A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Glossing
I have stated at the start of this
whole job the following, which I will have to cope with here:
The intention of this project is
to create an axiom for deciphering the gibberish and gobbledygook that after
all became the style of James Joyce at Finnegan's Wake and by
extension, provide an affordable way to understand and figure out Joyce`s mental
process applying it to his works. Since this whole job is a Work in Progress,
and probably will remain so, the idea is to link all works of Joyce, which comprises
three novels (A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man, Ulysses and
Finnegan's Wake), plus the short story collection Dubliners.
If it is possible to say so, if this job is a theorem, the proposition is to
demonstrate by analogy that James Joyce style is just but noise in a communication
process, printed books, which bring in their inception severe limitations that
are extensively used by Joyce. It is also taken for
grant that It is non existing at the Short Stories, he sets himself up to that
in the Portrait, matures it in Ulysses and fully blossoms at Finnegan's.
So, in principle
it is meaningless to gloss Dubliners and A Portrait.
It is advisable, though, to take a look in the considerations Don Gifford does
at pages 129-131 of his notes, besides the following:
No glossing at all
is not really the case and I invoke the introduction Don Gifford has done in
Annotated (*notes for Dubliners and A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man),
but before that take a look at his obituary
and a fellow mate biography
It is very interesting to notice
that in his obituary there is no mention to the glossing above, just for the
Annotated, that made him very famous. He published the Dubliners notes
in 1967 and the Ulysses notes in 1974, although he originally had published
for Joyce; an annotation of James Joyce's Ulysses also in 1967.
At the preface of his Ulysses annotated he mentions that he started on Ulysses
back em 1962-63.
Annotated is a 643 pages on a 17 x 25 cm (7" x 10 ") format
and our Dubliners
and a Portrait annotated is a 293 pages on a 15 x 23 cm (6"
x 9") format which easily translates in Ulysses being hugely
larger. Well, on one side they both follow the size they gloss, but there is
an enormous difference in contents. While in the Dubliners he
was concerned with "trivial" things, even when framing syphilis, it
does not resemble the technique he embraced in Ulysses, when it
was not any more related to things only. If we had an annotated Finnegans
by Don Gifford or similar, it would progress to even another level,
as it is the case of the best "annotation" on Finnegans which is James
S.Atherton - the Books at the Wake, and on trying to categorize it on
a sequence trivial things -> analogies ->? I would risk deciphering, because
it is what it seems to me Prof. James S.Atherton did. Incidentally, Prof. Don
Gifford calls his notes on Dubliners a semi-encyclopedia on Joyce.
This dynamic "evolution"
(I think it should better be called growth) is basic to this job here, because
instead of focusing on its "effect" we go other way. This "effect"
is apparently projecting James Joyce as culturally infinitely powerful and widely
read and also as a kind of a prophet who claims in a very awkward way some kind
of contact with the supernatural and I would not say divine
because of the idea he passed behind the thunders in Finnegans, and
somehow he would be an intermediary with humanity and his "epiphanies",
which he delivers only for those also flying high ind the Olympus inhabited
for the widely read and also culturally very powerful, being the knowledge of
several languages "the" most significant accomplishment
to be qualified so.
Take a look at James
Joyce and The Bible
To substantiate my claims I will
quote from the (to my knowledge) best glosses James Joyce received so far:
From Prof. Gifford at his Preface
to the Second Edition of Notes
for Dubliners (viii):
"What I am trying to suggest
is that, while 'the significance of trivial things' is at the core of the literary
technique of Dubliners and A Portrait, things-significant are
not as clearly framed or marked as they are in Ulysses, and, as a consequence,
it is more difficult to strike a balance between overinterpretation and underinterprettion.
The temptation to invent significances for one's own
self-aggrandizement is very strong, as the countertemptation to return
the stories to a minimally literal base."
We should add from his original Preface
annotated in 1974 the following (xiii):
"Work on the present volume
began in 1962-63 as a continuation of the projects that resulted in the annotations
of Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist s a Young Man , published
as Notes for Joyce (NY EP Dutton, 1967). As with those earlier projects the
decision to annotate Ulysses was function of the somewhat frustrating and unrewarding
experience of trying to teach the book. I felt that far too much classroom time
was given to a parade of erudition, far
too little to the actual process of teaching - the discussion that comes to
grips with the forms and textures of the book itself."
Prof. Harry Blamires, back in 1966,
when Joyce wasn't yet object of the amount of attention he became known for,
opens up his interpretation of Ulysses, page 3 of The
New Bloomsday book saying:
"Joyce's symbolism cannot
be explained mechanically in terms of one-for-one parallels, for his correspondences
are neither exclusive nor continuously persistent. Nevertheless certain correspondences
recur throughout Ulysses, establishing themselves firmly."
He wasn't talking about the "mechanism"
of Joyce's mental process, but the "product" of it, as it is my intention
here, although somehow he had already noticed what seems to would be the most
important aspect of Joyce's works when what he calls Joyce's symbolism blows
up to the top and I quote (Introductory note xii):
"I myself have been especially
interested in the theological patterns of Ulysses created by the numerous implicit
correspondences and metaphorical overtones, and I have perhaps something new
to say in exploring them. ^But I trust that I have not allowed this interest
to become a dominant or disproportionate concern. I would not claim a paramount
validity for these theological patterns; only that they exist, alongside other
patterns, and demand recognition accordingly."
It is very interesting to observe
Marshall McLuhan remarks whe he states that Ulysses
as a whole was a black mass...
Unfortunately, despite the great
amount of books on theology and religion and literature, Prof. Harry Blamires
didn't reward us a book about these theological patterns he noticed. The
great discoverer which brought all this to light was Prof. James S.Atherton.
Prof. Don Gifford points out two
very interesting aspects of the real knowledge James Joyce might have had on
two subjects: St.Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle, and I quote (from Notes
for Dubliners and ...)pages
STEPHEN DEDALUS'S EDUCATION
Stephen's education in A Portrait
stands in troublesome contrast to contemporary educational practices. His knowledge
of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, is not based on a reading
of those authors in context or in extenso as it would be in a contemporary
university; Stephen's knowledge is based on a study of selected passages, key
points or moments, presented in textbooks which advertised themselves as Synopsis
of the Philosophy of. . . As Stephen puts it to himself, he has "only
a garner of slender sentences." The educational practice of focusing study
on memorable key quotations provided the student with a package of quotable
phrases and tended to suggest that thought was aphorism.
It also made it possible for an individual to appear remarkably learned when
he had, in fact, not read very widely.
Stephen remarks in V: A that his aesthetic is "applied Aquinas"; dramatically
this assertion is "correct" since Stephen does use a series of semi-quotations
from Aquinas as the basis of his explication. Intellectually, Stephen's assertion
is somewhat confusing since the semi-quotations from Aquinas are used without
much regard for the larger context of Aquinas's work and thought. This confusion
has led several critics to challenge Joyce's grasp of Aquinas, and while that
is an interesting issue, the pursuit of it takes the reader away from the dramatic
fabric of Stephen's discussion in V:A to focus instead on Joyce's mental processes
and on Joyce's relation to the history of ideas. The point is that Stephen is
presenting his argument in the conventional form dictated by his training; he
quotes his authority only ostensibly to develop the aesthetic latent in Aquinas
observations; actually Stephen uses the phrases from Aquinas as a point of departure
for his own aesthetic speculation because that is the "language" in
which he has been trained to present (and to cloak) his own thought. It is widely
assumed that Stephen's aesthetic theory is Joyce's and that Joyce is using Stephen
as a mouthpiece, but it can also be argued that Joyce is using Lynch as a mouthpiece
when that character remarks that Stephen's discussion has "the true scholastic
stink." Stephen's aesthetic may be Joyce's only in part, presented in a
language appropriate not to the writer who is about to turn his attention to
Ulysses but to the coinage of the "young man's" education
and to the young artist's romantic inclination, since the aesthetic is not any
more "applied Aquinas" than it is applied Shelley.
J S. Atherton has demonstrated* that all of Stephen's quotations from
Newman derive not from Newman's works but from a one Volume anthology, Characteristics
From the Writings of John Henry Newman (London, 1875). Atherton
argues that Joyce is trying to give the impression that Stephen is widely read.
But Stephen treats his bits of Newman (in the dramatic context of the novel)
as parts of a collection of phrases notable for their sounds and rhythms, not
notable for their reflection of the context in which they occur or for their
reflection of the attitudes of the writer from whom they were taken. This would
again suggest the tendency to regard learning not as a grasp of contexts but
as an acquisition of quotable moments. The dramatic impression left by Stephen's
mental behavior in the novel is not so much that of a mind that has read widely
as it is of a mind that has poked around and collected phrases in a variety
of places; some of them collected in conformity with the emphasis of his education,
as from Newman, Aquinas, Aristotle; some of them collected in out of-the-Way
places, as from minor Elizabethans, from Hugh
Miler's Testimony of the Rocks, from Luigi
Galvani, etc. But all of the phrases have been converted from their
literary and intellectual contexts to the context of Stephen's personal use.
Above and behind Stephen, Joyce on occasion manipulates the bits and pieces
as indicators of ironies and evaluations - for example, in V: A when Stephen,
the nonconformist, quotes Christian Aquinas to the Dean of Studies, the conformist,
who in turn quotes pagan Epictetus, or when Stephen follows a poetic quotation
from Shelley with a superficially apt phrase from Luigi Galvani ("enchantment
of the heart")-except that Galvani was describing
what happens to a frog's heart when a needle is inserted in its spine.
Religious instruction was a regular and required feature of the education Joyce
received in fact and which Stephen receives in fiction.
J S. Atherton
It is very interesting to figure
out from the source where Prof. Don Gifford extracted this ideas and he does
not mention exactly in the Index of his Notes
for Dubliners and ..., except that they came form Atherton, but
after some research I found in the the
Books at the Wake, page 140, the following that is excellent for a closing
on the argument why Dubliners and The Portrait do
not need glossing, although it mixes up a little too much with Finnegans::
THE LITERARY SOURCES
Augustine's Confessions is the most readable book written by any of
the Fathers of the
Church, and so it is to be expected that it will be made use of in the
Wake. He is named as 'Eccliectiastes of Hippo' (38.29), and probably
as 'Angustissirnost' (104.6), and perhaps as 'Augustanus' (532.11). His Confessions
are used in several) passages. 'He askit of the hoothed fireshield but it was
untergone into the matthued heaven. He soughed it from the luft but that bore
ne mark ne message. He luked upon the bloorningrund where ongly his corns were
growning. At last he listed bach to beckline how she pranked alone so johntily'
(223.39). The four Evangelists in the order Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have
been superimposed on a passage from the Confessions, 'Iterrogavi terram, et
dixit: "non sum"; et quaecumque in eadern sunt, idem confessa sunt.
Interrogavi mare et abyssos et reptilia animarum vivarum, et responderunt "non
sumus deus tuus; quaere super nos". Interrogavi auras flabiles, et inquit
universus aer cum incolis suis: "failitur Anaximenes; non sum deus".
Interrogavi caelurn, solem, lunam, stellas . . .' (X, vi). 'I asked the earth,
and it answered: "I am not"; and the things in it said the same. I
asked the sea and the deeps and creeping things, and they answered: "We
are not your God; seek above us." I asked the winds and the whole air with
its inhabitants answered me: "Anaximenes was deceived; I am not God."
I asked the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars. .
From the same passage comes Joyce's I will describe you in a word. Thou. (I
beg your pardon.) Homo!' (422. 10). St. Augustine wrote, '"Tu quis est?"
et respondit: homo.""Who art thou?" And I answered, "A man."'Joyce
is amused - I think - by the reflection that to address anyone by the second
person singular pronoun whether tu or thou would in many places and periods
be considered an insult almost as great as to address anyone nowadays with the
word homo. Another brief allusion to the Confessions comes in:
'Was he vector victored of victim vexed?' (490.1) which is followed by a mention
of Mr. Gottgab (who is probably St. Augustine's son, Dodatus) and is based on'.
. . . pro nobis victor et victima, et ideo victor, quia victima. . .' (X, 43).
There may also be some allusions to the eleventh book of the Confessions,
in which the nature of time is considered, during Joyce's
fable of the Ondt and the Gracehoper (pp. 414-19) but I am not sure
There are two quotations from the works of St. Augustine that have been frequently
pointed out. But I doubt if Joyce took either of them from its original source.
One is 'O felix culpa', the famous oxymoron on the fall of Adam,
which he must have been taught in school. The other is 'Securus iudicat
orbis terrarum' , which he probably took from Cardinal Newman's Apologia
Pro Vita Sua, where it occupies a commanding place-for it is quoted
in the paragraph describing the crucial point of Newman's conversion:
'Who can account for the impressions that are made on him? For a mere sentence,
the words of St. Augustine, struck me with a power which I had never felt from
any words before. To take a familiar instance, they were like "Turn
again, Whittington" of the chime; or to take a more serious one,
they were like the "Tolle,
lege; tolle, lege" of the child which converted St. Augustine
himself. "Securus iudicat orbis terrarum". By these
great words of the ancient Father, interpreting and summing up the long and
varied course of ecclesiastical history, the theory
of the Via Media was immediately pulverized.'
It is certain that Joyce had read this for he admired Newman and once wrote
to Miss Weaver (Letters, p. 366. Letter dated ' May, t935') that nobody has
ever written English prose that can be compared with that of a tiresome footling
little Anglican parson who afterwards became a prince of the only true church'.
Having read it he probably looked up the quotation in one of his dictionaries
of quotations, and then went on to read St. Augustine's Contra
Litteras Parmeniani, to which the reference books would direct him.
But the context to which the sentence belonged in Joyce's mind was still the
Dictionary of Quotations gives the meaning of the sentence 'Securus
iudicat orbis terrarum' as 'The verdict of the world is secure'. Professor
W. Y. Tindall, who in James Joyce, His Way of Interpreting the Modern Word,
notes the quotation but not its connection with Newman, points out that in its
context-in St. Augustine's works- which is about exiles, it could be translated
'The calm judgment of the world is that those men cannot be good who in any
part of the world cut themselves off from the rest of the world.' This notion
that the majority is always right cannot have met with Joyce's approval. As
he believed that the majority is always wrong, as a Berkeleian
he believed that truth is subjective, and as an exile
he went his own way. It is not surprising then that he gave careful
attention to the sentence responsible for the conversion of his favourite prose
writer and the Father-Founder of his university. As a 'Seeker of the nest of
evil in the bosom of a good word' (189.28) Joyce set to work to pulverize it
and, having quoted it correctly once, proceeds to garble it four times.
'Sigarius (sic!) vindicat urbes terrorum (sicker!)' (76.7). Securus,
according to the Latin dictionaries, has two meanings: it can be translated
as confident and certain, or it can be taken to mean negligent and lacking in
care. In Joyce's parody the meaning is harder to find. Someone seems to have
won a cigar which has made him sick; or is it the security which has sickened
him? (German, sicher; Scottish, sicker). Or is the mutation towards sicarius,
an assassin? Another parody, 'Securius indicat umbris teliurem'
(513. I), shows with what familiarity Joyce could handle Latin so as to deprive
it of its prized precision. The most obvious meaning is 'He points out more
securely the earth to the shades'. Or it could mean 'He points out the world
by means of shadows'. Echoes of this sentence recur, some of them so distorted
as to be almost unrecognizable, 'sickumed of homnis terrars' ( 14.34), and 'I
call our univalse to witness, as sicker . . .' (54.23).
When Joyce provides his own translation it is 'Securely judges orb terrestrial'
(263.27), with the comment 'Haud certo ergo' following it to say
that it is by no means certain, while the initiais indicate that it is H.C.E.
who is speaking. Issy
adds a footnote that seems to apply to Newman as a former Protestant
and to St. Augustine as a sometime gay Lothano: 'And he was a gay Lutharius
anyway' (263, note 4). The text goes on, 'But O felicitous culpability, sweet
bad cess to you for an archetypt!' This brings Joyce's other favourite quotation
from St. Augustine, O felix culpa, which-according to a list made by Niall Montgomery(Niall
Montgomery, 'The Pervigilium Phoenicis', New Mexico Quarterly, Vol.
XXIII, No. 4, Winter, 1953, p. 470-I )comes twenty times in the Wake.
It is, therefore, an important theme but I am not able to agree entirely with
any of the explanations which have been given of it.
The authors of A
Skeleton Key write of 'O felix culpa, St. Augustine's celebration
of the fall which brought the redemption through God's love. "O Phoenix
Culprit!" is its usual form in Finnegans Wake'. (A Skeleton
Key, p. 50)But Joyce was an eager practitioner of what Mallarmé
deprecated as 'the enthusiastic personal direction of the phrase'.
His distortions of words are meaningful. Why then should Original
Sin be equated with the
crime in Phoenix Park? The answer seems to me to shed considerable
light on Joyce's home-made
Original Sin in orthodox Catholic theology means the fall of Adam by which man
forfeited the privileges originally given to him and which explains the seeming
paradox of an all-perfect, all-loving, and omnipotent God creating a world in
which sorrow and pain exist. Joyce, whose besetting sin was pride, refused to
accept this explanation and placed the responsibility for original sin upon
God. He saw God as a figure very like his own father: erring, irascible, lovable;
and in Finnegans Wake he amuses himself by creating
a mock theology in which his father is enthroned as God. As Gibbon
put his footnotes into 'the decent obscurity of a learned language'
so Joyce, who accused himself under the pseudonym of Slingsby,(An
Exagmination, p.191) of 'making literature safe for obscenity',
could develop his theme in safety in the language that only he had learned.
That God should have sinned was necessary for his cyclic theories too; everything
happens ever and over again. H.C.E.'s sin is darkly spoken of but, as all the
exegists of the Wake are agreed, it includes indecent exposure,
The relevant texts in the Old Testament are Genesis 16:13 and Exodus 33:23.
It is, as Joyce says several times, a 'supreme piece of cheeks' (564.13), 'meaning
complet manly parts during alleged act of our chief mergey margey magistrates'
(495.2 8). Joyce claims in fact 'to uncover the nakedness of an unknown body
in the fields of blue' (96.30). Other aspects of the continually repeated fall
will be dealt with in a later chapter on the Sacred Books.
This is the perfect example of a
carefully designed "noise" as
it is the main proposition of this whole job