ABOUT REPETITION AND AESTHETIC IN JOYCE SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON HIS AUTHORSHIP
1) Authorship as intertexutality and repetition
Considering lines and ruptures or continuity and discontinuity in an authorship at least two possibilities exist : firstly, it is possible to consider an authorship as different texts which are related. This is for ex. the case in M. Norris,s idea about Joyce in *The Last Chapter of *Finnegans Wake* : Stephen Finds His Mother*, which pleads that Stephen Dedalus,s problems with his mother in *The Portrait of the Artist as Young Man* and *Ulysses* are ,resolved, in *Finnegans Wake* (hereafter : *FW*). *FW* is thus a text loaning or reusing parts of other texts by Joyce, whereby the authorship consists of a kind of intertextuality with specific relationships between the borrowing text, the borrowed text, the part of the borrowed text and the use of the loan in the borrowing text.
Below the rules to be considered in such relationships will be discussed, but before doing this, another possibility in the consideration of lines and ruptures in an authorship must be introduced, although this aspect is in some way included in the first possibility. This second possibility concerns the repetition in an authorship, and even though the very idea of a loan is based on repetitions, the understanding of intertextuality often focuses more on the relationships between different texts than on repetition as such. Of course repetitions can not be seen as isolated from the loans and the differences between the different part of texts, which are borrowed by other texts. They do of course also include the continuity in an authorship, nevertheless it is perhaps more profitable to look at such a continuity in the light of repetition.
Before elaborating the way to understand repetition as such, we must take a closer look at the idea of intertextuality. Topia has in *The matrix and the echo : Intertextuality in *Ulysses** some interesting reflections on, how a text quotes other texts or parts of a text itself, for ex. *Ulysses*, modern advertisements, where the same advertisement for tea can be seen in different contexts in *Ulysses*. Such a kind of intertexutality establishes a hierarchy between the quoted text and the quoting text, for ex. between *Dubliners* and *Ulysses*, where the latter reuses figures or sentences from the former. Harold Bloom,s to us well-known idea about anxiety of influence underlines such a hierarchy, which the quoting texts seem to escape by making themselves better than their predecessors. Let aside the quoting text,s possibility to manipulate the borrowed text as well as the idea of anxiety, the new version of the original text gives us another perspective for an interpretation of the original text. Thus the description of the grown up Stephen in *Ulysses* gives us new material for the retrospective interpretation of him as a child and young man in *A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*.
Closely connected to the hierarchy, there exists a special kind of continuity, which is probably a main characteristic of Joyce,s authorship, between different figures in his first texts and his latter, and this continuity concerns one aspect of repetition : the possibility to recognise some important signifiers, for ex. Stephen and the panther, from one text to another or from one part of a text to another part. Stephen is hence included in four of Joyce,s texts : *Stephen Hero*, *A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*, *Ulysses* and *FW*, where the last texts gives us some answers to the riddles of the former, while the panther enters different contexts in *Ulysses* and is also a name for Leopold Bloom, who is the other main male character in *Ulysses*. Here there is a linguistic repetition of signifiers, a repetition which shall be extended below, but before doing this, it must be added that the hierarchy in Joyce is also a matter of approaching what can be called a poly-epiphany, which has it roots in an apparently more simple epiphany in *Dubliners* and ends in its most well-developed and extreme form in *FW*. The last text is constructed in Babelian language : a over-semantisation or semantic hesitation constitutes for ex. the possibility of reading every word according to more than 60 different languages used in the text. Joyce,s authorship can be regarded according to this in some way hierarchic and linguistic movement from the more simple epiphanies in *Dubliners* to a Babelian aesthetics in *FW*.
The development in his authorship can also, as I have expressed, be understood as a special use of intertextuality, which is normally analysed as specific relationships between the original corpus of text connected to the borrowed or quoted text and the version of this corpus in the new context. Besides it is possible, and sometimes, as at least in great parts of *FW*, the only way to do it, to underline the relationship between the borrowing text and the reused fragment in its new form. The use of for ex. parts of Freud,s or Jung,s texts in *FW* is not very interesting for a reader of Freud or Jung, but for an interpretation of Joyce,s text, which by its composition made by a multiple of texts and languages produces a new textual configuration, which in a qualitative way is seriously different from the sum of the original texts and the borrowing text (cf. Topia, *op. cit.*, p. 105f). There is a tendency in Joyce,s authorship to go towards more and more complex configurations consisting of different languages and texts, - a configuration which in *FW* often excludes any possibility of going to the sources. Thus, the linguistic repetition included in this tendency goes from, in Joyce,s early text, a more simple linguistic and textual relationship between the borrowed and borrowing text to the linguistic pluralism in the latter texts (*Ulysses* and especially *FW*). Thereby the character of repetition changes form : its goes from a more clear linguistic or textual repetition (loans) containing a certain semantic and hereto connected possibility of interpretation to a kind of repetition containing an over-sematisation which largely excludes interpretations and hereby reproaching, what Lacan calls the Real understood as that which is impossible to understand in any language (the Real will be defined further below).
The idea of an intertextual web made by a kind of continuity and discontinuity in Joyce,s authorship can be studied by analysing the relationship between influence versus reaction or repulsion (cf. H. Blooms, idea about anxiety of influence). For ex. the poly-epiphany in *FW* can be understood as a kind of reaction against the *claritas* (clearness or radiance) originally connected to the idea of epiphany, as Stephen understands it in *A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man* (p. 212f) by his interpretation of Aquinas,s idea hereabout. The epiphany, which originally means a sudden manifestation of God in an everyday phenomena, furthermore contains a kind of wholeness : *Integritas*, meaning the wholeness or the perception of the aesthetic image as a (whole) *object*, and *Consonantia*, meaning harmony, for ex. a symmetry and rhythm connected to the nature of the aesthetic object, assuring that it is conceived as *an* object. This definition of the epiphany can, as it will be stressed below, be used to interpret great passages in *Dubliners*, *A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man* and *Ulysses*, but already in *Ulysses* there is a reaction against such an epiphanic aesthetics of clearness. This reaction finds it most ,sublime, form in *FW*, where it is not the linguistic interpretation and clearness connected to the specific epiphanies and their language that are important, but rather the impossibility to understand them. Instead of an interpretation of, what can be read in a semantic way or read as written signs comparable with signifiers, the reader is confronted with something, which can not be read according to a semantics or the order of signifier, which Lacan names the symbolic.
Resuming some of these considerations on (an inter) intertextuality in Joyce,s authorship, the importance of a certain continuity related to particular repeated signifiers, which we can call rigid or unique signifiers, connected to for ex. proper names, scenes, figures, things, geographical places etc., must be emphasised. This is the case with Dublin, which is described as a geographic place in *Dubliners* and *A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*, but which already in *Ulysses* begins to be a mere textual place, in which the narrator sometimes moves his narrated persons around, for ex. in the chapter called *Wandering Rocks*, so they are seen from different positions (cf. Leopold Bloom,s famous parallax in *Ulysses*) at the same narrated time. The text thereby constitute a synchronicity in time, but a difference in space, a difference that we can not normally grasp in language (cf. R. Rasmussen : *Tid og litteratur : betragtninger over tiden set i lyset af P. Ricoeur : *Temps et recit* og J. Joyce : *Ulysses**). Dublin is even more textual in *FW*, where the ,hero,, the giant and at the same human-being, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker (HCE), lies sleeping across Dublin : The city is a body that is a dream that is narrated in a text, which is a dream of a man containing the city, the man himself, his family, rivers, battles, things etc. etc.
Besides the specific text being a dream including the city, the man,s body, other narrated (or dreamt) character etc., there is in the middle of the linguistic repetition (of for ex. proper names as HCE, Shem, Shaun etc.) in Joyce,s authorship something, which repeatedly insists on being there, but which can not be understood in language, as already the synchronicity of the different spaces or the Real in the poly-epiphany underlines it. The authorship insists on repetitive reproaches to that, which excludes language. To understand a continuity in Joyce,s authorship includes thus not only, that there is something concerning the Real in the text, a Real resisting the linguistic aspects as far as an interpretation of these can still be made, but also that Joyce,s texts contain a particular repetition of a relationship to that, which can not be understood. Many of his narrated characters and scenes are to be understood as characters or scenes containing a special problem around the Real (of for ex. of the sex, death or of things acting like language). Yet, it is not possible here to take a closer look at these aspects (instead I can refer to R. Rasmussen : *Slut. Begynd ! En psyko-narrativ læsning af James Joyce : *Ulysses**), although a few examples of it will be developed here. But before doing this, it is necessary to present a clearer idea of repetition.
2) Repetition and the impossible
We are confronted with repetition in all of the three orders of Lacan : the imaginary, the symbolic and the Real, and even though, as S. Kierkegaard or J. Derrida have stressed it, repetition is supposed to be impossible, it is rather about the impossible. But in the imaginary, we meet the impossibility in the subject,s (narcissistic) effort to re-establish for ex. a past reality (cf. S. Zizek : *Enjoy your symptom ! Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and out*, p. 78ff). This is the case in the little book by Kierkegaard, in Danish called : *Gentagelsen : Repetition*, where the main character returns to Berlin and tries to re-establish a former past intense experience. This experience is however doomed : Even though things are exactly the same and the main character goes to the same restaurants or theatres, visits the same friend and so on, it now leaves him cold and indifferent. The imaginary character of the past cannot be redone.
At the level of the symbolic, there is, on the contrary, a certain certitude of repetition : We recognise or identify the signs or signifiers repeated, even though, as Derrida has underlined it, the identity of a sign or signifier is only created by repetition, which is not reducible to the identity. Identity is only possible because there exists a repetition different from this identity. Derrida even goes a step further, concluding that inasmuch this identity only is assured via repetition, we can never be sure of any identity. He maintains that because identity is only assured by repetition, there can be no real identity, but only a generalised repetition. Derrida furthermore also refuses the idea about a stable discourse, but in so far as we with Lacan can talk about a stable discourse stabilised amongst others by a master-signifier or rigid signifier, it is no real problem to talk about the identity of the sign or signifier.
The master-signifier or the rigid signifier constitutes a paradoxical, but relative and non-totalisized stabilisation by which the subject is represented to another signifier or to knowledge, but Derrida cannot see this, because he denies that there is such a positive function in language. Lacan uses the word *automaton* for the encounter with a sign : for the repetition of a sign or a signifier (cf. Lacan : *Les quatre concepts fundamentaux de la psychanalyse*, p. 53f). The linguistic continuity in Joyce can be seen as a kind *automaton*, which however here is not a mere simple repetition of a sign or a signifier, but is connected to the repetition of some rigid signifiers (Stephen, Dublin, Bloom, HCE etc.).
This is the more positive side of repetition. The negative side when repeating a thought or a signifier is that it has as a function to avoid the Real. That meaning the *automaton* is also to avoid the Real. This is clear if we look at Stephen, where something delicate is going on in his thought or rather at its limit. He sometimes hears things (for ex. the sea, the waves or his urine in the waves) speaking, a speech normally outside language. *The encounter with the real is not situated at the level of thought, but at the level at which ,oracular speech, yields non-sense, that which cannot be thought.* (B. Fink : *The Real Cause of Repetition*, p. 225) It is precisely such an ,oracular speech, Stephen hears when things ,speak,. On the other hand, Stephen tries to maintain a distance to the Real, including his dead mother, who however returns as dead in his mind and dreams. Or she returns as a ,living, person demanding him to be a believer in the nightmare of *Ulysses* : the chapter called *Circe*, with the green bile, now running from her mouth, which she formerly threw up in her deathbed. Ghosts or dead eating their own bodies to survive and demanding to be reintegrated in the living world contain similar aspect of a textual Real in *Ulysses*.
S. Zizek describes the Real in this way : *... the Real cannot be inscribed (in the symbolic), but we can inscribe the impossibility itself, we can locate its place : a traumatic place which causes a series of failures. And Lacan,s whole point is that the Real is *nothing but* this impossibility of its inscriptions : the Real is not a transcendent positive entity, persisting somewhere beyond the symbolic order like a hard kernel inaccessible to it, some kind of Kantian ,Thing-in-itself, - in itself it is nothing at all, just a void, an emptiness in a symbolic structure making some central impossibility. It is in this sense that the enigmatic Lacanian phrase defining the subject as an ,answer of the Real, is to be understood : we can inscribe, encircle the void place of the subject through the failure of his symbolization, because the subject is nothing but the failure point of the process of his symbolic representation.* (S. Zizek : *The Sublime Object of Ideology*, p. 172-73)
The Real is hence the traumatic place, where the limits of language are displayed. It is the kernel, to which the subject by way of language never can enter, even if the Real for this reason can not be reduced to Kant,s idea about the-thing-in-itself, because this thing is precisely guaranteed by Kant,s transcendental reason. To say it in a another way : It is a gap in the symbolic, a gab which the subject in its linguistic being constitutes an ,answer, to (cf. the traumatic event discussed below), although the subject essentially is determined by lacking the possibility to give a symbolic representation of the Real, as it can be seen in for ex. the subjects relationship to death, while the signifier ,death, only is a pure name for something, which can not be understood or grasped in any equivalent linguistic form.
On the other hand, the Real constitutes a ,positive, kernel, because we can not proclaim, that it lacks anything, although it for the subject in language constitutes a traumatic event. The subject is caused by this traumatic event and is therefore directed to the representative aspects of language, when it tries to understand the Real, while it at the same time is at an invincible distance of it. The Real can not be comprehended, though it, for the subject, can emerge in its experience of the other,s death, the mutilated body, the sexuality etc., because the Real excludes every possible mediation. The Real is a the same time the insupportable, since we by every confrontation with it risk anxiety.
The dimension of the Real in the literature concerns the incomprehensible, which textual language of course can approach, but also must rest at a certain distance of, a distance which can not be annihilated. The Real is neither included in the textual reality, which can be understood as the literary, stable world outside the thoughts and words of the characters. The Real is not included in such a reality, and furthermore introduces itself as a gab in the linguistic representation. The Real as such is placed on the same side of the unknown and unapproachable, while reality is connected with the linguistic representations, which are products of the symbolic. This does not exclude, that the text can attempt to make the Real present in a specific form, as in *Ulysses* by a description of the dead returning and demanding to be integrate in the world (reality) of the living, while they eat their own bodies, so they can live in the world of the dead.
But let us return to repetition. Lacan utilises the word *automaton* to define repetition in the symbolic, and the word *tuche* for repetition in the Real (cf. Lacan, *op. cit.*). But we must be careful, when we utilise the word repetition in talking about the Real. For in our meeting with the Real we cannot by way of language grasp what is going on. What happens is something which avoids the subject, while it at the same time very much affects the subject. We can thus conclude that this repetition is impossible or we can say the encounter with the Real is an encounter with the impossible and incomprehensible. But we have however a repetition while meeting the impossible, but not a repetition of the same thing as the case is with the signifier or the sign in the symbolic. In so far as repetition is not possible with regards to the Real, it is possible to repeat the very experience of this impossibility. The repetition of a signifier repeats the symbolic *trait unaire* or concerns the automaton, while the repetition in the Real, *tuche*, concerns the trauma. It is the missing sign, signifier or representation in the symbolic that leads to this repetition. The traumatism precisely designates the reemergent failure to integrate the impossible kernel of the Real. This failure Freud calls the compulsion to repeat or re-enact.
The subject is, as it has been mentioned, an answer to the Real, however delicate this answer may be. Let us here ,translate, the subject to the author Joyce, as he manifests this answer in his authorship, which thus concerns not only the rigid signifiers for ex. in the characters (Stephen, Bloom, HCE etc.) and history, thoughts, words or reality connected hereto (*automaton*), but also the gab introduced in such words and reality, - the gab, which Joyce,s language in multiple ways tries to approach (cf. *tuche*), but also must avert complete existence. His language at the same time tries to approach and must escape the Real and the horrible *jouissance* (enjoyment ; read also : suffering) connected to every approach to the Real, to *tuche*. The first kind of repetition (*automaton*), which guarantees a certain continuity in Joyce,s work and the consistence in his language, a consistence that at least exists in the earlier texts, is, as I have mentioned, also a defence against the Real, but in a repetitive way he tries to make the Real present in a textual ,trauma, ,represented, by a gab in the language of his texts. On the other hand, this repetition also designates a reemerging failure to integrate some ,impossible, kernel of the Real in language.
In his text *Beyond the pleasure Principle* Freud links this repetitive compulsion to the death drive, which he posits as the existence of a basic compulsion to repeat as he has seen it in some of his clients. He saw in the subject a tendency to repeatedly expose itself again and again to a distressing situation. With Lacan we can understand this situation as the return of *jouissance* which transgresses the limits of the pleasure principle and seeks death because it confronts the subject with its own annihilation. Subject and language will disappear in the full presence of *jouissance* or the Real. This would also have been the case, if Joyce had succeed to maintain or integrate some impossible kernel of the Real in his text,s language. Had he succeed, it would not have been possible to read or comprehend this language, which would had been reduced to the Real of the letter, although this to some extent is the cause in *FW*. But he can try ever so much to control the impossible kernel of the Real and to make it linguistic, he is condemned to fail or to the horrible *jouissance* and the anxiety confronted with the Real. Whether you understand anything of *FW* or not, you can be sure of feeling the *jouissance*, which Joyce had writing it.
Hence, the repetition in the Real has a paradoxical character. This paradox concerns the impossibility of meeting the same in the Real or that it is only possible to repeat the very experience of this impossibility. Lacan formulates it : *Repetition demands the new.* (Lacan, *op. cit.*, p. 59) This means that repetition is always a repetition of something not foreseen or something new. Haunted by the attempt to integrate the incomprehensible and insupportable in his language, Joyce ends by integrating more than 60 different national languages in *FW*.
3) The repetition and the epiphany
Let us return to the epiphany in Joyce and se how it manifests itself in different texts by Joyce in the light of the idea of repetition. First in *The Sisters* in *Dubliners*, where the first person-narrator is a younger boy, who has known the priest James Flynn, who died by a stroke, his third. One main question raised by reading the short story is, what kind of a person is the priest and what does his sin consists of ? For people who know Joyce,s texts, a well-known answer is that the priest is homosexual, but the allusions of his homosexuality and the boy,s fascination for him is not very clear, but it is manifested indirectly in the Cotter,s words : *It,s bad for children (...), because their minds are so impressionable. When children see things like that, you know, it has an effect ...* (Joyce, *op. cit.*, p. 9)
Furthermore, the young narrator connected the words ,paralysis, to the priest, - a word, which also emerges latter in the boy,s attempt to interpret old Cotter,s words to the boy,s uncle : *When children see things like that, you know, it has an effect ...* The dead priest however shows himself to the boy in this way in his attempt to interpret these words : *In the dark of my room I imagined that I saw again the heavy grey face of the paralytic. I drew the blankets over my head and tried to think of Christmas. But the grey face still followed me. It murmured ; and I understood that it desired to confess something. I felt my soul receding into some pleasant and vicious region ; and there again I found it waiting for me. It began to confess to me in a murmuring voice and I wondered why it smiled continually and why the lips were so moist with spittle. But then I remembered that it had died of paralysis and I felt that I too was smiling feebly as if to absolve the simoniac of his sin.* (*Ibid.*)
The paralytic face of the priest shows itself as heavy and grey, not much different from the reality of a normal dead heavy and grey face. The boy tries to repress the unpleasant (read : *jouissance*) experiences by thinking of Christmas. But the holiday is replaced by the return of the grey dead face demanding in dribbling form to be heard, although it confesses to him and thereby constitutes a second religious event.
The first return of the dead (the dead face) constitutes a bit of the Real (*a tuche*), introduced in the middle of the boy,s attempt to interpret old Cotter,s words, which the boy tries to escape from by hiding himself under the blankets and by thinking of Christmas. The second return of the dead (*tuche*) in the middle of the interpretation of these words the boy tries to keep at a distance by the verbal (linguistic), though grotesque confession of the priest. In the boy,s further attempt to understand, why the face smiles and why his lips are moist with spittle, he does not recognise, that the priest is homosexual and that his face probably shows a desire for him. Instead the boy turns to the explanation (an *automaton*), that the face is dead by paralysis, a physical paralysis. The boy furthermore starts to smile for giving the priest absolution for *simoni*, which is a sinful trade with clerical office, named after Simon Mager, who wanted to buy the ability to communicate with the Holy Spirit. In the boy,s understanding, the paralysis of the priest is thus connected with an intellectual and moral unchristianness. The boys two attempts to escape the return of death furthermore stresses the repetition in an attempt to escape the Real : the repetition of the experience of the impossibility in a linguistic way to fill out the gab which is opened by the return of the dead.
But at the same time something more happens in the boy,s experience of the word ,paralysis, : * now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.* (p. 7) The word not only sounds ,like the name of some maleficent and sinful being,, but it also fills him with ,fear,. The word glides from *automation* to *tuche*. However he still longs ,to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work,. The last statement says not only, that the priest, according the boy, died by paralysis, but also, that he should have died by its sound and ,its deadly work,. In the boy,s conception, the words receive their own life, ruling over human life and death. The word paralysis furthermore constitutes an epiphany, which as word points at the paralysis of the priest, but at the same time the revelation included in the epiphany is not only due to the fact that some everyday phenomena (the paralysis ; a common phenomena in *Dubliners*) reveals something spiritual and religious (sin). The word reveals not only something non-visible or non-manifest (religious sin) in the word, but also gives being and ,death, to the non-visible (the sinful priest). The epiphany of the word paralysis becomes an omnipotence in the very language, which in the boy,s attempt to understand the word paralysis and the old cotter,s ,explanation, hereto also repeats the impossibility to fill out the gab.
One of the three aspects of epiphany as Stephen defines it, a definition that is fully valuable for an analysis of great parts Joyce,s texts, is the idea of *Integritas*, the whatness of the aesthetic object, which shall connect for ex. the image with the thing or the word with the thing (cf. Plato,s famous idea about mimesis). The epiphany can be considered an attempt to connect the described (for ex. a basket ; Stephen,s own example) with the description (of the basket) or an attempt to include the described in the description, which for ex. is the case, when Bloom,s soap talks in *Circe*. When speaking the soap is no longer part of the described, of reality, but of the description (the words). The same is however already the case in *The Sisters*, while the words both let the paralysis be a audible phenomena (a word) and a concrete thing (the factual paralysis of the priest). Hereby, Joyce,s language assures us an apparent coincidence between the word and the thing, which is normally excluded in language, which only gives ,life, to things or makes them present in the words by ,killing, or making them absent in language. In the text the boy goes even further, because the description also becomes determining for the described (the factual paralysis). The words have their own power to spread paralysis and death around them. They thereby transgress the limits of the symbolic or introduce a Real in language, a Real which normally is placed outside language by the gab opened by its ,annihilation, of things.
*The Sisters* also in the beginning introduces its own magic life (or death) of the words and their fatale effects on those, who are touched by the audible material of the words. This idea about the words, fatale effect has an certain identity with psychotic persons, whose words also receive their own life or give life to their surroundings. Identity is however fable only, because the rest of the text is constituted by a more stable language than we find in for ex. psychotic speech under an outbreak of the psychosis. The word ,paralysis, is on the other side a message from an incomprehensible world or from the Real, which only ,communicates, in a traumatic form. The word paralysis has a traumatic effect on the boy,s life.
4) The poly-epiphany
Let,s us return to the main hypothesis about Joyce,s authorship : It is made by not only the automaton in language concerning for ex. the rigid signifiers as name for characters, places, religious phenomena, historical events etc., but also concerning the epiphany, which hereby constitutes an obvious continuity or an aesthetic style in the authorship. Connected hereto is the fact that the very repetition of it also contains a repetition of the traumatic experience with the Real (cf. *tuche*) as the impossible to integrate in language. This will be shown to you by a few examples from *Ulysses* and *FW*, which at the same time shall underline the development from the apparently more simple epiphany to the poly-epiphany in the latter Joyce. A very famous epiphany, which furthermore implicitly includes a proper definition of the epiphany, is Stephen,s remark, that God is *(a) shout in the street* (*Ulysses*, p. 28) in the discussion with Mr. Deasy in the chapter called *Nestor*. Beside the implicit definition of the epiphany, which already makes it a double one, the epiphany also proclaims the death of God, which is only a shout in the street and one of the names for the Real.
The shout is a noise revealing the non-existence of God, whereby the epiphany reveals a traumatic nothing which constantly threatens to enter Stephen,s language. This is the case when things excluded from the words as annihilated, however having reality, begin to talk as the case is with the heavy sand : *These heavy sands are language tide and wind have silted here.* (*op. cit.*, p. 37) Another example of the epiphanic revelation is the following (epiphanic) identification of God with the man, the fish etc., which all are reduced to nothing and the idea of the dead and their garbage being all around : *God becomes man becomes fish becomes barnacle goose becomes featherbed mountain. Dead breaths I living breathe, tread dead dust, devour a urinous offal from all dead.* (*Ibid.*, p. 41-42) It,s comprehensible that Stephen has problems with his language, his art in which he never really succeeds and his dead mother, whom he can neither bury in his minds nor escape : *No, mother ! Let me be and let me live.* (p. 9) This is a central symptom of the authorship,s fight with the limits of language : the Real as the impossible to maintain in any language, but also an impossibility to escape it as the insisting return of Stephen,s dead mother emphasises.
An another example ironically made by the narrator is the end of the chapter : *Cyclops*, where Leopold Bloom, who is Jewish, leaves Barney Kierman,s pub in flight, because of the aggressive citizen, who throws a tin after him, and then he drives away in a car. The flight in the car is described as the movement of Elijah to heaven, when God calls him, whereby Bloom and Elijah are made identical : *And they beheld Him even Him, ben Bloom Elijah, amid clouds of angels ascend to the glory of the brightness at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donohoe,s in Little Green street like a shot of a shovel.* (p. 283) We see here, that the ,sudden manifestation, of God (his calling and angels) and the everyday phenomena (Bloom,s flight) are no longer distinctive elements, but ironically fall together in ,Bloom Elijah,, whereby the manifestation of God again is undermined by the text.
God is only a pretext for the irony, whereby God once more once is shown a absent, but in contrast to Stephen,s epiphany the Real revealed by this absence is, in Bloom,s case, ,filled out, with or kept at a certain distance by irony. What is more important, this happens in a language, which at once ,represents, the Real and constitutes a sort of poly-epiphany in representing and ,filling, it out or replacing it (in an ironical way). The function of the epiphanies in *Ulysses* underline that they no longer function as a more simple, clear epiphany, but that each contains more than one epiphanies, while they at the same time ,reveal, absence, death and garbage (in language).
The poly-ephipany is evident in FW, where Joyce has * replaced the aesthetics of beauty (cf. Aquinas) with a Babelian aesthetics where different languages are founded in a schematisme of the universal history (cf. the Use of Vico in *FW*), but the choice of a more or less arbitrary order authorises the perpetual, semantic hesitation, the unstable cohabitation of different meanings which exclude each other in multiple ways* (J.-M. Rabate : *James Joyce*, p. 21).
This has as a consequence that everything can be read according to an poly-epiphany, which does not constitute any stable sense or meaning (cf. *automaton*), but only manifests itself, its own ,whatness,, and thereby the letters, literally character laid bare outside an interpretable language, meaning the Real of the letters, which is the cause of the unreadability of the text (cf. *tuche*). The text hence appears as a semantic rebus : * puzzling, startling, shocking, nay, perturbing * (*FW*, p. 136) Confronted with the rebus, the unreadable, the reader can feel a sort of suffering or boredom, while the latter seems to be a protection against the former : *The unreadable, Roland Barthes says, can not be defined ; it is felt. It shows itself in the sufferance form reading which it imposes.* (E. Grossman : *Artaud/Joyce, le corps et le texte*, p. 7)
*FW* can neither be read referentially or according to some ideas about some signifiers (cf. Lacan,s idea about the master-signifier) in the text, which should be more important than others : it is only the dream of HCE, - the dream which seems to contain itself. Regarding the literal character of the letters or the more than 60 possible linguistic interpretations of every word or sentence of this dream, interpretations ,which exclude each other in multiple ways,, it is clear that the text sustains itself to the Real as the impossible to interpret. In the ,monologue, between HCE,s sons, Shem and Shaun, we find a statement pointing towards the fact that the text should be a container containing itself : *(you must not be allowed to forget that this is all contained )* (Joyce, *op. cit.*, p. 161) If the text contains itself, it is not only because its discourse does not contain master-signifiers, which could have created such stable points for interpretations, but also because is excludes the other (the reader) as the producer of a stable knowledge of the text. It must not be forgotten that a container is a place for garbage : Excluding the reader or the possibility of some stable interpretation or only producing the possibility for Babelian interpretations, the text does not only contain itself, but also appears as a kind of linguistic garbage, which is made by a destruction (of meanings or discourses) and irreversible transformations (from possible sense to nonsense).
In their pure being letters are reduced to the Real, which resists and constitutes the limits of language, but the Real is also defined as the impossibility of language to include itself (the element covering language is either a linguist element, whereby it still is a part of the very language, which is hence not covered, but only enlarged by the term supposed to cover it, or the element is a non-linguistic element, which is different from language. Whether we choose the first or second possibility, we see the impossibility for language to include itself). But the words in *FW* try to cover themselves completely : *So why, pray, sign anything as long as every word, letter, penstroke, paperspace is a perfect signature of its own ?* (*Ibid.*, p. 115) The idea of the words being perfect signatures of their own, point to the conception of letters, pure, literally being. The pure being of letters does not constitute a pure being in itself, as Kant in a phantasmatic way believes, but a reduction of the possibility of language to communicate, inform and to be interpreted. The letters serve only as an attempt to say or put in to play that, which in language does not refer to or serve any reading : to create a *tuche*.
This does however not exclude the many attempts to interpret *FW*, as the existence of the so-called Joyce-industry (research on Joyce as it calls itself) underlines it, but from my perspective any attempt to interpret *FW* will sooner or latter be confronted with the impossibility of understanding the Real of the text. From my point of view with regards to the authorship, I hope furthermore to have shown, why it is possible to see it as an aesthetic development from a more simple epiphany, as the case is in *Dubliners*, to the poly-epiphany, which has it most clear manifestations in *FW*. This development is constituted by the attempt to makes the Real present in the authorship, but also by the necessity to avoid it. This attempt is developed by the progress in the authorship and ends by the literal letter in *FW* or *The letter ! The litter !*, as the text itself names it (p. 93). Trying to reduce the letter to a kind of litter or to the literal uninterpretable letters, as an index for the Real, the text however becomes more unreadable than interpretable.