James Joyce and the Philosophers at Finnegans Wake

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Publication Date
May 2016
Page Count
152 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9
ISBN
0-8101-3331-8

James Joyce and the Philosophers at Finnegans Wake

Donald Phillip Verene

James Joyce and the Philosophers at Finnegans Wake explores how Joyce used the philosophers Nicholas Cusanus, Giordano Bruno, and Giambattista Vico as the basis upon which to write Finnegans Wake. Very few Joyce critics know enough about these philosophers and therefore often miss their influence on Joyce's great work. Joyce embraces these philosophic companions to lead him through the underworld of history with all its repetitions and resurrections, oppositions and recombinations. We as philosophical readers of the Wake go along with them to meet everybody and in so doing are bound "to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy" of our souls the "uncreated conscience" of humankind. Verene builds his study on the basis of years of teaching Finnegans Wake side by side with Cusanus, Bruno, and Vico, and his book will serve as a guide to readers of Joyce's novel.
About the Author

DONALD PHILLIP VERENE is the Candler Professor of Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy at Emory University.
Reviews

"Verene offers a thoroughly rewarding and original discussion of Vico and Joyce, casting them in an unusual light and opening up new possible interpretations. This book is a welcome addition to the literature." —Bruce Haddock, Cardiff University

"With this marvelous new work, Verene has now proven himself to be the world's leading expert on Vico and Joyce. This is an essential book on a great subject that goes beyond all earlier studies.” —Donald E. Kelley, author of The Descent of Ideas: The History of Intellectual History

"Joyce's famous claim that he had ‘put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries, arguing over what I meant’ was directed at Ulysses but it surely applies even more to Finnegans Wake. During the past three-quarters of a century, the professors have been busy and Donald Phillip Verene is as industrious and learned as any of them. An internationally-acclaimed expert on Vico, his most recent contribution to Joyce scholarship is both professorial and deeply informative... Joycean readers should welcome what Verene has given us: a wealth of individual insights and a convincing defence of Vico’s many roles in the Wake." —James Joyce Broadsheet