On Stephen's Epiphany

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Song, NakHun
Issue Date
서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집 1(1976): 87-116
Almost every critical term is notorious for its ambiguity and lack
of concensus among critics with regard to its definite meaning. This
is especially the case with 'epiphany,' a term employed by James
Joyce who'is in turn the most puzzling of all literary artists. To.
many Joyce critics, epiphany is one of his major techniques by which,
it is claimed, Joyce reveals the essence of things small and great, from
a fragment of an inane conversation to the whole history of the human
race. Thus Irene Hendry Chayes asserts that "Joyce's work is a tissue
of epiphanies, great and small, from fleeting images to whole books,
from the briefest revelation in his lyrics to the epiphany that occupies
one gigantic, enduring 'moment' in Finnegans Wake, ...." This statement
can give rise to a series of such questions: "Is every detail,
image, word, episode or scene in Joyce's works .epiphany? if so, can it
be sharply distinguished from the writings of other writers, for every
writing is an attempt at showing some thing forth? or if otherwise,
can epiphanic detail be distinguished from those which are not?" In
short, such a sweeping generalization as Chayes's tends to be more
confusing than elucidating.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.01 (1976)
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