Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake

Boldrini, Lucia. 2001. Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521792769 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Lucia Boldrini's study examines how Dante's literary and linguistic theories in his treatises and in the Divine Comedy helped shape the radical narrative techniques of Joyce's last novel, Finnegans Wake. Through detailed parallel readings, she explores a range of connections: issues such as the question of Babel, literary creation as excrement, the complex relations between literary, geometrical and female forms. Boldrini places Joyce's work in the wider context of other modernist writing's relation to Dante, thereby identifying the distinctness of Joyce's own project. She considers how theories of influence and intertextuality help or limit the understanding of the relation. Boldrini shows how, through an untiring confrontation with his predecessors, constantly thematised within his writing, Joyce develops a 'poetics in progress' that informs not only his final work but his entire oeuvre. This book will appeal to scholars and students interested in Joyce, Dante, and questions of literary relations.

• This study traces Joyce's poetics from the earlier works through to Finnegans Wake • Primarily aimed at readers of Joyce, but also offers valuable readings of Dante's works • Offers an analysis of the relationship between Dante's works, both poetic and theoretical, and Joyce's Finnegans Wake


Introduction: In the wake of the divine comic;
Prelude: 'Bethicket me' or, how to find the straight way in the wood of Samuel Beckett's Obliquity of Examination;
1. Working in layers;
2. The confusioning of human races;
3. Distilling vulgar matter;
4. Figures of ineffability;

Item Type:



James Joyce; Dante; Finnegans Wake

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature



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Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2010 13:45

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2017 15:14


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