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Joyce's KaleidoscopeAn Invitation to Finnegans Wake$
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Philip Kitcher

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321029

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321029.001.0001

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Three score and ten toptypsical readings

Three score and ten toptypsical readings

Chapter:
(p.63) 7 Three score and ten toptypsical readings
Source:
Joyce's Kaleidoscope
Author(s):

Philip Kitcher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321029.003.0007

Three score and ten, according to one of Joyce's sources for the Wake, is the span allotted for a human life. If each word of the book is supposed to carry “three score and ten toptypsical readings”, then surely the multiplicity affects the number of possible readings of a life. For the dreamer, the difficulty is to find an identity that will allow for that answer. But how exactly will the question be settled? One of the great themes of the Wake is one's opacity to oneself, the problem of working out what one's deeds or identity. That problem involves some of the same sources of confusion that figure in the attempts to decide how to resolve the conflicts of the voices within oneself.

Keywords:   consciousness, life's purpose, Christ, dream, identity

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