linebaugh

Well-known member
Pythagoras, in this eighteenth-century fossil city, is only just out of Mr. Bloom's reach: Dublin lower-middle-class conversation is strikingly aware, as it picks its words, of a cultural heritage. That is why the clichés he listened to it picks its words, of a cultural heritage. That is why the clichés he listened to didn't drive Joyce to despair as those of Rouen and Paris drove -11- Flaubert. In Dublin words, even dead words, are consciously used. Parasites and travelling salesmen drop polysyllables into place with an air. A tea-taster in Ulysses produces "trenchant" and "retrospective", U90/83, at every opportunity, U237/228. "That takes the solitary, unique, and if I may so call it, recherché+00E9 biscuit", cries a barfly to a lecher, D59/53. "Very cool and mollifying", says Uncle Charles of his outrageous tobacco, conceding that to smoke it in the outhouse will be "more salubrious", P65/67. Joyce was hardly more word-conscious than his characters were. So the usual criterion of style, that it disappear like glass before the reality of the subject, doesn't apply to his pages. The language of Dublin is the subject; his books are about words, the complexity is there, in the way people talk, and Joyce copes with it by making it impossible for us to ignore the word on the page. The distinction and falseness of Dublin are alike comprehended in its musty concern for the simulacrum, the metaphor, the word "hung with pleasing wraiths of former masteries", 1 the thing not seen but refracted "through the prism of a language manycoloured and richly storied", P194/190. So Joyce embalms in cadences what Dublin embalms in music, and entraps in the amber of learned multiple puns the futile vigour which the Dubliner, gazing into his peat-coloured Guinness, must generate in language because its counterpart has slipped out of life

From Hugh Kenner's Dublin's Joyce
 

version

Well-known member
Joyce immediately came to mind when Webster told the judge in Blood Meridian "But no man can put all the world in a book".
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
Have you finished it yet liney? What did you think of the q and a chapter??
ya. I think that might have been my favorite. Did everything I enjoyed about the book- the obtuse perspective, beautiful prose, lists, dumb jokes, cosmic pontificating
 

version

Well-known member
Keep running into Gnosticism atm ('Blood Meridian', 'Valis') and it got me thinking 'Ulysses' being so concerned with the material world means you can view Joyce as an archon, doubly so when you consider his poor eyesight and PKD's talk of "the blind god" deluded into thinking he's the true creator.
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
I think stephen could be called a gnostic. tortured by the material world, hoarding knowledge as a means to liberate his true immaterial essence. But the book as a whole, and Joyce I would say, are anti-gnostic. This is why Bloom is the protagonist. stephen embodies the folly in that sort of idealism. Joyce doesn't seem interested in getting past the object to some higher plane behind it but rather being in the world of objects where the role of the artist is to arrange them in a way that reveals them in their creative power past layers of simulacra. a kind of ultra realism seen with the Imagists.
 
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linebaugh

Well-known member
I just read a good bit in the Kenner book about Bloom's love of kidneys that's relevant here.

In the proteus chapter Stephen laments metempsychosis with nautical metaphor. "God becomes man becomes fish becomes barnacle goose becomes featherbed mountain. Dead breathes I living breathe, tread dead dust, devour a urinous offal from all dead"

In the next section we have Bloom eating kidney's and Joyce makes the connection with Stephens thoughts doubly clear by telling us that not only does bloom like the urine producing organ but that he enjoys them for the 'fine tang of a faintly scented urine.' The sea can be identified with the whole of matter, Bloom's relationship with it healthier than Stephens contemptuous stance.
 
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version

Well-known member
I think stephen could be called a gnostic. tortured by the material world, hoarding knowledge as a means to liberate his true immaterial essence. But the book as a whole, and Joyce I would say, are anti-gnostic. This is why Bloom is the protagonist. stephen embodies the folly in that sort of idealism. Joyce doesn't seem interested in getting past the object to some higher plane behind it but rather being in the world of objects where the role of the artist is to arrange them in a way that reveals them in their creative power past layers of simulacra. a kind of ultra realism seen with the Imagists.
Yeah, exactly. Joyce is totally committed to the fallen world. He's even tried to create a perfect copy in his book, hence an archon.
 
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