This item is only available as the following downloads:
EULOGY FOR APOLLO: SYNESTHE SIA AND MUSICALITY IN ANDREI BELYS PETERSBURG AND JAMES JOYCES ULYSSES BY DAVID RODRIGUEZ A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of the Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. David Schatz and Dr. Robert Zamsky
ii Para mi Tia, Maria Elvira Medina de Gonzalez Te quiero
iii TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................1 TRANSCENDENCE AND THE TRIUMPTH OF DIONYSUS: SYNESTHESIA AND THE HISTORICAL MOMENT OF PETERSBURG ................................................9 SONG OF 1905.................................................................................................................35 LINGUISTIC MUSCALITY IN THE SIR ENS EPISODE OF JAMES JOYCES ULYSSES ...........................................................................................................................44 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................68
iv EULOGY FOR APOLLO: SYNESTHESIA AND MUSICALITY IN ANDREI BELYS PETERSBURG AND JAMES JOYCES ULYSSES David Rodriguez New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT Petersburg and Ulysses are often compared within the Modernist movement as texts which capture the urban landscapes of the early twentieth-century by means of radical experimenta tion with language. Petersburg examines a specific tumultuous moment in Russian history, October of 1905, and tethers it to a unique brand of synesthetic and musical poetics. The narr ative portrays the cosmic and ineffable qualities of the political and social climat e, suggesting an apo calyptic transformation taking place within the city. Nietzsches Apollonian-Dionysian dua lity of the arts developed in Birth of Tragedy can be usefully applied to understanding the novels complex imagery and style, which assert a total collapse of order and reason. Music also plays an important role in the Dionys ian aspect of the no vel and Bely deploys various devices which charge his langua ge with the qualities of music. The examination of Ulysses focuses on the Sirens ep isode of the novel and the multifaceted musical-linguistic experiments w ith form and narrative within it. The distinction between Apollonian and Marsyan styles of arti stic collaboration frames the discussion of Joyces musical mode of e xpression. Both texts have great interest in the prowess and potential of language to move beyond its elf, to create challenging
v and provocative fictive worlds, while havi ng distinct approaches to their unique synthetic literary processes. David Schatz Division of Humanities Robert Zamsky Division of Humanities
1Introduction Much will have been gained for aesthetics once we have succeeded in apprehending directly that art owes its continuous evolution to the ApollonianDionysiac duality, even as the propagation of the species depends on the duality of the sexes, their constant conflicts and periodic acts of reconciliation. -Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music The Olympian god Apollo has a shifting pr esence both in world literature and critical theory. Generally speaking, the figure stands for light, reason, clarity, and law. With respect to this discussion, one which attempts to elucidate some of the historical and creative forces at odds with such concep tions, the implications of Apollo varies in purpose and meaning. In Petersburg the Apollo figure, Apollon Apollonovich Ableukov, an aging Senator of Russias tsarist regime, aligns with order and reason, symmetry, Euclidean geometr y, and traditional politi cal allegiances. His son Nikolai represents the seemingly irra tional forces of disorder pressing at the walls of the established political and social structure. This sense of national discord can be understood by applying Nietzsches A pollonian/Dionysian opposition to their familial relationship and to the historical moment; the national crisis of the early twentieth-century becoming encapsulated in this quixotic tension between father and son. In Ulysses the connection with Apollo is a b it more obscure. I will contend that Joyces eulogy is vocalized fr om the critical discussion surrounding synthesis of the arts, specifically, the presence and deployment of music in language This assertion will be made clear in Chapter III. The action of Petersburg takes place only a few days before the failed revolution of 1905, a major prec ursor to the globally signi ficant Bolshevik Revolution twelve years later. The story follo ws Nikolai Ableukov who has found himself
2 caught in a plot to assassin ate his father. Early in th e novel Nikolai is given a timebomb set inside a sardine tin and he is ch arged with setting the clock mechanism and placing it in his fathers study. Although Nikolai appears to be the main focus of the narrative, we cannot consider him the novel s protagonist in the traditional sense because of the morally ambivalent nature of the novel. Several other characters, such as Nikolais love interest, Sofia Petrovna, the anarchis t Dudkin, and the double-agent Morkovin, all occupy equal posi tions on the novels moral spectrum. There seems to be a greater force operating in the novel, something which irrevocably dooms despite any human action (Bely 146). Belys Petersburg emerges from a long tradition of Russian literature dealing with the great questions of philosophy and social thought. The nineteenth-century Realists trafficked in very large and comp lex themes such as the meaning of life and the nature and existence of law and order. The probing novels and short fiction of Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev and others attempted to explicate the contours of the Self when faced with morality and mortality, creating an intricate literary map of the human experience. They also evoked other questions, more specifically Russian questions, which keyed he avily into the literar y canon: questions of national identity. Belys novel, to the ex tent which we may part ially classify it as historical literature, confronts this se t of concerns by capturing the social and political instability and anxiety of the early twentieth-century. He defines this sense of national identity as being both in flux and under attack, elusive yet fixed in a specific time, and curiously embedded th e landscape of th e nations capital.
3 Belys brand of urban poetics is couc hed in a higher realm of linguistic thought. His language carries an apparent wonderment for the human experience and looks to create a full, vivid, and mesmer izing fictive world which reflects the tumultuous realities of the time. The se nse of an impending total collapse, of apocalypse, took cultural predominance in a time of violence, reaction, revolution, and seeming cosmic disarray. This suggests interesting questions about the nature of fiction and its etiological re lationship to actual history: what, if anything, can fiction reveal to us about a historical era when there is an obvious disparity between actual happenings and their ostensibly fals e representation in fictive worlds? This issue is directly addressed in a piece of contemporary literature: Tim OBriens critically acclaimed collection of short stories about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried Bely completed his definitive Petersburg in 1922 while the novel is set in the fall of 1905 (Translators Intr oduction xxv). Similarly, OBriens stories were published in 1990, fi fteen years after the conflic t officially ended. Both OBrien and Bely use narrative fiction as a means to convey historical truth, or, as OBrien terms in his short, apologetic pi ece, Good Form: sto ry-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth (179). Thes e authors invent story characters and situations and pin them agai nst the happened reality of history, distilling a truth by synthesizing perceptions, crumbling narrativ es, flashes of memory, and the broader feelings which can only be contemplated af ter the fact: What st ories can do is make things present (180). OBrien sugge sts, on a much more personal level than Bely, that fiction allows for a certain clar ity which takes the abstract, emotive, and psychological qualities of hist ory into account. Aristotles Poetics arguably the most
4 influential piece of literary criticism ever produced, carries a similar assessment of the relationship between art and history: P oetry, therefore, is a more philosophical and higher thing than history: for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular (68). As an author/participant OBrien declares: I wa nt you to feel what I felt (178). The data of history cannot exist without its counterpoint in the less tangible aspects of the human experience (j ust as the Apollo cannot exist without Dionysus) and it is through a combination of pe rceptions that we ma y come to the full understanding of an occurrence. This theme of synthesis is crucial to Be lys creative project. He saw the five senses as necessarily bound together, a nd it was through language that we could simultaneously summon feelings in multiple senses. Creation, all kinds of creation, he believed, was alive in any use of langua ge, independent of human will: . an assertion of the force of creation in words is a religious assertion. It is indifferent to consciousness (Magic of Words 110). In Petersburg there is a definite sense of poetic revelry which creates a fascinating linguistic and fictive experience, one in which form and content appear to symbiotic ally sculpt each other. The social and political turmoil fosters highly-charged, s upra-empirical, language which allows for sounds, emotions, color, and landscape to ta ke on the qualities of one another and meld together (Keys 228). For a fuller definition of synesthesic e xperience, I turn to Dr. Richard E. Cytowics study of the psychological condition, The Man Who Tasted Shapes Synesthesia (joined sensation) can be basically defined as an involuntary experience in which the stimulation of one sens e causes[s] perception in another (52,
5 authors emphasis). A model example of this is his subject Michae l, who explains his perception of taste as a multi-sensory cognitive experience: Flavors have shape, he started, frowning into the depths of the roasting pan. I wanted the taste of this chicken to be a pointed shape, but it came out all round. He looked up at me, still blushing. Well I mean its nearly spherical, he em phasized, trying to keep the volume down. I cant serve this if it doesnt have points. (4) Michaels case is fairly extreme (and a ra re combination of sense perceptions as Dr. Cytowic observes) but it clea rly demonstrates the basic principle of the condition. The aesthetic aspects of synesthesia, its quali ties as an artistic or literary device, seem to run contrary to its medical defini tion as an involuntary experience. Petersburg I contend, posits (mandates?) synesthetic experi ence both in the diege tic reality (by this I mean the bizarre and hallucinatory experien ces of the characters) and in the readers experience of the novel itself. The characters in Petersburg live in a world where the rules of perception are suspende d in lieu of a transcendental reality. An experience of Second Lieutenant Likhutin, an individua l whose role in the cosmic changes surrounding him are inconsequential, indi cates an explicit lo ss of control and distinctions between the senses: While he stood before the wall he saw that the wall was not a wall: it was penetrable. There be yond the wall, was invisi ble light of some kind, and the laws of nonsense (Bely 133). In order to capture th e instability of the times, Bely employs a poetic style which must equally destabilize his reader. Synesthesia in Belys fictive worl d carries what fellow Russian and contemporary visual artist Wa ssily Kandinsky took great inte rest in, the quality of
6 direct experience which seems so crucial in capturing the historical moment (Cytowic 56). This kind of experien ce points to the prowe ss of the creative individual and, as Cytowic proclaims, a st atement which definitely resonates with Belys artistic temperament: Your brain is an active explorer, not a passive receiver (8). This Dionysian mode of apprehension also conjures music as part of the synesthetic experience. Music, according to Nietzsche, is the ultimate form of Dionysian expression. Its ritu al function brings humanity closer to communion with natural order and divine essence: Not only does the bond between man and man come to be forged in the Dionysiac rite, but nature itself, long alienated or subjugated, rises again to celebrate the reconciliation with her prodigal son, man all the rigid hostile walls which either necessity or despotism has erected between men are shattered. Now the gospel of universal harmony is sounded He feels himself to be godlike and strides with the same elation and ecstasy as the gods (23-24) The musical and cosmic potential of langua ge weigh heavily into Belys fictive world. The presence of music, both in th e novels plot and language, suggests both a quality of direct experience and language which is necessarily augmented by its aural qualities, breathing new life into the words. Chapter II engages a discussion of musicality in Petersburg which leads us to our second focus, the Sirens episode of James Joyces Modernist leviathan, Ulysses
7 These two texts are often compared as stylistically similar and dealing with congruent subject matter, i.e. questions of national identity, the nature of each countrys capital city, and inve ntive and radical uses of th e authors native language. Joyces first version of Ulysses also appeared in 1922, but across the continent in Paris. There is no evidence to suggest that Joyce or Bely were aware of each others work at the time they penned their novels Alexander Woronzoff, whose comparative study Andrey Belyjs Petersburg, James Joyces Ulysses and the Symbolist Movement makes a notable distinction about th e effects of the two novels. He writes: Joyce and Belyj make use of de vices such as the creation of correspondences through metaphori cal analogy, interior monologue and stream of consciousness, synest hesia, musical effects and refrain, leitmotif, linguistic and technica l virtuosity, and an allusive construction. Although Joyce and Belyj employ many of the same devices, the final effect is often ve ry different. By the time Joyce comes to write Ulysses his epiphanies are no longer grounded in mysticism and, for the most part, ar e structural elements establishing horizontal correspondences. For Bely j, on the other hand, the aesthetic symbol alludes to a transcendental reality, the ultimate, absolute Symbol. Consequently, Joyce s eems to concentrate on the here below, while Belyj, through the use of vertical correspondences, includes the there above. (ix)
8 Joyce does not hold the same zealous fervor for language as Bely. His horizontal correspondences, with respect to language in the Sirens episode, communicate the musicality found in the acoustic and structural patterns of language and narrative. In this way, his language is more visceral, physical, gr ounded, and like the novels protagonist, Leopold Bloom, w ho is first introduced as [eat ing] with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls (Joyce 45). The tapered focus on the transcendental potential of language in this comparison of the two novels points to a more direct subversion of narrative and novelic discourse in Ulysses The musicality in Sirens radically departs language from its typical narrative agency in a novel, thereby challenging the reader to embrace the in tricate linguistic symphony produced by Joyces already demanding style of stream of consciousness.
9 Chapter I Transcendence and the Triumph of Dionysus: synesthesia and the historical moment of Petersburg I hesitate to speak my mind before the king but cannot keep from saying there is no greater god than Dionysus Euripides, The Bacchae The city of St. Petersburg occupies a privileged position in the Russian literary tradition. A complex and sprawling metropolis, the city ex ists on the cusp of Russias monarchical history and the ominous future brooding over its citizens at the dawn of the twentieth century. It is pr oductive to characterize the fictive world Andrei Bely creates in Petersburg as built upon a system of dualities which are at the forefront of the historical moment: past/present, Apollonian/Dionysian orders, East/West, animate/inanimate, death/birth, and subjective/objective, but we will see later that this is by no means a clear-cut set of oppositions (Translators Introduction xix). By the time Bely began working on his novel, such binary tensions, which seemed to give the city its character, were coming to a head. Petersburg seizes this social and political reality, the days lead ing to the Revolution of 1905, and reveals an urban environment charged with anxiety, uncertainty, and the loss of reason and rationality which manifests itself both in th e subjective interiorities of his characters and the external landscape of the city itself. A distinct affinity emerges between these two realms, and the feelings of unease ha unting Belys characters expand into all aspects of reality. The dominating sense of unraveling, of apo calypse and cataclysm, provide a kind of primordial canvas on whic h new artistic forms can be constructed. This set of circumstances creates, as translators Malmstad and Maguire have
10 suggested, a unique vision accompanied by a unique language through which to explore it (Translators Introduction ix). Many of the anxieties and tensions spiraling out of Petersburg have their origins in the great literary works of the 19th century. Novelists, poets, and short story writers took great interest in the flourishing urban cen ter, and the first whispers of Belys fantastic fictive world can be f ound in two of Nikolai Gogols short pieces: The Overcoat and Nevsky Prospect. The Overcoat, (1842) in Gogols ch aracteristically va gue and enigmatic style, recounts the story of a certain clerk of a certain department , Akaky Akakievich, and his desperate search for, attainment, and loss of a respectable overcoat to shield him from Petersburg s harsh and unforgiving winters. The protagonist becomes unassumingly anonymous and yet individualized and singular: he was short, somewhat pock-ma rked, with rather reddish hair and rather dim, bleary eyes, with a sma ll bald patch on the top of his head, with wrinkles on both sides of his cheeks and the sort of complexion which is usually described as hemorrhoidal nothing can be done about that, it is the Petersburg climate. (305) The initial description of the protagonist introduces reciprocity between the physical characteristics of an individual and the e nvironment which surrounds him. This kind of association would evolve into larger concerns invol ving resonances between the individual (the subjective e xperience) and the city of Pe tersburg itself (the objective reality). The narrator se ems conscious of this comm union between the two realms
11 declaring: Nowadays every pr ivate individual considers al l society insulted in his person (304). This anxious and noxious nature of the city manifests itself in various forms throughout the story. As Akaky Akakievich go es to see Petrovich, a tailor contracted to make a new overcoat, the details of the building coalesce into a revolting and unpleasant depiction of urban life: As he climbed the stairs leading to Petrovichswhich, to do them justice, were all soaked with water and slops and saturated through and through with that smell of ammonia which makes the eyes smart, and is, as we all know, inseparable from the backstairs of Petersburg housesAkaky Akakievich was already wondering how much Petrovich would ask for the job The door was open, because Petrovichs wife was frying some fish and had so filled the kitchen with smoke that you could not ev en see the cockroaches. (311) Aside from revealing much about the nature of Petersburg living, this passage points to some of the stylistic features of Gogol s writing which lend themselves to Belys fictive world. The metonymic details fl ooding Gogols narratives suggest a strong conflation between the subjective and objective, filtering reality through his characters own perceptions and predispositions: The feet, as is usual with tailors wh en they sit at work, were bare; and the first object that caught Akaky Ak akievichs eye was the big toe, with which he was already familiar, with a misshapen nail as thick and strong as the shell of a tortoise. (Ibid)
12 It is within this subjective world of his characters that we begin to see inklings of unraveling rational modes of perception. Em pirical measurements of space and time become distorted and lose significance once they have ente red the human mind, opening psychic pathways to experiencing some deeper, more menacing and elusive quality of Petersburg. As Akaky Akakievich walks across a deserted square he feels this menacing spirit of the city: In the distance, goodness knows wher e, there was a gleam of light from some sentry box which seemed to be at the end of the world. Akaky Akakievichs lightheartedne ss faded. He stepped into the square, not without uneasiness, as though his heart had a premonition of evil. He looked behind him and to both sidesit was though the sea were all around him. (322) Resisting finite and objective understandings of space, the narrator of The Overcoat describes the city through metonymy and the subjective experience of the protagonist. Coming upon a busy part of town on the way to a party celebrating his new overcoat, Akaky Akakievich and the narrator alike s eem somewhat awe-struck at the unfolding action of the city: our memory is beginning to fail sadly, and everything there in Petersburg, all the streets and houses are so blurred and muddled in our head that it is a very difficult business to put anything in orderly fashion. Regardless of that, there is no doubt that the clerk lived in the better part of town and consequent ly a very long distance from Akaky Akakievich He stopped with curiosity before a lighted shop
13 window to look at a picture in which a beautiful woman was represented in the act of taking off her shoe and displaying as she did so the whole of a very shapely leg, while behind her back a gentleman with whiskers and a handsome imperial on his chin was sticking his head in at the door. (320) Such a style of signification, one focused on the minute details of space, objects, and people, speaks both to the real repres entation of human perception and to the creation of a fictive world which allows for a fantastic rendering of the ordinary. The highlighted details juxtaposed against the blurred background of the city foster a distinct stratification of r eality, focusing on the characters subjective experience. By isolating legs, whiskers, toes, and ch ins the corporeal human body/experience becomes strangely transcendent. Much of the imagery associated with the fantastic rendering of Petersburg eventually turns on Akaky Akakievich, bringi ng about his death from exposure to its climate. As he drags himself home after being severely reprim anded by his superior, a general in the civil service, the city literally enters and consumes his body: He went out into the snowstorm that was whistling through the streets, with his mouth open, and as he went he stumbled off the pavement; the wind, as its way is in Petersburg, blew upon him from all points of the compass and from every side street. In an instant it had blown a quinsy into his throat Next day he was in high fever. Thanks to the gracious assistance of the Pete rsburg climate (328)
14 His individual existence b ecomes overtaken by the unforgiving external reality, with Akaky Akakievichs death being the endnot e. And Petersburg carried on without Akaky Akakievich, as though, indeed, he had ne ver been in the city (329). Although seemingly the end of this resonance be tween the individual and Petersburg, a semblance of his subjective self still lingers in the citys prospects: Rumors were suddenly floating around Petersburg that a corpse had begun appearing at night in the form of a cler k looking for a stolen overcoat, and stripping from the s houlders of all passers-by, regardless of grade and calling, overcoats of a ll descriptionstrimmed with cat fur or beaver or padded, lined with raccoon, fox, and bearmade, in fact of all sorts of skin which me n have adapted for the covering of their own. (330) Once it had been reported that a generals overcoat had been stolen by the apparition, and that this overcoat seemed to satisfy the ghost, the sightings became less frequent. Although, by the very nature of Petersburg, si ghtings of Akaky Akakievich still hang in the collective consciousness of the citi zens and he retains me tonymic signification: The apparition, however, was considerab ly taller and adorned with immense moustaches, and, directing its steps appare ntly toward the Obukhov Bridge, vanished into the darkness of the ni ght (334). The Overcoat represents a portrait of Petersburg as transcendent, enigmatic, and, ultimately, real space. The ending of another Petersburg tale, The Nose, confirms this characterization: Despite what anyone may say, such things do happennot often, but they do happen (Vol. 2, 239). Such declarations point to Bely s project in capturing the tumultuous
15 Petersburg of 1905, and the elusive, tran sient, and fleeting qualities found in the subjective interiorities of his equally provocative characters. Nevsky Prospect (1842) similarl y portrays Petersburg, but places more emphasis on the physical space of the city its elf, marking its deceptive and malicious attributes. The space becomes destabilized through copious description, revealing a vast network of motion and change whic h characterizes the citys most populous prospect. The opening paragraph catalogues its distinguished yet indefinable nature: No directory list at an informa tion bureau supplies such accurate information as Nevsky Prospect How wonderfully clean are its surfaces, and, my God, how many feet leave their traces on it! The clumsy, dirty boots of the ex-soldi er, under whose weight the very granite seems to crack, and the miniat ure, ethereal little shoes of the young lady who turns her head toward the glittering shop windows as the sunflower turns to the sun What changes pass over it in a single day! What transformations it goes through between one dawn and the next! (208) Following the themes already familiar in Gogol, Nevsky Prospect promotes the creation of unstable subjectivities within the characters that traverse it. The wonderfully clean aspect of the Nevsky is revealed through the arabesque to be an illusion created by the space. Appropriately enough in Gogol, the tiny yet shrewd and pronounced details disclose more about the na ture of the space than the kind of grand description given at the expos ition. The two protagonists of the story, Piskarev and Pirogov, both meet their demise by following su ch deceptive charms. This suggested
16 layering of the city, in which there is a great disparity between appearances and reality, amplifies such feelings of instability and uncertaint y. In the end, the romantic catalogue of enchantments which first enrapt ures the narrator becomes a warning of Nevsky Prospects deceiving nature: Oh, do not trust that Nevsky Prospect everything is other than it seems! It deceives at all hours the Nevsky Prospect does, but most of all when night falls in masses of shadow on it, throwing into relief the white and dun-colored walls of the houses, when all the town is transformed into noise and brilliance, when myriads of carriages roll off bridges, postilions shout and ju mp up on their horses, and when the devil himself lights the street lamps in to show everything in false colors. (238) This inversion of order implied by the ending of Nevsky Prospect, that between day and night, is seminal in understa nding the anxiety of Belys Petersburg the shift between Apollonian and Dionysian orders. The similar atmosphere of Petersburg stems from the turbulent social and political climate of the early twentieth cen tury. The sense of imminent change and revolution can be understood by adapting Nietzsches Apollo-Dionysus opposition formulated in Birth of Tragedy to the novels historical moment. Simply understood as the eternal struggle between reason and chaos, Robert Mann succinctly summarizes the nature of the two ancient pagan cults: the opposition is that between a sola r god associated with light, reason, and clearness of vision and an underw orld deity associated with the
17 dark, intuitive aspect of mans soul. Apollo is a patron of the rational, ordered state, of law and justice, while Dionysus presides at orgiastic celebrations where the structures of the state appear to be temporarily suspended Apollo stands for th e consistent logic of the rational mind, while Dionysus embodies the dua l poles of human emotion: a wild euphoria in the celebration of life and a boundless horror before the gaping jaws of death and infinity. (1-2) In Petersburg the Apollonian sense of order is primarily associated with Senator Apollon Apollonovich Ableukov, a distinguishe d civil servant. Additionally, this manifestation is associated with old age, archaic ideals, and a kind of desperate clinging to order and rationality despite the climate of chaotic change. The Senator, his position and demeanor, represents the ol d tsarist regime which by this point can be seen as antiquated and slowly collapsi ng under the imposing forces of social and political upheaval. The space of the city itse lf reflects this sense of extrication, while the Senator separates himself and favors his own subjective world: it seemed that the waters woul d sink and that at that instant the depths, the greenish murk would surge over them. And over this greenish murk the Nikolaevsky Bridge thundered and trembled in the fog There, where nothing but a foggy damp hung suspended, at first appeared the dull outline, then descended from heaven to earth the dingy, blackish gray St. Isaacs Cathedra l at its base the shaggy hat of a Nicolas grenadier thrust out of the fog He [Ableukov] was cut off from the scum of the streets by four perpendicular walls
18 Proportionality and symmetry soothed the senators nerves His tastes were distinguished by their harmonious simplicity. Most of all he loved the rectilineal prospect; this prospect reminded him of the flow of time between the tw o points of life. (9-10). Early in the novel the city becomes more than just a background to personal and political events and takes on a will and character equal to any of its human inhabitants. Bridges, build ings, prospects, and household objects become more than just personified entities in the narrativ es backdrop: they become living, breathing, and emotional creatures straddling the extra-worldly fulcrum on which all of Petersburg wavers. This device extends from the domestic to the public spheres, suggesting a world which exists beyond the limits of normal human perception. At one point the Ableukov household is describe d: The rooms were now radiant with sunlight. The small incrusted table shot a rrows through the air. All the mirrors burst into laughter (154). Further, non-human elem ents of the city di splay a casual yet striking resemblance to their human count erparts: And the red leaves beyond the windowpanes exchanged whispers as they fe ll off the trees; and th e branches formed a misty network. The blackish network began to sway, and the blackish network began to murmur (193). Like Nevsky Prosp ect, descriptions of the city indicate a fantastic reality operating outside normal human cognition and perception. It is revealed to the reader by emphasizing the equally fantastic subjective experience of the novels characters.
19 The senators imposition of order upon di sorder exemplifies this focus, echoing the founding of Petersbu rg itself, the capital built upon a swamp (205). His Apollonian ambitions fill his subject ive world, as if caught up in fantasy: While gazing dreamily into that illi mitability of mists, the statesman suddenly expanded out of the black cube of the carriage in all directions and soared above it. And he wanted th e carriage to fly forward, the prospects to fly to meet himprospect after prospect so that the entire spherical surface of the planet should be embraced, as in serpent coils, by blackish grey cube s of houses; so that all the earth, crushed by prospects, in its lineal co smic flight should intersect, with its rectilineal principle, unembracable infinity; so that the network of parallel prospects, intersected by a network of prospects, should expand into the abyss of the universe in planes of squares and cubes: one square per solid citizen his love for the plane geometry of the state had invested him in the polyhedrality of a responsible person. (11) The organization of the Ableukov household fu rther amplifies the Senators affinity for Euclidian geometry, rati onality, and proportionality: he had made an audit of the household inventory. The inventory was registered in proper order and a nomenclature for all the shelves, large and small, was established: th ere appeared shelves labeled with the Latin letters A, B, C. And the four corners of each shelf received the designation of the four corners of the earth. (6)
20 Very similar to the devices deployed by G ogol and Dostoevsky, the private quarters of an individual often metaphorically and literally repres ent their subjective interiority. In Crime and Punishment for example, Raskolnikovs cramped and desolate room, more like a cupboard than a place to live, acts as a physical analogue to his tortured and deranged mental condition (Dostoevsky 1). His room is described in Part I, Chapter III as: a tiny cubby-hole of a place, no more than six paces long, and so low that anybody of even a little mo re than average height felt uncomfortable in it yellowish dusty wall-paper peeling off the walls gave it a wretchedly shabby ap pearance A more slovenly and degraded manner of life could hardly have been imagined, but it suited Raskolnikovs present mood. (23) The coffin-like flat reflects the protag onists insolated and maddening subjective reality, as if the contents of his mind a nd character were taking physical form. Similarly, in much of Petersburg the Senators mode of a pprehension is cast as a defense mechanism against the disordered ch aos associated with fog, shadows, murky waters, and the omnipresent mist which c onsumes both individuals and the physical space of the city. Mist, in the novel, typi fies the tension which penetrates all the citys features: Oh, Russian people! You are becoming shadows of swirli ng whorls of mist. From time immemorial the mists have been swir ling out of the leaden expanses of the seething Baltic. Into the mists stared cannons. (16)
21 The apprehensive juxtaposition of the fo rmed and rational (cannons) with the unformed and chaotic (shadow and fog) finds itself in almost every aspect of the novel, creating a matrix of dichotomous opposi tions at the core of the novels system of imagery. The most immediate manifest ation exists between the Senator and his son, Nikolai, who represents the Dionysia n order cultivating in the streets of Petersburg. The contrast between Nikolai and hi s father can be referenced by the distinction between light and dark introduced in Nevsky Prospect. Apollon, with his sun-god associations, o ccupies the realm of light, reason, and his clear and definable mode of perception. His son, on the other hand, sleeps through most of the day and awakens during the nigh t, only after his father has sank into utter darkness (83). His quarters similarly reveal hi s disordered subjectiv e interiority: his transformation into an Oriental and sh elves clumsily crammed with books (27). This preoccupation with Oriental associati ons points an anxiety at the heart of Petersburg the tension between Western-influe nced rationality and traditional Eastern temperaments. In Belys fictive world, St. Petersburg symbolically hangs between the European west and the Oriental east. With the collision of these two dispositions, of light and dark, the natura l order becomes necessarily complicated, as evidenced by the social and political upheaval of the day. Father and son, here, stand in for these larger cultural and political institutions, their uneasy and untrusting relationship becoming a tangible represen tation of more inef fable qualities of experience and the historical moment.
22 This opposition seems clear enough, but th e enigmatic nature of the text would not have us draw such clear distin ctions since no unitary Ableukhov existed (Bely 44). This resistance against a clea r understanding of self is typical of the Dionysian order which deals in the dual poles of human emotion. Apollon and Nikolais lack of comprehension is clea r in their relationship, each seemingly teetering between realization and collapse, much like the world outside their house: Nikolai Apollonich thought that hi s fathers tiny fifty-six-inch-long body (twenty-one inches in diameter), was the periphery of an immortal center. Entrenched there wa s the I. But any old board that broke loose at the wrong time c ould crush the center. (153) J.D. Elsworth, in his book-length study of Belys novels, usefully characterizes the complex lattice of images and symbols in Petersburg : It is not expected that any major image in this novel should have a si ngle and unambiguous meaning (107). To this effect, a large degree of similarity exists between the seemingly simple dichotomy created between father and s on. The impending destruction looming over Petersburg exists both within its revolu tionary citizens and in an Other force, represented in the novel as te nsion between the present, Western rationality and the Ableukhovs Mongolian heritage: Apollon Apollonovich Ableukhov was of venerable stock Their place of residence was the Kirghiz-Kaisak Horde Mirza Ab-Lai, the great-great-grandfather of the senator, valiantly entered the Russian service, having received, upon Christian baptism, the name
23 Andrei and the sobriquet Ukhov. For brevitys sake, Ab-Lai-Ukhov was later changed to Ableukhov, plain and simple. (3) This heritage shared by father and s on permeates much of the novels imagery concerning destruction and apocalypse, the sound of galloping from the Ural steppes figuring strongly into the citys spiral toward catacly sm and points to the many aural devices deployed by Bely (239). This galloping is also echoed by the Bronze Horseman, a key figure in the cosmic retribution associated with 1905. This tension similarly manifests in Nikolai, a handsome bust ofit stands to reason Kant adorning his quarters, a figure emblem atic of Western, rational thinking (27). His incomplete transformation into an Oriental points to Sofia Petrovna, who has charged Nikolai with the assassination of hi s father, and whose a ssociations lie in a more extreme Oriental portrayal: She resided in small apartment on the Moika. From the walls tumbled cascades of the brightest, most irrepr essible colors: there, very fiery; and here, sky blue. On the walls were Japanese fans, lace, tiny pendants, and bows, and on the lamps from satin shades fluttered wings of cotton fabric like tropical butterflies hung small Japanese landscapes had no perspective when of a morning Sofia Petrovna Likhutina, wearing a pink kimono, flew from behind the door to the alcove, she was the perfect image of a real Japanese girl. Still, there was no perspective. (39) While Nikolai searches in confusion for a firm conception of himself, Sofia is characterized as more radically Other, as purely Oriental. The catalogue of her
24 quarters reveals the mysterious and almost anxious association with such foreign influences. The lack of perspective in her apartment clashes with the Senators perpendicular space, further emphasizi ng the tension laden in the city, here represented in the contrast of private spaces. This complication of the binary oppos ition suggests that the fictive world of Petersburg cannot be simply understood as the us urpation of the old order with a new or younger one, but that the hist orical moment is irrevocably doomed by these impending forces: for all their appa rent difference [Apollon and Nikolai], are in the service of the same force (Elsworth 101) This force, present both in the interiorities of the characters and the extern al socio-political real ity, defines much of the synesthetic qualities of Petersburg evoking dissolution of normal modes of perception. The first hints of this ca n be found in the novels provocative and indeterminate prologue. The prologue strangely defines Petersbur g in light of this unstable reality, capturing the questionable existe nce of the city. Its limin al and ephemeral qualities spawn the narrative which follows this opening section. Petersburg not only appears to us but actually does appearon maps: in the form of two small circles, one set inside the ot her, with a black dot in the center; from precisely th is mathematical point, which has no dimension, it proclaims forcefully th at it exists: from here, from this very point surges and swarms the printed book; this invisible point speeds the official circular. (2)
25 The circular imagery introduced in this prologue keys heavily into the novels themes, imagery, and style. Circles pe rmeate many descriptions of the city: Petersburg is surrounded by a ring of ma ny-chimneyed factories (51). These encompassing shapes relate feelings of entr apment and inevitability of the historical moment (The undertaking had been set like a clock mechanism.) and the universal feelings of lost logic and security: No, there was no name for this hideous, oppressive thing! (Bely 25, 217). The spiral emanating out of Petersburg, for Bely, traverses the circularity of existence: th e changing historical tides from order to chaos, the affinity between personal and private matters and political and cosmic ones, and reflects the nature of the bomb encased in the sardine tin which will bring about the novels final anti-catastrophe; the movement of the narrative winding and spiraling toward this personall y and historically significant moment. Bely creates a distinguished synesthetic poe tics to most wholly a nd sumptuously convey this unstable reality, highlighting th e circular relationship betwee n the senses and bringing language to an ecstatic exclamation. In hi s theoretical essay, T he Magic of Words, Bely proclaims that language gives huma ns power over the harsh and unforgiving reality we face, similar to the fictive world of Petersburg This living speech identifies mankinds ability to linguistica lly comprehend and conquer its existence. He writes: living speech itself is unbroken ma gic. With a successfully created word I can penetrate far more deep ly into the essence of phenomena than I can through the process of an alytic thought. All I can do with thought is distinguish a phenomenon, whereas with the word I can
26 subjugate, subdue a phenomenon. The creation of living speech is always a struggle between man a nd the hostile elements surrounding him. The word ignites the gloom surrounding me with the light of victory. (95) We may read Petersburg as just this kind of torch ag ainst the darkening historical moment closing on the city, bringing synesthetic poetics, one outcome of languages unbroken magic, to the forefront of perception. Vivid use of color in Petersburg heavily factors into this creation of such an environment. The color red underlies much of the anxiety of the characters and the larger city, its most clear manifestat ion being the red domino donned by Nikolai, whose presence takes a firm hold of the city s collective consciousness, much like the specter of Akaky Akakievich in The Overcoat: Apollon Apollonich tried to hide the signs of his heart trouble. Todays bout had been brought on by the appearance of the red domino. The color red was emblematic of the chaos that was leaning Russia to its doom (112). The Senators heart trouble reveals a simila r Petersburg climate to Gogols fictive world, in which the environment penetr ates the human soul. The red domino indicates the presence of Dionysian forces, its half-mask with a black lace beard resonating with the cults original cere monial costumes (Bely 29) (Mann 9). Kandinsky holds comparable interests in the synesthetic effects of color. He argues that all color, in particul ar the color red, goes beyond s uperficial descriptions. He
27 asserts that color evokes both psychological e ffects and spiritual vibration (44). His Concerning the Spiritual in Art declares that: Color cannot stand alone; it cannot di spense with boundaries of some kind. An unlimited expanse of red can only be seen in the mind; the word red is heard, the color is evok ed with definite boundaries; if they are necessary, they have to be imag ined deliberately. But red as is seen abstractly and not materially arouses both a precise and imprecise impression on the soul, which ha s a purely internal sound. (46) It is clear that Kandinskys concerns re sonate with Belys with respect to the dissolution of boundaries betw een the senses, the associ ation between color and sound being the most distinct indicator. He succinctly a sserts the immense power of color: the superficial impression of color de velop[s] into an experience (43). The section entitled Arguments in the Street s Became More Frequent, covers many of Belys familiar motifs, exploring the poetic s of decay and creating an atmosphere where color, emotion, and sound ar e experientially bound together: Those were foggy days, strange da ys. Noxious October marched on with frozen gait. It hung out dank mists in the south. October blew off the golden woodland whisper, and that whisper fell to earth, and there fell the rustling aspen crimson, to wind and chase at the feet, and whish, plaiting yellow-red scatterings of leaves now the tomtit hopped forlorn in branches black, which all autumn long send forth their whistling from woods, gardens, and parks. (51)
28 Belys language evokes a transcendental aspect of Petersburg exis tence, one in which sense perceptions converge at a new level of experience. Rich passages such as this lay the foundation for the fantastic events of the narrative and the psychotic nature of his characters subjective worlds. The fusion of external reality with interi or states of mind brings us to a unique place in the fictive world of Petersburg : what the strange visitor to Alexander Ivanovich calls the fourth dimension (207). This new plane of existence suggests a realm where the normal laws of percepti on and existence are suspended, giving way to anxiety of the unknown: The biology of sh adow has yet to be studied. You cant understand its needs (206). The whole of Pe tersburg exists in this strange world, a membrane between modes of existence: Petersburg is the fourth dimensi on which is not indicated on maps, which is indicated merely by a dot. And this dot is the place where the plane of being is tangential to the surface of the sphere and the immense astral cosmos. A dot wh ich the twinkling of an eye can produce for us an inhabitant, from whom not even a wall can protect us. A moment ago I was one of the dots by the window sill, but now I have appeared (Ibid) The creation of this dimension contextuali zes the vibrant and alarming nature of the novel; the time of political turm oil necessarily entails the diffusion of rationality and new forms of experience came into play. Nikolais spectral presence as the red domino fits this categoriza tion, along with the poetics de ployed to convey the living qualities of the city itself. The fourth di mension frames the synest hetic experiences in
29 Petersburg as an indispensable result of the historical moment: There will be, oh yes, there will be bloody days full of horror. And thenall will crash into ruins. Oh, whirl, oh swirl, last days! Oh whirl, oh sw irl through the air, you la st leaves! (177). It reflects the world coming apart as it charges toward apocalypse. This fearful run is embodied by the Br onze Horseman, a figure which, like the city itself, becomes organic and real, the spawn of the fourth dimension. The Bronze Horseman appears throughout the novel, l ooming over the events of the narrative. His presence is usually periphery; someone will hear his hooves clanging on the streets or the snort of the hor ses nostrils. His visit to Alexander Ivanovich in Chapter the Sixth is, within Belys fictive world, th e ultimate expression of cosmic retribution, tying the various threads of th e destructive narrative into a single cataclysmic fabric: The bronze-headed giant had been galloping through periods of time right up to this very instant, coming full circle in pursuit of all thundered the crash of metal, shatte ring lives Apollon Apollonich was a crashing blow on stone; and Pe tersburg was a crashing blow on stone; the caryatid which shall br eak loose was a crashing blow. Pursuits are inevitable, and inevitab le too are the crashing blows. You can find no shelter in a garret The garret would crash down. Petersburg would collapse in ruins. The caryatid would collapse too. And the bare head of Ableukhov would crack in two. (213) This fourth dimensional being speaks to th e destruction of the current way of life on all levels, from the personal to the cosm ic. Cosmic destruction, a topic which
30 especially haunts the mind of Nikolai, is pr esent in other ways, materializing in the younger Ableukhovs psyche. Nikolais character exhibits a large de gree of reciprocity between himself and his surroundings. Like the bom b he plants in his fathers study, like his fathers own feelings, he felt that he was expanding ( 217). He, along with the rest of Petersburg, feels trapped within the inevitable causew ay leading to destruction, the expansion of his being becoming a bomb itself: Nikolai Apollonich understood that he himself was a bomb. And he burst with a boom (168); the regular passing of time also becoming a cryptic analogue: there was no wa y at all of stopping the movement of the mechanism once it had been started ( 163). His delirium toward the end of Chapter the Fifth displays a number of id eas and images which connect the various narratives of the novel together and embellishe s the cosmic themes present in Belys fictive world. The almost uncanny forces driving Petersburg along with creating new dimensions, demand that everything be the subject of annihilation. For Bely, this reality harkens to something innate in humankind, a kind of self-importance coupled with great fear which manifests both in his victorious view of language and the immense scope of Nikolais delirium: h e [Nikolai] was the sole center of the universe, conceivable as well as inconceivable (28). A prophetic passage in Chapter the Fifth presents Nikolai mulling: Everything, everything, everything: th is sunlit glitter, the walls, the body, the souleverything would crash into ruins. Everything was already collapsing, collapsing, and th ere would be: delirium, abyss,
31 bomb. A bomb is a rapid expansion of gases. The sphericality of the expansion evoked in him a primordi al terror, long forgotten. (157) The sphericality of expansion, as I have already discu ssed, keys heavily into the anxiety of Petersburg Like his father, Nikolais e xpansive being comes into contact with the cosmic fibers of the universe. He re it comes to represen t the explosion of the bomb, the accompanying apocalypse, the expanding synesthetic experience of the fictive world, and, for Nikolai, the foreboding presence of some terrible specter. His experience is described: In childhood he had been subject to delirium. In the night, a little elastic blob would sometimes mate rialize before him and bounce aboutmade perhaps of rubber, perh aps of matter of very strange worlds. It would produce a quiet lacquered sound on the floor: ppppeppp; and again: ppp-peppp. Bloating horribly, it would often assume the form of a spherical fat fellow. This fat fellow, having become a harassing sphere, ke pt on expanding, expanding, and expanding and threatened to come crashing down upon him Nikolai would start shrieking in nons ensical things: that he too was becoming spherical, that he was a zero, that everything in him was zeroingzeroingzero-o-o. (158) Nikolai exists as a key agent in the impendi ng destruction of Petersburg. His being is liminal, a kind of fourth dimensional bei ng himself. The nature of his delirium describes both his personal a nguish in his fathers house ( the convex of this forehead concealed a desire to grid th e earth with a prospect, as wi th a chain) and the cosmic
32 collapse enveloping the entire world (160) His personal experiences within his house encompass the historical mo ment facing the Russian people: from time to time, while passing from the outer door to the inner door of the entry way, a certain strange, very strange state came over him, as if everything that was beyond th e door was not what it was, but something else. Beyond the door there was nothing. If the door were to be flung open it would be flung open into the measureless immensities of the cosmos, and the on ly thing left was to plunge into it headfirst and fly past st ars and planetary spheres, in an atmosphere of hundred and seventy-th ree degrees below zero. (164) Revelations such as this carry our atten tion to Nikolais opposition to his father, whose rational mind still clings to his or dered, antiquated perception of the world. Nikolai slowly sheds this piece of hims elf and becomes some thing new: And you were like Dionysus being torn to pieces, Ni kolai Apollonich youre now speaking another language, not that of Kant (180). The cosmic be ing of Nikolai has a certain ineffable quality in his character, since he exists somewhat outside of reality. His position shakes the foundation of normal m odes of perception to reveal the true destitution of the world: . now I understand everything Its horrible, isnt it horrible There [is] simply no place left to grow. And at the end, at the terminationthere seemed to be another being there perhaps I lack an organ to grasp its meaning. In place of the sense organs there was a
33 zero . I was aware of something th at wasnt even a zero, but a zero minus something (181-82) The zero encircles many things here. It re flects a return to zero, absolute zero, the pre-elemental existence of all things. Its shape suggests that the senses have become precluded from distinction and that a ll of experience underg oes transcendental unification. The circularity impr esses the idea of inevitabilit y, that the cycle of death and re-creation cannot be broke n: Youd better throw the tin into the Neva at once, and everything will go back to where it was. Everything will return to its proper place. It will not, it wont (183). The unnamable cosmic will has arranged the inversion of order between father and son, the old regime and new forces, and between Apollo and Dionysus. Returning to the root of this distinction, Nietzsches Birth of Tragedy we find a rather apt characte rization of Apollon Apollonovichs temperament and the nature of the social and poltical environment he finds himself at odds with, pointing to the normative theme of the necessary co nflict between reason and chaos: There are people who, either from l ack of experience or out of sheer stupidity, turn away from such phenomena [Dionysiac power], and, strong in the sense of their own san ity, label them either mockingly or pityingly endemic diseases. These benighted souls have no idea how cadaverous and ghostly their s anity appears as the intense throng of Dionysiac revelers sweeps past them. (23) Apollon Apollonovich is certainly one of these individuals: encased in his square room and black cube of a carriage, assa ulted by the crashing blows of political and
34 cosmic change around him. The synesthe tic experience/language which entails Dionysiac power curtails the Senators san ity by means of his own flesh and blood who, as we have already discussed, serves the same ineffable de structive force which seems out of human hands. It is something di vinely inscribed in city of Petersburg.
35Chapter II Music, Meaning, and the Song of 1905 Like the synesthetic and transcendent al devices which create the enveloping and apocalyptic fictive world of Petersburg the musical mechanisms of the novel induce an accompanying melody of the historical moment. Characteristic of his aesthetically ambitious use of poetic language, the sound of space is of great importance in Belys prose (The Magic of Words 94). The style and narrative of Petersburg read like a realization of Belys theoretical, and at times seemingly religious, study and devotion to the power of language. Evoking an enlivened and, at times, mystical rhetoric, he declares that My ego, once detached from its surro undings, ceases to exist. By the same token, the world, if detached fro m me, also ceases to exist. I and the world arise only in the pr ocess of their union in sound In the word and only in the word do I recreate for myself what surrounds me from within and from without, for I am the word and only the word. (Ibid) We have already touched on such tran scendental propertie s of language in Petersburg but an element of the novel which is both stylistically significant and essential to its arcane char acter is the consistent presence of sound and music, specifically the Song of 1905. Bely holds great reverence for the relationship between language and music, which collid e with the social and political forces driving his fictive world toward its doom composing a musical facet of decline inseparable from the written language describing the times.
36 Ada Steinberg, in her book-length study entitled Word and Music in the Novels of Andrey Bely summarizes the necessary relationship between word and music which he fondly executes in Petersburg She writes: At the very onset of his creative lif e Bely felt the need to combine the word with music, and the musical devices which he elaborated disclosed and embodied his concepti on of the world. While achieving a high degree of virtuosity in his handling of these devices, Bely nonetheless never imitated music, but tried to attain its heights on the wings of poetry In order to externalize the worlds disharmony Bely required the grinding disso nances of his own orchestra Belys characteristic euphony signi fies the beginning of a specific aesthetic of dissonance in literatur e, which was widely used in the music of Belys time and later in the worldwide wave of modernism. (36) The generalized view of Bely as a scribe of his time carries a reciprocal significance to his linguistic interests in music. Mu sic and sound have a cr ucial position in the historical moment, heralding the impending revolution and caustic deluge clattering down from the cosmos. The Song of 1905 permeates the novels pages with delirious revelry and an i ncessant rumbling which presaged a great cataclysm, the destruction of the unive rse (Steinberg 52). The va ried components of Belys dissonant orchestra in service of this style include his perpetual use of vowel orchestration throughout the novel, a close attention to the sounds of his fictive world (and of language itself), a nd the emotional and political connotations of music.
37 Similar to the Bronze Horseman and Nikolais hallucinatory Ppp, the Song of 1905 originates somewhere in the novel s fourth-dimension. It represents the social turmoil and approaching re volution hovering about the collective consciousness of early twentieth-century Russians: Now the ploughmen had ceased to scratch at their lands, and abandoning their harrows and wooden ploughs, they assembled in small clusters by their huts. They talked and argued, and then suddenly, all of one mind, moved on the masters colonnaded house. Through all the long nights the sky shone bloody with the glow of conflagrations in the countryside. (51) Again, we see the color red holding a pa rticular set of anxious and foreboding connotations. The saturating hue develops into a familiar leitmotif of destruction. Colors and sounds become necessary coefficients in the novel, their fusion in space and time create new, imposing forces by means of symbiotic augmentation. These forces materialize in metonymies as well, indicating that some Other force is at hand, something universally foreign and in opposition to rationality: . an observer could note the appearance of a shaggy black fur hats from the fields of bloodstained Manchuria. There was a sharp decline in th e percentage of passing top hats (52). The square top hats become indicators of Apollonian order, which dwindle in power, while the shaggy Manchurians, a visual imag e more associated with Mongolism, with the forthcoming shift in cosmic order, take predominance. The Song of 1905 is an aural frame of these symbolic and revelato ry visualizations. The section Noxious
38 October gathers these components into a vivid portrayal of the manic anxiety throughout the city, perhaps the most pe netrating being the sound of the space: Such were the days. Have you ever slipped off at night into the vacant plots of city outskirts to hear th e same importunate note oo? Oooooooo-ooo: such was the sound in that space. But was it a sound? It was the sound of some other world. And it attained a rare strength and clarity. Oooo-oooo-ooo sounded sof tly in the suburban fields of Moscow, Petersburg, Saratov. But no factory whistle blew; there was no wind; and the dogs remained sile nt. Have you heard this October song: of the year nineteen hundred and five? (Ibid) Accompanying the color red, this odious vowel sound is emblematic of the chaos that was leading Russia to its doom. The sound manifests out of some other world but also fuses with the diegetic sounds of the novel: A note of some kindan oo. There, there a humming . Out of the remoteness of the prospect came a thousand voice rumble which grew in intensit y. From there hurtled a carriage A demonstration! (224-25). Whatever its or igin, the importunate note is ubiquitous. Steinbergs discussion of vowel orchestrati on in the novel identifie s this sound as the key of the grinding dissonances of Belys orchestra: The basic sound in the novel St Petersburg is the unpleasant, coarse /u/ such a correlation lends Belys /u/-score great tension, embodying the horror, doom and inexorable destruction of the world, the symbol of which is St Pete rsburg The persistence and relentlessness of this /u / sound is thus erected by Bely into an auditory
39 symbol in St Petersburg creating an atmosphere of anxiety, hallucination, inescap ability. (60-62) Furthermore, Steinberg reinforces her obs ervations by emphasizing the narrative and stylistic significance of this sound-sym bol alongside its desc riptive qualities: The reader has the impression that this implacable sound inhabits the whole city, with its nooks and cr annies, buildings and staircases, linking all the characters, both the major ones and peripheral figures, snatches of whose conversation are h eard in the streets, in the cheap restaurant, in rooms. The life of the city and the inner life of its inhabitants are expressed in full by means of this powerful acoustic element. (63) The full presence of the vowel sound across the life of the city and the inner life of its inhabitants further elaborates on the conflation of self and environment on which the cosmic dimension of the novel takes shape. To understand why music plays such an important role in Petersburg we must examine Belys philosophic influences alongside their corresponding manifestations (or elaborations) in the novel. Roger Keys notes that the authors inclinations toward artistic synthesis are greatly inspired by aesthetic philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, whose grand conceptions about the nature of music seem readily apparent in Petersburg : It was Schopenhauers contention th at through music we gain access to the deepest forces underlying the univ erse: we are able to contemplate the noumenal Will itself. This metaphysical assertion lies at the basis
40 of Schopenhauers hierarchal classifi cation of the arts, in which music is supreme. For music, unlike poetry, painting, sculpture, and architecture, is quite independent of the phenomenal world [It is] a copy of the Will itself For this reason the effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrati ng than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence. (111-12) The essence of Petersburg its bizarre fictive world a nd radical stylistic prowess, can be found in the Song of 1905. This use of music and sound points to Belys interest in bringing languag e into a revitalized dimens ion of meaning, extirpating it from decaying words and supplanting liv ing words in order to create a more direct expression of life (The Magic of Words 100). Such an expression necessarily includes the aura l qualities of words along w ith their accepted lexical meanings: . the deepest vital meaning of the wordnamely, to be a creative wordlies hidden in the sound and image leve l of expression (Magic of Words 98). Early in the novel, an exchange between Lippanchenko and Dudki n (the stranger) points to the power of sound in the creation of Belys unique poetics: Listen carefully to the noise. Theyre noisy, all right. You think you can hear s-s-s, but you really hear SH. . Lippanchenko, in a daze, had retreated into his own thoughts. You can hear something dull and slimy in the sound sh. Or am I mistaken?
41 No, not at all, and Lippanche nko tore himself away from his thoughts. All words with sh are outrageously tr ivial. S isnt like that. S-ss: sky, concept, crystal. The sound s-s-s evokes in me the image of a curve of an eagles beak. But the words with sh are trivial. For example: the word fish Listen: fi-sh-sh-sh that is, something with cold blood. And again: slu-sh-sh-sh : something slimy; mu sh something shapeless; ra sh something diseased. The stranger broke off. Lippanchenko was sitting before him like utterly shapeless mush. And the ash from his cigarette slushed up the grayish atmosphere. Lippanchenko was sitting in a cloud. The stranger then looked at him and thought: Ptui, what filth, how Ta rtarish. Sitting before him was simply some kind of SH. (26) This passage clearly demonstrates how s ound develops into vital meaning, and how this process directly factor s into our perception of th e world. These meaningful sounds, the system of sound symbolism in the novel ( zvukopis in Russian ) recur through leitmotif, repeating the sounds of sp aces in an orchestral pattern (Keys 123). The streets and public spaces of Petersburg also take on a musical dimension. The fleeting aural qualities of city life, the rich cacophony of urban noises combined with the equally textured array of human voices, create another aspect of Belys orchestra. Dudkins journey along the Nevsky Prospect to meet Lippanchenko demonstrates this facet of the citys mu sical dimension. The patchwork of sonic metonymies, in many ways, recalls Gogols devices in describing the same space:
42 Cutting across columns of conversat ions, he caught fragments, and sentences took form. Do you know? was heard from some where to the right. And died away. And then surfaced: Theyre planning . To throw . A whisper from behind: At who? And then an indistinct couple said: Abl . They passed by: At Ableukhov?! The couple completed the sentence somewhere far away: Abl-ution is not the sol-u-tion for what . (15-16) These stacks of conversation convey a staccato rhythm of sound, a discordant element enhanced by the accentuation of the /u/ vowel-note in the couples sentence. The radical lineation creates a sense of the sounds being unattributed, as if they occurred out of the city itself, fueling the air of revolution and anxiety. It is clear that music has a very powerful presence in the language of Petersburg If we continue the not ion that this novel has a certain Dionysian edge, its revolutionary character and subject matter, then it woul d only be appropriate for
43 music to be a major component of this ch aracterization. Nietzs che sees the Dionysian aspects of life as inherently connected to music: Apollos music was a Doric archit ecture of soundof barely hinted sounds such as are proper of the cith ara. Those very elements which characterize Dionysiac music and, afte r it, music quite generally: the heart-shaking power of tone, th e uniform stream of melody, the comparable resources of harmonyall those elements had been carefully kept at a distance as bei ng inconsonant with the Apollonian norm Apollonian cons ciousness was but a thin veil hiding from the whole Dionysiac realm. (27-28) The Song of 1905 seems to be an onsla ught on the Apollonian consciousness, heralding great historical change and crea ting an enlivened, vivid, and revolutionary language with which to capture it.
44Chapter III Linguistic Musicality in the S irens Episode of James Joyces Ulysses Artists and critics throughout history have considered music to be the most pristine and lofty of all the arts. Echo ing Schopenhauer, ninet eenth-century art and literary critic Walter Pater declaratively ranks music at the top of the aesthetic hierarchy, characterizing it as the typical or ideally consum mate art all that is artistic, or partakes of artistic qualities. All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music (140). The Sirens episode of James Joyces Ulysses one of the most radical and complex novels of the twentieth-century, confirms such aspirations. This episode e xplores the delimitations between these two temporal arts, searching for new literary forms by means of linguistic and musical experimentation. Perhaps the reason why so many artists from different traditions have been attracted to music has something to do with its particular expressivity and its nonlinguistic idiom. Music resists the denot ative properties of spoken and written language while being rich in connotative quali ties: the difference between the two lies in the semantic register. Music exists purely in the temporal dimension; it is essentially the art of time. This temporal nature allows music to positively engage with all types of media. Musicologist Vladimir Janklvitch approaches music as such an idealized form, focusing his obser vations on its metaphysical significance and plasticity of expression: In the very measure that one is in clined to attribute a metaphysical significance to musical discourse music (which expresses no
45 communicable sense) lends itself, co mplaisant and docile, to the most complex dialectical interpretations (11). Sirens constructs such a dialectical relationship between music and the stream of consciousness narration of Ulysses The argument for a metaphysical treatment of music lies at one end of the critical spect rum, the perspective which most interests Janklvitch and, similarly, Bely. But in S irens, such a concep tion is interrupted by musics physicality and visceral presence in language, pointing to its position in the everyday lives and thoughts of Joyces characters. The opposing discourses of music and text converge at the narrative action of the episode, synthesizing a new kind of language which interweaves the practices of both musical composition and traditional narrative. The fluidity between these seemingly separate realms points to a collaboration evoking both the artful temporality and compositional aspects of music and the aural and physical properties of language. In Music and the Ineffable Janklvitch discusses the effects of the mythical Sirens against Odysseus. He suggests: The mermaid sirens, enemies of the Muses, have only one goal: to reroute, mislead, and delay Odysseus. In other words, they derail the dialectic . (3). This no tion of music acting as a misfire mechanism against normal modes and goals of apprehensi on can be usefully applied to Joyces artistic experiment in comb inational forms. But the Si rens song does not bring about death in the traditional sense for the reader of Ulysses as was the case in Homers original. Instead, conventions of prosaic linearity fall vi ctim to the Sirens song. Generally speaking, Sirens brings the r eading of prose into a musical mode of apprehension, contrary to the typical orga nization a reader comes to expect from
46 conventional narrative. Nadya Zimmerman, in her formalist reading of the episode, characterizes this process thus: Prose, unavoidably, imposes linear ity on the readerwe read the words on the page in the order in which they appear. This developmental narrative of events occurring in temporal succession has come to dominate the way in which we conceptualize life, the ways in which it proceeds, and in which we relate past, present, and future. By evoking musical form, Joy ce derails this linearity (117) Similarly, in his discussion of the mime tic aspirations found in narrative, Paul Ricoeur declares that: Emplotment is neve r the simple triumph of order (73). Ulysses shares comparable concerns for empl otment of the human experience vis-vis stream of consciousness narration, r unning parallel to Ricoeurs preoccupations with the nature of mimesis in narrative. In his discu ssion of Threefold Mimesis, Ricoeur seeks to test my basic hypothesis that betwee n the activity of narrating a story and the temporal character of human experience there exists a correlation that is not merely accidental but that presents a transcultural form of necess ity. To put it another way, time becomes human to the extent that it is arti culated through a narrative mode, and the narrative attains its full meaning when it becomes a condition of temporal existence (52) The musicality of Sirens pushes the narrative toward this full meaning while charging it with the temporal existence (or character) of music. Sirens
47 simultaneously dismantles, reinterprets, a nd revitalizes language, dancing the line between artistic maliciousness and brilliance. Derailing normal practices of reading narrative constitutes the foundation of the mu sical-prosaic experiment, resisting the conventions and linearity of language and, following many of the pedagogical aspirations of Modernism, seeks to challenge the readers capacity to configure what the author seems to take malign delight in defiguring (Ricoeur 77). This type of critical response represents an intriguing facet of reader-response based theories. Such a notion of dealing with the musical structures and patterns found in Sirens as opposed to solving or decoding them suggest s that reconfiguration into traditional, linear patterns of narrative may not be th e most productive response. Instead, the persistent musicality of language may conf irm the inherent disorder of mimetic emplotment. That is, the developmental na rrative of events occu rring in temporal succession falls short of truly capturing t emporal existence. The musical patterns in Sirens offer a far more intricate panorama of narrative. Brad Bucknells Literary Modernism and Musical Aesthetics: Pater, Pound, Joyce, and Stein dissects many of these musical c oncerns and I will return to it several times throughout the course of this study. He asserts that the narratives digression away from this sense of ord er comes from the nudging of words away from their lexical properties toward a gr eater emphasis on their substantiality as sounds (135). The effect of this brings the reader closer to the physical properties of language, focusing both on its qualities as an utterance (aural) and as a semantic entity which conveys meaning (lexical). Like Bely, Joyce found great creative wealth
48 in the sound of words. In Sirens, the distinctions between the physical and ideological features of words are necessary in the creation of linguistic musicality. The work of Russian Formalist Victor Shklovsky is helpful in understanding this breakdown of language and its aest hetic or poetic application. In 1917, Shklovsky published Art as Technique, a seminal article in the creation of a Formalist theoretical method which was be ing cultivated in Russia and later in American New Criticism. In this article, Shklovsky introduces the concept of defamiliarization (in the Russian, ostraneniye or making strange). He declares his conception of the artistic process as a continuous reinvention of a readers perception: The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of thi ngs as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects unfamiliar, to make forms di fficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because th e process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important (12) This prolonging the length of percepti on involves, for Shklovsky, breaking down an object, act, or idea into its constituent parts; by doing so art removes objects from the automatism of perception (13). On ce disengaged from its ordinary, mundane context in language, the object becomes unfamili ar, it becomes new. The process of defamiliarization essentially refocuses a nd renews a readers understanding of the object. When applied to Sirens, this device operates on the language itself as
49 opposed to the narrative or poetic entiti es being described by the language. The notion of separating language into its aural and lexical si gnification, as described by Bucknell, strongly resonates with Shklovskys formalist methods. In this way, Sirens enacts a proces s of linguistic defamiliarization. By evoking musical form, the automatic and cau sal procedures of narrative are brought into a musical mode of apprehension, wh ich derails causal linearity and detaches narrative from the automatism of perception. A total transformation between the two arts is of course impossible, but Joy ce creates a special kind of writing which flouts and re-creates normal manners of comprehension, narrative, and the time within the narrative (Bucknell 145). This creation of an essentially new language flows through its own self-defined space in its own unique manner (Bucknell 139). Throughout the Modern era much ha s been written concerning the delimitations and combinations between the arts, the foundational work in this area being Gotthold Ephraim Lessings study of the visual arts and poetry, Laocon (1766), a systematic book which seeks to rationally categorize the distinctions between the two media (Lessing 5). For Le ssing, who aligns himself with Germanintellectual traditions, his project seeks to deduce beautiful order from a few postulated definitions; he wishes to clearly flesh out and identify the features of each art from which makes it unique (Ibid). This notion of a clear classification between the arts was born out of the rationalist te ndencies of the Enlightenment and finds its roots in Aristotles Poetics It is exactly these kinds of distinctions which many Modernist writers sought to explore and compli cate. Daniel Albrights study of such theoretical concerns, Untwisting the Serpent: Modern ism in Music, Literature, and
50 other Arts offers two intriguing and opposing m odels of artistic collaboration, one which fits with Lessings system of delimitation and one bent toward obscuring artistic categories and media distinctivene ss. Both will be useful in understanding the various musical mechanisms of the Sirens episode. Albright figureheads these models with the mythical ch aracters Apollo and Marsyas. Comparable to much of the Apollonian imagery in Petersburg the Apollonian style of collaboration has its basis in well ordered, secti oned, and systematic schema of well-defined media working in tandem although always in separate realms, harmoniously. Albright speaks for the Apo llonian composer, who would claim that: music is research, an inquiry into a system of correspondences. Music and astronomy are similar investigations of the proportionality of the cosmos: for the pitch ratios of vibrating stri ngs are direct analogues of the ratios of the crysta lline spheres on which the planets and stars whirl An Apolloni an composer tends to be quite comfortable with other artists: partly because music dwells on such a lofty and disengaged plane of accomplishment that it has no significant connection to what poets and pain ters might do and therefore has nothing to lose from cross-media cont ext the music is conceived as sounding numbers, numbers that can eas ily be transferred to any other medium No intercontamination is possible, because where relations are purely formal, asem antic, no misunderstanding is possible. (18-19)
51 The purist Apollonian composition is one of equal, translatable collaboration, with each art made distinct and kept within its ow n medium. The result of this style is a kind of respectful separation between the arts, one in which multiple effects pool together in a single composition with th e order of each art held intact and unscathed. Opposing this well-ordered model, th e temperament more tuned to Joyces aesthetic project, is the Ma rsyan composition. In this type of collaboration, the various elements which construct the compos ition are not kept separate but collapse into the hands of a single composer seeki ng a single devastating effect (Albright 20). Much akin to the project of Ulysses as a whole, the figure of Marsyas relates to the mimesis in music; his piping evokes pl easure and pain, the fullness of emotional life, and therefore naturally lends itself to intensification through other artistic media Mimesis, as ever, works against purism in art: it tends to confound th e distinctness of media. (19) The formal distinctions between the arts championed by the Apollonian composer dissolve in lieu of a unity of the arts on a single plane, one that is mimetic and, arguably, more like the experience of real li fe. The full meaning of narrative as described by Ricoeur falls in with the Marsyan collaboration, both share concerns about mimesis and the humanity of narrative: the fullness of emotional life. The aesthetic result of such a composition is a new artistic form: instead of several arts cooped up in separate compartments, we ha ve one art, fluid and dazzling, without internal boundaries (20). This new form, especially as it relates to capturing the
52 internal epic and landscapes of the human mind throughout Ulysses can be read as the ultimate discharge of undifferentiated psychic energy, an attempt at making the human experience tangible in words and augmented by musical devices (21). The musical facets of mimesi s are inseparable from th eir literary counterparts. A literal mountain of criticism has b een produced regarding musicality in Ulysses and other works by Joyce. There ha ve been many attempts by critics to formulate the use of musical structure in Sirens by ascribing compositional techniques of music to pros e structuring. One, perhaps the most popular, formulation likens the technical c onstruction of the episode to that of the Fugue. Without being weighed down by the complex intricacies of fugal structure, a fugue is A composition, or a compositional technique, in which imitative counterpoint involving one main theme is the most important and most characteristic device of formal extens ion favored form of medieval polyphony These designations described the fleeing or chasing of voices (Sadie 9, emphasis added) Zimmerman, in her very convinc ing and technically astute article Musical Form as Narrator: The Fugue of the Sirens in James Joyces Ulysses , explicates Joyces application of this polyphony onto linear narrative time. The polyphony of a fugue is created by layering a number of distinct voices within the composition. This contrapuntal structure consists of an in troduced Subject, a corresponding Answer and Counter-Subject, and accompanying counter-point s and subsidiary subjects. As noted in the Grove Dictionary due to the loose and seemingly infinite variations possible in this type of polyphonous contrapuntal compos ition, the notion of a concretized fugal
53 structure is misleading. It is perhaps mo re productive to think of it as a procedure (or even a texture) rather than a form (Ibid). Nevertheless, Zimmermans keen technical temperament unpacks Joyces prosefugue focusing on what she refers to as the compositions fundamental attribute simultaneity (110). She does so by transcribing a fugal chart on to the chapte r of prose, the y-axis identifying the supposed eight voices of the fugue and the x-axis their manifestations as Subject, Answer, Counter-Subject, and so on. This paper effectively identifies Joyces awareness of fugal structuring and elucidat es his technical prowess as a trans-media artist but it is essentially an Apollonian reading of a Marsyan composition. It identifies one aspect of contamination and focuses its critical attention within this intersection. The spirit of the fugue, its essentially polyphonous and fleeting nature, can be considered the basis on which th e episode builds itself as a Marsyan composition, but it is far from the only featur e of the episodes linguistic musicality. This exists in the plurality of devices deployed including the au ral qualities of the word, intratextual concerns (presence of overture/leitmotif), the development of an affinity between music, Leopold Bloom s internal monologue, and the episodes ambiguous narrative voice, and the use of metonymic and synecdochal signifiers. The aural qualities of words are perhap s the most immediately musical aspect of any text, and they are highlighted in th e episode in an attempt to reconfigure a readers understanding of the words themse lves. A challenge for any reader of Ulysses lies in Joyces almost complete disr egard for the formalities of language and narrative. The pedagogical features of the novel demand a great deal from the reader and, as I have already introduced, perhaps the predominant device of the episode is
54 the re-rendering of language in to its lexical and aural meani ngs or connotations. This is clearly suggested by its ope ning two pages, what many critics have referred to as the overture (Bucknell 132). This opening section or overture is 63 lines long and written in a list-like fashion. The list is fragmentary, consisting of splinters of sentences, wisps of images associated with characters and setting, onomatopoeias, in short, pieces (some critics have used the musical term leitmotif to describe the lines of the overture) of the episode to come from the mouth of an uncontextualized narrative voice. On an external level, we may ascribe this use of such a device to the creation of polyphony, both in the sense of the fugue and litera ry polyphony. On the pragmatic level the overture objectifies the episode characterizing it as some thing new without explicit reference to its musical nature. The signi ficance of this device and what each individual motif means in the conventional se nse is inscribed in the episode, taken as a whole composition. Bucknell synthesizes the qualities of the overture thus: the opening fragments presen t us less with themes in any conventional sense, than with them selves as phrases and apparent imitations of sounds that are adrift from any specific context. Marilyn French points out that the fragments are mostly in recognizable English and recognizable syntactic un its. But, while the fragments have a certain familiar quality, they remain, in Karen Laurences words, largely an encoded transcription of sound, an attempt on Joyces part to reduce sound, [bot h] verbal and nonverbal, to its written equivalent. With the opening of Sirens we are faced with the
55 shards of the chapter to come, the pieces of the combinational narrative procedure gathered in one place (132) This absence of context, Bucknell continues, forces the reader to look at the phonetic signification of the words alone, reducing them to phonemes and morphemes. The narrative voice of the chapter (that is, the one transmitting the information to the reader in the traditional sense) expands to include an aural voice as well, one that operates outside the conventions of lexicology and linearity. A quick scan of the overture will rev eal many phrases in which there is an aural or rhythmic emphasis (Bucknell 133). Scattered across the opening pages we find lines such as: Imperthnthn thnthnthn, Blew. Blue bloom is on the, And a call, pure, long and throbbing. Longindying call, Jingle jingle jaunted jingling, Jingle. Bloo, Boomed crashing chords. When love absorbs. War! War! The tympanum, Horn. Hawhorn, Warbli ng. Ah, lure! Alluring, Clapclap. Clipclap. Clappyclap, Fff! Oo, Rrrpr. Kraa. Kraandl, Then not till then. My eppripfftaph. Be prfwritt, Done, a nd Begin! (Joyce 210-11). These sonic fragments resonate with many of the li nguistic preoccupations haunting the novels other seventeen episodes. Such stylistic concerns of ten revolve around the direct representation of the interior [Bloom and Stephen], a kind of radical subjective realism (Ibid). In a similar vein, these fragments point to the unavoidable quality of sound in depicting any aspect of the human experience, instilling literary realism with aural realism. The uncontexualized list both reflects the ways in which sound permeates the air, broaching at a semblance of the texture of music, and how our experience of the unavoidable sounds in lif e are somehow compositional. That is,
56 when rendered under Joyces pen, the sounds are charged with deliberately aesthetic or musical qualities. The two ending lines : Done. / Begin, concurrently, affirm such compositional suspicions: Done indicating the fragmentary overture has transgressed across the entire composition (Do ne is indeed the last line of the episode proper) and Begin! identifies a di screte aesthetic unit in relief to the novel as a whole. The presence of these devices indicates that the musicality of Sirens, following a Marsyan model of collaboration, ope rates both on linguist ic and structural strata. The overture provides a skeleton of metonymies, creating many of the contrapuntal reference points which cont ribute to the episodes polyphony. Evoking the qualities of fugal structure, we can read the first line of this opening section as the compositions Subject: Bronze by gold heard the hoofs, steelyring ing (Joyce 210). Bronze by gold being the two bar ma idens, Miss Douce and Miss Kennedy (Sirens). This initial subject re-occurs throughout the episode in many variations, consistently challenging lexical and au ral signification: Bronze by gold, miss Douces head by miss Kennedys head, over th e crossblind of the Ormond bar heard the viceregal hoofs go by, ringing steel (211) and then on the next page: Yes, bronze from anear, by gold from afar, heard steel from anear, hoofs ring from afar, and head steelhoofs ringhoof ringsteel ( 212). The onomatopoeia and assonance create a more explicitly lyrical moment in the fragmented and disorienting score of the chapter. The aural qualities of such devices complement the brief metonymies which resemble the many fleeting components of fugal composition. The jingle of
57 Boylans car, with its sim ilar vowel orchestration to th at of the Subject, accompanies this repetitious variation: Jingle a tinkle jaunted. Bloom heard a jing, a little sound. Hes off. Light sob of breath Bloom sighed on the silent bluehued flowers. Jingling. Hes gone. Jingle. Hear. (220) This resonance between the sounds sonically connects Bloo m and Boylan, who are in different places, back to the Ormond bar, th e initial Subject. The final word hear stands out, as if a reading dire ction from the musical speaker. This connectivity not only creates an on-going and multi-layered system of phonetic harmony but also illuminates the ac tual narrative content surrounding the characters (the tension between Bloom, Molly, and Boylan, encapsulated in Blooms psyche) and reveals a compos itional framework of sonic and semantic leitmotif and intratextual reference. As Bucknell describes: A word such as jingle has clea r associations with jiggle and ring, words which, while descri ptive enough of Boylans jaunting car, have more ironic sexual implications in the chapter as well, as is the case with jingle itself in its association with the sound of Blooms and Mollys bed. But as Attridge notes in lexical onomatopoeia there is a reinforcing relationship between semantic and phonetic elements of the word which intensifies both aspects of language. (134) If we view these elements as part of the narrative constituency, they lose significance when divorced from their counterpoints a nd accompanying subjects. In this way,
58 Sirens presents the reader with a great er sense of language flowing through itself, repeating, varying. . (Ibid). What is cr eated is an enhanced type of stream of consciousness narration which casts out its unfiltered perspective to the external world, necessarily capturing the ingrained musical qualities of existence in its breadth. Music, in its very nature, lends itself to this style of prosody. Woronzoff offers a short but apt defi nition of this method: the stream of consciousness method attempts to reconstruct a prespeech level of consciousness. It simulates the rapid flow of associations at the prespeech leve l of articulation, where perceptions are not yet governed by gr ammar or logic. (111) In breaking away from the conventions of grammar and logic, the style of Sirens probes the linguistic negotiation of human cogni tive processes. It has its interests vested in the functions and mechanisms of language as it exists at the prespeech level, a field of language foreign to, by comparison, the polished and organized discourse of the typical narrative. This bra nd of stream of consciousness imparts and reflects the inward intensity and immanen ce of pre-articulate d linguistic thoughts, poetically highlighting the physical orderi ng of acoustic patterns in the world. In this way, we can view Joyces project as operating on a much smaller scale than Belys, evoking the physical unity of language and experience instead of its transcendental or cosmic possibilities. Operating in the more physical aspects of music and language, Sirens further characterizes the Marsyan style of collaboration:
59 so enraged by Marsyas temerity that he [Apollo] roped him to a tree and flayed him alivehis whole body was one wound, his raw nerves and lungs and quivering orga ns exposed to the air The flaying of Marsyas can be read as a literalization of the senseimmediacy of expressive musicmusi c that cuts to the quick of the player and the listener. The right response to Apollos lyre is transcendental calm, for it grasps a nd re-presents the whole zodiac; the right response to Marsyas aulos is to convulse in a dance orgy. (Albright 18) The ineffably general language of musi c becomes somewhat concretized through this procedure of intense internalization (Janklvitch 75). The rawness of the language associated with Marsyas flayed body literally and figurat ively reflects the contours of human experience as inherent ly musical and compositional in nature, albeit embedded in the similarly ineffable depths of the mind. The psyche of Leopold Bloom and the narrative voice are ke y factors in the creation of linguistic musical ity. The two will often casua lly merge to reveal the musical dimensions of the human experience, taking on a new, unified musical voice. The features of musicality in the narrative and character voices include the rhythmic qualities of the stream of consciousness (moments of poetic lyricism) and a seamless flow between internal and external sounds or thoughts. This exchange operates within the episodes conti nuous matrix of contrapuntal polyphony. Blooms idle thoughts serve as a kind of musical pla yground, where language sheds much of its lexical baggage, regressing into almost parodic forms:
60 Words? Music? No: its whats behind. Bloom looped, unlooped, noded, disnoded. Bloom. Flood of warm jamjam licki tup secretness flowed to flow in music out, in desire, dark to li ck flowing invading. Tipping her tepping tapping her topping her. Tup. Pores to dialate dilating. Tup. The joy the feel the warm the. T up. To pour osluices pouring gushes. Flood, gush, flow, joygush, tupthrob. Now! Language of love. (Joyce 226) The rhyming and assonance of this passage point to the aural qualities of Blooms thought processes, the language of lov e being a symphony of cacophonous t, p, and d sounds over a melody of melancholy an d visceral blended words, phrases, and vowel orchestrations. Tup, an abr upt tempo, reflects both Blooms anxiety about his wifes supposed infidelity and count erpoints an external noise, Tap, the noise of the blind piano tuners cane, wh ich will become a kind of external aural indicator of rhythm as the episode comes to its end (Joyce 231-38). The musicality may be read as both a stand alone formal experiment in composition while also communicating narrative information in an extremely unconventional manner. Sometimes the episodes narrative voice wi ll subtly point to the reciprocal relationship between the acoustic patte rns found in human experience and the workings of the mind. Musical compositi on occupies both the internal and the external experience: The bright stars fade . A voiceless song sang from within, singing:
61 the morn is breaking. A duodene of birdnotes chirru ped bright treb le answer under sensitive hands. Brightly the keys, all twink ling, linked, all harpsichording, called to a voice to si ng the strain of dewy morn, of youth, of loves leavetaking, lifes, loves morn. The dewdrops pearl . Lenehans lips over the counter lis ped a low whistle of decoy. (Joyce 217) This passage displays the aural link be tween internal thought s and external sound patterns. The intern al song harmonizes with the narra tive voice, the end l sound of pearl with the consonants of the sentence which follows it, creating an intricate psychological lyricism, challengi ng the readers conception of the narratives place. Just before this passage the narrator composes a similar e ffect, calling attention to the aural harmonies of the moment, riffing on motifs from the overture: In drowsy silence gold bent on her page. From the saloon a call came, long in dying. That was a tuning fork the tuner had that he forgot that he now struck. A call again. That he now poised that it now throbbed. You hear ? It throbbed, pure, purer, softly and soflier, its buzzing prongs. Longer in dying call (217) This call will eventually be answered by the blind piano tuners Tap of his cane, counterpointing the drawn out long in dying tones of the original motif. Unlike the natural musicality which haunts Blooms inte rnal monologues, moments such as this point to the deliberate c onstruction of harmony and c ounterpoint, to the explicit
62 control of the Marsyan composer over the c ontents of various media and aspects of the human experience. That is, while the resonance between music and language unfolds on a pre-speech level for Bloom, the narrator seems to deliberately fuse this linguistic level with extern al counterpoints, composi ng a linguistic musicality between the two realms. This narrator, of ten blending his persp ective with Blooms without any textual indicati on, has moments of exposure, revealing engagement with aural experience: Sea, wind, leaves, thunder, waters cows lowing, the cattlemarket, cocks, hens dont crow, snakes hi ssss, Theres music everywhere. Ruttledges door: ee creaking. No, thats noise. Minuet of Don Giovanni hes playing now. Court dresse s of all descriptions in castle chambers dancing. Misery. Peasan ts outside. Green starving faces eating dockleaves. Nice that is. Look: look, look, look, look, look: you look at us. Thats joyful I can feel. Never have written it. Why? My joy is other joy. But both are joys. Yes, joy it mu st be. Mere fact of music shows you are. (Joyce 231) The catalogue itself mirrors the polyphonous expressivity of music, amalgamating various voices into a single portrait of experience. This passage also affirms some of Janklvitchs preoccupations about the nature of music and its ability to lend itself to every kind of media. The aural spark, Minuet of Don Giovanni, evokes images of court dresses, which leads to sympathetic thoughts on the peasantrys green starving faces, which brings about a moment of ex change between the poetic speaker and the
63 imagined faces of poverty: Look, look, l ook. This psychological trajectory (Blooms) indicates the possibi lity of music to transgre ss across numerous aspects of the human experience: it [music] implies innumerable possibilities of interpretation, because it allows us to choose between them These possibili ties co-penetrate one another instead of precluding on e another after the fashion of impenetrable bodies arrayed in space, which exclude one another because each is fixed in its own place. As an ineffably general language (if such is what langua ge should be), music is docile, lending itself to countless asso ciations. (Janklvitch 74-5) The sprawling stream of consciousness style complements the various musical devices deployed by the episode, creating a new language which adheres to much of conventional narrative transmission while br oaching at the nonlinear or disrupted qualities of poetic expression. The musicality in Sirens co mplicates this distinction between narrative and poetry by including the disrupted temporal st ructures, lyricism, linguistic experimentation, and rhythmic emphasis associated with poetry along with the conveyance of events through time more characteristic of narrative. The final aspect I will discuss of the li nguistic musicality found in Sirens is the temporal structuring shared by both language and music. As Zimmerman discusses, the development of the narr ative throughout the episode mirrors the contrapuntal sequence of a musical compos ition: as each characters identifying musical material transforms over the cour se of the piecein counterpoint with the other charactersso do the characters them selves, so that, consequently, the story
64 progresses (Zimmerman 117). A notion we have already touched on, the various thematic and aural harmonies created thr oughout the episode catal yze the progression of the narrative, as opposed to familiar, linear modes of narrative transmission. In this way, Zimmermans thesis is at least pa rtially correct in asse rting that musical form in Sirens becomes the narrator, wh ile words set the narrative into motion (109). The counterpoint system acting as th e narrative mechanism disrupts the objective flow of time to include psychol ogical and linguistic interplay, revealing a resonance of temporal succession between the two which is creates harmony, discord, and utilizes leitmotif patterning. Musi cologist Lawrence Kramer engages this question of the artfulness of time, revea ling a large degree of interplay between the two mediums: a poem and a composition may converge on a structural rhythm: that a shared pattern of unfolding can as an interpretive framework for the explicit dimension of both works the poem and the composition involved would form an intelligible pairnot in a vague or trivial way, but concretely and significantly. (Kramer 10) This shared pattern of unfolding, in pa rt, has many connections to the episodes overture. The opening section provides the co nceptual basis from which a reader may draw out the contrapuntal patterns woven in to the episode, capturing the fleeting qualities within the context of the narrative events. The pre-verbal dimension of Joyces style lends itself to this kind of musical rendering. Stewart Gilberts booklength study of Ulysses offers an apposite characterization:
65 The effect of this [compositional] technique is to thicken the texture of the narrative and, especially, the si lent monologue. Certain passages while they flatter the ear by th e richness of their rhythms, demand the exercise of a keen memory and intuition of their complete understanding. Words are truncat ed, augmented, anastomosed. Phrases are clipped, interlocked. (253) The keen memory and intuition demanded fr om the reader relate s to the distinction between aural and lexical meaning. When listening to a piece of music, a specific unit (perhaps a point and count erpoint) is recogn izable only as it passes through time, the pitch and duration of the tones striki ng the mind with an ineffable quality but which is remembered. Sirens plays w ith this notion to include the lexical understanding of narrative content, charged with the aural harmonics of the words themselves. For example, the jingle of Boylans car provides both a constant aural indicator of rhythm throughout the chapter, while also conveying narrative material (his movement through the city and Bloom s anxiety). Both aspects of language become part of the musical composition. There is not one simple statement one can make about the nature of the linguistic musicality created in Sirens, no all encompassing definition which neatly ties the text together. What I have tried to stress is an understanding of Sirens as a Marsyan composition, a piece of art in which multiple devices coalesce in such a way that enriches the effect(s ) of the object itself. Returning to Shklovsky, Joyces Marsyan composition is i nherently tethered to a process of linguistic defamiliarization, to a certain degree he demands it from his reader. In this way,
66 there are many aspects of Joyces style whic h seem ineffable and there is certainly a partial loss of language in the process. Music enters as the means of recapturing the power of language, its death and rebirth. In this episode there are a number of techniques introduced which combine to create the single devastati ng effect intended by such a composition. The emphasis on the aural qualities of language create s written harmonies contributing to the contrapuntal structuring of the narrative, al ong with mirroring much of the tonality found in music. In a similar vein, the use of leitmotif and the presence of the overture add to this sense of orch estration, re-rendering linear narrative time to include the structural rhythms of a musical composition. Especially in Ulysses which is simultaneously seeking the largest and smallest of scopes, the portr ayal of reality will not be hampered by novelic language. The plurality of devices evoking music which defigure normal modes of narrative succession creates a language couched in a higher realm. It bursts from the depths of huma n cognition and taps into the orchestra of the everyday experience, composing in Siren s a reformed narrative and poesis: poetic texts too speak of the world, even though they do not do so in a descriptive fashion literar y works depict reality by augmenting it with meanings that themselves depend on virtues of abbreviation, saturation, and culmination, so stri kingly illustrated by emplotment. (Ricoeur 80) The abbreviated metonymies scattered througho ut Sirens provide much of the raw material for contrapuntal st ructuring. The harmonies cr eated by this structuring emerge from passages saturate d with aural significance, and the positioning of these
67 devices within the flow of Joyces style cu lminates in a language pushed to the limits of its own system of signification.
68Conclusion Woronzoff suggests that in both Ulysses and Petersburg : Words do more than reveal a reality they create it. Rather than describing and explaining they suggest and evoke (29). This assertion underscores one of the more striking similarities between these two novels: their apparent mutual project to capture, in different contexts, the direct experience of life. Joyces stream of consciousness subjugates his reader to a kind of linguistic and psychological torment, frustrating him or her by casting off the conventions of represented thoughts and language. At times, it seems, the sheer difficultly of r eading the novel is the main focus of the prose. In this respect, Sirens turns its ear on the imminent aural properties of language and reveals the embedded musi cal composition created by polyphonous and contrapuntal thoughts, words, and the nor mal phenomena of daily life. Lexical meanings waver under this sonic focus, yet the narrative of the story continues: time, characters, and actions travel forward th rough the day, as if they temporarily and unknowingly harmonized in a brief song. This mode of expression, for Joyce, is necessary to convey the direct experience of his characters one which concerns itself with the physicality of language and its intersections with the human psyche. Belys direct experience operates at th e opposite end of the spectrum. If we think of Joyces style as be ing concerned with the materi al, the physical properties of language, then Bely attempts to transport his reader via synesthetic language into the realm of the immaterial. Perhap s the most evocative aspect of Petersburg is this suggestion of supernatural or cosmic context surrounding happened historical events. In Petersburg the experience of the histor ical moment cannot be fully
69 realized without the dream-like, abstract fo rces and sensations which entail the social and political environment. For Bely, th e fourth-dimensional aspects of 1905 are just as real as any other account gathered from official sources. He captures instability through a style marked by its de stabilizing properties. These properties include vaguely sketched and fragmentary characters, syne sthetic evocations between color, sound, and emotion, and musical evoc ations by means of vowel orchestration and a particular a ttention to sonic resonances within the fictive world. As these novels would suggest, synest hesia appears to be a major area of concern specifically for the Symbolists and the larger Modernist movement which encapsulated it. Both as a formal device and a means of conveying the true essence of an experience, synesthetic language i nherently calls the basic limitations and faculties of speech into question: Synesthesia is an attempt to rise above the original, logical use of language and to purify it. With synest hesia the author is able to strip words of meaning and to create a ne w language that speaks to all the senses as once In their novels Joyce and Belyj are aware of the correspondences between the arts as well as between the senses. (Woronzoff 29-30) Belys critical writings cert ainly reveal a deep concern for the state and purity of language, as many of his contem poraries also expressed, with Petersburg a seeming manifesto of these linguistic ideals. Siren s directly usurps th e logical structure and conventions of narrative and creates a world cross-sectioned into the obscured, ineffable, and consummate shape of music. They both share congruent concerns for
70 the revival and re-invention of linguistic fo rms, but follow distinct trajectories in realizing them. Broadly speaking, we can characterize the eulogy for Apollo as present in the narrative content of Petersburg and in the musical experiments with form in Ulysses Apollonian order in the fictive world of Petersburg is disrupted by Dionysian fervor: a power shift from order to chaos. Even more, it is a means of understanding a critical moment in Russian history, creati ng a story-truth by means of sumptuous and radical prose. Defiance of Apollonian order in Sirens is channeled through the figure of Marsyas whose synesthetic com positions, like Dionysus, resist strict delineation between mediums and favor ne w combinational forms. Bucknells synopsis of the musical devices at work in Sirens succinctly characterizes the aesthetic implications of the chapter: Ambiguity and dislocation of voice(s) will form the very means of the chapter, infiltrating every kind of expression, whether the transcripted language of popular song, or that of the narrative itself. Nothing resolves itself into some monologically superior discourse (142) This democratic assertion reflects both th e compositional characteristics of the fugue and the dimension of radical subjec tive realism found in the text. In Petersburg a narrative voice consiste ntly interrupts the flow of la nguage to offer context or beg questions pertaining to the na tional crisis. This narrator shepherds the novels various musical and poetic devices into a recogni zable whole (that is, there is some semblance of a superior discourse) while Joyce excuses this kind of narrative
71 mediation. This general difference between the novels narrative strategies, as Woronzoff has noted, create very different effects. I realize at the end of this endea vor that I have come to a greater understanding of both these works in the technical sense, and there is not enough space here to do all the moments of beauty and genius justice. Almost every page of Petersburg contains some magnificent poetic mo ment; to map the orchestration of symbols and leitmotifs which build throughout the novel would be a testament to the paramount aesthetic and historical signifi cance of Belys work. Sirens embodies the potential of language to be as Bely would certainly ag ree, the most powerful form of creation. I come to these conclusions wh ich dont seem like conclusions at all, but more areas of inquiry, as if I have arrive d at the beginning. There exists some solace in not having to grab some prescriptive bras s ring, to explore rath er than define, and I feel that this approach to criticism will yield the most productive and engaging results. Apollos eulogy will be continuous ly sung by new generations of readers and new generations of artists.
72Works Cited Albright, Daniel. Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts New York: University of Chicago Press. 1999. Aristotle. Poetics Trans. S.H. Butcher. New York: Hill and Wang. 1961. Bely, Andrei. Petersburg Trans. Robert A. Maguire and John E. Malmstad. New York: Indiana University, Folklore Institute, 1978. --------. The Magic of Words. Selected Essays of Andrey Bely Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985. 93-110. Bucknell, Brad. Literary Modernism and Musical Aesthetics: Pater, Pound, Joyce and Stein New York: Cambridge UP, 2002. 121-61. Cytowic, Richard E. The Man Who Tasted Shapes Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1998. Elsworth, J.D. Andrey Bely: A critical Study of the Novels Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. 88-116. Gogol, Nikolai. Nevsky Prospect. The Complete Tales of Nikolai Gogol Ed. Leonard J. Kent. Vol. 1. New York: University of Chicago Press, 1985. 20738. --------. The Overcoat. The Complete Tales of Nikolai Gogol Ed. Leonard J. Kent. Trans. Constance Garnett. Vol. 2. New York: University of Chicago Press, 1983. 304-34. Jankelevitch, Vladimir. Music and the Ineffable Trans. Carolyn Abbate. New York: Princeton UP, 2003.
73 Joyce, James, and Richard Ellmann. Ulysses (Gabler Edition). New York: Vintage, 1986. Kandinsky, Wassily. Concerning the Spiritual in Art New York: George Wittenborn Inc., 1947. Keys, Roger. The Reluctant Modernist: Andrei Belyi and the Development of Russian Fiction, 1902-1914 Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. Laocoon: An Essay on the Li mits of Painting and Poetry Trans. Edward A. McCormick. New York: Johns Hopkins UP, 1984. Mann, Robert. Andrei Bely's Petersbur g and the Cult of Dionysus New York: Coronado Press, Incorporated, 1987. Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals Trans. Francis Golffing. New York: Anchor Books, 1990. O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried New York: Broadway Books, 1998. Pater, Walter. The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry New York: Macmillan Company, 1906. Ricoeur, Paul. Time and Narrative Trans. Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer. Vol. 1. New York: University of Chicago Press, 1984. 52-87. Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Vol. 7. New York: Macmillan Limited, 1981. 9-20. Shklovsky, Victor. "Art as Technique." Russian Formalist Criticism : Four Essays By Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis. Trans. Lee T. Lemon. New York: University of Nebraska Press, 1965. 3-24.
74 Steinberg, Ada. Word and Music in the Novels of Andrey Bely Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Woronzoff, Alexander. Andrej Belyj's 'Petersburg,' James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' and the Symbolist Movement Berne: Peter Lang, 1982. Zimmerman, Nadya. "Musical Form as Narrato r: The Fugue of the Sirens in James Joyce's Ulysses." Journal of Modern Literature XXVI (Fall 2002): 108-18