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Hart, Clive / Structure and motif in Finnegans wake
(1962)

Chapter four: spatial cycles: I--the circle,   pp. 109-128 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 109

 CHAPTER FOUR 109 
SPATIAL CYCLES: 
I—THE CIRCLE 
I 
ne cannot help noticing that rather more than half of the lines run north-south.
. . while the others go west—east. . . for, tiny tot though it looks
when 
schtschupnistling alongside other incunabula, it has its cardinal points
for all that. . . It is seriously believed by some that the intention may
have been geodetic - . .'  (114.02) Writing of a special kind of spatial
form in the novel, Mr. Forster, in a well known passage in his Aspects of
the Xovel', describes the pattern of two books as like ' an hour-glass' and
a ' grand chain' respectively. Perhaps as some kind of compensation for his
purblindness, Joyce is constantly concerned in his later books with the problems
of suggesting similar structures apprehendable by the visual imagination.
Wyndham Lewis chided Joyce for being time-centred rather than space-centred2
and there is a sense in which his argument is valid,3 but, as Joyce asked
Frank Budgen, ' is it more than ten per cent of the truth?'4 In so far as
he consistently organises his creations according to almost visible spatial
patterns, Joyce is surely one of the most spatially conscious of writers.
Indeed, so prominent is the spatial, static aspect of Joyce's art that it
provoked a very 
1 London, 1949, Chapter VIII. 
2 Time and Western Man, London, 1927, pp. 91—130. 
 ~ See S. K. Kumar, ' Space-Time Polarity in Finnegans Wake', Modern Philology,
vol. LIV, no. 4, May, 1957, pp. 230—3. 
 ~ F. Budgen, ' Further Recollections ofJames Joyce', Partisan Review, Fall,
1956, p. 539. 


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