4. Do you think that Lucia's madness affected Joyce's writing? Do you think Joyce had writer’s block at any time?

Finn Fordham wrote ([Finnegans Wake and the Dance; pp. 12-41] in Abiko Quarterly with James Joyce Finnegans Wake Studies No.17 in Winter-Spring, 1997-’98) ---- (Page 37) In 1922, Joyce remarked to a friend that he did not know what to do with his daughter. We would argue that he tried to project a positive fate through the writing of Finnegans Wake. He extended Lucia's personality into the text, through literary analogy through fetishistic anagram, through translation of her name as Light; but this projection, this poeticisation of her, detracted from her actuality -- the fictional extensions are not the personality itself. And the other attempt to extend Lucia's personality by supporting her dancing career, in its failure, points up the way that the book too had attempted to do this, casting her in the reconstructive role of Isis. The peace-giving rainbow has itself become a failure -- "so much for his arks day triump" as Issy says. This notion of confession here, of Joyce expressing a sense of guilt, is treated in what we will now hear as the final story relating to dancing: Joyce returns to the biblical myth of Jephthah to find an analogy with his own, and incorporates it into 2.2, where Joyce is hardest at work sorting out his sense of guilt towards Lucia. The use of stories as somehow archetypal, shared by everyone, reassures the subject that however awful their situation, history proves them not to be alone, not isolated in their sense of shame. Joyce performed this act of analogy in his letters about Lucia: "One needs all Job's patience with Solomon's wisdom and the Queen of Sheba's pinmoney thrown in" (Letters, III p. 307). Incidentally we might note that this purpose in the role of analogous stories is a seriously under-researched area in the Wake.
(Page 38) The tragic narrative of Lucia's fall has outgrown the comedy of Jaun's collapse. The former supplied Joyce with the tears which he could join to the laughter of the latter and thus evoke "Laughtears" (15.9); it brought material which the river had lacked for "she felt she wanted salt"; and it gave new steps in the treatment of dancing. The view back and the view forward in the ricorso -- Book 4 -- shows us two threads about dancing which correspond to the two narratives we are now familiar with. The story of Shaun finds him grown into a voyeuristic and senile HCE, taking a walk in order to be near once more to those from whom his age has exiled him:
And there, comes the sorter, Mr Hurr Hansen, talking all the ways in himself of his hopes to fall in among a merryfoule of maidens happynghome from the dance (602.17-33)
The story of Lucia balances this comic vision of desire with a more troublesome one:
and the bride of the Bryne, shin high shake, is dotter than evar for a damse wed her farther. (595.5-6)
Madness, the fall, marriage, paternity, a daughter/father relationship, dancing, Biblical and Irish myth (See McHugh), are sewed closely together again, as the myth of the fall is about to be retaled. Joyce paid regular visits to Lucia after she was hospitalised for the last time in 1936, near Paris. Helen Joyce described these visits in her reminiscences evoking a terrible picture of James and Lucia Joyce dancing together wildly before he would return home by taxi and relate his visit in tears. Perhaps such a scene is worked through here: Dotter is the dotty daughter, now dottier than ever, madder than Eve for a dance with her father. Why? Because perhaps another woman is married to him -- "a dame has wed her father"; or perhaps because the myth of "Adam sewed her father" -- sewed him up in a net of shame and desire, which tramelled sex into acceptable and unacceptable forms. The only way to express the unacceptable forms is to sublimate them through the dance -- make vertical what cannot be horizontal.
(Page 39) [iv. Dance as metaphor for cosmos.] Leaving the ricorso we are bound by the structure of this essay as with the structure of the book to return to the beginning. At the beginning, you may recall, we encountered the metaphor of book as dance, and the promise that we would return to the metaphor of the book as microcosmos -- as universe in little. In turn this metaphor, being tripartite, invites the comparison of universe as dance. Aristotle's four elements that make up the universe are seen to be arranged at the Wake in a dance. Now that we have illustrated the breadth of the treatment of the dance and specified narratives attached to it, we are ready to take on this metaphor. The breadth of course sets up a difficulty, but also provides a solution. The metaphor of the dance is not static, it exists within a moving narrative which take its moves beyond the vision of the dainty dancers in a circle, or the god-like Shaman casting a spell over his audience. Thus Joyce takes the metaphor from the classical and Renaissance vision of ordered chains, circling in mutually supporting figures. Finnegans Wake takes us back before and on after this moment -- to the desire which instigates it and the desire which disrupts it. The universe as dance is not therefore ultimately dominated by a Dante-esque classical notion of order as perfection. This universe as book was first written when, for some, like a prophesying Yeats, this idea of a centre which held could no longer hold, and the circle was breaking up; and this universe as book is read when the tradition of circular dancing has become just that -- a tradition appearing occasionally at new year for the sake of old lang syne. The specific narratives of Shaun and Lucia provide the same solution, for through them we find Joyce injects desire into the vision of Dante. This desire breaks up Dante's ring, disrupting its convention, whose endless gyring is ultimate]y static, ringing around and repeating itself or representing only some impermanent notion of the permanent words of God. For their circularity is a static dance of death, interpreted in the Wake as the "morties callisthenic" -- the dance for health which is a dance of death. The circle breaks and while it yearns to join again, as the book tries to return to its source, it is open and lets still more in. The circle is no longer closed in on itself, but romps right round in rout. The dance of the cosmos is brought back to earthly desire and is no longer shy and wall flowered as it was in the vision of an ideal paradise, but throws itself in to the ring and breaks it up. Desire initiates the dance, and, in a frenzied circle "we tear around"; but the same desire breaks the ring, it "tears a round." At this moment, as the book tells us "It is their segnall for old Champelysied to seek the shades of his retirement and for young Chappielassies to tear a round and tease their partners lovesoftfun at Finnegan's Wake"(607.14-16).
"With a ring ding dong. . ."I" raise clasped hands and advance more steps to retire to the saum"(249.21-22)
Bonnie Kime Scott wrote (in Joyce and Feminism in 1984; Indiana University Press) ---- (Page 185) Issy has also won from her critics a number of dubious distinctions. It is not the intention of this study to dismiss these out of hand, but to ask if cultural biases might have encouraged their early discovery, and to invite new and fuller perceptions of Issy. It seems obvious that Issy is modeled to some extent upon Joyce's own daughter, Lucia. Indeed, the "april cot" passage, with its white flower and the child's "wild" eyes is reminiscent of Joyce's poem "A Flower Given to My Daughter," cited in the consideration of Lucia in chapter 4. Issy's dancing also suggests Lucia. Yet it does not necessarily follow that she must share Lucia's schizophrenia or what Hélène Cixous takes to be Lucia's "tragically violent jealousy" over her parents' mutual companionship. Adaline Glasheen was one of Issy's first analyzers, and her assessments that Issy is "mad" and "a triumph of female imbecility and sexual attraction" still stand in her Third Census of Finnegans Wake. Many find Issy not just attractive, but a veritable temptress, and draw the perennial critical dichotomy of virgin vs. whore to describe the aspects of her personality. Issy's frequent use of the looking glass has won her the label "narcissistic." None of these attributes suggest that Joyce has created a character worthy of feminists' admiration or enhanced the range of literary conceptions of woman in this key late character. Women and madness seem to go together, both in psychological and literary research of the last decade. Issy's supposed madness is widely accepted, based upon contradictory attitudes displayed and dialogues heldwith her mirror companion, both readily located in the text. Glasheen discovered Joyce's borrowing for Issy of the letters and behaviors of Sally Beauchamp, one of the personalities of a young woman from Boston, whose case was described in The Dissociation of a Personality, by her psychiatrist, Morton Prince. Though he acknowledges the structural importance of Prince's report, James Atherton notes that "all characters split into parts at some place in the book." Shari Benstock notes that the fragmentation of Issy may exist only in the mind of the presumably male dreamer. Our task will be to look for undetected reasons for Joyce's creating these divisions in Issy.
(Page 204) Lucia Joyce belongs in a general study of aspiring, revisionary performers, fashion designers and artists of the twenties. She has been the subject of much psychological speculation, the commentators including Jung and Joyce himself. Recent feminist studies of mother-daughter relationships might profitably be applied to her. Lucia Joyce's case may also help us to understand the tensions that the ever-changing politics and moral norms of Europe in the early twentieth century produced in young women; the extremes were strongly represented in the shifting residences and conflicts of tradition and revolution within her family experience and within her father alone.
Margaret McBride wrote ([Finnegans Wake: The Issue of Issy's Schizophrenia; pp. 145-175] in Joyce Studies Annual 1996 edited by Thomas F. Staley; University of Texas Press) ---- (Page 145) HCE's daughter has, understandably, stirred the interest of feminist critics. Scott associates Issy with "vision and communication" (Joyce and Feminism, 186). She is also, in Scott's analysis, verbally gifted: "No other character surpasses Issy in wordplay" (Joyce and Feminism, 192). Yet, at the same time, "Issy's writing is tellingly restricted to the margin -- the bottom margin, the footnotes" (Scott, James Joyce, 126). This odd status is all the more remarkable because Issy is also regarded as a thinly disguised version of Joyce's own daughter, Lucia, who was severely schizophrenic. The many correspondences between Lucia and the young female of the Wake inevitably trouble readers, for the parallel suggests that Joyce was using his child's tragic situation as the inspiration for an insane (and oddly subordinate) creation, who often seems merely to hover around the perimeters of the story. Adaline Glasheen epitomizes this discomfiture when she writes that "Joyce observed his daughter's madness with care and interest and wrote about it with great power and bad taste."
(Page 146) The key to Issy's position as the tale's teller comes through a fuller understanding of the precise nature of the work in which she appears. Finnegans Wake may be no dream; rather, it may be a dazzling schizophrenic phantasmagoria. A review of the classic studies of this disorder, done in the first quarter of this century, reveals the degree to which the medical literature is influencing both the form and the theme of the tale, a tale saturated with the writings of pioneering psychologists like Kraepelin, Bleuler, and Jung. In effect, Joyce's final masterpiece is a portrait of the artist as a schizophrenic.
(Page 172) But Issy's tale does finally make sense when one sees that it is about schizophrenia itself. And the narrative appears to be not simply addressing the issue of schizophrenia but actually issuing out of a schizophrenic mind. Moreover, as crucial terms and images surrounding this disorder seem to surround Issy specifically, they point to the adolescent daughter of HCE as the story's originator. Indeed, Issy's hebephrenia insistently imprints itself upon the text, serving as a strange kind of holograph. So distinctly hebephrenic are the writing modes of this self-styled Hebe, that, as noted, she does not need even to sign her work: "why, pray, sign anything as long as every word, letter, penstroke, paperspace is a perfect signature of its own?" (FW 115.06-08). While Issy may initially seem almost invisible within the story, her relatively secondary role is deceptive; she may be the most important and powerful presence in the tale. The work's form and theme suggest that Issy is the long-sought-for (waking) dreamer of Finnegans Wake.
Jean-Michel Rabaté wrote (in Joyce upon the Void in 1991; Macmillan) ---- (Page 101) Between 1923, when Joyce starts systematically parodying his former works in Notebook VI.A (Scribbledehobble), and 1933, when he has remoulded the 'Lessons' chapter, a certain break has taken place, a break linked to growing personal problems and also to the logic of the Wake's wordmachine. The troubled genesis of II.2 is directly symptomatic of this crisis, as Joyce seems to acknowledge when he admits in 1939 that it is 'the most difficult of all' the parts of the Wake, and adds: 'yet the technique here is a reproduction of a schoolboy's (and schoolgirl's) old classbook complete with marginalia by the twins, who change sides at half time, footnotes by the girl (who doesn't), a Euclid diagram, funny drawings etc. It was like that in Ur of the Chaldees too, I daresay' (Letters,I,406). The half-joking allusion to Ur stresses the link with astronomy, mathematics and parascientific lore concerned with predicting the future. The Scribbledehobble notebook contains under the heading 'Ithaca', among many items pertaining to science, the simple remark: 'write as if future exists'. In a sense, Joyce did precisely that: he wrote his last book, and especially this chapter, as if a future existed for him, for his daughter, and for everyone in Europe, repressing his well-founded doubts as to what that future would bring. Indeed, David Hayman has shown in his exemplary analysis of II.2 how the chapter's obscurities and difficulties come from a crisis.
(Page 104) One might deplore the lack of a female completeness, the want of 'roundness' in a character who exhibits herself entirely with all her shortcomings and vitality. But here, fragmentation is the key, as always with Issy-related figures, and this is nowhere more obvious than in the interaction between the text and the annotations. Joyce leaves Issy the responsibility for her incoherence, he does not try to frame it in a pattern of predetermined intepretations. He adopts the same attitude to her as that he had facing Lucia's madness: he had to admit that she had a discourse of her own and thought that if one could listen to it to the end, it would eventually make sense. He wrote about Lucia in 1935, roughly at the time he was working on these drafts: 'She behaves like a fool very often but her mind is as clear and as unsparing as the lightning. She is a fantastic being speaking a curious abbreviated language of her own. I understand it or most of it' (Letters,IV,376). In recreating this abbreviated language, Joyce was not cynically exploiting the possibilities of psychical exploration afforded by his daughter's malady; he was on the contrary trying to defend her project by giving it a place in his own, while allowing for the radical heterogeneity of her idiom. In that sense, Joyce was not only defending her sanity or his own, but indicating a progressive and positive pedagogy he would have liked to use with Lucia in order to save her from schizophrenia. And when he points out the incestuous wishes linking father and daughter, he never lets us forget that his real object is to enhance the textual incest, the way textuality keeps commenting upon itself, devouring itself, regurgitating itself. Textual dismemberment is the answer to textual incest; this creates a dynamics of centrifugal versus centripetal movements which cross and recoup themselves around the letter. That is why it is important to understand how Joyce works with the dissemination of the several versions of the letter in II.2. At one point, he had prepared a series of footnotes ready to be added at the bottom of some pages. Then he apparently changed his mind, numbered each sentence, before finally reshuffling them and transforming the sentences into one long letter which nevertheless remains a single footnote (279). After this long footnote, Issy is incorporated into the text for one page (280), and this is where we find the completely undecidable signature within the text: 'From Auburn chenlemagne' (280.27-8). The long footnote is introduced by a pause, requested by the text itself: 'A halt for hearsake' (279.9) is followed by '1' and the note. The text continues all the same with 'A scene at sight. Or dreamoneire. Which they shall memorise. By her freewritten Hopely for ear that annalykeses if scares for eye that sumns' (280.1-4).
Danis Rose wrote (in The Textual Diaries of James Joyce in 1995; The Lilliput Press, Dublin) ---- (Page 113) There can be no doubt but that James Joyce was suffering from a severe case of what is commonly termed "writer's block." The syndrome, which evidently had its origins in the series of rejections beginning with the Dial's in September 1926, was reinforced by the collapse of his sight in 1928, and was brought to a head by the increasing pressures from his family which climaxed in 1930. The central issue was the status of his marriage. This was compelled by the engagement of his son Giorgio to Helen Fleischman: the "inheritance" had to be legally secured. Next, Lucia took up the gauntlet and in several violent outbursts berated her parents' marital irresponsibility. Joyce, in his weakened condition, caved in. He tried to make the best of it by pretending that he had already married Nora in 1904 (presumably in Trieste or Pola). The fact remains, however, that the "second" marriage (which took place on 4 July 1931) was a deeply humiliating experience for James Joyce. In 1904, he had made it a point of honour not to enter into a formal marriage contract with Nora; a quarter of a century later, in post-operative stress and writing a book that nobody either wanted or understood (least of all his family), he could no longer "flash his antlers in the air" but rather, with head bent, had to "adequate the balance-sheet".
Robert M. Polhemus wrote (in Comic Faith in 1980; The University of Chicago Press) ---- (Page 316) What may be even more surprising for this artist with the pride of Lucifer is the ridicule of his own literary ambition and accomplishment. And Joyce is not simply using the "old tactic of defensive self-mockery" and discrediting his critics by having the egregious Shaun speak their views. Shaun voices the conventional sentiments about Joyce and Finnegans Wake, but many of the difficulties and problems he points out are real, including the general estimate and reputation of the book as a failure. It is part of the drama of "Shem," the Wake, and Joyce's comic gospel that the criticism is in some ways true and must be faced and accepted. Certainly no critic has written more devastatingly about the Wake than Shaun. The worst thing that could happen to an experimental writer, like Joyce, who had given his life over to a work that looks insane to most people, would be to doubt his own sanity and to see himself, in the world's reflection, as a deluded madman. Shaun-Justius's final whispered words to Shem end with a terrible last judgment: "Sh! Shem, you are. Sh! You are mad!" (193.27, 28), Joyce makes that implicit judgment on the author of "Work in Progress" the climax of Shaun's attack on Shem because, I think, he feared it might be true. Shem intends to call his masterpiece "his Ballade Imaginaire" (177.27,28) (i.e., the Ballad of Persse , O'Reilly, Finnegans Wake), or How a Guy Finks and Fawkes When He Is Going Batty (177.29). The nightmare of the artist-hero defying the world is to find out that the world is right and he is insanely wrong, but the best triumph is to find a way of turning that nightmare into a joke. If the madman is traditionally alienated from the community, still, he is the one who proverbially hears voices, and to him in the end come the voices of the dead and of nature and also the power to articulate these strange voices. The whole denigration of Shem and Joyce’s selfmockery through him rest on the psycological principle of mastering fear through play.
Robert M. Polhemus also wrote ([Dantellising Peaches and Miching Daddy, the Gushy Old Goof: The Browning Case and Finnegans Wake; pp. 75-103] in Joyce Studies Annual 1994 edited by Thomas F. Staley; University of Texas Press) ---- (Page 97) The excerpt features and mocks the impulse of boundless, unseemly sexual desire and turns the elder's lust into foolish egomania. Guilty eroticism becomes a lampoon composograph. "Papa pals" and "you're too dada for me to dance" show Joyce, through Peaches, moving coyly into Lottish father-daughter complexities and the psychological dynamics of incestuous feelings and incest taboo. Peaches seems to have helped make it easier for Joyce to think about and probe imaginatively Lucia's life and her relationship to him; it became possible for him to fashion and develop from them and their oddly representative lives the Issy configuration and the profound, wild, unsettling art surrounding her, particularly in the "Mime" and "Night Lessons" chapters. The Peaches "gel" has a great deal in common with Lucia Joyce: they both are dancers whose dancing affects their respective "Daddies"; both develop a passion for clothes; both are boy-crazy; both seem to belong to Daddy, but make their bodies available to others; both are split personalities; both have some kind of a libidinous passion for letters (e.g., "Arty, Bert, or . . . Charley"; "A. B. C."; "lettereens"). Joyce, in his "peaches" passages, represents the connection he senses between erotic desire and writing: Here, "papa pals" means paper-and-pen pals, and "peaches," a letter-girl, flirts and dances with members of the alphabet.
(Page 100) At the end of Finnegans Wake we read: "Salterella come to her. Now a younger's there" (627.5-6), and "it's old and old it's own. . . sad and old it's sad and weary I go back to you, my cold father, my cold mad father, my cold mad feary father . . . " (627.36-628.2). Joyce tried in the Wake to give the daughter a new voice in literature that could express all kinds of desire and break through traditional repressions. The voice of the mother becomes the voice of the daughter in the last lines of the Wake and the two voices and family-roles and their relation to the father merge ("reamalgamerge" [49. 36]) and oscillate, as they do in the Lot Scripture and complex. In Joyce the voice of the daughter, the "jungerl" (Lucia Joyce was treated by Carl Jung in 1934) is heard in the land as never before. Nevertheless, it can also be heard drowning, the breath quietly dispersing in a still recirculating mode of sacrifice for the renewal life and letters: "A gull {"Gull" brings together both "bird" and "girl"}. Gulls. Far calls. {"Far" is the Danish word for "father"}. Coming far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. . . . mememormee! . . . Given! A way a lone a last a loved the" (628. 13- 16). From a Joycean point of view, we can see that out of Peaches came the juiciest scandal of the decade, out of the Issy-daughter figure in the Wake came letters and libido driving the human text, out of Lucia's suffering came Finnegans Wake, and out of Lot's daughters came Scripture. For Joyce these various written subjects all somehow mesh.
Colin MacCabe wrote (in James Joyce & the Revolution of the World in 1979; Macmillan) ---- (Page 151) If we lack the theoretical concepts needed to develop these considerations fully, we can say that in the Wake the women function as the constant excess of any limits prescribed by the male and an excess which demonstrates those limits as limits. For the father the daughter embodies the last possibility of a being who will believe in him as cause of his own desire. As Anna Livia drifts towards death she remembers her husband's wish for a daughter, 'What wouldn't you give to have a girl!' (620.26/7) But the mother reveals the father's inadequacy as she spells out 'my yearns to her' (620.36) because this lesson destroys the myth of the father's omnipotence. Anna Livia gets the opportunity to instruct her daughter when the father has taken the son out fishing and is impressing him by spinning 'yarns to him on the swishbarque waves' (620.35). The oppositions posed her provide a resumé of Joyce's themes: 'If you spun your yarns to him on the swishbarque waves I was spelling my yearns to her over cottage cake.' On the one hand you have the story-telling father promising identity and position and on the other you have the mother dividing language into its constituent parts to let desire speak. Into the oppositions male and female, position and desire Finnegans Wake introduces writing: desire in position and position in desire, an ineradicable and inexhaustible bisexuality, a constant process, 'The seim anew' (215.23).
David Hayman wrote (in The Wake in Transit in 1990; Cornell University Press) ---- (Page 14) The final turning point in the composition took place during a particularly difficult moment. Following the serial publication of Books I and III in transition, chapter II.1 was drafted and revised with little apparent difficulty in accordance with the outline discussed above. That was in 1930. Two years later, in 1932, at a time when he was plagued by renewed eye problems,* when he was discouraged about his book's reception, and when he was finally forced to accept Lucia's mental deterioration, Joyce had great difficulty drafting the opening for II.2. While revising an abortive segment derived almost entirely and very mechanically from notes taken at an earlier date in the "Scribbledehobble," he appears to have experienced a creative epiphany. Abruptly, he began cannibalizing his recent draft, reshaping much of it into footnotes and marginalia. The result was a powerfully revitalized unit published as "Storiella as She Is Syung." Once he had conquered his writer's block, Joyce was able to compose and assemble the remaining chapters in a rational and sequential manner. Between 1936 and 1938, he wrote and revised II.3 or "The Pub," an imposing chapter that contains the Buckley tale for which notes were taken in 1923 and concludes with the "Roderic O'Conor" sketch; II.4 in which two sketches were interlaced; and Book IV, where three of the early sketches are joined sequentially and the real problem was one of transitions.
* It is not unreasonable, or particularly insensitive, to relate the condition of his eyes at that time to the worsening climate at home, especially since the chapter in question, II.2, treats the adolescent Issy/Lucia. Lucia Joyce's schizophrenia could no longer be ignored in 1932; the tension between Lucia and Nora was mounting; and we may even speculate that the much-tried Nora was in the midst of her menopause.
David Hayman also wrote ([Reading Joyce’s Notebooks?! Finnegans Wake From Within; pp. 7-22] in Finnegans Wake: Fifty Years [European Joyce Studies 2] edited by Geert Lernout in 1990; Amsterdam/Atlanta) ---- (Page 20) Let's return briefly to the ramifications of the crime note. Three details stand out. First, the bald assertion of non-homosexuality, which is tantamount to an affirmation. The theme is not new for Joyce. See Stephen's anxiety in "Proteus" and Mulligan's allegations in "Scylla." It was to be reaffirmed in relation to the three soldiers HCE is accused of "annoying soldiers in the park" (FDV 63.21) which may itself be a reference to the sexual(?) joining of Shem and Shaun in the "shame that sunders em" (FW 526.14). On the other hand there is no sign in the note of the soldier-spies, who may well have been derived from the treacherous Cornish nobles, the voyeurs of Tristan and Isolde. A second detail is the identity of the girls and their number. Nurses, if not nursemaids appear in the Wake. But the plural here does not imply a simple doubling and it is not yet clear that they are manifestations of either Isolde or Is. In the first draft of "Here Comes Everybody" Joyce changed "certain" to "two maidservants" (FDV 63.26), initiating the process that turned the two Isoldes into the doubled Issy. I would suggest that the blurring of the line between Isolde, Issy and Lucia, which had begun in the notebooks, is behind this development. Finally, there is the setting. The Temple gardens or "the jews temples gardens"(U 18.91) are the site of Molly's encounter with a bishop, an event that stimulated one of the Blooms' memorable erotic sessions. Whatever Joyce was thinking of when he took that note, he quickly abandoned the Temple gardens setting for the more logical and suggestive Phoenix park of the sketch. Almost without recognizing it, while continuing his notations for Pop, the author had penciled in the outline of the crime, providing the justification for the fall. We might say that this development is grounded in the quirky sexuality of Pop and "Earwicker," if not Leopold Bloom and Joyce himself. The dreams Joyce recorded at about this time suggest that he was personally preoccupied with an intricate and perhaps onanistic sexuality. The notebook context and the dreams implicate both Isolde and Lucia in this context and the Pop notes certainly provided background for it. However its sudden formulation in the B.3 note must have represented an illumination for Joyce, something akin to a creative epiphany. We have come a long way from the indulgent and rather silly Pop of the earlier notes. We are also far from the lampooned Mark of the Tristan-related notes, a figure assimilated to the spiritual cuckold, Otto Wesendonk, the husband of Wagner's Isolde (3/69-70). By this time even Is/Isolde has lost her romance characteristics, or rather complicated them, since the outlines of the "Tristan and Isolde" are destined to color every aspect of the Wake. On the other hand, Joyce had gradually developed the outlines of the great commoner image of HCE, a postlapsarian Adam, sinner more than sinned against. Along the way the correlative image of the dreamer, possibly a citizen of Chapelizod, has achieved a degree of definition, even though he is on his way to becoming a dynamic stereotype. This figure has fathered a daughter, and as the following conceptual note suggests, he may also have a father or a son: "the son's life repeats the father's. He does not see it make the reader see it" (3/13). Early in 1923, Joyce was obviously preparing to write a generational chronicle, but the precise shape that chronicle would take was still unclear and the impulse was still mainly autobiographical. Beyond that, the notes reveal Pop/Mark/Earwicker as the victim of dream anguish and the object of the unsparing inspection, first of his daughter, then of his son(s) and more indulgent wife, and finally of the community at large.
David Hayman also wrote ([Dreaming Up the Wake; pp. 13-22] in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake: a Casebook edited by John Harty, III in 1991; Garland Publishing, New York) ---- (Page 20) The real surprise is the reference to L. J., clearly Joyce's daughter. Here Lucia's name is ambiguously linked to that of Shaun the post and much more directly with "Shame." If the link is with Shaun, then Lucia straddles the worlds of literature and dream, being at once Joyce's daughter and his creature Issy in ways that she is not in other dreams and in the book. It is to shaun/Jaun, the hypocritical priest and shame-merchant of Finnegans Wake chapter III.2, that she would be referring and specifically to the sermon he delivers to Issy and her classmates. There, Shaun flirtatiously warns the girls away from his brother (Shem/Stephen/Joyce) and her father (HCE/Wilde/Joyce). But the dream "light" is more than a moral illumination, since in that section of the book Shaun is identified with the light of the setting sun. If corroboration is needed for this reading, it is available, however ambiguously, in the reference to be a blind poet (see Joyce’s own eye problems) in the next issue. Such a figure must be yet another sublimation of the dreamer's identity. The final exclamation, which is spaced gesturally to suggest its impact as an utterance, seems to be Joyce's own, undisguised dream-response to Lucia's announcement. It does not seem unreasonable to say that the allusion to two (if not four) of Joyce's literary self-projections, conjoined as they are to an undisguised evocation of Lucia, has brought the dreamer into painfully close proximity to his daughter and to a naked expression of his own controlled lust. This reading is reenforced by the next note, written in an identical hand and hence taken immediately after Joyce had recorded his dream: "A was rather lecherous/ B [was rather] lustful." It would appear that the writer had already set about rationalizing what he knew to be normal but felt to be dangerous dream impulses, turning them into literary/social matter. Finally, it is worth noting that, not only does Lucia's name mean light, but Joyce, who was at this time being treated for glaucoma, needed reassurance and relief from the anxiety of impending blindness. Another note from this notebook makes the connection even more vividly by linking the abilities of Dr. Borsch, Joyce's specialist, with those of the 16 year old, whose identity is screened by the sigla for Issy: "[Lucia/Issy was] wiser than Borsch [with regard to] face lotion." Incest-related sexuality, ambiguous sexual impulses (see Wilde), profound guilt and fear, and endangered sight are joined in this dream even more forcefully than they have been in the earlier ones. What I am suggesting is that at least two of these early dreams, all of which seem to have been important to Joyce, contributed to the development of the crime of HCE and perhaps to the liberation of the author from some of his own demons. Unlike Stephen Dedalus, who attempted in the last chapter of Portrait to separate himself from those who would act upon him, the mature Joyce seems to have tried to face down his urges and reenact his conflicts. In doing so, he was of course continuing the project of 'Circe," if not of Ulysses in general. It is significant of course that the dreams he recorded, powerful, nightmarish, sexually charged as they are, all feature a Joycean persona, and that, like HCE, Joyce dreams of himself as seen and as acted upon rather than as acting. I suggest that his choice to make use of this oneiric material, however indirectly, was one of the most serious decisions made during his creative life. Through it he achieved some of the emotional intensity to drive the mighty engine that became Finnegans Wake through 18 difficult years and the stimulus for what became an intensely personal portrait of the nocturnal male psyche haunted by actions and urges and submerged in a sea of vibrant language.
John Gordon wrote (in Finnegans Wake: A Plot Summary in 1986; Gill and Macmillan) ---- (Page 80) There are reasons for this correspondence, which will lead us into the question of Joyce's relation with his daughter Lucia. The equation is established by a number of intricate tropes linking Issy/Lucia to the book and to its author's history. I have already described these in my previous Notes on Issy, and will here give a brief summation of the main points. First. in part because of her correspondence to Lewis Carroll's Alice Pleasance Liddel (hence A.P.L.), Issy is identified with apples, especially the apple of the fall. Second because of those signals from above, she is the book's temptress, ever 'flispering . . . to Finnegan, to sin again' (580.20). That 'flispering', with its two 'i's, is typical of her messages, perhaps because of the fireplace's prickly 'tinct tint' sound recorded at 244.13, certainly because of the various sissings and plink-plinks which descend by way of its flue. As a result she is insistently associated with doubled sounds especially with double i's ---- and thence with the two dot Morse code signal for 'I', broadcast to a distant lover who as Tristram, invariably responds with the two dashes which in Morse code indicate two t's; thence also with a host of doubled verticals and doubled dots, including the two peas in a pod which are the subject of the prankquean's troublesome overture to the father. Her 'sissing' connects her -- as 'apple' -- with the book's snake and doubtless accounts in part for her name; the double i's are also a pair of eyes, and must remind us that Joyce's daughter was named Lucia, patroness of vision. Add to this the fact of Joyce's glaucoma, the identification of Issy with Iris and Isis, -- healer of the dismembered Osiris -- and her refraction into the rainbow girls (especially as the perception of rainbows around lights is an early symptom of glaucoma), and Issy emerges as the guardian of the author's eyes -- often, in fact (those two dots) the eyes themselves. Guardian but also in some way the affliction: rainbow girl equals glaucoma's rainbow; the girl who 'broke the glass' (270.21) is implicated in the light's fragmentation into a spectrum of colours. There are two Issys, Issy herself and her looking-glass double 'Marge', figured in for instance an opposition between Issy's golden butter and Marge's working-class 'marge' (cf. Ulysses 152), innocence and seductiveness, girl without makeup and young woman with makeup, translucent moonstone and red-flecked bloodstone or 'heliotrope', and Finnegans Wake is full of evidence that the division between these two corresponded to the onset of Issy's menarche and ('mensuration makes me mad' (269.fn.3) ) schizophrenic madness, that behind that it corresponds to Lucia Joyce's decline into madness and coincides with the onset of the author's glaucoma, that both events are identified with the Wake's 'heptachromatic' vision and its splitting of the father into a similarly paired clear-eyed Shaun and purblind Shem. The onset of this catastrophe is throughout Finnegans Wake associated with a flood (because glaucoma is caused by excessive fluid building up in the eyeball: as Joyce put it else-where: 'My left eye is awash and his neighbour full of water, man/I cannot see the lass I limned for Ireland's gamest daughter man'), and a rainbow (because an early symptom is the perception of rainbow arcs around lights), Wakean analogues to Issy's first menstrual flow and the prismatic disintegration which followed from it. The biographical facts behind these conjunctions are straightforward enough. Lucia Joyce was born in Trieste while her father was in hospital with the rheumatic fever which, according to his brother, was to initiate his lifelong history of eye afflictions. One of the worst attacks of glaucoma, beginning a series which lasted throughout the composition of Finnegans Wake, occurred in July of 1921, as Lucia was turning fourteen, the age at which Milly Bloom had her first menstrual period, and either exactly or approximately the mid-point of Issy's life so far. These considerations, along with others which will follow, have led me to a cruel conclusion: The Original Sin of Finnegans Wake is the act of intercourse which produced Lucia Joyce. I agree with Margot Norris that the central calamity of the book is what Freudians call the 'primal scene' -- the intercourse of the parents, as witnessed by the child or children. (Joyce seems to have been familiar with the term. See 263.19-21.) Specifically, it is the marital copulation at which Issy was conceived, as witnessed by the boys. The story of this event has seven main constituents, not always in this exact order:
1. Preliminaries and overtures by the father, usually seen as an incursion against the mother.
2. The copulation itself, at the climax of which man and woman cry out.
3. The boys, especially Shem, witnessing the parents through the keyhole of the bedroom door.
4. The boys flee, crying out in fear, after cursing the father and being cursed. It is at this thunderous moment that for both father and sons Vico's first, Heroic' age begins: the father knows shame, the sons know fear, and an absolutist patriarchal society is in the making.
5. Having according to Vico's scheme retreated into a cave or similar enclosure (such as the 'Haunted Inkbottle' of 182.30-5), Shem insists on talking about and interpreting the events to Shaun, introducing the 'shame' which 'sunders' them.
6. The birth of Issy, nine months later, on or around the time of St Lucy's Day.
7. A general disintegration which culminates the divisions between brother and brother and parent and child opened up at the primal scene. The newborn Issy becomes a problematic redeemer of the Fall which her conception precipitated, light shining in darkness. Before the sequence begins, the father has unwittingly ensured that it will carry violent overtones. Recalling Issy's conception, ALP reminds her husband; You were pleased as Punch, recitating war exploits and pearse orations to them jackeen gapers. But that night after, all you were wanton! Bidding me do this and that and the other. And blowing off to me, hugly Judsys, what wouldn't you give to have a girl! Your wish was mewill. And lo, out of a sky! (620.27) Their minds thus filled with images of battle and rebellion, Shem and Shaun, hiding, as Shaun will recall at 504.09, in 'my invisibly lyingplace', perceived the event in their parents' bedroom as an act of military violence, and rebelled against it.
Jacques Mercanton wrote ([Dark Night and Wordplay; pp. 212-214] in Portraits of the Artist in Exile edited by Willard Potts in 1979; the University of Washington Press) ---- (Page 213) "Why should I regret my talent? I haven't any. I write with such difficulty, so slowly. Chance furnishes me what I need. I am like a man who stumbles along; my foot strikes something, I bend over, and it is exactly what I want." He mimed what he said to make it sound funny. But he spoke again of the many operations on his eyes, to which he had submitted over those long years of work, and of the state of his daughter's health. He no longer knew what to do for her. "Let us talk about something else. Nothing we can say will help her." Yet there were tears in his voice; he couldn't talk about anything else. In that night wherein his spirit struggled, that "bewildering of the nicht," lay hidden the poignant reality of a face dearly loved. He gave me details about the mental disorder from which his daughter suffered, recounted a painful episode without pathos, in that sober and reserved manner he maintained even in moments of the most intimate sorrow. After a long silence, in a deep, low voice, beyond hope, his hand on a page of his manuscript: "Sometimes I tell myself that when I leave this dark night, she too will be cured."
Brenda Maddox wrote (in Nora in 1988; Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston) ---- (Page 252) How far was Anna Nora? Joyce's language in Finnegans Wake convoluted and strewn with fragmented biographical references that easy to find almost anything in it. The correlations are not nearly as obvious as those between Molly Bloom and Nora. As a woman Anna Livia is described as being very small, much smaller than her husband H. C. Earwicker, but she is also a river and a bird. Not a seabird but a hen. Yet in many ways she is more Nora than Molly could ever be. Anna Livia has lived through all the stages of womanhood, reaching disillusioned old age, and has worn herself out looking after her family. Some of the physical correlations with Nora are close. Anna Livia is both beautiful and ugly. She has or had red hair; she has it marcel waved. The Wake scholar Margot Norris has pointed out how Anna loves clothes ("I am so exquisitely pleased about the loveleavest dress I have") and new shoes, her "goodiest shoeshoes." (Joyce in 1904 addressed Nora as Miss Goody Two-Shoes.) She worries about her increasing weight, like a river filling with stones "getting hoovier . . . fullends a twelve stone hoovier," shields her sensitive skin from the sun, or puts cosmetics on it. Anna, by Norris's feminist interpretation, is lonely and can only restore her pride by being sexually desired by a man. The sexuality has gone out of her marriage (such as it is -- Anna trapped Earwicker into wedlock after long cohabitation), but she is a strong, loving, and dutiful nurse to her elderly, invalid husband. She forgives him his past transgressions and his brutal and eccentric sexual practices. More vigorous and mobile than he, she pulls him up and out into life. "Rise up, man of the hooths, you have slept so long." She leads him by the hand, fusses over his clothes, and speaks to him as if he were a child: "And stand up tall! I want to see you looking fine for me." Beckett was not blameless in the matter of Lucia. He saw his literary future jeopardized by the unwanted attentions of the daughter of his idol. He allowed himself to be drawn into a family group of six - Helen and Giorgio, Nora and Joyce, and himself and Lucia. In fact, he was seen so often in Lucia's company that Paris literary gossip had them engaged. Beckett, for example, formed part of the family group on two important occasions: Giorgio's singing debut on April 25, 1929, and the dance competition in May that Lucia narrowly lost. As she shimmered in her silver fish costume, she had the pleasure of knowing that Beckett's piercing pale eyes were upon her. Beckett was diverted by Lucia, who chattered volubly on many subjects, but he had no sexual interest in her whatsoever. He was, says his biographer, emotionally retarded. Not until he was twenty-three did he begin to take an interest in women; at the time of Lucia's infatuation he was in love with a German-Jewish cousin. Yet before long he formed the suspicion and confided to Kay Boyle, that Joyce's daughter was going mad. In May 1930, while her parents were in Switzerland, Lucia invited Beckett to lunch at an Italian restaurant. She was expecting a magical private occasion and perhaps a proposal. But he, insultingly, brought a male friend along for protection. Lucia, although well dressed, behaved very strangely. She hardly ate, then suddenly and wordlessly got up from the table and moved out the door before the end of the meal. The symptoms were of schizophrenia, not of a broken heart, but Beckett finally felt he had to speak directly to her. He told Lucia in plain words that he was not romantically interested in her and that he came to their every day as her father's helper, no more. Lucia was distraught. Nora, when she returned from Switzerland, was furious. She blamed Beckett for leading the girl on in order to ingratiate himself with Joyce. Nora rounded upon Joyce and told him that his daughter's affections had been trifled with. Joyce (who, absorbed in his book, may not have noticed before) accepted his role as the outraged father. He delivered the message. Beckett's visits were to cease; he was persona non grata at Square Robiac. McGreevy tried to console Beckett. In time, McGreevy told him, Joyce would have to face Lucia's instability. When he did, he would recognize that Beckett had behaved honorably. McGreevy was right, and Joyce and Beckett were eventually reconciled. But Joyce did not live long enough to appreciate that Beckett was to be one of the most loyal friends Lucia would have until the end of her days. The break with Beckett was just one of the tremors that marked the close of their only period of real family life. Events would force them to leave the Square Robiac. Nora, describing those years to a Swiss friend, Jacques Mercanton, said wistfully, in a French as fractured as Anna Livia's English, "Nous étaient si gais!"