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University of Tulsa

Destruction and Creation in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"


Author(s): Elliott B. Gose, Jr.
Source: James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Spring, 1985), pp. 259-270
Published by: University of Tulsa
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Destruction
and Creation in
A Portrait of theArtist as a Young Man
Elliott B. Gose,

Jr.

University of British Columbia

to experience,
of body, emo
is the relation of imagination
What
to probe the
In this essay I propose
tions and soul to inspiration?
source of creativity
in A Portrait, discussing
of
Joyce's presentation
But I shall begin by focusing
of Stephen's villanelle.
the composition
as
on Joyce's use of chiasmus
and sign of the creative
product
on
and
to
relation
the
of
the images of the female
process,
Stephen
are so
a
which
of
consciousness.
his
part
important
The female looms at the very beginning
of A Portrait, as provider
in the moocow
and Betty Byrne, but also as a threat in the pressure
and Dante.
put on Stephen
by his mother
His mother

said:

Dante

-O,

said:

will apologise.
-O,
Stephen
if not, the eagles will come
Pull

and pull

out his

eyes.

out his eyes,

Apologise,
Apologise,

Pull out hts eyes (P 8).


the reversed
rhyme takes the simple form of chiasmus,
two
the
mirror
second
lines
first
two. The
the
whereby
his first choice between
young boy is faced with his first dilemma,
structure balances
and submission.
The chiasmic
the
punishment
even reversing
two themes perfectly
in the second
their order
a
to himself,
Said over by Stephen
the lines represent
quatrain.
from
inside
and
choice between placating words
coming
threatening
to balance
inner
from outside.
That same attempt
actions coming
statements
inmany
in the rest of the
chiasmic
and outer is evident
Stephen's
structure

novel.

Before
taking part in the Belvedere Whitsuntide
play Stephen
an ark. He hears a waltz being
stands outside,
seeing the theatre as
'The sentiment
of the opening
bars..
inside:
.evoked
the
played
emotion...
incommunicable
of all his day's unrest" (P 75). Inner and

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are then matched


in a chiasmie evocation.
"His unrest
issued
from him like awave of sound: and on the tide of flowing music
the
as
ark was journeying..."
With
"wave
and
the
center
of
(P 75).
point,
sound" on one side is to "tide of flowing music" on the other as "his
unrest
The chiasmie
issued" is to "ark was
sentences
journeying."
outer

appear in the second


duced by the conjunction
and repetitious
incremental

which

half of the novel will usually be intro


is also a hallmark
of the
and, which
romantic
that
renders
style
Stephen's

sensibility.
a rhetorical mirror
As a symmetrical
reversal, chiasmus presents
one
A
More
in
is connected
than
of
its
Portrait
image.
appearances
with mirroring.1
"The water of the rivulet was dark with endless
drift and mirrored the high-drifting
clouds. The clouds were drifting
above him silently and silently the seatangle was drifting below him"
the conjunction which
(P170, my italics). Ihave emphasized
again is
the centerpoint
of chiasmus.2
In this same scene on the strand,
there are two consecutive
chiasmie

sentences

Her

was

bosom

describing

as a bird's
dove.

darkplumaged
touched with

But

the wonder

the bird girl.

as the breast of some


slight, slight and soft
was
and
fair
hair
and girlish,
long
girlish:
of mortal
her face (P171).
beauty
soft and
her

In the first of these especially


the structure
the static
emphasizes
a strictly chiasmie
sentence
Like a mirror,
quality of the evocation.
in the second clause than reflect back the
will usually not do more
in kinesis by
first. The second of these sentences
gains marginally
that violates
the wonder
chiasmus:
"touched with
of
the phrase
chiasmus
mortal beauty." Later in the novel (as at the beginning),
heralds a much more dynamic
opposition.
scenes describing women.
Chiasmus
During
frequently occurs in
into
the
fall from grace
flesh, for instance, he imagines the
Stephen's
as the first saviour of his soul:
Virgin Mary
If ever
moved

he was
him

was

shyly
dwelling
toward her...
there

still

to cast sin from him


impelled
to be her knight.
the wish
after
itwas

lingered

to repent
the impulse
that
her
his soul, reentering
turned
lust had spent
itself, was
and

If ever

the frenzy of his body's


her names were murmured

when

foul and

shameful

words,

softly by lips whereon


the savour
itself of a lewd kiss

(P 105).
I find chiasmus
in the final clause: with
"lips" as the centerpoint,
one side is balanced by "still lingered" on the
on
"murmured
softly"
is balanced
other, as "her names"
by "foul and shameful words."
Here chiasmus
reveals unresolved
pure and cor
duality between

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to the bird girl, sacred and


the shifting of allegiance
an
as
is
called
profane blend,
"angel of mortal youth and
Stephen
by
to
error
of
and
"the
ways
beauty"
glory" (P172, my italics).
in
Critics have noted
chiasmus not only in individual
sentences
the novel but in its very structure. Of the five parts into which
Joyce
divided A Portrait,
the third or central one is composed
of three
sections. Of these, the middle
section functions as the novel's center,
a point of structural
and thematic crossover. The actual
chiasmus

nipt.

With

occurs when
in a break between
Father Arnall,
his two
midpoint
between
their
the
"two
different
sermons,
topics,
distinguishes
in Hell:
forms of punishment"
and spiritual"
(P 127).
"physical
Earlier he had told his listeners of the physical
torments,
appealing
in graphic detail to their sense of sight, smell and touch. He will go
on to describe
the spiritual punishments
in a comparable manner.
The construction
the
of this section can be called chiasmic because
on
127
mirror
two
which
other
is
sections
between
each
page
pause
: the two punishments
are in turn flanked by appeals to
thematicaily
as fol
could be outlined
God and Christ. This thematic chiasmus

lows: God as merciful


punishment

in hell

(118), Christ as Redeemer (119), physical

(119-24)-break

(125-27)-spiritual

punishment

in hell (127-33), Christ as Redeemer (134), God as merciful (134).

at the center of the novel may be seen as


reversed
repetition
a
in the work as a whole.3
structure
of
chiasmic
part
larger
I
not
shall
be
that larger structure/1 must
Although
investigating
one motif that provides
a balanced
mention
the
between
opposition
on
Part
It
has
Parts
II
either
side
of
HI.
that
often
been
noted
parts
in the arms of a
and IV both end with a swoon, Part IIwith Stephen
into "some new world"
Part IV with his moving
after
prostitute,
earth takes "him to her breast" (P172) following his ecstasy with the
his body to the prostitute's
bird girl. In the former he surrenders
dark kiss (P101); in the latter "his soul was swooning"
(P172). This
between
with Father Arnall's opposition
contrast can be connected
In fact, that contrast at the center of the
and spiritual.
the physical
concerns:
its thematic
the first half is about the
novel does divide
This

the second half about his


of Stephen's body and mind,
conditioning
a
soul.
developing
that "the soul is born" in a "slow and dark
says to Davin
Stephen
more
the birth of the body" (P 203). In the first
than
birth,
mysterious
fear for or indulgence
of his
half of the novel, we can see Stephen's
It
to
his
soul.
in
the
second
half
his
is, for
striving
develop
body,
or
even
the
artist
the
not
the
soul,
instance,
person
Stephen
con
is
the
well-known
that
in
that
threatened
Dedalus,
complaint

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to Davin.
is born in
"When the soul of a man
eludes his statement
this country
there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight"
(P 203). In the first half of the novel, Stephen's body has experienced
worse threats than nets, threats of physical punishment
culminating
in annihilation.
emotion
that Stephen
feels in Parts I and III of the
The dominant
novel is fear. In Part I this fear is usually connected with bodily pain.
on its capacity
for
Part II also emphasizes
the body but focuses
more
It
to
its
than
harm.
sensual
begins
indulgence
vulnerability
with Stephen's
fantasies based on The Count ofMonte Cristo and his
as a vehicle
in a "magic mo
for transfiguring
image of Mercedes
ment" his "weakness
and timidity and inexperience"
(P 65). It ends
is embraced
with
the realization
of this fantasy as Stephen
and
on
kissed by the prostitute.
Part IE begins with further emphasis

indulgence of the body ("Stuff it into you, his belly counselled


are soon eclipsed by the fear
him"-P
102). But such gross pleasures
on
of physical
Father
Arnall's sermon.
by
suffering brought
In the second half of the book, Stephen
is increasingly
conscious
of the development
of his soul.4 The positive
of this
consequence
scene
a
at
is
Part
IV
the
end
of
he
the
when
development
experiences
on
relation
with
bird
the
this
visual
the
strand.
After
girl
spiritual
he feels that "her image had passed
into his soul for ever"
encounter,
of
the
takes
That
the
(P172).
Virgin Mary as his guide.
image
place
not only speaks of his own soul to Davin but
In Part V, Stephen
in various
thinks and speaks of the soul of Ireland as personified
women
connection
is joined
he sees (P183,184,193,
This
221, 238).
the soul and art (P 207). The female and art are most
by one between
in Stephen's
of the villanelle.
This
associated
obviously
composition
seven
occurs
in
the
in
and
four
discrete
novel
process occupies
pages
and its lapse; 2) the mem
1) the initial seraphic
inspiration
phases:
at
to a
at
the priest
and
E.C.
of
her; 3) anger
anger
leading
ory
a
of
and
lead
4)
fantasy
image;
aesthetic-religious
passion
unifying
of the poem.
ing to the completion
from a dream in which he has "known the ecstasy
Stephen wakes
to this world,
life" (P 217). Reluctantly
he
of seraphic
returning
the
to
"the
"Gabriel
chamber."
imagines
seraph" coming
virgin's
to include an "ardent roselike glow"
the vision
Then he enlarges
to fall "from heaven"
(P 217). It is
luring "the choirs of the seraphim"
to
in
note
that
the
Stephen
brings
virgin only after wak
important
even then she does not appear with
the capital letter
and
that
ing
with
is
her
which would
trans
Mary
Stephen
identify
consciously
forming

Catholic

beliefs

and holy figures,

adapting

them to his own

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I take Gabriel,
for instance, as an analogue
for Stephen who
is
also a fallen seraph, come down to earth after his vision.5 When
in
the third phase Stephen
adopts the role of priest, he will reestablish
contact with
that higher world.
To return to the first phase,
the inspiration
for the second stanza is
a
a blaze (P 218). The
her
from
heart
that
becomes
glow
inspiration
for the next stage is the incense of smoke from an extinguished
fire,
"a ball of incense, an ellipsoidal
ball. The rhythm died out at once"
(P 218).6 The three stages of the first phase have worked
through to
a full blaze, an exhausted
a growing
initial completion:
smoke.
light,
But having died, the initial inspiration must be revived if a poem is
to be written.
In the second and third phases,
Stephen will twice
he is
anger to generate
poetry, first against E.C. to whom
employ
aims.

still attracted,
and second against the priest who affects to speak for
both church and country
In the second phase of composition,
Stephen
regains his poetic
a destructive-creative
mood
which
be localized in
may
cycle
through
two sentences whose
relation to each other is, as John Paul Riquelme
chiastic":7
claims, "essentially
Rude
broke
sides

It
the last lingering
instant of ecstasy
from his soul.
anger routed
on all sides. On all
her fair image and flung
the fragments
up violently
distorted
of her image started
from his memory:
reflections
(P 220)
brutal

After

anger breaks up the image of E.C. in Stephen's


imagination,
sentence
the final chiasmie
describes
how his memory
responds
with replacement
continue
this sentence
images. These memories
the colon which
for another dozen
lines beyond
to
I have allowed
are of the flower
end it. The memories
"who
had
called
herself
girl
his own girl," of a kitchen girl who sang a country song, of "a girl
who had laughed gaily to see him stumble," and of a factory girl who
had called back to him, "Do you like what you seen of me, straight
hair and curly eyebrows?"
(P 220). All of these images are of lower
in contrast to E.C. who
class girls who frankly express their feelings
flirt. Recollecting
of her
is amiddle-class
these "distorted reflections
seems to allow
to
to
E.C.
with
return
image"
thoughts
Stephen's
better perspective.
There are, however,

two more crucial phases


the
poem. First "his anger
Stephen
completes
vent" against the priest he heard her speaking
To him
schooled

she would

unveil

in the discharging

her

soul's shy nakedness,


rite rather
of a formal

in the process before


[E.C] found
against
with.
to one
than

was

who

to him,

a priest

but
of

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eternal

imagination,

the daily

transmuting

bread

into the radiant

of experience

life.
body of everliving
The radiant
united
image of the eucharist
again
their cries arising unbroken
despairing
thoughts,

in an instant
in a hymn

his bitter

and

of thanksgiving

(P 221).
The next two stanzas of the villanelle
follow. Discarding
the priest's
the
"formal rite" in favor of the poetic one, Stephen
experiences
a
unites
"bitter
and
"radiant
which
imaginative
image"
synthesis
by
is again chiasmic:
The key final sentence
thoughts."
despairing
are
as
is
to
to
is
"cries"
"eucharist"
"thoughts"
"hymn"; the unity
attested by the phrase "eucharistie hymn" in the poem. Here as at the
of the poem, Stephen's
tradi
imagination adapts Catholic
beginning
tion and ritual. There
in his
is justice as well as sublime passion
into the
the daily bread of experience
seeing himself
"transmuting
radiant body of everliving
Ste
life." Like the priest offering mass,
follows
in
and
Christ
bread
of
the
phen
up
experience
breaking
it
both
and
transform
transformed
the
mediation
offering
poet's
by
ing for those who partake.
In displacing
his anger onto the priest, Stephen
shifts his vision
on
from female to male. As a result he is no longer dependent
as "a priest of eter
feminine
inspiration but achieves male mastery
In the earlier "female" chiasmus,
the image of a
nal imagination."
In the suc
woman
into several "distorted reflections."
is dispersed
we
witness
"bitter
and
"male"
chiasmus,
despairing
ceeding
cries united through a eucharistie
image.
thoughts" and fragmented
At the beginning
the temptress
lures the seraphic
of the poem,
vision to earth. But as the poem develops,
the poet-priest
mediates
an
which
draws
communion
down
this process,
earthly
celebrating
transcendent
harmony.
is still not complete;
The villanelle
composes
just before Stephen
in which
the last stanza,
the male and female images coalesce, we
witness
the final phase of the creation process.
again of
Thinking
that is close to
E.C., Stephen finds his anger replaced by a sympathy
pity. Then
a glow of desire kindled again his soul and fired and fulfilled all his body.
of his desire

she was

from odorous

the temptress
of
sleep,
to his
languor, were opening
to him,
and lavish
nakedness
odorous
warm,
radiant,
eyes. Her
yielded
a
enfolded
him
like water with
enfolded
him like a shining
cloud,
limbed,
or
a
water
the
circumfluent
in
life:
of
like
and
like
cloud
space
liquid
vapour

Conscious

his villanelle.

liquid

Her

letters

eyes,

of speech,

dark

waking
and with

symbols

a look of

of the element

of mystery,

flowed

forth over

his brain (P 223).

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in this paragraph
not a physical orgasm
Joyce is describing
Robert Scholes
calls "spiritual copulation."8
desire for a particular
emotional
female, Ste
Working
through
a
one that
to
has
like
the
moved
rarified
mood
his
phen
accompanied
encounter with the bird girl: then '"his soul was swooning
into some
I believe

but what

new

as under
sea, traversed by
fantastic,
dim, uncertain
as
the
and
there
soul found itself
Just
cloudy shapes
beings" (P172).
in a world of water
and cloud, so later the image of the temptress
him with water and cloud leads him to "liquid letters of
surrounding
world,

are also "like a cloud" or "like waters."


The earlier
speech" which
sense of "fantastic" and "uncertain"
is now "the element of mystery."
In Part IV,
has been added is the role and rite of the priest.
What
attraction
had
to
the
of
imagined
responding
priesthood,
Stephen
immune mys
and "rendered
filled with "secret knowledge"
to him
to the sins of the women
who would
confess
teriously"
in which
the
(P159). The poem also offers an immunizing
process

himself

in the
lust of E.C. is accepted
but receives
absolution
(imagined)
refrain which
ends the poem,
"Tell no more of enchanted days" (P 223).
A sensual E.C. subsumes
the prostitute
the means
of
who was
was
into
descent
the
initial
and
the
bird
who
his
Stephen's
body
girl
first secular muse.
identified
the bird girl as his soul exter
Stephen
In his imagined ardor for E.C, he reverses this process and
nalized.
to be transformed
into "the
allows the image of the actual woman
a
of
art.
into
of
his
sublimation
villanelle,"
temptress
reality
Whereas
the eucharist of
Stephen was the active priest celebrating
art in the previous phase of composition,
in the last phase active and
yielded to him..
.enfolded him."
over
his
brain"
Finally "liquid
.flowed forth
(my italics). Both
doer and done to, he watches
the amorphous
shapes of language
move
The male
and the female have come to
through his mind.
in a passionate
union of the poet with his muse.9
This act
gether
a
realization
of the insight Stephen
had as he
presents
worldly
the poem: ^n the virgin womb
of the imagination
the word
began
was made
flesh" (P 217).
passive

combine:

"Her nakedness

letters..

to accept the gift of unconscious


from a dream
muse
As
the
first
his
for
inspiration.
phase of artistic creation, he
In the second phase
then chose the image of the virgin as temptress.
in
broken
is
the alluring
"brutal
up
anger," but "distorted
image
Stephen

woke

reflections" of itmultiply

inmemory

(P 220). Pure spirit (P 217) is

face" (P 220), the sacred by the profane. The


replaced by "a hoyden's
in a "radiant image." An
third phase unites
thoughts
fragmented

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aesthetic

eucharist

is performed,

as "sacrificing

hands upraise

I The

chaliceflowing to the brim"(P 221).


the destruction
of the third phase balanced
of
Just as the unifying
so the fourth phase can be seen as a corrective
to the
the second,
third, a return, at another level to the first. "A glow of desire kindled
of the
italics). In the initial celebration
again his soul" (P 223, my
or
man
the
had
known
would
believed
that
know"
"no
poet
virgin,
her heart. But in the final rapprochement,
he does come to know at
it enfolds
least his muse's
odorous"
him.
"radiant, warm,
body;
are
in
and
which
the
sacrifice
poet is
Separation
replaced by fusion,
at one with
the mystery
of kindled
sou! and flowing
language.
The water and cloud which we have seen as key images in the final
in Stephen's
"his soul lay
initial inspiration:
phase are also present
amid cool waters"
and light illuminated
"cloud on cloud of vague
as an apt symbol
circumstance"
of
thus emerges
(P 217). Water
and
As
both
blurs
to
it
is
cloud
what
be
revealed.
creativity.
suggests
As stream it flows amorphously,
inviting poet or lover to immerse
in its free-flowing
himself
depth and breadth. As pool it reflects the
to the art of chiasmus.
face of nature, a mirror analogous
is not all smooth swimming. We have seen that the
But creation
fires of anger play an important part; so does another complement
a key role in Stephen's
it occupies
towater, earth. As lumps of matter
art.
of
theory
sees the bird
a kinetic realization
Just before Stephen
girl, he has
can be for him "a symbol of the artist
that his classical namesake
anew in his
out of the sluggish matter of the earth
forging
workshop
a new
soaring impalpable
imperishable
being" (P 169). Later, con
firmed in his belief, he tells the dean of studies that he is interested
"What is that beauty which
the artist struggles
to
in the question,
a
answer
He
voices
to
from
of
earth"
(P 189).
express
partial
lumps
"out again, from the gross earth or what
it
Lynch: Art is the pressing
are
sound
and
and
colour
which
the
from
prison
brings forth,
shape
an image of the beauty we have come to under
gates of our soul,
stand" (P 207).10
to plan to express nature on that
for Stephen
Itwas easy enough
and
seaborne"
of
"clouds, dappled
(P167) when he encountered
day
is
his soul in the "mortal beauty" of the bird girl. But the question
is not spontaneously
he can create when his mood
whether
high.
scene contains
additional
evidence
for a positive
The villanelle
answer.

When
flags after his writing
inspiration
Stephen's
three stanzas, he lies "back on the lumpy pillow-The

out

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the first
lumps of

knotted flock under his head reminded him of the lumps of knotted
in the sofa of her parlour"
horsehair
(P 219). All those lumps, of
to
allude
of
earth"
from which
the
course,
"lumps
Stephen must
learn to press out art. The poem has begun with the gift of a dream,
the alluring temptress, who here supersedes
the bird girl whom
his
a
with
whom
he
also
silence"
eyes
worshipped,
enjoyed
"holy
too removed.
(P172). But these two avatars are insufficient because
in
the
must
find
crude
knows
he
reality
Stephen
necessary
inspira
tion. He discovers
it in the emotion
of anger which
"violently"
shatters
the image of E.C. to allow other "coarse" girls to enter his
He consolidates
it through displaced
mind.
anger at the priest,
as the provider of
to
his
creative
which
of
himself
leads
anger
image
that replaces anger; both
the eucharist. He fulfills it in the desire
are
and
but desire
for a woman
desire
kinetic
emotions,
anger
to
outside allows him tomeld with the female soul and muse within,
to enter that area
the source of creativity,
intimate with
become
in liquid liberation.
where words
circulate and lumps are dissolved
us with insight into how his own
I believe that Joyce has provided
Ifwe remember
that he claimed actually to lack
imagination worked.
we can understand
imagination,
moments
vision
of transcendent

relying on those
stopped
he pre
like
Wordsworth,
which,
in
he de
his
Rather
adulthood.
sumably
experienced
infrequently
on
I have
but
What
emotion.
memory
memory,
ignited by
pended
an
called the fires of anger are therefore
the
of
part
important
or searing the young
creative process,
In
often tempering
Stephen.
the Christmas
dinner scene, anger is constantly
finding expression
it is only once so labeled, as Stephen
listens toMr. Casey
although
whose
face is "glowing with anger...
felt the glow rise to
Stephen
his own cheek as the spoken words
thrilled him" (P 38). But at the
end of the argument, Dante strides out victorious,
leaving Mr. Casey
his
terrorstricken
face, saw that his fa
raising
sobbing.
"Stephen,
ther's eyes were full of tears" (P 39). He soon has cause to fear the
even Father Arnall's face is "red from the wax
anger of priests, when
how

he

he was

in" (P 48). Then Father Dolan


his hands which
pandies
a leaf in the fire" (P 50). The anger of others causes fear
"like
crumple
in the threat on both
in Stephen,
most noticeably
of destruction
at the center of the book: physical
torment on
sides of the chiasmus
one side, spiritual on the other. Anger
or rage constantly
threaten
or
the vulnerable
sinful
boy
youth.
In describing
destruc
torment, Father Arnall presents
spiritual
as loss: "the understanding
of man is totally deprived
of divine
of
turned away from the goodness
light and his affection obstinately

tion

267

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God. God, remember,

is a being

infinitely

good

and therefore

the loss

of such a being must be a loss infinitely painful" (P127; italics added


to accent chiasmus).
to active destruc
In fact loss is only a prelude
sees his end: "One soul was lost; a tiny
tion. In his guilt, Stephen
lost. The end:
soul: his. It flickered once and went out, forgotten,
black cold void waste"
(P141). This end of the soul is consonant with
its beginning.
As Father Arnall
each of
told the boys, God made
God
create
from
them "out of nothing"
Not
does
(P 134-35).
only
must
return
to
is
and
the
void
that
he
then
which
nothing;
destroy
as
a
artist
In
of
this
chiasmie
reflection
pattern,
Stephen
unworthy.
new life.
destroys what offends and out of that "void waste" creates
to
The sequence
of anger leading to destruction
nothingness
leading
to creativity
the physical
and
is a key to understanding
leading
of Stephen Dedalus.11
spiritual experiences
we may see
as paradigm,
the
of the villanelle
Taking
composition
the creative process beginning
of
for Joyce in a subjective encounter
a fallen Gabriel drawn to a virgin.
the spirit with seraphic powers,
is disrupted
This vision
earth as a ball.
image,
by a material
to images of his
Awareness
of the lumps in his pillow leads Stephen
at
A
of
her
E,C.
burst
anger
destroys her image and
earthly beloved,
to recreate less virginal females. Another
outburst of
allows memory
a
a
at
clears
the
for
"the
radiant
way
anger,
priest,
unifying
image,
a
to
union
life."
desire
leads
of
with
female
everliving
Finally
body
identified
with
the
of
itself.
mystery
image
language
At the end of the novel, Stephen
that he goes "to
tells himself
encounter
time the reality of experience
for the millionth
and to
in
the
of
soul
the
uncreated
of
conscience
my
my race"
smithy
forge
as
not
is
The
soul
the
of
Daedalus;
(P 252-53).
smithy
workshop
only
an old
a
it is an image of a fiery furnace that destroys
shape, and of
a
new
an
creates
in
hammer
that
short
of
de
one,
beating
image
In the first release of bodily
and creation.
indulgence,
saw "his own soul going forth to experience"
(P103). After
Stephen
and then decisively
his
reentering
leaving the church, he viewed
"His soul
soul as having died like Christ to be reborn transfigured:
had arisen from the grave of boyhood,
spurning her gravedothes"
so it can be
must
be
The
artist's
soul
(P170).
subject to annihilation
so much
terror and fear of
has suffered
reborn. Stephen Dedalus
struction

is to turn that weakness


annihilation
that his only hope for survival
into a strength. The victim may become
the saviour.
Yet Stephen must also become more than either victim or saviour.
The artist takes all the anger that he has observed
and suffered, and
it his own so he can turn it upon what
is unworthy,
destroy

makes

268

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that image, observe


that result and from
the chaotic lumps of matter
them create an artistic unity; this new cosmos will characteristically
mirror
the process of its creation by assuming
chiasmie form. And
on
must
base
the
creation
natural
the
artist
desires that draw
finally
him

into life. Only by admitting


his need to possess
and be pos
can he enter into productive
sessed by the female outside
love with
state which
into that amorphous
is the matrix
of
the soul within,
creation.

NOTES
1 The mirror

as an image for
inner and outer
also functions
connecting
Stephen's
(cf. pp. 53, 71, 78,167,
207).
2
more
construction
than in
the chiasmic
begins
strictly in this instance
Although
on either side of and-it
less strictly. If Joyce
the last-with
ends
the word
"silently*
had been
the second
after full reverse
clause would
read "silently
here,
symmetry
the seatangle."
him was drifting
I shall discuss.
the other examples
3
out
is worked
Such a structure

below

edition

the

of

(1-17,

chiasmically

which

novel,

3-15,

2-16,

Such

chiasmus

imperfect

also

characterizes

in detail by Evert
the first
Using
Sprinchorn.
seventeen
he matches
them
sections,
only
section
nine
etc.) with
(the retreat) as the center. His
had

essay is included in JohnUntereckerfe Approaches to the TwentiethCenturyNovel (New


from manuscripts,
York: Crowell,
1965), p. 23. Working
the retreat as the center and demonstrates
the balance
The

PartsIIandlV.
eds.

Thomas

Seven

F. Staley
50-51.

1976), pp.
4
As listed
(Carbondale:
the first half
5 Female
conception.
the Gnostic

Lost Years of APortrait..

and Bernard

Benstock

Hancock's
Illinois

the

sees

(Pittsburgh:

Univ.

of Pittsburgh

Press,

Word

Univ.

included

in which

also

I and V,
briefly pairing
."in Approaches
to Joyces "Portrait,"

Index to "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"


soul is used 55 times in
Press,
1967), the word
of the book, but appears
117 times, or twice as often after p. 127.
a Gnostic
note
in a divine
into Stephen's
fall introduces
complicity
on
Ihave discussed
in Ulysses of a fallen goddess
the presence
(modeled
in Leslie

Southern

and the Old Testament


Sophia
in James Joyce: The Centenary
Univ.
of Illinois Press,
1985).
6
is caused by Stephen's
The disruption
to be

V\fclter Gabler

Hans
of Farts

lecturer

contended

that W.S.

Eve)

in "Joyce's Goddess
of Generation/
ed. Morris
Beja et al. (Urbana:

Symposium,
memory
Gilbert's

of a scene
"elliptical

in the physics
theatre
balls" should be

billiard

corrects
free invention.
Science
art; precision
(P192).
replaces
Stephen
irreverent
then by Moynihan's
"What price ellipsoidal
balls!"
response,
I'm in the cavalry!*
to "a
from serious
mood
ladies,
changes
Stephen's
their dignity,
and
of misrule."
He sees his professors
abandoning
"ambling

"ellipsoidal*
was
helped
Chase me,
sabbath

stumbling, tumbling and capering" (P 192). This brief preview of the Nighttown
episode
7
My

one means
of disrupting
established
authority.
is indebted
to Riquelme's
this part of the scene
impressive
Univ.
of it in Teller and Tale in Joyces Fiction (Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins
to creation
For the importance
of destruction
in Joyce's
pp. 80-82.

in Ulysses
discussion

interpretation
Press,
1983),
imagination,

see

shows
of

chapter

eight,

"The

Image

of the Artist:

Destruction,

Perversion,

269

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of my book, The Transformation


Creation/
Toronto Press,
1980).
8
Robert Schoies,
Dedalus,
"Stephen
in the critical edition
484-89. Reprinted

Process

in Joyce's "Ulysses" (Toronto:

Univ.

of

or Esthete?"
PMLA
1964),
(September
ed. Chester
of A Portrait,
Anderson
(New
seems to me on the right track. There
is,
approach

York: Viking Press,


1968). Schoies'
a more
reductive
however,
explanation,
Charles
Rossman,
"Stephen Dedalus'
Bernard

Benstock,

"The Temptation

(Fall1976), 31-38.
9

See

Poet

or wet-dream
the derogatory
See
approach.
Villanelle/
]]Q, 12 (Spring 1975), 281-93; also
A View of the Villanelle,"
of St. Stephen:
//Q, 14

Teller and Tale

in Joyce's Fiction, p. 78. This union


in the scene
is prefigured
were
outer
and
inner
soul
fused.
female
words,
girl. There,
bypassing
"Her image had
into his soul for ever and no word had broken
the holy silence
passed
of his ecstasy. Her eyes had called him and his soul had leaped at the call" (P172). On
the one hand her
image enters his soul; on the other her eyes call forth his soul.
10
This description
one immediately
is balanced
is often
which
following,
by the
taken as Joyce's
"A crude grey
I'm not so sure.
expense.
irony at Stephen's
light,

with

the bird

in the
over their heads
seemed
and a smell of wet branches
water,
sluggish
the course of Stephen's
(P 207). "Gross earth" in Stephen's
against
thought"
and "sluggish water"
of the same thing,
in Joyce's seem to be two versions
description
"
as indicated
If they only
and "lumps of earth.
by the earlier phrases
"sluggish matter"
seem to war
course
to
the
his
then
he
of
needs
discover
how
they
against
thoughts,

mirrored
to war

a
in the sluggish
water"
suggests
really do not. The "crude grey
light, mirrored
to which
the villanelle
chiasmus
of impasse
the answer.
may provide
11
with
the void
As with most other important
in the novel,
the encounter
patterns
at the very beginning.
is prefigured
The list on the flyleaf of Stephen's
geography
runs from his name and local habitation
out to the
he orients himself
book by which
to the top till he came to his own name.
"He read the flyleaf from the bottom
universe.
was
That was
he: and he read down
the page
after the universe?
again. What
lies behind
not God but nothing
the universe.
Once
(P16). By implication,
Nothing"
as artist realizes
that nothing
in
this fact, his task will be to get in touch with
Stephen
to create something.
order

270

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