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Medb Ruane – Who Chose This Face for Me – Some Commodius Vicuses of Recirculation in Lacan and Joyce


THE LETTER 35 (Autumn 2005) pages 64-71


James Joyce opens Finnegans Wake with a spectacle ”.. .riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs


Reference books explain that Commodus was a decadent Roman Emperor; that Vico, is variously understood as a road on the edge of Dublin Bay and as the philosopher of the fourfold corso-recorso, an idea of history that invokes the word ‘recirculation, encouraging Joyce to create a book without beginning or end.


The words offer a cover for ‘leaning against’  some signifiers in Joyce and Lacan, bearing in mind a further sense of commodius as meaning in Dublin parlance and thus with an eye to Joyce, something very suitable, rather fortunate. It also sparks off the sense of a commode, meaning a bedpan or chamber pot.

Some Commodius Vicuses of Recirculation in Lacan and Joyce

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