with a “Jesus” who literary resurrected him, and Joyce reciprocated by dedicating Ulysses to Edouard Dujardin, “annonciator de la parole intèrieure” while signing: “le larron impénitent.” [...] In the wake of Ulysses and Valery Larbaud’s enthusiasm, Dujardin’s Symbolist novel was republished in [115] 1924, and reinscribed in the prehistory of Modernism at the place it deserved. Dujardin himself became one of the first French Joyceans when he published his Interior Monologye in 1931 [...T]he modernity of the novel, still apparent today, allows us to understand the bridge between the Symbolist novels and what can be called properly Modernist writing.’ [115-16] [Rabaté goes on to argue that, while certain passages suggest subjective errors of style that Joyce might want to avoid, ’it manages to establish its own sense of rhythm’ as it goes on.]

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Oscar Wilde (1a): An Ideal Husband by Wilde includes the lines: ‘A woman’s life revolves in curves of emotions’ - the phrase that inspired Joyce’s account of the proper method of biography (and autobiography) in his “Portrait” Essay (1904). Viz.,

Lord Goring to Lady Chiltern:] ‘Why should you scourge him with rods for a sin done in his youth, before he knew you, before he knew himself? A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A woman’s life revolves in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man’s life progresses. Don’t make any terrible mistake, Lady Chiltern. A woman who can keep a man’s love, and love him in return, has done all the world wants of women, or should want of them.’ (Act IV; The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, London: Dawsons 1969, p.228; also in The Works of Oscar Wilde, London: Galley Press 1987, p.533; see also under Oscar Wilde > Notes > James Joyce, infra.)

Note also Peter Ackroyd, The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (Hamish Hamilton 1983; Penguin 1993): ‘Intellectual excitement is for me the rarest and most pleasurable kind: to trace the curve of a beautiful thought, to discern the lineaments of an acnient language, and to perceive the living connections between one philosophy and oantoher: these were the joys I discovered a Portora.‘ (p.25.)

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Oscar Wilde (1b): In An Ideal Husband, Lord Goring uses the phrase: ‘he stands in immediate relation to modern life, makes it indeed, and so masters it.’ (Act III). Similarly, in Stephen Hero, Joyce says of the poet that stands ‘in a relation to life than which none can be more immediate’ [my italics].

Oscar Wilde (1c): Similarly, the phrase, ‘those big words that make us so unhappy’, to be found in Joyce’s review of William Rooney’s poems, seems to echo the line in which Mrs Cheveley’s remarks on her business with Sir Robert Chiltern when she tells Lord Goring: ‘Oh, don’t use big words. They mean so little. It is a commercial transaction that is all’ (idem.).

Note: Oscar Wilde was in Omaha addressing American audiences in March 1882, the month after James Joyce was born in Dublin. The elder writer’s American visit to that city is the subject of the opening story in Ron Hansen’s She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories (Scribner 2012) reviewed in the New York Times (9 Nov. 2012) - as infra.

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Oscar Wilde (2) - The Picture/A Portrait? - Joyce writes to Stanislaus: ‘I am reading The Picture of Dorian Grey [sic] in Italian.’ (Letter of 16 Aug. 1906; Via Frattina 52, II, Rome [postmark]; Letters, Vol. II, 1966, pp.149-50. Richard Ellmann references Doriano Gray dipinto (Palermo 1906) in a footnote [idem.]; rep. in Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann, 1976, p.95.

Italian editions - 1905-07:
  • “Il ritratto di Dorian Gray, Romanzo di Oscar Wilde”, in Varietas [mag.] [Nos. 14-25] (June 1905-May 1906);
  • Do., published Doriano Gray dipinto, versione dall’ Inglese con prefazione di B[iago] Chiara (Palermo as spese di B. Chiara 1906), 182pp.; and Do. (Napoli: Bideri Libreria Editrice Bideri S. Pietro a Majella 17, 16°; Biblioteca Varia Bideri, No. 31 (1906), 2 lire; available at Google Books - online .
  • Il retratto di Doriano Gray: Romanzo. Publicato par la Ditta Remo Sandron (Palermo 1907), 262pp., 16°., 1 lira.
  • [...]

[See bibl. in Stuart Mason, ed., Oscar Wilde: Art And Morality - A Defence of The Picture of Dorian Gray (London: J. Jacobs 1908) - available at Gutenberg Project - online.]; also Bibliotheca Piedmontese - online.]

Further: ‘I have just finished Dorian Grey [sic.]. Some chapters are like Huysmans, catalogued atrocities, lists perfumes and instruments. The central idea is fantastic. Dorian is exquisitely beautiful and becomes awefully wicked: but never ages. His portrait ages. I can imagine the capital which Wilde’s prosecuting counsel made out of certain parts of it. It is not very difficult to read between the lines. Wilde seems to have had some good intentions in writing it - some wish to put himself before the world - but the book is rather crowded with lies and epigrams. If he had had the courage to develop the allusions in the book it might have been better. I suspect he has done this in some privately printed books. Like his Irish imitator [viz., Gogarty: “Quite the reverse is / The style of his verses.”’ (Letter of 19 Aug. 1906; Sel. Letters, p.96.)

Further: ‘Nora has a talent for blowing soap-bubbles. While I was wading through a chapter of Dorian Gray a few days ago she and Georgie were blowing bubbles on the floor out of a basin of suds.’ (Sel. Letters, p.97.)

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Oscar Wilde (3): in De Profundis Wilde attaches the phrase ‘our great mother’ to the Earth which Buck Mulligan afterwards applies to the sea: ‘I hope to be at least a month with my friends, and to gain peace and balance, and a less troubled heart, and a sweeter mood. I have a strange longing for the great simple primeval things, such as the sea, to me no less of a mother than the Earth. It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little. I discern great sanity in the Greek attitude. They never chattered about sunsets, or discussed whether the shadows on the grass were really mauve or not. But they saw that the sea was for the swimmer, and the sand for the feet of the runner. They loved the trees for the shadow that they cast, and the forest for its silence at noon. The vineyard-dresser wreathed his hair with ivy that he might keep off the rays of the sun as he stooped over the young shoots, and for the artist and the athlete, the two types that Greece gave us, they plaited with garlands the leaves of the bitter laurel and of the wild parsley, which else had been of no service to men. / We call ours a utilitarian age, and we do not know the uses of any single thing. We have forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and that the Earth is mother to us all. As a consequence our art is of the moon and plays with shadows, while Greek art is of the sun and deals directly with things. I feel sure that in elemental forces there is purification, and I want to go back to them and live in their presence.’ (itals. mine; Complete Works; quoted in part in Danial Albright, ed., W. B. Yeats: The Poems, London: Everyman 1992, p.xxx; see whole text in Library / “Irish Classics”, infra.)

See also David Pierce’s commentary on Richard Best’s assertion - ‘the very essence of Wilde’ in the Library scene of Ulysses, and Stephen Dedalus’s unspoken rejoinder: ‘the tame essence of Wilde’. (Pierce, Joyce and Company, London: Continuum 2006 > quoted under Commentary, infra.

Oscar Wilde (4) - In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde introduces Giordano Bruno in a context that Joyce may well have met with. The reference falls in the course of Sir Henry Wotton’s reflections on the psycho-physical complex:

‘Soul and body, body and soul - how mysterious they were! There was animalism in the soul, and the body had its moments of spirituality. The senses could refine, and the intellect could degrade. Who could say where the fleshly impulse ceased, or the psychical impulse began? How shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychologists! And yet how difficult to decide between the claims of the various schools! Was the soul a shadow seated in the house of sin? Or was the body really in the soul, as Giordano Bruno thought? [See Gli eroici furori - extract.]The separation of spirit from matter was a mystery, and the union of spirit with matter was a mystery also. /  He began to wonder whether we could ever make psychology so absolute a science that each little spring of life would be revealed to us. As it was, we always misunderstood ourselves and rarely understood others. Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes. Moralists had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode of warning, had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the formation of character, had praised it as something that taught us what to follow and showed us what to avoid. But there was no motive power in experience. It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself. All that it really demonstrated was that our future would be the same as our past, and that the sin we had done once, and with loathing, we would do many times, and with joy. /  It was clear to him that the experimental method was the only method by which one could arrive at any scientific analysis of the passions.’

Cf. Gli eroici furori (1585) - trans. as The Heroic Frenzies, by Eugene Memmo, Jr. (N. Carolina UP 1964) -

C. The body, then, is not the abode of the soul?
T. No; for the soul is not in the body locally, but is in it intrinsically as its form, and extrinsically as creator of its form, similar to that which forms the members and shapes the composite from within and from without. It is the body, then, that is in the soul; the soul is in the mind, and the mind either is God or is in God, as Plotinus said. And just as by its essence the mind is in God who is its life, similarly by its intellectual operation and the consequent operation of the will, the mind refers itself to its own light and its beatific object. It is therefore with dignity that this passion of the heroic frenzy feeds itself upon so high an enterprise. Although the beatific object is infinite, and in act perfectly simple, and although our intellective potency is unable to comprehend the infinite, except in speech or in a certain manner of speaking, or, as otherwise said, by a certain potential reason and natural disposition, he of whom we speak does not differ from one who would aspire toward the immeasurable as an end where in fact there is no end[.] (Q.p.; See full text at Esoteric Archives - online.]

Note that Joyce attributes roughly corresponding ideas to Stephen Dedalus in different places, and the Joyce’s critique of Wilde is based on the premise that sin is central to his system. (Consider also the idea of modern ideas as ‘bric-a-brac’ (p.24) and Joyce’s later assertion that the reader would know that the contents of Stephen’s mind was bric-a-brac by the Proteus episode. (Refs. here to Evelyn Nash Edn., n.d.; for full text, see RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” > The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chap. 4, infra ).

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Oscar Wilde (5): Stephen’s motto, ‘silence, exile and cunning’ [AP312] derives from Balzac’s Splendeurs et misères des courtisane (1847) in which Lucien de Rubempré says: ‘J’ai mis en pratique un axiome avec lequel on est sûr de vivre tranquille: Fuge ... Late ... Tace’ (See under Textual Notes, supra.) Oscar Wilde remarks of the same: ‘‘A steady course of Balzac reduces our living friends to shadows, and our acquaintances to the shadows of shades. His characters have a kind of fervent fiery-coloured existence. They dominate us, and defy scepticism. One of the greatest tragedies of my life is the death of Lucien de Rubempré. It is a grief from which I have never been able completely to rid myself. It haunts me in my moments of pleasure. I remember it when I laugh.’ (“The Decay of the Lying”, in The Works of Oscar Wilde, Galley Press 1987, p.915; for full text, go to RICORSO, Library, “Irish Classics”, as attached.)

Note: Although Wilde is referring to Splendeurs [...&c.], he appears to be an echo of the epigraph of Balzac’s Le medécin de campagne (1833), which reads: “For a wounded heart - shadow and silence.” This is followed on a separate page by the dedication: “To my Mother”. (See Gutenberg edition - online.)

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Oscar Wilde (6): Joyce’s remarks at the opening of the “1904 Portrait” seem to echo the preoccupation with time and personal evolution to be met with in Wilde’s The Critic as Artist when Gilbert says: ‘The image stained upon the canvas possesses no spiritual element of growth or change. If they know nothing of death, it is because they know little of life, for the secrets of life and death belong to those, and those only, whom the sequence of time affects, and who possess not merely the present but the future, and can rise or fall from a past of glory or of shame. Movement, that problem of the visible arts, can be truly realised by Literature alone. It is Literature that shows us the body in its swiftness and the soul in its unrest.’ (See Works of Oscar Wilde, Galley Press 1987, p.860.)

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Oscar Wilde (7) - “Oscar Wilde: The Poet of Salomé” (1909): ‘Here we touch on the pulse of Wilde’s art - sin. He deceived himself into thinking that he was the bearer of good news of neo-paganism to an enslaved people. [...] But if some truth adheres to his subjective interpretations of Aristotle, [...] at its very base is the truth inherent in the soul of Catholicism: that man cannot reach the divine heart except through that sense of separation and loss called sin.’ (Ellsworth Mason & Ellmann, eds., The Critical Writings, 1964, pp.204-05; for longer extract, see under Wilde > Commentary > Joyce - infra.)

Cf. W. B. Yeats: ‘in my misery it was revealed to me that man can only come to that Heart through the sense of separation from it which we call sin, and I understood that I could not sin, because I had discovered the law of my being, and could only express or fail to express my being, and I understood that God has made a simple and an arbitrary law that we may sin and repent!’ (See G. J. Watson, ed., W. B. Yeats: Short Fiction, Penguin 1995, pp.209-10; also cited in Kevin Barry, ed., Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing [of] James Joyce, OUP 2000), p.325.

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Oscar Wilde (7): Stephen Dedalus’s remark in Ulysses about the Catholic Church’s being ‘founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro- and microcosm, upon the void’ (Bodley Head Edn., 1960, p.267) echoes Wilde’s remark about Homer’s songs being ‘built out of music, “And so not built at all, / And therefore built forever”.’ (See “The Critic as Artist”, in Works of Oscar Wilde, Galley Press 1987, p.960.)

Oscar Wilde (8): Joyce’s epistolary remark that ‘I am sure however that the whole structure of heroism is, and always was, a damned lie and that there cannot be any substitute for the individual passion as the motive power of everything - art and philosophy included.’ (Selected Letters, 1976, p.54), seems to have its roots in Wilde’s observation, ‘The longer one studies life and literature, the more strongly one feels that behind everything that is wonderful stands the individual, and that it is not the moment that makes the man, but the man who creates the age.’ (“The Critic as Artist”, in Works of Oscar Wilde, Galley Press 1987, p.960; for full text, go to RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, via index, or direct.) [See also note on Bruno’s Bestia Trionfans, supra.]

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Oscar Wilde (9): Arguably, Joyce’s and exaltation of youth in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is of a kind with the atmosphere of hebephilia in Wilde’s life and works. Compare Dorian Gray (1891): ‘Ah! In what a monstrous moment of pride and passion he had prayed that the portrait should bear the burden of his days, and he keep the unsullied splendour of his youth!’ - with A Portrait: ‘We are your kinsmen. And the air is thick with their company as they call to me, their kinsman, making ready to go, shaking the wings of their exultant and terrible youth.’ More generally, youth is a recurrent term in Joyce’s novel, which seems to rate it at a very high intrinsic value, in the tradition of the symbolists and decadents. Note: The term hebephilia - viz., hebe, Gk. youth; philia, Gk. love - was applied by Brendan Behan to his own sexual inclination. [BS]

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George Meredith (1) - The Egoist (1879):

Meredith had long contemplated the circumstances of his own tragic marriage with Mary Ellen Nicolls (née, Peacock) which ended in her estrangement and death. From this proceeded the poem “Modern Love” and his best known novel, The Egoist, in which Sir Willoughby discovers the equality of women’s feelings with men’s. Joyce had already borrowed from that book for his account of “drama” in 1900, the which he called “a nixie, a very Ariel” (CW41). This attribution reflects Meredith’s metaphor for comedy, ‘an Ariel released by Prospero’s wand from the fetters of the damned witch Sycorax’. (The Egoist, London: Chapman & Hall, 1889, p.4.) Now he refashions the central conception - Egoism.

Meredith’s ‘egoism’ attached to a young gentleman of noble parts and excellent means, ‘a not flexible figure .. the humour of whom scarcely dimples the surface and is distinguishable but by very penetrative, very wicked imps, whose fits of roaring below at some generally imperceptible stroke of his quality, have first made the mild literary angels aware of something comic in him.’ (Idem.)

‘Literary men, it is notorious, even with the entry to society, have no taste in women. The housewife is their object. Ladies frighten and would, no doubt, be an annoyance and hindrance to them at home.’ (The Egoist, p.378.)

‘He craves nothing save that you continue in being – her sum; which is your firm constitutional endeavour: and thus you have a most exact alliance; she supplying spirit to your matter, while at the same time presenting matter to your spirit, verily a comfortable opposition.’ (The Egoist, p.127.)

Also: Speaking through Dr. Middleton, Meredith proposes, ‘plain sense upon the marriage question is my demand upon man and women, for the stopping of many a tragedy.’

[The foregoing abstracted from Excomologosis, 1979.]

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   Richard Hudson on The Egoist -
‘George Meredith’s The Egoist, published in 1879, is a novel of life among the landed gentry in which a wealthy member of that class is forced to undergo humiliation because of his preposterous absorption in himself, his concern for his own comfort and convenience, and his appearance to the world at large. His nemesis is not an aroused and militant proletariat, nor an indignant society, but the Comic Spirit and her attendant imps, who catch him off guard and apply the corrective laughter. [...] The action centres on Sir Willoughby Patterne and his presumptions and apparently has no meaning in the vast world outside [...] Reason triumphs over the sentimental egoism of Sir Willoughby, and the comic imps are satisfied.’

—Richard B. Hudson, ‘The Meaning of Egoism in George Meredith’s The Egoist’, in The Trollopian: A Journal of Victorian Literature, 3, 3 [California UP] (Dec., 1948), pp.163-76; p.163 [opening] - available online.) Bibliographical references incl. “On the Idea of Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit”, in The Works of George Meredith [Memorial Edition], 27 vols. (London: Constable 1909-11), p.46f. (Hudson, p.163, ftn.]

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George Meredith (2) - Joyce told Stanislaus that he would like to dedicate “An Encounter” to the author of “The Voyage of the Ophir”, a poem dedicated in turn to the Prince and Princess of Wales on making a world tour. Stanislaus wonders, ‘Why pitch poor on George Meredith as a typical exponent of the English educational methods and their suspected effects?’ (See My Brother’s Keeper, London: Faber & Faber 1958, p.80.)

Note: Curiously Stanislaus seems to have overlooked a transparent explanation for the dedication of “An Encounter” to Meredith in his own diary where he writes of Meredith, ‘He thinks that all boy have to do is to tell no lies, eat pudding, and get birched. The birching, he says, will cure morbid sensitiveness’. (Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce [1971] (Anna Livia 1994), p.128.)

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George Meredith (3) - The Ordeal of Richard Feverel: Joyce makes Stephen quote Meredith’s novel of 1859 in a telegram to Buck Mulligan in Ulysses: “The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done’. (Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn. 1960, p.255.) See also ‘Mummer’s wire. Cribbed out of Meredith.’ (Ibid., p.557.) Stanislaus Joyce maintains that his ‘brother had paid no particular attention to the epigram when he was reading the novel’, but that he had - finding in it an explanation for the mentality of his own father. (My Brother’s Keeper, 1958, pp.94-95.) [See further under Stanislaus Joyce, infra.]

Ellmann & Mason: ‘Joyce as a young man liked the novels of Meredith [see note]. In Stephen Hero the insistent comment and slightly patronizing air of the author probably owe something to Meredith’s model, and Stephen’s ecstasy in the fourth chapter of the Portrait is very likely indebted to comparable ecstasies in The Ordeal of Richard Feverel. [...]’ (Richard Ellmann & Ellsworth Mason, eds., The Critical Writings of James Joyce, NY: Viking Press 1959, p.88.

Note: Elsewhere Ellmann writes that Joyce had read all of Meredith’s works whose Ordeal of Richard Feverel and The Tragic Comedians he particularly enjoyed. Quotes Stanislaus Joyce to the effect that ‘When he [JAJ] liked an author he did not stop until he had finished reading him.’ (Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965 Edn. p.54.)

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George Meredith (4): Joyce reviewed Walter Jerrold’s George Meredith in the Daily Express (11 Dec.1902). Stanislaus Joyce summarises Joyce’s the review: ‘The other article is a review of an essay on George Meredith by Walter Jerrold. The tone is flippant and the review rather unsatisfactory, because the reviewer apparently does not see any reason why he should break a lance for Meredith, who had long since been recognized as one of the most original and most powerful forces in the English novel. He considers Meredith “a true man of letters” who had at last come into his own in spite of the obtuseness of public opinion, and he comments ironically on the strange company in which Meredith found himself in the series of English Writers Today which included Pinero and Hall Caine. He declares, however, that though Meredith has occasionally the “power of direct compelling speech”, as a poet, he lacks the irreplaceable “fluid quality, the lyrical impulse, which it seems, has been often taken from the wise and given unto the foolish”. The novels, he says, are unique, but have no value as epical art. For the reviewer they are the essays of “a philosopher at work with much cheerfulness upon a very stubborn problem”.

Stanislaus Joyce’s Dublin Diary on George Meredith: Stanislaus Joyce writes, ‘I think Meredith’s title One of Our Conquerors would apply very well to the priests of Ireland.’ (Complete Dublin Diary, 1994 Edn., p.57.)
  Stanislaus compares portraits of Meredith and Whitman, and finds that the latter has ‘a more egoistical air, strange to say, a meditative egoism, an air of day-light mysticism, which is a prejudice against all other activity. He was looking at you quite conscious of your presence but with the eyes of a man who has the rhythm of a song in his head.’ (p.79.)
 Joyce tells friends that his brother (Stanislaus) makes better literary judgements than his own, because ‘I [Stanislaus] criticize his verse and because [84] I argue about Henry James and Meredith and Tourgeniev with him. Of prose style I know really very little but my taste, I think, is good.’ (p.85.)
 Stanislaus enters a marginal word, ‘Meredith’, against his own sentence where he writes that his father talks of his father (p.90) - presumably with reference to the theme of sentimentality, as supra.
 Stanislaus writes the word ‘Meredith’ in the margin of his diary beside the sentence, describing the restrictions of the lives around him: ‘Their life is a horrible convulsion between a yawn and a groan.’ (p.112.)

[ Stanislaus gives an extended critical commentary on Meredith and Henry James in his diary but does not allude to his brother James at any point. (See Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce [1971] (Anna Livia 1994), pp.113-33.) ]

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George Meredith (5) - Constantine Curran: ‘He [Joyce] lifted his eyebrows when I said I found Meredith in Stephen Hero. When I suggested that some of the sentences in that MS. were as involved and obscure as Meredith’s own, he wondered at my obtuseness.’ (James Joyce Remembered, OUP 1968, p.30.) Curran goes on to call Meredith ‘the touchstone of emancipated intelligence’ for himself and his generation. (Idem.)

Cf. Ellmann, James Joyce: In 1904, Constantine Curran praised the manuscript and spoke of George Meredith as one of its models, ‘a remark which made Joyce’s eyes assume a look of “indignant wonder”.’ (Curran, ‘Portrait of James Joyce’, BBC broadcast cited in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965, p.168.)

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George Meredith (6) - see Padraic Colum: ‘It was then that he told me the name of the book he was writing - the book that was being referred to in Dublin as “Joyce’s Meredithian novel” - it was Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was not Meredithian at all.’ (‘James Joyce’, in Pearson’s Magazine (May 1918), pp.38-42; rep. in Robert Deming, ed., James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, p.1970, p.166.) See longer extract under Commentary, supra.

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W. B. Yeats - see separate file.

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Alice Stopford Green refers to Uisneach [or Usnech] and the four-fold division of ancient Ireland in Irish Nationality (1912) - a survey of early Irish ‘nationhood’ which bears the dedication ‘To the Irish Dead.’ Cf. Hill of Uisneach as the scene of Jaun’s lying-place in FW, 1.iv. (See further under Green, Notes, supra.)

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William Archer - letter to Joyce about his [Joyce’s] play, A Brilliant Career:

15 September 1900
2 Vernon Chambers,
Southampton Row, W.C.

Dear Mr. Joyce, I have at last found time to read your play. It has interested me and puzzled me a good deal - indeed, I scarcely know what to say of it. You seem to me to have talent - possibly more than talent - and yet I cannot say that I think this play a success. For the stage, of course, - the commercial stage at any rate - it is wildly impossible - no doubt you realize that. But taking it simply as a dramatic poem, I cannot help finding the canvas too large for the subject. It narrows down in the last act into a sort of love tragedy - almost a duologue - but in order to reach that point you construct a huge fable of politics and pestilence, in which the reader - one reader at any rate - entirely loses sight of what I presume you intend for the central interest of the drama. I have been trying to read some elaborate symbolism into the second and third acts to account for their gigantic breadth of treatment, but if you had a symbolic purpose, I own it escapes me. It may be very good symbolism for all that - I own I am no great hand at reading hieroglyphics.

On the other hand you have certainly a gift of easy, natural and yet effective dialogue, and a certain sense of scenic picturesqueness. The scene between Paul and Angela in the last act is curiously strong and telling, if only it were led up to or, in its turn, led to anything definite. On the whole, however, you seem to me to be deficient as yet in the power of projecting characters so as to seize upon the reader’s attention [8] and kindle his imagination. It is true that you unduly handicap yourself in this respect by crowding your stage with such a multitude of figures that Shakespeare himself could scarcely individualise them. At the end of the first act I didn’t know one of your characters from another, and as for guessing that the interest of the play was to centre on the “dépit amoureux” of Paul and Angela, I had no such divination. You may say that I clearly didn’t read with sufficient attention. Perhaps not - but them it was your business to arouse my attention. Indeed it was only in the third act that the characters began to stand out for me at all. I tell you frankly what I felt - no doubt other people might be more keenly perceptive, but it is always something to know the effect you have produced upon one entirely well-disposed reader.

I don’t know whether you really want to write for the stage. If you do, I have no hesitation at all in advising you, by way of practice, to choose a narrower canvas and try to work out a drama with half a dozen clearly designed and vividly projected characters. If you could show me such a play, I should at least be able to form a fair judgement of your real talent. At present I am interested and a good deal impressed, but also, I must confess, a good deal bewildered.

If you do not think me too much of a wet blanket, I shall be very glad to read anything else in the dramatic way that you care to send me.

Yours very truly, William Archer.


I will return the MS on Monday. [End]

(See Letters, Vol. II, ed. Richard Ellmann, NY: Viking Press 1966, p.8.)

See also Note 1 [Ellmann]: ‘Joyce’s brother Stanislaus gives the following summary of the play, A Brilliant Career, no copy of which has survived: “A young doctor, Paul, for the sake of his career, throws over a girl, Angela, with whom he is in love, and marries someone else. He renounces the valiant purposes of his youth, and becomes a time-server. His career is a great success, and, still young, he has been elected mayor of the town, unnamed, in which the scene is laid. There is a serious outbreak of plague in the port (there were some sporadic cases of bubonic plague in Glasgow that year [1900]) and the town is thrown into a state of panic. The doctor-mayor copes with the situation energetically, and in a short time the threat of an epidemic is eliminated. From the outbreak of the plague till the end a woman has been organizing assistance for those stricken with plague, and after a public manifestation of gratitude to the mayor, the woman comes to see him. She is Angela, the girl the doctor had jilted. She, too, is unhappily married to a jealous husband. The doctor realizes that his brilliant career is dust and ashes. My recollection of the play, especially of the end of it, is vague. It ended in psychological disaster, though not in tragedy. After bitter recriminations Angela goes out, leaving the doctor to his thoughts. I seem to remember that the curtain for. The last act was that, after Angela had gone, the servant comes in to announce dinner.”’ (Stanislaus Joyce, My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellmann (London & New York 1958, pp.115-16; Letters, Vol. II, 1966, p.8, n.1.)

[Archer’s letter is held in Yale Univ. Library.]

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Somerville & Ross: in The Real Charlotte, Edith Somerville and Martin Ross write of the houses on Mountjoy Square, in Dublin: ‘tall brick houses browbeating each other in gloomy respectability across the white streets.’ (Quoted Maurice Craig, in Dublin 1660-1860, p.296-97.) Compare this with Joyce’s account in Dubliners of North Richmond Street: ‘gaze at each other with brown imperturbable faces ... conscious of decent lives within them’ (“An Encounter,” [D26].) Note also that Oliver St. John Gogarty’s family once lived on North Richmond St.

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John Todhunter: In Todhunter’s story “How Thomas Connolly met the Banshee”, anthologised in Yeats’s Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888), a comical allusion is made to the painting “Ecce Homo” in the pro-Cathedral (Marlborough St., Dublin), where it supplies a point of visual comparison for the face of the banshee under this somewhat mutilated form: “God forgive me for sayin’ it, but ’twas more like the face of the “Axy Homo” beyand in Marlboro Sthreet Chapel nor like any face I could mintion - as pale as a corpse, an’ a most o’ freckles on it, like the freckles on a turkey’s egg.’ This “Ecce Homo” may be the work by Michael Munkacsy (1844-1900) which was shown at the RHA in 1899, and which Joyce enthusiastically described in an essay preserved as a 14pp. holograph in Cornell UL - and formerly the property of Stanislaus Joyce. (See The Critical Writings of James Joyce, ed. Ellsworth Mason & Richard Ellmann, NY Viking Press 1959; rep. 1966, pp.31-37; and see further under Todhunter, infra.) [BS]

[Note: Chapel denotes the standard - and implicitly diminutive - term for a Catholic church in Ireland for long after rescinding of the Penal Laws.]

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William James [1842-1910], In Principles of Psychology (NY Henry Holt 1890), the American psychologist William James - brother of the novelist Henry James - coined the phrase ‘stream of consciousness’ which has been co-opted by Joycean criticism to describe Joyce’s technique in Ulysses: ‘[...] it is nothing joined; it flows. A “river” or a “stream” is the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let’s call it the stream of thought, consciousness, or subjective life.’ (James, Principles of Psychology).

‘[...] from our point of view both Intellectualists and Sensationalists are wrong. If there be such things as feelings at all, then so surely as relations between objects exist in rerum naturâ [sic], so surely, and more surely, do feelings exist to which these relations are known. There is not a conjunction or a preposition, and hardly an adverbial phrase, syntactic form, or inflection of voice, in human speech, that does not express some shading or other of relation which we at some moment actually feel to exist between the larger objects of our thought. If we speak objectively, it is the real relations that appear revealed; if we speak subjectively, it is the stream of consciousness that matches each of them by an inward coloring of its own. In either case the relations are numberless, and no existing language is capable of doing justice to all their shades.’ (“Classics in the History of Psychology” by Christopher D. Green [online; accessed 03.10.2010]; see also “James Selection” by George Boeree of Shippensberg Univ. (Neth.) [online].)

Further: ‘Next, in a world of objects thus individualized by our mind’s selective industry, what is called our “experience” is almost entirely determined by our habits of attention. A thing may be present to a man a hundred times, but if he persistently fails to notice it, it cannot be said to enter into his experience. We are all seeing flies, moths, and beetles by the thousand, but to whom, save an entomologist, do they say anything distinct? On the other hand, a thing met only once in a lifetime may leave an indelible experience in the memory. Let four men make a tour in Europe. One will bring home only picturesque impressions - costumes and colors, parks and views and works of architecture, pictures and statues. To another all this will be non-existent; and distances and prices, populations and drainage-arrangements, door- and window-fastenings, and other useful statistics will take their place. A third will give a rich account of the theatres, restaurants, and public halls, and naught besides; whilst the fourth will perhaps have been so wrapped in his own subjective broodings as to be able to tell little more than a few names of places through which he passed. Each has selected, out of the same mass of presented objects, those which suited his private interest and has made his experience thereby.’

Bibl., William James, The Stream of Consciousness  (1892) - first published in Psychology, Chapter XI (Cleveland & New York: World [q.d.]) - given in full-text version as course-material at “Classics in the History of Psychology” by Christopher D. Green [York U. CA]- online; accessed 25.05.2014.] For James’s Principles of Psychology (1890 &. num. edns.), search COPAC - online.)

See also ...

Edmund Wilson review of Ulysses, in New Republic (5 July 1922): ‘[...] It has taken Mr. Joyce seven years to write Ulysses and he has done it in seven hundred and thirty pages which are probably the most completely “written” pages to be seen in any novel since Flaubert. Not only is the anecdote expanded to its fullest possible bulk - there is an elaborate account of nearly everything done or thought by Mr. Bloom from morning to night of the day in question - but you have both the “psychological” method and the Flaubertian method of making the style suit the thing described carried several steps further than they have ever been before, so that, whereas in Flaubert you have merely the words and cadences carefully adapted to convey the specific mood or character without any attempt to identify the narrative with the stream of consciousness of the person described, and in Henry James merely the exploration of the stream of consciousness with only one vocabulary and cadence for the whole cast of moods and characters, in Joyce you have not only life from the outside described with Flaubertian virtuosity but also the consciousness of each of the characters and of each of the character’s moods made to speak in the idiom proper to it, the language it uses to itself. [...] Mr. Joyce manages to give the effect of unedited human minds, drifting aimlessly along from one triviality to another, confused and diverted by memory, by sensation and by inhibition. It is, in short, perhaps the most faithful X-ray ever taken of the ordinary human consciousness.’ (For full-text version, see RICORSO, Criticism > Major Authors > James Joyce > Edmund Wilson - via index or as attached.)

Harry LevinJames Joyce: A Critical Introduction [1944] (London: Faber & Faber 1960) - on Joyce’s innovation technique: ‘To characterize this style, we must borrow a term from either German metaphysics or French rhetoric; we may conceive of it as Strom des Bewusstseins or again as monologue intérieur. We shall find, however, that Joyce obtains his metaphysical effects by rhetorical devices, that the internal monologue lends itself more readily to critical analysis than the more illusory stream of consciousness.’ (pp.82-83; see longer extract at RICORSO Library > Criticism > Major Authors - via index or as attached.)

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Valery Larbaud: Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier arranged a meeting between Joyce and Larbaud, an influential amateur who had converted to Catholicism in 1910. Joyce lent Larbaud numbers of the Little Review, and then the typescript of “Oxen of the Sun”. After two months Larbaud wrote to Beach, ‘I am raving mad over Ulysses’, which he said was ‘as great and comprehensive and human as Rabelais’, adding that Mr Bloom was ‘as immortal as Falstaff’. (See Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965 Edn., p.514.) The letter to Beach was quoted by her in ׃Ulysses à Paris”, in Mercure de France, CCCIX, May 1950, p.19; the remark on Rabelais and Falstaff quoted in a letter by Joyce to Harriet Shaw Weaver, 1 March 1921, while Joyce also reported the remark on Falstaff it to Frank Budgen in a letter of 28? Feb. 1921 [Letters, I, p.159], adding ‘except that that he has some few more years to live’. (Ellmann, op. cit., Notes, p.796, and ftn., p.514.)

Bibl. note: the remark ‘I am raving [about Ulysses ...]’, &c.], is also quoted in Geert Lernout, The French Joyce (Michigan UP 1990), p.29-30, as cited in John L. Brown, ‘Uysses into French’, in Library Chronicle, 20-21 , 1982, pp.29-60, p.32.)

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Carl G. Jung (1): Jung called Ulysses ‘die Kunst de Rückenseite, oder die Rückenseite der Kunst [the art of the backside or the backside of art]’, in ‘Ulysses: A Monologue’, in Wirklichkeit der Seele (Zurich: Rascher 1934), p.148; quoted in Stephen Heath, ‘Ambiviolences: Notes for reading Joyce’, in Post-structuralist Joyce, ed., Attridge & Ferrer ( Cambridge UP 1984, p.34.) Note: Jean Kimball, in Joyce and the Early Freudians: A Synchronic Dialogue of Texts (Florida UP 2003), demonstrates that Joyce knew key texts of psychoanalysis.

Carl G. Jung (2): Jung called the “Penelope” episode in Ulysses ‘a veritable string of psychological peaches’ (letter to Joyce, Aug. 1932, in Letters of James Joyce, London: Faber 1966, Vol. 3 [ed. Richard Ellmann], p.253).

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Wyndham Lewis (1): Lewis wrote a hostile chapter on Ulysses as ‘Analysis of the Mind of James Joyce’, soon afterwards rep. in Time and Western Man (Sept. 1927), pp.91-130, calling it Joyce’s ‘sardonic catafalque of the Victorian world’ (p.109); further: ‘what stimulates [Joyce] is ways of doing things [...] and not things to be done (p.106-07). He also comments at length on Joyce’s propensity toward cliché (p.112-16 - rather than use of cliché; see Derek Attridge & Daniel Ferrer, Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, Cambridge UP 1984, p.5.)

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Wyndham Lewis (2): Lewis criticised Ulysses as ‘a suffocating, noetic expanse of objects, all of them lifeless’ - to be echoed by Joyce in the phrases, ‘a jetsam litterage of convolvuli of times lost or strayed, of lands derelict and of tongues laggin too’ [FW292], but more extensively in “The Ondt and the Gracehoper” (pp.414-19 - in “First Watch of Shaun”, being III.i of FW). Note: Joyce’s epithets belong to Bloom’s encyclopaedic listing, in “Ithaca” of numerous if implausible sources of possible wealth such as ‘wireless telegraph’ scams at the horse-track or ‘unexpected discovery of object of great monetary value’-in this case, ‘in the sea (amid flotsam, jetsam, lagan and derelict’). Ulysses [1922] (London: Bodley Head 1967), p.845.

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Arnold Schoenberg: ‘In response to [Otto] Luening’s inability to approximate an answer, Joyce stated the following, denouncing all composers, except two: “For me there are only two composers. One is Palestrina and the other is Schoenberg.”’ (See Jim Samson, Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expression and Atonality 1900-1920, London : J. M. Dent & Sons 1977, p.194; quoted in Jonathan McCreedy, MA Diss., UUC 2008.)

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Takaoki Katta (1886-1976), a Japanese academic and grad. of Imperial University of Tokyo, interviewed Joyce in Paris in July 1926. The text of his interview, transcribed by Yasuo Kumagai from notebooks in the possession of his daughter, is published in Genetic Joyce Studies, 2 (Spring 2002), under the heading: ‘“Takaoki Katta” (Buffalo Notebook, VI.B.12: 113)’. The interview is transcribed from the Katta’s notebook entitled “Drama VI [in Abroad II]” - as follows [inter alia]: I. Words & phrases should sound like the meaning they express. a.) To attain this the writer may well invent new wds within the extent that the reader can understand the meaning of those new words[.] b.) The writers should go over grammar and dictionary. Grammar & Dictionary sh d follow writers. It is a great anachronism & absurdness that writers sh d follow grammar & dictionary. Writers shd always be younger than grammar & dictionary. II. Words must be spelt as they are pronounced. a.) The object of spelling is to let the reader know the pronunciation of the words. How fool-hardy is it to spell “[ ]” which shd be pron. “[ ]” There’s no reason whatever to keep this silly spelling but the so-called custom & conservativeness. III. We want to feel literature. We want to see the spirit of life. Various accidents external are merely the voices & shadows of our internal spirit. / Realistic treatment of things external is indirect & round-about way of treating. / We should try to express our spirit flowing from the inmost recesses of our heart without being controlled by external things. External things will follow./ Literature should be a living picture of the living spirit.’ [Note: the blanks in brackets are Katta’s own.] (Cont.)

Takaoki Katta (interview with Joyce, 15 July 1926) - cont.: ‘[...] He said that he is writing a voluminous book very metaphisical [sic], & said that it would take him 10 years. He said Ulyses [ sic ] took him 8 yrs, A P. of the Art. - 5 years. He said that he is putting many Jap. wds in his new book & asked me who was the first woman in Japan. I gave him “[Jap. chars.]” together with the pronunciation. / “I’ll answer you your question in my book [i.e., Katta’s marginalia in Portrait]. Ask now.” and I asked some which he answered on the spot. His kindness went further & said: “If you have any question in my “Portr. of the Art” when you want to translate it into Japanese, you can make a list of those questions to send it to me c/o Miss Beach, Shakespeare & Coy.” / How sweet of him! / I will do so. / He is so kind. He must be honest too. / It is very difficult to say what is good & what is bad in the strict sense of the words, but this much is certain that kindness & honesty are, despite of the difference of time & place, always & everywhere good. / He is a good man. 15 juillet, 1926. P.S. He said he thinks very highly of slang & dialect (pidgin-English even). / Slang & dialect, tho first detested, are very apt to become the standard language not in so long a time.’

(See Yasuo Kumagai ‘“Takaoki Katta” (Buffalo Notebook, VI.B.12: 113)’, in Genetic Joyce Studies , Spring 2002 - online, with thumbnails attached.)

Itō Sei (1905-1969): Itō was inspired to turn to Joyce primarily by the English scholar Doi Kōchi, whose article “Joisu no Yurishīzu (Joyce’s Ulysses)” had appeared in the journal Kaizō in 1929. Itō contributed an essay, Jeimuzu Joisu no metōdo “ishiki no nagare” ni tsuite [James Joyce’s Method - Regarding the “Stream of Consciousness]” to Shi, genjitsu (June 1930) which caught the attention of Joyce himself in 1931, who then wrote to Sylvia Beach that he was interested in having it translated for publication in an English magazine - though this never happened. (Letters, 1, p.513.) Itō Sei was a writer and a critic and one of a team of three Japanese translators who prepared the first Japanese translation of Ulysses in 1931. He was also much influence by Joyce and the literary technique in question. (See Michael Chan, the Modernist Lab at Yale University - online; accessed 24.05.2014 [article specific at this page.

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