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Chapter Summary

The significance of Hugo in Joyce - as in modernism generally - has been overshadowed by the dominant position within criticism of Flaubert. In a series of readings of Joyce’s allusions to Hugo and his works, this chapter argues for their centrality to Joyce’s Romantic figurings of the artist - as an exile, an exponent of anti-Catholic free thought, and resistance to tyrannical modes of thinking and of politics. Hugo’s theory of genre is shown to be key to Stephen’s theories in A Portrait… and to the deployment of gigantism in “Cyclops” and the grotesque in “Circe.” Finally, in Finnegans Wake, Hugo’s frequent return to the trauma of Waterloo is repeated by Joyce in a way that, while it is less mournful, suggests, nonetheless, a fascination for Hugo’s revolutionary spirit, in which the novel provides stories that subvert those provided by histories.



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