From "disentangling the subtle soul" to "ineluctable modality" : James Joyce's transmodal techniques




Mulliken, Jasmine Tiffany

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This study of James Joyce's transmodal techniques explores, first, Joyce's implementation of non-language based media into his works and, second, how digital technologies might assist in identifying and studying these implementations. The first chapter introduces the technique of re-rendering, the artistic practice of drawing out certain characteristics of one medium and, by then depicting those characteristics in a new medium, calling attention to both media and their limitations and potentials. Re-rendering can be content-based or form-based. Joyce employs content-based re-rendering when he alludes to a piece of art in another medium and form-based re-rendering when he superimposes the form of another medium onto his text. The second chapter explores Dubliners as a panoramic catalog of the various aspects involved in re-rendering media. The collection of stories, or the fragmented novel, shows synaesthetic characters, characters engaged in repetition and revision, and characters translating art across media by superimposing the forms, materials, and conventions of one medium onto another. Dubliners culminates in the use of coda, a musical structure that commonly finalizes a multi-movement work. The third chapter analyzes of A Portrait of the artist as a young man, focusing on its protagonist who exhibits synaesthetic qualities and a penchant for repeating phrases. With each repetition he also revises, a practice that foreshadows the form-based re-rendering Joyce employs in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. The fourth chapter explores the "Sirens" episode of Ulysses. In this episode, Joyce isolates the structure of the musical medium and transfers it to a literary medium. This technique shows his advanced exploration of the effects of one artistic medium on another and exemplifies his innovative technique of re-rendering art forms. Finally, the fifth chapter explores how we might use digital technologies to visualize Joyce's techniques of re-rendering. Based on these visualizations, we might identify further connections Joyce makes across his works.




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