Author: Jacob Boas
In Cultural Criticism in the Netherlands, 1933-40, Jacob Boas offers a broad selection of the newspaper columns of legendary Dutch cultural critic Menno ter Braak. Ter Braak’s columns are noteworthy not only for their distinctive treatment of disparate cultural components ranging from literature to the social sciences, but also for the light they throw on the extent to which politics intruded on the cultural sphere in the years prior to the outbreak of war.
Ter Braak set a standard for literary criticism of surpassing quality. Moreover, a staunch advocate of democracy, the critic joined the battle against fascism, urging fellow intellectuals to rise to the occasion. The ‘conscience of Dutch letters’ killed himself on the eve of the German occupation, May 1940.
Kehrseiten und Kontrapunkte der Moderne
Erschöpfung ist zu einer der häufigsten Zeitdiagnosen unserer Gegenwart avanciert. Ausgangspunkt des Bands ist die These, dass die Entstehung der modernen Arbeits- und Leistungsgesellschaft schon immer von Erschöpfungsgeschichten begleitet wird.
Sie bilden Kehrseiten und Kontrapunkte der Moderne, in denen teils offen, teils verdrängt ein Unbehagen an der Kultur zum Ausdruck kommt, das mit der Negation von Arbeit und Produktivität Leitbegriffe des modernen Selbstverständnisses infrage stellt. Die Beiträge dieses Bands unternehmen den Versuch, die Moderne als Erschöpfungsgeschichte zu lesen. Dabei rücken nicht nur das Verhältnis von Erschöpfung, Kapital und Arbeit sowie mit Erschöpfung assoziierte Pathologien (Burnout, Depression) in den Fokus. Mit Blick auf die Literatur geht es ganz zentral um Schreibweisen sowie die spezifische Verfasstheit einer „Ästhetik der Erschöpfung“.
The Spatiality of the Hispanic Avant-Garde: Ultraísmo & Estridentismo, 1918-1927 is a thorough exploration of the meanings and values Hispanic poets and artists assigned to four iconic locations of modernity: the city, the cafés, means of transportation, and the sea, during the first decades of the 20th century. Joining important studies on Spatiality, Palomares-Salas convincingly argues that an unsolvable tension between place and space is at the core of the Hispanic avant-garde cultural production. A refreshing, transatlantic perspective on Ultraism and Stridentism, the book moves the Hispanic vanguards forward into broader, international discussions on space and modernism, and offers innovative readings of well-known, as well as rarely studied works.
Joyce’s art is an art of idiosyncratic transformation, revision and recycling. More specifically, the work of his art lies in the act of creative transformation: the art of the paste that echoes Ezra Pound’s urge to make it new. The essays in this volume examine various modalities of the Joycean aesthetic metamorphosis: be it through the prism of Joyce engaging with other arts and artists, or through the prism of other arts and artists engaging with the Joycean aftermath. We have chosen the essays that best show the range of Joycean engagement with multiple artistic domains in a variety of media. Joyce’s art is multiform and protean: influenced by many, it influences many others.

Abstract

Recent critical advances in the field of Word and Music Studies have drawn attention to the role of the reader in the process of “activating” the “Musical Novel”. The score-like qualities of Finnegans Wake are not designed for mere sight-reading, and instead require a literary equivalent of what is referred to as “audiation” in musicology. I suggest here that the Wake demands to be read in a fashion analogous to the way a musician audiates a polyphonic musical score. Performing the Wake’s musical score fragment “silently” within our mind, is a gateway to the manner in which we might read the entirety of the book. This practice can be called “literary audiation”, and it paves an exciting avenue to approach Joyce’s complex text. Here we come at odds with Joyce’s own claim that to understand his texts, we should read them aloud. In fact, reading them aloud requires a sequence of choices, closing down the democratic and multifaceted aspect of Joyce’s texts. Alternatively, the silent world of “inner hearing” does not demand such choices and so is, in fact, the ideal site for the performance of these words. This sort of audiated reading should not be restricted to overtly musical sections; it is a way of experiencing the text in general.

In: James Joyce and the Arts

Abstract

Joyce regarded the Insular period – from the advent of Patrician Christianity to the Coming of the Normans – as a golden age during which the Irish exerted intellectual influence over Britain and across the Continent. This was due principally to the custom of peregrinatio (spiritual exile) in the manner of Colum Cille, a prince of the Uí Néill dynasty who would become Columba of Iona, founding a monastery on this remote island of the Inner Hebrides in 566 ad, according to the dating accepted in Joyce’s lifetime. Yet, Colum Cille’s spiritual exile was driven by a phosphorescent thirst for knowledge, an assured sense of his superiority in terms of intellect and ancestry, and the first copyright case in recorded history. These are just some of the parallels Joyce consciously fashions between his various personas in Finnegans Wake and Colum Cille. This chapter examines the Columban legacy in Finnegans Wake, especially the “calligraphy expertise” chapter, providing a codicological analysis of the letter unearthed by Biddy the Hen. This analysis is illuminated by Joyce’s engagement with the Book of Kells, traditionally attributed to Colum Cille, though this is a historical impossibility, but also examines his fascination with the first book ascribed to Colum Cille: the “Cathach battler” (vi.B.6.184; vi.C.3.47).

In: James Joyce and the Arts
Author: John Morey

Abstract

In “‘Sirens’ after Schoenberg”, David Herman identifies in the eleventh episode of Ulysses an alignment, not with fugue as per the standard critical model, but with dodecaphony. In this paper I employ an anti-able-normative rationale to demonstrate how in Finnegans Wake, Joyce, as an experimenter with the latent sonics of written language, made comparable decisions as to what to discard and what to retain of Classical and Romantic aesthetic orthodoxies as Schoenberg had in developing serialism. As Herman illustrates, the Schoenbergian and Joycean projects each emphasised “structuration” as a generative device. Key both to Herman’s and to the present thesis is the concept of the “combinatory apparatus”. A combinatory apparatus is a syntactic technique for ordering elements within a system. Those elements may be numbers, words and letters, colours, basic factors in logic, or any other small transposable units. Taking Herman’s conception of the “well-formed” in modernist art as a starting point, I offer here a parallel reading of the deformative and malfunctional structuration of Finnegans Wake and of twelve-tone music. In his essay, Herman uses the term “well-formed” five times. In five numbered sections I address in order each of these usages, applying them to Finnegans Wake and to dodecaphony with particular attention to the radio announcement sequence of FW ii.3. My methodology differs from Herman’s in that it is musico-aesthetic more than linguistic, emphasising the disablist aesthetics of both Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique and Joyce’s literary contrapuntalism. Nevertheless, Herman’s identification of syntax rather than any strictly musical paradigm as the key factor in the formation of “Sirens” is adapted here to the study of the – I argue – even more musical construction of Finnegans Wake.

In: James Joyce and the Arts
In: James Joyce and the Arts

Abstract

The heretofore unknown level of reality that we perceive in Joyce’s works partly owes to the fact that the writer makes active and positive use of his characters’ failings. He programmatically explores the gap between what one person says and what another understands and employs this insight to construct his writings, as well as an ethics of and in his work. This chapter first asks why it is important that Joyce embraces mistakes as portals of discovery, what kinds of mistakes may be meant, and then turns to artists who have taken up such an understanding in their works. I turn to Eco (open work), Senn (dislocution) and Maharaj (perfidious fidelity) to theorise the matter in relation to Joyce. This artistic and theoretical material together enables me to use Wollaeger’s argument on the social function of reading Joyce, as well as Social Science scholarship (Boltanski) on who in society is permitted to interpret freely and make mistakes. I will lastly turn to scholarship on unintended negative consequences, in order to make a case for an indirect social efficacy of art (history) and Joyce’s work in our mistake-adverse world.

In: James Joyce and the Arts
In: James Joyce and the Arts