, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 155–172 | Cite as

Linguistic Repetition as Theological Revelation in Christian Epic Tradition: The Case of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

  • William FrankeEmail author


This essay places Joyce’s Finnegans Wake in the tradition of Christian epic poetry and explores its continuation of the claim to theological revelation in and through the poetic word. It brings to light the theological underpinnings of structures of repetition inherent in language, in its phonemic and graphic materials, as exposed by Joyce’s inimitable juggling and shuffling with his linguistic medium, bringing out unsuspected nuances by deforming, recombining and juxtaposing linguistic signifiers. This opens a very new perspective on theological revelation in its constitutively verbal and performative character, even while maintaining constant contact with the revelation of the Word in the Bible and its appropriation by forms of literary discourse from the epic to the novel.


Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic Constant Contact Graphic Material Linguistic Signifier 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Comparative LiteratureUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong

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