Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake

Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake

Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake

Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake

Synopsis

Boldrini's study examines how the literary and linguistic theories of Dante's Divine Comedy helped shape the radical narrative techniques of Joyce's last novel Finnegans Wake. Through detailed parallel readings, she explores a range of connections: issues such as the question of Babel, literary creation as excrement, the complex relations among literary, geometrical and female forms. This book will appeal to scholars and students interested in Joyce, Dante, and questions of literary relations.

Excerpt

L'acqua ch'io prendo gia mai non si corse;

Voialtri pochi che drizzaste il collo per tempo al pan de li angeli, del quale vivesi qui ma non sen vien satollo, metter potete ben per Falto sale vostro navigio, servando mio solco dinanzi a l'acqua che ritorna equale.

(Par II, 7; 10-15)

Skim over Through Hell with the Papes (mostly boys) by the divine comic Denti Alligator

(FW 440.05 -6)

In canto xxv of the Inferno, abandoning his (often only nominal) deference towards the audoritates of the literary past and the mask of the unworthy follower ('io non Enea, io non Paulo sono'; 'I am not Aeneas, I am not Paul', Infn, 32), Dante tells of the complex and terrible metamorphoses to which the thieves are subjected, and underscores his poetic invention by bidding Lucan and Ovid be silent, because the changes they described in their works could not stand comparison with what Dante is now witnessing–or, as we are to understand, with his own superior inventiveness:

Taccia Lucano omai la dov 'e' tocca del misero Sabello e di Nasidio, e attenda a udir quel ch'or si scocca. Taccia di Cadmo e d'Aretusa Ovidio, che se quello in serpente e quella in fonte converte poetando, io non Io 'nvidio … (Infxxv, 94-9)

(Let Lucan now be silent, where he tells of the wretched Sabellus and of Nasidius, and let him wait to hear what is now being fired. Of Cadmus and Arethusa let Ovid be silent, for if he converts by his poetry the one into a serpent and the other into a fountain, I do not envy him …) . . .

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