Abstract

All Joyce’s works both implicitly and explicitly contain theories of artistic creation. The central theme of this dissertation concerns the separate roles assigned to male and female in descriptions of the creative process in Finnegans Wake, and additionally to assess the gender-related issues surrounding the Wakean cycle of creativity. The latter requirement unites two modes of reading: namely an elucidation of what is overtly present in Finnegans Wake regarding creative acts, together with an assessment of the implications of what is absent or repressed. The argument seeks to demonstrate a new understanding of the cycle of Wakean creativity by examining recurring references to a picture motif and its relationship to the more widely appreciated letter motif. It also examines the feminine reverse of the masculine structure of the cyclic reproduction of HCE, and in particular the ways in which Joyce simultaneously produces and undermines those cycles. The thesis shows that reproduction of the unifying masculine logos and its accompanying control of desire for the purposes of social domination is offset by a correlated requirement for resisting the logos based upon difference and free love.

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