The Decentered Universe of "Finnegans' Wake": A Structuralist Analysis

John L. DiGaetani, Margot Norris
1978 The South Central Bulletin  
Book/chapter and page/line numbers for Finnegans Wake are included in parentheses in the text without a preceding symbol. Book/chapter numbers are given as follows: I. 3 (Book I, Chapter 3 ). Page/line references indicate the line on which the quotation begins and are given as follows: 338. 9 (page 338, line 9). Footnotes in Finnegans Wake are indicated in the following manner: F4 ( footnote 4 ). vu 6 INTRODUCTION : THE CRITICAL METHOD INTRODUCTION : THE CRITICAL METHOD 9 fictional than any of
more » ... he others. I suspect that we are to assume a single dreamer, since the same obsessions inform all the themes narrated by the different voices. The different speaking voices may therefore repre sent different personae of the dreamer relating different versions of the same event. For example, since a single dreamer can be a father, a son, and a brother all at once, he can play out an Oedipal drama in his dream, in which he takes the parts of Laius, Oedipus, and Creon all at once. In this way he can express many conflicting feelings simulta neously. I speculate that it makes no difference whether one supposes a single long dream, with constant repetition of the same theme, or a group of serial dreams, each dealing with the same theme. It seems plausible to suppose that the dreamer is male, since the major conflicts appear to afflict male figures. But sex, like everything else, is mutable in dreams. The question "Who is the dreamer ? " is a question properly addressed not to the reader but to the dreamer himself, who discovers in the dream that he is by no means who he thinks he is. READING HNNECA NS WA KF: -But he'll beat you here, said th e little old man, tapping his foreh ead and raising his glass to drain it. (I', p. 9 5 )
doi:10.2307/3188967 fatcat:nidtru5mizdrvcx5jpp2dbfq4y