'To vary the timehonoured adage': Ulysses and the proverb

Creasy, M. (2008) 'To vary the timehonoured adage': Ulysses and the proverb. English, 57(217), pp. 65-81. (doi: 10.1093/english/efn008)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/english/efn008


<i>Ulysses</i> contains over 130 locutions from the <i>Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs</i>, but this abundance of proverbial sayings and familiar sayings has received relatively little direct critical attention. This essay examines the importance of proverbs to <i>Ulysses</i>, paying particular attention to Joyce's repeated habit of varying or adapting the form of the proverbs he quotes. These alterations have, it is argued, significant implications for our understanding of the proverb as a form and <i>Ulysses</i> itself. By misquoting and misattributing proverbs from a variety of literary and non-literary sources, Joyce raises important questions about linguistic agency, about the distinctions between high literature and low popular culture and about the politics of literature in Ireland. The authorship of proverbs, their relation to individual utterance and collective wisdom is shown to be as complex and richly ambiguous as Joyce's stylistic achievement.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Creasy, Dr Matthew
Authors: Creasy, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:English
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1756-1124

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