James Joyce Quarterly, issue not yet scheduled.
“With us, there is a house, a lamp, a plate of soup, a fire, wine and pipes at the back of every important work of art.” –Jean Cocteau[i]
This essay argues that particular qualities of music as a nonfigural art are crucial to the ways that experience, memory, identity, and affect are formalized for characters’ relief and psychic defense in Ulysses. Continental, British and Irish modernisms all became interested in experimenting with layered intermedialities, and, in particular, with their contributions to the complexity of possible signification. As a literary text which interprets visual arts, music and sounds, Ulysses may be a turning point in intermedial compositional practice, going beyond musical reference or mimetic transcription to reconfigure textual articulations of knowledge, sociality and emotion.
[i] Jean Cocteau, Coq et Arlequin (1918), at <https://archive.org/details/lecoqetlarlequi00coctgoog> (viewed 15 May 2015).