Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Joyce was a multisociator

I don't usually attempt to cross-pollinate the blogs I write, as I think reading one of my blogs is more than enough to ask of anyone, but as I just made mention of this blog on my Confessions of Ignorance blog, I am going to return myself the favor. The reason is that the word I chose to talk about, "bisociate", seems to have a lot to do with Joyce. The links there are definitely more interesting than anything I have to say about it. 

If creativity has to do with connecting two previously unconnected things, as I think is what's being said in the articles I linked to, then Joyce was a bisociator  par excellence. But I've taken the liberty of coining a new word for him (if Arthur Koestler can do it, why can't I?), because I'm not sure anyone knows how many things Joyce was able to connect through one or two words. Maybe Joyce himself didn't even know. Anyway, "multisociator" will suffice.


  1. I just read an article on FW by Thornton Wilder in which he says:

    The style of Finnegans Wake may be called that of the "collocation of disparates."

    That term he coined seems to along the same lines as "bisociate".

    1. I wouldn't have suspected Wilder of being a Wake fan. Is the article accessible on line?

    2. Sorry, meant to include the link:

      Wilder is a major Wake dude. In fact, when Wilder's play "The Skin of Our Teeth" came out, Joseph Campbell and Henry Morton Robinson (the duo that wrote The Skeleton Key) wrote an article accusing Wilder of using the material and concepts from FW without giving any credit.

  2. And here's that Campbell article "The Skin of Whose Teeth?"


  3. Great! Thanks very much on both counts.