Guides through the Afterlife in The Divine Comedy and Ulysses

James Joyce acknowledged his debt to Dante (The Divine Comedy) when crafting Ulysses. The two masterpieces and the Odyssey and Aeneid that preceded them, each include the device of a guide (or guides through the afterlife). In Inferno, that guide is Virgil; in Ulysses, Mr. Leopold Bloom mentors the underripe Stephen Dedalus. Over the comingContinue reading “Guides through the Afterlife in The Divine Comedy and Ulysses”

Virgil, Bloom, and Dante’s Hillside Predators

—O, there you are, Mr Bloom said, turning from the fire. (“Calypso”)   When asked his status, Leopold Bloom might give Virgil’s answer: “Not man; man once I was” (Dante Canto i l. 67). Bloom lost his way by middle life, buffeted among three carnivorous beasts, becoming more peculiar in his ways. The catalysts forContinue reading “Virgil, Bloom, and Dante’s Hillside Predators”

Joyce’s Modernism : Gravity, Magnetism, and Desire

One’s perception,…must be motivated by being drawn toward its objects by desire, and desire is always based on an imagined response. Sheldon Brivic on Lucan’s Philosophy in “Images of the Lacanian Gaze in Ulysses” Introduction Mr. Bloom “adduce(d) to prove that his tendency was towards applied, rather than towards pure, science(.)” The focus on applied scienceContinue reading “Joyce’s Modernism : Gravity, Magnetism, and Desire”

Joyce’s Modernism: Joyce, Einstein, and Picasso- Maverick Science, Defiant Art

Joyce wrote Finnegans Wake using sixty languages. Picasso had his great epiphany when he understood the straight edges of primitive art were Euclidean geometry with non-Euclidean possibilities. Both were pan-nationalists. Einstein lived his life across half of Europe, then halfway around the globe. These three untied nationalist and imperial borders, mathematical myths, and the shacklesContinue reading “Joyce’s Modernism: Joyce, Einstein, and Picasso- Maverick Science, Defiant Art”

Joyce’s Modernism: The Gnomon of Joyce’s Dubliners

The Jesuits taught Joyce that Euclid’s influence extended beyond angles, legs, and cosines. According to Wertmeimmer’s Gestalt, Euclidean geometry creates a search for consistency (Miller 248). Rene Descartes, also Jesuit educated, balked against Aristotelian logic and set geometry on a course toward the concrete application of simple principles. Descartes’ influence may have been the reasonContinue reading “Joyce’s Modernism: The Gnomon of Joyce’s Dubliners”

Does Wilder’s “Skin of Our Teeth ” Plagiarize Finnegans Wake?

Last Sunday, I attended Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth at PlayMakers Repertory Company at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Adam Versényi, the company’s dramaturg and Dr. Sarah Stroud, Director of the Parr Center for Ethics facilitated a discussion that followed. Questions solicited, I asked Ethicist Stroud if she cared to comment on accusations of plagiarismContinue reading “Does Wilder’s “Skin of Our Teeth ” Plagiarize Finnegans Wake?”

(D) about “Grace”: A Comparison of the Workings of Grace in James Joyce and Flannery O’Connor

Mention in the diary of Stanislaus Joyce pins the attendance of John S. Joyce at a Gardiner Street retreat at Saint Francis on September 29, 1904. If a “gentleman” were to suffer a moral slip, he might tumble headfirst into the muck of Dublin’s Inferno. He might bite off a piece of his necessary tea-tasting tongueContinue reading “(D) about “Grace”: A Comparison of the Workings of Grace in James Joyce and Flannery O’Connor”

James Joyce’s Modernism

The works of James Joyce will be the focus of these essays. In an unchronological order, the first review will be of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) proceeding rather than following Dubliners (1914). A Portrait presents first because it is the best vehicle to showcase the subjective narrator’s voice. Ulysses will conclude the series. The discussions will considerContinue reading “James Joyce’s Modernism”

Joyce’s Modernism: The Rise of Uncertainty in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

This essay is the first of three on the effects of scientific and mathematical discoveries on the evolution of Modernist Literature. The works of James Joyce will be the focus of these essays. In an unchronological order, the first review will be of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) proceeding rather than following Dubliners (1914). AContinue reading “Joyce’s Modernism: The Rise of Uncertainty in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”

A “Millgrimage” to Milledgeville: On Andalusia’s Hallowed Ground, 29 September 2021

Up the gravel road and to the right, a white house mushrooms on high ground. The main building is unmistakable to anyone who has seen the Kodak of Flannery navigating on aluminum “sticks” down the brick stairs to admire that single peacock. Marked by a sign leaning against an oak tree, the house looks deceptivelyContinue reading “A “Millgrimage” to Milledgeville: On Andalusia’s Hallowed Ground, 29 September 2021″