Journal Article

‘To Vary the Timehonoured Adage’: Ulysses and the Proverb

Matthew Creasy

in English: Journal of the English Association

Volume 57, issue 217, pages 65-81
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0013-8215
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1756-1124 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/english/efn008
‘To Vary the Timehonoured Adage’: Ulysses and the Proverb

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)
  • Literary Studies (American)
  • Literary Studies (British and Irish)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Ulysses contains over 130 locutions from the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, but this abundance of proverbial sayings and familiar sayings has received relatively little direct critical attention. This essay examines the importance of proverbs to Ulysses, paying particular attention to Joyce's repeated habit of varying or adapting the form of the proverbs he quotes. These alterations have, it is argued, significant implications for our understanding of the proverb as a form and Ulysses itself. By misquoting and misattributing proverbs from a variety of literary and non-literary sources, Joyce raises important questions about linguistic agency, about the distinctions between high literature and low popular culture and about the politics of literature in Ireland. The authorship of proverbs, their relation to individual utterance and collective wisdom is shown to be as complex and richly ambiguous as Joyce's stylistic achievement.

Journal Article.  6731 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature) ; Literary Studies (American) ; Literary Studies (British and Irish)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.