7. Aeolus

Clip from Chaplin, Modern Times (1936)

Clip from Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera (1929)


“Every morning brings us the news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. This is because no event any longer comes to us without already being shot through with explanation. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information. Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it. … The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection ofche events is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks.”

Walter Benjamin, “The Storyteller” (Hale, Dorothy J, Ed. The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1900-2000. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 2006).

According to Joyce’s Schema (publicized by Stuart Gilbert), the “art” of this episode is “rhetoric”. Here, you find some basics on this technique.

James Joyce reading from “Aeolus”

“It is here that the important analogy between the Irish and the Jews comes in; it is at the core of John F. Taylor’s speech about Moses and the Egyptian high priest, which is in many ways the core of the episode (136–37; 7:828–69). The speech and its context set up an opposition that pervades the men’s discussion: on the one side, the British, Roman, and (putative) Egyptian empires; on the other, the Irish and Jewish peoples, neither of which, at the time, had a country they could call their own.”

Joyce, James; Flynn, Catherine. The Cambridge Centenary Ulysses: The 1922 Text with Essays and Notes (S.200). Cambridge University Press.