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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More re James Joyce and Jane Austen

Responding to the interesting comments of Elissa Schiff in Janeites:

[ELISSA] "Certain events I deduce by reading "between the lines" or infer from allusions. Thus, I know that Frank really sent that piano to Jane; in this, the author is playing a gentle trick on some of her first-time readers. I also infer from many things that we've already discussed that Jane is pregnant, etc. But this does not mean that I believe an entire anti-novel has been constructed character for character to anti-correspond with the existing novel."

Elissa, I did not realize you took that point of view, thanks for explaining. That was the way I approached the shadows of JA's novels between 2002 and 2005, before it dawned on me that it was impossible to graft all the body parts of a giraffe onto the torso of an elephant, so to speak. Given that I have found shadow story elements in EVERY character in every one of JA's novels, your approach would force me to
destroy the overt stories completely.

And since I have found exactly the same anamorphism in many of Shakespeare's plays, I see JA's double story structure as an emulation of Shakespeare's plays--Hamlet above all.

"So, the frame for Joyce exists merely to open up the world of what you call "the subplot" but indeed for Joyce is the main plot. Reading Dublineers, and Portrait of the Artist, vers. 1 and 2 will put this in perspective."

With all due respect, Elissa, I fundamentally disagree. I believe Joyce was emulating HIS masters---Shakespeare, Austen and some others.

I am glad we have clarified the important similarities and the important differences in our respective approaches. Vive les differences!

Cheers, ARNIE

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