Joyce the Deconstructionist: Finnegans Wake in Context

  • Zangouei J. Instructor of English, English Department, University of Birjand, Birjand
Keywords: Deconstruction, Derrida, différance, Finnegans Wake, Joyce, logocentrism.


Had Finnegans Wake not been written, some seminal post-1950s innovations in the field of modern literary theory and criticism would have been impossible. James Joyce, who seems to have inspiringly influenced the entire sphere of modern literary theory and criticism greatly, is a pioneer of deconstruction too. His last novel, which reflects his deconstructive tendencies, has played a seminal role in the formation of 20th century deconstruction, and comprises an inchoate mass of implicit ideas on the subject. It was perhaps not until Jacques Derrida and his deconstruction techniques that the theory implied by Finnegans Wake really came into focus. This article seeks to delineate Derrida’s theory of deconstruction as well as Joyce's deconstructive aesthetics; and taking a diachronic approach to literary theory and criticism it glances at Finnegans Wake in the light of deconstruction.


Download data is not yet available.


Attridge, D. (1990). Reading Joyce. In D. Attridge (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to James Joyce (pp. 1-27). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Benstock, B. (1965). Joyce-again's wake: An analysis of Finnegans Wake. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.

Boldereff, F.M. (1959). Reading finnegans wake. Wood¬ward, PA: Classic Nonfiction Library.

Booker, M. K. (1991). Finnegans wake and the satanic verses: Two modern myths of the fall. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 32, 190-207. [CrossRef]

Budgen, F. (1963). James Joyce. In E. Jolas & S. Manley (Eds), James Joyce: Two decades of criticism (pp.19-27). Givens, New York: The Vanguard Press.

Conley, T. (2003) Performance anxieties: On failing to read finnegans wake. Papers On Language and Literature, 39, 71-90.

Derrida, J. (1976). Of grammatology (G.C. Spivak, Trans.). Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press. (Original work published 1967)

Derrida, J. (1978). Writing and difference (A. Bass, Trans.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1967).

Derrida, J. (1982). Margins of philosophy (A. Bass, Trans.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Derrida, J. (1984a). Dialogue with Jacques Derrida: Decon-struction and the other. In R. Kearney (Ed.), Dialogue with contemporary conti¬nental thinkers: The phenome¬nological heritage (pp. 105-126). Manchester: Man¬chester University Press.

Derrida, J. (1984b). Two words for Joyce. (G. Bennington, Trans.). In D. Attridge & D. Ferrer (Eds.), Post-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French (pp. 145-59). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Derrida, J. (1987). The post card: From Socrates to Freud and beyond (Alan Bass, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1980)

Derrida, J. (1991). Letter to a Japanese friend (D. Wood & A. Benjamin, Trans.). In P. Kamuf (Ed.), Derrida reader: Between the blinds (pp. 270-6). New York: Columbia University Press.

Ellmann, R. (1959). James Joyce. New York: Oxford Univer¬sity Press.

Jones, E. C. (1988). Deconstructive criticism of Joyce: Introduction. In B. Benstock (Ed.), James Joyce: The augmented ninth (pp. 77-79). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Joyce, J. (1942). Finnegans wake. London: Faber and Faber.

Joyce, J. (1959). James Clarence Mangan. In E. Mason & R. Ellmann (Eds.), The critical writings of James Joyce (pp. 73-83). London: Faber and Faber.

Joyce, J. (1969). A portrait of the artist as a young man, London: Penguin.

Knowlton, E. (1998). Joyce, Joyceans, and the rhetoric of citation. Gainesville: Florida University Press.

Lernout, G. (2002). Crises in Joyce studies. Studies in the Novel, 34, 337-351.

Levin, H. (1960). James Joyce: A critical introduction. London: Faber and Faber.

Litz, A.W. (1961). The art of James Joyce: Method and design in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. New York: Oxford University Press.

Litz, A.W. (1966). James Joyce. New York: Twayne Publi¬shers, Inc.

Lyotard, J.F. (2001). Answering the question: What is postmodernism? In S. Malpas (Ed.), Postmodern debates (pp. 53-61). New York: Palgrave.

Norris, C. (1987). Derrida. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Norris, C. (1996). Deconstruction: Theory and practice. London and New York: Routledge.

Tindall, W.Y. (1950). James Joyce, his way of interpreting the modern world. New York: Scribner.

Wang, J. (1992). To wielderfight his penisolate war: The lover's discourse in postmodernist fiction. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 34, 63-79. [CrossRef]
How to Cite
J., Z. (2012). Joyce the Deconstructionist: Finnegans Wake in Context. K@ta, 14(1), 31-36.