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in Dublin, where he excelled as a student at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, then at University College, Dublin. In his early twenties he emigrated permanently to continental Europe, living in Trieste, Paris and Zürich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not extend beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Around this time Joyce was attacked by a dog, which engendered in him a lifelong cynophobia. He also suffered from keraunophobia, as his deeply religious aunt had described thunderstorms to him as a sign of God's wrath. James Joyce began his education at Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school near Clane in County Kildare, which he entered in 1888 but had to leave in 1892 when his father could no longer pay the fees. After graduating from UCD in 1903, Joyce left for Paris to study medicine, but he soon abandoned this after finding the technical lectures in French too difficult. He stayed on for a few months, appealing for finance his family could ill afford and reading late in the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève.. Fearing for her son's impiety, his mother tried unsuccessfully to get Joyce to make his confession and to take communion. She finally passed into a coma and died on 13 August, James and Stanislaus having refused to kneel with other members of the family praying at her bedside. On 7 January 1904 he attempted to publish A Portrait of the Artist, an essay-story dealing with aesthetics, only to have it rejected from the free-thinking magazine Dana. He decided, on his twenty-second birthday, to revise the story into a novel he called Stephen Hero. It was a fictional rendering of Joyce's youth, but he eventually grew frustrated with its direction and abandoned this work. It was never published in this form, but years later, in Trieste, Joyce completely rewrote it as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Joyce remained in Dublin for some time longer, drinking heavily. After one of these drinking binges, he got into a fight over a misunderstanding with a man in Phoenix Park; he was picked up and dusted off by a minor acquaintance of his father's, Alfred H. Hunter, who brought him into his home to tend to his injuries.  Hunter was rumored to be a Jew and to have an unfaithful wife, and would serve as
one of the models for Leopold Bloom, the main protagonist of Ulysses. He took up with medical student Oliver St John Gogarty, who formed the basis for the character Buck Mulligan in Ulysses. After staying in Gogarty's Martello Tower for six nights he left in the middle of the night following an altercation which involved Gogarty shooting a pistol at some pans hanging directly over Joyce's bed.  He walked all the way back to Dublin to stay with relatives for the night, and sent a friend to the tower the next day to pack his trunk. Shortly thereafter he eloped to the continent with Nora. Later that year Nora gave birth to their first child, George. Joyce then managed to talk his brother, Stanislaus, into joining him in Trieste, and secured him a position teaching at the school. James's ostensible reasons were desire for Stanislaus's company and the hope of offering him a more interesting life than that of his simple clerking job in Dublin. With the chronic wanderlust of James's early years, he became frustrated with life in Trieste and moved to Rome in late 1906, having secured employment in a bank. He intensely disliked Rome, and moved back to Trieste in early 1907. His daughter Lucia was born in the summer of the same year.
Joyce returned to Dublin in mid-1909 with George, in order to visit his father and work on getting Dubliners published. He visited Nora's family in Galway, meeting them for the first time (a successful visit, to his relief). While preparing to return to Trieste he decided to take one of his sisters, Eva, back with him to help Nora run the home. He spent only a month in Trieste before returning to Dublin, this time as a representative of some cinema owners hoping to set up a regular cinema in Dublin. Joyce returned to Dublin again briefly in mid-1912 during his years-long fight with his Dublin publisher, George Roberts, over the publication of Dubliners. His trip was once again fruitless, and on his return he wrote the poem "Gas from a Burner" as an invective against Roberts. After this trip, he never again came closer to Dublin than London, despite many pleas from his father and invitations from fellow Irish writer William Butler Yeats. One of his students in Trieste was Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo. They met in 1907 and became lasting friends and mutual critics. Schmitz was a Catholic of Jewish origin and became the primary model for Leopold Bloom; most of the details about the Jewish faith in Ulysses came from Schmitz's responses to queries from Joyce.
Dubliners Joyce's Irish experiences constitute an essential element of his writings, and provide all of the settings for his fiction and much of its subject matter. His early volume of short stories, Dubliners, is a penetrating analysis of the stagnation and paralysis of Dublin society. The stories incorporate epiphanies, a word used particularly by Joyce, by which he meant a sudden consciousness of the "soul" of a thing. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a nearly complete rewrite of the abandoned novel Stephen Hero. Joyce attempted to burn the original manuscript in a fit of rage during an argument with Nora, though to his subsequent relief it was rescued by his sister. A Künstlerroman, Portrait is a heavily autobiographical coming-of-age novel depicting the childhood and adolescence of protagonist Stephen Dedalus and his gradual growth into artistic self-consciousness. Some hints of the techniques Joyce frequently employed in later works, such as stream of consciousness, interior monologue, and references to a character's psychic reality rather than to his external surroundings, are evident throughout this novel. and John Gielgud. Exiles and poetry Despite early interest in the theatre, Joyce published only one play, Exiles, begun shortly after the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and published in 1918. A study of a husband and wife relationship, the play looks back to The Dead (the final story in Dubliners) and forward to Ulysses, which Joyce began around the time of the play's composition. Joyce also published a number of books of poetry. His first mature published work was the satirical broadside "The Holy Office" (1904), in which he proclaimed himself to be the superior of many prominent members of the Celtic revival. His first full-length poetry collection Chamber Music (referring, Joyce explained, to the sound of urine hitting the side of a chamber pot) consisted of 36 short lyrics. This publication led to his inclusion in the Imagist Anthology, edited by Ezra Pound, who was a champion of Joyce's work. Other poetry Joyce published in his lifetime includes "Gas From A Burner" (1912), Pomes Penyeach (1927) and "Ecce Puer" (written in 1932 to mark the birth of his grandson and the recent death of his father). It was published by the Black Sun Press in Collected Poems (1936).
Ulysses As he was completing work on Dubliners in 1906, Joyce considered adding another story featuring a Jewish advertising canvasser called Leopold Bloom under the title Ulysses. Although he did not pursue the idea further at the time, he eventually commenced work on a novel using both the title and basic premise in 1914. The writing was completed in October, 1921. Three more months were devoted to working on the proofs of the book before Joyce halted work shortly before his self-imposed deadline, his 40th birthday (2 February 1922). Thanks to Ezra Pound, serial publication of the novel in the magazine The Little Review began in 1918. This magazine was edited by Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, with the backing of John Quinn, a New York attorney with an interest in contemporary experimental art and literature. Unfortunately, this publication encountered censorship problems in the United States; serialization was halted in 1920 when the editors were convicted of publishing obscenity. The novel was not published in the United States until 1933. At least partly because of this controversy, Joyce found it difficult to get a publisher to accept the book, but it was published in 1922 by Sylvia Beach from her well-known Rive Gauche bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. An English edition published the same year by Joyce's patron, Harriet Shaw Weaver, ran into further difficulties with the United States authorities, and 500 copies that were shipped to the States were seized and possibly destroyed. The following year, John Rodker produced a print run of 500 more intended to replace the missing copies, but these were burned by English customs at Folkestone. A further consequence of the novel's ambiguous legal status as a banned book was that a number of "bootleg" versions appeared, most notably a number of pirate versions from the publisher Samuel Roth. In 1928, a court injunction against Roth was obtained and he ceased publication. With the appearance of both Ulysses and T. S. Eliot's poem, The Waste Land, 1922 was a key year in the history of English-language literary modernism. In Ulysses, Joyce employs stream of consciousness, parody, jokes, and virtually every other established literary technique to present his characters. The action of the novel, which takes place in a single day, 16 June 1904, sets the characters and incidents of the Odyssey of Homer in modern Dublin and represents Odysseus (Ulysses), Penelope and Telemachus in the characters of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, parodically contrasted with their lofty models. The book explores various areas of Dublin life, dwelling on its squalor and monotony.
Nevertheless, the book is also an affectionately detailed study of the city, and Joyce claimed that if Dublin were to be destroyed in some catastrophe it could be rebuilt, brick by brick, using his work as a model. In order to achieve this level of accuracy, Joyce used the 1904 edition of Thom's Directory—a work that listed the owners and/or tenants of every residential and commercial property in the city. He also bombarded friends still living there with requests for information and clarification. The book consists of 18 chapters, each covering roughly one hour of the day, beginning around 8 a.m. and ending some time after 2 a.m. the following morning. Each chapter employs its own literary style, and parodies a specific episode in Homer's Odyssey. Furthermore, each chapter is associated with a specific colour, art or science, and bodily organ. This combination of kaleidoscopic writing with an extreme formal schematic structure renders the book a major contribution to the development of 20th-century modernist literature. The use of classical mythology as an organizing framework, the near-obsessive focus on external detail, and the occurrence of significant action within the minds of characters have also contributed to the development of literary modernism. Nevertheless, Joyce complained that, "I may have oversystematised Ulysses," and played down the mythic correspondences by eliminating the chapter titles that had been taken from Homer. Finnegans Wake Having completed work on Ulysses, Joyce was so exhausted that he did not write a line of prose for a year. On 10 March 1923 he informed a patron, Harriet Weaver: "Yesterday I wrote two pages—the first I have since the final Yes of Ulysses. Having found a pen, with some difficulty I copied them out in a large handwriting on a double sheet of foolscap so that I could read them. Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio, the Italians say. The wolf may lose his skin but not his vice or the leopard cannot change his spots". Thus was born a text that became known, first, as Work in Progress and later Finnegans Wake. By 1926 Joyce had completed the first two parts of the book. In that year, he met Eugene and Maria Jolas who offered to serialise the book in their magazine transition. For the next few years, Joyce worked rapidly on the new book, but in the 1930s, progress slowed considerably. This was due to a number of factors, including the death of his father in 1931, concern over the mental health of his daughter Lucia and his own health problems, including failing eyesight. Much of the work was done with the assistance of younger admirers, including Samuel
Beckett. For some years, Joyce nursed the eccentric plan of turning over the book to his friend James Stephens to complete, on the grounds that Stephens was born in the same hospital as Joyce exactly one week later, and shared the first name of both Joyce and of Joyce's fictional alter-ego (this is one example of Joyce's numerous superstitions). Reaction to the work was mixed, including negative comment from early supporters of Joyce's work, such as Pound and the author's brother Stanislaus Joyce. In order to counteract this hostile reception, a book of essays by supporters of the new work, including Beckett, William Carlos Williams and others was organised and published in 1929 under the title Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress. At his 47th birthday party at the Jolases' home, Joyce revealed the final title of the work and Finnegans Wake was published in book form on 4 May 1939. Later, further negative comments surfaced from doctor and author Hervey Cleckley, who questioned the significance others had placed on the work. In his book, The Mask of Sanity, Hervey Cleckley, M.D. refers to Finnegans Wake as "a 628-page collection of erudite gibberish indistinguishable to most people from the familiar word salad produced by hebephrenic patients on the back wards of any state hospital." Joyce's method of stream of consciousness, literary allusions and free dream associations was pushed to the limit in Finnegans Wake, which abandoned all conventions of plot and character construction and is written in a peculiar and obscure language, based mainly on complex multi-level puns. This approach is similar to, but far more extensive than that used by Lewis Carroll in Jabberwocky. This has led many readers and critics to apply Joyce's oft-quoted description in the Wake of Ulysses as his "usylessly unreadable Blue Book of Eccles" to the Wake itself. However, readers have been able to reach a consensus about the central cast of characters and general plot. Much of the wordplay in the book stems from the use of multilingual puns which draw on a wide range of languages. The role played by Beckett and other assistants included collating words from these languages on cards for Joyce to use and, as Joyce's eyesight worsened, of writing the text from the author's dictation. The view of history propounded in this text is very strongly influenced by Giambattista Vico, and the metaphysics of Giordano Bruno of Nola are important to the interplay of the "characters". Vico propounded a cyclical view of history, in which civilisation rose from chaos, passed through theocratic, aristocratic, and democratic phases, and then lapsed back into chaos. The most obvious example of
the influence of Vico's cyclical theory of history is to be found in the opening and closing words of the book. Finnegans Wake opens with the words "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs." ("vicus" is a pun on Vico) and ends "A way a lone a last a loved a long the". In other words, the book ends with the beginning of a sentence and begins with the end of the same sentence, turning the book into one great cycle.  Indeed, Joyce said that the ideal reader of the Wake would suffer from "ideal insomnia" and, on completing the book, would turn to page one and start again, and so on in an endless cycle of reading. Legacy Joyce's work has been subject to intense scrutiny by scholars of all types. He has also been an important influence on writers and scholars as diverse as Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Flann O'Brien, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Salman Rushdie, Robert Anton Wilson, John Updike, and Joseph Campbell. Ulysses has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire [Modernist] movement". Some scholars, most notably Vladimir Nabokov, have mixed feelings on his work, often championing some of his fiction while condemning other works. In Nabokov's opinion, Ulysses was brilliant, Finnegans Wake horrible—an attitude Jorge Luis Borges shared. In recent years, literary theory has embraced Joyce's innovation and ambition. Joyce's influence is also evident in fields other than literature. The phrase "Three Quarks for Muster Mark" in Joyce's Finnegans Wake is often called the source of the physicists' word "quark", the name of one of the main kinds of elementary particles, proposed by the physicist Murray Gell-Mann. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida has written a book on the use of language in Ulysses, and the American philosopher Donald Davidson has written similarly on Finnegans Wake in comparison with Lewis Carroll. Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan used Joyce's writings to explain his concept of the sinthome. According to Lacan, Joyce's writing is the supplementary cord which kept Joyce from psychosis. Works
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Chamber Music (1907, poems) Dubliners (1914, short-story collection) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916, novel)
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Exiles (1918, play) Ulysses (1922, novel) Pomes Penyeach (1927, poems) Collected Poems (1936, poems) Finnegans Wake (1939, novel)
Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written at the time when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character has a special moment of self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by children as protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity. The stories
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The Sisters – After the priest Father Flynn dies, a young boy who was close to him and his family deal with it only superficially. An Encounter – Two schoolboys playing truant encounter an elderly man. Araby – A boy falls in love with the sister of his friend, but fails in his quest to buy her a worthy gift from the Araby bazaar. Eveline – A young woman abandons her plans to leave Ireland with a sailor. After the Race – College student Jimmy Doyle tries to fit in with his wealthy friends. Two Gallants – Two con men, Lenehan and Corley, find a maid who is willing to steal from her employer. The Boarding House – Mrs. Mooney successfully manoeuvres her daughter Polly into an upwardly mobile marriage with her lodger Mr. Doran. A Little Cloud – Little Chandler's dinner with his old friend Ignatius Gallaher casts fresh light on his own failed literary dreams. The story reflects also on Chandler's mood upon realizing his baby son has replaced him as the centre of his wife's affections.
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Counterparts – Farrington, a lumbering alcoholic Irish scrivener, takes out his frustration in pubs and on his son Tom. Clay – The old maid Maria, a laundress, celebrates Halloween with her former foster child Joe Donnelly and his family. A Painful Case – Mr. Duffy rebuffs Mrs. Sinico, then four years later realizes he has condemned her to loneliness and death. Ivy Day in the Committee Room – Minor Irish politicians fail to live up to the memory of Charles Stewart Parnell. A Mother – Mrs. Kearney tries to win a place of pride for her daughter, Kathleen, in the Irish cultural movement, by starring her in a series of concerts, but ultimately fails. Grace – After Mr. Kernan injures himself falling down the stairs in a bar, his friends try to reform him through Catholicism. The Dead – Gabriel Conroy attends a party, and later, as he speaks with his wife, has an epiphany about the nature of life and death. At 15–16,000 words this story has also been classified as a novella. The Dead was adapted to film by John Huston, written for the screen by his son Tony and starring his daughter Anjelica as Mrs. Conroy.
Style Joyce's writing in Dubliners is neutral; he rarely uses hyperbole or emotive language, relying on simplicity and close detail to create a realistic setting. This ties the reader's understanding of people to their environments. He does not tell the reader what to think, rather they are left to come to their own conclusions; this is evident when contrasted with the moral judgements displayed by earlier writers such as Charles Dickens. This frequently leads to a lack of traditional dramatic resolution within the stories. It has been argued (by Hugh Kenner in Joyce's Voices, among others) that Joyce often allows his narrative voice to gravitate towards the voice of a textual character. For example, the opening line of 'The Dead' reads "Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet." She is not, in this instance, "literally" run off her feet, and neither would Joyce have thought so; rather, the narrative lends itself to a misuse of language typical of the character being described. Joyce often uses descriptions from the characters' point of view, although he very rarely writes in the first person. This can be seen in Eveline, when Joyce writes, "Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne". Here, Joyce employs an empirical perspective in his
description of characters and events; an understanding of characters' personalities is often gained through an analysis of their possessions. The first paragraph of A Painful Case is an example of this style, as well as Joyce's use of global to local description of the character's possessions. Joyce also employs parodies of other writing styles; part of A Painful Case is written as a newspaper story, and part of Grace is written as a sermon. This stylistic motif may also be seen in Ulysses (for example, in the Aeolus episode, which is written in a newspaper style), and is indicative of a sort of blending of narrative with textual circumstances. The collection as a whole displays an overall plan, beginning with stories of youth and progressing in age to culminate in The Dead. Great emphasis is laid upon the specific geographic details of Dublin, details to which a reader with a knowledge of the area would be able to directly relate. The multiple perspectives presented throughout the collection serve to contrast the characters in Dublin at this time. Media adaptations
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In 1987 John Huston's film setting of "The Dead" was released. In 1999, [arabyfilm.com] an award-winning short film adaptation of "Araby" was produced and directed by Dennis Courtney. In 2000, [imdb.com] a Tony Award winning musical adaptation of "The Dead" was written by Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey, directed by Richard Nelson.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialised in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915, and published in book form in 1916 by B. W. Huebsch, New York. The first English edition was published by the Egoist Press in February 1917. It depicts the formative years in the life of Stephen Dedalus, a fictional alter ego of Joyce and a pointed allusion to the consummate craftsman of Greek mythology, Daedalus. A Portrait is a key example of the Künstlerroman (an artist's Bildungsroman) in English literature. Joyce's novel traces the intellectual and religio-philosophical awakening of young Stephen Dedalus as he begins to question and rebel against the Catholic and Irish conventions in which he has been raised. He finally leaves for abroad to pursue his calling as an artist. The work pioneers some of Joyce's modernist techniques that would later come to fruition in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. The novel, which has had a "huge influence on novelists across the world",
was ranked by Modern Library as the third greatest English-language novel of the 20th century. Composition Portrait is a complete rewrite of Joyce's earlier attempt at the story Stephen Hero, with which he grew frustrated in 1905. Large portions of Stephen Hero found their way, sometimes nearly unchanged, into Portrait, but the tone was changed considerably in order to focus more exclusively on the perspective of Stephen Dedalus. For instance, several of his siblings made prominent appearances in the earlier novel, but are almost completely absent in Portrait. The incomplete first draft of Stephen Hero was published posthumously in 1944. Literary style Stylistically, the novel is written as a third-person narrative with minimal dialogue, though towards the very end of the book dialogue-intensive scenes involving Dedalus and some of his friends, in which Dedalus posits his complex, Thomist aesthetic theory, and finally journal entries by Stephen, are introduced. Since the work covers Stephen's life from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandoning of Ireland as a young man, the style of the work progresses through each of its five chapters, with the complexity of language gradually increasing. The book's opening pages have famous examples of Stephen's thoughts and conscious experience when he is a child. Throughout the work, language and prose are used to portray indirectly the state of mind of the protagonist, and the subjective impact of the events of his life. Hence the fungible length of some scenes and chapters, where Joyce's intent was to capture the subjective experience through language, rather than to present the actual experience through prose narrative. The writing style is also notable for Joyce's omission of quotation marks; he indicated dialogue by beginning a paragraph with a dash, as is common in French. The novel, like all of Joyce's published works, is not dedicated to anyone. Allusions in novel The book is set in Joyce's native Ireland, especially in Dublin. It deals with many Irish issues such as the quest for autonomy and the role of the Catholic Church. A particular figure, who is also mentioned in Dubliners and Ulysses, and alluded to in Finnegans Wake, is the Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell.
The myth of Daedalus and Icarus features prominently in the novel. In Greek mythology, Daedalus is an architect and inventor who becomes trapped in a labyrinth of his own construction. Later, he finds himself on an island and fashions wings of feathers and wax for his son (Icarus) and for himself, so that they can escape. As they fly away Icarus grows bolder and flies higher, until, finally, he flies too close to the sun, which causes the wax to melt. Icarus plummets to the sea. Stephen's name is an allusion to Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Stephen Dedalus, like Saint Stephen, has conflicts with the established religion. The Divine Comedy is also echoed in the name Stephen gives his aunt – Dante. Dante is socalled because of the way 'The Auntie' sounds in her Cork accent. The epigram is from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes ("And he sets his mind to unknown arts"). Allusions to the novel The title has been adapted and parodied by many writers including Dylan Thomas in his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Ogden Nash in his poem "Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man", Joseph Heller in Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man, A.M. Klein in his poem "Portrait of the Poet as Landscape," Andrew Barlow and Kent Roberts' A Portrait of Yo Mama as a Young Man, Grayson Perry's biography Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, punk band Dillinger Four's song "Portrait of the Artist as a Fucking Asshole", and William Eastlake's Portrait of an Artist with 26 Horses. In Patrick White's novel The Solid Mandala, Waldo Brown plans but fails to write a novel called Tiresias a Youngish Man, thereby parodying both Joyce's novel and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. Also the song "Portrait Of The Artist As A Fountain" by Simon Bookish. Steven R. Boyett's short story collection "Treks Not Taken" includes a Star Trek: The Next Generation parody entitled "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Fan." In film A film version, adapted for the screen by Judith Rascoe and directed by Joseph Strick, was released in 1977. It starred Bosco Hogan as Stephen Dedalus and TP McKenna as Simon Dedalus, and featured John Gielgud as the priest whose lengthy sermon on Hell terrifies the teenage Stephen.[
Exiles is a play by James Joyce, who is principally remembered for his novels. It draws on the story of "The Dead", the final short story in Joyce's first major work,
Dubliners, and was rejected by W. B. Yeats for production by the Abbey Theatre. Its first major London performance was in 1970, when Harold Pinter directed it at the Mermaid Theatre. In terms of both its critical and popular reception, it has proven the least successful of all Joyce's published works - only Chamber Music runs it close. In making his case for the defence of the play, Padraic Colum conceded: "...critics have recorded their feeling that [Exiles] has not the enchantment of Portrait of the Artist nor the richness of [Ulysses]... They have noted that Exiles has the shape of an Ibsen play and have discounted it as being the derivative work of a young admirer of the great Scandinavian dramatist." Premise The basic premise of Exiles involves a love triangle between Richard Rowan (a Dublin writer recently returned from exile in Rome), Bertha (his common law wife) and his old friend Robert Hand (a journalist). (There are obvious parallels to be drawn with Joyce's own life - Joyce and Nora Barnacle lived, unmarried, in Trieste, during the years the fictional Rowans were living in Rome, while Robert Hand is roughly the same age of Joyce's friends Oliver St. John Gogarty and Vincent Cosgrave, and shares some characteristics with them both.) This arrangement is slightly complicated by a second love triangle, involving Rowan, Hand, and Hand's cousin Beatrice Justice. (The fictional Beatrice, who in the play has recovered from a life-threatening illness, is just two years younger than Joyce's cousin Elizabeth Justice, who died in 1912.) However, Exiles is by no means straightforwardly autobiographical. Rowan's complicated relationship with his dead parents is subtly different from that of Joyce: Rowan's mother is characterised by her "hardness of heart", in contrast to the generosity of his "smiling handsome father". This hard-heartedness manifests itself in two significant antipathies towards women in Rowan's life: first towards his childhood friend Beatrice (whom his mother calls "the black Protestant, the pervert's daughter"), and second towards Bertha herself, particularly for giving birth to their child out of wedlock: "There were tongues [in Dublin] ready to tell her all, to embitter her withering mind still more against me and Bertha and our godless nameless child." Rowan, Hand and Beatrice have been friends since childhood. Hand and Beatrice became secretly engaged as teenagers, which Hand admits to Rowan some years later, when the two men share a house in their early twenties. Those house-sharing
years are remembered by Hand as "wild nights" involving "drinking and blasphemy [by Hand]... and drinking and heresy, much worse [by Rowan]." On one of those nights, the two friends meet Bertha, who from the very first night chooses to be with Rowan, despite the attentions of Hand. Rowan and Bertha soon elope, and head to exile in Italy. Hand has tried to dissuade them both, suggesting to Rowan that he should go first alone ("to see if what he felt for [Bertha] was a passing thing") in the hope (as he later admits to Bertha): "that you might turn from him when he had gone and he from you. Then I would have offered you my gift. You know what it was now. The simple common gift that men offer to women. Not the best perhaps. Best or worst-- it would have been yours." Once in exile, Rowan has physical relationships with other women ("grossly and many times") while he continues to live with Bertha. He also begins regularly writing letters to Beatrice, and sends her the chapters of his novel. For her part, Beatrice recovers from a life-threatening illness and begins to feel "a coldness" towards Hand, whom she now regards as "a pale reflection" of Richard Rowan. This is the background of the characters who meet again, in the suburbs of Dublin, on Rowan and Bertha's return from exile in the summer of 1912. Plot The action of the play is very simple. Bertha is jealous of Rowan's relationship with Beatrice, and Hand is jealous of Rowan's relationship with Bertha. Joyce himself described the structure of the play as "three cat and mouse acts", and the action mostly involves Robert Hand's attempts to pounce on Bertha. In the first act, at Rowan's house, Hand kisses Bertha "with passion" several times "and passes his hand many times over her hair". He asks her to come to his own house for a second meeting later that evening. Bertha tells Rowan about this invitation, and asks if she should accept it. Rowan tells her to decide for herself. In the second act, Hand is expecting Bertha at the appointed hour, but instead it is Rowan who appears. Rowan calmly explains that he knows all about Hand's wooing of Bertha. After some minutes of what for Hand is clearly a very awkward conversation, Bertha herself knocks at the door. Hand goes tactfully into the garden, while Rowan explains to Bertha the conversation he has just had with Hand. Rowan then goes home, leaving his wife alone with Hand. Hand again begins to seduce Bertha. The act ends inconclusively, with Hand asking if Bertha
loves him, and Bertha explaining: "I like you, Robert. I think you are good... Are you satisfied?" The third act begins in Rowan's house at seven o'clock, the following morning. Bertha tells the maid that she hasn't slept all night. The maid tells her that Rowan has left the house an hour earlier, to go walking on the strand. In the morning newspapers, Hand has published a favourable article about Rowan, written the previous evening. Exactly what has happened the previous night is not entirely clear. Hand and Bertha have shared "a sacred night of love", although the specifics of this are not explicitly stated, and both characters agree that it was "a dream". Hand supplies more detail in his account of the night to Rowan, although of his time with Bertha, he admits only that "she went away". He then claims to have gone to the Vice-Chancellor's lodge where he drank claret, returned home to write the newspaper article, and then gone to a nightclub where he picked up a divorcée and had sex with her ("what the subtle Duns Scotus calls a death of the spirit took place") in the cab on the way home. Hand himself leaves "for foreign parts" (his cousin's house in Surrey), while Rowan and Bertha are reconciled. Bertha admits that she longs to meet her lover, but asserts that the lover is Rowan himself. The resolution of the play lies precisely in the sense of doubt about what occurred between Hand and Bertha between Acts Two and Three. Rowan is wounded by the sense of doubt that he admits he longed for. Indeed, he sees this sense of doubt as what enables him "to be united with [Bertha] in body and soul in utter nakedness".
Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce, first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature, it has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire movement". Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904 (the day of Joyce's first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle). The title alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer's Odyssey, and establishes a series of parallels between characters and events in Homer's poem and Joyce's novel (e.g., the correspondence of Leopold Bloom to Odysseus, Molly Bloom to Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus to Telemachus). Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.
Ulysses contains approximately 265,000 words from a lexicon of 30,030 words (including proper names, plurals and various verb tenses), divided into eighteen episodes. Since publication, the book attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual "Joyce Wars." Ulysses' stream-ofconsciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—full of puns, parodies, and allusions, as well as its rich characterisations and broad humour, made the book a highly regarded novel in the Modernist pantheon. In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Background Joyce first encountered Odysseus in Charles Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses—an adaptation of the Odyssey for children, which seemed to establish the Roman name in Joyce's mind. At school he wrote an essay on Ulysses as his "favourite hero". Joyce told Frank Budgen that he considered Ulysses the only all-round character in literature. He thought about calling Dubliners by the name Ulysses in Dublin, but the idea grew from a story in Dubliners in 1906, to a "short book" in 1907, to the vast novel that he began in 1914. Structure Joyce divided Ulysses into eighteen chapters or "episodes". At first glance much of the book may appear unstructured and chaotic; Joyce once said that he had "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant", which would earn the novel "immortality". The two schemata which Stuart Gilbert and Herbert Gorman released after publication to defend Joyce from the obscenity accusations made the links to the Odyssey clear, and also explained the work's internal structure. Every episode of Ulysses has a theme, technique, and correspondences between its characters and those of the Odyssey. The original text did not include these episode titles and the correspondences; instead, they originate from the Linati and Gilbert schema. Joyce referred to the episodes by their Homeric titles in his letters. He took the idiosyncratic rendering of some of the titles––'Nausikaa', the 'Telemachia'––from Victor Bérard's two-volume Les Phéniciens et l’Odyssée which he consulted in 1918 in the Zentralbibliothek Zürich. Part I: The Telemachiad
Episode 1, Telemachus It is 8 a.m. Buck Mulligan, a boisterous medical student, calls Stephen Dedalus (a young writer first encountered in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) up to the roof of the Martello tower in Sandycove where they both live. There is tension between Stephen and Mulligan, stemming from a cruel remark Stephen has overheard Mulligan making about his recently deceased mother and from the fact that Mulligan has invited an English student, Haines, to stay with them. The three men eat breakfast and walk to the shore, where Mulligan demands from Stephen the key to the tower and a loan. Departing, Stephen declares that he will not return to the tower tonight, as Mulligan, the "usurper", has taken it over. Episode 2, Nestor Stephen is teaching a history class on the victories of Pyrrhus of Epirus. After class, one student, Sargent, stays behind so that Stephen can show him how to do a set of arithmetic exercises. Stephen looks at the aesthetically unappealing Sargent and tries to imagine Sargent's mother's love for him. Stephen then visits school headmaster, Mr. Deasy, from whom he collects his pay and a letter to take to a newspaper office for printing. The two discuss Irish history and the role of Jews in the economy. As Stephen leaves, Deasy makes a final derogatory remark against the Jews, stating that Ireland has never extensively persecuted the Jews because they were never let in to the country. This episode is the source of some of the novel's most famous lines, such as Dedalus's claim that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" and that God is "a shout in the street." Episode 3, Proteus Stephen finds his way to Sandymount Strand and mopes around for some time, mulling various philosophical concepts, his family, his life as a student in Paris, and his mother's death. As Stephen reminisces and ponders, he lies down among some rocks, watches a couple and a dog, scribbles some ideas for poetry, picks his nose, and urinates behind a rock. This chapter is characterised by a stream of consciousness narrative style that changes focus wildly. Stephen's education is reflected in the many obscure references and foreign phrases employed in this episode. Part II: The Odyssey
Episode 4, Calypso The narrative shifts abruptly. The time is again 8 a.m., but the action has moved across the city to Eccles Street and to the second protagonist of the book, Leopold Bloom, a part-Jewish advertising canvasser. Bloom, after starting to prepare breakfast, decides to walk to a butcher to buy a pork kidney. Returning home, he prepares breakfast and brings it and the mail to his wife Molly as she lounges in bed. One of the letters is from her concert manager Blazes Boylan. Bloom is aware that Molly will welcome Boylan into her bed later that day, and is tormented by the thought. Bloom reads a letter from their daughter, Milly. The chapter closes with Bloom defecating in the outhouse. Episode 5, Lotus Eaters Bloom makes his way to Westland Row post office (by an intentionally indirect route), where he receives a love letter from one 'Martha Clifford' addressed to his pseudonym, 'Henry Flower'. He meets an acquaintance, C. P. M'Coy; while they chat, Bloom attempts to ogle a woman wearing stockings, but is prevented by a passing tram. Next, he reads the letter and tears up the envelope in an alley. He wanders into a Catholic church service and muses on theology. He goes to a chemist, Sweny's in Lincoln place, where he buys a bar of lemon soap. He then meets another acquaintance, Bantam Lyons, to whom he unintentionally gives a racing tip for the horse Throwaway. Finally, Bloom heads towards the baths. Episode 6, Hades The episode begins with Bloom entering a funeral carriage with three others, including Stephen's father Simon Dedalus. They drive to Paddy Dignam's funeral at Glasnevin cemetery, making small talk on the way. The carriage passes both Stephen and Blazes Boylan. There is discussion of various forms of death and burial, and Bloom is preoccupied by thoughts of his dead son, Rudy, and the suicide of his father. They enter the chapel into the service and subsequently leave with the coffin cart. Bloom sees a mysterious man wearing a macintosh during the burial. Bloom continues to reflect upon death, but at the end of the episode rejects morbid thoughts to embrace 'warm fullblooded life'. Episode 7, Aeolus At the office of the Freeman's Journal, Bloom attempts to place an ad. After initial encouragement from the editor, Myles Crawford, he is unsuccessful. Stephen
arrives bringing Deasy's letter about 'foot and mouth' disease, but the two do not meet. Stephen leads Crawford and others to the pub, telling an anecdote on the way about 'two Dublin vestals'. The episode is broken up into short sections by newspaper-style headlines, and is characterised by an abundance of rhetorical figures and devices. Episode 8, Lestrygonians Bloom's thoughts are peppered with references to food as lunchtime approaches. He meets an old flame, Josie Breen, and hears news of Mina Purefoy's labour. He enters the restaurant of the Burton Hotel where he is revolted by the sight of men eating like animals. He goes instead to Davy Byrne's, where he consumes a gorgonzola cheese sandwich and a glass of burgundy, and muses upon the early days of his relationship with Molly and how the marriage has declined: 'Me. And me now.' Bloom heads towards the National Museum to look at the statues of Greek goddesses, and, in particular, their bottoms. Bloom suddenly spots Boylan across the street and, panicking, rushes into the museum. Episode 9, Scylla and Charybdis At the National Library, Stephen explains to various scholars his biographical theory of the works of Shakespeare, especially Hamlet, which he claims are based largely on the posited adultery of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. Bloom enters the National Library to look up the Keyes ad. He encounters Stephen briefly and unknowingly at the end of the episode. Episode 10, Wandering Rocks In this episode, nineteen short vignettes depict the wanderings of various characters, major and minor, through the streets of Dublin. The episode ends with an account of the cavalcade of the Lord Lieutenant, William Humble, Earl of Dudley, through the streets, where it is encountered by the various characters we have met in the novel, although neither Stephen nor Bloom are among them. Episode 11, Sirens In this episode, dominated by motifs of music, Bloom has dinner with Stephen's uncle Richie Goulding at the Ormond Hotel, while Molly's lover, Blazes Boylan, proceeds to his rendezvous with her. While dining, Bloom watches the seductive
barmaids Lydia Douce and Mina Kennedy and listens to the singing of Simon Dedalus and others. Episode 12, Cyclops This chapter is narrated by an unnamed denizen of Dublin. The narrator goes to a pub where he meets a character referred to only as the 'Citizen'. When Leopold Bloom enters the pub, he is berated by the Citizen, who is a fierce Fenian and antiSemite. The episode ends with Bloom reminding the Citizen that his Saviour was a Jew. As Bloom leaves the pub, the Citizen, in anger, throws a biscuit tin at Bloom's head, but misses. The chapter is marked by extended tangents made outside the voice of the unnamed narrator: hyperboles of legal jargon, Biblical passages, Irish mythology, etc. The episode title Cyclops refers both to the first-person 'I' of the narrator, and to the Citizen, who fails to see the folly of his narrow-sighted thinking. The allusion to the Cyclops episode from "The Odyssey" is furthered because the Citizen misses his target by being struck by the sun in the eye. This is similar to when Odysseus bests the Cyclops by sticking a spear in his eye. Episode 13, Nausicaa Gerty McDowell, a young woman on Sandymount strand, contemplates love, marriage and femininity as night falls. The reader is gradually made aware that Bloom is watching her from a distance, and as she exposes her legs and underwear to him it is unclear how much of the narrative is actually Bloom’s sexual fantasy. Bloom’s masturbatory climax is echoed by the fireworks at the nearby bazaar. As Gerty leaves, Bloom realizes that Gerty has a lame leg. Bloom, after several digressions of thought, decides to visit Mina Purefoy at the hospital. The style of the first half of the episode borrows from (and parodies) romance magazines and novelettes. Episode 14, Oxen of the Sun Bloom visits the maternity hospital where Mina Purefoy is giving birth, and finally meets Stephen, who is drinking with Buck Mulligan and his medical student friends. They continue on to a pub to continue drinking, following the successful birth of the baby. This chapter is remarkable for Joyce's wordplay, which seems to recapitulate the entire history of the English language to describe a scene in an obstetrics hospital. After a short incantation, the episode starts with latinate prose, Anglo-Saxon alliteration, and moves on through parodies of, among others,
Malory, the King James Bible, Bunyan, Defoe, Sterne, Gibbon, Dickens, and Carlyle, before concluding in a haze of nearly incomprehensible slang. Episode 15, Circe Episode Fifteen is written as a play script, complete with stage directions. The plot is frequently interrupted by 'hallucinations' experienced by Stephen and Bloom-fantastic manifestations of the fears and passions of the two characters. Stephen and Lynch walk into Nighttown, Dublin's red-light district. Bloom pursues them and eventually finds them at Bella Cohen's brothel. When Bloom witnesses Stephen overpaying for services received, Bloom decides to hold onto the rest of Stephen's money for safekeeping. Stephen hallucinates that the rotting cadaver of his mother has risen up from the floor to confront him. Terrified, Stephen uses his walking stick to smash a chandelier and then runs out. Bloom quickly pays Bella for the damage, then runs after Stephen. Bloom finds Stephen engaged in a heated argument with an English soldier who, after a perceived insult to the King, punches Stephen. The police arrive and the crowd disperses. As Bloom is tending to Stephen, Bloom has a hallucination of Rudy, his deceased child. Part III: The Nostos Episode 16, Eumaeus Bloom and Stephen go to the cabman's shelter to restore the latter to his senses. On the way to the shelter with Bloom, Stephen meets Corley, familiar to readers of the Dubliners story "Two Gallants". At the cabman's shelter, they encounter a drunken sailor, D. B. Murphy. Riding in the cab, Stephen sings a spirited song by the Baroque composer Johannes Jeep, and he and Bloom bond over its misogyny. The episode is dominated by the motif of confusion and mistaken identity, with Bloom, Stephen and Murphy's identities being repeatedly called into question. The rambling and laboured style of the narrative in this episode reflects the nervous exhaustion and confusion of the two protagonists. Episode 17, Ithaca Bloom returns home with Stephen, who refuses Bloom's offer of a place to stay for the night. The two men urinate in the backyard, Stephen departs and wanders off into the night, and Bloom goes to bed. The episode is written in the form of a rigidly organised catechism, and was reportedly Joyce's favourite episode in the
novel. The style is that of a scientific inquiry, with questions furthering the narrative. The deep descriptions range from questions of astronomy to the trajectory of urination. Episode 18, Penelope The final episode, which also uses the stream of consciousness technique seen in Episode 3, consists of Molly Bloom's Soliloquy: eight great run-on sentences (without punctuation) describe the thoughts of Molly, Bloom's wife, as she lies in bed next to her husband. Molly guesses that Bloom had an orgasm that day, and is reminded of his past possible infidelity with other women. She considers the differences between Boylan and Bloom, in terms of virility and masculinity. Molly feels that she and Bloom are lucky, despite their current marital difficulties. Molly recalls her many admirers, previous and current. She wishes she had more money to buy stylish clothes, and believes that Bloom should quit his advertising job and get better paid work elsewhere. Molly thinks about how beautiful female breasts are, particularly compared to male genitalia. She thinks of the time Bloom suggested she pose naked in exchange for money. Her thoughts return to Boylan and of her orgasm earlier. A train whistle blows outside, and Molly thinks of her childhood in Gibraltar. Out of boredom and loneliness, she had resorted to writing herself letters. Molly thinks about how Milly sent her a card this morning, whereas her husband received a whole letter. She imagines that she may receive another love letter from Boylan. Molly recalls her first love letter from Lieutenant Mulvey, whom she kissed under the bridge in Gibraltar. She later lost contact with him and wonders what he would be like now. Her thoughts turn to her singing career, and Molly wonders what path her career could have taken had she not married Bloom. Molly senses the start of her period, confirmation that her tryst with Boylan has not caused a pregnancy. She gets up to use the chamberpot. Events of the day spent with Boylan run through her mind. Molly climbs quietly back into bed and thinks of the times she and Bloom have had to relocate. Her mind then turns to Stephen, whom she met during his childhood. She conjectures that Stephen is probably not stuck-up, and is most likely clean. She fantasizes about having sexual encounters with him. Molly resolves to study before meeting him so he will not look down upon her. Molly
thinks of her husband's strange sexual habits. Molly speculates that the world would be much improved if it consisted of Matriarchal Societies. She thinks again of Stephen, and of his mother's death, and that of Rudy's death, she then ends this line of thought as it is making her depressed. Molly thinks about arousing Bloom in the morning, then revealing the details of her affair with Boylan to make him realise his culpability. Molly then decides to procure some flowers, in case Stephen Dedalus decides to come around. Thinking of flowers, Molly thinks of the day she and Bloom spent at Howth, his marriage proposal, and her response of "yes". Publication history Written over a seven-year period from 1914 to 1921, the novel was serialised in the American journal The Little Review from 1918 until the publication of the Nausicaä episode led to a prosecution for obscenity. In 1919, sections of the novel also appeared in the London literary journal The Egoist, but the novel itself was banned in the United Kingdom until the 1930s. In 1920 after the US magazine The Little Review serialised a passage of the book dealing with the main character masturbating, a group called the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, who objected to the book's content, took action to attempt to keep the book out of the United States. At a trial in 1921 the magazine was declared obscene and as a result Ulysses was banned in the United States. In 1933, the publisher Random House arranged to import the French edition and have a copy seized by customs when the ship was unloaded, which it then contested. In United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, U.S. District Judge John M. Woolsey ruled on 6 December 1933 that the book was not pornographic and therefore could not be obscene, a decision that has been called "epoch-making" by Stuart Gilbert. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling in 1934. Contrary to popular belief, Ulysses was never banned in Ireland. Media adaptations In 1967, a film version of the book was directed by Joseph Strick, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Finnegans Wake is a work of comic fiction by Irish author James Joyce, significant for its experimental style and resulting reputation as one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language. Written in Paris over a period of seventeen years, and published in 1939, two years before the author's death, Finnegans Wake was Joyce's final work. The entire book is written in a largely
idiosyncratic language, consisting of a mixture of standard English lexical items and neologistic multilingual puns and portmanteau words, which many critics believe attempts to recreate the experience of sleep and dreams. Owing to the work's expansive linguistic experiments, stream of consciousness writing style, literary allusions, free dream associations, and its abandonment of the conventions of plot and character construction, Finnegans Wake remains largely unread by the general public. Despite these obstacles, readers and commentators have reached a broad consensus about the book's central cast of characters and, to a lesser degree, its plot. However, a number of key details remain elusive. The book treats, in an unorthodox fashion, the Earwicker family, composed of the father HCE, the mother ALP, and their three children Shem the Penman, Shaun the Post, and Issy. Following an unspecified rumour about HCE, the book, in a nonlinear dream narrative, follows his wife's attempts to exonerate him with a letter, his sons' struggle to replace him, Shaun's rise to prominence, and a final monologue by ALP at the break of dawn. The opening line of the book is a sentence fragment, which continues from the book's unfinished closing line, making the work a never-ending cycle. Many noted Joycean scholars such as Samuel Beckett and Donald Phillip Verene link this cyclical structure to Giambattista Vico's seminal text Scienza Nuova ("New Science"), upon which they argue Finnegans Wake is structured. Joyce began working on Finnegans Wake shortly after the 1922 publication of Ulysses. By 1924 installments of Joyce's new avant-garde work began to appear, in serialized form, in Parisian literary journals Transatlantic Review and transition, under the title "fragments from Work in Progress". The actual title of the work remained a secret until the book was published in its entirety, on 4 May 1939. Initial reaction to Finnegans Wake, both in its serialized and final published form, was largely negative, ranging from bafflement at its radical reworking of the English language to open hostility towards its lack of respect for the conventions of the novel. The work has since come to assume a preeminent place in English literature, despite its numerous detractors. Anthony Burgess has praised the book as "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page." Harold Bloom called the book "Joyce's masterpiece", and wrote that "[if] aesthetic merit were ever again to center the canon [Finnegans Wake] would be as close as our chaos could come to the heights of Shakespeare and Dante." In 1998, the Modern Library placed Finnegans Wake seventy-seventh amongst its list of "Top 100 English-language novels of the twentieth century."
Background and composition Having completed work on Ulysses, Joyce was so exhausted that he did not write a line of prose for a year. On 10 March 1923 he wrote a letter to his patron, Harriet Weaver: "Yesterday I wrote two pages—the first I have since the final Yes of Ulysses. Having found a pen, with some difficulty I copied them out in a large handwriting on a double sheet of foolscap so that I could read them." ] This is the earliest reference to what would become Finnegans Wake. In July 1929, increasingly demoralised by the poor reception his new work was receiving, Joyce approached his friend James Stephens about the possibility of his completing the book. Joyce wrote to Weaver in late 1929 that he had "explained to [Stephens] all about the book, at least a great deal, and he promised me that if I found it madness to continue, in my condition, and saw no other way out, that he would devote himself heart and soul to the completion of it, that is the second part and the epilogue or fourth."[ Apparently Joyce chose Stephens on superstitious grounds, as he had been born in the same hospital as Joyce, exactly one week later, and shared both the first names of Joyce himself and his fictional alter-ego Stephen Dedalus. In the end, Stephens was not asked to finish the book. Plot summary Finnegans Wake comprises 17 chapters, divided into four Books. Book I contains 8 chapters, both Books II and III contain 4, and Book IV consists of only one short chapter. The chapters appear without titles, and while Joyce never provided possible chapter titles as he had done for Ulysses, he did title various sections published separately (see Publication history below). The standard critical practice, however, is to indicate book number in Roman numerals, and chapter title in Arabic, so that III.2, for example, indicates the second chapter of the third book. Book I The entire work is cyclical in nature: the last sentence—a fragment—recirculates to the beginning sentence: "A way a lone a last a loved a long the | riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs." Joyce himself revealed that the book "ends in the middle of a sentence and begins in the middle of the same sentence." The introductory chapter (I.1) establishes the book's setting as "Howth Castle and Environs", and introduces Dublin hod carrier "Finnegan", who falls to his death from a ladder while constructing a wall. Finnegan's wife Annie puts out his corpse as a meal spread for the mourners at his wake, but he vanishes
before they can eat him.[A series of episodic vignettes follows, loosely related to the dead Finnegan, most commonly referred to as "The Willingdone Museyroom","[ Mutt and Jute", and "The Prankquean". [ At the chapter's close a fight breaks out, whiskey splashes on Finnegan's corpse, and “the dead Finnegan rises from his coffin bawling for whiskey and his mourners put him back to rest”, persuading him that he is better off where he is.[4 The chapter ends with the image of the HCE character sailing into Dublin Bay to take a central role in the story. I.2 opens with an account of "Harold or Humphrey" Chimpden receiving the nickname "Earwicker" from the Sailor King, who encounters him attempting to catch earwigs with an inverted flowerpot on a stick while manning a tollgate through which the King is passing. This name helps Chimpden, now known by his initials HCE, to rise to prominence in Dublin society as "Here Comes Everybody". He is then brought low by a rumor that begins to spread across Dublin, apparently concerning a sexual trespass involving two girls in the Phoenix Park, although details of HCE's transgression change with each retelling of events. Chapters I.2 through I.4 follow the progress of this rumor, starting with HCE's encounter with "a cad with a pipe" in Phoenix Park. The cad greets HCE in Gaelic and asks the time, but HCE misunderstands the question as an accusation, and incriminates himself by denying rumours the cad has not yet heard. These rumours quickly spread across Dublin, gathering momentum until they are turned into a song penned by the character Hosty called "The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly". As a result, HCE goes into hiding, where he is besieged at the closed gate of his pub by a visiting American looking for drink after hours. However HCE remains silent not responding to the accusations or verbal abuse - dreams, is buried in a coffin at the bottom of Lough Neagh, and is finally brought to trial, under the name Festy King. He is eventually freed, and goes once more into hiding. An important piece of evidence during the trial - a letter about HCE written by his wife ALP - is called for so that it can be examined in closer detail. ALP's Letter becomes the focal point as it is analysed in detail in I.5. This letter was dictated by ALP to her son Shem, a writer, and entrusted to her other son Shaun, a postman, for delivery. The letter never reaches its intended destination, ending up in a midden heap where it is unearthed by a hen named Biddy. Chapter I.6 digresses from the narrative in order to present the main and minor characters in more detail, in the form of twelve riddles and answers. In the final two chapters of Book I we learn more about the letter's writer Shem the Penman (I.7) and its original author, his mother ALP (I.8). The Shem chapter
consists of "Shaun's character assassination of his brother Shem", describing the hermetic artist as a forger and a "sham", before "Shem is protected by his mother [ALP], who appears at the end to come and defend her son."  The following chapter concerning Shem's mother, known as "Anna Livia Plurabelle", is interwoven with thousands of river names from all over the globe, and is widely considered the book's most celebrated passage. The chapter was described by Joyce in 1924 as "a chattering dialogue across the river by two washerwomen who as night falls become a tree and a stone." These two washerwomen gossip about ALP's response to the allegations laid against her husband HCE, as they wash clothes in the Liffey. ALP is said to have written a letter declaring herself tired of her mate. Their gossip then digresses to her youthful affairs and sexual encounters, before returning to the publication of HCE's guilt in the morning newspaper, and his wife's revenge on his enemies: borrowing a "mailsack" from her son Shaun the Post, she delivers presents to her 111 children. At the chapter's close the washerwomen try to pick up the thread of the story, but their conversation is increasingly difficult as they are on opposite sides of the widening Liffey, and it is getting dark. Finally, as they turn into a tree and a stone, they ask to be told a Tale of Shem or Shaun. Book II While Book I of Finnegans Wake deals mostly with the parents HCE and ALP, Book II shifts that focus onto their children, Shem, Shaun and Issy. II.1 opens with a pantomime programme, which outlines, in relatively clear language, the identities and characteristics of the book's main protagonists. The chapter then concerns a guessing game among the children, in which Shem is challenged three times to guess by "gazework" the colour which the girls have chosen. Unable to answer due to his poor eyesight, Shem goes into exile in disgrace, and Shaun wins the affection of the girls. Finally HCE emerges from the pub and in a thunder-like voice calls the children inside. Chapter II.2 follows Shem, Shaun and Issy studying upstairs in the pub, after having been called inside in the previous chapter. The chapter depicts "[Shem] coaching [Shaun] how to do Euclid Bk I, 1", structured as "a reproduction of a schoolboys' (and schoolgirls') old classbook complete with marginalia by the twins, who change sides at half time, and footnotes by the girl (who doesn't)". Once Shem (here called Dolph) has helped Shaun (here called Kev) to draw the Euclid diagram, the latter realises that he has drawn a diagram of ALP's genitalia, and "Kev finally realises the significance of the triangles [..and..] strikes Dolph."
After this "Dolph forgives Kev" and the children are given "[e]ssay assignments on 52 famous men." The chapter ends with the children's "nightletter" to HCE and ALP, in which they are "apparently united in a desire to overcome their parents." II.3 moves to HCE working in the pub below the studying children. As HCE serves his customers, two narratives are broadcast via the bar's radio and television sets, namely "The Norwegian Captain and the Tailor's Daughter", and "How Buckley Shot the Russian General". The first portrays HCE as a Norwegian Captain succumbing to domestication through his marriage to the Tailor's Daughter. The latter, told by Shem and Shaun ciphers Butt and Taff, casts HCE as a Russian General who is shot by the soldier Buckley.  Earwicker has been absent throughout the latter tale, having been summoned upstairs by ALP. He returns and is reviled by his customers, who see Buckley's shooting of the General as symbolic of Shem and Shaun's supplanting their father. This condemnation of his character forces HCE to deliver a general confession of his crimes, including an incestuous desire for young girls. Finally a policeman arrives to send the drunken customers home, the pub is closed up, and the customers disappear singing into the night as a drunken HCE, clearing up the bar and swallowing the dregs of the glasses left behind, morphs into ancient Irish high king Rory O'Connor, and passes out. II.4, ostensibly portraying the drunken and sleeping Earwicker's dream, chronicles the spying of four old men (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) on Tristan and Iseult's journey. The short chapter portrays "an old man like King Mark being rejected and abandoned by young lovers who sail off into a future without him", while the four old men observe Tristan and Isolde, and offer four intertwining commentaries on the lovers and themselves which are "always repeating themselves". Book III Book III concerns itself almost exclusively with Shaun, in his role as postman, having to deliver ALP's letter, which was referred to in Book 1, but never seen. III.1 opens with the Four Masters' ass narrating how he thought, as he was "dropping asleep", he had heard and seen an apparition of Shaun the Post. As a result Shaun re-awakens, and, floating down the Liffey in a barrel, is posed 14 questions concerning the significance and content of the letter he is carrying. However, Shaun, "apprehensive about being slighted, is on his guard, and the placating narrators never get a straight answer out of him." Shaun's answers focus on his own boastful personality and his admonishment of the letter's author - his artist brother Shem. After the inquisition Shaun loses his balance and the barrel in
which he has been floating careens over and he rolls backwards out of the narrator's earshot, before disappearing completely from view. In III.2 Shaun re-appears as "Jaunty Jaun" and delivers a lengthy sermon to his sister Issy, and her 28 schoolmates from St. Brigid's School. Throughout this book Shaun is continually regressing, changing from an old man to an overgrown baby lying on his back, and eventually, in III.3, into a vessel through which the voice of HCE speaks again by means of a spiritual medium. This leads to HCE's defence of his life in the passage "Haveth Childers Everywhere". Book III ends in the bedroom of Mr. and Mrs. Porter as they attempt to copulate while their children, Jerry, Kevin and Isobel Porter, are sleeping down the hall and the dawn is rising outside (III.4). Jerry awakes from a nightmare of a scary father figure, and Mrs. Porter interrupts the coitus to go comfort him with the words "You were dreamend, dear. The pawdrag? The fawthrig? Shoe! Hear are no phanthares in the room at all, avikkeen. No bad bold faathern, dear one." She returns to bed, and the rooster crows at the conclusion of their coitus at the Book's culmination. Book IV Book IV consists of only one chapter, which, like the book's opening chapter, is mostly composed of a series of seemingly unrelated vignettes. After an opening call for dawn to break, the remainder of the chapter consists of the vignettes "Saint Kevin", "Berkely and Patrick" and "The Revered Letter".ALP is given the final word, as the book closes on a version of her Letter  and her final long monologue, in which she tries to wake her sleeping husband, declaring "Rise up, man of the hooths, you have slept so long!", and remembers a walk they once took, and hopes for its re-occurrence. At the close of her monologue, ALP - as the river Liffey - disappears at dawn into the ocean. The book's last words are a fragment, but they can be turned into a complete sentence by attaching them to the words that start the book: A way a lone a last a loved a long the / riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. Difficulties of plot summary Commentators who have summarised the plot of Finnegans Wake include Joseph Campbell, John Gordon, Anthony Burgess and William York Tindall. While no two summaries interpret the plot in the same way, there are a number of central "plot points" upon which they find general agreement. However, a number of
Joyce scholars question the legitimacy of searching for a linear storyline within the complex text. As Bernard Benstock highlights, "in a work where every sentence opens a variety of possible interpretations, any synopsis of a chapter is bound to be incomplete."[ David Hayman has suggested that "For all the efforts made by critics to establish a plot for the Wake, it makes little sense to force this prose into a narrative mold."[ The book's challenges have led some commentators into generalised statements about its content and themes, prompting critic Bernard Benstock to warn against the danger of "boiling down" Finnegans Wake into "insipid pap, and leaving the lazy reader with a predigested mess of generalizations and catchphrases." Fritz Senn has also voiced concerns with some plot synopses, saying "we have some traditional summaries, also some put in circulation by Joyce himself. I find them most unsatisfactory and unhelpful, they usually leave out the hard parts and recirculate what we already think we know. I simply cannot believe that FW would be as blandly uninteresting as those summaries suggest." The challenge of compiling a definitive synopsis of Finnegans Wake lies not only in the opacity of the book's language, but also in the radical approach to plot which Joyce employed. Joyce acknowledged this when he wrote to Eugene Jolas that: "I might easily have written this story in the traditional manner [...] Every novelist knows the recipe [...] It is not very difficult to follow a simple, chronological scheme which the critics will understand [...] But I, after all, am trying to tell the story of this Chapelizod family in a new way. This "new way" of telling a story in Finnegans Wake takes the form of a discontinuous dream-narrative, with abrupt changes to characters, character names, locations and plot details resulting in the absence of a discernible linear narrative, causing Herring to argue that the plot of Finnegans Wake "is unstable in that there is no one plot from beginning to end, but rather many recognizable stories and plot types with familiar and unfamiliar twists, told from varying perspectives." Patrick A. McCarthy expands on this idea of a non-linear, digressive narrative with the contention that "throughout much of Finnegans Wake, what appears to be an attempt to tell a story is often diverted, interrupted, or reshaped into something else, for example a commentary on a narrative with conflicting or unverifiable details." In other words, while crucial plot points - such as HCE's crime or ALP's letter - are endlessly discussed, the reader never encounters or experiences them first hand, and as the details are constantly changing, they remain unknown and perhaps unknowable. Suzette Henke has accordingly described Finnegans Wake as an aporia. Joyce himself tacitly acknowledged this radically different approach to language and plot in a 1926 letter to Harriet Weaver, outlining his intentions for
the book: "One great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wideawake language, cutanddry grammar and goahead plot." Critics have seen a precedent for the book's plot presentation in Laurence Sterne's famously digressive The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, with Thomas Keymer stating that "Tristram Shandy was a natural touchstone for James Joyce as he explained his attempt "to build many planes of narrative with a single esthetic purpose" in Finnegans Wake". Book II is usually considered the book's most opaque section, and hence the most difficult to synopsize. William York Tindall said of Book II's four chapters "Than this [...] nothing is denser." Similarly, Patrick Parrinder has described Book II as the "worst and most disorienting quagmire[..] in the Wake." Despite Joyce's revolutionary techniques, the author repeatedly emphasized that the book was neither random nor meaningless; with Ellmann quoting the author as having stated: "I can justify every line of my book." To Sisley Huddleston he stated "critics who were most appreciative of Ulysses are complaining about my new work. They cannot understand it. Therefore they say it is meaningless. Now if it were meaningless it could be written quickly without thought, without pains, without erudition; but I assure you that these 20 pages now before us [i.e. chapter I.8] cost me twelve hundred hours and an enormous expense of spirit." When the editor of Vanity Fair asked Joyce if the sketches in Work in Progress were consecutive and interrelated, Joyce replied "It is all consecutive and interrelated." Themes Fargnoli and Gillespie suggest that the book's opening chapter "introduces [the] major themes and concerns of the book", and enumerate these as "Finnegan's fall, the promise of his resurrection, the cyclical structure of time and history (dissolution and renewal), tragic love as embodied in the story of Tristan and Iseult, the motif of the warring brothers, the personification of the landscape and the question of Earwicker's crime in the park, the precise nature of which is left uncertain throughout the Wake." Such a view finds general critical consensus, viewing the vignettes as allegorical appropriations of the book's characters and themes; for example, Schwartz argues that "The Willingdone Museyroom" episode represents the book's "archetypal family drama in military-historical terms."[1 Joyce himself referred to the chapter as a "prelude",and as an "air photograph of Irish history, a celebration of the dim past of Dublin." Riquelme finds that "passages near the book's beginning and its ending echo and complement one another", and Fargnoli and Gillespie representatively argue that the book's cyclical structure
echoes the themes inherent within, that "the typologies of human experience that Joyce identifies [in Finnegans Wake] are [..] essentially cyclical, that is, patterned and recurrent; in particular, the experiences of birth, guilt, judgment, sexuality, family, social ritual and death recur throughout the Wake. In a similar enumeration of themes, Tindall argues that "rise and fall and rise again, sleeping and waking, death and resurrection, sin and redemption, conflict and appeasement, and, above all, time itself are the matter of Joyce's essay on man."[ Henkes and Bindervoet generally summarise the critical consensus when they argue that, between the thematically indicative opening and closing chapters, the book concerns "two big questions" which are never resolved: what is the nature of protagonist HCE’s secret sin, and what was the letter, written by his wife ALP, about?[HCE's unidentifiable sin has most generally been interpreted as representing man's original sin as a result of the Fall of Man. Anthony Burgess sees HCE, through his dream, trying "to make the whole of history swallow up his guilt for him" and to this end "HCE has, so deep in his sleep, sunk to a level of dreaming in which he has become a collective being rehearsing the collective guilt of man."[Fargnoli and Gillespie argue that although undefined, "Earwicker's alleged crime in the Park" appears to have been of a "voyeuristic, sexual, or scatological nature". ALP's letter appears a number of times throughout the book, in a number of different forms, and as its contents cannot be definitively delineated, it is usually believed to be both an exoneration of HCE, and an indictment of his sin. Herring argues that "[t]he effect of ALP's letter is precisely the opposite of her intent [...] the more ALP defends her husband in her letter, the more scandal attaches to him."[ Patrick A. McCarthy argues that "it is appropriate that the waters of the Liffey, representing Anna Livia, are washing away the evidence of Earwicker's sins as [the washerwomen speak, in chapter I.8] for (they tell us) she takes on her husband's guilt and redeems him; alternately she is tainted with his crimes and regarded as an accomplice". A reconstruction of nocturnal life Throughout the book's seventeen year gestation, Joyce stated that with Finnegans Wake he was attempting to "reconstruct the nocturnal life", and that the book was his "experiment in interpreting 'the dark night of the soul'." According to Ellmann, Joyce stated to Edmond Jaloux that Finnegans Wake would be written "to suit the esthetic of the dream, where the forms prolong and multiply themselves", and once informed a friend that "he conceived of his book as the dream of old Finn, lying in death beside the river Liffey and watching the history of Ireland and the world –
past and future – flow through his mind like flotsam on the river of life." While pondering the generally negative reactions to the book Joyce said : I can't understand some of my critics, like Pound or Miss Weaver, for instance. They say it's obscure. They compare it, of course, with Ulysses. But the action of Ulysses was chiefly during the daytime, and the action of my new work takes place chiefly at night. It's natural things should not be so clear at night, isn't it now?[ Joyce's claims to be representing the night and dreams have been accepted and questioned with greater and lesser credulity. Supporters of the claim have pointed to Book IV as providing its strongest evidence, as when the narrator asks “You mean to see we have been hadding a sound night’s sleep?”,  and later concludes that what has gone before has been “a long, very long, a dark, very dark [...] scarce endurable [...] night.”[ Tindall refers to Book IV as "a chapter of resurrection and waking up",[ and McHugh finds that the chapter contains "particular awareness of events going on offstage, connected with the arrival of dawn and the waking process which terminates the sleeping process of [Finnegans Wake]." However, this conceptualisation of the Wake as a dream is a point of contention for some. Harry Burrell, representative of this view, argues that "one of the most overworked ideas is that Finnegans Wake is about a dream. It is not, and there is no dreamer." Burrell argues that the theory is an easy way out for "critics stymied by the difficulty of comprehending the novel and the search for some kind of understanding of it." However, the point upon which a number of critics fail to concur with Burrell's argument is its dismissal of the testimony of the book's author on the matter as "misleading... publicity efforts". Parrinder however, equally skeptical of the concept of the Wake as a dream, argues that Joyce came up with the idea of representing his linguistic experiments as a language of the night around 1927 as a means of battling his many critics, further arguing that "since it cannot be said that neologism is a major feature of the dreaming process, such a justification for the language of Finnegans Wake smacks dangerously of expediency." While many, if not all, agree that there is at least some sense in which the book can be said to be a "dream", few agree on who the possible dreamer of such a dream might be.Edmund Wilson's early analysis of the book, The Dream of H. C. Earwicker, made the assumption that Earwicker himself is the dreamer of the dream, an assumption which continued to carry weight with Wakean scholars Harry Levin, Hugh Kenner, and William Troy.[ Joseph Campbell, in A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake, also believed Earwicker to be the dreamer, but considered
the narrative to be the observances of, and a running commentary by, an anonymous pedant on Earwicker's dream in progress, who would interrupt the flow with his own digressions. Ruth von Phul was the first to argue that Earwicker was not the dreamer, which triggered a number of similarly-minded views on the matter, although her assertion that Shem was the dreamer has found less support. The assertion that the dream was that of Mr. Porter, whose dream personality personified itself as HCE, came from the critical idea that the dreamer partially wakes during chapter III.4, in which he and his family are referred to by the name Porter. Anthony Burgess representatively summarized this conception of the "dream" thus: "Mr. Porter and his family are asleep for the greater part of the book [...] Mr. Porter dreams hard, and we are permitted to share his dream [...] Sleeping, he becomes a remarkable mixture of guilty man, beast, and crawling thing, and he even takes on a new and dreamily appropriate name - Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker." Harriet Weaver was among the first to suggest that the dream was not that of any one dreamer, but was rather an analysis of the process of dreaming itself. In a letter to J.S. Atherton she wrote: In particular their ascription of the whole thing to a dream of HCE seems to me nonsensical. My view is that Mr. Joyce did not intend the book to be looked upon as the dream of any one character, but that he regarded the dream form with its shiftings and changes and chances as a convenient device, allowing the freest scope to introduce any material he wished—and suited to a night-piece. Bernard Benstock also argued that "The Dreamer in the Wake is more than just a single individual, even if one assumes that on the literal level we are viewing the dream of publican H.C. Earwicker." Other critics have been more skeptical of the concept of identifying the dreamer of the book's narrative. Clive Hart argues that "[w]hatever our conclusions about the identity of the dreamer, and no matter how many varied caricatures of him we may find projected into the dream, it is clear that he must always be considered as essentially external to the book, and should be left there. Speculation about the 'real person' behind the guises of the dream-surrogates or about the function of the dream in relation to the unresolved stresses of this hypothetical mind is fruitless, for the tensions and psychological problems in Finnegans Wake concern the dream-figures living within the book itself."
John Bishop has been the most vocal supporter of treating Finnegans Wake absolutely, in every sense, as a description of a dream, the dreamer, and of the night itself; arguing that the book not only represents a dream in an abstract conception, but is fully a literary representation of sleep. On the subject Bishop writes: The greatest obstacle to our comprehension of Finnegans Wake [...has been...] the failure on the part of readers to believe that Joyce really meant what he said when he spoke of the book as a "reconstruction of the nocturnal life" and an "imitation of the dream-state"; and as a consequence readers have perhaps too easily exercised on the text an unyielding literalism bent on finding a kind of meaning in every way antithetical to the kind of meaning purveyed in dreams Bishop has also somewhat brought back into fashion the theory that the Wake is about a single sleeper; arguing that it is not "the 'universal dream' of some disembodied global everyman, but a reconstruction of the night - and a single night - as experienced by 'one stable somebody' whose 'earwitness' on the real world is coherently chronological."Bishop has laid the path for critics such as Eric Rosenbloom, who has proposed that the book "elaborates the fragmentation and reunification of identity during sleep. The masculine [...] mind of the day has been overtaken by the feminine night mind. [...] The characters live in the transformation and flux of a dream, embodying the sleeper’s mind." Characters Critics disagree on whether or not discernible characters exist in Finnegans Wake. For example, Grace Eckley argues that Wakean characters are distinct from each other, and defends this with explaining the dual narrators, the "us" of the first paragraph, as well as Shem-Shaun distinctions while Margot Norris argues that the "[c]haracters are fluid and interchangeable". Supporting the latter stance, Van Hulle finds that the "characters" in Finnegans Wake are rather "archetypes or character amalgams, taking different shapes", and Riquelme similarly refers to the book's cast of mutable characters as "protean". As early as in 1934, in response to the recently published excerpt "The Mookse and the Gripes", Ronald Symond argued that "the characters in Work in Progress, in keeping with the space-time chaos in which they live, change identity at will. At one time they are persons, at another rivers or stones or trees, at another personifications of an idea, at another they are lost and hidden in the actual texture of the prose, with an ingenuity far surpassing that of crossword puzzles." Such concealment of character identity has resulted in some disparity as to how critics identify the book's main protagonists;
for example, while most find consensus that Festy King, who appears on trial in I.4, is a HCE type, not all analysts agree on this - for example Anthony Burgess believes him to be Shaun. However, while characters are in a constant state of flux; constantly changing names, occupations, and physical attributes; a recurring set of core characters, or character types (what Norris dubs "ciphers"), are discernible. During the composition of Finnegans Wake, Joyce used signs, or so-called “sigla”, rather than names to designate these character amalgams or types. In a letter to his Maecenas, Harriet Shaw Weaver (March 1924), Joyce made a list of these sigla. For those who argue for the existence of distinguishable characters, the book focuses on the Earwicker family, which consists of father, mother, twin sons and a daughter. Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker (HCE) Kitcher argues for the father HCE as the book's main protagonist, stating that he is "the dominant figure throughout [...]. His guilt, his shortcomings, his failures pervade the entire book". Bishop states that while the constant flux of HCE's character and attributes may lead us to consider him as an "anyman," he argues that "the sheer density of certain repeated details and concerns allows us to know that he is a particular, real Dubliner." The common critical consensus of HCE's fixed character is summarised by Bishop as being "an older Protestant male, of Scandinavian lineage, connected with the pubkeeping business somewhere in the neighbourhood of Chapelizod, who has a wife, a daughter, and two sons." HCE is referred to by literally thousands of names throughout the book; leading Terence Killeen to argue that in Finnegans Wake "naming is [..] a fluid and provisional process". HCE is at first referred to as "Harold or Humphrey Chimpden";[a conflation of these names as "Haromphreyld", and as a consequence of his initials "Here Comes Everybody". These initials lend themselves to phrase after phrase throughout the book; for example, appearing in the book's opening sentence as "Howth Castle and Environs". As the work progresses the names by which he may be referred to become increasingly abstract (such as "Finn MacCool",[ "Mr. Makeall Gone",[ or "Mr. Porter"[). The original "HCE" came from the initials of the portly politician Hugh Childers (1827–96), who had been nicknamed "Here Comes Everybody" for his size. Childers' 1894 investigation and report on Irish taxation was considered supportive by Irish nationalists in the following decades, and so he was well known to many Irish people.[
Many critics see Finnegan, whose death, wake and resurrection are the subject of the opening chapter, as either a prototype of HCE, or as another of his manifestations. One of the reasons for this close identification is that Finnegan is called a "man of hod, cement and edifices" and "like Haroun Childeric Eggeberth",[identifying him with the initials HCE. Parrinder for example states that "Bygmester Finnegan [...] is HCE", and finds that his fall and resurrection foreshadows "the fall of HCE early in Book I [which is] paralleled by his resurrection towards the end of III.3, in the section originally called "Haveth Childers Everywhere", when [HCE's] ghost speaks forth in the middle of a seance." Anna Livia Plurabelle (ALP) Patrick McCarthy describes HCE's wife ALP as "the river-woman whose presence is implied in the "riverrun" with which Finnegans Wake opens and whose monologue closes the book. For over six hundred pages, however, Joyce presents Anna Livia to us almost exclusively through other characters, much as in Ulysses we hear what Molly Bloom has to say about herself only in the last chapter." [ The most extensive discussion of ALP comes in chapter I.8, in which hundreds of names of rivers are woven into the tale of ALP's life. Similarly hundreds of city names are woven into "Haveth Childers Everywhere", the corresponding passage at the end of III.3 which focuses on HCE. As a result it is generally contended that HCE personifies the Viking-founded city of Dublin, and his wife ALP personifies the river Liffey, on whose banks the city was built. [The children: Shem, Shaun and Issy ALP and HCE have a daughter, Issy - whose personality is often split (represented by her mirror-twin). Parrinder argues that "as daughter and sister, she is an object of secret and repressed desire both to her father [...] and to her two brothers." These twin sons of HCE and ALP consist of a writer called Shem the Penman and a postman by the name of Shaun the Post, who are rivals for replacing their father and for their sister Issy's affection. Shaun is portrayed as a dull postman, conforming to society's expectations, while Shem is a bright artist and sinister experimenter, often perceived as Joyce's alter-ego in the book. Hugh Staples finds that Shaun "wants to be thought of as a man-about-town, a snappy dresser, a glutton and a gourmet... He is possessed of a musical voice and is a braggart. He is not happy in his work, which is that of a messenger or a postman; he would rather be a priest." Shaun's sudden and somewhat unexpected promotion to the book's
central character in Book III is explained by Tindall with the assertion that "having disposed of old HCE, Shaun is becoming the new HCE."[ Like their father, Shem and Shaun are referred to by different names throughout the book, such as "Caddy and Primas"; "Mercius" and "Justius"; "Dolph and Kevin"; and "Jerry and Kevin". These twins are contrasted in the book by allusions to sets of opposing twins and enemies in literature, mythology and history; such as Set and Horus of the Osiris story; the biblical pairs Jacob and Esau, Cain and Abel, and Saint Michael and the Devil - equating Shaun with "Mick" and Shem with "Nick" - as well as Romulus and Remus. Minor characters The book is also populated by a number of minor characters, such as the Four Masters, the twelve customers, the Earwicker's cleaning staff Kate and Joe, as well as more obscure characters such as "McGrath", Lily Kinsella, and the bell-ringer "Fox Goodman". The most commonly recurring characters outside of the Earwicker family are the four old men known collectively as "Mamalujo" (a conflation of their names: Matt Gregory, Marcus Lyons, Luke Tarpey and Johnny Mac Dougall). These four most commonly serve as narrators, but they also play a number of active roles in the text, such as when they serve as the judges in the court case of I.4, or as the inquisitors who question Yawn in III.4. Tindall summarises the roles that these old men play as those of the Four Masters, the Four Evangelists, and the four Provinces of Ireland ( "Matthew, from the north, is Ulster; Mark, from the south, is Munster; Luke, from the east, is Leinster; and John, from the west, is Connaught").  According to Finn Fordham, Joyce related to his daughter-in-law Helen Fleischmann that "Mamalujo" also represented Joyce's own family, namely his wife Nora (mama), daughter Lucia (lu), and son Giorgio (jo). In addition to the four old men, there are a group of twelve unnamed men who always appear together, and serve as the customers in Earwicker's pub, gossipers about his sins, jurors at his trial and mourners at his wake. The Earwicker household also includes two cleaning staff: Kate, the maid, and Joe, who is by turns handyman and barman in Earwicker's pub. These characters are seen by most critics as older versions of ALP and HCE.[ Kate often plays the role of museum curator, as in the "Willingdone Museyroom" episode of 1.1, and is recognisable by her repeated motif "Tip! Tip!" Joe is often also referred to by the name "Sackerson", and Kitcher describes him as "a figure sometimes playing the role of
policeman, sometimes [...] a squalid derelict, and most frequently the odd-job man of HCE's inn, Kate's male counterpart, who can ambiguously indicate and older version of HCE."[ Language and style Joyce invented a unique polyglot-language or idioglossia solely for the purpose of this work. This language is composed of composite words from some sixty to seventy world languages,[ combined to form puns, or portmanteau words and phrases intended to convey several layers of meaning at once. Senn has labelled Finnegans Wake's language as "polysemetic",[ and Tindall as an "Arabesque". [ Norris describes it as a language which "like poetry, uses words and images which can mean several, often contradictory, things at once" An early review of the book argued that Joyce was attempting "to employ language as a new medium, breaking down all grammatical usages, all time space values, all ordinary conceptions of context [..] the theme is the language and the language the theme, and a language where every association of sound and free association is exploited."1 Seconding this analysis of the book's emphasis on form over content, Paul Rosenfeld reviewed Finnegans Wake in 1939 with the suggestion that "the writing is not so much about something as it is that something itself [..] in Finnegans Wake the style, the essential qualities and movement of the words, their rhythmic and melodic sequences, and the emotional color of the page are the main representatives of the author's thought and feeling. The accepted significations of the words are secondary."[ While commentators emphasize how this manner of writing can communicate multiple levels of meaning simultaneously, Hayman and Norris contend that its purpose is as much to obscure and disable meaning as to expand it. Hayman writes that access to the work's "tenuous narratives" may only be achieved through "the dense weave of a language designed as much to shield as to reveal them."  Norris argues that Joyce's language is "devious" and that it "conceals and reveals secrets." [ Allen B. Ruch has dubbed Joyce's new language "dreamspeak," and describes it as "a language that is basically English, but extremely malleable and all-inclusive, rich with portmanteau words, stylistic parodies, and complex puns."[ Although much has been made of the numerous world languages employed in the book's composite language, most of the more obscure languages appear only seldom in small clusters, and most agree with Ruch that the latent sense of the language, however manifestly obscure, is "basically English". Burrell also finds that Joyce's thousands of neologisms are "based on the same etymological principles as standard English."[ However, the Wake's language is not entirely unique in
literature; for example critics have seen its use of portmanteaux and neologisms as an extension of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. Although Joyce died shortly after the publication of Finnegans Wake, during the work's composition the author made a number of statements concerning his intentions in writing in such an original manner. In a letter to Max Eastman, for example, Joyce suggested that his decision to employ such a unique and complex language was a direct result from his attempts to represent the night: In writing of the night I really could not, I felt I could not, use words in their ordinary connections. Used that way they do not express how things are in the night, in the different stages - the conscious, then semi-conscious, then unconscious. I found that it could not be done with words in their ordinary relations and connections. When morning comes of course everything will be clear again [...] I'll give them back their English language. I'm not destroying it for good.
Joyce is also reported as having told Arthur Power that "what is clear and concise can't deal with reality, for to be real is to be surrounded by mystery." On the subject of the vast amount of puns employed in the work Joyce argued to Frank Budgeon that "after all, the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church was built on a pun. It ought to be good enough for me",[ and to the objection of triviality he replied "Yes. Some of the means I use are trivial - and some are quadrivial." A great many of the book's puns are etymological in nature. Sources tell us that Joyce relished delving into the history and the changing meanings of words, his primary source being An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press; 1879). For example, one of the very first entries in Skeat is for the letter A, which begins: "...(1) adown; (2) afoot; (3) along; (4) arise; (5) achieve; (6) avert; (7) amend; (8) alas; (9) abyss..." Further in the entry, Skeat writes: "These prefixes are discussed at greater length under the headings Of, On, Along, Arise...Alas, Aware, Avast..." It seems likely that these strings of words prompted Joyce to finish the Wake with a sentence fragment that included the words: "...a way a lone a last a loved a long..." [ Samuel Beckett collated words from foreign languages on cards for Joyce to use, and, as Joyce's eyesight worsened, wrote down the text from his dictation. Beckett described and defended the writing style of Finnegans Wake thus: This writing that you find so obscure is a quintessential extraction of language and painting and gesture, with all the inevitable clarity of the old inarticulation. Here is the savage economy of hieroglyphics.]
Faced with the obstacles to be surmounted in "understanding" Joyce's text, a handful of critics have suggested readers focus on the rhythm and sound of the language, rather than solely on "meaning." As early as 1929, Eugene Jolas stressed the importance of the aural and musical dimensions of the work. In his contribution to Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress, Jolas wrote: Those who have heard Mr. Joyce read aloud from Work in Progress know the immense rhythmic beauty of his technique. It has a musical flow that flatters the ear, that has the organic structure of works of nature, that transmits painstakingly every vowel and consonant formed by his ear. The Canadian critic, historian and novelist Patrick Watson has also argued this point, writing that Those people who say the book is unreadable have not tried reading it aloud. This is the secret. If you even mouth the words silently, suddenly what seemed incomprehensible (Hubert Butler called it "Joyce's learned gibberish,") leaps into referential meaning, by its sound, since page after page is rich in allusion to familiar phrases, parables, sayings of all kinds -- and the joyous and totally brilliant wordplay, over and over again imperceivable until you actually listen to it -transforms what was an unrelievable agony into an adventure.[ [Allusions to other works Finnegans Wake incorporates a high number of intertextual allusions and references to other texts; Parrinder refers to it as "a remarkable example of intertextuality" containing a "wealth of literary reference."[1 Among the most prominent are the Irish ballad "Finnegan's Wake" from which the book takes its name, Italian philosopher Giovanni Battista Vico's La Scienza Nuova,[ the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the plays of Shakespeare,[ and religious texts such as the Bible and Qur'an. These allusions, rather than directly quoting or referencing a source, normally enter the text in a contorted fashion, often through humorous plays on words. For example, Hamlet Prince of Denmark becomes "Camelot, prince of dinmurk"[ and St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews becomes a "farced epistol to the hibruws". The book begins with one such allusion to Vico's New Science: riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
"Commodius vicus" refers to Giambattista Vico (1668–1744), who proposed a theory of cyclical history in his work "La Scienza Nuova" (The New Science). Vico argued that the world was coming to the end of the last of three ages, these being the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of humans. These ideas recur throughout Finnegans Wake, informing the book's four-part structure. Vico's name appears a number of times throughout the Wake, indicating the work's debt to his theories, such as “The Vico road goes round and round to meet where terms begin.” That a reference to Vico's cyclical theory of history is to be found in the opening sentence which is a continuation of the book's closing sentence - thus making the work cyclical in itself - creates the relevance of such an allusion. One of the sources Joyce drew from is the Ancient Egyptian story of Osiris,[1 and the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a collection of spells and invocations. Bishop asserts that "it is impossible to overlook the vital presence of the Book of the Dead in Finnegans Wake, which refers to ancient Egypt in countless tags and allusions."  At one of their last meetings, Joyce suggested to Frank Budgen that he write an article about Finnegans Wake, entitling it "James Joyce's Book of the Dead". Budgen followed Joyce's advice with his paper "Joyce's Chapters of Going Forth by Day", highlighting many of the allusions to Egyptian mythology in the book. The Tristan and Iseult legend - a tragic love triangle between the Irish princess Iseult, the Cornish knight Tristan and his uncle King Mark - is also oft alluded to in the work, particularly in Book II chapter 4. Fargnoli and Gillespie argue that "various themes and motifs throughout Finnegans Wake, such as the cuckoldry of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker (a King Mark figure) and Shaun's attempts at seducing Issy, relate directly to Tristan and Isolde [...] other motifs relating to Earwicker's loss of authority, such as the forces usurping his parental status, are also based on Tristan and Isolde." The book also alludes heavily to Irish mythology, with HCE sometimes corresponding to Fionn mac Cumhaill,[Issy and ALP to Gráinne, and Shem/Shaun to Dermot (Diarmaid). Not only Irish mythology, but also notable real-life Irish figures are alluded to throughout the text. For example, HCE is often identified with Charles Stewart Parnell, and Shem's attack on his father in this way mirrors the attempt of forger Richard Piggott to incriminate Parnell in the Phoenix Park Murders of 1882 by means of false letters. But, given the flexibility of allusion in Finnegans Wake HCE assumes the character of Piggott as well, for just as HCE betrays himself to the cad, Piggott betrayed himself at the inquiry into admitting the forgery by his spelling of the word "hesitancy" as "hesitency"; and this misspelling appears frequently in the Wake.
Finnegans Wake also makes a great number of allusions to religious texts. When HCE is first introduced in chapter I.2, the narrator relates how "in the beginning" he was a "grand old gardener", thus equating him with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Spinks further highlights this allusion by highlighting that like HCE's unspecified crime in the park, Adam also "commits a crime in a garden".[ Literary significance and criticism The value of Finnegans Wake as a work of literature has been a point of contention since the time of its appearance, in serial form, in literary reviews of the 1920s. Initial response, to both its serialised and final published forms, was almost universally negative. Even close friends and family were disapproving of Joyce's seemingly impenetrable text, with Joyce's brother Stanislaus "rebuk[ing] him for writing an incomprehensible night-book", and former friend Oliver Gogarty believing the book to be a joke, pulled by Joyce on the literary community, referring to it as "the most colossal leg pull in literature since Macpherson's Ossian" When Ezra Pound, a former champion of Joyce's and admirer of Ulysses, was asked his opinion on the text, he wrote "Nothing so far as I make out, nothing short of divine vision or a new cure for the clap can possibly be worth all the circumambient peripherization."[ H.G. Wells, in a personal letter to Joyce, argued that "you have turned your back on common men, on their elementary needs and their restricted time and intelligence [...] I ask: who the hell is this Joyce who demands so many waking hours of the few thousands I have still to live for a proper appreciation of his quirks and fancies and flashes of rendering?" Upon its publication in 1939, Finnegans Wake received a series of mixed, but mostly negative reviews. Louise Bogan, writing for Nation, surmised that while "the book's great beauties, its wonderful passages of wit, its variety, its mark of genius and immense learning are undeniable [...], to read the book over a long period of time gives one the impression of watching intemperance become addiction, become debauch" and argued that "Joyce's delight in reducing man's learning, passion, and religion to a hash is also disturbing." Edwin Muir, reviewing in Listener wrote that "as a whole the book is so elusive that there is no judging it; I cannot tell whether it is winding into deeper and deeper worlds of meaning or lapsing into meaningless", although he too acknowledged that "there are occasional flashes of a kind of poetry which is difficult to define but is of unquestioned power."[B. Ifor Evans, writing in the Manchester Guardian similarly argued that, due to its difficulties, the book "does not admit of review", and argued that, perhaps "in twenty years' time, with sufficient study and with the aid of the commentary that will doubtless arise, one might be ready for an attempt to appraise
it." Taking a swipe at many of the negative reviews circulating at the time, Evans writes: "The easiest way to deal with the book would be [...] to write off Mr. Joyce's latest volume as the work of a charlatan. But the author of Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses is not a charlatan, but an artist of very considerable proportions. I prefer to suspend judgement..." In the 1960s, Jacques Derrida developed his ideas of literary "deconstruction" largely inspired by Finnegans Wake (as detailed in the essay "Two Words for Joyce"), and as a result literary theory—in particular post-structuralism—has embraced Joyce's innovation and ambition in Finnegans Wake. Derrida tells an anecdote about the two books' importance for his own thought; in a bookstore in Tokyo, In 1994, in The Western Canon, Harold Bloom wrote of Finnegans Wake: "[if] aesthetic merit were ever again to center the canon [it] would be as close as our chaos could come to the heights of Shakespeare and Dante." The text's influence on other writers has grown since its initial shunning, and contemporary American author Tom Robbins is among the writers working today to have expressed his admiration for Joyce's complex last work: the language in it is incredible. There's so many layers of puns and references to mythology and history. But it's the most realistic novel ever written. Which is exactly why it's so unreadable. He wrote that book the way that the human mind works. An intelligent, inquiring mind. And that's just the way consciousness is. It's not linear. It's just one thing piled on another. And all kinds of cross references. And he just takes that to an extreme. There's never been a book like it and I don't think there ever will be another book like it. And it's absolutely a monumental human achievement. But it's very hard to read[ Cultural impact Finnegans Wake is a difficult text, and it has been noted that Joyce would not have aimed it at the general reader;however, certain aspects of the work have made an impact on popular culture beyond the awareness of it being difficult.[ In the academic field, physicist Murray Gell-Mann named a type of subatomic particle as a quark, after the phrase "Three quarks for Muster Mark" on page 383 of Finnegans Wake,[as he already had the sound "kwork".  Similarly, the comparative mythology term monomyth, as described by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces,] was taken from a passage in Finnegans Wake. The novel also was the source of the title of Clay Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody.