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James Joyce uses a technique that will here be referred to as “superimposition”. A suitable instance to elucidate this is provided by “Aeolus”. As the newspaper episode, it gathers the complete infrastructure of communication and transmission of news, but at the same time incorporates the notion of incomplete and erroneous information. The prime example is Miles Crawford’s detailed, although hardly clear or even reliable, account of the report about the code used to encrypt the escape-route on which Skin-the-Goat supposedly drove the car for the Invincibles, that is, an advertisement superimposed on a map of Dublin. Technically the device hinges on a superimposition by which elements of one system of reference point to that of another – in this case, a prominent letter in an advertisement to a specific place on a map. This device can be considered one possible formula for the makeup of Ulysses as a whole: the book can be read as an arrangement of multiple overlays and stratifications in which everything tends to point towards something else. Finnegans Wake compounds the device even further.

Publishing in Joyce's Ulysses

Newspapers, Advertising and Printing

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