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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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His Reignbolt's Shot

His Reignbolt's Shot

(p.13) 2 His Reignbolt's Shot
Joyce's Kaleidoscope

Philip Kitcher

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the story of a waning life and its self-understanding when looking back, looking first at the chapter that precedes the finale of the book. Important though ALP is to the Wake—and her significance is underscored by assigning her the closing words—the dominant figure throughout is her husband, HCE. His guilt, his shortcomings, his failures pervade the entire book. Since for both husband and wife the value of their lives is bound up with the success of their life together, either can speak for both. This chapter of the Wake presents a kaleidoscope of scenes, sometimes with abrupt shifts. As ALP knows, and HCE should know, there is more to their union, more to their love, than sexual expression. Age may bring sexual failure without invalidating the love or forestalling its full elaboration in other ways.

Keywords:   HCE, Kate, ALP, sexual expression, age

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