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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how James Joyce transvalues epic, the novel, and Ireland in tandem through an encyclopaedic multi-perspectivalism. Writers of the Irish Literary Revival engaged within a variety of genres but they especially privileged drama and poetry as the vehicles for a recrudescence of an authentic Irish identity. As a counter to this, Joyce’s writings implicitly and explicitly make the case that the kind of transvaluation requisite to an Irish Revival could be better accommodated through the genre of the novel, in that only the novel was sufficiently malleable and protean to encompass the heterogeneities that were often suppressed or ignored amongst various discordant factions of the Revival. This chapter shows how in Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939) Joyce exults in the heteroglossia afforded by the novel by making it a vehicle for a multitude of concurrent perspectives and for languages that are mixed and multiple.

Keywords: Ireland, fiction, James Joyce, Irish Literary Revival, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, epic, Mikhail Bakhtin, modernism

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