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James Joyce

Oral and Written Discourse as Mirrored in Experimental Narrative Art


Willi Erzgraeber

«Dublin was a strange mix of the oral and literate cultures». It is with these words that Seamus Dean describes the linguistic environment in which James Joyce grew up from his earliest years and which left its mark on the whole of his artistic work. It is the aim of this study to demonstrate the interrelationships between the oral and written language in Joyce’s narrative works and to show how he indeed documented in his epiphanies fragments of the oral language of everyday Dublin, but increasingly remodelled in an experimental narrative form the whole body of oral and written language which he was able to absorb and retain in his phenomenal memory: this he did right through to Finnegans Wake, in which he transformed traditional oral and written discourse into a language of his own. The work takes into account the most recent research on Joyce, research on dialogue as well as basic theoretical research on oral and written language.
Contents: Oral Discourse in the Epiphanies and Dubliners A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Stephen Dedalus and Language – Oral and Written Discourse in Ulysses Oral and Written Discourse as Elements of Dream Language in Finnegans Wake.