James Joyce and Giordano Bruno

Federico Sabatini

in Renascent Joyce

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780813042459
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:
James Joyce and Giordano Bruno

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Considers the relationship between writing and the arts in Joyce's works, where it is possible to conceive figurative arts and music not only as major themes in the narrative, but also and more poignantly as crucial influences for the style and for the form of the texts. The non-literary artistic disciplines become prominent and significant devices for a writing which markedly employs phonosymbolism and which possesses plastic qualities deriving from the “spatial arts.” Joyce's experimentation increasingly focuses on such an “intermedial” discourse, revealing a constant concoction of various artistic disciplines and methods as well as the intersection between the artistic discourse and the scientific one. Such a stylistic peculiarity points to the influence of Giordano Bruno, who also advocated a tangled combination of arts and sciences and whose work was overtly praised by Joyce beginning with his essay “The Philosophy of Bruno” (1903). Bruno's work later became a philosophical source for the structure and language of Finnegans Wake. Besides Bruno's famous theory of the coincidence of contraries, which is applicable to Joyce's poetics as well, a similar “intermedial” and interdisciplinary discourse can be found in Bruno's aesthetics and philosophy.

Keywords: Giordano Bruno; Intermediality; philosophy; Finnegans Wake

Chapter.  5237 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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