1983. Turin - The Joycean Archetype.
By C. George SANDULESCU, Monaco.
(Paper given at the Convegno Internazionale su Manierismo e Letteratura (the International Conference on Mannerism and Literature) which took place at The University of Turin, between 12 and 15 October 1983.)
Mundi fabricator non a semetipso fecit haec,
sed de alienis archetypis transtulit.
Archetype may best be summarized as 'paragon-cliché', -- closely correlated with the type/token opposition in mathematics, semiotics, and even phonological theory (as Token roughly and remotely corresponds to the phone, whereas Type should be taken to be the counterpart of the phoneme).
Certain religious texts have in course of time acquired special institutionalized status, the Christian Church requiring of its devotees to learn and say them by heart -- aloud or silently -- in situations of ritual. Such text may, for example, be The Paternoster, The Apostles' Creed, The Ten Commandments, or The Beatitudes.
James Joyce makes use of all these four closed texts in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake as religious 'paragon-clichés', with effects which are not exactly sacramental, and goes back for them to the 1611 Authorized Version -- published at the peak of the 'mannerist' epoch.
Whereas The Paternoster is sprinkled evenly all over Finnegans Wake, The Apostles' Creed occurs almost in full in one block in Ulysses (12. 427), with its title paraphrased as "Apostates' Creed" about 150 pages later; the so very alliterative "British Beatitudes" -- or B-Attitudes -- occur, very compressed, on the same pages of Ulysses (14. 556).
This seemingly blasphemous attitude is highly reminiscent of the tone of Joyce's 1936 latter-story to his grandson Stephen especially when he refers to the Devil as 'speaking quite bad French with a strong Dublin accent'.