James Joyce Style of writing

There is not much to add to the Shmoop Editorial Team. "Ulysses Writing Style." (Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 Sep. 2015.)

But I want to present a different angle to the subject. As it is put in this essay, and I would dare to say it represents 99% of the Ivory Tower idea of it, and everything boils down to, and I quote:

Joyce had this idea that what you say is absolutely inseparable from how you say it. As Samuel Beckett wrote in his essay on Joyce (he was referring to Finnegan's Wake, but the comment is also applicable to Ulysses), "form is content, content is form."

What is this, and is it really all there is to say?

Too easy....and what it really means? A form like that of Marilyn Monroe suggests what contents?

This paragraph, is the quintessential of the standard analysis you will find in countless classrooms and I quote:

"A last point on the style. Something we'll call the what factor. The point is that some of Joyce's sentences can be quite hard to process. You read the same sentence over and over again and you really have no idea what he's saying. Frustrating as these may be, you have to realize that as you struggle with the sentence, Joyce has forced you to bring much more attention to his words than you would have otherwise. Your eyes can't just move idly over the page in Ulysses. It's an active book, and as a reader you have to put in a great deal of effort in order to figure out what the sentence is saying. One way to think of these sentences is as Gordian knots, seemingly impenetrable riddles. But once you undo the knot and make the sentence go flat, you'll often find that the realization inside is pretty remarkable and probably couldn't have been communicated any other way.

If you don't believe us, here's one we'll help you along with. The lines come from "Ithaca:"

"From outrage (matrimony) to outrage (adultery) there arose nought but outrage (copulation) yet the matrimonial violator of the matrimonially violated had not been outraged by the adulterous violator of the adulterously violated." (17.292)

Later, the narrator comments on the "natural grammatical transition by inversion involving no alteration of sense" from the active to the passive voice". (17.294). Believe it or not these lines are moving toward Bloom's acceptance of Molly's affair. He has ceased to consider the situation as a perpetration, as a question of what Boylan did to Molly or what Molly did to Bloom. Instead, he has come to see it in terms of what was done to Molly, what was done to Bloom. As a result, Bloom manages not to be overcome by anger and jealousy because he can acknowledge that Molly was not outraged by what was done to her, that in fact she needed it and deeply enjoyed it. Coupled with the fact that he could not provide it for her, Bloom manages to achieve a mood of equanimity. It seems that Bloom's ability to reconcile himself to his wife's affair actually relies heavily on the grammatical form of the English language. A switch from the active to the passive voice (to an extent) allows him to accept Molly's adultery."

What factor my eyes...

If the Ulysses being read was from the time it displayed the S + M = P and if you knew that Ulysses was Joyce`s wedding present after living with Nora Barnacle for 27 years (She met Joyce on 10 June 1904 while still in Dublin, and they had their first romantic liaison on 16 June). Joyce later choose this date as the setting for his novel Ulysses, and it has come to be known and celebrated around the world as Bloomsday. If you take a look in the controversial book of Carol Loeb Shloss Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake, or, if you don`t have the time or simply does not want to do it, take a look on how the family received it and how the critics received it, adding that supposedly Joyce and Nora married out of pressure form her daughter Lucia, you will agree that if there is something which is not apparent in Ulysses is the content...

Something that could make some sense is what follows:

Chicago Tribune
by Michael Phillips January 18, 2013

“My husband wants me to go with other men so he’ll have something to write about,” the former Nora Barnacle said of her partner in life, James Joyce.

She didn’t go, as far as we know. But Joyce did, in fact, have much to write about: The reedy Irishman’s gnawing paranoia regarding his wife, among other factors, fed the seven-year creation of the novel “Ulysses,” whose protagonist, Leopold Bloom, is celebrated annually on “Bloomsday” with staged readings and other events worldwide, along with countless renewed vows to actually read the damned book — the most musical novel in existence — in its daunting entirety.

Consider the documentary “In Bed With Ulysses” a friendly nudge in that direction. It’s playing this week as part of the Siskel Film Center’s “Stranger Than Fiction” series. In a trim 80 minutes, directors Alan Adelson and Kate Taverna survey the whirling circumstances of Joyce’s creation, as the author dragged his family from country to country, mooching, making do, imagining Nora’s infidelities at every turn. Molly Bloom of the novel came straight out of Joyce’s conception of Nora — a fictional character based on a pre-fictionalized, taunting specter.

The novel, with so many obscenity charges and censorship battles ahead of it, was published in Paris by Shakespeare and Company bookstore owner Sylvia Beach in 1922. Random House won a key court battle in 1934 and suddenly Joyce, the disreputable smut-peddler, was on American bookshelves. “In Bed With Ulysses” does a brisk job of tracing the literary history. Rehearsals and a performance of a “Ulysses” staged reading, featuring actress Kathleen Chalfant (who originated “Wit” off-Broadway), provide the through-line here. And Bloom may well prove to be what “In Bed With Ulysses” says he is: as “eternal a character as Falstaff.”

If Ulysses was a fishbowl, what Joyce did was to stirrup the bottom in such a way that it is very hard to look through the water and distinguish what kind of fishes are swimming... and this is what I came to call Noise which is the novelty ingredient he introduced in his writings to tell the world what he felt about what seemed to him his reality.

Finnegans Wake

In Finnegans Wake, he blows up the fishbowl and splashes just about everything all over... As it is well known, the square is the symbol to Finnegans, as Joyce once wrote to Ms.Harriet Shaw Weaver:

‘I think I have done what I wanted to do. I am glad you like my punctuality as an engine driver. I have taken this up because I am really one of the great engineers, if not the greatest, in the world besides being a musicmaker, philosophist and heaps of other things. All the engines I know are wrong. Simplicity. I am making an engine with only one wheel. No spokes of course. The wheel is a perfect square. You see what I am driving at, don’t you? I am awfully solemn about it, mind you, so you must not think it is a silly story about the mouse and the grapes. It’s a wheel, I tell the world. And it’s all square.’

To Harriet Shaw Weaver, postcard of 16 April 1927, Letters Vol I, p250.

It becomes very apparent if you put this together with the inherent circularity of the book, which laces the last sentence with the first one.

Any discussion on Joyce`s style in Finnegans should be preceded by a thoroughly understanding of that.

To that if you add the following analysis by prof. James S.Atherton and understand why he called some of Joyces ideas on how to "square the circle" home made theology you have a very good clue on why he needed noise to come accross with his ideas.

I quote and repeat what I did there:

This is the perfect example of a carefully designed "noise" as it is the main proposition of this whole job

And last, but not least, his style was much more a characteristic of his idiosyncrasy which in turn had a lot to do with what I discuss in James Joyce Health

Finally, If there is a man on which applies Buffon's assertion it is James Joyce:"The style is the man himself"