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The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered$
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Marc C. Conner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813039763

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813039763.001.0001

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The Unconsortable Joyce

The Unconsortable Joyce

Chamber Music

(p.51) 3 The Unconsortable Joyce
The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered
Marc C. Conner
University Press of Florida

This essay focuses on how Chamber Music is tied to the poetic tradition that precedes and surrounds it, revealing the extent of Joyce's remarkable indebtedness to and conversation with others, as well as the incipient signs of Joyce's defining originality and independence. The poems' obsession with betrayal and the solitary hero places Joyce within traditions of 19th- and early 20th-century Irish literary forms, especially those poems of lost glory by Mangan and of betrayal and loss in Moore's melodies. Examining Joyce's penchant for neologisms, his nonce words, his coinings, and his use of Skeats's etymological dictionary, shows that the poet of Chamber Music, like Stephen in Portrait, is as much enthralled by as in thrall to the places and words of English language, English history, and English literature. Emphasizing the presence of other texts, poets, and songs throughout Chamber Music, from the Song of Solomon to Elizabethan lyric sequences to the poems of Tennyson, the essay also offers a comparative reading of Chamber Music and Yeats's The Wind Among the Reeds, showing the Joyce/Yeats relation as well as on Joyce's status as a specifically modernist poet.

Keywords:   Chamber Music, Indebtedness, Irish literary forms, Mangan, Yeats, Moore, Skeats, Elizabethan lyric, The Wind Among the Reeds

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