Hart, Clive / Structure and motif in Finnegans wake
Chapter four: spatial cycles: I--the circle, pp. 109-128 PDF (1.2 MB)
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.
Copyright © 1962 by Clive Hart.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright