46 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-nuk!"

It's a nonce word and is used only in Finnegans Wake. I have no clue why Joyce made it so long (perhaps he wanted to catch readers' attention and persuade them to read Finnegans Wake). It's defined by ...
Decapitated Soul's user avatar
46 votes
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Why doesn't James Joyce ever use quotation marks?

James Joyce preferred dashes to quotation marks for aesthetic reasons. He even went so far as to call quotation marks "perverted commas". He remarks on his dislike of quotation marks at various ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 1,104
22 votes

Why is Gravity’s Rainbow considered postmodern, yet Finnegans Wake is not?

The answer to this is very simply one of time frames. Modernism is the name given to a series of linked movements across the arts that spans from the late 19th century to roughly the Second World War. ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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20 votes
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Why is Gravity’s Rainbow considered postmodern, yet Finnegans Wake is not?

The premise of your question is unjustified. It is a very widespread view that Finnegans Wake is precisely a postmodernist work. Take a look, for instance, at this answer on here, which states: ...
Segorian's user avatar
  • 764
15 votes

Why doesn't James Joyce ever use quotation marks?

It's called "quotation dashes," or "theater style," or "the continental manner." The latter term is because it's used (among several other styles, like < > ) by many languages common in continental ...
BESW's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

What "Irish Oath" sounds like "Thoth"?

An explanation of this point is given by Don Gifford in his work Joyce Annotated, who in turn refers back to P.W. Joyce's reference work English as we speak it in Ireland, in particular to chapter VI &...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
13 votes
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Has there ever been a stage production of Chapter 15 of Ulysses?

From A Critical Companion to James Joyce by Fargnoli and Gillespie I learnt the fascinating tidbit that the Circe episode not only was adapted to a play entitled Ulysses in Night-town (directed by ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
12 votes

Meaning of "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-nuk!"

Ahh yes, the impeccable word: bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur- nuk! only opposed by Shakespeare's honorificabilitudinitatibus and the ...
Tom O' Bedlam's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Where and how did James Joyce condemn Hamlet as a failure?

TL;DR: Joyce criticized dramatic flaws in Hamlet, but never condemned the play as a “failure”. Summary Richard Ellman’s biography of Joyce makes it clear that Joyce thought Henrik Ibsen a better ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

In Ulysses, why does Stephen finally decide not to stay with Bloom?

This question has been well discussed. See for example Kenner Chapter 13. Here is my take. All the quotes are from the penultimate chapter. That is the ending Bloom desires. Bloom gets the son he lost....
fundagain's user avatar
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10 votes
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Who is “our greatest living phonetic expert” in “Ulysses”?

The passage quoted in the question continues as follows: Our greatest living phonetic expert (wild horses shall not drag it from us!) has left no stone unturned in his efforts to delucidate and ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
9 votes

In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, how can the reader intuit the meaning of "champagne" in the first chapter?

I don't see anything else in the text to support an interpretation of 'champagne' alluding to explosives. Dedalus' father and his friend seem to be harking back to a story from some years previously, ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
8 votes
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Does Joyce, in Finnegans Wake or Ulysses, link the sound form "hoe" to "whore"?

Most of these aren't saying "whore". The one that does is "Hohore", which according to this page is actually "ho whore"; "ho" here is the exclamation. Also, note the r in "hore". The Oxford English ...
Laurel's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why is there so much stream of consciousness in Ulysses?

You are correct to point out that Joyce's use of the stream of consciousness technique developed over his career. While there are only inklings of it in his early work, there is quite a bit of it in ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 1,104
8 votes

What languages should one know to appreciate Finnegans Wake?

I found some quotes from Wikipedia about how to read it. They seem to suggest that you should appreciate the rhythm more than anything. Eugene Jolas said: Those who have heard Mr. Joyce read ...
Matrim Cauthon's user avatar
7 votes

What is the purpose of all the lists in chapter 12 of Joyce's Ulysses?

To add to andejons' answer regarding the Gilbert schema's technique of "gigantism", I'd suggest Joyce may also have been referencing, parodying or even honouring the 16th century Gargantua and ...
Chappo Hasn't Forgotten's user avatar
6 votes

What is the purpose of all the lists in chapter 12 of Joyce's Ulysses?

According to the Gilbert schema for understanding Ulysses, created by Joyce for his friend Stuart Gilbert, the technique that is used in the "Cyclops chapter" (a designation that also comes from the ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 3,475
6 votes
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Did Joyce "estimate" how many readers would understand Finnegans Wake?

I found a quote that may be what you're remembering, or slightly misremembering. It's not from Joyce himself, but I think it's close enough to be worth posting as an answer. It concerns Work in ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
6 votes

What does "perverse madonna" mean?

It may have a double meaning. Perverse can iteslf mean showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable and contrary to the accepted or expected ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
6 votes

What "Irish Oath" sounds like "Thoth"?

"Tá a fhios ag fia" in modern Irish. "Fiadh" is an old spelling. Check the fourth entry for "fia" here: https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/fia. The "th" in "...
gormadoc's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes
Accepted

How did Ibsen's writing in A Doll's House influence the James Joyce character Molly Bloom?

While Ibsen was indeed a great influence on Joyce in many ways, there is no evidence that Ibsen's writing in A Doll's House influenced Joyce's character Molly Bloom from Ulysses. While the onus really ...
fundagain's user avatar
  • 1,943
5 votes
Accepted

Why do we see so little mention of Leopold Bloom's social isolation in his internal monologue?

Because the statement "A key theme of the novel is Bloom's relative social isolation" is false. Answering this in the negative, when no evidence to the positive has been presented whatsoever, is ...
fundagain's user avatar
  • 1,943
5 votes

Why was/is James Joyce's writing revolutionary for its time?

Joyce's work was revolutionary in a number of ways. In most of them it was not that he innovated new techniques, but in the degree to which he pushed them. To start with, it is worth considering what ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22.3k
5 votes

What is Leopold doing in the chapter Aeolus in Ulysses?

Bloom is an ad salesman. He is trying to broker a business deal, in which the Telegraph will run an ad for his client, “Alexander Keyes, tea, wine and spirit merchant.” Bloom brings a clipping of an ...
Kevin Troy's user avatar
  • 2,090
5 votes

Where is the yellow in "pasqualines" from Finnegans Wake?

One possibility: daffodils are called paasbloemen (Easter flowers) or paaslelies (Easter lilies) in Dutch. This is a fairly roundabout connection, but it's possible that this is Joyce's connection of ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
  • 12.5k
5 votes
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Where is the yellow in "pasqualines" from Finnegans Wake?

I think you are correct when you identify the Pasqualina. On this site we read (in Google assisted translation, that perhaps the only element that truly defines this Genoese savory cake is the whole ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
4 votes
Accepted

What does Stephen Dedalus mean: "History is the nightmare from which I’m trying to awake”?

To understand this, once needs to know a little Irish history. Essentially Ireland has been an island riven by violence almost continually for over a thousand years. First it was the Vikings, raiding, ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Does Joyce use interior monologue in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"?

tl;dr Stream of consciousness, partly; interior monologue, no. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is narrated largely through indirect discourse limited to Stephen Dedalus's point of view. ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
3 votes

Who wrote the well-known Outline of Chapter Contents in the Penguin edition of Finnegans Wake?

I suspect that the ‘Outline of Chapter Contents’ was written by Seamus Deane, who edited the Joyce editions for Penguin in the early 1990s. The evidence I have for this is that the following editions ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar

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