James Joyce

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Modernist fiction is a reaction against nineteenth century realism and it is deeply influenced by symbolist poetry and prose. The titles tend to be metaphorical (Heart of Darkness, The Shadow Line, The Rainbow). The discourse carries the principle of the compatible nature of circumstances to the point of obsession. There may be a mystery or enigma in the story and the reader confidently awaits its eventual solution. Because of this confidence, he takes pleasure in the delay and will even accept authorial evasion or a disguising of the truth to the end. But a reader with such expectations will be amazed when reading "Dubliners" or "The Sisters".
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Furthermore, Mukarovsky observes that the automatization of a language allows us to communicate in unfinished sentences because it enables us to predict or supply the missing element. But characters usually speak in well formed sentences and a deviation from this norm easily becomes an innovation. Another innovation refers to allusions.

In Ulysses, the perception of similarity is very exploited.
In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce varies his style to imitate various phases of his hero's development beginning his career as a modernist writer. Metaphoric similarity is now at certain points given priority over the realistic decorum of metonimic contiguities.
Joyce's sentences have a subtle cadence, characteristic for his writing, which is produced by a slight modification of the most natural order.

Richard Ellman said about Joyce: 'He had begun his writing by asserting his differences from other men, and now increasingly he recognized his similarity to them. Linguistically speaking, difference stands for the axis of combination. The difference between words enables him to combine them into syntagms that communicate meaning.Joyce's writing developed in the direction of emphasizing similarity rather than difference, not only psychologically and thematically but also structurally and stylistically.

He also uses a figure of speech called pun is a phrase that deliberately exploits confusion between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect. In Joyce's works, as the grammar moves forwards to form predictable combinations of parts of speech, the sense jumps sideways or backwards, by means of the pun, in quite unpredictable ways to the confusion of the reader who is trying to locate himself on some single narrative line.

Readers form a certain hypothesis about the future of the plot and this kind of narrative (which brings suspense, amusement, wonder) has a great effect on them. For example, in Finnegangs Wake, the figures are unstable, constantly metamorphosing into each other, or substituted for each other, and the action has no future, no past, no present because all actions are simultaneously present.

The title Ulysses itself is metaphorical pointing to a similarity between dissimilars: Bloom and Odysseus, Stephen and Telemachus, Molly and Penelope, modern Dublin and the Mediterranean of the ancient world.
Many of the episodes of Ulysses were generated by the Homeric model rather than the modern psychology of characters.

Of course, Joyce didn't wanted to copy the Homeric model. Some of the more artificial episodes, like the Oxen of the Sun are only related to Homer's work in a few aspects. Joyce has an original method of manipulating a continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity. He represents a demythologized world, a world fallen into the quotidian that is very well perceived by our perception of continuity between the two worlds.

Ulysses is a realistic or metonymic fiction with a mythopoetic or metaphorical structure. Its originality is represented by the idea of each episode having its own set of leitmotifs, its special colors, symbols and techniques. These elaborated systems of leitmotifs reinforce the tendency of Ulysses towards an "encyclopedic allembracingness", away from the concern with individual experience that is typical for the realistic novel.

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