THE WHOLE JOURNEY
No writer ever revised more carefully or used his rough notes and sketches more economically than Joyce. Each of his works grows out of its predecessor and prepares the way for a succeeding work already visualized in tentative form. There is a sense in which we can say that James Joyce wrote only one book, a continuous effort to endow his own life and the Dublin of his youth with universal significance. T. S. Eliot was one of the first to recognize this continuity, and in his foreword to the catalogue of the 1949 Joyce exhibition in Paris he made a plea for criticism based on a total assessment of Joyce's achievement:
Joyce's writings form a whole; we can neither reject the early work as stages, of no intrinsic interest, of his progress towards the latter, nor reject the later work as the outcome of decline. As with Shakespeare, his later work must be understood through the earlier, and the first through the last; it is the whole journey, not any one stage of it, that assures him his place among the great.1
Eliot's insistence on the unity of Joyce's art has been supported by our examination of the manner in which Ulysses and Finnegans Wake developed. Earlier chapters have shown that the methods Joyce employed in the last stages of his 'journey'--the techniques which shaped Ulysses and the Wake--evolved from the formal aims of his previous fiction. It remains to take some measure of the relationship between these final methods and the visions of reality found in his last two works.
For a variety of personal and environmental reasons Joyce ceased during his later years to assimilate significant new experiences into his artistic imagination.2 With all their complexity and