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The idea of a fictional encyclopaedia : Finnegans wake, Paradis, the Cantos Clark, Hilary Anne 1985

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THE IDEA OF A FICTIONAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA: FINNEGANS WAKE, PARADIS, THE CANTOS  by HILARY ANNE CLARK B.A. Hons., Simon Fraser University, 1978 M.A., University of Toronto, 1980  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme i n Comparative Literature)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1985  © Hilary Anne Clark, 1985  In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the  University  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study.  I further  agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may  be granted by the head of  department or by his or her representatives.  my  It i s  understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for  f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my  permission.  Department of  Comparative  Literature  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956  Main Mall  Vancouver, Canada V6T  1Y3  Date  ^ o r i l 25,  1935  written  ABSTRACT  This study concerns i t s e l f with the phenomenon of l i t e r a r y encyclopaedism, as especially evident i n James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Philippe S o l l e r s ' Paradis and Ezra Pound's Cantos.  The study focuses on  developing the notion of an encyclopaedic l i t e r a r y mode and on establishing the existence of a genre of f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias. I t finds an encyclopaedic mode i n l i t e r a t u r e to be one comprehending and imitating other l i t e r a r y modes, both mimetic and d i d a c t i c .  Further, the  idea of a f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia i s developed through an understanding of the t r a i t s of the neighbouring forms of essay, Menippean s a t i r e and e p i c , and through an understanding of the paradoxes associated with the making of the non-fictional encyclopaedia. The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia thus comprehends and exceeds the following t r a i t s : 1.  A tension, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the essay, between integrated autobiography and impersonal (and ultimately fragmented) exposition of the categories of knowledge.  2.  A tension, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Menippean s a t i r e , between tale and digression, between a single narrating subject and a m u l t i p l i c i t y of transient narrating voices.  The menippea also  contributes a simultaneous preoccupation with the most sacred and the most profane subjects.  - i i i-  3.  A t o t a l i z i n g drive characteristic of the e p i c , a d e s i r e — r i v a l l i n g the urge to t e l l a s t o r y — t o l i s t or include a l l aspects of the culture i n the epic past.  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia also translates into f i c t i o n the following paradoxes associated with the encyclopaedic enterprise: 1.  The recognition, i m p l i c i t i n the drive to trace a complete and eternally-perfect c i r c l e of the arts and sciences, that encyclopaedic knowledge i s always ultimately incomplete and obsolete.  2.  The recognition, at the heart of the attempt to produce an objective and unmediated picture of the world, that encyclopaedic knowledge i s i d e o l o g i c a l l y shaped and textually mediated.  The dominance of the encyclopaedic gesture i n Finnegans Wake, Paradis and the Cantos allows us to account for the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c length, obscurity and "bookishness"  of these works; they absorb the  t r a i t s and tensions of essay, Menippean satire and epic while yet exceeding these t r a i t s i n their f i c t i o n a l translation of the encyclopaedic paradoxes noted above.  This translation manifests  itself  in each work as a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c parodic hesitation before the authority of  t o t a l i z i n g predecessors; i t manifests i t s e l f i n the texts'  fascination with images of a paradisiacal completion and timelessness, a tendency that i s undercut by a r e p e t i t i v e , digressive or fragmented form which asserts the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of time and incompletion. the Wake, Paradis and the Cantos, i n their overt and extensive  Further,  - iv -  intertextual a c t i v i t y , emphasize the textual boundaries knowledge.  of encyclopaedic  Nonetheless, i n their foregrounding and v a l o r i z a t i o n of  speech rhythms, the works also repeat the challenge that the encyclopaedia brings to Its own limited nature as written book.  - v-  T A B L E OF  CONTENTS  Page ABSTRACT  i i  TABLE OF CONTENTS  v  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  viii  INTRODUCTION  I  CHAPTER I: THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS  8  1.  Genre and mode: a. b. c.  2.  3.  general discussion  The essay The Menippean s a t i r e The epic  The encyclopaedia: discussion.  15 19 ?-5  introduction and general ,  Problems i n the t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge Problems of time Relation to other books........  42 47 49  d.  Ideology and writing  56  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia:  introduction...  65  Problems i n the t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge Problems of time Relation to other books Problems of writing Formal consequences.....  67 73 76 81 82  CHAPTER I I : FINNEGANS WAKE  2.  34  a. b. c.  a. b. c. d. e.  1.  8  84  Special problems  84  a. b. c.  The pun. The portmanteau word Punning portmanteau words  86 88 92  d.  Lexical chains  95  Problems of t o t a l i z a t i o n a.  Modes of inclusion i. ii.  External modes of inclusion Internal modes of i n c l u s i o n ,  99 100 101 108  - vi -  b. c.  Imitation of l i t e r a r y modes and forms Treatment of encyclopaedic models i.  Giambattista Vico  121  Giordano Bruno  131  Images of completion  136  ii. d.  3.  114 121  i . The rainbow ii. The musical scale iii. Alpha-Omega... i v . The alphabet Time and Timelessness  139 144 146 150 151  a. b. c. d.  153 156 161 165  Past-present-future groups................... Multitemporal figures Repetition and narrative Digression and narrative  4.  Finnegans Wake:  the Book and books  167  5.  Finnegans Wake:  writing and gesture  175  CHAPTER I I I : 1.  2.  PARADIS  Special problems:  178 non-punctuation  178  a. b.  Study example........... Paradisiacal writing  181 186  c.  Paradis as f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia  192  Problems of t o t a l i z a t i o n  193  a.  Modes i. ii. iii. iv. v.  of inclusion Inclusion by l e x i c a l s e r i e s . Inclusion by formal equivalence Rhetorical strategies Number-parallelism The catechism  193 195 199 208 213 215  b. c. d. e.  Imitation of l i t e r a r y modes and forms T o t a l i z a t i o n versus i n f i n i t y . . . . . . . . Morcellation of the subject Images of completion  216 224 235 239  i. ii. f.  Alpha-Omega The alphabet  Paradise and Hell  240 242 243  - vii -  3.  Time, timelessness and the problem of beginnings......  255  a.  Grammatical time  256  b.  Beginnings  257  4.  "Pancyclopedie": the Book and books  259  5*  Paradis;  266  writing and o r a l i t y  CHAPTER IV: THE CANTOS 1.  Special problems: a.  2.  the canto form......  Canto LXXXI..,  270 277  Problems of t o t a l i z a t i o n  285  a.  Modes of inclusion  288  i. ii. iii.  289 299 307  b. c.  The ideogrammic method Historiography and law Formal equivalence.,,  Imitation of l i t e r a r y modes and forms Paradise v i a periplum i. ii.  3.  270  Versions of paradise Evasions of paradise  313 319 320 331  Time and timelessness  339  a. b.  342 344  4.  Multitemporal layering Memory  "In principio verbum": textuality and speech.....  349  CONCLUSION  359  1.  Summary  359  2.  Encyclopaedism  i n the twentieth century  365  FOOTNOTES  368  BIBLIOGRAPHY  402  - viii -  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would l i k e to thank Professors G. Good, L. Weir, V. Raoul and K. A l l d r i t t of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia for advice and c r i t i c i s m invaluable i n the preparation of this  thesis.  - 1-  INTRODUCTION  The phenomenon of encyclopaedism  In l i t e r a t u r e has been noted by a  number of c r i t i c s and has been given a variety of names: an encyclopaedic form,  1  encyclopaedic narrative,  2  3 the encyclopaedic Book,  an encyclopaedic impulse or f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedism, "encyclopoetique."^  an  The epithet "encyclopaedic" has been applied to  novels, to poetry, to mixed forms such as the anatomy or the Menippean s a t i r e , and to the a u t o p o r t r a i t . outset.  6  Several points need to be made at the  F i r s t , these c r i t i c s have a l l noted a similar l i t e r a r y "fact."  Despite the variety of responses, the responses  themselves indicate the  existence of a phenomenon that provokes discussion. Second, i n such c r i t i c a l discussions, encyclopaedism  i n l i t e r a t u r e i s not studied f o r  i t s own sake, but i s , rather, mentioned i n passing, as something taken for granted to e x i s t . ignored.  The precise nature of the phenomenon, however, i s  Are we, for example, talking about a l i t e r a r y genre or a mode  of l i t e r a r y presentation? it?  I f a genre, what other genres are related to  Does the pedagogical encyclopaedia have any bearing on the  problem?  Such questions are basic to a study that would focus upon  encyclopaedism right.  i n l i t e r a t u r e as worthy of investigation i n i t s own  The following study w i l l undertake such a t h e o r e t i c a l  investigation of what we s h a l l c a l l the "encyclopaedic text" or the " f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia." Edward Mendelson, i n his a r t i c l e s "Encyclopaedic Narrative from Dante to Pynchon" and "Gravity's Encylopaedia,"  7  posits the existence of  - 2 -  a h i s t o r i c a l genre of encyclopaedic narrative, a genre having only a handful of members:  Dante's Commedia, Rabelais' Gargantua and  Pantagruel, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Goethe's Faust, M e l v i l l e ' s Moby-Dick, Joyce's Ulysses and Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.  This genre  has an external, h i s t o r i c a l significance with respect to the national l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n s ; i t also exhibits a set of i n t e r n a l , formal t r a i t s . H i s t o r i c a l and formal t r a i t s together form a set specifying the genre. "Near-encyclopaedias"  do not f u l f i l l a l l the formal conditions and do  not occupy a special h i s t o r i c a l / c u l t u r a l p o s i t i o n .  Gabriel Garcia  Marquez' Cien anos de soledad i s , according to Mendelson, such a "near-encyclopaedia." Mendelson's view does not take into account the great number of works whose encyclopaedic quality we sense while reading them. When we say that a work we have just read i s "encyclopaedic," we surely follow the l i t e r a l meaning of the word and mean that the work encircles or comprehends—or, more accurately, strives to e n c i r c l e — a l l human knowledge.  This i s surely to say more than that the work f u l f i l l s x, y  and z generic c o n d i t i o n s — f o r example, that i t contains a discussion of Q  s t a t e c r a f t , features giants and provides a history of languages.  The  term "encyclopaedic" should not be so broad that i t loses descriptive precision; however, i t should not be so narrow, as i n Mendelson's "genre," that i t excludes many l i k e l y works. The necessary narrowness of an exclusively generic approach to the problem may  be countered i f we develop alongside this approach the idea  that the encyclopaedic text features the functioning of a certain mode,  - 3 -  p o t e n t i a l l y present i n a l l l i t e r a r y texts, but i n some genres more 9  important, and i n encyclopaedic texts dominant.  This i s something l i k e  the idea of an encyclopaedic form developed by Frye i n his Anatomy of Criticism.  In his theory of f i c t i o n a l modes, Frye has an encyclopaedic  or continuous form playing against an episodic or discontinuous form;  10  both forms are at work, implying one another, throughout Western literature.  The encyclopaedic form, embracing the entire v i s i o n of a  c u l t u r e , i s inconceivable without the episodic forms (based on discontinuous moments of vision) out of which i t i s b u i l t and against which i t takes i t s meaning.  For Frye, the sacred scriptures form the  paradigm for a l l encyclopaedic forms; these are b u i l t out of the episodic forms of the parable, the prophecy, and so on. This d i a l e c t i c a l notion of encyclopaedic form would seem to contradict the simple generic notion of Mendelson.  For Frye,  non-encyclopaedic works would be episodic works; they would not simply be works lacking i n a few properties, the complete set of which would make them encyclopaedic. near-encyclopaedias.  In Frye's l i t e r a r y universe, there are no  There i s a danger i n such a dichotomous approach  to the problem, the danger being that in wrapping up the "encyclopaedic" so neatly i n terms of i t s opposition to the "episodic," this approach cannot take into account the reader's experience that some texts are less encyclopaedic than others:  some texts may  contain certain  pertinent features and lack others; i n some texts an encyclopaedic mode is less important than in others.  Frye's approach cannot take into  account this important i n t u i t i o n of continuity or degree.  - 4 -  Several other approaches to l i t e r a r y encyclopaedism have already been referred t o , and bear further though b r i e f e r mention.  Vincent  Descombes contributes the following q u a l i f i c a t i o n to our topic:  " . . .  any book aspires to be encyclopaedic, i . e . , to go around i t s subject, so as to be equal to that subject (to say everything, a l l that must be said from the point of view that had i n i t i a l l y been decided). . . .  m 1 1  Countering this universal aspiration, on the part of the book, toward summation or completion, we find that encyclopaedias  and d i c t i o n a r i e s  very often include, not only an o r i g i n a l body of a r t i c l e s , e n t r i e s , but also an appendix or supplement.  Descombes argues that the very  p o s s i b i l i t y of a supplement undermines the comprehensiveness implied by the term "encyclopaedic"; paradoxically, i t is of the essence of encyclopaedic summation not to be able to close i t s e l f A to Z.  i n a c i r c l e from  The problem of completion in the encyclopaedic work w i l l be  central to this  study.  Ronald T. Swigger approaches our topic from the perspective of a general encyclopaedic impulse i n l i t e r a t u r e , an impulse toward comprehensiveness i n cognition, an "impatience  for cognition."  Such an  impulse involves a gesture of both u n i f i c a t i o n and d i v i s i o n , both universalism and encyclopaedism; an "ultimate v i s i o n of mystic union i s 12  preceded by a survey of the v a r i e t i e s and categories of existence." That there i s an impulse toward knowledge at the base of a l l l i t e r a t u r e , an impulse that i s especially dominant in certain l i t e r a r y works, i s taken as a given i n this study.  The issue of encyclopaedism, then,  involves not only formal questions of genre and mode but also the domain of communication and cognition.  - 5 -  Michel Beaujour, i n his d e f i n i t i o n of the "autoportrait" (as opposed to the autobiography), outlines certain t r a i t s that could also apply to the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  In Montaigne's a u t o p o r t r a i t , for  example, there i s "pas de r e c i t s u i v i , ni d'histoire systematique . . ."; instead, there i s "une  sorte de bricolage . . . assemblage peu 13  coherent . . . de petits essais heteroclites." way  Linear narration gives  to an analogical or thematic organization which i s open to any  number of additions.  In f a c t :  . . . 1'autoportraitiste ne salt jamais clairement ou 11 va, ce q u ' i l f a i t . Mais sa t r a d i t i o n c u l t u r e l l e le s a i t bien pour l u i : et c'est e l l e qui l u i fournit les categories toutes faites . . . categories des peches et des merites, des vertus et des vices . . . les cinq sens . . . les humeurs . . . les facultes . . . l ' a s t r o l o g i e . . . l a race, le milieu . . .  The subject disappears behind a mass of material that begins to organize i t s e l f according to i t s own  internal system of order.  This notion of a  special non-narrative principle of order based i n the knowledgecategories of a culture w i l l be important i n our discussion of the fictional  encyclopaedia.  Mikhail Bakhtin has unwittingly ( i t seems) sketched around the topic of l i t e r a r y encyclopaedism i n certain of his formulations on the novel.  In distinguishing between the novel and the e p i c , Bakhtin  suggests that the novel is characterized by a f a m i l i a r l y manipulative  or  comic attitude toward i t s subjects and by an open-ended or inclusive form which accords as much importance to present-day r e a l i t y as i t does to the glories of the (epic) past: " . . . the subject of serious l i t e r a r y representation (although, i t is true, at the same time comical)  - 6 -  i s portrayed without any distance, on the level of contemporary r e a l i t y , 1 5  in a zone of direct and even crude contact. . . .  Now,  an imitative  f a m i l i a r i t y with a diverse array of topics, l i t e r a r y modes and forms i s a t r a i t that w i l l be central to our discussion of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  Philippe S o l l e r s ' remark that the novel i s a form  including everything i n the culture i s also applicable to the encyclopaedic form.  16  Why,  then, speak of the idea of a f i c t i o n a l  encyclopaedia when the idea of a novel might do just as well?  This  study attempts to develop the former idea i n the interests of making clear d i s t i n c t i o n s :  i f the term "novel" must cover both encyclopaedic-  parodic (for example, Sterne) and r e a l i s t (for example, Austen) narratives, then as a term i t is somewhat ambiguous.  The idea of a  f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia develops the non-realist or parodic vein separately, i n the interests of exploring i t s special links with the forms of essay, Menippean satire and e p i c , and with the encyclopaedia i t s e l f , that repository of the knowledge of a c u l t u r e .  An examination  of the t r a i t s of these other forms w i l l provide us with a better insight into works sensed to be parodic and a l l - i n c l u s i v e , than i s provided by their consideration—under  the appelation of  "novel"—alongside  conventional r e a l i s t n a r r a t i v e s . A l l the approaches discussed above illuminate the phenomenon of 17  l i t e r a r y encyclopaedism,  that impulse betrayed i n a text by a love for  pieces of wisdom, for their gathering and hoarding following the logic of their associations i n the writer's c u l t u r e .  In the pages that  follow, l i t e r a r y encyclopaedism i s explored i n i t s generic and modal  - 7-  dimensions.  The phenomenon refers both to a genre of works illuminated  by the forms of encyclopaedia, essay, Menippean s a t i r e and e p i c , and to a mode encompassing other l i t e r a r y modes i n a gesture of appropriation and parody.  L i t e r a r y encyclopaedism  i s evident i n d i f f e r e n t cultures  and times, but seems to be especially prevalent i n writings of the twentieth century.  The chapters on Finnegans Wake, Paradis and the  Cantos should indicate the variety of forms i n which a modern (and post-modern) l i t e r a r y preoccupation with encyclopaedic compilation manifests  itself.  - 8-  CHAPTER I THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS  1. Genre and mode: general discussion  In thinking about f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedism,  i t i s important to  begin with a clear d i s t i n c t i o n between genre and mode. In order to be c e r t a i n , for example, of what a l i t e r a r y mode i s , we must recover I t s o r i g i n a l meaning i n Plato's Republic and i n A r i s t o t l e ' s P o e t i c s . In Book III of the Republic, Socrates speaks of methods of s t o r y - t e l l i n g :  . . . there i s one kind of poetry and t a l e t e l l i n g which works wholly through imitation . . . tragedy and comedy, and another which employs the r e c i t a l of the poet himself, best exemplified . . . i n the dithyramb, and there i s again that which employs^both, i n epic poetry and i n many other places . . .  The methods of t e l l i n g are to be distinguished from the content of works.  Further, i n the Republic i t i s s t i l l somewhat unclear whether  ways of t e l l i n g should be distinguished from the forms or genres i n which they appear; form and method seem to be used interchangeably, while both are set against content.  In A r i s t o t l e ' s P o e t i c s , however,  mode (method) and form are more d i s t i n c t . modes—narration,  We again find three basic  the mixed mode characteristic of e p i c , and dramatic  representation:  Given both the same means and the same kind of obj ect for Imitation, one may either (1) speak at one moment i n narrative and at another i n an assumed character, as  - 9-  Homer does; or (2) one may remain the same throughout, without any such change; or (3) the imitators may represent the whole story dramatically, a | though they were actually doing the things described.  These modes, when applied to different o b j e c t s — h i g h or low sorts of men—result i n different forms such as tragedy, comedy, e p i c .  Again,  A r i s t o t l e carefully distinguishes the modes of presentation and narration from the means and the object of imitation; this d i s t i n c t i o n precedes an analysis of the forms of tragedy and e p i c .  Mode and form or  genre are thus not to be confused with one another. Plato and A r i s t o t l e , then, i s o l a t e three modes of t e l l i n g i n literature:  narration, direct presentation, and mixed narration-  presentation.  Genette has described the h i s t o r i c a l changes that these  modes went through before and during the Renaissance and the 3  Enlightenment.  The three o r i g i n a l modes were rebaptised "genres" and  were elevated to the status of eternal, great forms existing above a c l u t t e r of individual forms or species.  In the Renaissance, an  evaluative d i s t i n c t i o n was made between the three great genres of l y r i c , epic and drama, and the individual species such as the ode, the e p i s t l e , etc.  This d i s t i n c t i o n continued i n Romantic p o e t i c s .  Goethe, f o r  example, elevated the t r a d i t i o n a l triad to the status of "natural forms"; these, unaltered by h i s t o r y , were not to be confused with the changing, appearing and disappearing h i s t o r i c a l kinds.  4  The eternal  5  forms were seen as genres ("archigenres" ), not modes. Generic theory s l i p p e d , then, from a conception of three basic mimetic modes of t e l l i n g , to a conception of a glorious t r i a d of eternal  -  genres.  10 -  The d i s t i n c t i o n between mode as a way of t e l l i n g i n l i t e r a t u r e ,  and genre as the s p e c i f i c , h i s t o r i c a l form this manner of t e l l i n g may take, has been pursued recently by Genette, who puts the d i s t i n c t i o n the following way:  . . . les genres sont des categories proprement l i t t e r a i r e s , les modes sont des categories qui relevent de l a l i n g u i s t i q u e , ou plus exactement de ce que 1'on appelle aujourd'hui l a pragmatique. "Formes naturelles," done . . . dans l a mesure ou l a langue et son usage apparaissent comme un donne de nature face a 1'elaboration consciente et deliberee des formes esth£tiques.  As two d i s t i n c t domains, mode and genre can be independent of one another.  A mode i s broader i n scope than the individual kinds. Not  necessarily eternal, but extending i n d e f i n i t e l y over time, a mode w i l l operate i n h i s t o r i c a l genres that may change, be replaced, disappear, without the mode i t s e l f ever disappearing (since i t i s an aspect of our use of language).  Thus a l i t e r a r y work can involve a mode (or modes)  and be a member of a genre (or genres), even while the two domains are distinct.  Within a given work, the relation of genre to mode involves  not a one-to-one correspondence but rather a habitation, to a certain degree, of a genre by a modes or modes; the relation involves the establishment of a hierarchy of modes whose arrangement characterizes the particular genre of the work. Not a l l theories of genre have honoured the t r a d i t i o n a l generic t r i a d of drama-epic-lyric. didactic.  Some have conceived of another genre: the  This new category takes the essay into account as an  - 11 -  honourable member of the l i t e r a r y canon.  The Chicago c r i t i c s , f o r  example, divided l i t e r a t u r e up into two basic genres—the mimetic and •7  the d i d a c t i c .  These "genres," I would argue, are surely modes, i n the  meaning of the term that we have developed.  Again, Frye has posited, i n  a similar v e i n , four basic "genres"—the old t r i a d of epos, drama and l y r i c plus something that he c a l l s "prose":  the l a t t e r can comprehend  both an " i n t e l l e c t u a l " orientation (covering the d i d a c t i c forms) and a Q  f i c t i o n a l one. I submit, then, that the didactic "genre" discussed by these c r i t i c s should be renamed a mode and added to the other three modes, also re-established according to their t r a d i t i o n a l meaning.  Such a  grouping of modes w i l l account better for the "manner of t e l l i n g " i n the d i f f e r e n t forms of l i t e r a t u r e .  I would further suggest that an  encyclopaedic mode must also be added to this group. mode involve?  What does such a  Like the others, i t must be a manner of t e l l i n g i n a  text; i t i s , however, a manner which brings together and comprehends a l l of the others. In A r i s t o t l e we saw the modes operating i n d i v i d u a l l y to the end of imitation of an object. didactic mode involve?  What, as d i s t i n c t from this mimesis, does a  This takes over any or a l l of the basic mimetic  modes, not to the end of mimesis but to the r h e t o r i c a l end of persuasion, perhaps, the teaching of a moral order or d o c t r i n e .  A  d i d a c t i c mode, l i k e the others, i s present to a varying extent i n different genres. Now, an encyclopaedic mode functions rather l i k e the didactic i n  -  12 -  that i t , too, takes over other modes and adapts them to new ends. Unlike the d i d a c t i c , however, i t s gesture of appropriation i s by d e f i n i t i o n a comprehensive one: i t comprehends and transcends mimesis-oriented modes ( t e l l i n g and presenting, or both) and a d i d a c t i c mode (teaching or persuading by t e l l i n g and presenting). An encyclopaedic mode swallows up the pleasure versus i n s t r u c t i o n debate: the forms i n which i t operates offer a synthesis of the two sides. Q  Bakhtin's label of "serio-comical" i s appropriate to such  forms.  Further, the end of the encyclopaedic d i f f e r s from that of the d i d a c t i c : i t s end i s i m i t a t i o n , c e r t a i n l y , but an imitation of what has already been said i n books; i t takes over epic, l y r i c , dramatic and didactic modes i n one sweeping gesture, i n the interests of imitating these modes for  their own sake and not for the sake of any r e a l i t y imitated or  doctrine upheld. An encyclopaedic mode, then, comprehends other modes i n order to imitate them.  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia imitates the l i t e r a r y kinds  in which these modes have been embodied over history; i t includes and plays with s p e c i f i c s t y l e s , works, books.  Such mimicry may aim at  pleasure; i t may be c r i t i c a l (as i n parody); or i t may be a blending of the two i n a j o y f u l c r i t i q u e or "serio-comedy."  In texts such as  Bouvard et Pecuchet, Don Quixote, and the "Oxen of the Sun" episode of Ulysses, books, genres or styles replace the world as object of direct imitation.  The knowledge imparted by such t e x t s , such "imitations of  imitations," i s of a refracted, " l i t e r a r y " s o r t .  If i t can be argued  - 13 -  that mimesis i t s e l f mediates or shapes r e a l i t y , then so much the more must encyclopaedism  do so, as the l a t t e r d i s p e r s e s — o r , on the contrary,  c o n c e n t r a t e s — r e a l i t y through the lenses of the other l i t e r a r y modes and kinds, of books. I have been arguing for the establishment of an encyclopaedic mode. Beyond t h i s , I also submit that there exists a genre of f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias.  Let us r e c a l l the r e l a t i o n of genre to mode:  i s never i n a one-to-one correspondence  a genre  with a mode; just as a  particular mode may operate i n a number of different kinds (being dominant i n some, less dominant i n others), so a kind may have functioning within i t more than one mode.  In tragedy, for example,  where the (mimetic) dramatic mode i s dominant, the representation of action wins out over narrative or l y r i c a l elements, d i d a c t i c i n t e n t , or the (encyclopaedic) recasting of previous genres and s t y l e s .  Now,  f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias constitute a genre wherein the encyclopaedic mode i s dominant and didactic and mimetic modes are subordinated and brought into the service of an over-all " i n t e l l e c t u a l " (or perhaps parodic) o r i e n t a t i o n . Let us put these ideas i n diagram form:  10  or "bookish"  - 14 -  Mod e s encyclopaedic mode (comprehensive—a mode of modes—mimetic, but at a higher l e v e l or at a remove, i . e . , mimics mimetic modes) comprehends both  and  d i d a c t i c mode (may take over any of the individual mimetic modes)  mimetic modes (narration, representation, mixed)  The above diagram does not necessarily most comprehensive mode.  represent a v a l o r i z a t i o n of the  Our ideas on genre can be arranged  in a  similar " h i e r a r c h i c a l " form:  Genres f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia  essay  Menippean satire  jpic (—^ novel)  11  The essay, the Menippean satire and the epic are genres i n which an encyclopaedic mode i s important.  Further discussion of the t r a i t s of  these encyclopaedic kinds should determine how they q u a l i f y for the epithet "encyclopaedic"; a discussion of their t r a i t s may also add to an understanding  of the genre of f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias, inasmuch as the  l a t t e r features these characteristics while comprehending and exceeding them.  Finnegans Wake, the Cantos and Paradis are examples of such a  - 15 -  gathering-up of e s s a y i s t i c , Menippean and epic t r a i t s — p l u s others as well.  Moby-Dick and the Commedia, mentioned by Mendelson as examples of  encyclopaedic n a r r a t i v e , also perform such a gathering and exceeding.  l.a.  The e s s a y  The essay can be both didactic and autobiographical i n nature. Montaigne's essays, for example, demonstrate how  frequent c i t a t i o n s from  other authors, and use of moral exempla from other books, cause an autobiographical intent to be cut across by a didactic r e a l i z a t i o n . Montaigne builds his essays as a fabric of c i t a t i o n s of the Ancients allusions to great men  as chronicled i n previous h i s t o r i e s .  and  The  supposedly autobiographical thrust of the essays runs up against this didactic tendency to acknowledge i n t e l l e c t u a l debt to others and to write within the public domain.  Very l i t t l e of the material on which  his moral conclusions are based i s actually personal; most i s public knowledge, book knowledge. Pound's l i t e r a r y essays begin from the opposite d i r e c t i o n : unlike Montaigne, Pound begins with a didactic i n t e n t , but this i s cut across by a strong autobiographical presence.  His precepts i n the  ABC  of Reading, for example, as much record a personal a r t i s t i c programme and set of discoveries as instruct upon on the writing and reading of poetry.  Both Pound and Montaigne, no matter what their i n t e n t , must end  by working within a public/personal tension at the heart of the essay form. A v a r i a t i o n of this equivocation between the personal and  the  p u b l i c , the autobiographical and the d i d a c t i c , i s the i n t e r p l a y , in the  - 16 -  essay, between f i c t i o n and non-fiction: which of these two  i t is often d i f f i c u l t to decide  characterizes the form.  This interplay i s a l l i e d  with that occurring between the occulting and i d e o l o g i c a l nature:  the unveiling of an  " . . . cette o s c i l l a t i o n entre deux attitudes qui  consistent, l'une, a devoiler les modalite's du f a i r e  ideologique,  l'autre, a les occulter, conditionne, dans l ' e s s a i , l a possibilite" meme du d i s c o u r s . "  12  The  essay hovers between, on the one hand, a d i d a c t i c  nature i n i t i a t i n g forays into the public domain of other t e x t s , a nature prompting an acknowledgement of sources and an examination of i t s own ideological premises, and, on the other hand, an autobiographical more closely linked to f i c t i o n s and ideologies. a similar ambiguity in the autoportrait: with a desire to paint h i m s e l f — a s , Montaigne.  Beaujour has  nature  discussed  the a u t o p o r t r a i t i s t begins  for example, do Rousseau and  But i n his desire to f i l l in a perceived void with his  own  person, the a u t o p o r t r a i t i s t instead reproduces the public domain of "les b e t i s e s , les f a n t a i s i e s , les fantasmes . . . Ie code moral de son epoque ou de sa classe, les bienseances, les conventions psychologiques et 13 culturelles.  Perhaps the autoportrait, then, in this i n a b i l i t y to  decide between the personal and the p u b l i c , i s simply another name for the essay. The  essay p o t e n t i a l l y includes an encyclopaedic range of topics  (moral, p o l i t i c a l , s c i e n t i f i c , e t c . ) : anything.  We  essays may  be written about  think, for example, of the variety of t i t l e s i n  essays of Montaigne and Bacon. terms, according to i t s own  Each essay-topic  logic:  the  i s explored on i t s own  there i s no predetermined path to be  -  followed.  Like the autoportrait,  "bricolage" i n which everything  17 -  the essay often follows a method of  that comes to hand (including segments  of other texts) i s used i n the exploration of the theme.  The essay i s  both s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and tentative (open to further "assaying"); a c o l l e c t i o n of essays has no over-arching, predetermined order of i t s own.  Such order i s usually decided after the components are complete;  headings or larger thematic units may be inserted i n order to group individual essays, which were not, however, o r i g i n a l l y written with an eye to such categories.  The writer of an essay i s somewhat l i k e the  writer of an a r t i c l e within an encyclopaedia:  the l a t t e r i s concerned  with discovering and following the internal logic of his t o p i c , and not with the o v e r - a l l order of the work that w i l l enclose i t . The essay q u a l i f i e s for the epithet "encyclopaedic" the t r a i t s already discussed.  i n several of  F i r s t , i t has at i t s disposal an  encyclopaedic range of possible t o p i c s .  Although each i n d i v i d u a l essay  w i l l tackle (usually) only one t o p i c , one tiny segment of the entire c i r c l e of knowledge, the fact that the essay i n general has the desire and the potential to work with any aspect of knowledge q u a l i f i e s the form as being encyclopaedic i n impulse and i n o v e r - a l l r e a l i z a t i o n . Second, the essay features an encyclopaedic mode; this mode, we r e c a l l , characterizes those works which gather into themselves and imitate different modes, forms, s t y l e s .  In reading an essay we often have  d i f f i c u l t y i n deciding just what mode, form, s t y l e , i t i s taking up. Essays often seem to be now one thing, now another:  they may seem to be  f i c t i o n a l or n o n - f i c t i o n a l ; they may, as noted above, be now d i d a c t i c ,  - 18 -  now  autobiographical. Within this indecisiveness there are l o c a l  problems:  i s this or that essay l y r i c a l ? dramatic? narrative? mixed?  One author has given a l i s t of ten types of essay:  l i t e r a r y , poetic,  fantastic, discursive, interpretive, theoretical, literary  critical, 15  expository, j o u r n a l i s t i c and chronicling a time or a l i f e . 1 6  shades, here, of Polonius' types i n drama;  There are  only a t r u l y protean,  assimilative form could generate such a l i s t .  In i t s assimilation of  generic boundaries, then, the essay enacts, on the formal l e v e l , an assimilation of knowledge on the cultural l e v e l . Certain t r a i t s of the essay are to be found i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  An awareness of these can enhance our understanding of  the more comprehensive form.  F i r s t , i n both the essay and the f i c t i o n a l  encyclopaedia there i s a coexistence of an autobiographical element, or knowledge gained from personal—and  perhaps unwritable—experience, with  a public element, or knowledge mediated by l e t t e r s . encyclopaedia, autobiography  In the f i c t i o n a l  cannot be effaced by the essential  anonymity of the enterprise of compiling an encyclopaedia:  fictions  presuppose persons w r i t i n g , and the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia d i f f e r s i n this respect from other f i c t i o n s only i n i t s r e l a t i v e l y greater emphasis on anonymity as opposed to autobiography.  For example, Pound's Cantos  as f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia feature the pressure of the public domain of documents, h i s t o r i e s , texts, upon the record of a l i f e .  Nonetheless,  the long poem, in the very manner of i t s selections from the public domain, attests to a peculiarly personal "voyage" through and toward knowledge:  "Knowledge the shade of a shade,/ Yet must thou s a i l after  - 19 -  knowledge/ Knowing less than drugged beasts." (Ca. XLVII) A second essay t r a i t imitated i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia i s the peculiar fragmented format of the e s s a y - c o l l e c t i o n .  We have noted  that such compilations follow no over-all order that i s not imposed on them externally; each essay follows i t s own  logic.  S i m i l a r l y , the order  of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia i s thematic and associative rather than narrative and linear; i t i s weighted more toward a c o n s t e l l a t i o n of independent pieces than toward any t e l e o l o g i c a l movement. A work such as Moby-Dick, for example, features the interplay of one order with another; i t features the breaking-up of narrative by a whale thematic which i s explored independently and i n counterpoint to the narrative line.  l.b. The Menippean satire 18  The genre has been discussed by Frye and Bakhtin; Varro, and Apuleius—and authors.  Petronius,  later Burton, Sterne and S w i f t — a r e "Menippean"  The genre's t r a i t s w i l l be b r i e f l y summarized here.  The  Ancients placed the Menippean satire along with the Socratic dialogue i n the special category of the "serio-comical." These genres were f e l t to be quite d i s t i n c t from the "serious" genres of epic and Presumably they were also d i s t i n c t from comedy.  tragedy.  The serio-comical  emphasizes what Bakhtin c a l l s a "carnival attitude to the world": " . . . i n a l l the serio-comical genres there i s a strong r h e t o r i c a l element, but that element i s r a d i c a l l y altered in the atmosphere of j o l l y r e l a t i v i t y . . . of the carnival attitude:  i t s one-sided  - 20 -  r h e t o r i c a l seriousness, r a t i o n a l i t y , singleness of meaning, and 19 dogmatism are made weaker."  This dissolution of single-mindedness i s  matched, at the l e v e l of form, by a multiplying of styles and genres, a mixing of high and low s t y l e s , verse and prose  forms.  The Menippean s a t i r e exemplifies the serio-comical t r a i t s , above.  It i s often more comical than serious.  It displays a high  degree of fantasy, and at the same time i s concerned with a philosophical search f o r , and testing o f , the truth; i n this search i t often ranges from earth to the heavens and down to the underworld.  The form  brings together the highest mystical elements with the lowest human types of character i n i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c fantastic journey after truth 20 or "ultimate questions." In this quest, i t r e f l e c t s the epoch of i t s f i r s t emergence, "an epoch of the decay of the t r a d i t i o n of a nation and the destruction of those ethical norms which made up the antique ideal of 'seemliness' . . . an epoch of intense struggle among multitudinous heterogeneous religions and philosophical schools and tendencies 21 . . ."  Petronius' Satyricon i s an early example of Menippean s a t i r e .  It exhibits the form's d e f i n i t i v e s a t i r i c a l bent, r i d i c u l i n g prevalent o r a t o r i c a l practices and social excesses.  There i s a l s o , i n the  Satyricon, a hero's (or antihero's) fantastic journey through many divagations and low-life sequences i n a quest for a mystical/erotic knowledge—and a cure for impotence.  The sublime and base are  indistinguishable i n this strange genre. A summary of the more formal t r a i t s of the Menippean s a t i r e would include the following: o 9 a heterogeneous nature (the text i s a  - 21 -  c o l l e c t i o n of smaller texts with no apparent o v e r - a l l relation) and a related tendency to fragmentation; a mixing of prose and verse, and of forms such as l e t t e r s , songs, epigrams, oratory, symposia, etc.; and the presence of many voices, refracting the originary voice of authority and creating an effect of anonymity, and a related use of masks or personae.  Further, the form demonstrates an autobiographical impulse  (the author may become a character within the body of the work) that i s in a paradoxical r e l a t i o n to the above anonymous impulse.  Finally, i t  presents a v i s i o n of the world i n terms of a "single i n t e l l e c t u a l 23 pattern"  — t h a t i s , i t i s organized symbolically.  The Satyricon  i l l u s t r a t e s these t r a i t s save, perhaps, the element of autobiography. Its narrative i s ( l i t e r a l l y ) fragmented: low-life scene to another.  the reader jumps from one  Its prose i s abruptly interrupted by verse  segments, o r a t o r i c a l speeches, e t c . Its "single i n t e l l e c t u a l pattern" Is an eroticized quest-theme.  Sterne's Tristram Shandy i s s i m i l a r l y  "Menippean" i n i t s fragmented, digressive n a r r a t i v e , i t s mixing of the forms of main text and footnote (the l a t t e r becoming so lengthy that i t i s often confused with t e x t ) , and i t s patterning according to an all-informing theme of b i r t h and receiving of i d e n t i t y . In the Menippean s a t i r e , the sublime exists alongside the grotesque; the single-minded philosophical quest i s never far from the d u p l i c i t i e s of i r o n y — o r the (encyclopaedic) m u l t i p l i c i t i e s of parody. Indeed, parody i s one of the chief drives i n the form, the parodic gesture organizing i t s borrowing and mixing of forms, i t s r e l a t i v i z i n g of their d i f f e r e n c e .  The form's satire empties i t s characters, making  - 22 -  them less people than "mental a t t i t u d e s . " expand into an "encyclopaedic  Z4  Further, i t i s prone to  farrago" based on a "magpie i n s t i n c t to  25 c o l l e c t facts."  The Menippean satire's ostentatious "bookishness,"  i t s pointed reference to e a r l i e r works, i s one aspect of this tendency toward encyclopaedic  compilation.  Further, i t s "magpie i n s t i n c t " i s  indistinguishable from the operation of the parody:  the gathering of  references i s simultaneously a parody of the learned a c t i v i t y of gathering references.  Thus, Petronius, for example, operates a parody  of past forms or works.  Petronius aims his pen at the Odyssey, and at  the wrath of Poseidon against Odysseus, when he presents the wanderings of Encolpius and his quest to overcome a god-induced impotence. Within the Satyricon, this Odyssean parody i s with d i f f i c u l t y distinguished from the practice of making references ( v i a the poet Eumolpus) to 26 painters and to other poets, including Homer and V i r g i l .  Rabelais, i n  another case, parodies medieval romance and i t s treatment of the exploits of the hero when he presents such e x p l o i t s , blown up to grotesque proportions, at the hands of Gargantua and Pantagruel.  In  Rabelais' work, as i n Petronius', such parody coexists with a heterogeneous c o l l e c t i o n of forms—narration, dialogue, v e r s e - i n t e r v a l s , riddles, l i s t s . How i s the Menippean satire an encyclopaedic genre?  First, i t is  eager to take on any topic for discussion (and usually r i d i c u l e ) .  Like  the essay, i t may p o t e n t i a l l y speak about anything; however, unlike the essay, this encyclopaedic range of topics Is usually kept within the boundaries of a narrative which, even i f fragmented, i s s t i l l  - 23 -  operative.  The essay i s encyclopaedic i n i t s p o t e n t i a l , while not so i n  i t s individual r e a l i z a t i o n s .  On the other hand, the Menippean s a t i r e  does c o l l e c t , l i k e Frye's magpie, many unrelated pieces of knowledge; however, this a c t i v i t y of c o l l e c t i n g i s usually subordinated to the narrative by being kept i n the form of references made by the characters, or by the narrator i n the form of footnotes.  It i s only  when references threaten to overtake narrative, when the encyclopaedist's love for his topics threatens to overtake the narrator's desire to t e l l a story, that we begin to cross the tenuous boundary separating the Menippean satire from the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia. Just as the Menippean satire absorbs an encyclopaedic range of c u l t u r a l topics or items of knowledge into i t s narrative (a process threatening the narrative or master line with fragmentation), i t also gathers up a multitude of s p e c i f i c a l l y l i t e r a r y forms and imitates them while parodying them. Like the essay, the genre features the simultaneous  functioning of encyclopaedism  c u l t u r a l manifestations.  i n both i t s l i t e r a r y and  For example, Rabelais' Gargantua and  Pantagruel includes the arts of m i l i t a r y strategy and of statesmanship, the types of children's games and methods of education; these are included i n a narrative which also mimics the heroic chronicle or the romance, and which features a parodic imitation of the "x begat y, e t c . . . . " o f Genesis.  The interpenetration of objects of knowledge and  types of l i t e r a t u r e , of encyclopaedic inclusion and parodic i m i t a t i o n , is further evident, f o r example, i n the l i s t s of the games to which  - 24 -  Gargantua i s addicted before his educational reform:  these  lists,  besides c o l l e c t i n g games, also r e c a l l the l i t e r a r y (or epic) t r a d i t i o n of  extravagant list-making.  Like the essay, the Menippean s a t i r e  submits this a c t i v i t y of inclusion and imitation to certain l i m i t a t i o n s : the essay, for d i d a c t i c reasons, concentrates on a fragment only of the c i r c l e of knowledge, while the Menippean satire i s f i r s t and foremost a narrative. Certain t r a i t s of the Menippean satire are important i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  In the essay, an autobiographical drive works  against a didactic or public tendency; s i m i l a r l y , i n the Menippean s a t i r e — a n d the encyclopaedia—autobiography composition. writing.  is countered by anonymous  In the menippea, one i s never sure who  i s speaking or  This is somewhat the case i n the Satyricon:  Encolpius i s so  clearly visualized as a participant i n the action that i t i s easy to forget that his i s also the narrating v o i c e .  Tristram Shandy features  an even more extreme confusion of narrating subject and object of narration.  These confusions provoke the question, "Who  speaks?"; they  thus lend anonymity to the work. With such a problematic narrator, anyone or no-one may  be writing the t a l e .  least formally autobiographical: to  And yet Tristram Shandy i s at  the n a r r a t i v e , of the b i r t h and coming  i d e n t i t y of a baby, i s a s e l f - n a r r a t i v e .  Further, i n a work such as  Ulysses (which I would argue i s a f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia), an autobiographical narrative (Stephen Dedalus' coming into self-knowledge) encounters the anonymous pressure of many different v o i c e s , with the result that the narrative i s as much Dublin's as Stephen's or Bloom's.  - 25 -  Other Menippean t r a i t s which may be taken over i n the more comprehensive encyclopaedic  genre are i t s "serio-comical" tone and,  e s p e c i a l l y , i t s fragmented and digressive form, i t s mixing of genres and s t y l e s , i t s organization according to a "single i n t e l l e c t u a l pattern" or symbol.  Narrative i n S o l l e r s ' Paradis, for example, i s an endless  digression, a kaleidoscopic sweep through countless fragments of the world's knowledge, through many forms of discourse.  Oddly enough, this 28  formal "dissolution" or "rhizome"-llke m u l t i p l i c i t y emerging symbolic shape:  evocations  coexists with an  of an unattainable or unwriteable  paradise form the symbolic or i n t e l l e c t u a l crux of S o l l e r s ' text as much as they do i n Dante's Commedia.  I.e.  The epic A d i s t i n c t i o n between the epic and the f i c t i o n a l  encyclopaedia  needs e s p e c i a l l y to be made, as they are often confused with one another.  Pound's long poem has p a r t i c u l a r l y lent i t s e l f to this 29  confusion; i t has been called an epic (and a menippea).  This  confusion i s possible because the epic, l i k e the menippea, i s "encyclopaedic"  i n scope.  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, however, may  have elements of epic, but i t s t i l l has special concerns, a r i s i n g from i t s r e l a t i o n to the encyclopaedia, which are not epic concerns. What are the t r a i t s of epic?  The c l a s s i c a l epic i s at the base  of the genre; i t s major t r a i t s should offer us a guide.  The d i s t i n c t i o n  between oral and l i t e r a r y epic i s essential to the c l a s s i c a l epic: Homeric and V i r g i l i a n epics are based on an oral and a written  - 26 -  tradition, respectively.  The epic as a long narrative poem thus began  as an oral performance drawing upon many past performances and upon the gradual building-up of formulas (regularly-used word-groups) and thematic groups.  Oral t e l l i n g under the pressure of performance i s  f a c i l i t a t e d by this use of fixed structures or themes, within which a good deal of v a r i a t i o n i s p o s s i b l e . memorize past performances:  Oral epic thus does not simply  i t s formulae involve an interplay between  r e p e t i t i o n and innovation or variation; i t s composition proceeds v i a an 30  addition and expansion of themes or units of t e l l i n g .  Authorship i n  the oral epic i s not as clear-cut as i t i s i n the l i t e r a r y e p i c .  A  p a r t i c u l a r performance, by a particular singer, of a song or tale draws on past performances for the existence of the t a l e , i t s composition and many of i t s very lines and images; this dependence d i f f e r s from the l i t e r a r y work's reference t o , and incorporation o f , i t s predecessors. Oral epic i s thus neither authored nor anonymous; i t i s at once an individual and a c u l t u r a l product.  In this sense i t i s very much l i k e  the encyclopaedia, as we w i l l see s h o r t l y . The c l a s s i c a l e p i c , whether oral or written, has several t r a i t s which are relevant to the idea of a f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  Such epic  i s a verse n a r r a t i v e , usually of some length, whose action i s taken to have some h i s t o r i c a l b a s i s .  The epic's elevated tone arises from i t s  desire to have a direct or privileged i n s i g h t — v i a the Muse or, within the t a l e , v i a the o r a c l e — i n t o the truth of events and into divine nature and motives.  Competing with this desire to sing the h i s t o r i c a l  and the eternal i s a need to sing the magical, to digress into  - 27 -  marvellous or supernatural sights and events. The c l a s s i c a l epic i s thus b u i l t on the tension between truth and f i c t i o n , between i t s t r a d i t i o n a l c a l l i n g as an imitation and i t s nature as a c r e a t i o n .  In spite of i t s  overwhelming desire to t e l l things as they were, to sing of wars and heroic achievements, Homeric and V i r g i l i a n epic sings equally of voyages —Odysseus' and Aeneas'—in which the h i s t o r i c a l and magical fuse. The gods are constantly interceding i n the action of c l a s s i c a l epic.  It i s perhaps due to their persistent presence that time i n epic  narrative becomes quite complex:  the narrative l i n e i s broken up or  interrupted by flashbacks to events preceding the main a c t i o n , and premonitions of events consequent on this a c t i o n .  by  Such narrative  creates a global view of events, a perspective i n which past, present and future are one, i n which h i s t o r i c a l events are seen as a whole and 31 in their essential t r u t h . simulates a divine one.  This perspective taken by the epic poet Further, linked to a global perspective i s the  favoured use, in the e p i c , of the extended s i m i l e .  Such a device,  extending over some length, includes any diverse areas of knowledge or experience that might be helpful i n evoking an i d e a .  A global temporal  perspective i s thus inseparable from an encyclopaedic inclusiveness. The c l a s s i c a l epic hero needs to be mentioned b r i e f l y , as he often reappears (transformed) i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  The hero  battles for honour and journeys i n obedience to divine impulses; he pits his strength and valour against monsters and monstrous s i t u a t i o n s . He is viewed e x t e r n a l l y , v i a actions which have a real effect upon the 32 world.  His " l a r g e r - t h a n - l i f e " quality i s , nonetheless, countered by  - 28 -  his mortality and h i s frequently being i n disfavour with the gods. Aeneas, as the paragon of c l a s s i c a l heroism, must ultimately subordinate his desires to divine ones. To take account of medieval and l a t e r e p i c s , we must characterize the genre more broadly.  The epic has the quality of expansiveness, the 33  impulse to extend i t s own luminosity i n ever widening c i r c l e s .  This  drive to extend i t s l i m i t s outwards, to include a l l that may be sung, i s a t o t a l i z i n g drive:  Lukacs' characterization of the e p i c , i n The Theory  of the Novel, as presupposing a t o t a l i t y of v i s i o n , i s c e r t a i n l y 3*t  applicable here.  Expansiveness and t o t a l i z a t i o n mean inclusiveness:  the epic i s a "poem including history," i n Pound's d e f i n i t i o n ;  q tr  i t is a  poem including past, present and future, indeed a l l time, i n i t s global temporal perspective. As A r i s t o t l e puts i t , i n the epic: . . . i t must be possible for the beginning and end of the work to be taken i n one view. . . . For the extension of i t s length epic poetry has a s p e c i a l advantage, of which i t makes large use . . . i n epic poetry the narrative form makes i t possible for one to describe a number of simultaneous incidents . . . . This then i s a gain to the E p i c , tending to give i t grandeur, and also v a r i e t y o f interest and room for episodes of diverse kinds.  Beginning and end of an action, beginning and end of a time or of a l l time:  this grandly comprehensive temporal scope enables the e p i c ,  according  to A r i s t o t l e , to include variety or d i v e r s i t y — a movement  found, i n miniature, i n the epic s i m i l e . The encyclopaedic nature of the epic form should be obvious:  the  - 29 -  epic draws into i t s e l f everything known at the time of w r i t i n g , including the art of warfare, names and nature of the heroes and the gods, domestic and s o c i a l custom, and so on.  We have shown how this  encyclopaedic inclusion of a whole culture i s responsible essay-form's thematic or non-narrative organization;  for the  i t i s also the  force behind the Menippean satire's tendency to introduce lengthy digressions  into the narrative l i n e .  An encyclopaedic i n c l u s i o n of a  culture might also l i e behind the epic's episodic form:  episodes form a  loose chain, with each piece being interesting for i t s own elements of a culture are evoked and repeated for t h e i r own  sake.  The  intrinsic  i n t e r e s t , not solely as steps i n the service of a tale to be t o l d .  As  previously mentioned, Frye sees a link between an encyclopaedic form implying a t o t a l i z i n g knowledge of a c u l t u r e , and an episodic form complete i n i t s e l f .  The f i r s t , he says, i s b u i l t out of the second.  An  episode i n an epic i s one of these units pressed into the service of an o v e r - a l l narrative, yet s t i l l retaining something of i t s o r i g i n a l , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t nature. The epic, while undoubtedly encyclopaedic In i t s impulse to transmit the t o t a l i t y of a culture, must nonetheless be c l e a r l y distinguished from the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  Even more than the  Menippean s a t i r e , the epic channels i t s "magpie" tendencies i n the service of an all-important  tale to be t o l d : 37  The Wrath of A c h i l l e s i s my theme . . . 38  I sing of arms and of a man  . . .  - 30 -  On Man's F i r s t Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree . . . Sing Heav'nly Muse . . . (Paradise Lost)  Unlike the encyclopaedist, the epic singer or writer i s not concerned 39  with f i e l d s of knowledge outside his range of experience.  Within  this  l i m i t a t i o n , the epic t o t a l i z e s and encloses a small, perfect cosmos; i t 40  treats a past absolutely sealed off from the flux of the present.  The  encyclopaedia, on the other hand, writes on the edge of contemporaneity, in a present always threatening to become the past.  Tn this openness to  the present, the form—whether f i c t i o n a l or n o n - f i c t i o n a l — i s open to new  areas of knowledge; i t does not enclose or e n c i r c l e once and for  a l l , so much as create a structure capable of supporting an i n d e f i n i t e number of i n c l u s i o n s . with none of the awe  Further, the encyclopaedia  treats i t s material  accorded to the epic object; i t s seriocomical or  parodic tone brings a l l of i t s inclusions onto the same l e v e l , where they may  be subjected to playful  manipulation.  1+1  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia exceeds the e p i c , imitating It as form among others.  one  Nonetheless, i t i s the case that d e f i n i t i o n s of epic  already mentioned—that i s i s a "poem including history," that i t has the quality of "expansiveness, the impulse to extend i t s own  luminosity  in ever widening c i r c l e s " — a r e relevant to the idea of a f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  The epic's length i s another relevant t r a i t :  the work  must be roomy or long enough to comprehend a t o t a l i z i n g v i s i o n of a culture and to include a global perspective on time.  The past, present  and future of an a c t i o n , and more importantly the beginning  and end of  -  31  -  history i t s e l f , are brought within i t s bounds.  Correspondingly, the  f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, as i t rewrites the sacred scriptures and reenacts sacred r i t u a l , i s p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned with the Creation, the F a l l and the p o s s i b i l i t y of an (often erotic) Redemption. The epic's hesitation between t e l l i n g history and making beautiful f i c t i o n s i s very much a t r a i t of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia. A work such as Dante's Commedia (which, i n the sense that i t includes topical issues, i s more encyclopaedic than epic) i s concerned with history but i s not content merely to report i t .  It must place events  within a larger f i c t i o n a l structure, place h i s t o r i c a l figure next to angel, place Italy next to the cosmos and God's scheme of things.  In  this sense i t imitates the encyclopaedia i t s e l f which, while professing to be working objectively with the r e a l , shapes and takes l i b e r t i e s with knowledge i n a manner reminiscent of f i c t i o n . The epic hero finds his double or his extension i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  We r e c a l l that i n the epic scheme of things, i n an order  bounded by the w i l l of the gods (or by God's foreknowledge),  the hero i s  ultimately limited i n his c a p a b i l i t i e s and recognizes his own mortality.  This i s the case even though the hero i s larger i n stature  than any other f i g u r e .  Now,  the epic hero takes two d i f f e r e n t forms i n  the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, depending on whether the work Is i r o n i c or not.  In both cases the hero's nature i s bound up i n the pursuit of  knowledge—a pursuit which was not foregrounded not i n the c l a s s i c a l v a r i e t y .  i n the. e p i c , or at least  In works such as Ulysses and Finnegans  Wake, the epic hero faces his i r o n i c double.  Bloom and HCE  are based on  - 32 -  the larger-than-life heroes, Ulysses and Adam; they move through the respective works in a grandiose manner, having adventures and mishaps; their actions are commented upon from the perspective of myth and history.  And yet both figures are voyeurs and t r i c k s t e r s .  magnified i n order to be deflated:  Both are  Bloom becomes Henry Flower and  HCE  becomes Humpty Dumpty. What would be known i n these works, a set of truths at once e r o t i c , nostalgic and mystical, i s balanced by this i r o n i c perspective and hence i s rendered somewhat ambiguous. In less i r o n i c works such as Faust and Moby-Dick, the epic hero faces his extension into an untenably extreme form.  Faust, obviously  caught up in the pursuit of knowledge, overshoots the epic mark, transgresses the boundaries t r a d i t i o n a l l y l i m i t i n g the epic hero's capacities.  Faust would go beyond God's order and accede d i r e c t l y to  the truth of things.  Now,  in the ironic world of Finnegans Wake,  HCE/Adam's f a l l from grace i s turned from tragedy by being compared to Humpty Dumpty's tumble.  Faust, like HCE, wants to know too much, but  his F a l l i s not ironized; he loses far more than his reputation.  Like  Aeneas, Faust towers over his contemporaries; unlike the prudent epic hero, however, he does not ultimately submit his w i l l to a divine one. S i m i l a r l y , Ahab i n Moby-Dick i s modelled on the epic voyager after knowledge; however, i n his desire to see into the heart of e v i l i n the form of the white whale, he transgresses l i k e Faust the boundaries of cosmic order and ultimately f a l l s from grace.  Thus the f i c t i o n a l  encyclopaedia repeats and transforms the epic hero d i f f e r e n t l y on whether i t i s a modern ( i r o n i c ) work or not.  depending  - 33 -  The oral/written tension i n the epic i s also repeated i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  Oral epic i s more or less anonymous:  i t may  be performed and transformed by a particular bard, but i t i s actually authored by a whole community of singers who have contributed versions of tales to a common pool of formulae, themes and ideas.  In the e p i c ,  as i n the Menippean s a t i r e and the essay, anonymous composition (the text as a wide assimilation of cultural categories) i s i n tension with authored composition (the text as a personal p r o j e c t ) . This tension within the epic genre i s precisely the d i s t i n c t i o n between primary and secondary e p i c .  Now, the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia  impression of having anonymous authorship.  often gives the  A multitude  of categories of  knowledge are drawn into i t and enter into play; c l i c h e s , proverbs, direct transcriptions of signs, snatches of songs, weave through the text.  A culture or community, not a particular person, seems to be  authoring the work.  So much information i s included that one person, i t  seems, could not possibly have transmitted i t .  This effect i s  p a r t i c u l a r l y marked, for Instance, i n Finnegans Wake:  this work, along  with Pound's Cantos, requires a c o l l e c t i v e venture of annotation. Like oral e p i c , then, the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia  has an  anonymous aspect; however, l i k e written epic (and, of course, l i k e a l l written works), the genre remains an authored one.  Indeed, i t goes  further i n being quite conscious of i t s nature and l i m i t a t i o n s as writing.  Images of w r i t i n g , of the book, i n examples of the form are an  important indication of this l i t e r a r y , or even s c r i p t u r a l , self-consciousness.  Finnegans Wake, for example, while often giving  - 34 -  the impression of being a compendium of popular, orally-transmitted knowledge, a chorus ( o r , better, cacophony) of voices from d i f f e r e n t cultures and times, nonetheless features s p e c i f i c a l l y l i t e r a r y images: Anna L i v i a ' s l e t t e r and the exegete's a c t i v i t y i n deciphering i t transmit a consciousness of the l i t e r a r y (epistolary) nature of the 43  enterprise of the book;  further, the parody of l i t e r a r y conventions of  marginal commentary and footnoting indicates a textual t r a d i t i o n to which the book, however much i t may necessarily belongs.  lflf  aspire to a condition of o r a l i t y ,  S i m i l a r l y , Pound draws upon the resources of the  s c r i p t u r a l i n his exploitation of the Chinese ideogram; his poem's imitation of numerous l i t e r a r y styles likewise moderates i t s tendency to be a direct medium for a multitude of voices from h i s t o r y .  Thus we  cannot simply say that our genre takes over the oral q u a l i t i e s of epic; i t absorbs, rather, the c o n f l i c t between oral song and written book that stands at the heart of the epic as genre. 2.  The encyclopaedia:  Introduction and general discussion  We have seen an encyclopaedic mode to be operating, to varying degrees, i n several h i s t o r i c a l genres, and to be determining our perception of their "encyclopaedic" nature. the Menippean s a t i r e , and the epic.  These genres are the essay,  It i s c l e a r , however, that there  exist certain texts that transcend these generic boundaries or include them a l l .  Such texts contain aspects of the more limited genres, and  yet seem to form a group on their own—the genre that we have  - 35 -  tentatively called "the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia."  This term places  emphasis on the notion of an encyclopaedia, and e s p e c i a l l y , by opposition to " f i c t i o n a l , " on the non-fictional encyclopaedia.  Our task  w i l l now be to establish the t r a i t s of the l a t t e r as i t provides a model for the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  In doing s o , we must r e a l i z e that the  encyclopaedia Is only a metaphor for i t s f i c t i o n a l counterpart; we must not posit direct relations between the two l e v e l s .  Characteristics of  the non-fictional work are not taken over d i r e c t l y by f i c t i o n a l texts such as Moby-Dick and Finnegans Wake:  instead, they are translated or  transposed by a f i c t i o n a l universe and i n t e n t . In discussing the encyclopaedia, we s h a l l be concerned with a number of different questions, a l l useful i n f i l l i n g i n more completely, l a t e r , the t r a i t s of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  We w i l l look at the  etymology of the term i t s e l f ; at other, related forms or metaphors for the encyclopaedia, such as the thesaurus, etc.; at the d i f f e r e n t  formats  possible i n the encyclopaedia, the different ways i n which i t arranges i t s material and hence conceives of knowledge; and at the d i f f e r e n t kinds of authorship possible i n i t .  These questions suggest more  general ones focusing on the ambivalent project to i t s own l i m i t a t i o n s :  r e l a t i o n of the encyclopaedic  to Its own necessary incompleteness (as  opposed to a t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge); to i t s own h i s t o r i c a l s p e c i f i c i t y (as opposed to a timelessness of knowledge); to i t s reliance on other books, sources (as opposed to an unmediated knowledge); to i t s own status as an ideological construct and as writing (as opposed to being a mirror of the world).  Thus a number of assumptions as to  - 36 -  p o s s i b i l i t i e s for knowledge underlie the encyclopaedic undertaking— underlie i t and at the same time are put into question by i t . The term "encyclopaedia" derives from the Greek terra for " e n c y c l i c a l education":  the terra refers to the c i r c l e of arts and  sciences considered by the Greeks to be essential to a l i b e r a l 45  education.  The notion of an encyclopaedia, then, before r e f e r r i n g to  a book charged with including within i t s covers this c i r c l e or c i r c u l a r body of learning, referred just as importantly to a body of ideas, a course of education or i n s t r u c t i o n , which could conceivably have been 46  held and practised i n o r a l , as well as l i t e r a t e , c u l t u r e s .  We must  think about both a body of knowledge and a course of i n s t r u c t i o n or doctrine; the encyclopaedia, that i s , concerns both the object of knowledge and the process of coming to know. The term has more commonly come to refer to a book or set of books containing information on a l l aspects of knowledge, or on one particular branch of knowledge.  The  term has even come to be synonymous (or almost so) with the Encyclopedie of Diderot and d'Alerabert, such that many encyclopaedias neglect to include a r t i c l e s on their own  form, i t s special problems and h i s t o r y ,  while nonetheless including an a r t i c l e on their famous predecessor.  It  is important for a consideration of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, however, to avoid exclusive emphasis on the notion of the book, and to return to the roots of the term "encyclopaedia," emphasizing of c i r c u l a r i t y (comprehensiveness,  the notions  t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge) and of  education ("paideia" means " c u l t u r e " ) .  Besides being Books containing,  and somehow replacing, the world, encyclopaedias (and, i n d i r e c t l y , their  - 37 -  f i c t i o n a l counterparts) are engaged i n the process of education, formation, acculturation.  What i s important i s not simply the knowledge  included i n i t s e l f , but also the act of building up this body or c i r c l e of "connaissances" and communicating i t to the p u b l i c .  The notion of  "paideia" i s thus important to keep i n mind; i t has the same root as "paideuma," that notion which Pound places at the base of his v i s i o n i n the l a t e r Cantos, and which comes to mean, for him, that body of ideas, rooted i n a culture, that forms the basis of i t s ways of ordering experience.  1+7  In this sense i t has a meaning something l i k e Foucault's  •+8 ' episteme."  Whether we are concerned with a body of  ideas—"paideuma"—or with the process of assuming this body, the process of education—"paideia"—we  are dealing, i n the encyclopaedia,  with one step i n the communication, c i r c u l a t i o n , d i s t r i b u t i o n of knowledge.  A notion of knowledge as arcane possession, store or  treasure i s d e f i n i t e l y not lacking in the encyclopaedic endeavour; this hoarding for purposes of power i s nonetheless balanced, or undermined, by the above drive toward a clear d i s t r i b u t i o n of ideas. Magical or conservative and populist or d i s t r i b u t i v e tendencies both compete in the encyclopaedic impulse. It i s illuminating to look at names, often metaphorical, that encyclopaedias may  take or have taken i n different cultures; these tend  to r e f l e c t the opposing impulses, magical and s o c i a l , noted above. There i s the term "reference work," which assumes the communication of ideas, grounding this process i n the material support of the book, a s o c i a l product. 4 9 Other cultures have played with terms such as "book  - 38 -  of categories" (Chinese) and "tree of knowledge" ( I n d i a ) .  Other terms  include a "key to knowledge" (Islam) and a "necklace" (Islam), a c i r c l e of t r e a s u r e s .  51  our "thesaurus."  The treasure metaphor i s transcultural and underlies Another universal metaphor i s that of an image of the  world—e.g., Imago Mundi (1410)  — t r a n s m i t t e d by the encyclopaedia as 53  m i r r o r — e . g . , Speculum Universale (1192-3).  The " c i r c l e " i n the term  "encyclopaedia" joins the above metaphors; one must also include a notion of a " t h i r s t " or desire for knowledge, a notion engendering such aquatic metaphors as a "fountain of words," an "ocean of jade," an 54  "ocean of words" ( a l l Chinese). c i r c l e , mirror, ocean:  Tree, book, key, necklace, treasure,  a l l are concrete words f i g u r i n g , i n d i f f e r e n t  ways, the d i s p o s i t i o n of knowledge in the book, the r e l a t i o n of the work to i t s object.  The r e l a t i o n i s one of d e s i r e — o r , i n the metaphor,  " t h i r s t " — w i t h the q u a l i f i c a t i o n that such t h i r s t i s self-engendering and endless.  This i s the "magical" drive for arcane knowledge and  power, a drive that c o n f l i c t s with the encyclopaedia's communicative function. There are two general ways i n which the encyclopaedia can  arrange  i t s m a t e r i a l . These are the alphabetic and the systematic orders. orders work under a common assumption:  Both  that one i s aiming at a  comprehensive account of a l l that i s known, that one can indeed provide such an account.  Within this t o t a l i z i n g framework, the two orders are  quite d i s t i n c t , and presuppose different world-views and h i s t o r i c a l conditions.  Systematic arrangement (used, for example, i n the  Encyclopedie de l a Pleiade) i s that i n which the areas of knowledge are  - 39 -  presented according to their "natural" l o g i c , divided up into chapters and sub-chapters; each area i s intended to be read i n i t s e n t i r e t y . There i s a strong sense of a whole behind the parts:  this discourages  any d e s i r e , on the reader's part, for quick r e f e r e n c e .  55  It i s not  surprising that systematic arrangement has a longer history than alphabetic, which did not even appear u n t i l the end of the seventeenth century:  56  the former i s "une structure ferme'e, se donnant pour 57  naturelle et parfois pour divine";  i t presupposes a l o g i c a l , i f not  t h e o l o g i c a l , order of things, which must be respected and treated i n i t s entirety and i n t e g r i t y .  The alphabetic order (used, for example, i n the  Britannica) i s , on the other hand, a l l i e d with empirical theories of knowledge; this i s why i t has come to the fore only r e l a t i v e l y recently.  Unlike the systematic order, i t does not presuppose closed or  previously-given systems of knowledge.  Each object of knowledge i s to  be attended to separately, and i s important i n i t s own r i g h t ; one can thus "look up" such an object to the exclusion of a l l others. In alphabetic ordering, one finds the most b i z a r r e , non-systematic juxtapositions of objects or e n t r i e s . The two encyclopaedic formats thus presuppose d i f f e r e n t conceptions of the nature of knowledge, although both assume, i t would seem, the p o s s i b i l i t y of attaining to i t to some degree.  The systematic  arrangement, i n progressing confidently through categories of knowledge, structures assumed to be given as such, obviously does not question the p o s s i b i l i t y of knowledge i t s e l f .  The alphabetic format does not  question the p o s s i b i l i t y of knowledge either:  i t posits the existence  - 40 -  of a body of knowledge, or at least of an array of i n d i v i d u a l objects of knowledge, on which i t can draw for i t s individual a r t i c l e s or e n t r i e s . There might seem to be other possible arrangements of knowledge, such as the tree of memory-reason-imagination placed at the head of the Encyclopedic of Diderot; these do not dislodge the two major orders from their primacy.  (The Encyclopedie s t i l l follows the alphabetic order.)  Whatever the p r i n c i p l e of order used, a body of knowledge i s assumed to e x i s t , which requires such ordering for i t s communication.  No  one  s ft  format i s inherently superior to the others. There are two kinds of authorship possible i n an encyclopaedia: the book(s) may  be the work of a single person, or they may have j o i n t  (or communal) authorship.  These may  a l l y themselves with the two  principles of order, discussed above—over h i s t o r y , at l e a s t , i f not at the present time.  A single author may write an encyclopaedia when the  available body of knowledge i s compact enough to be digested, ordered and transmitted by one scholar. A single encyclopaedist, that i s , i s more common i n times, such as the Middle Ages, when the body of available knowledge i s limited and submitted to an overriding (usually theological) order.  (This type of authorship i s also possible i n  encyclopaedias dealing with only one, narrow segment of the t o t a l c i r c l e of arts and sciences.)  Knowledge capable of being gathered and ordered  by one author i s also more l i k e l y to be conceived of as a whole; that i s , i t i s more l i k e l y to be set out in a systematic fashion, i t s areas being arranged from their general t r a i t s to their p a r t i c u l a r s , from one l i m i t to the other.  We should caution, however, that this c o r r e l a t i o n  - 41 -  between single authorship and systematic arrangement does not always hold, e s p e c i a l l y at the present time (the Encyclopedic de l a Pleiade i s a case i n p o i n t ) . Joint or communal authorship becomes more common as the knowledge available grows too much and too quickly to be assimilated and transmitted by a single author.  This type of authorship i s thus  especially prevalent i n the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  As the  amount of information grows, so does the number of s p e c i a l i s t s required to order and present i t .  With each edition of an encyclopaedia  the B r i t a n n i c a , more experts must be invited to contribute.  such as  To follow  this trend to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion would be to project an edition requiring thousands of volumes and countless contributors.  Now,  the  greater the number of s p e c i a l i s t s involved i n the work of the encyclopaedia, the more i t s authorship becomes e s s e n t i a l l y anonymous. In modern alphabetic encyclopaedias, authors are l i s t e d at the  beginning  of each volume, but are only indicated by i n i t i a l s at the end of the articles  for which they are responsible.  speaking, anonymous, but i t i s nearly so: i s looked up for i t s own anybody—or nobody.  The work i s not, s t r i c t l y the information i t contains  sake, and might as well have been written by  Such essentially anonymous and expanding knowledge  i s l i k e l y to be alphabetically arranged:  i t s body w i l l not be seen as a  whole, but i n i t s i n d i v i d u a l parts; the objects of knowledge w i l l not be connected, or w i l l only be related by a few cross-references (which are, l i k e the selection of a r t i c l e s , always a r b i t r a r y and susceptible to change).  - 42 -  Encyclopaedic authorship thus covers the range from single  (and  s i n g u l a r — t h e work being read as much as a work of i t s author or of God as for the integrated body of knowledge contained therein) to communal (and e s s e n t i a l l y anonymous, indeterminate—the work being conceived as an ordered c o l l e c t i o n of fragments of knowledge, with certain fragments only, rather than the whole, being read). encyclopaedic orders may  In a similar  way,  be systematic or alphabetic, according to  whether the body of knowledge i s conceived as being u n i f i e d , c i r c u l a r and r e l a t i v e l y stable, or i n f i n i t e l y divided, expanding and unstable. The encyclopaedia, then, i s the result of a basic impulse to know a l l there i s to know. One arranges such knowledge according to modes of order r e f l e c t i n g , to some extent, both a h i s t o r i c a l moment and an encyclopaedic t r a d i t i o n . especially  Encyclopaedias, i t has been argued, f l o u r i s h  i n times of t r a n s i t i o n between one s o c i a l order and  another,  seeking to comprehend a l l past knowledge to the end of understanding  a  59 sensed new order of things.  A t r a d i t i o n i s recovered, s t a b i l i z e d , and  included i n an uncertain present; the enterprise may whole . . . to make a man  Christian  be "to make a man  . . . [or] to make a man  free,"  according to whether we are i n C l a s s i c a l Greece, medieval Europe, or 60  eighteenth century France.  2.a.  Problems l n the t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge That the encyclopaedic enterprise i s characterized by a drive to  encircle or include a l l there i s to know, for ends that vary h i s t o r i c a l l y , does not preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y that there are  - 43 -  l i m i t a t i o n s to this d r i v e . in to the enterprise i t s e l f . may  Such limitations are, I would argue, b u i l t No matter how  confident an undertaking i t  be, no matter how much f a i t h the e n c y c l o p a e d i s t s ) may have i n the  p o s s i b i l i t y of mastering and communicating the body of knowledge at hand, the t o t a l i t y of this body i s an elusive thing.  One can thus speak  of an erotics of knowledge, a recognition of loss at the very heart of its  quest. Equivocation (or a simultaneous attraction to opposites)  characterizes, f i r s t of a l l , the encyclopaedia's r e l a t i o n to a t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge. comprehensiveness—this  It i s both confident of achieving such  according to i t s very d e f i n i t i o n as being the  c i r c l e or complete figure of knowledge, of the arts and  sciences—and  susceptible to the awareness that i t has not achieved i t , i f not to the awareness that total comprehensiveness can never be attained. modern encyclopaedia's continuing sense of i t s own implied i n i t s practice of publishing new  The  incompleteness i s  editions involving new  or  revised a r t i c l e s ; i t i s suggested i n i t s continuing enterprise to keep 61  up with, comprehend and transmit, an ever-expanding Older encyclopaedias may incomplete.  body of knowledge.  seem by hindsight to have been markedly  Indeed, i t has been claimed that a mania for t o t a l i z a t i o n  was not even c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of encyclopaedia-making nineteenth century:  before the  for example, works before the end of the eighteenth  century did not consider i t desirable to include entries for l i v i n g people. There seem, then, to be two attitudes towards t o t a l i z a t i o n : f i r s t sees i t as being desirable but only possible within an ongoing  the  - 44 -  process of r e v i s i o n , updating and expansion; the second sees i t as being not always either possible or d e s i r a b l e . The f i r s t attitude may  also  involve the r e a l i z a t i o n that t o t a l i z a t i o n i s desirable but only possible when pursued by more than one encyclopaedist:  one man,  says Diderot,  can never i n his single l i f e t i m e "connaftre & . . . developper l e systSme universel de l a nature & de l ' a r t . "  Thus the p o s s i b i l i t y of  t o t a l i z a t i o n , the c i r c l e as complete course of i n s t r u c t i o n , may tantalize the encyclopaedist or editor; this c i r c l e as completion must contend with the vicious c i r c l e of desire as endless d e f e r r a l .  The  desire to achieve encyclopaedic closure involves the desire to write the one Book that w i l l render a l l other books obsolete and unnecessary. Mallarme discovered, this hope remains a hope only: deferred to an i n d e f i n i t e future. story, "The Library of Babel."  6lt  As  the Book i s always  This hope also informs Borges'  Here one i s hoping to come upon the one  book that w i l l contain a l l the other books, the whole i n f i n i t e  (and  hence meaningless) Library of the universe:  In some shelf of some hexagon . . . there must exist a book which i s the cipher and perfect compendium of a l l the r e s t : some l i b r a r i a n has perused i t , and i t i s analogous to a god. Vestiges of the worship of that remote functionary s t i l l p e r s i s t . . . . To me, i t does not seem unlikely that on some shelf of the universe there l i e s a t o t a l book . . . I pray the unknown gods that some man—even i f only one man, and though i t have been thousands of years ago!—may have examined and read i t . . . . Let me be outraged and a n n i h i l a t e d , but may Thy enormous Library be j u s t i f i e d , for one i n s t a n t , in one being.  The search for completeness i n the mastery of knowledge i s evident i n the very appearance of new  encyclopaedias  (an occurrence  that  - 45 -  i s frequent, especially i n this century as the body of knowledge to be transmitted expands almost exponentially).  If a single encyclopaedia  could r e a l l y do what i t desired to d o — t h a t i s , resume a l l knowledge and a l l books for a l l time within i t s covers—then new attempts to master the body, or deal with i t s parts, would be rendered unnecessary. Evidence, then, of a quest for completion i s a l s o , paradoxically, evidence of the f a i l u r e of this quest.  S i m i l a r l y , the publication of  new editions (and often the discarding of e a r l i e r ones) and the publication of supplements and yearbooks  66  attest to a double movement,  in the encyclopaedia, of the mastery of knowledge and the acknowledgement of i t s l o s s . The phenomenon of the suppression and disappearance of older encyclopaedic editions i s suggested i n Borges' story "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis 67 Tertius,"  and i s made the vehicle of a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a i r of  metaphysical mystery.  U n t i l i t i s f i n a l l y located, and even upon i t s  perusal, a missing volume of an older edition carries a body of t r u t h , a key to a mystery.  This volume i n turn points to the existence of a  whole set of volumes (only one of which surfaces) encompassing the knowledge of an imaginary culture.  The optimistic process of discarding  the old i n the quest for ever-new e d i t i o n s , and hence for ever-morecomplete knowledge, i s here undermined: complete than the new;  the old edition was more  something essential has been l o s t .  An optimistic  view of knowledge, one which sees knowledge as capable of being mastered and d i s t r i b u t e d , encounters—in Borges' encyclopaedia—a pessimistic or conservative tendency, i n which knowledge i s seen as something mystical  - 46 -  or arcane, reserved for a selected few and threatened by extinction upon their deaths.  Thus the loss or destruction of older editions suggests a  movement whereby completion of knowledge i s undermined; the unity of the present edition i s shadowed by the notion that i t i s perhaps not more, but l e s s , complete than an e a r l i e r e d i t i o n , that i t i s omitting something v i t a l that may  only be found i n i t s predecessor.  The publication of supplements suggests a similar knot i n the t o t a l i z i n g process.  Whereas the existence of back editions i n i t i a t e s a  search backward i n time for a r t i c l e s that may have been suppressed, for pieces to f i l l i n gaps i n the c i r c l e of knowledge, the publication of supplements i n i t i a t e s a forward temporal movement whereby gaps i n the encyclopaedia must be f i l l e d by a r t i c l e s or work published after the present e d i t i o n .  In both cases, holes are evident i n the work, holes  which must be f i l l e d as part of the general drive to completeness motivating the encyclopaedic enterprise.  There are always more a r t i c l e s  that could be written, as the objects and f i e l d s of knowledge grow i n number, or as systems of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n or principles of order change. Encyclopaedic completeness i s thus a v i r t u a l i t y only.  It i s kind of  C Q  "leurre" or "will-o'-the-wisp  that cannot be pinned down i n any  one  edition; It escapes i t s bounds and must be caught i n a supplement—or i n another e d i t i o n . As a kind of alphabet, the encyclopaedia must always project more l e t t e r s beyond Z: according to a voice i n Finnegans Wake, 69  the "importunate towns of X, Y and Z are easily over reached."  The  supplement i s one instance of a constant deferral of t o t a l i z a t i o n i n knowledge that i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the encyclopaedic enterprise; this  - 47 -  d e f e r r a l plays against a desire for completeness  (for "presence", i n  70  Derrida's terms).  Such a desire may either be manifested as a  n o s t a l g i a , a turning back to lost works or editions i n which the missing fragments of the puzzle might be found, or as a looking-forward to a Book to resume—and e n d — a l l books.  It seems then that notions both of  the F a l l and of the Apocalypse must inform any thinking about encyclopaedias. Why are these images of beginnings and endings so important?  The  sacred s c r i p t u r e s , s t r i c t l y speaking, do not form an encyclopaedia i n themselves:  encyclopaedias are interested i n preserving and  transmitting not only sacred truths or systems, but also secular ones, and the l a t t e r often for their own sake.  Nonetheless, the Old and New  Testaments, i n being bounded by the Creation and the Apocalypse, possess a c i r c u l a r i t y or completion, the nostalgia for which motivates the encyclopaedic project.  It i s thus the Bible's interpretation as being  the Book containing a l l there i s , that i s important here.  As A to Z,  Alpha to Omega, the Creation/Fall and the Apocalypse form the boundaries of human history; the encyclopaedia, attempting to bound human knowledge, must thus return incessantly to these terms of loss and redemption.  71  2.b. Problems of time A desire to achieve completeness i s bound up, i n the encyclopaedia, with a desire to achieve a state of timelessness for the knowledge contained therein.  I f a c i r c l e could be drawn around a l l  knowledge, catching i t between the covers of a single Book (which may  - 48 -  include many volumes), then, as a figure of perfection, this c i r c l e would exist above the domain of temporal f l u x , and knowledge would be immune to the pressure of history and the r e a l .  Diderot, i n the  Prospectus of the Encyclopedic, expresses such a d e s i r e , but i n rather equivocal terms: Qu'elle [ l a posterite] ajoute ses decouvertes a c e l l e s que nous aurons enregistrees, & que l ' h i s t o i r e de 1'esprit humain & de ses productions a i l l e d'age en age jusqu'aux siecles les plus recule"s. Que 1'Encyclopedic devienne un sanctuaire ou les connaissances des ho^mmes soient a l ' a b r i des temps & des revolutions . . . The Encyclopedic i s a closed sanctuary for knowledge, maintaining i t outside the mainstream of history and violent change; i t i s , at the same time, open to change and to the contributions of p o s t e r i t y .  To this  encyclopaedist, the c i r c l e of knowledge can be perfected, but only i n an i n d e f i n i t e future time.  Perfection can thus be made one's g o a l , while  being at the same time deferred as one struggles, in the present, with the temporal limitations of the undertaking.  These limitations are,  again, those of t o t a l i z a t i o n : more material may a r t i c l e s may  always be found, more  always be written; material, once seized, may become  obsolete i n the time i t takes to arrange i t , write and print a r t i c l e s . The longer the encyclopaedic work takes, the more problematic i t becomes:  . . . s i le t r a v a i l t i r e en longueur, on se sera etendu sur des choses momentanees, dont i l ne sera deja plus question; on n'aura rien d i t sur d'autres, dont l a place sera passee; . . . l'ouvrage se defigurera sans cesse sous les mains des t r a v a i l l e u r s ; se gatera . . . par le seul laps de temps . . . & deviendra plus  - 49 de*fectueux & plus pauvre par ce qui devrait y etre ou r a c c o u r c i , ou supprime, ou r e c t i f i e , ou supplee, que 3 riche par ce q u ' i l acquerra successivement.  One  can imagine a feverish race to "beat the clock," In which a  l i m i t - s t a t e of simultaneity (of conception, w r i t i n g , publication and reading) i s projected.  Perfection or completion, that i s , accompanies  simultaneity, a l i f t i n g out of time.  Contemporaneity could a l s o , i n the  Encyclopedists' aim at l e a s t , go with such simultaneity:  the past i s  74 disregarded,  the clock starts only now,  as posterity i s invited to  j o i n i n the enterprise; the pastness of the past, and hence any real h i s t o r i c a l understanding, i s l o s t .  The testimony of one  encyclopaedist—Diderot—underlines the paradox wherein one can be aware, In p r a c t i c e , of the d i f f i c u l t i e s for production posed by the passage of time, and yet believe that ultimately knowledge and understanding have no temporal horizon, that knowledge can be shared by a l l times i n a common encyclopaedic endeavour—the making of a single great Book of the world.  2.c. Relation to other books The (wishful) notion that knowledge has no temporal l i m i t s suggests the converse notion that i t i s indeed time-bound, and because i t i s text-bound.  this  Time enters the p i c t u r e , that i s , because the  encyclopaedia works with the t r a d i t i o n i n the form of t e x t s .  The  circle  of i n s t r u c t i o n i s a c i r c l e of ideas that are only accessible v i a the reception of t e x t s .  (In oral c u l t u r e s , the c i r c l e would draw upon a  t r a d i t i o n of oral "texts," or bodies of ideas transmitted from  - 50 -  generation to generation. unwritten.  75  )  The t r a d i t i o n i s no less structured for being  In matters of knowledge, this c o n f l i c t between immediacy  and t e x t u a l i t y , between "experience" and "books" i s dramatized by Goethe's Faust, who would go straight to the heart of nature (the s p i r i t world) and who  scorns the scholar Wagner's bookish method of acquiring  knowledge:  How strange, that he who cleaves to shallow things Can keep his hopes a l i v e on empty terms And dig with greed for precious plunderings, And find his happiness unearthing worms! How dared this voice to raise i t s human bleat 7 g Where waits the s p i r i t world i n immanent power? . . .  The tension i s between the lowest of the low—worms—and the heights of spirit.  But, of course, as Faust progresses the opposition must be  inverted, as the " s p i r i t " to whom the seeker of knowledge aspires turns out to be the Serpent i t s e l f . fall.  Faust's soaring f l i g h t i s actually his  His a s p i r a t i o n s , aside from being s a c r i l e g i o u s , are impossible:  as Eve discovered, the f r u i t of the Tree of (unmediated) knowledge i s b i t t e r to eat, and the knowledge gained i s mediated by the experience of loss of originary innocence.  Wagner's a s p i r a t i o n s , though more  plodding, are closer to the nature of available knowledge. There i s thus a third paradox associated with the making of encyclopaedias.  The ideal to which one a s p i r e s , along with the ideals  of t o t a l i z a t i o n and tiraelessness, i s knowledge i n an unmediated state; the problem with which one l i v e s i s that an encyclopaedia r e l i e s on a whole f a b r i c of other books, sources, and hence that i t s material i s multiply mediated and second-hand.  Other books form the basis for the  - 51 -  i n d i v i d u a l a r t i c l e s , which may or may not acknowledge them v i a references or c i t a t i o n s .  These others (making up the encyclopaedic  "intertext") may be the anonymous t e x t s , or fragments of t e x t s , or proverbs, e t c . , which form the unconscious base for the education of a people; or they may be s p e c i f i c t e x t s , such as the " c l a s s i c s . "  The  question of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , then, should be at the heart of our consideration of the status of the knowledge organized by the encyclopaedia.  At this point we should digress b r i e f l y into a  discussion of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , i n i t s general features and i n i t s bearing on the nature of the encyclopaedia and of encyclopaedic knowledge. Intertextual functioning characterizes not just  encyclopaedias  but a l l t e x t s , to the extent of being a major constituent of t e x t u a l i t y itself.  Each text functions both horizontally (taking i t s place i n a  communicative c i r c u i t ) and v e r t i c a l l y (taking up a r e l a t i o n to a corpus of other t e x t s ) .  The v e r t i c a l dimension i s an intertextual'one:  ". . .  tout texte se construit comme mosafque de c i t a t i o n s , tout texte est absorption et transformation d'un autre texte.  A l a place de l a notion  d'intersubjectlvite s ' l n s t a l l e c e l l e d ' i n t e r t e x t u a l i t e , et l e langage 77 poetique se l i t . . . comme double."  The v e r t i c a l dimension l i f t s the  text out of any simple concern with communication, and places i t i n r e l a t i o n to a whole universe of other texts (and thus, i n d i r e c t l y , to a whole universe of knowledge).  The intertextual space i s "un espace  . . . ou les l i v r e s se l i r a i e n t , s ' e c l a i r e r a i e n t , s'ecriraient les uns les autres, laissant place a un texte enfin reel qui serait  -  52  -  1'explication permanente du monde . . .";  the intertextual dimension,  that i s , ultimately produces or ends i n a great Book, into which a l l other books are written and which becomes r e a l i t y i t s e l f . dichotomy between word and But  The  thing, book and world, i s f i n a l l y  this Book i s a v i r t u a l i t y only:  i s taken to i t s l o g i c a l l i m i t .  The  old dissolved.  here, the notion of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y idea of the Book results from an  emphasis on the v e r t i c a l dimension of t e x t u a l i t y at the expense of i t s h o r i z o n t a l , or communicative, dimension.  E a r l i e r semiotic accounts of  i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y are responsible for this emphasis on an autonomous poetic functioning. and  reception  I would argue that communication—the production  of texts—must be what ultimately directs such  functioning, which i s not, i n the last word, autonomous. A "horizontal" theory of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y would emphasize the role of the reader i n reconstituting the intertext behind a t e x t — a n d , indeed, i n perceiving  the need for such a r e c o n s t i t u t i o n .  Riffaterre's  theory of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , for example, d i f f e r s from e a r l i e r semiotic accounts on just this d i r e c t i o n of emphasis. interaction i s posited:  A close text-reader  the reader perceives certain i r r e g u l a r i t i e s i n  the text's s u r f a c e — c e r t a i n  "agrammaticalities"—that point i n the  d i r e c t i o n of a significance not present i n the text at hand.  The  reader  must construct a s i g n i f i c a n c e — o r reconstruct an intertext or subtext—which i s in no way determined t e x t u a l l y .  a r b i t r a r y , but i s , rather, t i g h t l y  Readers' capacities to uncover the intertext  may  vary i n d i v i d u a l l y and over time; nonetheless, i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y w i l l remain functional because i t involves  the perception of i r r e g u l a r i t i e s ,  - 53 -  even without the p o s s i b i l i t y of sketching i n their source.* I n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , under this view, comes very close to the workings of n o s t a l g i a , the desire to return to an originary text, while the present text becomes "un systeme de signes du d e s i r " .  It i s the nostalgia of  a reader for lost significance that sets the reconstitution of this body into motion.  From a "horizontal" point of view, then, i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y  i s a hermeneutic function which ultimately rests i n a communication of desire to understand, to make s i g n i f i c a n c e .  This function must orient a  v e r t i c a l r e l a t i o n to a space of discourse, other t e x t s . We should keep these notions i n mind as we consider the question of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y i n non-fictional t e x t s — s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n the c r i t i c a l a r t i c l e and i n the encyclopaedia a r t i c l e .  Intertextuality i n c r i t i c i s m  i s e x p l i c i t or declared according to the conventions governing the practice of this genre.  The writer must indicate the text or texts with  which he i s engaging i n dialogue or argument; (s)he must acknowledge any other sources i n footnotes or internal references. The c r i t i c a l text submits i t s e l f to the authority of i t s model or parent text; this holds even i f the younger text takes issue with i t s authority or wishes to exceed i t .  The r e l a t i o n i s one of i n e q u a l i t y .  Encyclopaedias, on the  contrary, are not constrained to submit to a law of e x p l i c i t acknowledgement of sources and submission to their authority. claim for themselves  They  the ideal and the p r i v i l e g e of dealing with  knowledge as such, and not engaging i n a dialogue with other t e x t s . But, as we have seen, the encyclopaedia cannot actually attain to knowledge without the mediation of other t e x t s .  The a r t i c l e i n the  - 54 -  encyclopaedia does, i n f a c t , relate to these texts as much as the c r i t i c a l a r t i c l e does; the process of submission to authority i s the same, even though such submission may be unconscious or unacknowledged. Some a r t i c l e s contain references to sources on which they have r e l i e d for  their material, and may have bibliographies.  This i s especially the  case i n longer a r t i c l e s with subsections, such as those on the geography, h i s t o r y , e t c . , of a particular country.  Other a r t i c l e s ,  often very short and dealing with a simple unit of knowledge, contain no references whatsoever.  The point to emphasize here i s that a convention  of acknowledgement, that would govern the writing of encyclopaedias, i s lacking.  In this sense, the encyclopaedia a r t i c l e exists somewhere  between the work of c r i t i c i s m and the work of f i c t i o n , the l a t t e r ' s reference to other texts being even more t a c i t than the encyclopaedia's.  The encyclopaedia a r t i c l e , i n other words, has already  been moved one step toward f i c t i o n a l i t y , toward a free or unacknowledged play with other t e x t s . Thinking about i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , then, leads one to a notion of texts as being "second-hand".  The knowledge to be gained from texts i s  thus also never innocent, never unmediated, never "natural."  Knowledge  that would escape the domain of subjective states must be gained v i a the public arena of w r i t i n g , must be gained from texts which are "never 82  moments of o r i g i n . . . . "  Further, l i k e knowledge, language and  writing have always escaped the state of nature, and cannot d i r e c t l y represent or mirror i t .  In order for language to bear some r e l a t i o n to  nature, the l a t t e r must be seen as i t s e l f being a kind of writing or  - 55 -  book—nature i t s e l f must be made non-simple—and so the knowledge one can have of i t through the book must be even more multiply mediated and problematic.  As Sollers says of Mallarme's notion of writing as "totale  arabesque,"  "c'est . . . une ecriture qui va se situer du meme c6te  que le monde, dans l a mesure ou l e monde est une Ecriture qu'une 83  +  e c r i t u r e , seule, peut f a i r e apparaftre et continuer."  Only i f we  see  encyclopaedic writing as being such an "arabesque," as being a writing indebted to other writing (however much i t would deny i t ) rather than to n a t u r e — o n l y then does such writing come, under the above view, paradoxically close to rendering the world v i s i b l e to the reader. We can draw several conclusions from the above ideas on intertextuality.  There i s a tension, i n the encyclopaedia, between  non-fiction's (especially c r i t i c i s m ' s ) urge to c i t e i t s sources, and f i c t i o n ' s tendency to dissimulate i t s sources, or at least to display a cavalier attitude toward them, now c i t i n g ( i n a parodic fashion, as i n Finnegans Wake), now neglecting to do so. saw, may  The encyclopaedia a r t i c l e , we  c i t e or give further references, or i t may  not do so.  There  appears to be no e x p l i c i t convention guiding i t s r e l a t i o n of dependence on other books, and this i s because i n i t the ideal of an unmediated knowledge ultimately overrides any duty to signal such dependence.  Thus  the ambiguous status of the encyclopaedia a r t i c l e with respect to i t s sources r e f l e c t s i t s paradoxical aspiration to a direct r e l a t i o n to knowledge, while nonetheless having recourse only to. "words, words,  - 56 -  2.d.  Ideology and writing Mallarme's notion of writing as being a "totale arabesque", a  notion of a r t i f i c e or divorce from nature not o r d i n a r i l y associated with such w r i t i n g , brings i n a fourth paradox i n the encyclopaedic enterprise.  This concerns the encyclopaedia's—and more generally the  b o o k ' s — r e l a t i o n to the world.  There i s a tension between the book's  aspiration to mirror the world, to stand i n a d i r e c t , (again) unmediated r e l a t i o n to i t , and i t s status as an i d e o l o g i c a l and written construct. mirror:  This tension i s , one might say, between two notions of the  between the book as mirror r e f l e c t i n g the world, and the book  as mirror creating i l l u s i o n s .  Borges, i n his story "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis  Tertius," opens with the following l i n e :  "I owe the discovery of Uqbar 85  to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopaedia."  The narrator  goes on to elaborate that " . . . one of the heresiarchs of Uqbar had stated that mirrors . . . are abominable, since they . . . multiply the numbers of man."  Uqbar i s a land existing only i n an encyclopaedia, and  only i n one copy i n p a r t i c u l a r . associated with encyclopaedias illusions: nature.  Mirrors i n Borges' story are somehow i n that they suggest mysteries and  they multiply images rather than f a i t h f u l l y r e f l e c t i n g  Both encyclopaedia  and mirror, then, have an ambiguous r e l a t i o n  to t r u t h , even while the encyclopaedia maintains a strong nostalgic bent toward the metaphor of mirror as simple r e f l e c t o r . The encyclopaedia, we have s a i d , i s ideological i n nature: i t selects and orders i t s material on the basis of the h i s t o r i c a l moment and of certain timely interests of the encyclopaedist(s) or e d i t o r ( s ) .  - 57 -  Just as conventions  of c i t a t i o n and source-acknowledgement are held i n  suspense owing to the overriding "objective" drive of the work toward absorbing knowledge i n an unmediated s t a t e , so principles of order and selection guiding the work often remain i m p l i c i t — o r are assumed to be the only such principles p o s s i b l e .  Such structures or 'codes':  . . . relevent de facteurs . . . qui organisent l a p£dagogie tout entiere et l e modele de communication par l e l i v r e . . . En un mot, l o i n de r e f l e t e r l e monde comme un m i r o i r , selon l a me*taphore bien connue, 1'encyclopedie construit son image comme l e cartographe f a i t sa carte, toujours incomplete . . . toujours a r b i t r a i r e , mais selon u r ^ a r b i t r a i r e controle et coherent (un code) . . .  Any work aspiring to a disinterested mimesis of r e a l i t y can be shown to be responding, whether consciously or not, to exigencies of time and place.  It might at f i r s t seem that encyclopaedias  should escape such  dissembling of h i s t o r i c a l conditions and i n t e r e s t s — t h a t they should c l a r i f y the premises underlying their selection and presentation of objects of knowledge.  This supposition springs from the myth o f , and  nostalgia f o r , o b j e c t i v i t y at the heart of the encyclopaedic enterprise.  And yet we see, f o r example, how Diderot, i n his Prospectus  to (or apology f o r , or celebration of) the Encyclopedie, creates an impression of new beginnings, of a rupture with past e f f o r t s , when i t i s obvious that the work takes i t s place i n a t r a d i t i o n and i s but one more response to a continuing and probably universal drive to comprehend and order knowledge.  The Encyclopedie, Diderot says, i s to be a new  repository of knowledge to be added to by a l l posterity; what a pity  - 58 -  that the Ancients did not make anything s i m i l a r :  Quel avantage n'aurait-ce pas ete* pour hos peres & pour nous, s i les travaux des peuples anciens . . . avaient ete transmis dans un ouvrage encyclopedique . . . Faisons done pour les siecles a venir ce que nous regrettons^que les siecles passes n'aient pas f a i t pour le notre.  Diderot ignores, here, an entire t r a d i t i o n of pre-medieval  and medieval  encyclopaedias; he also ignores the fact that Bacon's d i v i s i o n of knowledge, i n s p i r i n g the "systeme figure des connoissances humaines" which supposedly schematizes  the ordering principles of the  Encyclopedie, i s actually i n d i r e c t l y a product of this "forgotten" 88 tradition.  Diderot's "vision p a r t i e l l e et p a r t i a l e " of the t r a d i t i o n 89  thus indicates a certain " p a r t i pris 'philosophique'". Why  this blind spot i n an "enlightened" encyclopaedist?  The  encyclopaedia aspires to deal with knowledge i n i t s e l f , "objectively"; i t aspires to be a mirror of the world without the intervention of i n t e r e s t s , dissimulations. But knowledge i s intimately connected with concerns of power:  events such as the publication of an encyclopaedia  should not be analysed i n terms of structures of meaning, but as implying certain relations of power: . . . one's point of reference should not be to the great model of language (langue) and signs, but to that of war and b a t t l e . The history which bears and determines us has the form of a war rather than that of a language: relations of power, not relations of meaning.  The domains of knowledge, Foucault says, each imply certain  political,  - 59 -  or power, relations; their discourse i s governed or organized by an "internal regime of power" which may,  at certain points i n h i s t o r y ,  91 undergo a sudden transformation.  If each domain of knowledge i s  organized by relations of power, then so much the more must the encyclopaedia, as the sum of a l l these domains, attest to the presence of an "internal regime," certain principles of order not necessarily evident even to the encyclopaedist/editor himself.  Such regimes and  their succession i n time might u n d e r l i e , or contribute t o , the successive f l o u r i s h i n g of the systematic and the alphabetic encyclopaedic  formats.  Thus each encyclopaedia, i n i t s quest to be an objective sum of knowledge and a mirror d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t i n g the world, turns out to be organized by relations which are a function of the h i s t o r i c a l moment of compilation and which determine the work's place i n existing structures of power.  Such relations are not necessarily conscious ones;  not, however, deny their effectiveness.  this does  Diderot's "forgetting" of the  encyclopaedic t r a d i t i o n up to a l l but i t s most recent manifestations (the l a t t e r i n c l u d i n g , e s p e c i a l l y , Chambers' Cyclopedia) should indicate an interest (whether conscious or not) i n being part of a r u p t u r e — 92 especially an epistemological one  — w i t h the past.  This deeper motive  would be e f f e c t i v e apart from any more s u p e r f i c i a l reason to promote the Encyclopedie's uniqueness to i t s potential readership.  The  encyclopaedia, then, i s checked by certain impediments (often not conscious, appearing only through their effects or "symptoms") i n i t s search for t o t a l i z a t i o n , timeless relevance and unmediated access to  - 60 -  knowledge.  The fact that the work, besides aspiring to be a r e f l e c t i o n  of a l l that i s , involves a shaping of knowledge by certain power r e l a t i o n s , simply indicates one more equivocation, one more check to i t s expansiveness. The question of the encyclopaedia's  r e l a t i o n to the world thus  brings into focus i t s nature as an ideological construct; f u r t h e r , i t i s a question of the encyclopaedia's desire to r e f l e c t the world.  nature as w r i t i n g , as against i t s  If the work sees i t s e l f as a mirror of a l l  that i s (see the t i t l e s of medieval encyclopaedias  such as the Speculum  93  Universale  ) , then i t i s the mirror's function here as a metaphor that  should be investigated. As metaphor i t has two sides:  a mirror  r e f l e c t s the world outside and a mirror i n d i c a t e s , v i a an i n f i n i t e regression, a world within i t s frame.  Hamlet's "mirror held up to  nature" i s never far from Borges' mirror which multiplies nature and creates i l l u s i o n s of c r e a t i o n . The notion that the book can be a mirror of nature develops from the t r a d i t i o n a l view of art as being a mimesis of nature, of the world. In Book X of the Republic, Socrates suggests the holding-up of a mirror as a metaphor for the a r t i s t ' s making of his object: You could do i t [what the a r t i s t does] most quickly i f you should choose to take a mirror and carry i t about everywhere. You w i l l speedily produce the sun and a l l the things i n the sky, and speedily the earth and yourself and the other animals and9 4 implements and plants and a l l the objects . . . Art i s thus a direct r e f l e c t i o n of a l l that i s in the world. nonetheless  It i s  removed from a l l that i s true, from the eternal Forms, of  - 61 -  which a l l that i s i n the world i s only a r e f l e c t i o n .  The metaphor of  art as a mirror i s thus not, for P l a t o , an unproblematic one:  there i s  d i r e c t r e f l e c t i o n , c e r t a i n l y , but i t i s r e f l e c t i o n of something i n  95 i t s e l f diminished i n value.  The knowledge we gain from art i s  mediated by an intervening set of i l l u s i o n s or shadows.  The mirror  metaphor thus does not guarantee a simple account of the knowledge to be gained from a work of a r t . A r i s t o t l e ' s theory of poetry as being an imitation seems, at f i r s t , to be a l i t t l e more straightforward: "Epic poetry and Tragedy, as also Comedy, Dithyrambic poetry, and most flute-playing and l y r e - p l a y i n g , are a l l , viewed as a whole, modes of i m i t a t i o n . "  96  And  yet the kinds of poetry, and the kinds of a r t , are made to d i f f e r from one another by differences i n their means, or by differences i n their  97 objects, or i n the manner of their i m i t a t i o n s .  The statement, then,  that poetry imitates human action i s not a simple one; the notion (already problematic) of a mirror held up to the cosmos has been dropped i n favour of a set of d i s t i n c t i o n s , a more complex concept of i m i t a t i o n , better adapted to accounting for the s p e c i f i c i t y of each of the a r t s . In retaining the mirror metaphor of a r t , we run into d i f f i c u l t i e s when we ask of what art i s a mirror.  Plato ranges the entire v i s i b l e  cosmos as his object; A r i s t o t l e takes human action as his starting point.  Abrams, i n The Mirror and the Lamp, divides the possible objects  of i m i t a t i o n , i n the mimetic t r a d i t i o n , into the empirical and the transcendental, this d i v i s i o n being, roughly, between the A r i s t o t e l i a n  -  62 -  and the Platonic (and neo-Platonlc) t r a d i t i o n s .  Art can, that i s ,  either find i t s objects i n the world available to the senses, or i n the i d e a l forms (God's) to be found either outside man—or i n his s o u l . Such differences in the nature of the objects of imitation attest to the problematic nature of the notion of imitation i t s e l f .  The mirror  requires many q u a l i f i c a t i o n s when i t i s applied to art i n general ( i t soon becomes d i s c r e d i t e d , for example, as applied to the art of music). Further, i t must be approached with caution In any consideration of the book and i t s r e l a t i o n to the world.  The nature of writing complicates  the mirror metaphor, especially i f we think of the t r a d i t i o n of phonetic writing:  "Writing, i n Western c u l t u r e , automatically dictates that we  place ourselves i n the v i r t u a l space of self-representation and reduplication . . . since writing refers not to a thing but to speech 99  . . ."  Just as i n the Platonic view art has only a mediated access to  r e a l i t y , and this despite i t s nature as a mirror, so writing can provide only an indirect glimpse of a l l that i s , because i t r e f e r s , i n an i n f i n i t e play of mirrors, not only to speech i t s e l f , but a l s o , i n another turn, to other w r i t i n g . Within this view of multiple mediation, one can hold to the notion that writing provides access, however i n d i r e c t , to the world; however, one can, i n another d i r e c t i o n , cut even these tenuous ties and free writing from any representational function whatsoever.  In this view, writing's mirror i s not a r e f l e c t o r , but i s ,  rather, an opaque shield erected against death: Headed toward death, language turns back upon i t encounters something l i k e a mirror; and to death which would stop i t , i t possesses but a power: that of giving b i r t h t o ^ i t s own image of mirrors that has no l i m i t s .  itself; stop this single i n a play  - 63 -  Language, i n i t s non-mimetic aspect of i n f i n i t e self-representation, thus suggests the model of mirrors r e f l e c t i n g one another endlessly.  In  this view, even texts written f u l l y within the mimetic t r a d i t i o n (e.g., epics) are based on a play of mirrors as a f o i l against death; however, they attempt to evade their real nature: was  not displayed without an evasion:  "The mirror to i n f i n i t y . . .  the work placed the i n f i n i t e  outside of i t s e l f — a real and majestic i n f i n i t y i n which i t became a v i r t u a l and c i r c u l a r mirror, completed i n a b e a u t i f u l l y closed f o r m . " If mimetic writing i s an "evasion," then the encyclopaedia's  101  claim to  erect a " c i r c u l a r mirror" of a "real . . . i n f i n i t y " available for knowledge i s put into question.  The encyclopaedia, then, i n i t s nature  as writing finds i t s r e l a t i o n to the world of objects of knowledge to be complicated  far beyond what a mirror metaphor would want to suggest.  Let us r e c a l l S o l l e r s ' summary of Mallarme's concept of w r i t i n g : "c'est . . . une ecriture qui va se situer du meme cote* que le monde, dans l a raesure ou le monde est une ecriture qu'une E c r i t u r e , seule, peut f a i r e apparaitre et continuer."  Here, writing crosses over into the  world, breaks down the barrier between s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d , a l t e r s the r e l a t i o n of the book to the world. 102  world, and the world a book.  It makes the book a complete  It makes the l i b r a r y of a l l books a  universe, and the universe a l i b r a r y , i f we r e c a l l Borges' story "The 10 3 Library of Babel."  In this s t o r y , i t i s no longer a question of the  l i b r a r y r e f l e c t i n g a "real and majestic i n f i n i t y " within a f i n i t e space, a c i r c u l a r mirror; instead, the l i b r a r y i t s e l f becomes the real i n f i n i t y , the universe, while the r e f l e c t i o n of i t s contents within the  - 64 -  completion of a f i n i t e space (the space of a book) remains a hope, a v i r t u a l i t y only.  Each book i s potentially the entire l i b r a r y .  If we  hold to a non-simple notion of w r i t i n g , then the encyclopaedia i s not a c i r c u l a r mirror o f , or window upon, the t o t a l i t y of things, but rather a l i b r a r y aspiring to contain a l l the books—on a l l subjects, i n every language—that have been, are, or ever w i l l be w r i t t e n .  Again, Borges  anticipates such a view of the encyclopaedia, i n which language "crosses over," i n his story "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius."  Here, the  encyclopaedia comprehends a world which would not exist without i t : " . . .1  had i n my hands a substantial fragment of the complete h i s t o r y  of an unknown planet, with i t s architecture and i t s playing cards, i t s mythological terrors and the sound of i t s d i a l e c t s , i t s emperors and i t s oceans, i t s minerals, i t s b i r d s , and i t s f i s h e s , i t s algebra and i t s 104  f i r e , i t s theological and metaphysical  arguments . . . ."  suspicion, voiced e a r l i e r , that encyclopaedias  Our  practise a certain  licence toward r e a l i t y , a licence which i s more often associated with f i c t i o n , finds a confirmation i n Borges' s t o r y . interchanged: one.  Book and world are  the book creates a world, and not simply a " f i c t i o n a l "  Relics of this new world are discovered that attest to i t s  alternative presence.  This view of the passage of the book into the  world, and vice-versa, this view of their confusion, i s the negative image of the mimetic view of the book as existing i n the world, r e f l e c t i n g i t i n an enclosed t o t a l i t y .  The encyclopaedic a c t i v i t y of  e n c i r c l i n g knowledge i s greatly complicated by the p o s s i b i l i t y of such a "shadow" enterprise, In which the encyclopaedia  creates one world, a  - 65 -  universe of books and l e t t e r s , even as i t r e f l e c t s , l i k e a m i r r o r , another.  3„  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia:  introduction  We are speaking, here, of works which display t r a i t s of essay, epic and menippea, but which go beyond these into the domain of the encyclopaedia i t s e l f .  Ultimately, the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia i s  distinguished by i t s basis i n sacred t e x t s .  A nostalgia for  paradisiacal or daemonic states of knowledge i s at the centre of works such as Dante's Commedia, Goethe's Faust, M e l v i l l e ' s Moby-Dick, Joyce's two later works, S o l l e r s ' Paradis, Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. The preceding study of the problems associated with the idea of an encyclopaedia should enable us to look anew at the t r a i t s of a group of f i c t i o n a l works which, we have decided, are legitimately encyclopaedic.  Armed with these observations, i n addition to those  already a r i s i n g out of our discussion of the neighbouring genres of the essay, the menippea and the e p i c , we w i l l soon be In a position to study i n d i v i d u a l cases. We r e c a l l that an encyclopaedic mode i s one which imitates other l i t e r a r y modes; i t undertakes s t y l e s , l i t e r a r y genres.  an imitation not of nature, but of books,  It i s l i n k e d , more generally, i n the domain of  c u l t u r e , with encyclopaedism, that drive whereby the book s t r i v e s to comprehend a l l that can be known. The encyclopaedia manifests this general impulse to knowledge i n i t s purest and most obvious form.  The  - 66 -  f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia i s that genre i n which an encyclopaedic mode i s dominant;  this mode translates a general impulse to knowledge into an  impulse to gather together s p e c i f i c a l l y l i t e r a r y forms, s t y l e s . In other words, we are not simply applying the t r a i t s of the non-fictional to the f i c t i o n a l form; we are not talking about a direct r e l a t i o n or correspondence  between the two kinds of encyclopaedias. The  non-fictional work functions i n this study as a model or metaphor for i t s f i c t i o n a l counterpart.  Hence, encyclopaedism  i n culture, and the  problems s p e c i f i c to the making of encyclopaedias, are transposed, i n the f i c t i o n a l work, into a l i t e r a r y space, and are discoverable i n a form whose difference bears witness to the s p e c i f i c i t y of l i t e r a t u r e and of the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n . Now, despite these general observations, i t i s nonetheless the case that f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias can operate on both the above l e v e l s : they can work on including d i r e c t l y (and what appears to be "non-fictionally") a l l known domains of knowledge, and they can include them i n d i r e c t l y ( " f i c t i o n a l l y " ) v i a a mimesis of a l l known l i t e r a r y styles and kinds.  In the individual work, these two types of inclusion  may be often d i f f i c u l t to distinguish:  this i s probably due to the fact  that even the c u l t u r a l knowledge brought into encyclopaedias i s already mediated by other books—and often by l i t e r a t u r e i t s e l f . In our discussion of encyclopaedias we isolated four areas of concern:  the work's r e l a t i o n t o , and desire f o r , a t o t a l i z a t i o n of  knowledge, a timelessness of knowledge, an access to a knowledge unmediated by other books, and a direct access to the world as expressed in the notion of m i r r o r i n g . The f i r s t two areas, we discovered, imply  - 67 -  one another, and i t further appears as though the l a t t e r two problems are r e l a t e d .  However, i s o l a t i n g a l l four as problems associated with  the making of encyclopaedias i s useful i n that each i n turn suggests interesting issues that have some bearing on a discussion of the  fictional encyclopaedia, i n i t s general t r a i t s and i n i t s individual cases.  3.a.  Problems i n the totalization of knowledge The non-fictional encyclopaedia, we saw, has as i t s center the  intention or desire to draw a c i r c l e around the t o t a l i t y of human knowledge and to encompass i t within the covers of a book.  This desire  i s r e a l i z e d , i n the body of the encyclopaedia, i n the inclusion of many domains of knowledge (those of the natural and s o c i a l sciences, the humanities, morality, e t c . ) .  Such an achieved inclusion i s , however,  accompanied by a recognition of the inevitable and constant incompleteness of the knowledge-gathering enterprise.  This recognition  of i m p o s s i b i l i t y , of gaps i n the encyclopaedic enterprise, i s manifested in the continual appearance of new encyclopaedias, i n the publication of new editions of a particular work containing new or rewritten a r t i c l e s , and In the appearance of supplements intended to make up deficiencies i n a p a r t i c u l a r e d i t i o n , bringing i t up to date, extending the c i r c l e of knowledge ever wider.  The perfect or complete encyclopaedic Book, that  i s , i s a v i r t u a l i t y only, a l i m i t , l i k e perfect knowledge i t s e l f , toward which each actual encyclopaedia can only tend. Let us see how the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia enacts the paradox of t o t a l i z a t i o n at the heart of the encyclopaedic enterprise.  Like i t s  - 68 -  model, our genre Is v i t a l l y concerned with knowledge, with the inclusion of a l l that i s and can be known (the domains of the arts and sciences, ultimate questions of good and e v i l , the beginning and end of time). In the l i t e r a r y work, the intent to encompass a l l knowledge need not be conscious or made e x p l i c i t , as i s the case, by d e f i n i t i o n , i n the encyclopaedia proper.  Nevertheless, what is_ manifest i s an achieved  inclusion of many domains of knowledge.  Associated with this inclusion  i s that of many l i t e r a r y s t y l e s , models, forms.  The impulse to include  a l l knowledge receives i t s working out, then, on two l e v e l s — t h e f i c t i o n a l and the e x t r a - f i c t i o n a l or c u l t u r a l ; both these levels of i n c l u s i o n are reconciled i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  Pound's Cantos  offer such an interpenetration of i n c l u s i o n s , a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of objects of knowledge and l i t e r a r y approaches to knowledge.  Canto XLVII,  for example, includes instructions on ploughing at certain optimum times of the year; his Canto LI i s an account of f l y - t y i n g for f l y f i s h i n g . Both pieces of knowledge, however, have been obtained from books—from Hesiod's Works and Days  and from Charles Bowlker,  105  respectively.  Such book-mediated know-how i s one expression of a l i t e r a r y encyclopaedic impulse that also drives the poet of the Cantos to imitate the Odyssey, the Metamorphoses, Anglo-Saxon and Chinese poetry, Browning's and Tennyson's s t y l e s , and so on. We have already seen such a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of l i t e r a r y and c u l t u r a l encyclopaedism  to be operative i n the other encyclopaedic  g e n r e s — e s p e c i a l l y i n the essay and the menippea.  The l i t e r a r y work,  then, w i l l always translate the impulse animating i t s c u l t u r a l model  - 69 -  into a peculiarly l i t e r a r y expression while s t i l l retaining that impulse at i t s base.  The other encyclopaedic genres have, however, p r i o r i t i e s  that are not dominantly encyclopaedic: theme, they must t e l l a s t o r y .  they must write on a single  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, i n the  end,  i s the only genre whose enterprise i s f i r s t and foremost the gathering of l i t e r a r y and cultural knowledge; i t i s the only genre which gives free rein to encyclopaedism, to a thematic arrangement of categories of knowledge, at the expense of i t s other functions such as t e l l i n g a story and revealing character. We noted that there i s a d i a l e c t i c , i n the encyclopaedia, between a drive to t o t a l i z a t i o n and a recognition of inevitable incompleteness. In the l i t e r a r y text, the encyclopaedia's  anxious a c t i v i t y of continual  r e - e d i t i n g , publication of supplements, e t c . , i s transposed into an essential uncertainty as to the p o s s i b i l i t y of encompassing knowledge. This b u i l t - i n doubt as to i t s own knowledge i t s e l f may  e f f i c a c y and as to the p o s s i b i l i t y of  be manifested textually i n an i r o n i c or parodic  perspective on past works, forms, s t y l e s .  In Flaubert's Bouvard et  Pecuchet, for example, the p o s s i b i l i t y of absorbing  the complete c i r c l e  of the arts and sciences i s held up, t a n t a l i z i n g l y , to the autodidacts.  two  Nonetheless, as each area of knowledge Is t r i e d  and  discarded, i t becomes increasingly obvious to Bouvard and Pecuchet that such encyclopaedic  completion i s unattainable.  Such an awareness i s  enacted textually i n an i r o n i c perspective on the books that promised to communicate so many different kinds of knowledge. An i r o n i c perspective may  coexist with a nostalgic attitude  toward knowledge and i t s p o s s i b i l i t y , an attitude again resulting from  - 70 -  an uncertainty towards i t s own enterprise essential to the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  Both irony and nostalgia presuppose an awareness of a  remove (or turning-away) from a supposed positive or f u l l state of being and knowledge; this gap stimulates an attempt on the part of the writer and the reader to f i l l i t i n , to turn back, a goal which i s , of course, never f u l l y r e a l i z e d .  On the l e v e l of form, this ambivalence i s  manifested i n a fragmentation and digressiveness obstructing any movement of the text toward coherence and completion.  Bouvard et  Pecuchet, i n i t s simultaneous attraction t o , and r e j e c t i o n o f , encyclopaedic completion, finds i t s narrative rendered p r a c t i c a l l y non-existent as i t divagates., instead, from one domain of knowledge to another.  Any purposeful movement i s abandoned; the novel becomes a  "pe*riple encylope"dique"  106  i n the Odyssean sense of a digressive  wandering i n the d i r e c t i o n of an ever-receding homeland. Let  us look at a few more examples.  In Moby-Dick, the object of  knowledge i s the great white whale, which comes to embody everything—the nature of e v i l , the unknown, man's l i f e and death on the sea.  The whale hunt becomes a knowledge-quest which has mortal  consequences for Ahab, just as i t does for Faust.  The white whale as  object of knowledge i s suitably unattainable; the paradoxical j u x t a p o s i t i o n , i n i t s nature, of whiteness and malignity deepens i t s ambiguity.  The narrator's recognition of the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of coming to  know this mystery spawns,  on the formal l e v e l , a large number of  digressive d i s q u i s i t i o n s on whales and whale-lore.  It i s as though by  multiplying the number of words about whales, one can capture the  -  71  -  "obscure object of desire" which i s Moby-Dick.  The tone of M e l v i l l e ' s  novel i s perhaps not so much i r o n i c as n o s t a l g i c , a nostalgia pointing to an encyclopaedist's despair over the p o s s i b i l i t y of t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge.  The novel's digressions are formal symptoms of this  ambivalence at the heart of any knowledge-gathering endeavour.  Pound's  Cantos, to take another example, display an increasing fragmentation: the later cantos are constellations of short notes, a l l u s i o n s , images, ideograms, e t c .  These fragments enact a growing sense of the  Impossibility of including everything; time, a l i f e , i s passing i n the writing of the long poem. Accompanying this sense of f a i l u r e i s a growing n o s t a l g i a , a growing pressure on the text to break open and reveal divine states of being. Joyce's Ulysses, i n i t s parodic imitation of past l i t e r a r y styles and forms, and i n i t s nostalgic perspective, for example, on love, i s another f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, l i k e Moby-Dick and the, Cantos, which has at i t s base a desire to include everything known—and an uneasiness as to whether anything can be known any more.  This ambivalence Is  worked out i n the novel's parody of l i t e r a r y forms.  The parody of the  "Oxen of the Sun" episode, for instance, i s a virtuoso masking of something to be known—the basic fact of c h i l d b i r t h .  This parody's  removes are equivalent to the subterfuges of Molly with respect to her adultery and to the gaps established, v i a the nostalgic musical refrains i n the "Sirens" episode and a l l through the novel, between sentimental accounts of love and an unattainable Real Thing (a gap epitomized i n Gertie McDowell's f r u i t l e s s yearning for the perfect l o v e r ) .  What would  - 72 -  be known i s never f u l l y clear (and this i s the basis for i t s potency as lure):  i n Ulysses i t seems to be an Edenic blend of sexuality and  innocence. The burgeoning of domains of knowledge i n the novel takes i t s p o s s i b i l i t y from this sense of incongruity between ideal and actual love or knowledge; the novel's s t y l i s t i c m u l t i p l i c i t y and i t s episodic quality begin where nostalgia ends, affirm encyclopaedic play as reborn from the ashes of the F a l l . S i m i l a r l y , Finnegans Wake, i n i t s symbolic preoccupation with the F a l l (Adam's, Humpty Dumpty's, HCE's), i s concerned with the unrecoverable distance between a desire to include everything known and a r e a l i z a t i o n of the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of f u l f i l l i n g this d e s i r e .  On the  one hand, Joyce does appear to write the encyclopaedic Book of culture; his puns are a method ( l i k e the epic simile) of condensing a great number of objects of knowledge into a f i n i t e space; his polyglot practice i s a kind of shorthand for this encyclopaedism.  And yet the  novel's pervasive sense of a F a l l betrays an uncertainty at the heart of this optimistic encyclopaedic enterprise, a sense that unmediated and complete knowledge i s no longer possible.  The  novel's parodic  imitation of l i t e r a r y and non-literary forms (the epic l i s t , the l e t t e r , the telegraph, the song) further establishes a r e l a t i o n of remove with 107 respect to some Real Thing,  one stable somebody."  The  "formlessness" or digressive logic of the narrative also attests to the s t r a i n created by encyclopaedic i n c l u s i o n :  digressions are at once a  way of f a c i l i t a t i n g and a way of evading knowledge, the pressure of things to be known.  - 73 -  3.b. Problems of time Encyclopaedias, we saw, have at their center a temporal paradox as much as an epistemological one.  These works run into problems as  soon as they aspire to encircle a l l the knowledge available to them and maintain i t i n a state of timelessness, of enduring relevance. encyclopaedist may  The  even be aware that his knowledge has a horizon or  l i m i t to i t , and that this l i m i t i s a temporal one.  In other words, the  knowledge taken into a work i s never independent of time, of the h i s t o r i c a l moment of i t s appearance.  The knowledge contained within a  encyclopaedia, however much the encyclopaedist would have i t attain a condition of timelessness, of absolute contemporaneity, i s necessarily doomed to be dated.  A r t i c l e s may  to write and print them.  become obsolete i n the time i t takes  Even the processes of revision and expansion  are no guarantee against obsolescence.  In the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia,  the desire for contemporaneity i s translated into a desire for a simultaneity of past, present and future, or for a mystical v i s i o n of a state l i f t e d out of time; nonetheless, the text encounters and recognizes i t s own necessary temporal limitations even as i t has a t a n t a l i z i n g glimpse of a s t a t i c or eternal domain of knowledge beyond i t s grasp.  The sweep of h i s t o r y , the pressure of change, play against  such epiphanies or glimpses of e t e r n i t y , of knowledge held or encircled once and for a l l .  In the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, which i n this respect  resembles the "magic r e a l i s t " work or even the e p i c , the quotidian may be suddenly intersected by the d i v i n e , the miraculous or the daemonic. The genre thus ultimately finds i t s model (beyond the encyclopaedia,  - 74 -  that i s ) i n the sacred s c r i p t u r e s , while i t finds i t s significance i n the r e l i g i o u s sphere. Dante's Commedia exemplifies this interplay between the quotidian and the e t e r n a l , between a topical perspective ( i n which one cannot see beyond one's h i s t o r i c a l moment) and an oracular or global summary of past, present and future.  The f i r s t , limited view on events i s taken by  h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e s , Dante's contemporaries or predecessors, whom he encounters on his movement through H e l l , Purgatory and Paradise. These characters are frozen i n their h i s t o r i c a l moment; they must ask the t r a v e l l e r , who has acceded to a global perspective on events, to supply their deficiencies i n knowledge and to t e l l them of their offspring and of  events they have missed.  S i m i l a r l y , topical conversation may  suddenly be interrupted by a divine apparition:  for example, the  Purgatorio features the appearance of angelic guides, f e a r f u l signs of a divine order, to lead the t r a v e l l e r s from each c i r c l e , each scene of worldly encounters and reminiscences. The effect of this i s to suggest an all-embracing presence of divine w i l l and foreknowledge, a presence which deepens and becomes more insistent as the t r a v e l l e r proceeds.  In  the Commedia, a nostalgia for a timeless state of knowledge i s a desire to move within and come to know God's order.  That the narrative i s not  simple and l i n e a r but tends to be recurrent, moving towards a center i n rings or waves that relate analogically to one another, suggests, on the formal l e v e l , an ambivalence at the heart of a desire for direct access to eternal knowledge; i t suggests the poet's sense of his human and historical limitations.  - 75 -  In Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, another work that has been called an "encyclopaedia", we again find the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia's nostalgia for states of eternal knowledge.  The characters would l i k e to  make sense of the bleak chaos of the War by coming upon states of knowledge transcending their everyday condition.  Certain characters  r e l y on e r o t i c stimulation or romantic communion; others turn to seances and conversation with the dead; others, again, take the " s c i e n t i f i c " route, v i a Pavlovian conditioned reflex studies, to a material knowledge of a state of mind which i s nonetheless characterized i n the most mystical way  as an "ultraparadoxical phase . . . this transmarginal  leap, this surrender.  Where ideas of the opposite have come together, 108  and lost their oppositeness."  Pynchon scatters his pages with  returned dead souls, human-like animals, divine apparitions.  In a  d i s t i n c t l y Dantesque move, Pynchon has f i e r y angels appear to bomber pilots in flight: . . . others remembered how, for the few moments the v i s i t a t i o n l a s t e d , even s t a t i c vanished from the earphones. Some may have heard a high singing, l i k e wind among masts, shrouds, bedsprings or dish antennas of winter fleets down i n the dockyards . . . but only Basher and his wingman saw i t , droning across i n front of the f i e r y leagues of the face, the eyes, which went towering for miles, s h i f t i n g to follow their f l i g h t , the i r i s e s red as embers f a i r i n g through yellow to white, as they jettisoned a l l their bombs i n no p a r t i c u l a r pattern . . . bewildered at their unannounced need to climb, to i^^e up a s t r i k e at earth for a s t r i k e at heaven. . . .  This sudden i n t e r s e c t i o n , by another l e v e l of being, of the d a i l y business of war r e c a l l s the coexistence of the divine and the worldly i n the Commedia.  In Gravity's Rainbow, a l l this divine and daemonic  - 76 -  t r a f f i c within the everyday points back to a moment sensed to be lost forever, the b i r t h of the Child at Christmas.  The novelist would l i k e  to see a l l time arrested i n this moment of perfection, just as the encyclopaedists would have their work f i x knowledge for a l l time.  3.c.  R e l a t i o n t o o t h e r books  Another problem we have seen to be suggested by a study of the encyclopaedia i s that of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y — t h e pointing, by a text, to other texts v i a a l l u s i o n s , c i t a t i o n s , e t c . "bookishness"  This property of  or "second-handedness" i s i n t e n s i f i e d i n the  encyclopaedia, as i t s a r t i c l e s rely on source-texts which i n turn may derive from other texts, and so on endlessly. At the end of an a r t i c l e , there may be e x p l i c i t references to other works i n the a r t i c l e ' s particular area of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n .  However, there i s no convention  requiring such reference i n the encyclopaedic a r t i c l e , as there i s i n the c r i t i c a l a r t i c l e .  Even where sources are not mentioned, where the  knowledge appears to be everyday and common to a l l , one can ultimately trace i t back to anonymous schoolbooks, proverbs and so on. The encyclopaedia i s thus a great Text which, even were i t written "out of the head," without references, nevertheless would have other texts written into i t .  Each encyclopaedia forms a patchwork of debts, with  the result that encyclopaedic knowledge i s firmly second-hand, irremediably text-bound.  Pound's Cantos provide the f i t t i n g symbol for  this process whereby comprehending other texts i s equivalent to comprehending knowledge:  the notion of the palimpsest i s important i n  the late cantos, and i s applicable to the encyclopaedic book, where  - 77 -  layer upon layer of texts, partially-erased or f u l l y present, compose the text at hand.  110  Inclusion of a wide text-bound knowledge i s also the mark of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia:  the whole of h i s t o r y , a l l culture, various  languages, are written into such a text.  Consequently, i t may be f i l l e d  with allusions to other texts, with actual c i t a t i o n s , with parodic inversions, and so on.  Moby-Dick, for example, begins with a collage of  l i t e r a r y treatments of the theme of the great whale or Leviathan.  At  one point i n Pound's Cantos, i n other instance, the poetic voice begins to argue d i r e c t l y with i t s textual source about a d e t a i l i n translation (end of Canto XCVI).  In studying the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, then, the  problem becomes one of determining the degree of explicitness of i t s references to other t e x t s .  Since i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y i s a feature of a l l  l i t e r a r y works, and not just of those i n which the encyclopaedic mode dominates a l l others, the d i s t i n c t i o n of the l a t t e r sort of works must rest i n the frequency and the degree of explicitness of their references to and citations of other t e x t s .  F i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias may display a  desire to acknowledge their debts to others, although, as i n the encyclopaedia, there i s no rule requiring that they do so; they  may  desire to discharge these debts by bettering the o r i g i n a l s ; they present a new  may  synthesis, include more d e t a i l s , or attempt to come closer  to an object of knowledge that has up to this point evaded a perfect understanding. Bouvard et Pecuchet i s an example of such a l i t e r a r y work depicting an attempt to bring about a new synthesis of knowledge. attempt i s inseparable from a close attention to s p e c i f i c  titles,  This  - 78 -  authors, even while i t implies the use of each as a stepping-stone only, a tool to be discarded i n the c r i t i c a l quest.  This i s something l i k e  the process, i n Don Quixote, whereby the reader arrives at a synthesis of a l l that has ever been said i n the domain of c h i v a l r y .  Moby-Dick,  again, attempts to approach an object of knowledge—the great white whale and i t s metaphysical s t a t u s — v i a an e x p l i c i t commerce with a l l the texts that have ever dealt with whales, v i a a concern with a l l the f i e l d s of knowledge and technique that could ever touch upon this object. An indebtedness to other texts, which we have seen to be clearcut i n c r i t i c a l n o n - f i c t i o n , and not so clearcut i n the non-fictional encyclopaedia, i s thus problematic i n the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia (and, equally, i n the encyclopaedic forms of the Menippean s a t i r e and the essay).  Both encyclopaedia and encyclopaedic l i t e r a t u r e seem to follow  their own rules i n the question of whether to acknowledge indebtedness or not.  We can c l a r i f y these issues i n the following manner.  Taking  non-fiction and f i c t i o n as two l i m i t s , we might see texts as being ranged along a continuum between them, a continuum, that i s , of explicitness of acknowledgement of debt.  This ranges from the e x p l i c i t  subordination of the c r i t i c a l text to i t s master text, to the dialogue of equals occurring i n f i c t i o n ; i t ranges from c i t a t i o n by convention (and a corresponding concept of plagiarism) to free incorporation of other texts (leaving the reader guessing, hunting for s i g n i f i c a n c e ) . Intertextuality i n the sense of indebtedness operates d i f f e r e n t l y accordingly to whether a text i s closer to non-fictional or f i c t i o n a l  -  limits.  79 -  Thus, the encyclopaedic a r t i c l e , which would be c l a s s i f i e d  n o n - f i c t i o n , i s closer to f i c t i o n than the scholarly a r t i c l e : former may must do so.  as  the  acknowledge i t s debts, but need not do so, whereas the l a t t e r S i m i l a r l y , some forms of f i c t i o n are more " f i c t i o n a l , "  under this way of looking at things, than others.  Realistic fiction  would seem to occupy the extreme position at this end of the i n t e r t e x t u a l continuum:  direct imitation of a world entails a  concealing, to varying degrees, of a r e l a t i o n to other texts which i s nonetheless, under our d e f i n i t i o n , constitutive of t e x t u a l i t y as such. Now,  the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, f i c t i o n which we have seen to be  based, consciously or not, on the model of the encyclopaedia, w i l l be more "non-fictional" than r e a l i s t i c f i c t i o n :  i t may  use c i t a t i o n ,  footnoting, e t c . , freely; i t i s (more obviously than r e a l i s t i c f i c t i o n ) dependent on other texts, especially scholarly texts which have explicitly  contributed to knowledge; i t jumps from one domain of  knowledge to another, unconstrained by, or subverting, conventions of verisimilitude.  Encyclopaedic f i c t i o n i s nonetheless not the same thing  as encyclopaedic n o n - f i c t i o n .  The former's use of nonfictional  conventions of acknowledgment i s parodic or, at the very l e a s t , ambiguous, whereas the l a t t e r , when i t conforms to these conventions, does so to the l e t t e r .  Footnotes i n the f i c t i o n a l work, for example,  cannot be read as explicating the text they annotate.  111  Encyclopaedic  f i c t i o n thus parodies and uses for i t s own purposes the conventions which encyclopaedias need not a c t u a l i z e , yet which remain i m p l i c i t i n their very undertaking as n o n - f i c t i o n .  - 80 -  The f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, l i k e i t s non-fictional counterpart, thus relates a quest for knowledge to a journey through a course of books.  Queneau, we have seen, uses the phrase "periple encyclopedique"  to refer to this wide-sweeping (and often seemingly aimless) i t i n e r a r y ; one never knows, when one i s engaged i n this quest, where, or how, i t w i l l end.  It i s relevant to Pound's work, at l e a s t , that the quest for  knowledge be placed i n this Odyssean context of the "periple" or periplum, " . . . cette errance a travers l a Mediterranee du s a v o i r . "  112  Pound i s quite conscious that the course on which he i s engaged i n seeking divine states of being i s an Odyssean periplum:  By no means an orderly Dantescan r i s i n g but as the winds veer  •• •  as the winds veer and the r a f t i s driven and the voices , T i r o , Alcmene  •• •  Eurus, Apeliota as the winds veer i n periplum Io son l a luna". Cunizza 113  as the winds veer i n periplum. The poet must s k i r t around uncharted c o a s t l i n e s , without any s p e c i f i c destination at which to aim, blown by chance winds. quite conscious "errance" i s associated with a female nymphs, breezes and h i s t o r i c a l heroines.  This method of principle—with  The poet must approach an  ever-receding shoreline of unmediated knowledge i n d i r e c t l y , v i a the mediation of books.  Knowledge of past cultures, states of being, i s  gained, i n the Cantos, by r e a d i n g — o f Chinese h i s t o r i e s , of h i s t o r i c a l l e t t e r s and archives, of translations (sometimes i n many versions) of basic texts such as Dante and Homer. Book-knowledge, multiply indebted,  - 81 -  multiply removed, paradoxically coexists with moments (questioned immediately) of acute, unmediated apprehension of divine nature.  Books  form the coastline that must be followed—endlessly and i n a c i r c u l a r f a s h i o n — i n order to come upon such tenuous moments of knowledge.  3.d.  Problems of writing A f i n a l problem that we discovered to arise i n the making of  encyclopaedias i s that the encyclopaedia would be a "mirror held up to nature," but finds i t s e l f , as w e l l , to be w r i t i n g , to be a s e l f sustaining creation as much as a r e f l e c t i o n .  The f i c t i o n a l  encyclopaedia repeats the encyclopaedia's equivocation i n the matter of i t s r e l a t i o n to the world.  In i t s twentieth-century incarnations,  e s p e c i a l l y , representation of the world becomes increasingly tenuous. (This trend accords with the thinking of Modernism and Postmodernism.) The modern f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia (Cantos, Finnegans Wake, Ulysses, Paradis) no longer seems to be interested, as the encyclopaedia i s , i n being a mirror on the world or an objective reporting of a l l the domains of knowledge.  Instead, i t introduces the reader into a sort of  phantasmagoria of knowledge, a review of a l l i t s domains, a l l the books, in the modes of s u b j e c t i v i t y , delirium, "errance," dream (or automatism) and myth.  Pre-twentieth-century examples of the genre, existing before  the influence of Modernism and such anti-representational trends, nonetheless share with the modern examples a desire to run through the entire spectrum or c i r c l e of knowledge in a way dictated by the i n t e r n a l  - 82 -  organization or order of this body, and not by the assumed structure of the world; encyclopaedism again becomes anti-representation.  What was  noted i n the n o n - f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia to be a tension only, a complication of Ideal by practice and vice-versa, becomes i n the f i c t i o n a l text a preference for a formal or i n t e r n a l order of knowledge at the expense of representation.  3.e.  Formal  consequences  One more formal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia has already been mentioned, but deserves elaboration:  this i s i t s  breaking-up of l i n e a r n a r r a t i v e , which nonetheless seems to remain as a base to which the work returns after i t s numerous d i g r e s s i o n s — o r to which the work refers i f only i m p l i c i t l y .  A delight i n digressions  into the nooks and crannies of knowledge, often at the expense of a s t o r y , may be the transposition into f i c t i o n of the ordering p r i n c i p l e of the encyclopaedia, whereby discursive pieces are arranged on the basis of an order that has come to be i n t e r n a l to the knowledge-gathering enterprise, an order which may be alphabetic or systematic.  This order i s not, then, a narrative order.  In the  f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, s i m i l a r l y , the i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n of the domains of knowledge takes precedence.  In Bouvard et Pecuchet, for example,  each domain naturally suggests i t s e l f i n i t s conventional  r e l a t i o n to  a l l the others; the work often gives i n to the temptation to digress into this order, to embark on a "periple encyclopedique," and to transgress  the narrative Line.  Perhaps the form of such a t e x t , i n  addition to being thematic or systematic, also follows the episodic  - 83 -  order of the early e p i c . manifests  In the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, such an order  i t s e l f i n the emphasis accorded to segments of the whole at  the expense of any sense of a coherent t o t a l i t y or completed work. Digressions and fragments f i t into this pattern, in that they are given as much emphasis, take up as much of our attention, as parts of the text more i n conformity with a linear n a r r a t i v e . In the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, then, a p r i n c i p l e of order that may  be c a l l e d , v a r i o u s l y ,  thematic or episodic (or symbolic) i s constantly i n tension with, and breaking i n t o , a linear (or t e l e o l o g i c a l ) mode of order, with the l a t t e r nonetheless  remaining operative i n the t e x t — o r at least i n the  reader's  expectations. An encyclopaedic breakdown of l i n e a r i t y i s evident, for example, i n Dante's Commedia, where the journey-narrative i s regularly interrupted by digressive commentary made by the t r a v e l l e r on contemporary p o l i t i c s , on the l i v e s of f r i e n d s , and on l i t e r a r y works and l i t e r a r y ancestors.  In another example, the linear movement of  S o l l e r s ' P a r a d i s — l i n e a r i n the sense that i t follows the continuous onrush of the voice reading a l o u d — i s i n tension with the m u l t i p l i c i t y of v e r t i c a l topics (autobiographical, p o l i t i c a l , psychoanalytic, etc.) which appear and disappear, following an Inner logic of the t e x t , the l o g i c which we have seen to l i n k the domains of knowledge i n the encyclopaedic Machine.  Both the Commedia and Paradis, and the f i c t i o n a l  encyclopaedia i n general, are importantly concerned with evoking, or attaining t o , paradisiacal states of being.  Digressive or discontinuous  form, then, enacts on one l e v e l the essential discontinuity of such states.  - 84 -  CHAPTER I I FINNEGANS WAKE  1.  Special problems  Our task In studying Finnegans Wake w i l l be to determine how i t translates into a f i c t i o n a l context the equivocations basic to the knowledge-gathering enterprise of the encyclopaedia.  It w i l l be u s e f u l ,  however, to look f i r s t at certain formal d i f f i c u l t i e s or e c c e n t r i c i t i e s of the work, as a base for a discussion of f i c t i o n a l traits.  encyclopaedic  One of these e c c e n t r i c i t i e s — t h e central use of wordplay i n the  form of puns, portmanteau words and combinations  of these two i s well  known. The other involves a building of lines by an association of words which Is not free (that i s , automatic or directed by the unconscious), but rather t i g h t l y controlled by the c u l t u r a l or ready-made categories of knowledge.  1  These two operations, basic to the  Wake, of wordplay and "automatic" metonymic expansion have implications for our discussion of f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedism.  The presence of these  processes i n Finnegans Wake emphasizes the question of the nature of the knowledge dealt with i n the encyclopaedic work, and the r e l a t i o n that the work takes to this m a t e r i a l . Wordplay has been linked by Freud to an evasion of psychic expenditure;  this evasion i s l i n k e d , i n the Wake,  to an indiscriminate m u l t i p l i c a t i o n and manipulation of the categories of knowledge; wordplay and word association simultaneously work through a l l the domains of knowledge i n such a way as to avoid or defer the  - 85 -  prescriptions of a l i t e r a r y Reality P r i n c i p l e which would edit semantic abundance and r e s t r i c t any m u l t i p l i c a t i o n of connections among ideas. For Freud, wordplay foregrounds the p r i n c i p l e of economy or compression; diverse materials are brought together i n the smallest possible space—the word.  Pleasure derives from such a " s h o r t - c i r c u i t , "  which i s even more e f f e c t i v e (more pleasurable) "the more a l i e n the two 3  c i r c l e s of ideas that are brought together by the same word."  Rational  discourse, on the other hand, emphasizes the separation between ideas. The joke performs an evasion of this p r i n c i p l e and pleasure r e s u l t s .  In  Finnegans Wake i t i s the categories of knowledge—Its subdivisions into f l o r a and fauna, trades and sciences, theology, p r a c t i c a l wisdom, and so on—whose d i s p a r i t i e s are overcome i n the most s t a r t l i n g juxtapositions.  In the pun, for example, a s i m i l a r i t y i n the sound of  two words w i l l bring together and compress widely divergent categories. Further, the portmanteau word effects such a compression v i a s i m i l a r i t i e s i n both the sound and the appearance of the words involved.  F i n a l l y , word association of course expands rather than  compresses significance; l i k e the joke, nonetheless, i t presupposes an evasion of " r a t i o n a l " processes; semantic paradigms are actualized for their own  sake and are not controlled by an o v e r - a l l narrative order.  S i m i l a r i t y of sound coupled with d i s p a r i t y of meaning: then, compresses a great deal into a small space.  the joke,  Indeed, i n the  context of encyclopaedism, we might say that the joke has at i t s disposal the entire c i r c l e of knowledge. segments of the c i r c l e , and may  It may  select from any  combine widely-separated areas of  - 86 -  knowledge.  The joke i s thus potentially an encyclopaedia i n miniature:  in i t s overcoming of semantic incongruities v i a the p r i n c i p l e of s i m i l a r i t y of sound, i t r e c a l l s another arbitrary o r d e r — t h a t of the alphabetic encyclopaedia. Both orders may create humour i n their unexpected and often grotesque conjunctions of disparate elements of knowledge.  1 .a.  The pun In Finnegans Wake there are three main mechanisms of wordplay.  The f i r s t , the pun, i s perceived only by the ear:  a word suggests  another word of similar sound but different meaning; a phrase may point to another phrase, to a snatch of song, a proverb, prayer, and so on. Thus words are hidden behind words, so to speak.  This mechanism has  it  also been called "klang-association."  The following examples  demonstrate such "double talk": (Shaun the Post) Show'm the Posed: . . . the captivating youth . . . (92.13-.16) (Shem the Penman) Shun the Punman!: . . . that fenemine Parish Poser . . . (93.13-.14) (If I have not charity i t p r o f i t e t h me nothing) If I hope not charity what profiteers me? Nothing! (448.22-.23) I should t e l l you that honestly, on my honour of a (Earwicker) (Wordsworth) Nearwicked, I always think i n a wordworth's of that (Dante, Goethe and primed favourite continental poet, Daunty, Gouty and Shakespeare) Shopkeeper . . . (539.04-.06)  - 87 -  (Where the bee sucks, there suck I) . . . where the bus stops there shop I; here which ye see, yea r e s t . (540.15-.16)  Here, the word that one reads i s undeformed (or nearly so) and e a s i l y recognizable.  The word evoked i s not manifest i n the text, but i s  l a t e n t , depending on the reader's memory (of this text and of other t e x t s , of proverbs, of names, and so on) for i t s reconstruction.  Words  or phrases evoked function very l i k e an intertext ( i n R i f f a t e r r e ' s sense), a body or subtext hinted at by clues i n the manifest text, by s l i g h t s t y l i s t i c anomalies or other clues that signal i t s latent presence.  5  The reader of the Wake must read this other text i n between  the lines of the text at hand.  What results i s a sort of double (or  multiple) t e x t , where the levels or parts are related by sound but are often widely divergent i n meaning.  The reader must proceed  s t e r e o s c o p i c a l l y , as i t were, keeping the levels simultaneously In mind.  6  The wider the separation of the punning l e v e l s , the greater the  effect of humour or grotesqueness—as  i n the "poets" example, above, or  7 the banal version of A r i e l ' s song.  However, the pun may  also be  p a r t i c u l a r l y j u s t , depending on the context already established:  the  "Nearwicked"/Earwicker rapprochement takes i t s appropriateness from the myth, endlessly repeated i n the novel, of Earwicker's f o l l y or F a l l . In the Wake, then, the punning text one reads i s something l i k e the most recent layer of a giant palimpsest, where e a r l i e r layers are effaced but may intertext.  be summoned up by the reader's memory of context and  As i n the palimpsest, the r e l a t i o n between the layers or  texts Is an arbitrary one:  In the palimpsest, the connection i s simply  - 88 -  the paper they are written on; i n the pun, the connection i s shared sound.  In both cases, diverse meanings may be grotesquely juxtaposed.  What i s read beneath the manifest text i s not, as i n Freud's notion of the dream, an integrated other text; the palimpsestic or punning text i s not the "mutilated and altered transcript of certain r a t i o n a l psychical structures . . .," but i s rather the playful record of structures a r b i t r a r i l y brought together and bearing no r a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n among themselves.  Words, phrases, proverbs, b i t s of song and prayer are read  "beneath" the Wake v i a the pun; diverse categories of knowledge are evoked, but to no single great end, i n no " r a t i o n a l " structure. "Palimpsestic" punning, then, selects from the c i r c l e of knowledge but ignores the internal or systematic order of this c i r c l e , extracting i t s elements for a new, poetic end.  l.b.  The portmanteau word The second important type of wordplay i n Finnegans Wake i s that  performed by the portmanteau or composite word.  Here both the ear and  the eye come into play, whereas the pun, we have seen, i s a purely aural phenomenon. Just as the pun as palimpsest performs a displacement, v i a q  shared sound, from a manifest to a hidden l e v e l of sense,  so the  composite word involves another dream-mechanism, that of condensation.  10  Here an element i n the dream does the work of several elements i n the dream-thoughts:  " . . . an element i n the dream corresponds to a nodal  point or junction i n the dream-thoughts, and, as compared with these l a t t e r , must quite generally be described as 'overdetermined'."  1 1  Now,  - 89 -  i n wordplay the p r i n c i p l e of semantic overdetermination creates a preference for words "the sound of which expresses different 12 meanings.  A single word may have several meanings, as, for example,  when Polonius uses the multivalent "tender" i n his warning to Ophelia about Hamlet: . . . Think yourself a baby That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay Which art not s t e r l i n g . Tender yourself more dearly, Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phras^) Tend'ring i t thus y o u ' l l tender me a f o o l .  Different words (homonyms) may have the same sound, as i n the Wake's " . . . a potion a peace, a piece aportion" (397.18).  F i n a l l y , composite  words are constructions which compress, v i a their s i m i l a r i t y i n sound (and sometimes s p e l l i n g ) , several different words into one. Finnegans Wake, there are numerous cases of composites.  In  For example:  Terror of the noonstruck by day, cryptogam of each nightly d i v i d a b l e . (261.26-.27) Idle were i t . . . to inquire whether I, draggedasunder, be the forced generation of group marriage, holocrytogam . . . (546.11-.13)  Here, the Letter or "mamafesta" ("holo-," "crypto-," "-gramme,"  "gamme") i s associated with ALP and marriage.  In another example:  . . . erigenating from next to nothing and celescalating the himals and a l l , h i e r a r c h i t e c t i t i p t i t o p l o f t i c a l . . . (4.36-5.02)  Referring to the Masterbuilder, Finn or man, the f i r s t term combines " c e l e s t i a l " and "escalating," while the second combines " h i e r a r c h i c a l , "  - 90 -  " a r c h i t e c t u r a l , " "tiptop" and " l o f t y . "  F i n a l l y , we find the following:  . . . t i l l light kindling light has led we hopas but hunt we the journeyon, i t e r i t i n e r a n t , the kal his course, amid the semitary of somnionia. Even unto H e l i o t r o p o l i s , the c a s t e l l a t e d , the enchanting. (594.06-.09)  " I t e r i t i n e r a n t " combines " i t e r a t e " and " i t i n e r a n t " and refers to the form of the Wake's "journeyon," which proceeds by repetitions and digressions.  "Heliotropolis" (combining "Helios," "heliotrope" and  "metropolis") i s a variant of C e l e s t i a l C i t y , a cherished goal which yet paradoxically contains i t s own evasion or turning ("trope"). Composite words are distinguished from puns or "double talk" by t h e i r evident status as neologisms.  In the pun, the word r e c a l l i n g  another i s i t s e l f a familiar word; i t i s not taken apart and by the process of condensation.  reassembled  The composite words above look  unfamiliar; further, they do not r e c a l l other words latent beneath them.  The words condensed i n a composite word remain at the manifest  l e v e l of the text; a l l may be seen, i n various degrees of fragmentation and recombination, i n the larger word i t s e l f .  In reading puns, one  reads a second text between the lines of the surface text; i n processing portmanteau words, one breaks the text apart into i t s components and holds these suspended i n one's mind. Relations among the components of the portmanteau word follow the same general principles operative i n a l l wordplay. are  When the components  close i n sense, the composite word i s more p o e t i c a l l y "just"; for  example:  " . . .  most surely I pretend and reclam to opt for  - 91 -  simultaneous.  T i l l daybowbreak and showshadows flee" (546.22-.23).  Here, "daybreak" or dawn and "rainbow" share the s i g n i f i e d  "beautiful  colours"; their condensation into "daybowbreak" epitomizes metaphorical "opt'ing] for simultaneous."  On the other hand, when the components are  far apart i n sense, the composite word i s humorous or even grotesque. For example, the phrase, " . . . the euphorious hagiohygiecyniclsm of h i s die and be diademned" (353.08), refers to the figure Butt (Shem). "Hagios" (saint) and "hygiene" are linked only by s i m i l a r i t y of sound; t h e i r conjunction has a grotesque effect which i s nonetheless i n keeping with the figure of B u t t — t o whom "-cynicism" c e r t a i n l y a p p l i e s .  Shem's  paradoxical quality i s also evoked i n the pun "die and be diademned" ("die and be damned"), i n which the saint's "diadem" contains the devil's damnation. In these humorous portmanteau words the separation between encyclopaedic categories i s overcome.  Such a synthesis of the sublime  and the base i s also evident i n puns such as "Daunty, Gouty and Shopkeeper" (539.06) already mentioned.  In the pun, latent and manifest  levels develop new and surprising connections with one another. S i m i l a r l y , portmanteau words (especially those relying on sound-, rather than sense-, s i m i l a r i t y ) bring together, at the surface of the t e x t , widely-divergent categories of knowledge.  The study of the l i v e s of  saints and the science of health, for example, are mutually illuminated.  Discontinuities among the orders of knowledge are  overcome, then, i n the wordplay of the Wake; such d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s also tend to be absorbed within the continuous syntactic onrush of the text.  - 92 -  Overcoming discontinuities among the parts of knowledge i s a way of overcoming the F a l l (Adam's, Humpty Dumpty's, etc.) informing the Wake. HCE's f o l l y — a n i r o n i c version of o r i g i n a l sin—prompts, not an admission of g u i l t , but rather the oxymoronic " f e l i x culpa" i n various punning versions ( f o r example, " f e l i c i t o u s c u l p a b i l i t y , " p. 263.29).  In  certain composite words, an admission of g u i l t encounters an evasion of guilt:  "amenessy meeting" i s "amnesia" and "amnesty meeting" i n one  motion (513.31); "incalpable" i s both "incapable" and "culpable" (363.32).  Discontinuities i n the c i r c l e of knowledge function something  l i k e a metaphor of the F a l l .  Joking one's way through the  Encyclopaedia—overcoming i t s d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s i n the connections of new wordplay (and consequently overcoming limitations to human knowledge)—is a way of regaining Eden or "Heliotropolis."  The perfect  c i r c l e — o r , b e t t e r , the perfect map—of knowledge, where each part connects with a l l the other parts, i s of course a v i r t u a l i t y only; i t i s a figure i f not of o r i g i n a l innocence, then at least of redemption.  The  Wake's puns and composites, which maximize connections among the parts of knowledge, attempt to trace this f i g u r e .  I.e.  Punning portmanteau words The third major kind of wordplay i n Finnegans Wake combines the  t r a i t s of the other two to produce composite words that are also punning words.  This i s by far the most common type of wordplay i n the Wake.  For example:  - 93 -  Silence was i n thy faustive h a l l s , 0 Truiga, when thy green woods went dry but there w i l l be sounds of manymirth on the night's ear ringing when our pantriarch of Comestowntonobble gets the pullover on his boots. (74.09-.12)  Here, i n the neologism "faustive," "Faust" both combines with and r e c a l l s (sounds l i k e ) "feast" or " f e s t i v e " ; s i m i l a r l y , "pantry" and "patriarch" merge i n an apt characterization of HCE. "Comestowntonobble" r e c a l l s "Constantinople" and "comes down to nothing"; such punning combines with "to nobble," a dishonest p r a c t i c e . Thus the patriarch of Constantinople i n his f e s t i v e h a l l s f a l l s (Faust-like) and becomes the petty lord of a pantry; both senses are contained i n the punning composites, above.  Let us look at a few more  examples:  80.25 . . . the obluvial waters of our noarchic memory withdrew . . . 367.29-.30 . . . the bounds whereinbourne our s o l i e d bodies a l l attorned attain arrest . . . 553.19-.20 . . . I fenced i t about with huge chesterfield elms and Kentish hops and rigs of barlow and bowery nooks and greenwished v i l l a s . . .  "Obluvial" i s a composite of "oblivion" and " a l l u v i a l , " with "obluvial waters" r e c a l l i n g " a l l u v i a l waters" and "waters of oblivion" ( i n keeping with our "noarchic memory" of the Flood).  "Solied bodies" combines  " s u l l i e d bodies" with " s o l i d " and "soul."  "Greenwished v i l l a s " combines  "Greenwich V i l l a g e " and the pastoral image "whitewashed v i l l a s " with a paradisiacal "green wish" ( r e c a l l i n g Marvell's "green thought" i n "The  - 94 -  Garden"), the whole according with the garden context of "bowery nooks." In the punning portmanteau word, there i s a balance of the f a m i l i a r and the unfamiliar:  the r e c o l l e c t i o n of a familiar word  ("festive," "patriarch") i s accomplished by the unfamiliar  conjunction  of two or more words ("Faust"/"festive," "pantry"/"patriarch").  This  type of wordplay i s actually two  types of joke in one:  the reader has  the pleasure of both deciphering  the "double talk," the words beneath  the words, as well as breaking the words apart and testing their relations.  This double economy—in which disparate elements are  connected twice over—characterizes  most of the wordplay i n the Wake.  Wordplay, then, i n general involves the interplay of familiar novel elements.  and  In the pun, familiar elements are linked ( v i a  s i m i l a r i t y of sound) i n novel ways; i t i s the conjunction of elements, in themselves f a m i l i a r , which Is unfamiliar.  In the composite  construction, familiar elements are condensed into novel combinations. Thus, the composite word that also puns on other words enacts a dual discovery of f a m i l i a r i t y i n strangeness, sameness i n d i f f e r e n c e . discovery i s also what constitutes the experience of r e p e t i t i o n :  This  1 5  the  Wake i s thus one of the most r e p e t i t i v e texts written as well as one of the most anomalous.  In the o v e r - a l l movement of the t e x t , l e x i c a l  neologism i s balanced by syntactic f a m i l i a r i t y ;  16  the text as a whole  thus demonstrates the movement of r e p e t i t i o n which i s found i n a nutshell i n each instance of wordplay.  It i s not s u r p r i s i n g , then, that  the punning composite—a type of wordplay enacting a double or multiple discovery of f a m i l i a r i t y In novelty—should Wake.  be so ubiquitous  i n the  -  95  -  1.d. Lexical chains In Finnegans Wake the phenomenon of word association, which works through the semantic pathways of the language, Is a necessary counterpart to the practice of wordplay. wordplay i n the same way  Word association i s linked to  that metonymy or contiguity i s inseparable, i n .  the code, from metaphor or substitution: "L'imagination n'aurait pas l a capacite d'inventer (ou de reconnaitre) une metaphore s i l a c u l t u r e , sous l a forme d'une structure possible du systeme semantique g l o b a l , ne l u i f o u r n i s s a i t l e reseau sous-jacent des contiguites stipulees."  17  Wordplay, then, i s a form of metaphor-making. pun  arbitrairement  as "double-talk"  bringing-together  In the Wake, the  involves a semantic s h o r t - c i r c u i t , a  of two or more diverse areas of sense, one l a t e n t , the  other manifest; the composite word also involves this juxtaposition of incongruous meanings as manifest In the word on the page.  The basis for  both types of metaphorical rapprochement (or recognition) i s either a phonetic or a semantic s i m i l a r i t y .  Eco has shown, however, that in the  case of the metaphor, what looks l i k e an analogical r e l a t i o n turns out to be, at base, a r e l a t i o n of contiguity already established within c u l t u r a l network, language or code.  He has shown how  the  a pun i n the Wake,  such as, for example, "meandertale" (18.22), i s formed by a clustering of words around an i n i t i a l word, "Neanderthal," to which they are 18  related by a phonetic c o n t i g u i t y .  Thus wordplay, i n the Wake, i s  based on conventional word associations as much as i t i s on the perception  of new  resemblances.  A metaphorical substitution or  - 96 -  s h o r t - c i r c u i t i s based on the previous establishment of a metonymic network, a l i s t of p o s s i b i l i t i e s for metaphoric substitution related among themselves by phonetic and semantic contiguity.  In deciphering  Joyce's wordplay, we recapitulate this process, work backward through it. Word a s s o c i a t i o n — n o r m a l l y , then, a process of the l i n g u i s t i c u n c o n s c i o u s — i s pursued i n the text of the Wake alongside the wordplay i t normally underpins.  The associative chains of the Wake rely on a  network, noted above, of semantic relations; these chains suggest that a knowledge of things i n themselves i s actually a knowledge of r e l a t i o n s , of  the classes of things, of their kinds.  such word association. equivalents.  Let us look at an example of  Here, the reader moves along a chain of semantic  As J.-M. Rabate notes:  "Un element s u f f i t pour de*clencher  une reaction en chalne, et aimanter les autres elements d'un groupe latent."  19  — F a i t h , then, Meesta Cheeryman, f i r s t he come up, a gag as a g i g , badgeler's rake to the town's major from the wesz, MacSmashall Swingy of the Cattelaxes, got up regardless, with a cock on the Kildare side of his T a t t e r s u l l , i n his riddlesneek's ragamufflers and the horrid contrivance as seen above, whisklyng into a bone tolerably d e l i c a t e l y , the Wearing of the Blue, and taking off his plushkwadded bugsby i n his perusual f l e a and l o i s y manner, saying good mrowkas to weevilybolly and dragging his feet i n the usual course and was ever so t e r r i b l y naas, r e a l l y , t e l l i n g him clean his nagles and fex himself up, M i l e s , and so on and so f o r t , and to take the coocoomb to his g r i z z l i e s and who done that foxy freak on his bear's hairs l i k e f i r e bursting out of the Ump pyre and, half hang me, s i r r , i f he wasn't wanting his calicub body back before he'd to take his l i f e or so save his l i f e . Then, begor, counting as many as eleven to thritytwo seconds with his pocket browning, l i k e I s a i d , wann swanns wann, this i s my awethorrorty, he kept forecursing hascupth's foul  - 97 -  Fanden, Cogan, for coaccoackey the key of John Dunn's f i e l d fore i t was for sent and the way Montague was robbed and wolfllng to know a l l what went off . . . (516.03-.22)  Here, one animal i s named—"badgeler" or badger—and this naming i n i t i a t e s a l e x i c a l "chain reaction."  A number of animal words, members  of the latent paradigm or l i s t of a l l such words i n the language, enter the text by virtue of their association with the i n i t i a t i n g word: "Cattelaxes"  ( c a t t l e ) , "cock," " g r i z z l i e s , " "foxy," "bear's hairs,"  "calicub" (bear cub), "wolfling."  An insect chain breaks off from the  animal one and develops within the larger animal context: " f l e a and  l o i s y " "weevilybolly,"  as " f l e a and l o i s y " and weevil"  do not add  "cocoomb."  "weevilybolly"  We  "bugsby,"  can see from such terms  that " f l e a " , "louse" and  "boll  themselves to the chain of insect equivalents  because they are i n s e c t s . cockroach, etc.—would do.  If this were the case, any  simply  insect—ant,  The terms that are actually selected  and  used are those that have, beyond their semantic association with the insect paradigm, a phonetic contiguity with words i n common syntactic constructions, i n cliched phrases ("free and easy manner," "good morrow to everybody").  Resulting from this phonetic contiguity are the punning  expressions, " f l e a and l o i s y manner" and  "good mrowkas to  weevilybolly."  Word association i s not, then, the same thing as psychic automatism. The drive to scan the paradigm or encyclopaedic category and expand, from an i n i t i a l  element, into a chain of equivalents  c o n t r o l l e d , i n the f i c t i o n a l text, by theme and  is  consciously  character requirements,  by syntactic rhythms and by intertextual factors (interference proverbs, c l i c h e s , s o n g - t i t l e s , e t c . ) .  by  - 98 -  There are yet two other l e x i c a l chains i n the passage above.  A  haberdashery/dandy chain has been developed prior to this point, and i s continued i n "rake," " T a t t e r s u l l " ( t a t t e r s / T a t t e r s a l l check tweed), "ragamufflers" (ragamuffin, m u f f l e r ) , "Wearing of the Blue," "plushkwadded bugsby," "clean his nagles," "fex himself up," "coocoomb" (comb), "calicub" ( c a l i c o ) .  This chain i s associated with  Earwicker,  whose voice comes to dominate the end of this chapter (Book I I I , Chapter iii);  HCE i s commonly characterized i n terms of outlandish costumes.  There i s also a l i t e r a r y chain, a series of authors' names or book-titles developing out of "pocket browning": "wann swanns wann" (Swann's Way), "Fanden" (Fagan?), "John Dunn" (Donne), "Montague" (Montaigne).  This series might actually begin with "Cattelaxes," which  looks, and somewhat sounds, l i k e Swann's and Odette's "cattleyas"; and 20 i t also r e c a l l s the I r i s h e p i c , The Cattle-raid at Cooley. A l l the chains (animals, i n s e c t s , haberdashery, l i t e r a t u r e ) intersect at certain nodal points, i n terms such as "calicub," "coocoomb," " T a t t e r s u l l " ( T a t t e r s a l l Is also a horse-betting f i r m ) , "bugsby" (busby hat) and "pocket browning" ( r e c a l l i n g "pocket watch" i n the haberdashery context).  Lexical expansion i n the Wake i s thus never  simple or linear; i t i s , rather, multidimensional, owing to the ubiquitous wordplay by means of which two or more chains may meet i n a single word.  Lexical chaining i s a l s o , and most importantly, not free  a s s o c i a t i o n , not a form of psychic automatism.  In i t , instead, a free  semantic scanning i s interrupted by the pressure of context and i n t e r t e x t , resulting i n very conscious l e x i c a l selections that s t i l l  - 99 -  s a t i s f y the impulse to write l i s t s .  2. Problems of totalization  A central problem i n the nature of the encyclopaedic enterprise i s the t o t a l i z a t i o n paradox:  the encyclopaedia, i n i t s drive to include  the t o t a l i t y of things known, engages i n practices (continuous r e v i s i o n , publication of supplements and new editions) which betray the actual i m p o s s i b i l i t y of such a t o t a l i n c l u s i o n .  Translated into f i c t i o n , this  means that the book achieves an inclusion of many domains of knowledge, while nonetheless betraying a sense of the v i r t u a l i t y of any t o t a l i z a t i o n of knowledge.  This "wariness" often works i t s e l f out i n a  parodic treatment of t o t a l i z i n g or encyclopaedic systems, works or authors.  It i s also manifested, i n the opposite d i r e c t i o n , i n the  book's nostalgic play with images of completion, f u l l n e s s , such images being nonetheless subject to play, to the insistent repetitions and digressions of the t e x t . Finnegans Wake takes the f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia's i r o n i c attitude toward knowledge—and yet a search for knowledge i s at the very center of i t s endeavour.  In the pages to follow I w i l l consider the  nature of the Wake's treatment of knowledge and of the p o s s i b i l i t y of Its t o t a l i z a t i o n .  The work's heterogeneous inclusion of many domains of  knowledge i s achieved through the functioning of certain modes of inclusion.  Nonetheless, the work retains a c r i t i c a l attitude towards  such i n c l u s i o n , as indicated i n i t s parodic imitation of the encyclopaedic systems or philosophies of Vico and Bruno.  My second  - 100 -  major consideration  w i l l be the way i n which certain images i n the  Wake—the rainbow, the musical s c a l e , the alphabet—suggest c i r c u l a r i t y and  completion, with their insistance i n the text betraying a certain  nostalgia f o r these q u a l i t i e s .  Such images are repeated i n the  synthetic play of Wakean language i t s e l f , and yet they are also belied by the digressions  2.a.  and repetitions of the n a r r a t i v e .  Modes of i n c l u s i o n Finnegans Wake, as f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia, refers to many  domains of knowledge, to a multitude of odd facts and names and items. As the basic narrative kernels—HCE's indiscretions i n the Park, h i s persecution and resurrection, plus the tales of Tristan and Isolde, Jacob and Esau, and so o n — a r e repeated endlessly and i n various permutations, elements of human knowledge are drawn into the text i n a seemingly all-encompassing centripetal movement. The medium of this inclusion i s , of course, the language of the Wake: the omnipresent puns and  portmanteau words are the means whereby several categories of  knowledge may be drawn, or collapsed, together; f u r t h e r , l e x i c a l chains work through such categories metonymically—and t h e o r e t i c a l l y endlessly—in  the aspiration to name an i n f i n i t y of things known.  Often the Wake's forays into the c i r c l e of knowledge seem to be at odds with i t s n a r r a t i v e s . And  It Is as much a reference work as i t i s a s t o r y .  yet as a f i c t i o n a l work, the Wake has a different intent and draws  on a d i f f e r e n t t r a d i t i o n and set of expectations than does the n o n - f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia.  The c r i t e r i o n of objective t r u t h , by which  - 101 -  the l a t t e r i s judged, i s suspended i n the former.  Inclusion of a l l  knowledge i s not the only goal of the Wake; i t i s linked with a concern for  the t e l l i n g , and r e t e l l i n g endlessly, of the F a l l .  f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedia  The Wake as  i s the scene, then, of an interplay between  narrative and encyclopaedic  digression.  The tension between tale and  reference work i s resolved, i n the Wake, i n two d i f f e r e n t ways. Encyclopaedic  digression may  have an a r b i t r a r y shape imposed upon i t , a  shape deriving from certain conventions—such as the epic l i s t — e x t e r n a l to i t but i n sympathy with i t .  Within these boundaries, such knowledge  is free to expand and digress according to i t s own independently of the n a r r a t i v e . knowledge may  categories,  A l t e r n a t i v e l y , certain domains of  be called into play, usually by some aspect of one of the  characters, which from then on are permitted  to follow their own  inner  l o g i c , converging and diverging among themselves i n ways that illuminate the f i c t i o n .  The f i r s t arrangement, we s h a l l see, i s external to the  f i c t i o n ; the second i s directed by the  2„a.i.  fiction.  External modes of Inclusion The two main external orders imposed, i n the Wake, on the mass of  material to be known are those of the catechism and the l i s t .  (Others  include the children's rhyme—for example, "The House that Jack B u i l t , " p. 580.26-.36—and the proverb, p. 579.10-.25).  In Book I, Chapter 6 of  the novel, both the catechism and the l i s t are extensively used: question may  one  evoke a l i s t as i t s answer (no. 4); another question,  i t s e l f including a long l i s t , may  evoke a short answer (no. l ) . ^  x  This  - 102 -  chapter i s , accordingly, a good example of a fixed order or framework supporting and generating a mass of elements of knowledge (such an order being used as well i n Ulysses, i n , f o r example, the questions and answers of "Ithaca"). L i s t s are to be found at other points i n the Wake:  there are, f o r example, the l i s t s naming HCE (pp. 71-2) and  naming ALP's Letter (pp. 104-7).  This use of an arbitrary order to  generate a multitude of elements of knowledge also r e c a l l s Lautreamont's and the S u r r e a l i s t s ' practice of using a fixed structure such as the "beau comme" or epic simile to generate a great number of disparate 22 items of knowledge.  Paradoxically, i n the Wakean l i s t as i n the  s u r r e a l i s t metaphor, the more r i g i d or conventional the external framework, the more freedom there i s for inclusion o f , and expansion upon, elements of knowledge.  (In r e a l i s t narrative and metaphor, on the  other hand, where a more e l a s t i c form responds more to demands of v e r i s i m i l i t u d e , the inclusion and expansion of encyclopaedic categories is s t r i c t l y limited.) Let us see the sort of encyclopaedic d i v e r s i t y the question and l i s t forms encourage, taking as our f i r s t example parts of the f i r s t question i n Book I , Chapter 6, and i t s answer: 1.  What secondtonone myther rector and maximost bridgesmaker was the f i r s t to r i s e t a l l e r through his beanstale than the bluegum buaboababbaun or the giganteous Wellingtonia Sequoia; went nudiboots with trouters into a l i f f e y e t t e when she was barely i n her t r i c k l i e s ; . . . thought he weighed a new ton when there f e l l e d his f i r s t lapapple; . . l i k e a heptagon c r y s t a l emprisoms trues and fauss for us; . . . i s escapemaster-in-chief from a l l sorts of houdingplaces; . . . from zoomorphology to omnianimalism he i s brooched by the spin of a coin; towers, an eddistoon amid the lampless, casting  - 103 -  swannbeams on the deep; threatens thunder upon malefactors and sends whispers up fraufrau's froufrous; . . . arches a l l p o r t c u l l i s e d and his nave dates from dots; . . . hock i s leading, cocoa comes next, emery t r i e s for the f l a g ; . . . i s a simultaneous equator of elimbinated integras when three upon one i s by inspection improper; . . . [etc.] Answer: Finn MacCool! (126.22-131.33)  Here, a question involving a long l i s t of attributes (extending over a number of pages) receives a short answer, the name at the base of the book.  The attributes of Finn or HCE  are piled up, as each segment of  the l i s t makes a fresh attempt to pose the r i d d l e of the Father's and power.  nature  Each segment appears to be independent of those segments  preceding i t ; each draws upon a different f i e l d of knowledge. V e r t i c a l l y , then, i n i t s r e l a t i o n to culture and  encyclopaedic  paradigms, the l i s t i s composed of discrete elements.  Horizontally,  however, the l i s t overcomes the gulfs separating these elements.  The  o v e r - a l l effect of t h i s , for the reader, i s one of straddling, G u l l i v e r - l i k e , the gulfs separating the miniaturized domains of knowledge (an effect similar to that experienced when reading consecutively the a r t i c l e s of an alphabetic encyclopaedia).  So,  consecutively, this passage scans the c i r c l e of knowledge and casts up the following:  the mythical giants at the beginning of the world and  Vico's theory of o r i g i n s , plus Ibsen's Masterbuilder ("which . . . maximost bridgesmaker was  the f i r s t to r i s e t a l l e r through his beanstale  . . . " ) ; myths and f a i r y tales ("myther rector," "beanstale" or "Jack and the Beanstalk"); botany, or t r e e s — e s p e c i a l l y large ones  - 104 i  ("buaboababbaun" suggests the baobab tree, while the Sequoia i s a giant 23  evergreen); the Wellington Monument or obelisk i n Phoenix Park ("Wellingtonia," "towers" i n l i n e 31); trout-fishing ("went nudiboots with trouters"); Dublin geography, or the River L i f f e y ( " l i f f e y e t t e " ) ; Newton's discovery of the law of gravity ("thought he weighed a new ton when there f e l l e d his f i r s t lapapple"); Genesis and the eating of the f r u i t ( " f i r s t lapapple"); the sciences of optics ("crystal emprisoms" or the  prism) and of geometry ("heptagon"); Houdini and the art of magical  escapes ("escapemaster-in-chief . . . houdingplaces"); zoomorphism or the  creation of gods i n animal form, plus animal morphology  ("zoomorphology"); animism and pantheism ("omnianimalism"); Thomas Edison and the invention of the incandescent lamp ("eddistoon amid the lampless"), plus Swann's Way and the famous magic lantern (" . . . casting swannbeams on the deep"); Jove the thunderer and Vico's version of the beginning of human history ("threatens thunder upon malefactors"); architecture, especially medieval ("arches a l l p o r t c u l l i s e d " ) ; drinks and horse racing (" . . . hock i s leading, cocoa comes next . . . " ) ; mathematics ("equator . . . i n t e g r a s " ) .  At this  point, the reader has lost any sense of reading a question; each new digression into the Encyclopaedia leads further away from a conventional question-and-answer structure.  Thus, when an answer i s f i n a l l y reached  ("Finn MacCool!") i t f a l l s a l i t t l e  flat.  The emphasis, of course, has  been not on reaching an answer, but on the elaboration of the question. The l i s t , i n i t s heterogeneous composition, i s the ideal form to use f o r encyclopaedic digression.  The catechism, as w e l l , rests on the  - 105 -  question of knowledge, the naming and r e t r i e v a l of i t s elements.  These  forms are pedagogical and may even function as markers of encyclopaedism i n a l i t e r a r y text; yet they are neutral with respect to the actual elements of knowledge evoked. to  These forms also function i n the f i c t i o n  i n t e n s i f y the representation of character and myth i n the Wake.  representation i s at work i n the passage examined above.  Such  Each item i n  the l i s t simultaneously refers to a fragment of c u l t u r a l knowledge and to the central themes and character configurations i n the Wake. For example, " . . . i s a simultaneous equator of elimbinated integras when three upon one i s by inspection improper" refers as much to the narrative kernel of HCE's impropriety i n the Park, with i t s repeated numerical configuration of three/two/one, as i t does to mathematics. The resonance of each segment i n the l i s t i s , then, both v e r t i c a l and h o r i z o n t a l , both c u l t u r a l (intertextual) and narrative (contextual). The tendency with the l i s t s i n the Wake, however, i s to emphasize the categories of knowledge over the narrative material; t h i s , because i t Is so simple and so often repeated, offers l i t t l e ballast to the reader to counteract a dizzying journey through the categories of the 24  Encyclopaedia. In another example—a l i s t of the attributes of HCE, i n the form of  abusive names that have been given him—we see a similar tension  between intertext and context, between the categories of knowledge and the character t r a i t s and exploits of HCE. This time the making of l i s t s Is thematized, while abuse gets the upper hand over encyclopaedic allusion:  "Earwicker, that patternmind, that paradigmatic ear . . .  - 106 -  compiled . . . a long l i s t (now feared i n part l o s t ) to be kept on f i l e of a l l abusive names he was called  Old F r u i t , Yellow  Whigger, . . . Yass We've Had His Badannas, . . . Cainandabler, . . . Ireland's Eighth Wonderful Wonder, . . . Hebdromadary Publocation, . . . Magogagog, . . . Gouty Ghibeline, . . . Scuttle to Cover, . . . Edomite, . . . Bad Humborg . . .," e t c . (pp. 70-2).  The reader, lending a  "paradigmatic ear" to the text, encounters the following allusions i n the epithets:  Genesis, and Adam's eating of the forbidden f r u i t ; the  Whig or English L i b e r a l party along with the earwig (HCE); the popular song, "Yes, We Have No Bananas"; Genesis, and the c o n f l i c t of Cain and Abel; the Seven Wonders of the World—plus  one; zoology (the dromedary)  and numbers (hebdomad, the group of seven so important i n the Wake); a pub's location and the a c t i v i t y of publication; the Book of Revelation, and the nations of Gog and Magog warring against God; medieval  Italian  p o l i t i c s , and the r i v a l factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines; Vico's notion of the o r i g i n of the family i n the " s c u t t l i n g to cover" of wild men under the thunder of Jove; the B i b l e , and the distance travelled betwen Eden and Sodom; German c i t i e s .  These references exist  within a context of abuse ("Old F r u i t , " "Yellow . . . ," "Scuttle to Cover"); they add another layer of meaning to this abuse. A similar double movement i s to be found i n the l i s t of names for ALP's Letter or the "mamafesta."  A plunge into the Encyclopaedia i s  balanced by references to the surface context of l e t t e r s , l i t e r a t u r e , and ALP's relations with HCE.  To take just a few of these t i t l e s :  " . . . Rebus de H i b e r n i c i s , The Crazier L e t t e r s , . . . For Ark see  - 107 -  Zoo, . . . Try our Taal on a Taub, The Log of Anny to the Base A l l , . . . Abe to Sare Stood Icyk Neuter t i l l Brahm Taulked Him Common Sex . . . ," e t c .  (pp. 104-106).  "Rebus" suggests Freud's theory of the  dream-work, while "Hibernicis" emphasizes this sleepy a c t i v i t y as well as referring to Hibernia or Ireland. There i s also the Book of Genesis, with Noah and his ark; Swift's Tale of a Tub and The Drapier's Letters ("the Crazier L e t t e r s " ) ; mathematics, and i n particular logarithms; Abraham and Sarah, Isaac Newton, Johannes Brahms. of  The d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s  this v e r t i c a l or "paradigmatic" array of items contrasts with the  continuities established by a contextual (or "syntagmatic")  reading of  the l i s t , i n which meanings relevant to ALP and her Letter are common to a l l the elements of the l i s t .  So, "rebus" i s a picture-writing; "The  Crazier Letters" suggests ALP's Letter and i t s motley, eccentric aspect; "For Ark see Zoo" suggests the cross-referencing found i n an encyclopaedia, and also refers to the t o t a l i t y of the alphabet, A-Z, and 25 further the zoo i n Phoenix Park  ; and Swift's digressive and  heterogeneous Tale i s an apt metaphor for the hen's L e t t e r . Thus the l i s t s i n the Wake e l i c i t a double or palimpsestic reading, balancing paradigm (intertext) and context.  This double  movement, of course, constitutes reading i n general; however, reading a f i c t i o n a l l i s t emphasizes this experience.  Discontinuities between the  elements of the l i s t emphasize the heterogeneity of the elements of knowledge.  There may be a discrepancy between the f i c t i o n a l context and  the knowledge paradigms referred to, as i n the case of the l i s t of abusive names; there may, however, be points of contact between context  - 108 -  and paradigm, as i n the "mamafesta" l i s t above.  The l i s t , l i k e the  catechism, i s thus an external order shaping the multiple narratives of Finnegans Wake. The associations of these orders with pedagogical practice means that they function as a shorthand for encyclopaedism; p a r a t a c t l c a l t o o l s , they break open the text to receive encyclopaedic 26 expansions.  The l i s t of famous names i n the margin of pp. 306-8 i s an  extreme example of this emphasis occuring i n the appropriate context of the lesson notebook. 2.a.ii  Internal modes of i n c l u s i o n A second mechanism of encyclopaedic inclusion i s also at work i n  Finnegans Wake. Here, character and theme determine the selection and i n c l u s i o n of the elements of knowledge.  Character and theme, that i s ,  often appear to determine which elements of the Encyclopaedia surface i n the text; they appear to put some brake on an indiscriminate expansion of  these elements, channelling such expansion into appropriate paths.  Several of these "paths" or l e x i c a l series may be found i n a single passage and may lend themselves to the evocation of character or the development of theme. undermine one another. of  They may converge or diverge, reinforce or Two examples of this more " i n t r i n s i c " mechanism  encyclopaedic inclusion are the Butt and Taff episode (Book I I ,  Chapter i i i ) and the portrait of Shaun the Post (Book I I I ,  Chapter i ) .  Owing to the length of these passages, my citations w i l l be very inadequate, merely suggesting an over-all "channelling" movement. Butt and Taff are one pair i n a series of pairs of warring  - 109 -  twins.  Like Shaun, Taff pounces upon everything that Butt/Shem says,  abusing his twin and discounting his words:  "The lyewdsky so so sewn of  a f i t c h i d . . . his boney bogey braggs." (340.02-.03).  Butt the  t r i c k s t e r springs back e a s i l y , continuing his insinuations as to the Father's misdoings i n the Park:  "With guerillaman aspear aspoor to the  prink the pranks of primkissies. And the buddies behide i n the byre . . ." (340.10-12).  This c o n f l i c t between the twins i s repeated, at the  formal l e v e l , in the dialogue form taken by the text; dialogue i s a kind of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d c o n f l i c t undertaken for the positive end of knowledge of the t r u t h .  And so both Butt and Taff merge i n the end, "by 27  the coincidence of their contraries reamalgamerge"  into one ambiguous  figure cowering i n fear of the thundering Father, "Old Erssia's magisquammythical mulattomilitiaman" (354.10). The c o n f l i c t of Butt and T a f f , repeated i n the dialogue form and i n the c o n f l i c t of Buckley and the Russian General being discussed, i s also worked out at the l e v e l of word-formation.  That i s , the theme of  c o n f l i c t or war determines the selections that are made from the Encyclopaedia, determines what categories w i l l be opened up and developed.  It i s clear i n this episode that the art of war—and the  related domains of weaponry, history of war, and so on—dominate the l e x i c a l selections i n this passage and are responsible for the turns of the wordplay.  Any other categories of knowledge evoked are subordinated  to these dominant areas and enter into resonance with them. example:  For  - 110 -  BUTT (at the signal of his act which seems to sharpnel his innermals menody, playing the spool of the l i t t l e brown jog round the wheel of her whang goes the m i l l n e r ) . Buckily b u c k i l y , blodestained boyne! Bimbambombumb. His snapper was shot i n the Rumjar Journaral. Why the gigls he lubbed beeyed him. TAFF (obliges with a two stop yogacogasumphoty on the bones for ivory g i r l and ebony boy). The balacleivka! Trovatarovitch! I trumble! BUTT (with the s i c k l e of a scygthe but the humour of a hummer, 0, howorodies through his cholaroguled, fumfing to a f u l l f r e n g t h with this wallowing o l f a c t ) . Mortar martar tartar wartar! May his boules grow wi