The Art of James Joyce: Method and Design in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake

By A. Walton Litz | Go to book overview
Save to active project

III
WORK IN PROGRESS

I. EXPLORATION, 1923-26

WHEN Finnegans Wake first appeared in 1939 most readers familiar with Ulysses were confounded by what seemed to be a radical change in Joyce's style and technique. Superficially, the dense language of the Wake bore little resemblance to even the most complex sections of Ulysses. Only those who had studied the fragments of Joyce's Work in Progress published during the 1920.'s and 1930's1were prepared for the new language, realizing that it had developed gradually and inevitably out of the method of Ulysses. Today we are in a much better position to understand the affinities between Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, since the manuscript drafts and galley proofs of Joyce's last work provide complete and detailed evidence for every stage in the process of composition.2Using this material as a foundation, we shall attempt--in Henry James's words--'to remount the stream of composition' and trace the growth of Finnegans Wake.

Over a year passed after the publication of Ulysses before Joyce could muster the strength and determination to begin a new work. When the Wake was finally begun, in the spring of 1923, neither the structure nor the ultimate style of the book had been determined. Of course, Joyce had been preoccupied for years with many of the Wake's major themes and motifs. The philosophies of Giordano Bruno and Giambattista Vico, which support the Wake's structure, were familiar to Joyce from his early reading in Dublin and Trieste,3while some of the book's fundamental motifs (HCE's encounter with the Cad, the story of Buckley and the Russian General) belonged to the lore of the Joyce family.4

-76-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Art of James Joyce: Method and Design in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 152

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?