The Liturgy of the Epiphany Season and the Epiphanies of Joyce

Florence L. Walzl

in Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035291
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038483 | DOI:
The Liturgy of the Epiphany Season and the Epiphanies of Joyce

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The chapter focuses on the importance of the word epiphany so frequently used by James Joyce in his short stories. The basic meaning of epiphany in Greek as έπιφάνεια is appearance or manifestation, and this word is related to a verb meaning to display or show forth and in the passive and middle voice to shine forth. The cyclic pattern of seasons in the Church year and its planes of symbolic meanings and correspondences are the two prominent aspects of liturgy which appear to have affected Joyce's writing greatly. In Dubliners, the narratives resemble the liturgical epiphanies. The Epiphany sequence influenced Joyce's concept of the literary epiphany and as a result his short story technique. Joyce's use of God, Bible, and saint analogies (or inversions) in his characterizations are a result of his awareness of the liturgical types.

Keywords: epiphany; short stories; cyclic pattern of seasons; liturgy; liturgical epiphanies; narratives; Dubliners

Chapter.  12815 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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