"Knock knock. war's where!": history, Macbeth, and Finnegans Wake

Plock, Vike Martina (2009) "Knock knock. war's where!": history, Macbeth, and Finnegans Wake. Joyce Studies Annual. ISSN 1049-0809

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Abstract

Writing to his brother Stanislaus in 1905, Joyce decided to award "the highest palms" in the history of literature to Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Shelley ( LII 90). Unsurprisingly, therefore, all three authors reappear in Joyce's own works—the library chapter in Ulysses is the obvious case in point. But out of these three musketeers of Western literature, Shakespeare is certainly the writer whose works suffered the most from Joyce's reinterpretation, from his creative appropriation and his deliberate misreadings. 1 As Haines suggests so succinctly in "Wandering Rocks," Shakespeare is indeed "the happy huntingground of all minds that have lost their balance" ( U 10.1061–2). This article traces potential resonances of a particular case of Wakean intertextuality in Book II, Chapter 3—the chapter taking place in Earwicker's pub in Chapelizod—that connects Joyce's Wake explicitly to the drunken porter scene in Shakespeare's Macbeth. For not only do porters have a particular currency in the Wake's literary universe, but Joyce's creative appropriation of the Macbeth play also allowed him to develop further the historical tenor of his last novel. Of course, I am not the first person to observe the Wake's receptiveness to 1930s politics. In a recent article on geopolitical references in Book II, Chapter 3 of Finnegans Wake, Richard Robinson demonstrates the text's "proleptic suggestiveness" in relation to cartographic and political instabilities in 1930s Europe. 2 With its explicit references to the Danzig Corridor

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Joyce, James, 1882-1941, Finnegans wake, Shakespeare, William, 1564, 1616, Macbeth, intertextuality
Subjects: R900 Others in European Languages, Literature and related subjects
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Humanities
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2010 11:03
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:13
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2069

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