"Nordic Joyce: Old Cawcaws Huggin and Munin for his Strict Privatear"

Thumbnail Image
Lawton, Mary
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Nordic Joyce compares the interrelationship of James Joyce’s works and specific Nordic literature in translation, employing an onomastic and etymological framework that offers an innovative opportunity to re-visit, re-view, and re-think Joyce’s canon. The thesis proposes a methodology to assess Joyce’s work and specific Nordic narratives, arguing that names and terminology may be defined through their respective engagement with thematic considerations, thus providing a relevant critical structure by which to study the application or construction of these in Joyce’s writing. It contributes to Joyce studies proper: detecting and interpreting specific Nordic texts and language’s role in Joyce’s oeuvre. Narratives, created under vastly different circumstances, reflecting distinct writing cultures, societies, and histories, connect and transform in Joyce’s modernist perspective. At the same time, I indicate how Joyce’s fiction appreciates Nordic literature’s role, both contemporary and medieval, broadly and narrowly defined as a recurrent theme in his work, and to a recognition of the influence of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, the Nordic languages, and other Nordic writers upon his innovating language creation and reconstruction. Terminology and methods of several practitioners in comparative, onomastic, and etymological disciplines are used to examine these associations. Comparative theories from Georg Brandes through David Damrosch, plus critical issues in onomastic and etymological lexical subdisciplines by theorists Warren R. Maurer, Grant W. Smith, Yakov Malkiel, Staffan Nyström, Willy van Langendonck, and David Seed amongst others, inform this study, emphasising the importance of Nordic, thematic content in Joyce’s style and form. Seminal figures, concepts, and terms in these theories will be introduced. Still, the most basic distinction is worth noting: the essential status of authorial name-giving, how Joyce distorts onyms to distribute autobiographical constructions in the disparate texts studied, and the meaning these misinterpreted, reconstructed, and sometimes hidden Nordic terms have for Joyce. This persuasive literary onomastic and etymological wordplay plays a crucial role in his fiction, demonstrating an interaction between language, characterisation, and authorial vision.
James Joyce , Modernism , Comparative , Onomastics , Etymology , Hans Christian Andersen , Old Norse , Irish literature , Nordic literature , Old Norse sagas
Lawton, M. 2022. "Nordic Joyce: Old Cawcaws Huggin and Munin for his Strict Privatear". PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
Link to publisher’s version