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Finnegans Wake: Some Strange Tristan Influences

Charles Long
The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies
Vol. 15, No. 1 (Jul., 1989), pp. 23-33
DOI: 10.2307/25512763
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25512763
Page Count: 11
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Finnegans Wake: Some Strange Tristan Influences
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Abstract

Most of the Tristan motifs in Joyce's Finnegans Wake are drawn from Joseph Bédier's Le Roman de Tristan et Iseult and Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. However, Joyce also borrowed words and phrases in various languages from such Tristan versions as Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, Malory's Morte D'Arthur, Beroul's Tristan, and the Middle English Sir Tristrem, as well as Swinburne's Tristram of Lyonesse, Hardy's The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall, and Mann's Tristan. While this borrowing of words and phrases does not necessarily prove that Joyce had an extensive intimacy with all these works, the skilfullness of his choices precludes a theory of coincidence. This complex intertextuality stems from Joyce's desire to create universality for his work. /// La plupart des motifs de Tristan dans Finnegans Wake de Joyce sont tires de l'oeuvred de Bédier Le Roman de Tristan et Iseult et de celle de Richard Wagner Tristan and Isolde. Cependant, Joyce a également fait des emprunts de mots et de membres de phrases dans diverses langues et versions de Tristan telles celle de Tristan de Gottfried von Strassburg, Morte d'Arthur de Malory, Tristan de Béroul, la version en moyen anglais Sir Tristrem, ainsi que Tristram of Lyonesse de Swinburne, The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall de Hardy et Tristan de Mann. Bien que ces emprunts de mots et de membres de phrases ne prouvent pas nécessairement que Joyce ait eu une connaissance approfondie de tous ces travaux, l'adresse avec laquelle il effectue ses choix écarte l'éventualité d'une coincidence.

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