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The German Joyce$
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Robert K. Weninger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813041667

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813041667.001.0001

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“A Great Poet on a Great Brother Poet”: A Parallactic Reading of Goethe and Joyce

“A Great Poet on a Great Brother Poet”: A Parallactic Reading of Goethe and Joyce

Chapter:
(p.99) 4 “A Great Poet on a Great Brother Poet”: A Parallactic Reading of Goethe and Joyce
Source:
The German Joyce
Author(s):

Robert K. Weninger

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813041667.003.0005

Following an extended theoretical examination of the continuing relevance of the concepts of influence and rapport de fait for comparative criticism today, this chapter provides a contrapuntal “parallactic” reading of Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795) and Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. The focus is placed on the role of irony and “parallax” in the depiction of the main characters of these “Bildungsromane,” Wilhelm Meister and Stephen Dedalus (and, to a lesser degree, Leopold Bloom), the role and relevance of chance and coincidence in these novels, and the symbolic significance of the Icarus-motif for an interpretation of the protagonists’ development.

Keywords:   James Joyce, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Johann Wolfgang Goethe and James Joyce, Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister Lehrjahre, James Joyce and Irony, Literary Parallax, Bildungsroman, Coincidence, Chance

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