Joyce, Joyceans, and the Rhetoric of Citation

By Eloise Knowlton | Go to book overview

5
Modern Citation, Modern Historiography

Continuous history is the indispensible correlative of the founding
function of the subject: the guarantee that everything that has eluded him
may be restored to him; the certainty that time will disperse nothing
without restoring it in a reconstituted unity; the promise that one day the
subject--in the form of historical consciousness--will once again be able
to appropriate, to bring back under his sway, all those things that are kept
at a distance by difference, and find in them what might be called his
abode.
Michel Foucault, introduction to The Archaeology of Knowledge

History is a problem for modernity. As the very ground on which modernity stands, the past is crucial to the modern as a sign of what it has exceeded. That was then. This is now. Where we have arrived. We've come a long way. Modernity needs the past, but as a corpse, a dead and stable point on a map, by which modernity may chart its progress. Modernity needs the past, and a gap between itself and the past, a distance by which to measure its identity as the modern. "Modernism is," writes Perry Meisel, "in all its historical manifestations, the recurrent desire to find origins or ground despite the impossibility of ever doing so for sure" ( Meisel, 9). Surpassing the past, the modern must still find it readable, must still bear a close enough relationship to it to trace a reliable difference.

Modernity needs the past, but must also and instantly reject it, must claim so radical a break with it that its necessary connectedness becomes a strain. It is this, if anything, that marks modernity: the claim to a new age. The term itself comes from fifth-century Latin, meaning "in our time," a word by which the Christian era was bordered from the pagan. Our time, set in careful opposition to their time: the time of classicism, the ancient world, however periodized. That other but not Other time must remain

-64-

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Joyce, Joyceans, and the Rhetoric of Citation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • 1 - Punctum: An Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - Quotational Foundations 13
  • 2 - Modernity Draws the Line 15
  • 3 - Joyce's Citational Odyssey 35
  • Part 2 - Inside the Marks: Implications 49
  • 4 - Self . . . Style. Joyce . . . Author 51
  • 5 - Modern Citation, Modern Historiography 64
  • Part 3 - Beyond Quotation: Resistances 79
  • 6 - Moomb 81
  • 7 - Joyce and the Joyceans 101
  • Notes 115
  • Bibliography 125
  • Index 133
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