Sunday, April 13, 2008

Episode 14 Blog Question

In Episode 14 "Oxen of the Sun", Joyce uses many different past styles of the English language to write the episode. What do you think his purpose is for constantly shifting and changing his writing style to mimic past forms of the language? What is the connection between the style he writes in and the scene he is writing about?

2 comments:

Adam Al-Sayed said...

Joyce's use of many different popular styles of english prose appears in a chronological fashion, beginning with ancient Latin and ending with a pseudo-religious evangelical sales pitch. His intent is clearly parody, and given the revolutionary nature of Ulysses' own prose style, one can assume that this episode is his direct attack upon what he sees as a modern literary stagnation.

Nick Surbey said...

This episode, which centers around birth, follows the development of English writing from the Latin roots to the breakdown of language in Stephen's drunken state. In this way, the style of the episode reflects the idea of birth, for the constant shifts and development can be regarded as developments on the way to the birth of modern English. This parallel is drawn blatantly, although paradically, in the references to "the word made flesh." This, of course, refers to the the word of God being made flesh in the form of Jesus Christ. That this is included in an episode about birth and language brings out both the parallel between birth and Joyce's stylistic shifts, as well as the power of words and language to create. It is through words and language that an author creates a story, creates characters, and an entire world, that is born out in a novel, just as a man and woman create a child that is born out into the world. In my opinion, the style of this episode is not just Joyce showing off (although that cetainly is part of it), but is meant to draw this parallel between birth and language.