James Joyce: Quotations (1) - Extracts from Works [I]

File 1

For digital copies of the complete works of James Joyce, see RICORSO, “Library” > Classic Irish Texts > James Joyce, &c. - password required [infra].

Style c’est l’homme?: ‘For God’s sake don’t talk politics. I am not interested in politics. Style is the only thing that interests me.’ (Joyce to Stanislaus Joyce in 1936; quoted in Ellmann, James Joyce, 1959, &c., p.710 - citing interview with Stanislaus in 1954. )

Extracts - Works [II]

Early Writings
“Et Tu, Healy”
“Ecce Homo” (1899)
“Drama and Life” (1900)
“The Day of the Rabblement” (1901)
“James Clarence Mangan” (1902)
Autobiographical writings & Notebooks
“A Portrait of the Artist” (1904)
Stephen Hero [writtten 1904-07] (1944; rev. edn. 1977)
“Paris Notebook” (1903)
“Pola Notebook” (1904)

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The philosopher: ‘It wounded him to think that he would never be but a shy guest at the feast of the world’s culture and that the monkish learning, in terms of which he was striving to forge out an esthetic philosophy, was held no higher by the age he lived in than the subtle and curious jargons of heraldry and falconry.’ (Quoted in Richard Kain, Fabulous Voyager: James Joyce’s Ulysses, Chicago: 1947, p.11 - citing AP309.)

The egoist: ‘You suspect that I may be important because I belong to the Fauberg Saint-Patrice called Ireland for short ... But I suspect that Ireland must be important because it belongs to me.’ (Stephen to Bloom, in the “Eumaeus” chapter of Ulysses [Bodley Head Edn. 1965, p.748; quoted in Slocum and Cahoon, Foreword to the Revised Edition of Stephen Hero, London: Jonathan Cape 1956, 1969, p.11.)
[Cf. Stephen’s remark to Mr Heffernan in the Mullingar episode of Stephen Hero: ‘My own mind is more interesting to me than the entire country.’ [Stephen Hero, 1969, p.249; also noticed in Slocum & Cahoon, in ibid., Foreword, p.11.]
Amor matris: Joyce once told Stanislaus, speaking of the mother-child bond: ‘There are only two forms of love in the world, the love of a mother for her child and the love of a man for his lies.’ (Quoted in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, OUP 1982 Edn., p.293.)

Note further that Ellmann reports an unposted letter of 1910 from Stanislaus to his father in which he relates that Nora called Joyce ‘Woman-killer’ - echoing his anxiety that he had speeded her death by his defiance of her religious wishes. (Ibid., p.295.)

Music Hall: ‘The music hall, not poetry, is a criticism of life’ (Joyce in conversation with Stanislaus Joyce; quoted in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, Oxford UP 1959, p.80.)

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Early Writings
Et Tu, Healy” (1891): ‘His quaint-perched aerie on the crags of Time / Where the rude din of this [...] century / Can trouble him no more.’ Further, ‘My cot alas that dear old shady home / Where oft in youthful sport I played / Upon thy verdant grassy fields all day / Or lingered for a moment in thy bosom shade.’ (Given by Joyce in letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver, 22 Nov. 1930, in Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann, 1975, p.355, and quoted in Ellmann, James Joyce [1959] 1966 Edn., p.330 & ftn.; also in Slocum & Cahoon, Bibliography of James Joyce, 1953, p.3.)

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Ecce Homo” (1899) [on Mukacsy’s picture of that title at the RHA]: ‘[...] Perhaps what is striking about the picture under [31] consideration is the sense of life, the realistic illusion. One could well fancy that the men and women were of flesh and blood, struck into silence trance, by the warlock’s hand. Hence the picture is primarily dramatic, not an execution of faultess forms, or a canvas reproduction of psychology. By drama I understand the interplay of passions; drama is strife, evolution, movement, in whatever way unfolded. Drama exists as an independent thing, conditioned but not controlled by its scene. [...] However subdued the tone of passions may be, however ordered the action or commonplace the diction, if a play, or work of music, or a picture concerns itself with the everlasting hopes, desires and hates of humanity, or deals with a symbolic presentment of our widely related nature, albeit a phase of that nature, then it is drama. [....; see note]. But in whatever dwarfed and marionette-like a manner, their passions are human, and so the exposition of them is drama. This is fairly obvious when applied to a stage subject but when the word drama is in an identical way, applied to Munkacsy, it may need a word of explanation.’ (Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann, [1959] 1966, pp.32.) [Cont.]

Note: Here speaks of Maeterlinck’s characters which ‘our civilisation dubs ... uncanny’.]

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Ecce Homo” (1899) - cont. ‘In the statuary art the first step towards drama was the separation of the feet. Before that sculpture was a copy of the body, actuated by only a nascent impulse, and executed by routine. The infusion of life, or its semblance, at once brought soul into the work of the artist, vivified his forms and elucidated his theme. It follows narually form the fact that the sculptor aims at producign a bronze or stone model of man, that his impulse should lead him to the portrayal of an instantaneous passio. Consequently although he has the advantage of the painter, in at the first glance deceiving the eye, his capability to be a dramatist is less broad than the painter’s. His power of moulding can be equalised by the painter’s backgrounds and skilful disposition of shades, and while in such a manner naturalism is produced on an areal canvas, the colours, which add another life, help his theme to its expression [32] in a very much completer and clearer whole. [...] It is a mistake to limit drama to the stage; a drama can be painted as well as sung or acted, and “Ecce Homo” is a drama.’ [There ensues a detailed examination of the painting, as follows - cont.:]

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Ecce Homo” (1899) - cont.: ‘The expressions conveyed in the varying faces, gestures, hands, and opened mouthes are marvellous [...; 34] It will be cleare from all this that the whole forms a wonderful picture, intensely, silently dramatic, waiting but the touch of the wizard wand to break out into reality, life and conflict. As such too much tribute cannot be paid to it, for it is a frightfully real presentment of all the baser passions of humanity, in both sexes, in every gradation, raised and lashed into a demoniac carnival. [...] To paint such a crowd one must probe humanity with no scrupulous knife. [35; ...] It would have been easier to make Mary a Madonna and John an evangelist but the artist has chosen to make Mary a mother John a man. I believe this treatment to be the finer and the subtler. [...] Van Ruith painted a picture some years ago of Christ and the traders in the temple. His intention was to produce elevated reprimand and divine chastisement, his hand failed him and the result was a weak flogger and a mixture of lovingkindness and repose, wholly incompatible with the incident. Munkacsy on the contrary would never be under the power of his brush, but his view of the event is humanistic. Consequently his work is drama. Had he chosen to paint Christ as the Incarnate Son of God, redeeming his creatures of his own admirable will, through insult and hate, it would not have been drama, it would have been Divine Law, for drama deals with man. As it is from the artist’s conception, it is powerful drama, the drama of the thrice told revolt of humanity against a great teacher.’ (Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann, [1959] 1966, pp.34-36 - cont.)

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Ecce Homo” (1899) - cont.: ‘The face of Christ is a superb study of endurance, passion, I use the word in its proper sense, and dauntless will. [... T]he eyes are of a pale blue colour, if of any, as the face is turned to the light, they are lifted half under the brows, the only true position for intense [36] agony. They are keen, but not large, and seem to pierce the air, half in inspiration, half in suffering. The whole face is of an ascetic, inspired, wholesouled, wonderfully passionate man. It is Christ, the Man of Sorrows, his raiment red as of them that tread in winepress. It is literally Behold the Man. / It is this treatment of the theme that has led me to appraise it a drama. It is grand, noble, tragic but it makes the founder of Christianity, no more than a great social and religious reformer, a personality, of mingled majesty and power, a protagonist of a world-drama. No objections will be lodged against it on that by the public, whose general attitude when they advert to subject at all, is that of the painter, only less grand and less interested. / Munkacsy’s conception is as much greater than theirs, as an average artist is greater than an average greengrocer, but it is of same kind, it is to pervert Wagner, the attitude of the town. Belief in the divinity of Christ is not a salient feature of secular Christendom. But occasional sympathy with the eternal conflict of truth and error, of right and wrong, as exemplified in the drama at Golgotha is not beyond its approval.’ [End] (‘Royal Hibernian Academy “Ecce Homo”, in Ellsworth Mason & Richard Ellmann, eds., Critical Writings of James Joyce, Viking Press 1966, pp.31-37.)

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Drama and Life” (1900)
‘Humanity society is the embodiment of changeless laws which the whimsicalities and circumstances of men and women involve and overwrap. The realm of literature is the realm of these accidental manners and humours - a spacious realm; and the true literary artist concerns himself mainly with them. Drama has to do with the underlying law first, in all their nakedness and severity, and only secondarily with the motley agents who hear them out [...] .. Unless such a distinction be made the result is chaos.’ [40]
‘By drama I understand the interplay of passions to portray truth; drama is strife, evolution, movement in whatever way unfolded; it exists, before it takes form, independently; it is conditioned but not controlled by its scene.’ [...] ‘However subdued the tone of passions may be, however ordered the action or commonpace th diction, if a play or a workd of music or a picture presents the ever-lasting hopes, desires and hates of us, or deals with a symbolic presentment of our widely related nature, albeit in a phase of that nature, then it is drama.’
‘[L]iterature is a comparatively low form of art. Literature is kept alive by tonics, it flourishes through conventions in all human relations, in all actuality. Drama will be for the future at war with convention, if it is to realise itself truly.’ [41] ‘If you ask me what occasions drama or what is the necessity for it all, I answer Necessity. It is mere animal instinct applied to [42] the mind.
Apart from his world-old desire to get beyond the flaming ramparts, man has a further longing to become a maker and a moulder. That is the necessity of all art. Drama is again the least dependent of all arts on its material. If the supply of mouldable earth or stones gives out, sculpture becomes a memory, if the yield of vegetable pigments ceases, the pictorial art ceases. But whether there be marble or paints, there is always the artstuff for drama. I believe further that drama arises spontaneously out of life and is coeval with it.’ [...]
—In Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann, [1959] (Viking Press 1966), pp.41-42 - cont.

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Drama and Life” (1900) - cont.
‘As men differ as to the rise, so do they as to the aims of drama. It is in most cases claimed by the votaries of the antique school that the drama should have special ethical claims, to use their stock phrase, that it should instruct, elevate, and amuse. Here is yet another gyve that the jailers have bestowed. I do not say that drama may not fulfil any or all of these functions, but I deny that it is essential that it should fulfil them. Art, elevated into the overhigh sphere of religion, generally loses its true soul in stagnant quietism. As to the lower form of this dogma it is surely funny. [... ]
A yet more insidious claim is the claim for beauty. As conceived by the claimants beauty is as often anaemic spirituality as hard animalism. Then, chiefly because beauty is to men an arbitrary quality and often lies no deeper than form, to pin drama to dealing with it, would be hazardous. Beauty is the swerga of the aesthete, but truth has a more ascertainable and more real dominion. Art [43] is true to itself when it deals with truth. Should such an untoward event as a universal reformation take pace on earth, truth would be the very threshold of the house beautiful.’ [...]
‘Art is marred by such mistaken insistence on its religious, its moral, its beautiful its idealising tendencies. A single Rembrandt is worth a gallery full of Van Dycks. And it is this doctrine of idealism in art which has in notable instances disfigured manful endeavour, and has also fostered a boyish instinct to dive under the blankets at the mention of the bogey of realism. [...T]he stage literally battens on the mental offal of its patrons.
‘Life we must accept as we see it before our eyes, men and women as we meet them in the real world, not as we apprehend them in the world of faery.’ [...; 45]
Joyce here speaks of ‘Igdrasil, whose roots are struck in earth, but through whose higher leafage the stars of heaven are glowing and astir.’ (p.45) and concludes by quoting Ibsen’s, Pillars of Society: ‘“I will let in fresh air, Pastor”, answered Lona”.’ [End.]
—In Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann [1959] (Viking Press 1966), p.44.


Note that the paper is faithfully reproduced in Stephen Hero. [See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, James Joyce, infra.]

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The Day of the Rabblement” (15 Oct. 1901)
‘No man, said the Nolan, can be a lover of the true or the good unless he abhors the multitude; and the artist, though he may employ the crowd, is very careful to isolate himself.’
‘The Irish Literary Theatre is the latest movement of protest against the sterility and falsehood of the [69] modern stage.’
‘The Irish Literary Theatre gave out that it was the champion of progress, and proclaimed war against commercialism and vulgarity. It had partly made good its word and was expelling the old devil, when after the first encounter it surrendered to the popular will. Now, your popular devil is more dangerous than your vulgar devil. Bulk and lungs count for something, and he can gild his speech aptly. He has prevailed once more and the Irish Literary Theatres must now be considered the property of the rabblement of the most belated race in Europe.’
‘A nation which never advanced so far as [the] miracle play affords no literary model to the artist, and he must look abroad.’
Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann [1959] (NY: Viking Press 1966), pp.69-70; ... cont.)

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The Day of the Rabblement” (1901) - cont.:
‘Meanwhile, what of the artists? It is equally unsafe at present to say of Mr. Yeats that he has or has not genius. In aim and form The Wind Among the Reeds is poetry of the highest order, and The Adoration of the Magi (a story which one of the great Russians might have written) shows what Mr. Yeats can do when he breaks with the half-gods. But an aesthete has a flating will, and Mr. Yeats’s treacherous instinct of adaptability must be blaimed for his recent association with a platform form which even self-respect should have urged him to refrain. Mr. Martyn and Mr. Moore are not writers of much originality. Mr. Martyn, disabled as he is by an incorrigible style, has none of the fierce, hysterical power of Strindberg, whom he suggests at times; and with him one is conscious of a lack of breadth and distinction which outweighs the nobility of certain passages. Mr. Moore, however, has wonderful mimetic ability, and some years ago his books might ahve entitled him to the place of honour among English novelists. But though Vain Fortune (perhaps one should add some of Esther Waters) is fine, original work, Mr. Moore is really struggling in the backwash of that tide which has advanced from Flaubert through Jakobsen to D’Annunzio: for two entire eras lie between Madame Bovary and Il Fuoco. It is plain from Celibates and the later novels that Mr. Moore is beginning to drawn up his literary account, and the quest of a new impulse may explain his recent startling conversion. Converts are in the movement now, and Mr. Moore and his island have been fitly admired. But however frankly Mr. Moore may misquote Pater and Turgenieff to defend himself, his new impulse has no kind of relation to the future of art.’
Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann [1959] (NY: Viking Press 1966), p.71; ... cont.

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The Day of the Rabblement” (1901) - cont.
‘If an artist courts the favour of the multitude he cannot escape the contagion of its fetichism [sic] and deliberate self-deception, and if he joins in a popular movement he does so at his own risk. The Irish Literary Theatre by its surrender to the trolls has cut itself adrift from the line of advancement. Until he has freed himself from the mean influence about him - sodden enthusiasm and clever insinuation and every flattering influence of [71] vanity and low ambition - no man is an artist at all. But his true servitude is that he inherits a will broken by doubt and a soul that yields up all its hate to a caress; and the most seeming-independent are those who are the first to reassume their bonds. But Truth deals largely with us. Elsewhere there are men who are worthy to carry on the tradition of the old master who is dying in Christiana. He has already found a successor in the writer of Michael Kramer [Gerhardt Hauptmann]; and a third minister will not be wanting when his hour comes. Even now he may be standing at the door.’ (end.)
Critical Writings, ed. Mason & Ellmann, [1959] (NY: Viking Press 1966), pp.68-72.

[For full-text copy of the original pamphlet - see attached.]

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James Clarence Mangan” (15 Feb. 1902; published in St. Stephen's [1, 6] May 1902, pp.116-18.) - [on aesthetic theory]: ‘It is many a day since the dispute of the classical and romantic schools began in the quiet city of the arts, so that criticism, which [73] has wrongly decided that the classical temper is the romantic temper grown older, has been driven to recognise these as constant states of mind. [...] The romantic school is often and grievously misinterpreted, not more by others than by its own, for that impatient temper which, as it could see no fit abode here for its ideals, chose to behold them under insensible figures, comes to disregard certain limitations, and, because these figures are blown high and low by the mind that conceived them, comes at times to regard them as feeble shadows moving aimlessly about the light, obscuring it; and the same temper, which assuredly, has not grown more patient, exclaims that the light is changed to worse than shadow, to darkness even, by any method which bends upon these present things and so, works upon them and fashions them that the quick intelligence may go beyond them to their meaning, which is still unuttered.’ (Critical Writings, 1966, pp.73-74; cf. variant version of same given in Stephen Hero - as infra.)

Compare Stephen Hero [1944]: ‘The romantic temper, so often and so grievously misinterpreted and not more by others than by its own, is an insecure, impatient temper which sees no fit abode here for its ideals and chooses therefore to behold them under insensible figures. As a result of this choice it comes to disregard certain limitations. Its figures are blown to wild adventures, lacking the gravity of solid bodies, and the mind that has conceived them ends by disowning them.’ (p.79; new. edn. p.66; cited in a footnote in Critical Writings, 1959, p.74 n.)

James Clarence Mangan” (1902) [on aesthetic theory] - cont.: ‘Finally, it must be asked concerning every artist in relation to the highest knowledge and to those laws which do not take holiday because men forget them. This is not to look for a message but to approach the temper which has made the work, an old woman praying, or a young man fastening his shoe, and to see what is there well and how much it signifies.’ (The Critical Writings of James Joyce, NY Viking Press 1959; reps. 1964, 1966, p.75). Also, ‘The critic is he who is able, by means of the signs which the artist affords, to approach the temper which has made there work and to see what is well done therein and what it signifies.’ (1977 Edn. p.74.)[ top ]

James Clarence Mangan” (1902) [on the poet himself]: ‘Mangan, it must be remembered, wrote with no native literary tradition to guide him and for a public which cared for matters of the day, and for poetry only so far as it might illustrate these.’ [...] ‘Though even in the best of Mangan the presence of alien emotions is sometimes felt the presence of an imaginative personality reflecting the delight of imaginative beauty is more vividly felt. East and West meet in that personality (we know how); images interweave there like soft, luminous scarves and words ring like brilliant mail, and whether the song is of Ireland or of Istambol it has the same refrain, a prayer that peace may come again to her who has lost peace, the moonwhite pearl of his soul, Ameen.’ [78; cont.]

James Clarence Mangan” (1902) [on the poet himself - cont.]: ‘All his poetry remembers wrong and suffering and the aspiration of one who has suffered and who is moved to great cries and gestures when that sorrowful hour rushes upon the heart.’ [80]. [...] ‘No doubt they are only men of letters who insist on the succession of ages, and history or the denial of reality, for they are two names for one thing, may be said to be that which deceives the whole world. In this, as in much else, Mangan is the type of his race. History encloses him so straitly that even his fiery moments do not set him free from it. He, too, cries out, in his life and in his mournful verses, against the injustice of the despoilers, but never laments a deeper loss than the loss of plaids and ornaments. He inherits the latest and worst part of a legend upon which the [81] line has never been drawn out and which divides against itself as much as it moves down the cycles. And because this tradition is so much with him he has accepted it with all its griefs and failures, and has not known how to change it, as the strong spirit knows, and so would bequeath it: the poet who hurls his anger against tyrants would establish upon the future an intimate and far more cruel tyranny. In the final view the figure which he worships is seen to be an abject queen upon whom, because of the bloody crimes that he had done and of those as bloody that were done to her, madness is come and death is coming, but who will not believe that she is near to die and remembers only the rumour of voices challenging her sacred gardens and her fair, tall flowers that have become the food of boars. [...]’

James Clarence Mangan” (1902) [on the poet himself - cont.]: ‘Every age must look for its sanction to its poetry and philosophy, for in these the human mind, as it looks backward or forward, attains to an eternal state. The philosophic mind always inclines to an elaborate life [...] taking into its centre the life that surrounds it and flinging it abroad again amid planetary music. With Mangan a narrow and hysterical nationality receives its last justification, for when this feeble-bodied figure departs dusk begins to veil the train of the gods, and he who listens may hear their footsteps leaving the world.’ [82; ...] ‘In those vast courses which enfold us and in that great memory which is greater and more generous than our memory, no life, no moment of exultation is ever lost; and all those who have written nobly have not written in vain, though the desperate and weary have heard the silver laughter of wisdom [...] such as these have part [...] the continual affirmation of the spirit.’ (p.83; end.)

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James Clarence Mangan” (1907 version; Critical Writings, 1966, p.175-86): ‘There are certain poets who, in addition to the virtue of revealing to us some phase of the human conscience unknown until their time, have the more doubtful virtue of summing up in themselves the thousand contrasting tendencies of their era, of being, so to speak, the storage batteries of new forces.’ (p.175.)

Cf., Stephen Hero (1944): ‘Thus the spirit of man makes continual affirmation’ (1977 Edn., p.75), and Ulysses: ‘Bloom dissented tacitly from Stephen’s views on the eternal affirmation of man in literature’ (Ulysses, Random Hse Edn., p.650; Bodley Head, pp.777). Note that Joyce has approving things to say about Mangan’s use of the Homeric epithet ‘wine-dark sea’ in an unnamed poem which he compares with William Rooney in a damning review of Rooney’s Poems and Ballads. (Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, [1959] 1966, p.86).

James Clarence Mangan” (1907 version; in Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing, ed. Kevin Barry [trans. Conor Deane] (Oxford 2001): ‘Poetry takes little account of the many of the idols of the market-place - the succession of the ages, the spirit of the age, the mission of the race’. Further: [T]he essential effort of the poet is to liberate himself from the unpropitious influences of such idols which corrupt him from the inside and out’. (p.135.)

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Autobiographical Writings
Portrait of the Artist” (aka “1904 Portrait Essay”) [Opening]: ‘The features of infancy are not commonly reproduced in the adolescent portrait for, so capricious are we, that we cannot or will not conceive the past in any other than its iron memorial aspect. Yet the past assuredly implies a fluid succession of presents, the development of an entity of which our actual present is a phase only. Our world, again, recognises its acquaintance chiefly by the characters of beard and inches and is, for the most part, estranged from those members who seek through some art, by some process of mind as yet untabulated, to liberate from the personalised lumps of matter that which is their individuating rhythm, the first or formal relation of their parts. But for such as these a portrait is not an identificative paper but rather the curve of an emotion.’ [...] Further: ‘Use of reason is by popular judgement antedated by some seven years and so it is not easy to set down the exact age at whch the natural sensibility of the subject of this portrait awoke to the ideas of eternal damnation, the necessity of penitence and the efficacy of prayer.’ (See “A Portrait of the Artist” [1904], in Poems and Shorter Writings of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann, A. Walton Litz & John Whittier Ferguson, London: Faber & Faber 1991, pp.211-18; p.18; also quoted [in full]in Hélène Cixous, The Exile of James Joyce, pp.206-12, p.206.)

Giordano Bruno, et al. ‘One night in early spring, standing at the foot of the staircase in the library, he said to his friend “I have left the Church.” And as they walked home through the streets arm-in-arm he told, in words that seemed an echo of their closing, how he had left it through the gates of Assisi. / Extravagance followed. The simple history of the Poverello was soon out of mind and he established himself in the maddest of companies, Joachim Abbas, Bruno the Nolan, Michael Sendivogius, all the hierarchs of initiation cast their spells upon him. He descended among the hells of Swedenborg and abased himself in the gloom of Saint John of the Cross. His heaven was suddenly illuminated by a horde of stars, the signatures of all nature, the soul remembering ancient days. Like an alchemist he bent upon his handiwork, bringing together the mysterious elements, separating the subtle from the gross. For the artist the rhythms of phrase and period, the symbols of word and allusion, were paramount things. And was it any wonder that out of this marvelous life, wherein he had annihilated and rebuilt experience, laboured and despaired, he came forth at last with a single purpose - to reunite the children of the spirit, jealous and long-divided, to reunite them against fraud and principality.’ [Poems and Shorter Writings, ed. Ellmann, et al., 1991, p.214.]

Portrait of the Artist” (Essay of 1904) [Conclusion]: ‘Already the messages of the citizens were flashed along the wires of the world ... To those multitudes, not as yet in the wombs of humanity but surely engenderable there, he would give the word: Man and woman, out of you comes the nation that is to come, the lightning [sic] of your masses in travail; the competitive order is employed against itself, the aristocracies are supplanted; and amid the general paralysis of an insane society, the confederate will issues in action.’ (1904 Portrait, in Cixous, op. cit., p.212; Shorter Writings, Ellmann, et al., eds., OUP 1991, p.211-18). See full text version in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics > Major Authors > James Joyce” [infra]. See also remarks of Vincent Sherry under James Joyce, Commentary [supra].

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Stephen Hero (composed 1904-07; first iss. 1944; rev. 1977)

Note: unless otherwise stated, page references are to the Triad Grafton edition of 1977 - being a reissue of the Jonathan Cape revised and reset edn. of 1956 , 1960, 1969 [.. &c.]. in which a larger font and a different pagination is used - e.g., p.83 in the Cape edition corresponds to p.74 in the Grafton edition. For longer extracts, see RICORSO Library > Irish Classics > James Joyce > Stephen Hero - via index or as attached.

Stephen Hero (1944; rev. edn. 1977) - I [on aesthetics]: ‘The romantic temper [...] is an insecure, unsatisfied, impatient temper which sees no fit abode here for its ideals and chooses therefore to behold them under insensible figures. As a result of this [73] choice it comes to disregard certain limitations. Its figures are blown to wild adventures, lacking the gravity of solid bodies, and the mind that has conceived them ends by disowning them. The classical temper, on the other hand, ever mindful of its limitations, chooses rather to bend upon those present things and so work upon them and fashion them that the quick intelligence may go beyond them to their meaning which is still unuttered. In this method the sane and joyful spirit issues forth and achieves an imperishible perfection, nature assisting with her goodwill and thanks. For so long as this place in nature is given us, it is right that art should do no violence to the gift.’ [74; Jonathan Cape Edn., 1956, 1969, p.83.]

[Cf., Stephen to UCD President:] ‘My entire esteem is for the classical temper in art .. By “classical” I mean the slow elaborate patience of the art of satisfaction. The heroic, the fabulous, I call romantic [...’; 1977 rev edn., 89].

‘The poet is the intense centre of the life of his age to which he stands in a relation than which none can be more vital. He alone is capable of absorbing in himself the life that surrounds him and of flinging it abroad again amid planetary music. It is time for the critics to verify their calculations in accordance with [this phenomenon]. to acknowledge that here the imagination has contemplated intensely the truth of the being of the visible world and that beauty, the splendour of truth, has been born.’ [Ibid., 75].

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Stephen Hero (1944; rev. edn. 1977) - II [on the Catholic Church]: ‘These wanderings filled him with a deep-seated anger and whenever he encountered a burly black-vested priest taking a stroll of pleasant inspection through these warrens [150] full of swarming and cringing believers he cursed the farce of Irish Catholicism: an island [whereof] the inhabitants of which entrusted their wills and mind to other that they might ensure for themselves a life of spiritual paralysis, an island in which all the power and riches are in the keeping of those whose kingdom is not of this world, an island in which Caesar [professes] confesses Christ and Christ confesses Caesar that together they may wax fat upon a starveling rabblement which is bidden ironically to take to itself this consolation in hardship “The Kingdom of God is within you”.’ Cape Edn. 150-51.)

The passage continues: This mood of indignation which was not guiltless of a certain superficiality was undoubtedly due ot the excitement of release and it was hardly countenanced by him before he realised the dangers of being a demagogue. The attitude which was constitutional with him was a silent self-occupied, contemptuous manner and his intelligence, moreover, persuaded him that the tomahawk, as an effective instrument of warfare, has become obsolete. He acknowledged to himself in honest egoism that he could not take to heart the distress of a nation, the soul of which was antipathetic to his own, so bitterly as the indignity of a bad line of verse: but at the same time he was nothing in the world so little as an amateur artist. He wished to express his nature freely and fully for the benefit of a society which he would enrich and also for his own benefit, seeing that it was part of his life to do so. It was not part of his life to undertake an extensive alteration of society but he felt the need to express himself such an urgent need, such a real need, that he ws determined no conventions of society, however plausibly mingling pity with its tyranny, should be allowed to stand in his way, and though a taste for elegance and detail unfitted him for the part of demagogue, from his general attitude he might have been supposed not unjustly an ally of the collectivist politicians, who are often very seriously upbraided by opponents who believe in Jehovahs, and [Cape 151] decalogues and judgements with sacrificing the reality to an abstraction.
  That kind of Christianity called Catholicism seemed to stand in his way and forthwith he removed it. He had been brought up in the belief of the Roman supremacy and to cease to be a Catholic for him meant to cease to be a Christian. The idea that the power of an empire is weakest at its borders requires some modification ... in many cases the government of an empire is strongest at its borders and is invariably so when its power at the centre is on the wane ... it will perhaps be a considerable time before Ireland will be able to understand that the Papacy is no longer going through a period of anabolism [...] Though it is evident on the one had that this persistence of Catholic power in Ireland must intensify very greatly the loneliness of the Irish Catholic who voluntarily outlaws himself out of so strong and intricate a tyranny may often be sufficient to place him beyond the region of reattraction. It was, in fact, the very fervour of Stephen's former religious life which sharpened for him now the pains of his solitary position and at the same time hardened into a less pliable, a less [Cape 152] appeasable enmity molten rages and glowing transports on which the emotions of helplessness and loneliness and despair had firat acted as chilling influences. [Cape edn. 151-53; Triad Grafton Edn., 1977, 123-34 - in Chap. XXII.]

Stephen Hero (1944; rev. edn. 1977) - III [on artists]: ‘There are certain poets who, in addition to the virtue of revealing to us some phase of the human conscience unknown until their time, have the more doubtful virtue of summing up in themselves the thousand contrasting tendencies of their era, of being, so to speak, the storage batteries of new forces.’ [175].

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   Marsh’s Library ... W. B Yeats: ‘extravagances followed’, ... &c. (Stephen Hero, Cape. Edn. 1965, 181ff.)
 During his wanderings Stephen came on an old library in the midst of those sluttish streets which are called old Dublin. The library had been founded by Archbishop Marsh and though it was open to the public few people seemed aware of its existence. The librarian, [was] delighted at the prospect of a reader, showed Stephen niches and nooks inhabited by dusty brown volumes. Stephen went there a few times in the week to read old Italian books of the Trecento. He had begun to be interested in Franciscan literature. He appreciated not without pitiful feelings tht legend of the mild heresiarch of Assisi. he knew, by instinct, that S. Francis’ love-chains would not hold him very long but the Italian was very quaint. Elias and Joachim also relieved the naif history. He found on one of the carts of books near the river an [181] unpublished book containing two stories by W. B. Yeats. One of these stories was called The Tables of the Law and in it was mentioned the fabulous preface which Joachim, abbot of Flora, is said to have prefixed to his Eternal Gospel. This discovery, coming so aptly upon his own researches, induced him to follow his Franciscan studies with vigour. He went every Sunday evening to the church of the Capuchins whither he had once carried the disgraceful burden of his sins to be eased of it. He was not offended by the processions of artizans and labourers round the church and the sermons of the priests were grateful to him inasmuch as the speakers did not seem inclined to make much use of their rhetorical and elocutionary training nor anxious to reveal themselves, in theory, at least, men of the world. He thought, in an Assisan mood, that these men might be nearer to his purpose than others: and one evening while talking with a Capuchin, he had over and over to restrain an impulse which urged him to take the priest by the arm, lead him up and down the chapel-yard and deliver himself boldly of the whole story of the Tables of the Law, every word of which he remembered. Considering Stephen’s general attitude towards the Church, there was certainly a profound infection in such an impulse which it needed great efforts of his intelligent partner to correct. He satisfied himself by leading Lynch round the enclosure of Stephen’s Green and making that young man very awkward by reciting Mr. Yeats’s story with careful animation. Lynch said he didn’t know what the story was about but, afterwards, when safely secluded in a ’snug’ he said that the recitation had given him immense pleasure.
 — These monks are worthy men, said Stephen.
 — Full, round men, said Lynch.
 — Worthy men. I went a few days ago to their library. I had great trouble getting in: all the monks came out of different corners to spy at me. Father [Abbot] Guardian asked me what I wanted. Then he brought me in and gave himself a great deal of trouble going over books. Mind you, [182] he was a fat priest and he had just dined so he really was good-natured.
 — Good worthy man.
 — He didn’t know in the least what I wanted or why I wanted it but he went up one page and down the next with his finger looking for the name and puffing and humming to himself “Jacopone, Jacopone, Jacopone, Jacopone”. Haven’t I a sense of rhythm, eh?
Stephen was still a lover of the deformations wrought by dusk. Late autumn and winter in Dublin are always seasons of damp gloomy weather. He went through the streets at night intoning phrases to himself. He repeated often the story of The Tables of the Law and the story of the Adoration of the Magi. The atmosphere of these stories was heavy with incense and omens and the figures of the monk-errants, Ahern and Michael Robartes strode through it with great strides. Their speeches were like the enigmas of a disdainful Jesus; their morality was infrahuman or superhuman: the ritual they laid such store by was so incoherent and heterogeneous, so strange a mixture of trivialities and sacred practices that it could be recognised as the ritual of men who had received from the hands of high priests, [who had been] anciently guilty of some arrogance of the spirit, a confused and dehumanised tradition, a mysterious ordination. Civilisation may be said indeed to be the creation of its outlaws but the least protest against the existing order is made by the outlaws whose creed and manner of life is not renewable even so far as to be reactionary. These inhabit a church apart; they lift their thuribles wearily before their deserted altars; they live beyond the region of mortality, having chosen to fulfil the law of their being. A young man like Stephen in such a season of damp and unrest [had] has no pains to believe in the reality of their existence. They lean pitifully [above] towards the earth, like vapours, desirous of sin, remembering the pride of their origin, calling to others to come to them. Stephen was fondest of repeating to himself [183] this beautiful passage from The Tables of the Law: Why do you fly from our torches which were made out of the wood of the trees under which Christ wept in the gardens of Gethsemene. Why do you fly from our torches which were made from the sweet wood after it had vanished from the world and come to us who made it of old tunes with our breath?
 A certain extravagance began to tinge his life. He was aware that though he was nominally in amity with the order of society into which he had been born, he would not be able to continue so. The life of an errant seemed to him far less ignoble than the life of one who had accepted the tyranny of the mediocre because the cost of being exceptional was too high. The young generation which he saw growing up about him regarded his manifestations of spiritual activity as something more than unseemly and he knew that, under their air of fearful amiableness, the representatives of authority cherished the hope that his unguided nature would bring him into such a lamentable conflict with actuality that they would one day have the pleasure of receiving him officially into some hospital or asylum. This would have been no unusual end for the high emprise of youth often [leads] brings one to premature senility and [De Nerval’s] a poet’s boldness [was] is certainly proved an ill keeper of promises when it induces him to lead a lobster by a bright blue ribbon along the footpath reserved for the citizens. He felt acutely the insidious dangers which conceal themselves under the guise of extravagance but he was convinced also that a dull discharge of duties, neither understood nor congenial, was far more dangerous and far less satisfactory. (pp.181-84.)


   Stephen Hero (1944; rev. edn. 1977) [on epiphanies - 1]:

‘A young lady was standing on the steps of one of those brown brick houses which seem the very incarnation of Irish paralysis. A young gentleman was leaning on the rusty railings of the area. Stephen as he passed on his quest heard the following fragment of colloquy out of which he received an impression keen enough to afflict his sensitiveness very severely.

The Young Lady - (drawling discreetly) ... O, yes ... I was ... at the ..’ cha...pel.
The Young Gentleman - (inaudible) ... I . (again inaudibly) ... I ...
The Young Lady - (softly) ... O ... but you’re . ve ... ry . wick ... ed ...

This triviality made him think of collecting many such moments together in a book of epiphanies. By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. He believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments.’ [SH187-88; Cape Edn., p.218.]

Note that Stephen speaks of putting ‘many such moments together in a book of epiphanies.’ (Stephen Hero, New Directions 1963, p.211.)

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   Stephen Hero (1944; rev. edn. 1977) [on epiphanies - 2]:
‘You know what Aquinas says: The three things requisite for beauty are, integrity, a wholeness, symmetry, and radiance. Some day I will expend that sentence into a treatise. Consider the performance of your own mind when confronted with any object, hypothetically beautiful. You mind to apprehend the object divides the entire universe into two parts, the object, and the void which is not the object. To apprehend it, you must lift it away from everything else: and then you perceive it as one integral thing, that is a thing. You recognise its integrity.’
‘That is the first quality of beauty: it is declared in a simple sudden synthesis of the faculty which apprehends. What then. Analysis then. The mind considered the object in whole and in part, in relation to itself and to other objects, examines the balance of its parts, contemplates the form of the object, traverses every cranny of [189] the structure. So the mind receives the impression of the symmetry of the object. The mind recognises that the object is in the strict sense of the word, a thing, a definitely constituted entity.’
[...] ‘Now for the third quality. For a long time I couldn’t make out what Aquinas meant. He uses a figurative word (a very unusual thing for him) but I have solved it. Claritas is quidditas. After the analysis which discovers the second quality the mind makes the only logically possible synthesis and discovers the third quality. This is the moment which I call epiphany. First we recognise that the object is one integral thing, then we recognise that it is an organised composite structure, a thing in fact: finally, when the relation of the parts is exquisite, when the parts are adjusted to the special point, we recognise that it is that thing which it is. The soul of the commonest object seems to us radiant. The object achieves its epiphany.’ (Stephen Hero [draft novel], 1944, p.190; see longer extracts and comparable version in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916, infra.) [For further extracts from Stephen Hero, see infra.]

Stephen Hero (1944; rev. edn. 1977) - VI [egotism]: ‘He was egoistically determined that nothing material, no favour or reverse of fortune, no bond of association or impulse or tradition should hinder him from working out the enigma of his position in his own way. He avoided his father sedulously because he now regarded his father’s presumptions as the most deadly part of a tyranny, internal and external, which he determined to combat with his might and main.’ (Slocum & Cahoon eds. [5th edn.], NY: New Directions 1963, p.209; quoted in James Wurtz, ‘A Very Strange Agony: Modernism, Memory and Irish Gothic Fiction” , Ph.D. Diss., Notre Dame U., 2005 - available as PDF online; accessed 10.06.2012.)

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For Joyce’s transcription of the Aristotelian sentences, see infra; and see also comments on the notebooks (or, properly, notebook) under Notes, infra.

Paris Notebook” (1903): ‘Desire is the feeling which urges us to go to something and loathing is the feeling which urges us to go from something: and that art is improper which aims at exciting these feelings in us whether by comedy or by tragedy. Of comedy later. But tragedy aims at exciting in us feelings of pity and terror. Now terror is the feeling which arrests us before whatever is grave in human fortunes and unites us with its secret cause and pity is the feeling which arrests us before whatever is grave in human fortunes and unites us with the human sufferer. Now loathing, which in an improper art aims at exciting in the way of tragedy, differs, it will be seen, from the feelings which are proper to tragic art, namely terror and pity. For loathing urges us from rest because it urges us to go from something, but terror and pity hold us in rest, as it were, by fascination. When tragic art makes my body to shrink terror is not my feeling because I am urged from rest, and moreover this art does not show me what is grave, I mean what is constant and [143] irremediable in human fortunes nor does it unite me with any secret cause for it shows me only what is unusual and remediable, and it unites me with a cause only too manifest. Nor is an art properly tragic which would move me to prevent human suffering any more than an art is properly tragic which would move me in anger against some manifest cause of human suffering. Terror and pity, finally, are aspects of sorrow comprehended in sorrow - the feeling which the privation of some good excites in us.’

Paris Notebook” (1903): ‘e tekhne mimeitai ten physin - This phrase is falsely rendered as “Art is an imitation of Nature”. Aristotle does not here define art; he says only, “Art imitates Nature” and means that the artistic process is like the natural process ... It is false to say that sculpture, for instance, is an art of repose if by that be meant that sculpture is unassociated with movement. Sculpture is associated with movement in as much as it is rhythmic; for a work of sculptural art must be surveyed according to its rhythm and this surveying is an imaginary movement in space. It is not false to say that sculpture is an art of repose in that a work of sculptural art cannot be presented as itself moving in space and remain a work of sculptural art.’ ([Signed,] ‘James A. Joyce, 27 March, 1903, Paris’; Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, NY 1959, p.145.

Paris Notebook” (1903): ‘Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an aesthetic end.’ ([Signed,] ‘James A. Joyce, 28 March, 1903, Paris’; in Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, NY 1959, p.145; ref. Herbert Gorman, James Joyce, NY: Farrar & Rhinehart 1939, pp.96-99.) [See also “Witty Aristotle”, in Notes, infra.]

Paris Notebook” (1903) [1]: ‘The soul is the first entelechy of a naturally organic thing.’ (De Anima, 1.2); ‘The intellectual soul is the form of forms.’ (De Anima, 3.8; Joyce’s translation from J. Barthelemy Sainte-Hilaire’s Psychologie d’Aristote: Traité de l’Ame, Paris: Ladrange 1840) - being the first French translation; quoted from the lost Paris Notebook in Jacques Aubert, l’Esthetique de James Joyce (Paris 1973), p.129 - as given in Herbert Gorman’s James Joyce (1939) [pp.95-96].

Note: Aubert (op. cit.) takes Ellmann and Ellsworth Mason to task for not reprinting the contents of the Paris notebooks in The Critical Writings (1957) - all the harder to understand since Ellmann quotes Joyce on sexual reproduction as a form of immortality from Gorman’s life [Gorman, 1939, pp.96-99, as infra; see further from Gorman under Commentary, supra].

Paris Notebook” (1903) [2] - quoting Aristotle: ‘The most natural act for living beings which are complete is to produce other beings like themselves and thereby to participate as far as they may in the eternal and divine.’ (Given in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1959, 1965 Edn., p.212n. [quoting Herbert Gorman, James Joyce, 1939, p.94 - though without acknowledgement). Also copied from Gorman in Jacques Aubert, l’Esthetique de James Joyce (Paris: Didier 1973); and Fran O’Rourke, Joyce’s Quotations from Aristotle: “Allwisest Stagyrite” [Joyce Studies, 21] (National Library of Ireland 2004), p.9.

Note: the original is in Aristotle’s De Anima, 415b. For further Aristotelian sentences in Joyce, see infra. For an account of the “Paris Notebook” and “Pola Notebook” - which, in reality, are the same notebook, now held in the National Library of Ireland, see under Notes, infra.

Paris Notebook (1903): ‘[D]esire urges us from rest that we may possess something but joy holds us in rest so long as we possess something, Desire, therefore, can only be excited in us by a comedy (a work of comic art) which is not sufficient in itself inasmuch as it urges us to seek something beyond itself; but a comedy (a work of comic art) which does not urge us to seek anything beyond itself excites in us the feeling of joy. All art which excites in us the feeling of joy is so far comic and according as this feeling of joy is excited by whatever is substantial or accidental in human fortunes the art is to be judged more or less excellent: and even tragic art may be said to participate in the nature of comic art so far as the possession of a work of tragic art (a tragedy) excites in us the feeling of joy. From this it may be seen that tragedy is the imperfect manner and comedy the perfect manner in art. All art, again, is static for the feelings of terror and pity on the one hand and of joy on the other hand are feelings which arrest us. It will be seen afterwards how this rest is necessary for the apprehension of the beautiful - the end of all art, tragic or comic - for this rest is the only condition under which the images, which are to [144] excite in us terror or pity or joy, can be properly presented to us and properly seen by us. For beauty is a quality of something seen but teror and pity and joy are states of mind.’ (Dated ‘13 Feb. 1903’; “Paris Notebook”, in Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, NY 1959, p.143-46; pp.144-45.)

Paris Notebook (1903) - on genres: ‘There are three conditions of art: the lyrical, the epical and the dramatic. That art is lyrical whereby the artist sets forth the image in immediate relation to himself; that art is epical whereby the artist sets forth the image in mediate relation to himself and to others; that art is dramatic whereby the artist sets forth the image in immediate relation to others.’ (Signed: ‘James A. Joyce, 6 March 1903, Paris’, in Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, NY 1959, p.143-46; p.145.)

Paris Notebook (1903): ‘Rhythm seems to be the first or formal relation of part to part in any whole or of a whole to its part or parts, or of any part to the whole of which it is a part ... Parts constitute a whole as far as they have a common end.’ (Signed ‘James A. Joyce, 25 March 1903, Paris’, in Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, NY 1959, p.143-46; p.145.) [Rhythm seems to be the first or formal relation of part to part in any whole or of a whole to its part or parts, or of any part to the whole of which it is a part. [...] Parts constitute a whole so far as they have a common end. (NLI 36,639/2/a, f.[12v]; Gorman, 98; OCPW, 103.)

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Paris Notebook [now the Paris-Pola notebook, NLI]:

The Aristotelian sentences [sententiae] that Joyce copied into his notebook in Paris were first quoted by Herbert Gorman in James Joyce (NY: Farrar & Rhinehart, 1939), 94-95ff. [as infra], and afterwards in Scholes & Kain, The Workshop of Dedalus (1965) and Jacques Aubert, l’Aesthetique de James Joyce (1977) [also in English translation]. These proved to be a small selection of the 31 sentences that Joyce transcribed - the full series of which first appeared in print in Fran O’Rourke, Joyce’s Quotations from Aristotle: “Allwisest Stagyrite” [Joyce Studies, 21] (National Library of Ireland 2004) - with notes on the sources and some philosophical commentary upon them. O’Rourke numbers them 1-31.

‘The soul is the first entelechy of any naturally organic body.’
‘The most natural act for living beings which are complete is to produce other beings like themselves and thereby to participate as far as they may in the eternal and divine.’ (De Anima, 415b.)
‘A voice is a sound which expresses something.’*
‘In the sense of touch man is far above al other animals and hence he is the most intelligent animal.’*
‘Men who have tough flesh have not much intelligence.’*
‘The flesh is the intermediary for the sense of touch.’*
‘A sense receives the form without the matter.’*
‘The sensation of particular things is always true.’*
‘That which acts is superior to that which suffers.’
‘Only when it is separate from all things is the intellect really itself and this intellect separate from all things is immortal and divine.’
‘Error is not found apart from combination.’*
‘The principle that hates is not different from the principle that loves.’
‘The intellect conceives the forms of the images presented to it.’*
‘The intellectual soul is the form of forms.’
‘The soul is in a manner all that is.’*
‘Colour is the limit of the diaphane in any determined body.’*
‘Nature always acts in the view of some end.’*
‘The end of every being is its greatest good.’*
‘The wood does not make the bed nor the bronze the statue.’*
‘One who has only opinion is, compared with one who knows, in a state of sickness with regard to truth.’*
‘The same attribute cannot at the same time and in the same connection belong and not belong to the same subject.’*
‘There cannot be a middle term between two contrary propositions.’* [O’Rourke, p.36; see note.]
‘Necessity is that by virtue of which it is impossible that a thing should be otherwise.’
‘The hand is not (absolutely) part of the body.’*
‘It is in beings that are always the same and are not susceptible of change that we must seek truth.’*
‘Movement is the actuality of the possible as possible.’*
‘Thought is the thought of thought.’*
‘God is the eternal perfect animal.’
‘The object of desire is that which appears to us beautiful ... We desire a thing because it appears to us good(?).’
‘Nature, it seems, is not a collection of unconnected episodes, like a bad tragedy.’†

*Given uniquely in Fran O’Rourke, Joyce’s Quotations from Aristotle: “Allwisest Stagyrite” [Joyce Studies, 21] (National Library of Ireland 2004). †Note variation: ‘Nature, it seems, is not a collection of unconnected episodes like a bad drama.’ (Gorman, op. cit., 1939, p.95), rendered as ‘.... like a bad tragedy’ in O’Rourke (op. cit., 2004, p.45; and see note, infra.) NB: The following is given in Gorman (op. cit., 1939) but not in O’Rourke (op. cit., 2004): ‘Speculation is above practice.’


Note: For Gorman’s remarks, see under Commentary, infra. For corresponding allusions in Ulysses [“Proteus”, Bodley Head 1965 Edn., pp.31-1, 46, 55; 564, and “Circe”, 623] - as given under “Witty Aristotle” in Notes, infra.


See also Fran O’Rourke, Joyce’s Quotations from Aristotle: “Allwisest Stagyrite” [Joyce Studies, 21] (National Library of Ireland 2004): ‘Herbert Gorman gives the following account of Joyce’s evening routine in the early months of 1903: “After his meagre dinner he would saunter across the Boulevard Saint-Michel to the Bibliothèque Saint-Michel and forget his loneliness in a perusal of Victor Cousin’s translation of Aristotle.” Ellmann simply repeats Joyce’s dependence on Cousin’s translations; Jacques Aubert’s detailed research, however, has revealed that for the most part Joyce relied upon the translations of J. Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire. Victor Cousin, a Plato specialist, translated only Books 1 and 12 of Aristotle’s Metaphysics; these were also used by Joyce - to a greater extent than is recognised by Aubert.’ (Bibl., Gorman, James Joyce, 1939, p.94; Ellmann, James Joyce, 1984, p.120 [1959 edn. p.124]; Aubert, The Aesthetics of James Joyce [Eng. trans.] (1977).


Note: O’Rourke takes Aubert to task for inaccurate quotations and the absence of references to separate volumes of the Métaphysique d’Aristote, but acknowledges his foundational work without which her study could not be written (n.20; p.50).

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Pola Notebook” (1904): ‘Pulchra sunt quae visa placent. S. Thomas Aquinas. Those things are beautiful the apprehension of which pleases. Therefore beauty is that quality of a sensible object in virtue of which its apprehension pleases or satisfies the aesthetic apptetite which desire to apprehend the most satisfying relations of the sensible. Now the act of apprehension involves at least two activities, the activity of cognition or simple perception and the activity of recognition. If the activity of simple perception is, like every other activity, itself pleasant, every sensible object that has been apprehended can be said in the first place to have been and to be in a measure beautiful; and even the most hideous object can be said to have been and to be beautiful in so far as it has been apprehended. [...; 147] Sensible objects, however, are said conventionally to be beautiful or not [...] rather by reason of the nature, degree and duration of the satisfaction resulting from the apprehension of them and it is in accordance with these latter merely that the words “beautiful” and “ugly” are used in practical aesthetic philosophy. It remains then to be said that these words indicate only a greater or lesser measure of the resultant satisfaction and that any sensible object, to which the word “ugly” is practically applied, an object, that is, the apprehension of which results in a small measure of aesthetic satisfaction, is, in so far as its apprehension results in any measure of satisfaction whatsoever, said to be for the third time beautiful ....’ [signed] ‘J. A. J. Pola, 15 XI 04’ (Pola Notebook”, in Mason & Ellmann, ed., Critical Writings, NY 1959, p.143-46; pp.147-48.)

Pola Notebook” (1904) - The Act of Apprehension: ‘It has been said that the act of apprehension involves at least two activities - the activity of cognition or simple perception and the activity of recognition. The act of apprehension, however, in its most complete form involves three activities - the third being the activity of satisfaction. By reason of the fact that these three activities are all pleasant themselves every sensible object that has been apprehended must be doubly and may be trebly beautiful. In practical aesthetic philosophy the epithets “beautiful” and “ugly” are applied with regard chiefly to the third activity, with regard, that is, to the nature, degree and duration of the satisfaction resultant from the apprehension of any sensible object and therefore any sensible object to which in practical aesthetic philosophy the epithet ‘beautiful’ is applied must be trebly beautiful, must have encountered, that is, the three activities which are involved in the act of apprehension in its most complete form. Practically then the quality of beauty in itself must involve three constituents to encounter each of these three activities ...’ (J.A.J. Pola. 16 XI 04; Critical Writings, 1966, p.48.)

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