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The James Joyce Scholars' Collection

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Budgen, Frank / James Joyce and the making of 'Ulysses', and other writings
(1972)

Joyce's chapters of going forth by day (1939-41),   pp. 323-342 PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 323

JOYCE'S CHAPTERS OF 
GOING FORTH BY DAY 
It is important to keep clear of labels. Joyce's aesthetic creed was made
by himself for himself, and it will be hard to see him as a follower or hail
him as a leader of any school. If any device lay handy in the free-for-all
communal workshop, he was quite willing to make use of it with thanks to
the inventor (as in the case of the parole intérieure) but always
as the larron impénitent. If you saw Joyce in the company of any doctrinaire
you might be sure the association would end at the next crossroads. It is
truer of Joyce than of most writers to say that his books grew out of his
own life, and it follows that their origins lie in the vital circumstances
out of which they arose. Looking for these is like looking for the source
of a river and finding a tangle of a dozen springs and rills which have to
serve our practical purpose, for if we looked any farther we should come
to the sky and sea, source of all rivers. 
 Leopold Bloom in Ulysses has several dozy moments in the course of his day's
wandering, and Joyce presents these with uncanny skill. A dream of the night
before haunts him throughout the day till he drops off to sleep, leaving
his bigger and better half to her famous monologue which ' turns slowly,
evenly, though with variations, capriciously, but surely like the huge earthbâll
itself round and round spinning.' After that day whose presentation had taken
him the greater part of a decade Joyce must have found himself staring questioningly
at the mysterious night. 
 For about half the time that it took to compose Ulysses Joyce lived in Zurich,
at that time the second capital of psychoanalysis. Joyce preferred butter
as a subject of conversation, and talk about dreams and the subconscious
was likely to drive him to a bored silence or to a Ma che / of impatience.
But there it was. You might call the subject a nightmare or a mare's nest,
love it or detest it; it was like the Föhn wind: you couldn't escape
it. 
 Einstein's theory of the universe was becoming common property, and to another
group of explorers the atom was yielding up its 


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