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Renascent Joyce

Daniel Ferrer

Publication Year: 2013

Revival, reinvention, and regeneration: the concept of renascence pervades Joyce’s work through the inescapable presence of his literary forebears. By persistently reexamining tradition, reinterpreting his literary heritage in light of the present, and translating and re-translating from one system of signs to another, Joyce exhibits the spirit of the greatest of Renaissance writers and artists.

In fact, his writing derives some of its most important characteristics from Renaissance authors, as this collection of essays shows. Though critical work has often focused on Joyce's relationship to medieval thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Dante, Renascent Joyce examines Joyce's connection to the Renaissance in such figures as Shakespeare, Rabelais, and Bruno.

Joyce's own writing can itself be viewed through the rubric of renascence with the tools of genetic criticism and the many insights afforded by the translation process. Several essays in this volume examine this broader idea, investigating the rebirth and reinterpretation of Joyce's texts. Topics include literary historiography, Joyce's early twentieth-century French cultural contexts, and the French translation of Ulysses. Attentive to the current state of Joyce studies, the writers of these extensively researched essays investigate the Renaissance spirit in Joyce to offer a volume at once historically informed and innovative.

Published by: University Press of Florida


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pp. 1-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

In their admirable introduction to this volume, Messrs. Ferrer, Slote, and Topia lay out the broadest definition of Renaissance writing “immarginable” for the enterprise at hand. As the essays progress, the question becomes one of writing across periods: how the modern engages with the Renaissance, ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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pp. 1-6

Reading Joyce through the lens of the Renaissance may appear to be a paradox, considering his deep affinities with the medieval. Joyce himself often characterized his work as medieval, and in a discussion with Arthur Power he championed the “emotional fecundity” of the Middle Ages (Power 110), adding: ...

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1. “Another victory like that and we are done for”: Return and Repression of a Greek Spirit in Modernism

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pp. 7-15

The term “Renaissance” is commonly understood to mean the renaissance of Hellenism. But the possibility of bringing back the spirit of a period presupposes a preliminary work of periodization, a process of cutting up, of incision and extraction. And to achieve this end, it is necessary, in turn, to minimize, ...

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2. Textual Atomism in Finnegans Wake

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pp. 16-24

Giordano Bruno of Nola is mentioned over a hundred times in Finnegans Wake, under various denominations: “Nolan” (50.05), “Father San Browne” (50.18), “Padre Don Bruno” (50.19), “Fratomistor Nawlanmore and Brawne” (50.22), “O’Breen” (56.32), “Nolans Brumans” (93.01), “brulobrulo” (117.12), ...

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3. James Joyce and Giordano Bruno: An “Immarginable” and Interdisciplinary Dialogue

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pp. 25-37

Joyce’s interdisciplinary and “intermedial” method famously relies on a mixture of literary genres and kinds of narratives, as well as on a concoction of techniques derived from various artistic disciplines, such as painting, sculpture, music, and cinema. As in Ulysses, where a different art or discourse was used to shape each chapter, ...

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4. The Dream and the Wake: An Alchemy of Words and Scenes in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Finnegans Wake

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pp. 38-56

James Joyce’s interest in François Rabelais is well documented. But in his 1959 study of Joyce’s sources, The Books at the Wake, James Atherton makes no mention of one of Rabelais’ own principal sources of inspiration, the 1499 erotic dream novel, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.1 ...

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5. “As Great Shapesphere puns it”: The Name Game in Shakespeare and Joyce

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pp. 57-68

Thanks to Vincent Cheng’s Shakespeare and Joyce: A Study of “Finnegans Wake” (1984) as well as to Adeline Glasheen’s remark that “Shakespeare (man, works) is the matrix of FW” and that “FW is about Shakespeare” (260), the reader’s vague feeling that Shakespeare and his oeuvre lie at the core of the proliferating text ...

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6. “Marked you that?”: Stephen Dedalus, Pierrot

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pp. 69-80

Citing the now phantom Hamlet lectures, Joyce incorporated his expounding of Shakespeare to docile Trieste into the fragments of Giacomo Joyce: “Hamlet, quoth I, who is most courteous to gentle and simple is rude only to Polonius. Perhaps, an embittered idealist, he can see in the parents of his beloved only grotesque attempts ...

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7. The Ass Dreams of Shaun’s Bottomless Heart: Shakespeare and the Dream-Work in Finnegans Wake 403–407

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pp. 81-89

As Book III of Finnegans Wake begins, it is midnight and the atmosphere of Joyce’s narrative is especially somnolent: “Hark! . . . Pedwar pemp foify tray (it must be) twelve. And low stole o’er the stillness the heartbeats of sleep” (FW 403.1–5). We soon hear the voice of a dreamer, one who seems to be a protagonist in the dream of another, ...

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8. “The Imprevidibility of the Future”: On Joycean Prophecy

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pp. 90-105

More than fifty years ago, Richard Ellmann characterized Joyce’s relationship to his readers and scholars as one of enduring untimeliness: “We are still learning to be James Joyce’s contemporaries, to understand our interpreter” (JJ 1). Ellmann’s was a Joyce so advanced as to have outrun not only his own contemporaries ...

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9. Scribbling into Eternity: Paris, Proust, “Proteus”

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pp. 106-121

“Won’t | you come | to San- | dymount, | Ma | deline | the mare?” (U 3.21–22). These catalectic “iambs marching” sound in poet Stephen Dedalus’s mind as his own jambs march the strand in “Proteus.”1 Gifford and Seidman gloss this floating apostrophe, this idle-seeming invitation qua prosodic example, ...

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10. Joyce’s Hand in the First French Translation of Ulysses

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pp. 122-141

Since it was published in 1929, seven years after the launch of the famous original, French readers of Ulysse have been familiar with credits on the cover of the first French translation: “Traduit de l’anglais par M. Auguste Morel, assisté par M. Stuart Gilbert. Traduction entièrement revue par M. Valery Larbaud avec la collaboration ...

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11. Joyce’s Dictionnaire des Idiotismes Reçus: Comparing the 1929 and 2004 Translations of “Eumaeus”

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pp. 142-152

It’s a paradox well known in translation studies that translations date quickly, every generation or so, while originals only age, and very slowly, often becoming better with their years. André Topia asks why we have this “double standard.” If the colloquial language in a translation of Ulysses irritates us with its eighty-year-old idioms, ...

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List of Contributors

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pp. 153-156

Philippe Birgy is a professor with the university of Toulouse-Le-Mirail, France, where he teaches twentieth-century literature at the department of English. He is the author of Une terrible beauté: Les modernistes anglais à l’épreuve de la critique girardienne, an application of René Girard’s anthropological method to the works of Eliot, Joyce, Pound, and Woolf, ...


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pp. 157-160

E-ISBN-13: 9780813042671
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813042459

Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2013