Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 10 items for

  • Author or Editor: Gerald Gillespie x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search

Abstract  

A half century ago Atherton started cataloguing the plethora of books in the Wake, and fifteen years ago Hogan concentrated on Milton’s work among those furnishing more potent, complex, and extended allusions. Not since Rabelais’s, Cervantes’s, Sterne’s, and Goethe’s fictions, which demonstrated how to journey through vast realms of culture and paradigmatic literature, has any author acted with such sovereign freedom as Joyce to align a convergence of all books and language over the ages with his own search for wisdom. The fact that Joyce achieved a very personal synthesis out of the referential immensity adduced in the Wake should not deter us from recognizing certain deep patterns which qualify Joyce as a renewer of important tradition. The patterns of concern here as encountered in Joyce finally carry us over into experiencing a kind of “modern mysticism” that is not exclusively apophatic but also simultaneously directly affirmative, although not explainable in any routine discursive fashion. Joyce’s idea of a divine creative principle that appears to “fall” in the course of bringing forth its own purpose in a “creation” has an honorable place in theological, cosmogonic, and mystical thought in the European tradition. A number of Renaissance savants and poets believed that various paradigms embodied in ancient myth, including the biblical story of Adam and Eve, reflected this proposition. Several streams feeding from the Renaissance over Romanticism into Modernism and interesting to Joyce (e.g., early anthropological myth analysis, cabala, theosophy, etc.) kept alive the poetic vocabulary by which to express an encounter with the baffling puzzle of Being as a drama played out by the human race, an evolutionary drama with both historical and psychological dimensions. Joyce’s contemporary, Thomas Mann, while quite different in many respects, shares Joyce’s perception that a parallelism exists between the “fall” of Being or Spirit, the “agon” of human development, and the problem of a seemingly absurd mind/body division. Although keen interest in poets like Blake, the heroic power of the imagination, and the Luciferic theme is prominent in Ulysses, a movement occurs in the Wake away from the Bildungsroman structure toward a more encompassing visionary sense of rebirth. In the Wake Joyce “revises” the Miltonic version of the fall (as well as the Dantesque and others) in a way consonant with Goethe’s revision of the meaning of the recorded three millennia of human striving in Faust II; the Goethean coda anticipates Joyce in “fulfilling” the inner tendency which surfaces from the biblical account of the family romance onward and appears instantiated repeatedly in the world theater/history. Joyce’s version abandons the apocalyptic model of a once-only creation and privileges the alternate model of an eternal or permanent universe, but according to Joyce the repeatable story of the “fortunate fall” eventuates in a requisite salvational insight suited to the Viconian “eternal return”: in the words of the mother, “first we feel, then we fall”. Joyce reinvents the basic sacraments poetically to reflect the ultimate union of creator and creation, and the Wake’s famous coda confirms the sacred mission and destiny of love’s “body” (which is also by analogy the text’s body or embodiment).

Restricted access

Abstract  

The story of the Romanticism sub-series of the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages illustrates the need for collaborative team efforts such as have actually been promoted by the International Comparative Literature Association to cope more adequately with the complexities of transnational cultural constellations over time. From its inception, the Romanticism sub-series has exhibited a spirit of pragmatic engagement, a will to proceed from concrete examples of literary works and cultural discourses, rather than to impose supposed norms based on pre-agreed paradigms or to privilege today’s theorizing over the past. The cooperation among some 100 researchers from some two dozen countries has yielded an intellectually open picture of how a multifaceted heritage gathers momentum and is blended into the flow of a larger cultural poly-system.

Restricted access

Abstract  

The idea of the noble savage is as early as Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave (1688), a novel by Aphra Behn, or Friday, the cannibal in Robinson Crusoe(1719).In Chateaubriand's major novels with New World settings it mirrors European yearning for naivet and purity. In Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales both the “white savage” Natty Bumppo and his friend, the Indian chief, Chingachgook are destined to be outmoded by historical forces. An early novel, Typee: A Peep at Polyneasian Life during a Four Months' Residence in a Valley of the Marquesas, by Herman Melville discloses that the Typee way of life is not very conducive to upholding the European myth of the noble savage. Robert Louis Stevenson's relative success in falling into the embrace of the South Seas when he settled in Samoa is contrasted with Paul Gauguin's contradictory search for Rousseauesque refuge in a primitive culture and his yearning for recognition as an artist by European contemporaries. The idea of the noble savage has been a productive misprision or cultural lie in many respects but today its lingering clich supports a superannuated hord of lesser Gauguins.

Restricted access
Restricted access
Restricted access